Steve Marcus receives volunteer leadership award

From film and hospitality, to art and music, to community and philanthropy, Steve Marcus has given people in greater Milwaukee a lifetime of positive experiences.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation recently honored Marcus, chairman of the Marcus Corporation and of Sculpture Milwaukee, with its 2018 William C. Frye Award. First presented in 1956, the Frye Award honors individuals who, through their volunteer work, have made Milwaukee a better place.

Known widely for his visionary leadership in his iconic family business, Steve Marcus became president of the Marcus Corporation in 1980 and added the roles of CEO in 1989 and chairman of the board in 1991. He guided the trailblazing lodging and entertainment company until his retirement in 2009, when his eldest son, Greg, took over as president and CEO.

“Steve is not only a conscientious captain of industry, he is an unabashed champion for the city of Milwaukee,” said Foundation President and CEO Ellen Gilligan. “He has grown his family’s legacy in more ways than one, but what stands out to me above all else is how he leads by such generous example.”

Steve Marcus is a past chair and former Board member of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. He was one of the founders of Summerfest and has served on the boards of such organizations as the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin Foundation and the Milwaukee Jewish Federation.

His latest passion and contribution to the community has been Sculpture Milwaukee, which features free, outdoor access to the work of nationally recognized artists placed on display along the downtown corridor of Wisconsin Avenue. This year, 21 works created by 22 significant artists from around the world were showcased.

“I have often felt that it’s very important that people in a community have places where they can come together,” Marcus said. “So, whether it’s Summerfest, or whether it’s a basketball arena, or Sculpture Milwaukee – where there are sculptures on the street – it’s sort of fun to watch that interaction happen in front of your very eyes.”

Marcus received the distinction at the Foundation’s Lunch with the President & Civic Award Presentation in September.