Meet Chris Abele
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele
Elected in a special election in April of 2011, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has begun to restore the County’s finances, assembled a top notch team to ensure effective, efficient delivery of services, and exhibited the bold style of leadership needed to continue to make Milwaukee County a business and family friendly community.
As promised in his 2011 campaign, Chris delivered a balanced budget that held the line on property taxes while filling a $55 million budget deficit, paid down the County’s debt, and improved valuable services like public transportation.
During his first year in office Chris has also assembled a diverse, experienced team that is committed to improving on what works, fixing what doesn’t, and learning from the past to build a brighter Milwaukee of tomorrow. In addition, Chris successfully secured domestic partner benefits for Milwaukee County employees for the first time in history.
Over the last year, Chris has proven himself to be a results oriented, fiscally responsible, progressive leader. By working together with community leaders from across the political landscape and avoiding petty political fights he has proven that together – we can make Milwaukee County an even more attractive community in which to raise a family and start a business.
As the founder and CEO of the Argosy Foundation, an international nonprofit based right here in Milwaukee, Chris has worked to build partnerships and improve communities by building and strengthening programs in the arts, environment, education and health and human services.
Chris partnered with local officials and fellow community leaders to strengthen important Milwaukee County institutions. From working with business, community and elected officials to reinvigorate the Mitchell Park Domes into a popular, revenue-generating destination; to revitalizing Bradford Beach; to leading the lighting transformation of the Marcus Center into a cutting-edge, energy-efficient system that saves money and makes Milwaukee County a more vibrant and exciting place to visit, Chris has worked tirelessly to improve the quality of life across Milwaukee County throughout his adult life.
Chris is a passionate advocate for strengthening communities and providing hope to young people. As an active leader of the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, he has helped the organization touch lives. He earned the organization’s Most Valuable Person for his efforts to develop a comprehensive 10-year plan to help address the problems facing Milwaukee’s youth.
As a business owner and civic leader, Chris has focused on creating value for communities. In Milwaukee and in communities across the United States, his commercial development firm brings new jobs to communities by putting old buildings back into productive use, and employing sustainable designs.
And on top of all of this, Chris has worked hard with civic leaders, the business community, elected officials, academics and researchers, and Republicans and Democrats to study the very real problems facing Milwaukee County and develop new and bold ideas — free from politics — to solve them.
His work with both the Public Policy Forum and the Greater Milwaukee Committee Task Force on Milwaukee County’s fiscal crisis identified ways to save County taxpayers millions by issuing pension obligation bonds at a reduced interest rate. Getting the legislation passed to allow Milwaukee County to issue these bonds took a broad collation of support from community leaders and elected officials across the political spectrum. It was hard work, but it was the fiscally responsible thing to do.
Chris has started a business and created jobs. He’s managed operations and budgets, and been accountable for results. Chris has worked with and led dozens of organizations and efforts to strengthen our community.
And Chris has never forgotten the values instilled in him by his family at a young age. Service. Hard work. Giving back. These are the values he still carries with him today as he seeks to bring new leadership and real reform to the serious problems facing our community. And these are the values Chris will bring everyday to the job as your Milwaukee County Executive.
Chris, his wife Miriam and their two daughters, Lauren and Katherine proudly live in Milwaukee.