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Jodie Johnson, Class of 2009

IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Jodie Johnson, director of marketing & communications, First Business Bank.

What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?

A few years after my selection, I was promoted to director of marketing and communications at First Business Bank, where I currently manage the marketing function for all First Business companies and lines of business, and lead the in-house marketing team in promoting niche commercial banking, private wealth, and bank consulting services to businesses, individuals, and banks in Madison, Milwaukee, Northeast Wisconsin, the Kansas City metro area, and in select cases nationwide. Our company has grown, the financial industry has evolved, marketing communication channels have expanded, and consumer preferences have changed. I love tackling challenges, so this has provided fantastic opportunities in my career.

What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?

When I was awarded 40 Under 40, I had just had my second son and I was the only person in my household with the 40 Under 40 designation. My boys are now in middle school, and my talented, competitive husband is now a member of 40 Under 40, too. (I hear we were the first married couple to obtain this status!) We’ve had the pleasure of watching our boys grow and develop talents and interests of their own. We now spend a lot of weekends at basketball games and swim meets. We also like to travel, meet new people, and experience new things. We’ve been lucky enough to take the kids to Spain, England, Scotland, Italy, Mexico, Costa Rica, Saint Kitts, the Dominican Republic, and various places in the States.

If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?

One big change we made in our family as we were having kids was to move from a small, older Monroe Street house that required a lot of maintenance to Fitchburg, where we built a new, more spacious home. I love Fitchburg, but also have fond memories of the Monroe Street area. Every time I drive in that area of town, I can’t help but wonder how our lives might have been different if we didn’t make that move.

How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?

Because of family commitments, I wasn’t able to take advantage of a lot of the after-hours networking events. It is fun and an honor, though, to see colleagues and friends who have also been recognized by In Business and feel part of that club.

What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?

Life is constantly evolving. Professionally, I’ve been fascinated by how technology and consumer preferences continuously drive and impact marketing strategies. I also like seeing the challenges our company brings to marketing as it grows. Personally, I love watching what my kids are interested in and thinking about how these things are helping them develop skills they’ll use their entire lives.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?

Don’t be afraid to explore your interests and take chances.

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