Governor honors Janesville businesswoman

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Thursday, March 6, 2014

JANESVILLE—The former owner of State Electrical Supply in Janesville is among 13 women who will be recognized next month as female business pioneers.

Ellen Ramberg was one of three founders in 1955 of State Electrical, which was sold last fall to Steiner Electric Supply.

Ramberg became the sole owner of the business on West Milwaukee Street in 1969. Over the years, she maintained membership and served on many boards of directors, as well as donated money and products to professional and fraternal organizations.

 “For 58 years, Ellen ran her business working six days a week,” said Sue Conley, the executive director of the Community Foundation of Southern Wisconsin who nominated Ramberg.

“She loved her work and the people her business served.”

Ramberg earned recognition for her history of entrepreneurship at a time when there were few resources and role models for women. She also was recognized for her company's history of business innovation and her personal commitment to the community.

The 2014 Governor's Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business are given to businesses to recognize the legacy of women's business ownership in Wisconsin. Recipients will be honored in a ceremony at the State Capitol on April 9, followed by a luncheon sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.

“Private sector businesses are key to our state's job creation strategies,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a news release. “We are fortunate to have many women who have started a business and now employ their fellow Wisconsinites. I commend these nominees for serving as role models to other women who are considering opening a business and creating jobs.”

This year's award recipients represent six counties and a wide range of industries.

Since establishment of the program in 2007, awards have been given to 57 Wisconsin woman-owned businesses across 23 counties.

“The value of these winners is not just in the past accomplishments we celebrate today—it is also in the women their trailblazing example will inform and inspire in the future to follow their own entrepreneurial passions and dreams,” said Mary Jo Baas, chair of the Wisconsin Women's Council, one of the program's sponsors.

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