Mentor Bios

Dave Beck-Engel
President, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc.

Dave has over 37 years of industry experience and is a graduate of UW-Madison with a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Civil Engineering. As Findorff’s President, Dave works to evolve the company and promote the perpetuation of Findorff. In addition to serving as a resource for all preconstruction, project management, and field operations, Dave also provides strategic direction for the Company as a whole. Dave also has been significantly involved in the community where he held positions such as AGC Wisconsin President and Project Home Vice President.

Dave’s Book Recommendation: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Nick Curran
Founder, Numbers 4 Nonprofits

Nick has worked in public accounting since 1998. In 2006, he began to focus on specialized accounting services to nonprofit organizations eventually founding Numbers 4 Nonprofits in 2013. Nick’s background in nonprofit accounting and his extensive knowledge of QuickBooks supports N4N’s 70+ clients in managing money with mission. He leads the N4N team in preparing nonprofits for annual audits, assisting with annual budgeting, providing timely, accurate monthly financials, and offering vital outside perspective. Nick is active in AICPA, WICPA, Downtown Madison Rotary, and United Way’s Tocqueville Society. He was recognized in In Business magazine’s 40 Under 40 and was part of Leadership Greater Madison 14. He enjoys spending time with family & friends, traveling, and cheering on the Packers and Badgers.

Nick’s Book Recommendation: Pirates Love Underpants by Claire Freedman & Ben Cort

Londa Dewey
President, The QTI Group

Londa is President and Principal of the QTI Group of Companies. Prior to joining QTI in 2007, Londa headed the private client group for US Bank, leading more than 1,500 employees in 118 offices throughout 24 states. In addition to that role, Londa served as Market President coordinating the bank’s lines of business to meet the financial needs of businesses and individuals in Madison.

Londa actively serves her community. She is currently the Chair of Edgewood College Board of Trustees, serves on the University of Wisconsin Family Business Center Advisory Board, Puelicher Center for Banking Education at the UW Business School and is a member of Downtown Madison Rotary Club. She serves on the Corporate Boards of American Family Insurance, Madison Gas and Electric and the Wealth Management Company of Northwestern Mutual Insurance. In the past, she was proud to serve as chair of the United Way Board of Directors for 2007 and 2008. In 1999, Londa chaired the United Way of Dane County campaign and chaired the Dane County United Way Foundation Board from 2011 – 2012. Her past community involvement also includes serving as past chair of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, Meriter Health Services Inc., Camp Manito-wish YMCA, Edgewood High School Board of Trustees and Edgewood Campus School.

In 1996, she was honored by being named the Distinguished Woman in Banking by Northwestern Financial Review. In 2006, Londa was featured in American Banker’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Banking report. In 2009, Londa was honored with a YMCA Key Leader Award and in 2013, Londa received the Alumni Appreciation Award from Edgewood High School. In 2014, she was honored with the Woman in Philanthropy Award by the Dane County United Way and in 2015, she and her husband received the Alexis de Tocqueville award by the Dane County United Way. She was also honored as an Illini Comeback Guest, an award for distinguished alumni from the University of Illinois from which she graduated with a degree in Finance.

Londa’s Book Recommendation: The Employee Experience Advantage by Jacob Morgan

Walter Dewey
Portfolio Manager at Madison Investment Advisors, LLC

Walter has 28 years of investment experience and is a portfolio manager on Madison’s Dividend Income & Covered Call Team. He also develops customized portfolios for Madison’s high net worth clients. Walter spent a majority of his career at U.S. Bancorp where he had responsibilities in research, portfolio management, and client relationships. He managed the Firstar Growth Fund and also spent considerable time speaking on investment strategy for the organization at a national level. Walter earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Wisconsin.

Walter’s Book Recommendations: Fooled by Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb &  The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis

Cedric Ellis
Senior Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer, CUNA Mutual Group

Cedric Ellis is senior vice president, chief human resources officer for CUNA Mutual Group. Ellis leads all the company’s HR functions, benefits, talent acquisition and management, learning and development, and compensation teams. He is ultimately responsible for the company’s ability to attract, develop, and retain talent for the future.

Previously, Ellis was vice president of Human Resources and together with staff of the chief operating officer, ensured that team members were aligned with CUNA Mutual Group’s evolving business strategy and the needs of customers. He represented the COO in shaping HR strategy and ensured that the organization’s people, performance and strategy supported the company’s culture.

Ellis joined CUNA Mutual Group in 2005 after serving as senior vice president of Human Resources for the Atlantic region of Wachovia. During Ellis’s 25-year career he has held senior HR positions at Fireman’s Fund, Aetna and The Hartford.

Ellis’s accomplishments include designing a region-wide succession planning process; designing HR delivery models; helping to rebuild Fireman’s Fund New York City office from an HR perspective after the 9/11 terrorist attacks; serving on the enterprise-wide diversity strategy work team of global insurer Allianz, the parent company of Fireman’s Fund and managing human resources for field offices and branches employing more than 10,000 people.

Ellis earned a bachelor’s degree in English and social rehabilitation services from Assumption College in Worcester, Mass. He has completed post-graduate work in human resources and employee relations at the University of Michigan and the Institute for Applied Management & Law in Newport Beach, Calif.

Kim Herlizka
Principal, Baker Tilly Search & Staffing LLC

Kimberly Herlitzka, Principal with Baker Tilly Search & Staffing, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, joined the firm in 1996. She focuses on helping clients find and evaluate accounting talent and has extensive experience recruiting accounting and finance professionals at all levels—from CFO to clerical level accountants. Kim oversees a team of direct hire recruiters and temporary staffing professionals.

Kim’s Book Recommendation: Good to Great by Jim Collins

Laura Huggett
Partner, Baker Tilly

Laura Huggett, Partner with Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, joined the firm in 1995 to launch Baker Tilly’s recruiting and temporary staffing business – Baker Tilly Search & Staffing, LLC. Today, Baker Tilly Search & Staffing is a full service temporary staffing and recruiting service, specializing in accounting and finance. Laura oversees the staffing operations in Chicago, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Madison, Janesville, and the Fox Valley.

Laura gained professional accounting experience working for a national CPA and consulting firm prior to joining Baker Tilly. She has been serving both public and privately owned companies since 1986.

Laura’s Book Recommendation: Essentialism by Greg McKeown

Bradley Hutter
President & CEO, MIG Commercial Real Estate

Brad grew up in Madison and attended the UW-Madison and Wake Forest School of Law. As MIG’s president, he brings many talents, interests and experiences to his day-to-day leadership of the company. An attorney who has held additional licenses in insurance and real estate in Wisconsin, Brad knows business from several different perspectives and is known for his open, honest and professional style. After accomplishing a buyout of prior ownership in 2012, Brad is the now the sole manager and owner of MIG.

Brad’s business leadership is shown in his commitment to several Madison-based company boards. He currently serves as a Trustee of the Downtown Madison Rotary Foundation, and on the boards of Gaming Informatics LLC, Food Concepts Inc. and Ideal Builders, Inc. He is a former Director of the Dane County Humane Society, and served as the Corporate Secretary and Corporate Treasurer of Inacom Information Systems – Madison (now Core BTS). Brad was also formerly a board member of Wisconsin Sports Development Corporation and the Foundation for Madison Public Schools. Among other initiatives, he co-founded American Sports Analysts, the Eagle-Vanguard Swim Fund, and the popular Madison Restaurant Bonfyre American Grille.

As befits his role in commercial real estate, Brad also works with local government and served, per appointment by the Mayor of Madison, on the East Washington Avenue BUILD Advisory Committee and the Todd Drive-Beltline Redevelopment District Committee. He also served as a Governing Board Member of the South Madison Redevelopment Fund. Under Brad’s leadership, MIG has successfully developed or redeveloped / renovated over one million square feet of commercial real estate in Greater Madison. These include notable and award winning projects such as Arbor Gate, the Central Beltline Design Center, The Inacom/Core BTS Building, Bonfyre, The State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections Administrative Offices, Food Concepts HQ, Lucigen, and Cornerstone Mall.

He is devoted to the greater Madison community, and is a member of numerous organizations including the Madison Downtown Rotary, Badger Fund Director’s Club, UW Memorial Union, and the State Bar Association. He was a Director for the United Way of Dane County Foundation and has held numerous trustee positions, including on the board of St. Mary’s Hospital and Medical Center Foundation. He accepted an invitation by the Alexandria, VA based United Way of America to sit on the 2003 – 2007 National Planned Giving Committee. In addition, Brad is a former Chairman of the United Way Alexis de Tocqueville Society, served on the 2002 United Way Campaign Cabinet and continues his ongoing commitment to charity through MIG and work with participating agencies of the United Way of Dane County.

Brad enjoys spending time with his two young daughters, Lauren and Grace. He is a student of literature and history, loves to travel, participates in recreational sports and enjoys music performance with any number of instruments, most notably piano.

Brad’s Book Recommendation: The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist and Jack Canfield

Brenda Koenig
Chief of Staff, American Family Insurance

Brenda has worked for American Family Insurance since 2002, primarily within the actuarial function. She moved to a broadened role in 2014, where she led the product, pricing, and underwriting team, focused on expanding distribution channels, across the different operating companies under American Family. This role set her up nicely to add further value in her role of Chief of Staff, which she took on in 2016.

One of the many initiatives Brenda engaged in with her Chief of Staff role was the initiative to move the culture to a more innovative, agile culture through the implementation of new methods, processes, and structure, called Ignite. Her passion around this change made her a great fit for the new Ignite Vice President role created to lead this change at American Family.

Brenda continues to be an active FCAS and MAAA member, maintaining her actuarial roots. She has been a United Way Rosenberry for many years and is now also a Tocqueville Member.

Brenda, her husband, and two kids live in Lodi where they are surrounded by long-time friends and family. They love to spend their time boating, playing and watching sports, and traveling.

Jim Power
Executive Vice President, Commercial, CUNA Mutual Group

Jim Power is executive vice president, commercial for CUNA Mutual Group. He is responsible for the company’s core products, such as Credit Union Protection, Lending and Payment Protection, Retirement Plan Solutions and International. Power is accountable for the overall business, product strategy and financial results of those areas.

Prior to leading the Commercial organization, Power held the post of senior vice president, sales. Before joining CUNA Mutual Group in 2005, he spent seven years with Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company, ultimately serving as the top regional executive in the Midwest.

Power has more than 25 years of progressive leadership experience in strategic planning, underwriting, marketing, and agency and distribution management for Fortune 100 companies, as well as other leading national insurance companies. He is also a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and American Insurance Association.

Throughout his career, Power has achieved proven results in agency selection and development, business analysis and evaluation, and performance and profitability improvement. He is recognized as an effective leader, communicator and negotiator.

Jim’s Book Recommendation: The Fifth Discipline by Peter Senge

Greg Rademacher
Partner/Owner, Buttonwood Partners, Inc.

Greg joined Buttonwood Partners, Inc. in July of 1997, and is a founding member of Sycamore Investment Consulting. Greg graduated with honors from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BBA in Accounting and Finance and received his MBA concentrating in Accounting and Finance in 2001. Greg also has a Certified Financial Planner designation and a CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter. He belongs to the Financial Planning Association as well as CFA Society of Madison. His volunteering efforts include serving on the board of the United Way Foundation, Wisconsin Planned Giving Council, treasurer of Mount Olive Church and coaching youth sports. Greg lives in Middleton with his wife and three children.

Greg’s Book Recommendation: Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

John Wallace
Senior Vice President of Lending Products, CUNA Mutual Group

John Wallace is the Senior Vice President of Lending Products at CUNA Mutual Group and has previously held several other positions there.  John received his undergraduate degree from Colorado State University and his MBA from the University of Colorado – Denver.

 

Telisa Yancy
Chief Marketing Officer, American Family Insurance

Telisa Yancy is the Chief Marketing Officer at American Family Insurance, a Fortune 300 company.  Ms. Yancy was elevated to the new role after successfully transforming the consumer marketing efforts of the company while serving as the Vice President of Marketing.  Ms. Yancy joined American Family Insurance in January of 2009 after a successful career in the automotive, retail, restaurant, media innovation and consulting industries.

In her role, Ms. Yancy leads all consumer marketing efforts for the company including digital, social media and nontraditional advertising avenues to build the brand.  In 2011, Ms. Yancy and her team spearheaded a re-positioning of the 85 year old company with a Silver Effie Award winning campaign that changed the conversation in the hyper-competitive consumer insurance industry.

Telisa holds an MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Business, Northwestern University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Business and Commerce.

Telisa’s Book Recommendation: Give and Take by Adam Grant