2019 40 Under 40: An impressive class

(page 8 of 12)

Derek N. H. Notman

Intrepid Wealth Partners
Age: 38

Derek Notman could give “The World’s Most Interesting Man” (Dos Equis’ ad campaign) a run for his money. His story reads like a novel, from the highs of being named the state of Vermont’s top new financial advisor; to the lows of a failed business dream after relocating to Madison; to being threatened by a New York City hedge fund over his former business name, Steadfast Capital Solutions.

Now rebranded, the five-year-old Intrepid Wealth Partners is a testament to Notman’s perseverance and decisions he made along the way, like building a team of virtual, rather than in-house employees, and choosing to specialize exclusively on entrepreneurs in “an industry flooded with generalists.”

Born in Dublin, Ireland to a South African-raised mother, Notman and his wife established a South African foundation for young business entrepreneurs; he’s flown on the world’s longest flight on a two-engine plane; and proudly owns one-square foot of the Laphroaig Scotch Whisky Distillery.

Molly Walsh

Groundwork Events
Age: 39

Molly Walsh co-founded Groundwork Events in 2013, and her ability to organize events for the betterment of others is heartfelt. Walsh’s mother suffers from progressive multiple sclerosis and her two brothers were born with Usher syndrome — hearing impaired and legally blind.

Walsh created a resale event, “My Sister’s Closet,” to sell high-end clothing she collected from friends and neighbors at discounted prices. Proceeds helped the MS Society and the ALS Foundation. She also helped establish the MS Society Scholarship Program, which awards college funds to Wisconsin high school students diagnosed with MS or with family members afflicted by the disease.

Fueled by a great love and appreciation of reading, she and her siblings co-founded the Walsh Family Professorship at UW–Madison to support a world-class researcher in the field of retinal diseases.

Walsh enjoys “spoken word,” a poetry-based performance art, and finds the rhythm of language fascinating.

Jay C. Sodey

SVP/District Manager-Consumer Banking
Associated Banc-Corp
Age: 39

Better colleagues drive better customer experiences, and with that in mind, Jay Sodey has been leading a team at Associated Bank dedicated to developing growth opportunities for colleagues and creating a measuring system to track that progress. Their efforts resulted in 11 internal promotions and improved the bank’s customer experience survey results by 8 percent year over year.

Sodey also launched a Cultural Awareness Network (CAN) in Madison aimed at awareness of cultural differences both in Associated Bank branches and in the Madison community at large. Since it began in late 2017, 33 employees have joined on.

Together with Rev. Dr. Alexander Gee, president and founder of the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership, Sodey is working to prepare and connect emerging African-American leaders with opportunities throughout Greater Madison, and he’s also championed an active sponsorship of the Justified Anger Leadership Institute.

Kristen Parent

Marketing & Training Director
MassMutual Wisconsin
Age: 37

Few will argue that the office people who prop up a company deserve the most — but often get the least — recognition. Kristen Parent, marketing and training dynamo with MassMutual Wisconsin, may finally be getting well-deserved recognition.

In 2018, Parent received the Nilsson Paul Award, a staff award voted on by her colleagues. She won a competitive corporate leads contest, and was one of the first staff people ever invited to a corporate conference where she led four sessions on leads programs. Now, as chair on a Leads Super Committee, she’s helping develop policies and procedures that will be implemented from the MassMutual corporate level.

Parent is an organizer, a member of the Middleton Chamber, active in REACH-A-Child, and on the fundraising committee for the Black Earth Home Talent Booster Club.

Her self-deprecating nature and humor is endearing. “I’m so clumsy that I once dislocated my knee while brushing my teeth!” And for the rest of that story, ask Kristen!


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