40 Under 40: The 2014 Class
40 emerging business stars prove that youth — at least in their cases — is not wasted on the young.
(page 5 of 8)
Brittany Lee, 29
Corporate Events Director, American Heart Association
In just over two years, Brittany Lee has seen a 398% upswing in her donor portfolio, which she credits to strong relationships and her ability to creatively inspire giving. She hopes one day to own her own consulting business to help other nonprofits “make their mission come to life,” and she’d like to help for-profit companies align with the “right” nonprofits. Lee volunteers for the American Cancer Society, where she worked before joining the American Heart Association.
She says that recognizing her passion for nonprofits and turning it into a career is her greatest personal achievement. A University of Iowa graduate, Lee is currently president of the Madison chapter of the Iowa Club, and one of her favorite pastimes is fantasy football: “I’m on a streak of winning or being in the top three!” To relax, Lee enjoys running along the shores of Madison-area lakes.
Max Lynch, 26
Founder/CTO, Drifty Co.
After graduating from UW-Madison in 2010, Max Lynch built his software company to profitability in 2012, less than a year after starting the mobile application development business. In 2013, he was accepted into TechStars. He would like his firm to “impact the world” and “put Madison on the map for Internet companies, like Mailchimp and 37signals.” The leaders of those enterprises, David Heinemeier Hansson and Ben Chestnut, inspire him to dream big.
Lynch would like to reinvest in budding tech entrepreneurs to “build software companies focused on profitability and sustainability.” He also believes in a creative workplace culture, offering beer as an office perk. “I love to brew beer,” he adds. He enjoys rock climbing, gaming, and watching television, but his guilty pleasure is flying on the computer. “I am a flight sim nerd,” Lynch admits. “I spend hours just safely flying around and learning how I might fly real aircraft.”
Erica Marty, 31
Associate, Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
Erica Marty spearheads Eppstein Uhen Architects’ building information modeling technology consulting group, and she’s now involved in all phases of project management. “I am able to incorporate passions for process improvement, mentoring, and encouraging continuing education,” she notes. After graduating from Herzing University, Marty joined several industry groups and, after digesting research about female trends in the architectural, building design, and construction industry, became alarmed about her gender’s dropout rate. To identify inspirational female role models, she founded Women Building Wisconsin — a successful networking event that includes a discussion panel comprised of female industry experts.
Marty’s goal is to one day become a director of operations or director of organizational effectiveness. She and her husband are also planning to buy a small farm so they can start their own CSA, but one of her favorite pastimes remains ice fishing, which she first took up as a child: “We are looking forward to making it a family activity with our three young children as they grow.”
Adriana Mateus, 38
Strategic Public Affairs Manager, Alliant Energy Corp.
She cooks, dances, reads, and loves traveling and Pilates, but Adriana Mateus’ guilty pleasure is cooking and eating sweet treats: “My favorite dessert that I make is a white chocolate soup,” she said. “I’ve yet to find anyone who does not love it.”
Though she didn’t speak English when she first arrived in the U.S., Mateus was accepted into the master’s program at Northwestern University-Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a Mark of Excellence Award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a television feature she did on Alzheimer’s disease. She then worked as communications director on Eric Hovde’s U.S. Senate campaign.
More recently, she has served on the Madison Children’s Museum board and worked on a study focused on the local Latino community for the United Way. Mateus’ current goal is to take advantage of more growth opportunities at Alliant Energy.
Sandy Morales, 32
Fund Development Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County
Sandy Morales and other community leaders banded together in October to launch the Latino Professionals Association of Greater Madison. For her efforts, she was later named Latino Volunteer of the Year and was recently appointed as the group’s president.
The first in her family to graduate from college (Marquette University), Morales is the daughter of Mexican immigrants who set high expectations. She would like to use her marketing and international business degree to become a nonprofit executive director in the future, helping immigrant parents navigate educational or legal systems.
Morales credits her mentors, nonprofit leaders Juan Jose Lopez and Dora Zúñiga, with being change agents in her own life. Influencing change at work aligns tightly with her guilty pleasure of participating in Arbitron or retail surveys in exchange for discounts or rebates. When she’s not checking boxes, Morales enjoys volunteering, reading, Zumba, and spending quality time with her husband and daughter.