Distinguished Alumni

2003 - Roxanne Emmerich

Roxanne (Pronschinske) Emmerich-2003Roxanne Emmerich is a nationally-renowned entrepreneur, business consultant and motivational speaker.

A 1981 UW-River Falls graduate with a major in agricultural business, Emmerich is familiar with the struggle most students face when beginning their careers. Starting out with nothing, she began her career in banking, building on what she learned to found her own banking company with a partner in 1997. Today her banking company, North American Banking Company in St. Paul, is an $80-million bank holding company.

In 1988 she founded The Emmerich Group, Inc., working as a business strategist and consultant to present speeches and develop audio and video training systems for hundreds of clients. She has produced 24 video training programs.

She has also published more than 500 articles and five books on topics ranging from technology to financial services. Two more books will be published this spring. She has twice been voted Entrepreneur of the Year.

Today, Emmerich is one of the 12 most requested speakers in the country for national sales meetings. Her topics motivate financial institutions toward growth. Her popular presentations include: “Acquisitions Are for Wimps: How to Grow your Institution Without Merging, Acquiring or Marrying Into It;” “Nine New Realities and Why Most Bankers Are Being Blindsided;” and “Thank God It’s Monday: How to Build a Motivating Workplace.”

Emmerich rejects much of what she learned in business school. She says banks don’t know how to talk to their customers--how to ask the right questions, give the right answers and follow through. They need to create their own sales system and that is what she can help them with.

As an organizational consultant, Emmerich was one of 15 people appointed by Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson in the early 1990s to the Study for Administrative Value and Efficiency in state government.

Her other activities include a position as chair of the Certified Speaking Professional Council, the highest certification in the speaking profession. She is past state president of the American Society for Training and Development, and director of the YWCA Foundation.

Emmerich is the founder of a youth scholarship program for underprivileged college freshmen, and a board member of Youth Horizon. She has also served as host mother to three high school foreign exchange students since 1998.

As an undergraduate student at UW-RF, Emmerich was voted outstanding senior by the faculty in the College of Agriculture. She graduated with high honors and received the prestigious Chancellor’s Award.