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Baas recognized for work on Women's Council

Governor gives her Certificate of Appreciation

May 29, 2012

Mary Jo Baas takes a lot of joy in being a stay-at-home mom.

It allows her to take on projects like the Waukesha County Reduce Your Waste Stream Challenge, which she did a couple years ago with her three daughters - and won.

And when 14-year-old Abigail, 12-year-old Rebekah and 9-year-old Lydia get home from school, they always get their mom's full attention.

It's a level of involvement she doesn't want to miss out on. But over the years, the Brookfield mom also has put her attention toward another cause.

For the last 20 years, she has dedicated herself to the Wisconsin Women's Council, a state government agency that identifies barriers that prevent women in Wisconsin from participating fully and equally in all aspects of life.

It also works with public, private and not-for-profit groups to develop long-term solutions to those barriers and inequities.

Right now, she said, the council is focusing on financial literacy.

"It's the best of both worlds, where I get to be with my kids and stay involved politically," Baas said. "It's a passion for me and I can't ask for anything more than that."

She was first appointed to the council by Gov. Tommy Thompson in 1992; she worked at the State Capitol as an aide and then as a senior analyst for the Republican Assembly Caucus.

She also worked in the private sector as director of government affairs for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. But her passion for the Women's Council was always there.

Baas was chairwoman of the council from 2000 to 2003 and was reappointed to the leadership post in 2011 by Gov. Scott Walker. Recently, Walker recognized her work on the council with a Certificate of Appreciation.

"Ms. Baas' personal, legislative and civic experiences have made her a tremendous asset in serving women across the state of Wisconsin," Walker said.

Having her daughters see her on the Women's Council is important to her.

"It's been a good 20 years, and I like that my girls can now see me doing this for women," Baas said.

Baas currently serves as the president of Liberty House Consulting, and her husband now has his wife's old position at MMAC.

To recommend a person be featured in Someone You Should Know, send an email to someone@cninow.com or call (262) 446-6643.

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