Alumna Blossoms from Successful Marketing and Sales Adviser to Budding Artist
Eva Vitale '74 was born and raised on Milwaukee's lower east in a predominantly Italian and Polish neighborhood.
Although Vitale's parents emigrated from Italy, their immigration story is quite an unusual tale. Vitale's mother was born in the United States, and at only eighteen months of age, her grandfather sent both Vitale's mother and grandmother back to Italy to be with family. Meanwhile, Vitale's grandfather remained in the United States, working hard and sending money back to Italy to support the family.
Growing up in Italy, Vitale's mother married at the age of 19 and soon found herself pregnant. Deciding to come back to the United States, Vitale's mother was reunited with Vitale's grandfather after almost 19 years of separation. Once Vitale's mother established residency in the United States, she called for her husband to join her.
Vitale's parents were "hard-working Italian immigrants pursuing the American dream," stated Vitale.
Her father worked anywhere from two to three jobs and eventually purchased a little home on Pulaski Street. Being a daughter of immigrant parents, Vitale is very proud to call herself a graduate of St. Joan Antida High School.
Vitale reflects very fondly on the time spent here at SJA. Her experiences at SJA were full of great memories and creating lifelong friendships. In particular, Vitale especially loved her French class with Sister Monica Fumo, SCSJA. She also enjoyed Biology class with Mrs. Ann Goyette, where despite her distaste for blood, she was informed that she had the "hands of a surgeon."
Vitale also warmly reminisced about participating in an SJA Variety Show performance where along with her girlfriends known as "The Big Four," they performed the infamous Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.
High school is a time when you are growing up, discovering yourself and finding who it is that you are. "SJA gives you the space and the opportunities to do that," stated Vitale. "To help you become what you are destined to become."
Vitale advises our young women of SJA to "try anything that you're interested in. Sit in on Leadership Luncheons, participate, get out of your comfort zone, and try new things to discover what you're excited about and find out what you love to do!"
Vitale continued singing the praises of St. Joan Antida High School by stating that, "SJA provides great opportunities, so give it a shot! Sometimes it'll be a hit, and sometimes a miss, but you'll be better off for having tried!"
As a student at SJA, Vitale thought that she would become a teacher and pursued those dreams by majoring in Psychology and minoring in Education at Marquette University.
Upon graduating from Marquette, unfortunately Vitale struggled to find a teaching position because they were laying off teachers at the time. Instead, Vitale started working as a temp for Northwestern Mutual Life (NML), where she assisted one of the directors. After just a few weeks, she was offered a full-time position and ultimately stayed with the company for 15 years.
During her career at NML, Vitale held several training positions and wanted to learn more about the business. She explored the insurance field becoming a specialist and eventually a Manager of Field Financial Services.
While at NML, Vitale met and married her husband, an economist. In 1994, she left NML when her husband took a job opportunity with an economic consulting firm in New Jersey.
Soon after moving to the east coast, Vitale took on a management consulting position where she worked with many Fortune 500 companies including Verizon and AT&T. "These were huge organizations that needed management ideas and thoughts on improving their systems," stated Vitale.
Her next move would be to Prudential, where she worked as a consultant for over three years and in 1998 was offered an opportunity to develop a financial planning arm for Prudential. She stayed with Prudential growing in that role to Director and eventually becoming their Vice President of Annuity Sales Learning. There she built up a team that created continuing education materials required for financial advisors and created curriculum for management teams. Her background in education more than prepared her for this role.
After five years at Prudential Annuities, Vitale received a phone call from a headhunter regarding a position with Goldman Sachs. Vitale accepted the position of Vice President of Business Development and that brought her back to the Midwest. While at Goldman Sachs, she helped many of their clients develop their business by helping them better market themselves, communicate more effectively with their customers and brand themselves to be more competitive in the marketplace.
At the end of 2016, Vitale retired from Goldman Sachs and in 2017, she started her own consulting firm which she plans to continue through 2018.
Now retired, Vitale is excited to move back to Wisconsin to the Fox Valley area where she plans on spending much of her time growing her artistic talents. Vitale loves to draw and paint and is excited about the opportunity to further develop her passion for painting in oil. Vitale has generously donated her paintings to SJA's annual auction fundraiser.
Now living closer to SJA, Vitale plans to speak at an upcoming Leadership Luncheon for our students. She truly believes in the benefits of an education from an all-girl school.
Vitale is very proud to call herself a St. Joan Antida High School Alumna and will always be grateful for her time at SJA.
"SJA helps young women blossom. I was a shy young girl and through friendships and activities, I credit the Sisters for their guidance, love and support," said Vitale.