Melanie Schmidt, Class of 2001

IB is celebrating 20 years of the 40 Under 40 in 2020, and will be catching up with past recipients to see what they’ve been up to since they were honored. This week features Melanie Schmidt, president, Timpano Group.
Watn Melanie Schmidt (primary) Headsot

What have you accomplished in your professional life/career since your 40 Under 40 selection?

Where to begin?! I’ve continued to amass an eclectic set of experiences and connect with a talented collection of people.

Since 2001, I’ve worked in house and as a strategy consultant to apply a liberal arts education to traditional business and finance areas. I’ve leaned in to more left-brained pursuits and rediscovered the joy of financial analysis and planning. I’ve facilitated turnarounds of organizations large and small. I’ve also learned about academia and health care serving as chief of staff for the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Nursing during its executive transition.

I’m currently honored to serve in a temporary capacity as the Wisconsin Department of Health Services COVID-19 Response Team director and work with an incredibly dedicated group of people striving to return well-being throughout Wisconsin. Ultimately, across my career, I’ve helped others accomplish their professional goals and realize their aspirations.

What accomplishments, milestones, or endeavors have you attained in your personal life since your 40 Under 40 selection?

I earned my master’s degree in organizational development and fulfilled my personal goal of conducting extensive research into organizational dynamics that resulted in a number of innovative models to promote greater productivity and function among individuals and organizations across sectors. What an amazing opportunity to cultivate my habit of thinking.

I was also honored to receive the United Way of Dane County Distinguished Volunteer Service Award in 2017 and be recognized by The Business Forum as an Athena Award nominee for professional excellence, community service, and mentoring in 2016.

If you were to “do it all over again,” what (if anything) would you do differently throughout your career?

Seize opportunities to connect with people.

How did your 40 Under 40 selection help your career?

The selection was a humbling moment in my career. It opened my network and brought me into contact with people whom I otherwise might not have met.

What is something that you have a new passion for since the time of your induction — either professionally or personally?

I’ve become more concentrated in reimagining contemporary nonprofit governance and overall management to value compassionate accountability.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for today’s young professionals (under 40)?

Be present and be kind. Consider others and attend to yourself. And, to borrow from a magnet not far from my computer screen, “Let’s not be so open-minded that our brains fall out.”

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