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Dawn Mullarney, State Bank of Cross Plains

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Dawn Mullarney, trust officer and trust marketing specialist, State Bank of Cross Plains – Wealth Management Division.

What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

I love developing relationships and working closely with our clients and referral partners. It’s primarily through these relationships that I’ve been able to contribute to the growth of our department over the years. Since joining the bank, I’ve been given the opportunity to evolve my responsibilities; that freedom to try new things and innovate is one of the aspects of my role that I most enjoy. The most challenging part of my job is wearing multiple hats and managing an ever-growing to-do list. I’m a go-getter who loves to be busy, though, so I appreciate being able to stay involved across a number of fronts.

Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

I’ve been quite fortunate to have wonderful mentors who have truly helped me to both grow personally and develop professionally. In fact, there have been so many, I hesitate to name a single one, for fear of slighting another. Each has encouraged me to never be afraid to fail, and to speak up when I have an idea or disagree with something. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I didn’t have these people in my corner, pushing me out of my comfort zone when necessary and sharing their insights without hesitation.

What has been the high point of your career so far?

I’m proud of the fact that I’ve developed every role I’ve ever taken on beyond its original purpose, which I credit to a ceaseless curiosity and drive to learn more, be it about a person or an organization. That has helped me go beyond the confines of my “job” and create a career and purpose in my life that feeds into who I want to be as a person, not just a professional.

In the five years that I’ve been a part of the Wealth Management Division of State Bank of Cross Plains, we have nearly doubled our assets under management. That has truly been a team effort, but it’s rewarding to know that my contributions have had a tangible impact on our growth.

Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

I’m a person who says “yes” to most everything, which I think is a good way to learn new things and open yourself up to opportunities. However, I’ve recognized that overbooking myself is not healthy in the long term, thanks to mentors who have taught me the importance of down time for self-improvement and creativity. I’m still trying to learn to be okay with saying “no” sometimes, but this perspective — that down time is actually more productive than it may seem in the moment — is helping me create a better balance.

What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

I truly love living in Dane County. It’s a great place to live and raise a family. My family is very active, and there’s never a shortage of things for us to do — whether it’s attending the Dane County Farmers’ Market, snowboarding at Tyrol Basin, going to concerts, boating on the lakes, and so on. I love that we’re able to all of these things and more with just a short drive from our house!

Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

Thanks to my husband, who exposed me to one of his passions, I love to snowboard. We enjoy it so much that we try to go every weekend as a family! My son has been snowboarding since he was 1 and has developed the same passion and love for it as we have. He amazes us by how fast he learns and improves — soon he’ll be passing me on the hill!

What are your guilty pleasures?

My guilty pleasure is watching YouTube videos of people who sell their belongings, buy a boat, and travel the world! As a family, we love to travel, not only for the sake of getting away, but also to experience new cultures. We’ve vacationed on a sailboat, hopping from island to island, we’ve stayed in castles, and we’ve snowboarded large mountains. There is so much in the world that we hope to experience and see one day, but we just haven’t had the urge to sell everything and do it full-time yet!

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