Posted by: danielrashke | December 17, 2014

Proud As Can Be

Jennifer Zisser celebrates her graduation with CDO Pam Reynolds.

Jennifer Zisser celebrates her graduation from the Leadership Greater Madison class with Pam Reynolds.

As CEO of TASC I get a lot of attention. And while that can be a good thing, what really gets my attention is when a TASC employee gets noticed for doing something good. In an earlier post I wrote about our Chief Development Officer (CDO) Pam Reynolds and TASC being named as “2014 Innovators” by the Institute of Healthcare Consumerism (IHCC). These were well-deserved honors. Now another TASC employee has been recognized for an amazing accomplishment. Recently, TASC’s Director of Customer Experience & Loyalty Jennifer Zisser became a graduate of the 21st Leadership Greater Madison class.

Leadership Greater Madison (LGM) provides advanced leadership training to help future community leaders engage in the issues affecting our area and the opportunities to make a difference. The program focuses on helping participants learn how to develop in-depth analysis of, identify resolution management approaches to, and communicate about, critical public issues. Special emphasis is placed on contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities, as well as “real world” options and experiences.

This program is not for the weak of heart. LGM consists of 10 highly-interactive and informative sessions, typically held on the fourth Tuesday of every month. These full-day sessions include specific leadership skill-training presentations and exercises, along with expert presentations with panel discussions on issues impacting the greater Madison area. This was quite an undertaking for a mother of four. Not to mention her demanding job at TASC!

Jennifer and the other talented individuals in her class did a tremendous amount of work in critical areas affecting the greater Madison area including: K–12 education, social services, quality of life, and youth leadership development.

Strong, thriving communities need educated, talented individuals to lead the way for a successful future, and LGM provides the knowledge, skills and relationship building capacity needed to inspire leadership and make a difference in the community. If we believe it takes a village to raise a child, then conversely it takes a lot of people to raise a village.

The world needs leaders like Jennifer and her fellow graduates. As far as TASC is concerned, with co-workers like Pam and Jennifer the future for us is really bright. It just doesn’t get any better than this!

Posted by: danielrashke | December 8, 2014

Losing Builds Character

Photo with Chancellor Rebecca Blank at Indy Big10 Championship 2014If losing builds character, then the state of Wisconsin must have a whole lot of character today. For on Saturday night the Ohio State Buckeyes really trounced our Wisconsin Badgers in the Big Ten Championship game. I was fortunate (or unfortunate, depending on your point of view) to be able to attend the game with my family.

Despite the 59-0 loss, it was a fun and exciting weekend. We were lucky enough to meet University of Wisconsin Chancellor Rebecca Blank and have our picture taken with her. And the folks in Indianapolis are always warm and welcoming.

A loss of this magnitude makes you take a step back and consider what it all means. In business, just as in sports, there are setbacks. Decisions don’t work out the way you planned. Investments don’t pan out as hoped. And it might be a cliché, but it’s a cliché because it’s true: When faced with setbacks, the only appropriate course of action is to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and get ready for the next contest.

The Badgers have three weeks to get ready for their next opponent, and face off against Auburn University in the Outback Bowl on January 1, 2015. Hopefully, they will right their ship in the meantime, with a victory that helps rinse that awful taste of the Ohio State loss out of their mouths.

That’s the lesson for all of us. There is always another game. Another chance to prove yourself and succeed. You can’t let one bad game defeat you. Get up, dust off, and stand firm, ready to attack the next opportunity.

On Wisconsin.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving

Cover of Vegetable Grower Magazine

Rich Rashke (right) on the cover of Vegetable Grower Magazine.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving, I believe it’s truly important that we think about where our food comes from. I’m talking about the holiday feast as well as the rest of year. Most of us city dwellers don’t give much consideration to the production of our food. As far we know, food comes from the grocery store.

But farmers know exactly where food comes from. And as the population grows and the number of farmers and farm acres shrink, farmers are asked to supply more food, and to produce it on less land. Fortunately, our farmers, as always, are up to the task.

Successful farmers must operate their farms in ways that preserve resources and create efficiencies. Earlier this year Vegetable Grower magazine featured Okray Family Farms, near Plover, Wisconsin. My brother Rich has been farm manager there for 10 years, and he described the methods they use to sustain the farm. Virtually everything about the 100 year old farm encompasses sustainability, including planting preparations, managing the post-harvest field, and equipment maintenance. “Sustainability is crucial and completely [determines] how we maintain our fields [throughout the year], our equipment, and our facilities,” Rich said. If you are interested in reading the entire article about Rich and the Okray Family Farms click here.

In some ways, my brother and I have a lot in common. We are both trying to sustain our businesses and build for the future. We are both guiding operations with long histories and started by someone else. And we both along with the rest of our siblings can thank our father and mother for our choice of careers. When dad moved our family to a dairy farm in north-central Wisconsin, he started Rich on his lifelong path. And when dad got out of farming and opened the insurance agency that would eventually become TASC, he set me on my career path. A lot of TASC’s earliest Clients were our farming neighbors.

When I sit down to my Thanksgiving meal this year, I will be grateful in countless ways for my dad’s guidance, for his help in opening doors to rewarding careers for my brother and me. I am thankful for my brother, my sister Terri (who is also a farmer) and farmers like them who work hard every day to feed us. For that we should all be grateful and give thanks.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 18, 2014

Doug Weisenberger

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Doug with his wife Kim and Dan Rashke

Back in 2000, we established the Honorary TASC Club Award to recognize those individuals who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of TASC. Award recipients include former TASC Board of Advisors members Frank Bastian, Ron Myren, and Glen Pulver, Providers Rich Kielman and Berwyn Westra, former Regional Sales Directors Norm McMurtrie and Tom Pugliano, the owner of a TASC acquisition, Robert Bunbury, and long-time TASC executive Maurie Ash.

It was with great pleasure that we recently inducted long time Board of Advisor member Doug Weisenberger into the Honorary TASC Club. I met Doug in 1987, when he contracted as a FlexSystem Provider with TASC. Backing up a bit… We first learned about Doug from his wife Kim, a graphic designer, who at the time was helping my father (Don Rashke) create a presentation. When Kim learned about TASC, she suggested that her husband could help us grow. Boy, was she right.

Certified in Long-Term Care, Doug wears many hats. He’s an Investment Representative, a Certified Financial Planner, a Chartered Life Underwriter, and a Chartered Financial Consultant. Since starting his career with North Star Resource Group in 1981, Doug has maintained a philosophy that every employee benefits plan must be viewed as a corporate asset, not a corporate liability.

Shortly after contracting with TASC he signed up Madison Family Dental as his first FlexSystem Client. And today, more than 25 years later, Madison Family Dental is still a TASC Client. Doug was also instrumental in an initiative with other Providers to promote AgriPlan and BizPlan to more customers.

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CEO Dan Rashke thanks Doug for his contributions to TASC over the past 13 years.

As a member of the TASC Board, Doug demonstrated his thoughtful and deliberate manner on many occasions. He helped TASC through good and tenuous times alike, with innovative counsel and guidance. Doug assisted with the evolution of the TASC Card and TASC’s shift toward increasing acquisitions and expanding service offerings.

Throughout the years Doug has been a dynamic force in finding potential board members. He has gone out of his way in countless ways to set up and facilitate meetings with prospective board members. It was through Doug’s help that we added Mike Petrushka to the TASC Board.

After 13 years as a Board member, Doug officially retired from the TASC Board on Friday, November 7th. In true Doug fashion, when making this decision to step down he deliberated within the broader context of TASC’s future and the importance of evolving the Board’s makeup through time. I thank him for his time, effort, and friendship.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 11, 2014

Boss Lift

Group in front of PlaneToday is Veterans Day and on behalf of TASC and our management team and staff I want to thank veterans who have done their part to protect our freedom and independence. In July, I was honored to sign an “Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Statement of Support.” The Statement aims to increase employer support and encourages employers to act as advocates for employee participation in the military. Supportive employers are vital to maintaining the strength and readiness of the nation’s Guard and Reserve units.

In August, along with other supportive employers from southeast Wisconsin, I participated in “Boss Lift,” an air refueling mission with ESGR and the 128th Air Refueling Wing. What a great opportunity! We visited military installations to see, firsthand, the quality of training and leadership activities that our uniformed employees receive.DSC09036

As someone with no military background, the Boss Lift event showed me firsthand some of what our soldiers do when they are away from their civilian jobs, and helped me better understand our troops who are coming home and rejoining the workforce. As an employer, it made me even prouder to do our part.

Wisconsin National Guard Command Sgt. Maj. Bradley Shields from Madison, Wisconsin, said events like Boss Lift are important. “The support employers provide is critical to our success,” Shields said. “Without it, our Soldiers could not support our state and country like they do.”

At TASC we will continue to do whatever we can do to support our service members, help returning veterans transition into civilian jobs, and show our appreciation for what our service members do.

Happy Veterans Day.

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