|Chris Abele (right) on January 7, 2011|
|Milwaukee County Executive|
April 25, 2011
|Preceded by||Scott Walker|
|Born||Christopher Seton Abele
January 28, 1967
Concord, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Residence||Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.|
|Occupation||Milwaukee County Executive, President & CEO of Argosy Foundation, philanthropist, investor|
Christopher Seton "Chris" Abele (born January 28, 1967) is the current Milwaukee County Executive, an American business owner and philanthropist and former president of the Milwaukee based Argosy Foundation. Abele is active within the Democratic Party. Abele is the son of American businessman John Abele, the co-founder of Boston Scientific.
- 1 Business career
- 2 Community involvement
- 3 2011 Milwaukee County Executive race
- 4 Milwaukee County Executive
- 5 Electoral history
- 6 References
- 7 External links
In 1996, Abele founded SteriLogic Waste Systems with Chris Kerr serving hospitals and medical clinics in managing sharps waste. After serving as CEO of SteriLogic from 1996–2004, Abele became Chairman of Sterilogic to devote more time to philanthropic efforts.
In 2001, he and his business partner Steve Mech founded CSA Commercial, a Milwaukee-based real estate and development company. In 2004, Abele formally became the President and CEO of the Milwaukee-based Argosy Foundation. In 2006, SteriLogic merged with Medsolutions and in 2007, Kerr and Abele sold the majority of SteriLogic to Stericycle and restructured the remainder as Oxus Environmental.
- Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee: Abele was invited to join the 85 member board in 2001, has served as board chairman from 2004-08. On May 3, 2010  Abele was the recipient of the groups Most Valuable Person Award for "his outstanding community involvement and service to the children of Milwaukee."
- Carr Center for Human Rights Policy: Abele currently sits on the advisory board of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy, a research center located at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University
- Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art
- League of American Orchestras: Abele has served on the board of directors since 2007, where he currently holds positions on the campaign cabinet and executive committee
- Marcus Center: Abele currently serves on the board of directors, and is previous board chair. While on the board, Abele led various privatization efforts, and spearheaded the Center's external lighting project
- Medical College of Wisconsin: Abele currently serves on the Board of Trustees.
- Milwaukee Art Museum: Abele currently serves on the board of directors, and had previously held positions on the Education Committee, and currently serves on the Anniversary Committee to commemorate the museums 125th anniversary.
- Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design: Trustee
- Milwaukee Shakespeare: Abele was co-founder and former trustee of Milwaukee Shakespeare.
- Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra: Abele currently serves as the chairman of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors
- National Association of Health Education Centers: Board Member
- Physicians for Human Rights: Trustee 
- Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin: Abele is a former Board Member of the organization, and currently serves on their honorary board.
- Public Policy Forum: Trustee
- River Revitalization Foundation: Abele currently serves on the Board of Directors, and previously held the position of Board Chair.
- Royal Shakespeare Company America: Abele currently serves on the Board of Directors
- Visit Milwaukee: Abele currently serves on the Board of Directors.
- Wisconsin Covenant Foundation: Abele was appointed by former Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to serve on the Board of Directors.
- Women for Women International: Abele serves on the Board of Directors, and previously held the position of Board Chairman.
Abele has participated in numerous executive search committees for a variety of organizations, including:
- University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, Chancellor search
- Milwaukee Art Museum, CEO search
- Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, CEO search
- Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, President search
Awards and honors
Abele has been the recipient of numerous awards for his work in the community, including:
- Milwaukee Business Journal "40 under 40"
- Milwaukee Business Journal "Power Broker"
- Boys and Girls Clubs of Milwaukee "Most Valuable Person"
- Public Policy Forum "Charles McNeer Civic Leadership Award"
- United Performing Arts Fund "Partner in the Arts Award"
- Governor's Award in Support of the Arts
- Boys & Girls Club of America "National Foundation Award"
- Shepherd Express "Milwaukeean of the Year"
- Children's Hospital of Wisconsin "Children's Hero Award"
- Saint Francis Center "Children's Service Award"
- Marcus Center "Corporate Citizen Award"
- Riverwalk Association "Gertie Award"
2011 Milwaukee County Executive race
Abele made his formal announcement to enter the race for Milwaukee County Executive on January 4, 2011. Abele, and opponents Jeff Stone, Jim Sullivan, Ieshuh Griffin, and Lee Holloway faced-off in a non-partisan primary on February 15, 2011. Abele and Stone received the most votes and advanced on to a run-off election that was held on April 5, 2011. On April 5, 2011, Abele defeated Republican challenger Jeff Stone, capturing over 61% of all votes cast and will serve out the remainder of then-County Executive Scott Walker's original term. Abele was sworn in on April 21, 2011.
Abele did not adopt his predecessor (Scott Walker)'s strict "no new taxes" approach, but says tax increases should be a "last resort" until the county gets its act together. Specifically, a dedicated sales tax for parks or transit is out for the "foreseeable future", he told PolitiFact Wisconsin.
County privatization of services
Abele told Politifact Wisconsin that he is "wide open" to privatizing more county services if it saves money, preserves an important service or improves poorly delivered programs such as mental health.
Ideology and party affiliation
Abele has contributed primarily to Democratic campaigns and the Democratic Party. Formerly, Abele served on a number of finance committees. This activity includes the 2002 campaign for former Governor Jim Doyle, helping with John Kerry's presidential fundraising, and donating to Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign.
On February 12, 2011, Abele received the endorsement of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which stated "Chris Abele's leadership on nonprofit boards, his experience running two family companies and his skill managing the Argosy Foundation make him a solid choice for county executive", and "Abele has the right experience and the right vision. Abele could be a game-changer". On April 2, 2011, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel once again endorsed Abele over Jeff Stone, stating "Milwaukee County needs transformative change. One candidate provides the better chance to accomplish that."
Milwaukee County Executive
Abele took the oath of office to become Milwaukee County Executive on April 25, 2011, succeeding Scott Walker, who was elected Governor.
On June 9, 2011, citing concerns about budget cuts at the state level, Abele indicated his opposition to a planned $775,000 investment in public art at the Milwaukee County Courthouse. A year later, in June 2012, Abele signed a resolution placing the public art program on "hiatus" and authorizing use of the program's $500,000 in accumulated funds toward deferred maintenance instead of artwork.
On June 10, 2011 he announced his intention to provide health care coverage to domestic partners of Milwaukee County employees. This was approved by the County Board on July 28, 2011, and signed by Abele into law on August 3, 2011.
|2011 Milwaukee County Executive General Election
- Chris Abele profile at Politifact.com
- Greater Milwaukee Business Journal: "Foundation moving to Milwaukee - Chris Abele to head family's philanthropy" by Pete Millard November 17, 2002
- Oxus Company history
- Real estate executive's projects have civic impact in mind
- Salute to Youth
- SALUTE TO YOUTH-MVP AWARDS EVENT CELEBRATES LOCAL LEADERS
- Carr Center for Human Rights Policy Board of Directors
- Haggerty News, Spring 2007
- League of American Orchestra: Board of Directors
- MARCUS CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS PAINTED WITH LIGHT AND TRANSFORMED INTO ARCHITECTURAL SCULPTURE
- Medical College of Wisconsin Board of Trustees
- Milwaukee Art Museum: Creative Fusion Celebrate Success
- Milwaukee Symphony Board of Directors
- Physicians for Human Right Annual Report
- Goodgate Profile: Women for Women International
- Milwaukee Business Journal: 40 under 40
- Milwaukee Business Journal: Power Brokers
- Chris Abele Announcement Speech
- Five candidates file for county executive
- Election 2011 | Milwaukee County Executive – Abele defeats Stone for Milwaukee County executive
- Klopperung/Prosser too close to call, Abele wins | Third Coast Daily
- JSOnline Politifact: "Milwaukee County executive candidate Chris Abele says he’s not partisan"
- "Abele has vision, drive to lead county forward"
- Abele has vision, drive to lead county forward
- Editorial – Abele a better bet for change
- Schultze, Steve (10 June 2012). "Milwaukee County halts public art program". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved 10 June 2012.