Posted by: danielrashke | November 25, 2014

Thanksgiving

Rich Rashke article in Growing Produce scan-1As 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.

Posted by: danielrashke | November 4, 2014

Get Out the Vote!

It’s Election Day in America and I encourage you to vote. I have made no secret of my commitment to making a difference in my community. I believe that voting is the single most important way you can make a difference in your community. That is why I encourage you to take the time to vote and exercise your rights.

Here are five reasons you should vote:

  1. Every vote makes a difference. Some of this year’s races could come down to a few votes.
  2. It’s your money. The representatives you vote for are ultimately responsible for spending your tax dollars.
  3. Voting promotes change. As author and teacher Sharon Salzberg says “Voting is the expression of our commitment to ourselves, one another, this country and this world.”
  4. It’s your public duty. For most of us, it represents the only voice we have in the governing of our society.
  5. Voting is tied to your occupational advancement and wealth. Many elected officials have direct influence on legislation related to minimum wage, fair employment practices, pay equity, and health insurance.

As Larry J. Sabato of Pendulum Swing stated, “Every election is determined by the people who show up.”

Posted by: danielrashke | October 29, 2014

It takes a village to innovate!

Recently, TASC’s Chief Development Officer (CDO) Pam Reynolds and TASC were designated as “2014 Innovators” by the Institute of Healthcare Consumerism (IHCC). Pam was specifically recognized for her outstanding leadership and innovative healthcare benefits solutions. I couldn’t agree more.

In presenting this award, the IHCC praised Pam for the development of the TASC Card with its MyCash innovation, a revolutionary way to pay for eligible healthcare expenses and spend funds reimbursed from a cardholder’s Flexible Spending Account (FSA), all on one card. With MyCash, claim reimbursements for out-of-pocket expenses are automatically deposited into a separate cash account that is accessible through the TASC Card for non-FSA purchases.

Speaking of the TASC Card and Pam’s involvement in its development, Elaine Harkins, Vice President of MasterCard Worldwide said, “With the addition of MyCash, TASC has transformed the limited-use FSA card into a general purpose payments tool and means of accessing funds in Participants’ tax-advantaged accounts. This increases Participants’ engagement with their FSA and health plans overall. Pam (Reynolds) has been instrumental in developing this solution and ensuring its success.”

When Pam joined TASC in 2000, the company offered five services only, with a team of roughly 60 employees. Today, TASC provides nearly 20 services via a team of close to 1,000 employees. Drawing on her experience with strategic planning, performance measurement, process management, and financial analysis, Pam helped TASC develop many service offerings, including DirectPay Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), COBRAToday, and TASC’s Health Savings Account (HSA). She is actively involved in developing and managing TASC’s Strategy System of Management and assists the organization in charting and executing the Plan to realize TASC’s future.

Pam is just one of TASC’s talented and committed employees. No Chief Executive Officer (CEO) can build a successful business without a foundation of qualified employees. Pam Reynolds and all on our team work hard to ensure that TASC remains a high performing business. And we all benefit from that.

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