Jocelyn Vande Velde, formerly Trek Bicycle/currently UW Credit Union

IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Jocelyn Vande Velde, brand manager, formerly Trek Bicycle/currently UW Credit Union.

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

I am challenged by the global dynamics and relentless moving target that is marketing and the speed at which we move. I’m incredibly rewarded by the relationships I’ve fostered, my travels around the U.S. and abroad, and helping cycling enthusiasts make dreams come true.

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

There is a long list of people I admire, but I’m going to roll with the first one who popped in my mind. Tyler Haney is the founder and CEO of Outdoor Voices, an athleisure clothing company in Austin, Texas, and you should check out her story. She’s not even 30, growth is off the charts, and fabric innovation is a pillar of the business, yet what makes her so successful is her purposeful, refreshing, and simple approach. Case in point: she doesn’t Photoshop the cellulite on women’s legs in running shorts photos.

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

Launching new bikes is always a thrill but also really scary because all eyes are on the team. Trek’s all-road, gravel bike Checkpoint, and electric bike, Super Commuter+, take the cake for me not only because we hit the mark financially, but because the bikes are so much fun and well designed. Our media events in Urecht, The Netherlands, New York City, Boulder, Colorado, and Siena, Italy make me smile, and the continued success of these bikes after launch makes me happier still.

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

Do what it takes to max out my 401(k)! I put in 6 percent since day one, but I know I could have done more most of the time. As for specific career advice, I can’t think of anything that isn’t just learned with time. I was lucky that I worked a lot from 15 to 21 years old and held probably close to 10 jobs in that time. This was one of my secrets to success, especially the restaurant I worked at for many years — juggling a job with school, activities, social life, and finances. Because of it, I entered the full-time working world ready to rock.



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

The amazing network of talented, educated, and fun people is unbelievable. Every time I’ve hosted one of our Ignite Madison events — the charity/public speaking event I co-produced — or attended a networking/social event, I’ve been staggered by who I meet and how they are wired to be present and engaged in this world. I find it easy to make true connections and friends.

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

Singing and stage crew. I love to sing and I’ve taken classes as well as participated in choirs, musical theater, and the occasional karaoke since I was a kid, though very sporadically. However, I’ll go one step further and confess that my incredible high school had an unbelievable theater program and my sports schedule didn’t allow for me to participate in being on stage. So I spent time around it every winter between my softball and volleyball seasons by building sets and running lights or flies (curtains). I love that I know how a show is produced when attending a concert or musical. It really adds to my experience.

What are your guilty pleasures?

Fattening, classic Chicago-style food. If I fly through O’Hare or visit friends/family in Chicago, I am known to walk out of my way for Garrett’s so I can indulge in warm caramel and cheese popcorn. A time or two a year, my husband and I will detour drives home to get Lou Malnati’s to go. I have fond memories of seeing the holiday department store windows with my family and getting Garrett’s, Unos (the original Unos, not the chain), and hot chocolate during the course of the day. So while I feel a little guilty for what I’m putting in my mouth, I’m reminded of what these awesome foods represent for me, as well — my family and eternal youth.

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