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40 reasons for optimism

If our 2017 class of 40 Under 40 selections is any indication, Madison’s business future is in very good hands.

(page 1 of 12)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Commitment to both company and community is a common thread among our 2017 40 Under 40 selections, and this year’s class of rising young business stars has demonstrated commitment to Greater Madison through their professional pursuits, board involvement, and volunteerism.

From Christian Albouras to Heather Wentler, you will find brief vignettes about each of our 40 honorees over the next several pages. Their interests range from cooking to furniture restoration to simply bargain hunting around local Target stores, but their career arrows are pointing up and they devote much of their spare time to making Madison a better place to live.

And “live” they do. In a nod to the richness of life in Greater Madison, we also asked about their favorite “Madison must-dos” — local activities and places and events they consider a “must-do” part of their lives. It’s no surprise that some of their favorites include the local supper club and restaurant scene, Badger football Saturdays and the tailgating fun that goes with it, and local bike trails, but they cite so much more, including some under-the-radar fun that we invite you to check out here.

One forthcoming must-do for all of them is the 40 Under 40 Intros event. They will be the guests of honor for an evening of networking on Wednesday, March 8, from 5 to 7 p.m. at The Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St.

Please join us as we recognize this promising group of 40 Under 40 selections and see why the future of Madison business is very bright indeed.

Dr. Jesse Sondel

Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic
Age: 39

In much the same way pet owners come to regard their animals as family members, Jesse Sondel enjoys the personal bonds and relationships he forms with patients and clients. His extended “family” is a big one. Since he founded Sondel Family Veterinary Clinic in February 2013, Sondel’s client base has climbed to more than 5,000 and his patient count stands at 11,000 as of the end of 2016.

That’s a lot of furry and scaled nieces and nephews. “As my business grows, my true aspirations are to continue to be true to myself and my goals of being the best husband, father, and veterinarian I can be,” Sondel states.

That means growing, but not too much that he loses touch with his business family. “Like the Lorax reminds us, there is a fault in always ‘biggering,’” he notes. “I plan to keep my business at a size where I can always have my finger on its pulse.”

Elyse L. Smithback

Vice President, Treasury Management and Private Banking
Oregon Community Bank            
Age: 32

Elyse Smithback is constantly on the run, whether she’s training six days a week in preparation for the 2017 Ironman, developing client relationships, or holding fort at an admittedly rockin’ household with a spunky, fun-loving, seven-year-old daughter and energetic five-year-old identical twin boys. Smithback completed her first half-Ironman distance race last summer in Door County, and she can train with husband Eric, also an avid runner.

The person she’d most like to emulate is Miranda Bush, her personal coach and previous owner of The Zone Fitness and Training in Oregon. Not a bad person to pattern her life after, considering Bush is a mother and successful business owner, a personal trainer, and has competed in marathons.

Smithback aspires to become the bank’s market president, and when she finally stops running, you can find her watching old episodes of Friends.

Nick Lombardino

Cofounder, Atlas Providers LLC
Business Development Manager,
Farwell Project Advisors LLC
Age: 28

Since receiving his undergraduate degree in business from Edgewood College in 2010, Nick Lombardino hasn’t taken his foot off the gas. While completing his MBA at Edgewood in 2012 and working on his doctorate in education, Lombardino found time to cofound Atlas Providers in 2016, a website that helps connect entrepreneurs with specialized startup service providers. He was also the second employee of Farwell Project Advisors, which provides organizations with flexible project management and technology services, and has grown into a multimillion-dollar organization with over 25 employees.

Since its launch, Atlas has on-boarded over 20 service providers and established strategic partnerships with Madison’s most influential organizations. Having worked for startups most of his career, Lombardino was excited to build a platform with design concepts and applications he created.


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