Brookfield East Class of 1978
Spartan graduate Robert Perry has given back to his community by offering residents with a passion for ice sports a place to call home.
Perry's path in Elmbrook took him from Dixon Elementary to Burleigh Junior High and Brookfield East. During his time as a Spartan, he was involved with the Ski Team, Key Club, football, and baseball.
"I really appreciated the willingness of teachers to work with and support students in and out of the classroom," said Perry. "It's clear that the instructors care about each student's success. Al Gusho, Tom Race, and Tom Kraeft all expected more out of me than I was aware I could deliver. I'm thankful to them for continuously pushing me."
Robert graduated from Brookfield East in 1978, and continued his education at UW-LaCrosse and UW-Milwaukee. His entrepreneurial spirit kept him challenged and always moving to the next opportunity and learning experience.
In 1974, well before graduating from high school, Robert began a contract with the City of Brookfield for lawn care and by 1981 he opened a snow ski shop in Pewaukee. Then in 1984, he joined Wauwatosa Savings and Loan and eventually rose from the collections staff to become Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. During this time, Perry also began down a path of real estate ownership, management and development in his spare time. He and his family eventually moved back to Brookfield in 1994. "It was pretty tough as an East alum to send four kids through BCHS," Perry joked.
Perry wanted to use his skills to give Elmbrook youth interested in hockey and other ice sports a home, and in 1998 The Ponds of Brookfield opened its doors. "Hockey and real estate keep me busy now," stated Perry. "I have been blessed with several amazing people and opportunities that have been a huge help all along my career path."
In 2006, Robert started what is now Brookfield Lacrosse when he pulled together 10 "non-Lacrosse-playing" Brookfield Central students to play in the high school Lacrosse League. Perry was an original member of the BCHS Field Committee that was started by then-Brookfield Central Athletic Director, Scott Nelson.
Perry has enjoyed spending his time as a volunteer coach, and still coaches Elmbrook youth hockey today. In the past, he has coached for Brookfield STARS Hockey, both Central and East ski teams, and was the first Head Coach of the girls co-op WIAA Hockey team, the Glaciers.
Today, Robert lives in Brookfield with his wife, Carol, and they are proud grandparents of 3 with more on the way. He is involved in a number of charities and sits on a board that has granted numerous scholarships to Elmbrook seniors. In addition to coaching, Perry enjoys creating opportunities for youth sports, playing hockey, skiing, sailing, and is always looking for a new challenge.
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