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Age: 37

Residence: Melrose, Wisconsin

Occupation/Company: Vice President and senior loan officer, Black River Country Bank.

Family: Wife Anna (married 14 years), two daughters, Alexa (10), and Leah (6).

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Blaken

Proudest professional accomplishment:

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Being promoted to vice president and senior loan officer in 2014. It was very rewarding, and I felt it showed me that the organization believed in me and my ability to lead our lending team.

Community involvement:

I serve as a volunteer firefighter and treasurer for the Melrose Volunteer Fire Department. I am the treasurer for the Melrose United Methodist Church, and I sit on the boards for the Melrose-Mindoro Football Booster Club and the Melrose Youth Baseball Association. I also coach my daughters’ T-ball, softball and basketball teams. I think it’s important to volunteer in some form, and that’s especially true in a small town. My wife and I both grew up in the Melrose-Mindoro area and have chosen to reside here and raise our children here. To make small towns thrive, it takes volunteers to make it work.

Advice for younger leaders:

While it may sound simple, it’s very important to lead by example and work hard at what you do. If you’re in a leadership role in your organization, people are looking up to you to set an example. By setting the right tone with your actions, you make it easy for them to follow along and buy-in. Seeing others who you work with succeed is very inspiring.

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