2019 40 Under 40: An impressive class

(page 10 of 12)

Emily Mills

Editor
Our Lives magazine
Age: 37

Madison’s LGBTQ+ community is lucky to have Emily Mills on its side.

But then, so are the Mad Rollin’ Dolls, Madison’s roller derby league, where she serves as general manager, and so is Madison’s music scene, where she sings and drums in the punk duo, Damsel Trash.

With little formal training on what it takes to be an editor of a print magazine, Mills has proven that drive and a passion to learn makes any dream possible. It’s not always easy to tackle what some might consider controversial or sensitive topics, but she’s thrived as a reporter and digs deep to earn the trust and understanding of those she interviews.

As a Mad Rollin’ Doll, aka “Hammer Abby,” Mills is proud to have recently been named to the all-star charter team, allowing her to travel, compete, and represent Madison on a competitive and international level. In Madison, she also moonlights as a deejay, and describes herself as a Civil War history dork who once participated in reenactments.

Mark McFarland

Financial Advisor
Edward Jones
Age: 31

As if being a father of three children under the age of four isn’t challenging enough, Mark McFarland has managed to crack the work-life code to succeed in business, as well. In fact, McFarland’s virtual trophy case is stacking up.

He’s the president of Waunakee’s Rotary Club; received an award for the village’s businessperson of the year; he’s led ethics workshops for troubled youth; and at Edward Jones, his proudest achievement was being voted the Region 114 Financial Advisor of the Year by 85 of his peers.

“My challenge is that I always say yes to new challenges and opportunities,” McFarland says, and between family and business, he’s finally learning how to delegate.

He and his wife have traveled the world, including a favorite trip to to Kenya where they were able to deliver suitcases full of books to a school.

Is there anything McFarland can’t do? Dance, notes his senior office administrator, “but he is a marvelous person.”

Jessica Martin Eckerly

Co-founder
Forward BIOLABS
Age: 39

Coworking spaces usually involve desks, telephones, and common areas designed to alleviate financial burdens on new startup companies. With Forward BIOLABS, Jessica Martin Eckerly has taken that idea and applied it to science in a whole new way.

Formerly on the WiCell leadership team, she co-founded Forward BIOLABS in 2018, a fully functional life sciences laboratory, to encourage more innovative biotech startups that may not have the working capital to fulfill their STEM dreams. BIOLABS, she explains, offers the fastest, most flexible, and least expensive option for innovative startups by eliminating the need to find, lease, design, equip, and operate their own lab.

In just 10 months, Martin Eckerly has accomplished what many never thought she could, and she’s been managing the entire project, from financing to forecasting to legalities, ever since.

At home, she and her husband enjoy music nights with their three children and reading about new scientific discoveries.

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