2019 40 Under 40: An impressive class

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Janine Wachter

Director-Convention & Event Services
Destination Madison
Age: 36

Last year, Janine Wachter stepped out of her comfort zone to co-lead the Bucky on Parade operations committee. The coordination involved in placing 85 artistically painted Bucky Badger statues around town was massive and stretched the limits of her day-to-day role as concierge of Madison, she admits, but proved wildly successful.

At the same time, however, Wachter was the project lead on a new fall initiative, Essential Madison Experiences, promoting quintessential Madison experiences — for example, a Betty Lou Cruise, tours of Sassy Cow Creamery, Olbrich Garden’s conservatory, or the Mustard Museum. To date, nine partners created 12 experiences, and each has reported a new revenue stream as a result of her initiative.

“Here in Madison, we don’t have an Eiffel Tower, we have a vibe,” Wachter states. She hopes visitors will love that vibe, as well, and choose to visit again, or better yet, become a part of this flourishing community for years to come.

John Hintze

Vice President
U.S. Bank N.A.
Age: 38

John Hintze always worked for financial institutions, but in 2008, at the age of 27, he accepted a VP-commercial banking role for a small northeastern Wisconsin bank that was struggling to survive after the Great Recession. His ability to turn it around earned him plenty of industry kudos.

That bank was sold in 2017, when Hintze accepted the U.S. Bank position in Madison, and he’s embraced his new role and community with gusto, increasing new business by more than 10 percent since arriving.

He lends his financial expertise on committees and boards of directors, including Evergreen Retirement Community, Care Wisconsin, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS), Muskies Inc., Madison Children’s Museum, and Madison Development Corp.

When he’s not running from meeting to meeting, Hintze runs for the challenge. In 2016, he took first place in a Fox Cities half marathon for his age group (35-40), completing the course in 1 hour and 25 minutes.

Jessica Hutson Polakowski

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.
Age: 37

One of Jessica Hutson Polakowski’s proudest career moments thus far oc-curred last year, when her team informed their client, Milwaukee Tool, that they’d received a total judgment of just over $31 million in a landmark patent infringement case. It was the highest dollar amount ever awarded by a jury in the Eastern District of Wisconsin, and she played a key role.

Years earlier, a more personal case pitted her dad’s 50-year-old auto dealership against the financing arm of General Motors Corp. When GM filed for bankruptcy, his dealership was also forced to close. With the support and supervision of her Reinhart colleagues, the young attorney successfully obtained summary judgment against GM’s financing arm on behalf of her dad’s dealership. “It taught me how to keep emotions in check in a difficult, heated battle and focus on the issues that matter,” she states.

Hutson Polakowski especially enjoys hiking and boating with her family — and beating them in euchre!


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