Executive to be honored for excellence in his field GRAEF CEO Kissinger is STEM Forward Engineer of the Year


STEM Forward is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and metropolitan Milwaukee’s leading Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education and outreach provider. STEM Forward’s programs, events, and activities inspire local youth to pursue STEM careers and provide a pipeline of talent to businesses in southeastern Wisconsin.

GRAEF's President and Chief Executive Officer John Kissinger has been named the STEM Forward 2018 Engineer of the Year. The prestigious award has been bestowed annually since 1953 to a remarkable leader in the Milwaukee 7 community who has made an extraordinary contribution to the engineering profession.

Rich Merkel, executive director of STEM Forward, said, “John has uniquely demonstrated tremendous excellence as both a practicing engineer and business executive – we’re very excited to be honoring him as the Engineer of the Year.”

A practicing engineer since graduating from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1979, Kissinger has served as a project manager, executive and active community leader in greater Milwaukee for more than three decades.

Kissinger’s award-winning portfolio of work has included dozens of large signature projects recognized throughout the Midwest, including the Milwaukee Art Museum Calatrava addition and Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee, the Lambeau Field renovation in Green Bay, the McCormick Place West addition in Chicago and many more.

Named a principal at GRAEF in 1994, a member of the Board of Directors in 2002, and CEO in 2011, Kissinger has overseen dramatic growth to nine offices and more than 250 employees. GRAEF recently announced it will move its national headquarters to new office space in The Shops of Grand Avenue in downtown Milwaukee.

Kissinger follows in an impressive line of GRAEF executives who have received the Engineer of the Year Award, including Luther Graef, Leonard Anhalt, David Kluge, Richard Bub, and John Goetter.

Kissinger will receive the Engineer of the Year Award at the 66th annual Engineers Week Banquet, to be held Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. The event will begin with a reception at 5:15 p.m.

Others to be honored at the banquet will include: Kyle Bareither of O’Brien & Gene as the 2018 Young Engineer of the Year; and American Transmission Company, which will receive the Spirit of STEM Award.