2019 Outstanding Professional Adviser of the Year - Terry Campbell

Campbell keeps charitable giving a part of every conversation

When Terry Campbell graduated from Marquette University Law School in 1979, his first job in private practice was at a time when law firms had not begun to specialize.

“I had to do collections, divorce, you name it,” said the Ohio native, who earned his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University. “I thought I had made a drastic mistake.”

Gradually, though, Campbell gained more exposure to estate planning, elder law, trusts and business succession, which is his niche. In 1980, he joined Moertl, Wilkins & Campbell, S.C., where he is now the managing shareholder.

“That work gravitated more to my skill set, and I loved it,” he said.

Campbell’s “skill set” includes the ability to relate well to people of all walks of life, and to establish quick rapport, said clients and colleagues.

Campbell said he enjoys helping people with their problems, especially family issues. Changing family structures, for example, have led to divorces, multiple families, blended families and same sex marriages.

“Terry often acts as a mediator,” said Elizabeth Ruthmansdorfer,
a colleague of Campbell’s at the firm and a fellow Herbert J. Mueller Society member. “He helps families work out resolutions.”

Campbell has many clients with funds at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation and has been bringing up the charitable conversation with them for decades.

“I believe if people are presented with options, they generally like the notion of leaving a legacy, a stamp that is here when they’re gone,” he said, whether that’s providing for education, preventing hunger or supporting a religious belief.

Many clients do not realize that there are options other than a private foundation. Campbell educates his clients about the option of starting a fund at the Foundation. The Foundation’s personal approach, Campbell said, provides clients the opportunity to have a real connection with their giving.

After attending the HJM Society luncheon in 2018 and listening to attorney Michael May speak about being more intentional with clients about charitable discussions, Campbell felt inspired to do the same.

As a way of keeping the Foundation top of mind for both his clients and prospects, he included information in a 2018 quarterly newsletter about the benefits of starting a fund with the Foundation.

“For those with charitable concerns, connection to the community is important,” he said. “It is a proven and trusted organization with ties to the community. Being part of the Foundation offers my clients the opportunity to be part of something greater than themselves and to see the positive results within the community.”

Read about other Outstanding Professional Advisers >>