2019 40 Under 40: An impressive class

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Ryan Klaustermeier

In Home Health, dba Heartland Hospice Svcs​
Age: 33

For 13 years, Ryan Klaustermeier was a hospice nurse. “To be invited into the sanctity and intimacy of an individual’s dying moments and last breaths is a humbling experience,” he says.

When he left direct patient care to pursue a leadership role at Heartland Hospice, he shifted the organizational focus to a worker-first mentality without lowering standards of care. “If a hospice agency is too focused on patients only, leadership will lose sight of how that care becomes possible in the first place — the team.”

The changes were palpable. Heartland’s “would-refer” and “overall satisfaction” scores are well above state averages, and in 2018 Heartland Hospice was recognized as one of the best places to work in Madison.

He and his wife foster children with lifelong medical needs, including twin boys who will soon become Klaustermeiers! “When their adoption is complete, it will be my greatest nonwork accomplishment.”

Jon Hepner

Development Manager
T. Wall Enterprises LLC
Age: 29

Jon Hepner, part owner in T. Wall Enterprises LLC (TWE), a multifamily residential and commercial real estate development firm, has secured municipal approvals for over 1,000 multi-family housing units and 100,000 square feet of retail/office in the Middleton and Windsor areas.

He’s especially proud of pioneering renewable energy (solar) implementation at TWE. To date, his efforts have resulted in contracts for more than 2,340 solar panels on six multifamily properties with a combined projected energy savings of more than 775,000 kilowatts, enough to power about 74 single-family homes every year.

In the community, Hepner has a seat on the Sustainable Madison Committee; he’s a member of Smart Growth Greater Madison; and he’s active in Downtown Madison Inc.

Hepner also volunteers with Gilda’s Club and Take A Vet Fishing, and he enjoys caring for humans, plants, and animals, including Barry, a rescued Great Pyrenees.

Eder Valle

Owner/Chief Designer
Artesan Fruit
Age: 33

The artistic centerpieces that Eder Valle carves from fruit will add punch and pizazz to any event table.

Since IB featured his startup business in October 2016, he’s doubled sales, decreased packaging costs by 50 percent, increased production, learned to focus on core clients, and narrowed product expansion.

Running the business, though, may be his easiest challenge. Valle has survived skin cancer, been shot at on the streets of L.A., had his car burst into flames while driving, and was t-boned in a minivan-bike accident. He was on the bike. With a history like that, carving fruit is a piece of cake!

Recently invited to speak to the entire Sun Prairie Police Department on race and bias in police training, Valle scheduled four lectures, having never spoken publicly before. Upon completion, the department presented him with a special coin for displaying character, competence, and leadership.

That, he says, is his greatest career achievement.

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