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Deep roots of giving back

Deep roots of giving back

Melinda Church July 13, 2020
Andy Wannemacher's parents taught the value of hard work and a generous heart.

In 2016, at just 30 years old, Andy Wannemacher ’08 was named president of a complex logistics and manufacturing company with 150 people on the payroll. It was a high-pressure, prove-yourself moment.

Three years into his tenure as president, both Wannemacher and the company are thriving — a fact Wannemacher credits to the University of Dayton. The magic, he said, comes from pairing the UD curriculum with the Marianist values and tradition of giving back.

Andy WannamacherAfter graduating with a double major in finance and leadership, Wannemacher returned home to Lima, Ohio, and began working as a salesman for Wannemacher Total Logistics. His father had led the company since the early 1990s — transforming it from a local trucking operation into a diversified company with several sites across Ohio.

Each rung on Wannamacher’s ladder to the top had to be earned. He rose from salesman to sales director and then to vice president. His earliest days at the company were anything but easy: As a teenager, Wannemacher worked part time sweeping floors and cleaning bathrooms.

Today, the voices of faculty in UD’s School of Business Administration still ring in his ears. “A lot of the theories and strategies resonate,” he said.

Wannemacher’s passion for community and giving back is significant, but so is his modesty, with an extensive Google search required to understand the range of his philanthropy.

The Lima Rotary Club, Young Professionals and Chamber of Commerce get his time. And his company supports a range of community causes, such as STEM programs for kids and programs promoting the performing arts in Lima, Ohio.

In 2016, Wannemacher’s parents donated $1 million to their alma mater, Bluffton University, where his father serves as a trustee.

Following in his parents’ footsteps, Wannemacher donated to UD’s School of Business Administration Dean’s Funds for Excellence during the inaugural University giving day in 2019. Although he’d made annual gifts before to UD athletics and the business school, this investment was directly prompted by his parents’ tradition of philanthropy.

“My parents always taught me that, when you’re successful, you owe to the people who helped you get there,” he said.

“I’d been meaning to do this,” he said about his gift to UD. Giving day caught his attention and made it easy. His hope is that his gift enables the business school to deepen its excellence and grow its advantages.

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