2019 40 Under 40: An impressive class

(page 9 of 12)

Laura Doolin

Policy Initiatives Advisor
Wisconsin Dept. of Workforce Development
Age: 28

Government isn’t known for acting quickly, but don’t tell Laura Doolin that!

Known as an out-of-the box thinker, she’s proposed and developed innovative new job hiring strategies at DWD, such as an RV-sized Mobile Job Center to serve rural Wisconsin (being developed) and to alleviate transportation barriers. The concept, she explains, “would serve rural parts of the state where in-person services were less concentrated and residents had a longer distance to travel to receive assistance.”

In addition, a MySkills Career Exploration Grant she championed connected over 900 students to career paths before exiting high school.

This civic-minded doer is on the board at Madison MAGNET and launched a young professionals board for Second Harvest Food Bank in Madison last June. “Young professionals want to be engaged in the community and connected to local causes,” Doolin states, “but often don’t know how to access those opportunities.”

Nicole Sandoval

President/Bilingual Recruitment Coordinator
Latino Professionals Assoc./Madison College
Age: 26

By day, Nicole Sandoval works for Madison College in recruitment and outreach, but her after-hours volunteer efforts as president of the Latino Professionals Association (LPA) may elevate Latinx professionals well into the future.

Sandoval emigrated to the U.S. from La Paz, Bolivia at age seven. She graduated from Edgewood College in 2014 with an international relations and ethnic studies degree, and at LPA, her proudest career achievement to date has been launching November’s inaugural Building Our Legacy Professional Development Conference. The by-Latinx, for-Latinx professionals event was the state’s first, she reports, and attracted over 100 attendees. Its goal was to arm professionals with tools needed to grow, network, and succeed, while exposing Madison-area employers to a diverse, skilled talent pool.

Sandoval is proud to have learned to read 750 words per minute with a minimum comprehension rate of 80 percent.

“In seven days I completed 16 books!”

Eric Plautz

Senior Project Manager
J. H. Findorff & Son Inc.
Age: 39

Eric Plautz has had a storybook career, quite literally. He led Epic System’s Storybook Campus, the largest project ever completed in Findorff’s history, requiring nearly half of its tradespeople. The project resulted in a 3,000-stall underground parking garage — the second largest in the U.S. — coupled with Epic’s uniquely themed office buildings, bridges, and tunnels.

But his proudest moment, though minuscule in comparison, likely had more emotional impact. After a June 2014 tornado caused massive damage to Country View Elementary in Verona, Findorff asked Plautz to lead the rebuilding effort, which had a very tight 12-week deadline before classes resumed in the fall. His oversight and planning allowed the team to finish two weeks ahead of schedule.

A gadget guy, woodworker, and sour-dough breadmaker, Plautz is also an accomplished home brewer whose party guests now bring their own cups rather than their own beer.

Matt Shefchik

COO-Strategy & Engagement, QTI Consulting
The QTI Group
Age: 39

Matt Shefchik has spent nearly 14 years at The QTI Group in Madison, climbing the ladder from senior consultant to COO.

Last May, Shefchik launched a proprietary technology platform focused on driving employee engagement in QTI clients. “My push to automate our work, drive efficiency, and ultimately profitability got the platform off the ground,” he explains.

Shefchik serves on the executive committee of the Emerging Leadership Board for the UW Carbone Cancer Center and joined the board of the Waunakee Area Education Foundation to support groups and teachers who may not necessarily receive adequate funding.

He’s proud to be a five-time champion of the Waunakee Men’s Basketball League, and he’s competed in six Tough Mudder competitions, each involving challenges like fire and electrocution in a mind-over-matter race to the finish.

He enjoys family time, fly-fishing, scuba diving, and coaching his kids’ sports teams.


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