Posted by: danielrashke | November 25, 2015

Celebrating the United Way

Dan stage word cloud backdrop
Last Thursday I spent the day with over a thousand like-minded folks as we culminated a year-long effort to support our community and use our time, skills, and resources to change lives for the better.  As the 2015 United Way of Dane County Campaign Chair, I am extremely moved by and proud of the members of the community who came out to support us!

We wanted to emphasize the ‘party’ in participation this year, and chose a rock n’ roll theme to energize the entire campaign. And continuing in that spirit, we wrapped up the year with the local rock band, Lube, along with Madison’s WJJO radio hosts Johnny Danger and Greg Bair, bringing that rocking energy to our event at the Monona Terrace!

We were so incredibly pleased to announce some fine numbers for the 2015 Campaign. Our community raised a whopping $19,540,000! And that number doesn’t include the additional $1.3 million donated directly into the United Way’s Lasting Impact Foundation.  Add together those figures: our friends and neighbors contributed a total of more than $20 million! True, that number is certainly impressive, but of course we’re focusing on what we can do with it. These funds translate into more families living in stable housing, more children getting the academic support they need to succeed in school, and more adults learning valuable job skills so they can find employment at a family-sustaining wage.

As for me, I couldn’t stop smiling…  It was heartwarming to see all the faces in the crowd as we came together to celebrate this accomplishment, and it was important to acknowledge the dedicated efforts of the United Way leadership, staff, and “loaned” executives. Along with altruists from organizations all around Dane County, these tireless folks worked hard throughout the year to drive the Agenda for Change and move people on Pathways out of Poverty. It was more than heartwarming, it was overwhelming.Dan smiling coming to stage

At this time of Thanksgiving let us never forget to be grateful for the blessings in our lives.  And let us be reminded that the true measure of gratefulness is sharing those blessings with others who may be less fortunate.  As my time as campaign chair is wrapping up, I challenge you to never stop looking for ways to improve the human condition for the better.  You can make the difference. You can truly impact lives. You can be a game changer for so many in need.

I wish you all a blessed and bountiful Thanksgiving!

Posted by: danielrashke | October 22, 2015

Make Bo Pay

Dan with Bo Ryan Shooting Down Cancer 10-12-15Recently, I attended and supported the Shooting Down Cancer event on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus. I’m truly pleased to tell you that the day was a rousing, smashing success thanks to the help of UW-Madison students, matching donations, and Badger basketball coach Bo Ryan. The premise of the charity event is simple: UW-Madison students come to the Kohl Center, have fun throwing basketballs, and make Coach Ryan pay. Really. When basketballs make it through the hoop, Coach Ryan and his wife donate cash to the American Cancer Society. For each successful free throw, they donate $10, and for every half-court shot they donate a whopping $1,000.

This annual fundraising celebration has been around for four years. And each year more students participate and more funds are raised. This year’s student participants made 54 half-court shots to raise the Ryan’s donation to $60,147. Add in the mix ten matching donations—including one from the Dan & Patti Rashke (TASC) Family Foundation—for a fine 2015 grand total…$694,117. Wow!  In just four years, Shooting Down Cancer has now raised a total of $1,078,301.

It was inspiring to talk to so many young people who came out to support this cause. It is pretty cool to see these kids get affiliated with something so worthwhile and positive. I also had the opportunity to meet Rob Gooze. His wife Mary founded the One Woman Many Lakes campaign. In January 2012 Mary Gooze was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent lumpectomy surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Almost two years after her final radiation treatment she received word that her breast cancer had metastasized and spread to the bones in her hip. Despite her terminal cancer diagnosis, Mary has decided to swim across as many lakes as possible bringing awareness and funding to metastatic breast cancer—a poorly funded and all but forgotten branch of a deadly disease.

Talking with these young people and hearing stories like Mary’s put a different perspective on our lives and priorities. When people ask me why I give back, these are the stories that come to mind. For more information on Mary’s swims or to make a donation visit

Posted by: danielrashke | September 25, 2015

Family Ties

Badger Game with Pakotas 65 Wedding Anniversary 091915

My wife and I recently took in a University of Wisconsin-Madison football game with our extended family, which included three generations of my wife’s family. Besides rooting on the Badgers, we were there to celebrate a special anniversary… Believe it or not, my wife’s parents have been married for 65 years. It’s inspiring to think about the love they have shared for those 65 years and continue to share.  And on that special football Saturday their children, grandchildren, and in-laws had a lot more than good football to cheer about.  Sixty five years! Talk about longevity and stability! Their marriage makes TASC, at only 40 years, look like a relative youngster.

My wife and I have also recently joined the same demographic group as my in-laws. With the starting of college for our youngest child, we are officially empty nesters. Now, I know that some people in this situation cry because they may feel a loss. And honestly, the house does feel a little empty. It sure is quieter! And while it does feel a little bittersweet, the only tears we shed were tears of happiness over what we gained. We have raised two wonderful young adults. Both are going to great institutions, poised for great futures. So during the ride home from dropping our youngest at school we considered it a perfect opportunity to count our blessings.

This had me thinking about the days of PhiEd, TASC’s retired service offering that was designed to help parents and students navigate the maze of college funding. With the rising cost of college, the reality is that people need to plan and make decisions to deal with the high cost of higher education these days.

Fortunately, families don’t have to rely on their own resources alone when it comes to paying for college.   Assistance is available at the government and institutional levels, with most universities having endowments to help kids—regardless of income— get great educations. Hopefully, every child who dreams of obtaining a college or tech school education can find the financing to make that dream a reality.

Posted by: danielrashke | August 19, 2015

Making the List

Inc 5000 GraphicSince 1981, Inc. has kept a list of the 5,000 fastest growing privately-held companies in America. I am proud to say that TASC has made the list in 2015! We came in at 3,917th with a three-year growth rate of 76 percent. On average the companies on this list have grown almost six fold over the past year. That is a rate of growth most business can only dream of.

By making the list this year, TASC now shares a pedigree with companies like Clif Bar, GoPro, Intuit, Microsoft, Oracle, Patagonia, Timberland, Under Armour, Zappos, and other notable alumni. We also join other first timers on the list like Bowlmor AMF, Box, Fitbit,, Mindbody, Planet Fitness, Radio Flyer, and Smashburger. Some pretty good company, if I don’t say so myself. But this article is about more than an attempt to pat ourselves on the back. It is also one of deep gratitude to our many employees, representatives, and customers. First, I thank our employees. Without the talent, effort, and dedication of our hard working team this kind of growth would not have been possible. Second, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our representatives. I’m talking about all of our independently contracted insurance agents and brokers, financial advisors, and accountants; you look out for your Clients by placing them in TASC services to save tax money and ensure their compliance. You are the life blood of this organization. You’ve had our backs so many times, and I hope you know that we have yours as well.

Finally, I would like to thank our customers. Thank you for choosing TASC to handle these important benefits accounts for your employees. The trust you put in TASC is something we never take for granted; we are constantly striving to provide you with the best service possible.

I hope that in every way TASC continues to grow and work hard to support all of our employees, representatives, and customers with quality services, world-class customer care, and a never ending commitment to excellence.

Posted by: danielrashke | July 9, 2015

On the Subject of Being Influential

In Business Cover

A local business magazine, In Business, recently released its list of the 2015 25 Most Influential People in Madison, Wisconsin. I am truly honored to be on that list. But this tribute got me thinking about what it means to be influential. Merriam-Weber defines influential as a person or thing that exerts influence or has the power to cause change. Influence is defined as the power to have an important effect on someone or something. Finally, if someone influences another person (or thing), they are changing that person or thing in an indirect but important way.

According to the article, crisis management is a dominant theme among this year’s honorees. Fortunately, this is not apt in my case. Any crisis in my life pales indeed when compared to crises that challenge our Police Chief and District Attorney, two other “influentials” on the list. Nevertheless, the magazine stated that we all share a unique trait: we offered something significant during the past year. For me, it is my commitment to philanthropy, demonstrated by giving TASC employees up to five days of paid time off each year to contribute their time to bettering the community, and by serving as the 2015 campaign chair for the United Way of Dane County.

But still, I wondered, what makes a person influential? An article in Forbes Magazine by Mark Fidelman listed 25 things influential people do better than anyone else. And while I certainly don’t identify with all 25, a few definitely fit me. For example, number four says influential people exhibit passion for their interests. I know I have a lot of passion for TASC, and for the United Way and philanthropy in general. Hopefully, it shows… Number nine says influential people maintain an intense focus. I can be intensely focused at times; just ask my staff.

I certainly believe influential people are multi-taskers (#13 on Fidelman’s list), are flexible and adaptable (#14), and leverage technology to improve their reach (#17). These three traits are the absolute bedrock of what makes TASC tick, and are reiterated in our Mission, Vision, and Values. Lastly, I completely identify with number 23: influential people don’t have an off switch. Again, just ask folks at TASC.

The moral of this story is clear: any individual can strive to adapt to various traits on “the list,” to work to become influential. Anyone.

Older Posts »



Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.