Agustin “Gus” Ramirez was named the 2015 Wisconsin Business Leader of the Year by the Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The award honors individuals who excel in business and give back to the community through philanthropy and civic engagement. Ramirez was recognized for his longstanding leadership roles at Husco International and his commitment to education for Milwaukee’s underserved populations.

Excellence in Business

Beginning in 1985, Ramirez served as chairman and CEO of Husco International, a privately held company that distributes hydraulic controls for off-highway equipment like forklifts, cranes, excavators, and mining trucks. During his tenure as CEO, Husco’s annual sales increased from $20 million to $200 million. His son, Austin Ramirez, took on the role of CEO in 2011.

Ramirez currently serves as the International Executive Chairman of Husco. He leverages his acumen for corporate planning and business to make strategic investments that differentiate Husco and prepare it for future growth. Under his leadership, the company has expanded internationally to England, China, and India.

As a master’s graduate of aerospace engineering from Georgia Tech University, Ramirez sees his technological background as a significant attribute to his success in corporate planning. “Engineering helped me in terms of understanding the technology we were involved in,” he says. “It was an important background.” 

Civic Involvement

The World Business Leader award also honors Ramirez for his leadership in education and community affairs. He serves as the executive director for Schools that Can Milwaukee, an organization founded by his daughter, Abby Ramirez Andrietsch. The main goal of the organization is to increase the number of high-quality traditional-district, public-charter, and private-choice schools in urban communities.

Having changed languages and cultures three times before the age of 10, Ramirez is committed to providing high-quality education to young students, especially those in the underserved Hispanic community. The Agustin A. Ramirez Jr. Family Foundation provides scholarships to more than 100 Milwaukee students per year, and builds Christian schools in Central America and Milwaukee.