Ralph Stayer

Ralph Stayer is the Chairman of the Board and CEO of Johnsonville Sausage LLC. He has led the company since it was incorporated in 1968. Under Ralph’s guidance, Johnsonville has become the largest selling sausage brand in North America and currently sells its brand in more than 30 countries. Ralph was named CEO of the Year by Tom Peters in 1988 and was a finalist in the Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2000. In 1990, Ralph established the Leadership Dynamics consulting firm. He wrote “How I Learned to Let My Workers Lead,” published in the Harvard Business Review, and co-authored the business best-seller Flight of the Buffalo, published by Warner Books. Ralph became involved in the Foundation several years ago and since then has organized a number of efforts to support BEF. Johnsonville’s popular “Bratwurst Tailgating Hall of Fame” cause marketing program raised significant funds for the Foundation. Johnsonville also hosted a successful golf tournament near its Wisconsin headquarters, and Ralph continues to ensure the company’s ongoing involvement in BEF events. Ralph is a National Trustee of Boys and Girls Clubs in the Midwest region. In addition, he is a Board member of PAVE, an organization dedicated to improving opportunities for urban students in Milwaukee. Ralph also serves on the Board of Advisors for the Notre Dame Executive Education Department. Ralph graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a Bachelor of Arts degree in finance. He has been married to his wife, Shelly, for 15 years. They have seven children and five grandchildren in their combined family.

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