December 4, 2023

🔒 Gus Ramirez shares insights on religion, launching Aug Prep and shopping for the Cardinal Stritch campus

Gus Ramirez and the Ramirez Household Basis made large information in 2023, shopping for the previous campus of Cardinal Stritch College in Glendale and Fox Level for $24 million not lengthy after the college shut down on the finish of the spring semester. The chairman of Waukesha-based producer Husco Worldwide, Ramirez and his household have been behind the launch of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy on Milwaukee’s south aspect and now plan to open one other Christian schooling Ok-12 college on the Cardinal Stritch campus by 2025. In September, Ramirez joined BizTimes Media managing editor Arthur Thomas and Marquette College president Michael Lovell for a recording of Management Lens, a podcast by which space enterprise leaders talk about their management types and making essential selections. The next are excerpts from that dialog, edited for size and readability:

Launching Aug Prep

“We determined that although we didn’t have loads of public empathy and help for this effort … that we might undergo with it and do it anyway and we might construct a grade college and college students would come. And alongside the best way, we did encounter a good quantity of objections, authorized objections from the town, et cetera, however we all the time acquired the suitable folks in entrance of me as companions to have the ability to take care of these points. And as my son has stated, if he couldn’t go over it or round it, he went via it and people brick partitions that have been put in entrance of us have been shattered in time, and we constructed the college on time on price range.

“We began with about 560 college students, which was greater than any alternative or constitution college had ever began with in Wisconsin. 4 years after, we began the college after we had all our courses full … so it was a really difficult initiative. God put it in our hearts for us to do it, and after we had objections and I met with the household to debate it – as a result of all of us have been type of within the limelight throughout this course of – I informed them, ‘Hey, if God needs a faculty constructed, it’ll be constructed. If he doesn’t, it received’t.’ And we went ahead with our initiatives and once more, we had it constructed on time to the specs.”

Main a profitable venture via change and opposition

“The primary factor I might advocate and advocate to folks is should you’re going to tackle a venture of this measurement, it’s now a $100 million-plus venture, however you’ve acquired to have the perfect folks. So, my philosophy at Husco, anytime I wanted to rent a direct report, I might rent any individual who was smarter than me and that knew greater than me. And my job was to combine all of the sensible minds to ensure that our outcomes of our enterprise have been superior. And I used the identical philosophy at Aug Prep.”

An aerial view of the previous Cardinal Stritch Campus in Glendale and Fox Level, now owned by the Ramirez Household Basis.

Making the choice to purchase the Cardinal Stritch campus

“The important thing to our success at Husco was the power to all the time transfer sooner than the competitors and execute higher. … After I walked that campus for the primary time – really for the All-In Milwaukee commencement – I used to be impressed, and I got here again and knew it was on the market and the actual property agent gave me a tour via your entire facility. As I completed that tour, I informed her that we have been going to make a proposal, we might make a proposal at their asking worth, however it will embrace all the things that was contained on the college.”

Why he’s concerned in schooling

“I consider southeastern Wisconsin faces an enormous deficit within the expertise pipeline. What we’re doing is a human useful resource initiative: We hope inside 10 years to be graduating 450 new grads yearly into the Milwaukee neighborhood. …  In case you have a look at the influence of getting 450 younger women and men graduate who’ve tutorial abilities means past common, have a way of values, have a religion and are strolling of their religion and perceive the worth and which means of household and what it means to a neighborhood, we may have impactful younger folks that can make Milwaukee higher. The truth is Milwaukee wants 4 or 5 Aug Preps as a result of this expertise pipeline is so extreme.”

Enterprise neighborhood involvement in schooling

“We have now a enterprise neighborhood that’s philanthropic, however only a few folks within the enterprise neighborhood are in a position or prepared to make long-term seven-, eight-figure donations, which is what’s required to construct a faculty that prices $100 million. What the enterprise neighborhood is sweet at is they arrive alongside. … Can the enterprise neighborhood do Cardinal Stritch by themselves, people who have the monetary capability to take action? The reply isn’t any. They will’t make selections as quickly as they should make them. And most of those companies are public entities they usually really feel that shareholders ought to be doing the funding, not the company. So, they do make restricted investments via foundations, however writing an eight-figure verify could be a really large job for them.”

On the function of religion in his giving

“Whether or not it’s (supporting colleges in) Central America or what we’ve executed in the USA, in all instances, God made it clear that that is the door he needed us to stroll via. And if we deviated, he would knock us again on path. Once we had challenges, monetary challenges, he known as on us to have religion to go forward and preserve the commitments we made and he would reward us for that. And that’s what we did. That’s what we did in 2008, 2009, when our enterprise was dropping $30,000 a day for a yr and a half, which we had by no means had any losses, however we stored up our mission dedication although we needed to promote our shares that we owned and put a mortgage on a home that we had had for 10 years. And we dedicated that God needed us to do that and we might do it in gentle of the troublesome financial conditions and Husco losses, and God was true to his phrase and he rewarded us tremendously. Fifteen months later, we have been having report months and the way forward for our enterprise was brighter than it has ever been earlier than and led to a threefold enhance in enterprise in a matter of six or seven years.”

On making selections

“My strategy is velocity is my buddy. In case you go sooner than all people else, no one will catch up. So, our decision-making and my decision-making goes at warp velocity. … Once we’re going through large investments, what I guarantee is that we perceive the chance exactly. We’d not have each T crossed or i dotted, but when we perceive one thing as a possibility of consequence, we assess it as such after which we execute extraordinarily quick to make that chance occur. That’s been how we’ve executed our business-making selections, and that’s how we’ve executed our philanthropy as nicely. We depend on our instincts and the truth that God has simply given me a enterprise thoughts that permits me to take a look at strategic conditions and perceive them in a means that I can establish alternatives for the group that others might not have the ability to see.”