One of the most rewarding parts of being a University of Wisconsin Oshkosh graduate is remembering the friendships formed, the memories made and the connections built. Seven prominent business leaders are finding these foundational connections through their alma mater and their service on the Fox Cities Chamber Board of Directors.
The Fox Cities Chamber’s mission is to act as a catalyst for business growth, a connector for leaders and influencers and a champion for successful businesses leading to a stronger community. The chamber’s marketing director, Emily Feagles ’10, of Little Chute, said board members are chosen to directly reflect the Fox Cities business community and their interests.
“We utilize a matrix of characteristics. Geographic location, leadership skills, business perspectives, diversity and community engagement are all considered to ensure a fair representative cross-section for the board,” Feagles said.
UWO Alumni Relations Director Chris Gantner said with more than 95,000 graduates calling UW Oshkosh their alma mater, it is natural to connect with other Titans throughout your career.
“UW Oshkosh does a good job of instilling a culture of service and leadership within our students and provides many opportunities for them to be engaged civically and then they continue that within their own communities as alumni,” Gantner said.
One key component of UW Oshkosh’s University Studies Program (USP) curriculum is the community engagement experience during the second year of school. Ganter said alumni speakers who visit classes help students appreciate the impact UW Oshkosh grads have in their profession and in their community.
Local business owner and UWO alum Gary Vaughan ’97, of Kimberly, said a liberal arts education from UWO afforded him “organizational agility” throughout his career to excel in various industries and positions. In 2009, he launched a consulting firm and co-founded a nonprofit that teaches financial literacy to young people in Milwaukee. Today in addition to his work he also serves on the Fox Cities Board of Directors with fellow community leaders.
“Some of my closest colleagues on the Fox Cities Chamber Board are UWO alums and it is a privilege to work with them. I find them all to be smart and accomplished individuals. The University can be very proud of all these alumni and their service to their community,” Vaughan said.
Feagles is grateful for the wealth of talent in the Fox Cities and encourages others to become involved in their communities by learning more about Chamber programs and initiatives.
“To have some of the top business professionals from the Fox Cities region makes us a stronger organization. The impact they provide to our organization is beyond measure,” she said.
Additional UWO alumni serving on the Fox Cities Board include:
- John Dennis ‘07, of Appleton, marketing | Gardan Inc.
- Travis Froze ‘97, of Hortonville, marketing| BMO Harris Bank
- Chris Hess ’07 MBA, of Appleton| Goodwill NCW
- Todd Romenesko ’97, of Appleton, accounting | Calumet County
- Bruce Zak ’93, of Greenville, finance | Johnson Financial Group
- Bob Zemple ’80, of Black Creek, accounting | Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
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Photo credit: Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce
Front row left to right: Gary Vaugh, Jen Bauer, DeDe Heid, Kathi Seifert, Jason Henderson, heather Schimmers, Travis Froze
Second Row: Chris Matheny, Kimberly Barrett, Curt Detjen, Rick Parks, Denise Starcher, Scott Teerlinck
Top Row: Lisa Cruz, Bruce Zak, Mayor Dean Kaufert, Chriss Hess
Missing from Photo: John Dennis, Sharon Hulce, Jim Johnson, Arist Mastorides, Todd Romenesko, Mark Scheffler, Mark Thompson, John Trottier, Abe Weber, Bob Zemple.