Jeff Vercauteren, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Jeff Vercauteren, attorney, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

1. What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?

Real estate development is often a balancing act between the interests of the developer, city officials and staff, the neighborhood association, and adjacent property owners. Communication and collaboration throughout the development process can go a long way in producing the best result for all stakeholders. Getting to the end of a good development process and seeing the finished product is always a rewarding experience.

2. Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?

There are a number of real estate visionaries who have helped make Madison into the thriving urban environment it is today. In particular, several developers have been instrumental in building projects that have transformed downtown Madison. That type of vision in the real estate industry is necessary to develop projects that create a distinctive urban environment and drive growth.

3. What has been the high point of your career so far?

Joining Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek last year after practicing for six years at a different firm in Madison has allowed me to take my career to the next level. We are working on several significant real estate projects in and around Madison and in other parts of the state. It seems like I continue to reach a new high point in my career with each project we complete.

4. Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?

Always be open to new opportunities. Some of the best contacts I have made and some of the best projects I have worked on have come about based on a chance meeting at a networking event or a connection made through being active in the community. Madison is a city that thrives on personal connections and being active and present in the community is the best way to find new opportunities.

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5. What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?

Living and working in downtown Madison, I love that I can experience all the great restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and recreational opportunities in and around downtown, while at the same time being able to access things like the Capital City State Trail or take the Badger State Trail to Paoli.

6. Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?

I tend to have an almost photographic memory with maps. I can generally recall the details of things like the Madison Aldermanic District Map, the Madison Historic District Map, and the Downtown Building Height Map. This can be useful when thinking through potential issues in the development process.

7. What are your guilty pleasures?

A mixed blessing of living and working in downtown Madison is that there are several great cafes within a few blocks of my office and apartment. The coffee scene in Madison has really taken off in recent years with several new entrants into the market. Nothing beats walking around the square with an iced coffee in the summer.

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