Herbert V. Kohler, Jr.
Herbert V. Kohler, Jr. (1939-2022) served as Kohler Foundation Board President from 1969-1999 and was chair of the Finance Committee. A courageous innovator and passionate creative during his tenure as foundation president, Herb drove investment in education and culture to enrich communities in Wisconsin and beyond.
Under his leadership and continuing to the present, Herb’s passion and influence was felt within the Foundation at every level. Through local scholarships and grants, performing arts programs, and the more nationally known art preservation program, Herb was instrumental in pushing the foundation to make investments that increased access to the arts and educational organizations. In his 30 years as president, the Kohler Foundation saw profound growth in the reach of each of these programs.
The Distinguished Guest Series welcomed performers of vastly different areas of performance to the stage at the Kohler Memorial Theater. Performers like The Boston Pops, Vienna Boys Choir, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Pearlman, Maya Angelou and Kristin Chenowith, all offered local audiences a range of theater experiences.
Over the years, the scholarship program grew from supporting a handful of students at Kohler High School to offering scholarships to over 40 students in 15 local high schools each year. Most notably was the awarding of the Herbert V. Kohler Scholarship, named in honor of his father, to a student with exceptional leadership qualities. Herb just loved to read students’ scholarship applications and hear what made them excited about their futures.
In his leadership of the Kohler Foundation, Herb set a high bar for excellence in everything, and instilled a desire to do the same in all of us. His big laugh, always encouraging us to attain the mission at every level, and the lively discussions around innovation and excellence will be deeply missed. For a bio of his career in full, please visit celebrateherbkohler.com