40 Under 40: The 2013 Class
Honoring Some of Dane County's Most Promising Young Execs
(page 3 of 8)
Brian Gill, 36
CEO, Gillware, Inc.
Spouse/Partner: Dr. Kara Gill
Brian Gill’s greatest achievement to date is founding four successful companies that have employed more than 100 people in Wisconsin. He says he is living his dreams, “finding and cultivating talented individuals and growing our organizations to compete on a national level.”
Other ventures include co-founding Phoenix Nuclear Labs, SHINE Medical Technologies, and Gillware Data Services. Today, Gill runs the marketing efforts and sales initiatives and “also manages some of the software engineers.” He would most like to emulate SHINE Medical’s Dr. Greg Piefer, his business partner and mentor, because Piefer “[proves] fearless when tackling huge initiatives when competing with some of the biggest companies on the planet.”
Enjoyments include serving on the board of directors for the Madison Scouts Drum and Bugle Corps. Gill relishes family time “raising my son Charlie with my wife, Kara,” and when his planets align, he also enjoys the occasional game of golf and a glass of Middleton Irish whiskey with a single ice cube.
Kristopher Gmur, 39
Vice President, JPMorgan Chase
Kristopher Gmur starts his day with a cup of coffee and prefers to end it with another cup (or two) with a shot (or two) of kirsch in it. “Being Swiss is something you learn from a very young age,” he quips. Good food, wine, and travel round out his favorites list.
After recognition as a national achiever, Gmur was invited into Chase’s Leadership Development Program. Maybe his future will take him to Chicago, New York, or even (his dream) Zurich, but whether the Rotarian goes or stays, Gmur’s thrill in the workplace is “spending time with prospects and putting together deals.”
Role models include other bankers, specifically Gof Thompson (Bank of New Glarus), Jim Hartlieb (First Business Bank), and Jeff Ticknor (BMO Harris). “These gentlemen helped me get where I am today,” Gmur acknowledged.
Volunteer commitments include the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Safe Harbor Child Advocacy Center, the Village of New Glarus Community Development Authority, and the Dane County Small Business Awards.
Randy Guenther, 39
President, CFO, T. Wall Properties
Spouse/Partner: Kimberly Guenther
With responsibility for more than 2.6 million sq. ft. of space on over 750 acres of land, Randy Guenther is managing one of the largest development companies in Wisconsin. In the future, he hopes to put his UW-Madison accounting degree to good use at his own real estate investment company.
In addition to his work responsibilities, Guenther is an advisor for the James A. Graaskamp Center for Real Estate Board, serves as a board director for the Mount Horeb Area Education Foundation, and audits church books for his congregation.
Guenther tries to emulate Steve Brown (Steve Brown Apartments), in part because Brown works with his wife on business projects yet is still married. “That shows the strength of the relationship,” Guenther explains. Guenther endeavors to stay married, too, so he protects family time, adding that he “enjoys spending time cheering on my children at soccer matches and swim meets, as well as running and biking.”
C. Wade Harrison, 39
Attorney, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.
Wade Harrison lists “going back to school after a nine-year break” for his J.D. degree from the UW Law School as a singular achievement.
Since then, “defending my first employment lawsuit was a monumental event.” However, he’d like to pursue alternative dispute resolution in the future, helping clients to avoid litigation altogether.
His hobbies include cooking, travel, skiing, fly-fishing and – in a manner befitting Boston Legal – “searching out great spirits and fine cigars.” Harrison’s favorite spirit is A Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale. Free advice: “Big bitter beers are best drunk from a snifter.”
Besides being board president of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Dane County, Harrison serves the Urban League of Greater Madison and is a member of several law-related organizations. He admires Tom Wiegand (“many ventures around Madison owe part of their success to Tom”) and Larry Zanoni, past CEO of Group Health, “for his vision and leadership.”
Sarah Hause, 33
Senior Manager-Practice & Wealth Management, CUNA Mutual Group/CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.
It’s unusual for a BFA graduate with an emphasis in ceramics to wind up working for an insurance broker/dealer, but Hause has made a successful transition, noting, “Sometimes it seems you have to zig to zag; I think I’ve finally found the intersection of my passion and talents.”
Hause now leads “Women of Distinction,” a group of CUNA mentors for females entering the firm or the industry. She teaches a course in leadership for the SBDC, and worked to help CUNA establish a scholarship fund as a way to give back to home office employees. Community involvements include serving as chair for United Way’s Rosenberry Society and the UW Carbone Cancer Center Emerging Leaders Board.
Hause loves her dog, Wally, adores “anything with my nieces and nephews,” and delights in sipping a Starbucks salted caramel mocha. She’s an outdoorswoman and is happiest when physically active and camping, hiking, running, or taking classes at Prairie Athletic Club.