To Corey Kaiser, a 2018 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, “Midwest Nice” is more than just a slogan.
“To me, ‘Midwest Nice’ means we would rather see people do well,” said Kaiser. “That’s something that has always resonated with me, whether throughout my business career or my personal life.”
Kaiser and his wife, Teah, expressed this sentiment with their recent pledge of $1 million, through the Kaiser Family Foundation Corporation, to the UW-Platteville Foundation to support facility upgrades on campus.
After graduating with a degree in business administration, Kaiser created the brand The608, locally marketing Wisconsin-branded clothes. The company quickly gained traction and Kaiser rebranded to Wisconsin Clothing Company. He then merged with his family’s BrandL Embroidery & Imprints to become WCC Brands, with a retail brand of Wisconsin Clothing Company. Kaiser is the main owner and manager of the company, which has now expanded well outside the 608-area code, selling its products in nearly 50 retail locations and two flagship stores across the state, in addition to booming online sales.
Kaiser said he is not afraid to describe himself as a “homer,” having grown up in the small community of Kieler, Wisconsin, and attended UW-Platteville – 10 minutes from home.
“I’ve always loved my small town of Kieler, and I went to UW-Platteville because it was close,” said Kaiser. “I lived in Platteville and still had the college experience. I have always loved Wisconsin communities; everyone has each other’s backs.”
Kaiser’s love for Wisconsin communities not only drives his company’s brand — which he describes as “clothing by Wisconsinites for Wisconsinites” — but also moves him to give back to the communities that are the backbone of his brand, especially in Southwest Wisconsin.
“I am honored to be a Pioneer, especially when I see how well the university is doing and all of the new projects. I want to be able to help,” he said.
“We are immensely grateful for this impactful gift from the Kaiser family,” said UW-Platteville Interim Chancellor Dr. Tammy Evetovich. “Partnerships, such as this one, within our Southwest Wisconsin community are essential for our university and region to continue to thrive and be a vibrant place to learn and live.”
A large portion of the gift from the Kaiser Family Foundation Corporation will support a major renovation to Bo Ryan Court, in Williams Fieldhouse, which is home to more than 100 university events annually, including commencement.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Kaiser family on the renovation of Bo Ryan Court to provide a best in class, multilevel premium seating facility,” said Dr. Kristina Navarro, director of Athletics and Recreation and assistant chancellor for Sports Administration at UW-Platteville. “This gift will not only allow us to continue to enhance our profile of competitive excellence as we recruit top talent to UW-Platteville, but it demonstrates a strategic revenue generation effort to continue to build and expand our event hosting capabilities. I am excited to welcome partners, donors, fans and alumni to the Kaiser Family Suites at Bo Ryan Court in the fall of 2024. This is truly a game changer for UW-Platteville and Pioneer nation.”
Another portion of the gift will support future capital projects at UW-Platteville.
“The Kaiser family has tremendous passion for Southwest Wisconsin,” said Joshua Boots, assistant vice chancellor of Development and Alumni Engagement at UW-Platteville. “This investment will have an incredible impact on Southwest Wisconsin, the university and beyond. I want to personally thank Corey and Teah for their generosity and for making this transformational gift a reality.”