Business Badgers Who ... Take the Stage

“I play French horn in a community band. It trains me to look for ways I can contribute to the group. It’s a physical, emotional, and spiritual outlet for me.”

— Carl D. Smith (BBA ’79)

“I am a theater artist based in Madison. I think real, live people telling stories is a very powerful thing. Acting has made me more confident and comfortable in a variety of ways, from speaking in front of groups to interacting with individuals and clients.”

— David Pausch (M.A. ’03)

“I perform in Verona (Wisconsin) Area Community Theatre (VACT) musicals with my wife, kids, and friends. My effectiveness, whether it be in an interview, in front of a customer/prospect, or trying to convince a work colleague of a new idea, has been greatly improved through my experience on the stage. My level of comfort and confidence has never been higher.”

—Jeff Vilker (BBA ’95)

“Performing helps me access different parts of myself—I am often a reserved person, but I can be colorful, loud, vulnerable, whimsical, or silly on stage.”

— Kari Dickinson
(M.A. ’04)

“I’ve been dancing since I was five years old and started competing in ballroom after college. Performing in front of an audience provides me with a natural energy. There is something special about looking out into the audience and connecting with each person, letting them know that this moment is just for them; it is a magical familiarity that you don’t create in any other way. Improving my performance on the dance floor also improved my performance in board meetings, networking events, and when I facilitate at training and speaking events.”

—Nicole Nelson (BBA ’03, MACC ’04)

“I’m the lead singer in a string band (bluegrass, traditional folk). I like performing because it feels like sharing. Through it, I have left my lifelong shyness and fear of public speaking behind. My career as a CPA required mostly working in my head; performing arts require the whole body and the mind-body connection, which is physically and mentally more challenging and healthy.”

—Judith Christianson (BBA ’73)

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Bruce Ellig (BBA 1959, MBA 1960)

established the Bruce R. Ellig Scholarship Fund for outstanding undergraduate students. He previously funded the Bruce R. Ellig Distinguished Chair in Pay and Organizational Effectiveness. More Class Notes »

Amy Martens (BBA 2002)

graduated with an MBA in health systems leadership from Edgewood College in 2015. In early 2017 she accepted a position as director of operations with the University of Wisconsin–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health, where she provides administrative leadership and overall programmatic and operational support, managing fiscal and human resources to carry out educational, research, and service missions. More Class Notes »

Joshua Blumenfeld (BBA 2001)

founded, an online job search engine, in 2012. In 2015 and 2016, MyJobHelper was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in America. In 2016, MyJobHelper was also a Deloitte Fast 500 Winner. Earlier this year, MyJobHelper launched its Latin American operations and now operates in more than 15 countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, Brazil, and Peru. More Class Notes »