Tribute to David A Ulrich
David A. Ulrich often credited his successes to failure.
The story is well known to many who knew Dave. Growing up on Milwaukee's
West Side, Dave failed two years at St. Anthony of Padua Grade School in
Wauwatosa. Years later, Dave returned to the school to thank the school
sisters of St. Francis for turning his life around.
"Whatever I amount to, I owe an awful lot to those sisters," Dave would
Dave's unique view of business, his wisdom, his entrepreneurial zeal, his
brand of success, his sense of humor and his ready smile were lost to the
world when he died after a courageous battle with cancer. His
death prompted a big story in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a line of
mourners that extended out the door at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
Dave left behind more than a loving family and a successful business
empire that included Tri City National Bank, Mega Marts, Inc. and NDC, Inc.
He also left a legacy of loyalty - to family, friends, business colleagues
and, maybe the most visibly, to those who helped him along the way.
Dave's most high-profile way to say thanks was through philanthropy. He
appreciated a good education, so he provided scholarships for countless
students at Pius XI High School. The school's chapel even bears the name of
his beloved wife, Agatha.
Dave loved his adopted hometown of Oak Creek, so he gave much and helped
raise even more to build the Oak Creek Community Center. Now the community can
celebrate inside the center's Ulrich Hall.
He was a proud American, a veteran of World War II who lost a brother in
battle. He gave thanks by providing the money to refurbish West Allis'
Veteran's Park. But there were other, much more subtle, efforts. Tri City
Bankshares stock, since first offered to the public in 1963, has increased in
value many times over proving an excellent investment for original
stockholders, and those who joined him along the way. More important to him,
Dave helped to provide many thousands of jobs, both through Tri City National
Bank and its 43 locations and through other business ventures in southeastern
Dave's intense loyalty prompted the same in those he met. It's not uncommon
to find - in an age when people change jobs as often as they change cars -
people who have spent their entire business lives in an Ulrich company.
Leaving meant more than changing a place of employment. It meant disappointing
Dave's work, of course, will continue. His efforts in the philanthropic
world will bear fruit for many years to come.
Just as important, Tri City National Bank will innovate; look for sound,
profitable growth; focus on it's small-business roots; and provide an
unmatched brand of convenience - just as it has since the day in 1963 when
Dave Ulrich, William Gravitter and a group of other local businessmen founded
Dave wouldn't want it any other way.