800 reasons to celebrate

Photography by Shawn Harper

(page 1 of 12)

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Twenty years goes by in the blink of an eye, but thankfully, Greater Madison’s talent pool does not.

In Business has been showcasing some of its best and brightest professionals under the age of 40 since 2001 and, remarkably, 90 percent of past honorees still live and work in the Madison area.

Our first 40 Under 40 class included familiar names like Jonathan Bogatay from North Central Group, Corey Chambas from First Business Bank, and Sean Cleary, Cleary Building Corp. Beth Prochaska, who was recently named president/CEO at Potter Lawson, was in the inaugural group, too, as was Tammy Rozek, general manager of East Towne Mall.

Twenty years and 800 members later, the 2020 class is equally as impressive and thankfully more diverse. They include talented attorneys and architects, bankers and business owners, executive directors and entrepreneurs, wealth managers and health educators, and others who continue making Greater Madison even greater.

The 2020 class will be honored at a networking reception on Wednesday, March 4, from 5 to 7 p.m., at the Madison Club, 5 E. Wilson St.

For a class-by-class look at past honorees, check out the 40 Under 40 archive at: IBMadison.com/40Under40Archive.

Summer Rector

VP-HR Consulting
The QTI Group
Age: 32

Diversity and inclusion is simply good business, and at The QTI Group, Summer Rector is leading the charge, noting: “For us to better our clients and our communities, we needed to formalize our commitment to [D&I] through words and actions.”

Shareholders agreed, and QTI now provides D&I training for its employees and partners with community organizations to advance D&I objectives. Rector chairs the company’s first-ever Belonging, Inclusion, and Diversity committee, and she’s become an in-demand speaker on the subject.

Last September, she upped her game, presenting at her first national conference for PayScale, regarded as a global thought leader in the field of compensation and total reports.

Rector is very involved in the Literacy Network as board vice president of the governance committee, and she’s a member of the Madison Area Diversity Roundtable.

This busy mom of two enjoys listening to podcasts while running early in the morning. “A lot of my best ideas come on the treadmill!”

Corinn Ploessl

Organizational Events Manager
Destination Madison
Age: 31

By all accounts, Corinn Ploessl is having a blast! If she’s not planning an event, she’s likely at one.

Last year, Ploessl planned and produced the Destination Madison Awards, or DMAs, from nominations to celebration. The awards recognized people in the hospitality and tourism industry who went over and beyond to make a visitor’s experience great.

She’s led Young Professionals Week for the past five years; chaired United Way of Dane County’s Rosenberry Society in 2018; and presided over Madison Magnet; not to mention all of the fundraising she’s accomplished through the years.

Ploessl’s proudest moments, though, were three specific events she planned around the Bucky on Parade event in 2018. The finale event she helped coordinate raised nearly $850,000 of the $1 million total dollars generated by Bucky on Parade.

At home, she loves to bake, saying the precision and accuracy required to follow recipes suits her Type A personality perfectly.

Gregory Banks

VP-Commercial Payment Solutions
Wisconsin Bank & Trust, a subsidiary of Heartland Financial
Age: 37

As a young man, Greg Banks made a lot of decisions based on money and learned an important lesson as a result.

“Chasing money isn’t a successful strategy,” he says. “Finding something you love doing and are committed to 100 percent is a much better strategy for success.”

Since joining the WB&T/Heartland Financial team, Banks has become an award-winning performer, growing the company’s overall portfolio by more than 300 percent and being the organization’s top referral partner.

A positive force in the local community, Banks works with Rev. Dr. Alex Gee to help improve race relations, and he volunteers at the Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development and the Northport Community Center. A proven fundraiser, he’s also on the boards of Rubin for Kids, Gift of Adoption, and Coaches vs. Cancer.

Perhaps some of his energy comes from the “really strong coffee” he roasts at home from raw, green coffee beans.

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