Red Carpet Affair: The 2015 40 Under 40 Class
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Senior Vice President — Strategy and Operations
Legacy Advisor Network Ltd.
Cammie Sorensen has plenty of notable professional achievements to put on her résumé — including recently publishing an e-book, Savvy Business Secrets for Creative Entrepreneurs — but it’s her top personal achievement that really stands out.
In September 2014, Sorensen traveled to Nashville to record an album of her favorite Christmas songs. While there, she got to work with drummer Gene Chrisman and pianist Shane Keister, who both performed with Elvis Presley, as well as Doyle Grisham, Jimmy Buffett’s steel guitar player.
“I remember so clearly sitting perched on an old wooden stool in the Hilltop Studio just outside Nashville, listening to these music geniuses play their parts for the album,” said Sorensen. “I had my eyes closed, willing myself not to forget a thing.”
But while she enjoyed her moment in the spotlight, when it comes to her professional life, she’s more interested in helping others shine.
“My greatest aspiration is to work hard and long to make other people’s lives better,” she said.
TV show: The Profit
Vice President-Wealth Specialist
BMO Private Bank
Guy Stratton has been on his current career trajectory ever since starting as a banking trainee 15 years ago. Now he is the primary point of contact for BMO Private Bank and five different groups within BMO Harris Bank, including branch bankers in more than 30 branches.
But community is equally important to Stratton, who personally logged more than 250 volunteer hours over 10 weeks in 2014 for the Wisconsin Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Together with the volunteer team he assembled, he raised $25,500 for the charity. “I chose to volunteer because I knew I could be successful and raise a lot of money,” he said.
It may be no surprise, then, that Stratton is also an Optimist. He was president of the Optimist Club of Downtown Madison from 2010-11 and a member of its board from 2008-13.
In his downtime, he can be found at home watching reality music shows, especially The Voice.
TV show: The Voice
Music: ’90s music
Director of Marketing and Communications
Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corp. (WPS)
Stephanie Tervort isn’t ashamed to admit that her proudest career achievement started out as “a humiliating failure.” After earning her teaching degree, she got a job at a high school in Las Vegas. But she soon discovered the profession wasn’t for her.
“I have always prided myself on being brave and strong,” said Tervort. “Staying in a job I knew was wrong for me wasn’t brave or strong.”
Tervort moved back to Wisconsin and found what she thought would be a temporary job as a coordinator in WPS’s marketing department. However, she soon discovered she enjoyed the work, so she stayed with the company and was eventually promoted to director of marketing and communications.
Last year, WPS faced major challenges as a result of the Affordable Care Act. Tervort responded by leading the largest marketing campaign in the company’s history.
“It worked,” said Tervort. “We tripled our sales goal, and marketing leads directly contributed to over $8.9 million in premium revenue.”
Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
TV show: Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Music: Classic rock, alternative, pop
Thysse Printing Service Inc.
Operating a family business comes with inherent risks, but at Thysse Printing Service, the future appears bright. Representing the company’s third generation, Jason Thysse is carrying on a printing legacy built by his grandfather and father.
Thysse purchased the family business in 2008 before moving it to a new facility in Oregon in 2012. “We needed more space for the growth we were forecasting,” he said. When he first took over, the company employed seven people. Now it has 47 full-time and eight part-time employees.
His professional role models include Ted Straus, CEO at Suttle-Straus. “Although he is a competitor, I have high respect for how he runs his company and for what he has achieved in the printing industry,” said Thysse.
He also looks up to Steve Peotter at Oregon Community Bank: “I admire his organizational skills and how he never forgets a name.” But his three children are his top priority. “I can’t think of anything else I could achieve in life that is more important.”
Movie: The Shawshank Redemption
TV show: Breaking Bad
Music: Heavy metal
Chief Marketing Officer
Before taking on his current role as chief marketing officer for AltusMedical Group, Mike Wagner worked with software startups on both coasts for 16 years, growing ideas into viable businesses.
After returning to his native Wisconsin, he served as CEO of Forkforce, an online social network that facilitates hiring for the food and beverage services industry. While there, he guided the company through its beta stage to market launch, including raising $350,000 in seed funding — which, he notes, “wasn’t easy to do in Wisconsin.”
Today, more than 300 restaurants are using the service to find workers, mostly in Greater Madison and Milwaukee.
In 2008, Wagner became the youngest director ever at DocuSign, helping to position the San Francisco-based electronic technology signature provider for growth.
Now he’s set his sights on helping the Greater Madison area solidify its reputation as an entrepreneurial hub. “I want to continue to build young companies here in Madison with successful track records and/or exits,” said Wagner.
Movie: Apocalypse Now
TV show: Family Guy
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