Tracy Sperl has come a long way from her days of sewing Wrangler jeans in an Oklahoma factory.
“I had moved to Oklahoma looking for greener pastures and needed a job,” Sperl said. “The two women already in the local Wrangler office weren’t going anywhere, so if I wanted to work, it was going to be on the factory floor sewing blue jeans.”
It’s that “get the job done” attitude that makes Sperl even more valuable at Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren. After joining the firm in 2000, Sperl needed only two years to become the administrative assistant of Jerome Janzer, Reinhart CEO. Later she took on the same responsibilities for the chief financial officer, Andrew Quackenboss, as well as the director of information technology, Jerry Bishop.
The former seamstress had completed the climb to the top of the corporate ladder in her own way.
“I am the least stuffy person you’ll ever meet,” Sperl deadpanned. “I’ve done a bit of everything, and I enjoy this work because it’s meaningful.”
Janzer praised Sperl for being someone who works with nearly everyone at the firm, from members of the board of directors to shareholders and secretaries.
Janzer also singled out Sperl for her behind-the-scenes work in helping clients. Although her fingerprints are largely invisible in final products, Sperl’s contributions are undeniable.
Her other great passion in life has four legs. She’s a volunteer at the Wisconsin Humane Society’s Puppy Class. She also spends at least one night a week teaching the four-legged ones how to behave with their two-legged friends. She’s also been an advocate for supporters of the annual Tails on the Trail fundraiser, which also benefits the Humane Society.
Sperl’s bottom-line advice to the next generation is, just like her working career, nothing if not refreshingly practical. Whether you’re sewing blue jeans or working in the C-suite, Sperl says, “be grateful that you have work and, if it’s something you enjoy, even better.”