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Sue Black is New Owner of Milwaukee Wave Professional Soccer Team

Sue Black is New Owner of Milwaukee Wave Professional Soccer Team

Milwaukee, WI -  Sue Black Less than two months after becoming president and CEO of the Milwaukee Wave, former Milwaukee County Parks Director Sue Black has replaced Jim Lindenberg as owner of the Major Indoor Soccer League team.

The announcement was made during a press conference Wednesday morning at the Milwaukee Theatre.

“Most business transactions like this would take a long time,” Lindenberg said. “But I move rather quickly and Sue moves very quickly. We're both Type-A personalities, and we worked hard and fast to get the deal done.”

The 54-year-old Lindenberg, who bought the team in 2009, said the organization was in the best financial shape that it had ever been. He says he just felt it was time for new leadership and direction.

No financial terms of the sale were disclosed.

“When Jim announced me as the president and CEO, I thought it was the highlight of my career,” Black said. “And today, I've got to tell you. I'm just in awe, and excited. I can't put words around it.”

The 52-year-old Black had been named president and CEO of the team in February, six months after County Executive Chris Abele fired her as Milwaukee County Parks Director. Abele hasn't publicly revealed the reason he let her go. Her pay at the county was about $140,000 a year.

“It's such a blessing,” Black said. “I say you either have faith or you don't. That's what makes life exciting. You just get up out of bed and you don't know what the day is going to bring. But you trust and do the best you can. Dedication and hard work pay off. I'm so excited, I can't even tell you.”

Lindenberg, a Milwaukee-area businessman, sold his company, World Class Wire & Cable Inc., for $62 million in 2008. He currently operates JML Holdings, a commercial and residential property broker, and Lindy Enterprises, a business consulting firm.

When Lindenberg bought the team, he said he thought it would only be for a season or two.

“It was a tough, tough decision,” Lindenberg said. “But as I started thinking about it, it was four years, I was looking to get a few things off my plate, and Sue and I worked very well together in a very short time. What better person than someone like Sue, who has great connections in the Milwaukee area. She's been successful in the things she's done.”

In January, Black was passed over for a job as parks director in Dallas. On Feb. 6, she stepped into her new role with the Wave. Black would even greet fans at the door of the U.S. Cellular Arena before games.

“I can remember meeting her the first day,” Wave coach Keith Tozer said, “and this ball of energy just kind of swooped through the office.”

Tozer led Milwaukee to a franchise-record 16-game winning streak this past season. But Milwaukee's bid for a third straight MISL Championship was derailed by Missouri in the semifinals.

Since then, Black says she has been in a “listening phase” to find out what is going right – and wrong – with her new team.

“Obviously she's a very smart business woman,” Tozer said. “She proved that with the parks system and everything else she touches. She's only been involved with professional indoor soccer for two and a half months, and she's kind of taken to it really quick. She has a lot of great ideas. She has this ball that Jim obviously started rolling down the hill and she's going to continue it.”

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