Posted by: danielrashke | July 10, 2019

The Tale of TASC

TASC_Back40_Digital_CoverTASC has been an innovator in business for nearly 45 years. The small insurance agency started by my father, Don Rashke, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin has evolved into the nation’s largest privately held third-party administrator of tax-advantaged employee benefits, headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin.

Local writer Doug Moe first recognized that TASC had a story to tell. He took a deep dive into our history, conducted numerous personal interviews, and managed to make a TPA into a page-turner. In “The Back 40: TASC’s Story,” Doug writes of entrepreneurship, innovation and fortitude, and the many people who have played a part in our journey.

I invite you to read our history and learn how TASC continues to evolve. Copies of “The Back 40: TASC’s Story” are available on eBook platforms such as Apple Books, Google Play Books, Amazon Kindle, and Barnes & Noble Nook.

Posted by: danielrashke | July 3, 2019

Collaboration Within the Madison Business Community

2019-06-20 Mayor's priorities

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway

I recently began my term on the Board of Directors for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. This role presents rich opportunity to collaborate with a diverse group of business leaders focused on improving the community and economic climate of the region.

Case in point: the June session of the Chamber was a great meeting that included a presentation by Satya Rhodes-Conway, Mayor of Madison. She shared six priorities for the city:

1. Climate Change
2. Grow & Diversify Housing Stock
3. Implement Bus Rapid Transit
4. Address Disparities
5. Community Engagement
6. Collaboration

Of our global support for these priorities, the area that resonates most prominently is that of collaboration. We must join together to support wealth-building across the community, and help each other thrive.

During the meeting, the Mayor noted her support for the DreamUp Wisconsin initiative, which sent two teams to pitch Schmidt Futures for funding of their innovative ideas to raise the net income of middle-class households in Dane County. Traveling to New York City on behalf of the Madison business community were the Mayor, myself (TASC), and Scott Resnick of Hardin Design & Development.

Hardin was involved with the LIFT Dane team, and TASC was there with We Care for Dane Kids. Our team had a multi-pronged approach to alleviate the high cost of daycare, and TASC provided expertise on making dependent care benefits more accessible.

2019-06-07 Pitch team to Schmidt Futures

We Care for Dane Kids team with the Mayor

In an incredible win for DreamUp Wisconsin, both LIFT Dane and We Care for Dane Kids were awarded funding from Schmidt Futures.

Now that the competition is over, the real work will begin. And without a doubt, collaboration among the Madison business community will be key to sustaining these efforts.

Posted by: danielrashke | June 27, 2019

Time for an Upgrade

Posted by: danielrashke | May 31, 2019

Returning to My Roots

I recently had the opportunity to attend the graduation ceremony at my alma mater, Pacelli Catholic High School, in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. This experience was particularly meaningful because I was attending with the honor of being the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

Once I got over the astonishment of not only being nominated for but also of receiving this award (I was somewhat of a goof in high school and I never finished college), I had a lot of fun reminiscing about my friends, my teachers, and my “Glory Days” (cue Bruce Springsteen).

In preparing my speech, I struggled with if I should be thoughtful, somewhat interesting and heavily censored…or uncensored, more interesting and somewhat thoughtful. I landed somewhere in the middle.

Based on the crowd’s response, I think it landed pretty well. Here I share an excerpt from my speech. Perhaps you’ll find something of interest within it.

Pacelli meant to me Friendship, Faith, Service, Education…and Fun.

Friendship…my friend John Raflik was the one who kindly nominated me for the distinguished alumni award. Today he is the school’s Athletic Director. But back then he, Mike Brekke and I were The Three Amigos. In my senior yearbook John wrote, “You’re a hell of a friend and good luck in the future. You’re going to have a good one. I know it.”

While John and I knew we were not likely to stay as close in proximity or spend as much time together when we went our separate ways, there was and is a bond, because of our time together at Pacelli.

Faith…I was blessed to be afforded the opportunity to come to Pacelli. I grew up on a dairy farm in Amherst, not in the Stevens Point School District. The summer before 8th grade my parents recognized I was struggling in my environment. Two of my older brothers had gone to Pacelli ahead of me, so my parents sacrificed to allow me to go to St. Stan’s for my 8th grade year.

It was not easy for my parents though…with no public bussing, 30 minutes away by car, tuition costs, and the time commitment of volunteering. But it worked out great for me.

By going to Stevens Point Catholic schools for five years, I learned more about myself…about community…and about faith than any other period in my life. That faith remains a cornerstone, a part of my foundation that provides stability when business and life deal me tough problems that are not black and white, but gray.

Service…More specifically, choosing service over self-interest. I’m a big believer in servant leadership. This is where moral authority trumps natural authority. It is the freedom to choose…when we live by our conscience. It is conscience that transforms passion into compassion.

Education…When I took the ACT it included the test and an interest assessment and profile. My ACT score was average by today’s standards, but by some people’s standards, it was sub-par. The assessment part of the ACT said I like data and people…in that order. It also said I should look at sales, management or healthcare as potential career paths.

I went on to the University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point, but I left after two and half years. I was going to school, selling insurance and having fun. I couldn’t do them all well, so I decided one had to go. With my superior math-logic brain I deduced that having money from working really helped in the “having fun” part of the equation.

Back at Pacelli, I lettered in basketball and I did all the high school activities and events. When I was voted Class Clown and a classmate was voted Most Likely to Succeed, I was mad. I’m like, ‘What? You didn’t pick me…Is it because you believe one can’t have fun and be successful?’ I wanted to prove to everyone that I could succeed…in work…in family…in life.

My father used to tell me, “If you don’t think you’re good, how can you expect anyone else to think that?”

To the Pacelli graduates: do not let this time in high school or this institution define you, do not let your friends define you, do not let your family define you…you define you! Know that this institution, these friends, and your family are great sources of support and that your faith can be nourishing…especially at times when nourishment is desperately needed. Your faith and service over self-interest can also lead you to be the nourishment someone else might need.

And to all members of the Class of 2019: Congratulations. Godspeed.

Posted by: danielrashke | February 7, 2019

Dane County Has a Dream

2019-02-07 DreamUp logoLast fall, TASC was invited to partner with We Care for Dane Kids on an innovative idea to raise the net income of 10,000 middle class households by 10% by 2020.

This challenge was presented by Schmidt Futures (think Eric Schmidt of Google) as the Alliance for the American Dream competition. The University of Wisconsin-Madison is participating as one of four universities across the country. UW established DreamUp Wisconsin within its Institute for Research on Poverty to generate creative solutions to complex social problems. Schmidt Futures will award a grant to the winning Alliance for the American Dream team to help fund one of these solutions.

We are excited to be part of one of the DreamUp Wisconsin finalist teams. We Care for Dane Kids proposes a multi-sector approach to make child care more affordable. TASC’s role in this project is to help more working parents take advantage of Dependent Care Flexible Spending Accounts—providing pre-tax savings to employers and employees. We look forward to the final pitch to Schmidt Futures this June.

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