It’s a 267-mile drive from Stone Lake to Madison, but in some ways the distance is much greater.
“Coming from a small town, I had five or six classmates in a three-room grade school and a high school graduating class of maybe 120,” says Darren Dewing ’96, a Milwaukee banking executive who was raised in the unincorporated Wisconsin town. “I love where I grew up. But I wanted a big college experience. What expanded my horizons was the diversity of expression and meeting a wide range of people all over campus. That was the void that UW–Madison filled,” he says.
Dewing, who earned a UW–Madison business degree in marketing in 1996, is now the senior vice president and director of channel strategy for Associated Bank. He is responsible for making sure that Wisconsin’s largest bank — with assets of $29 billion — coordinates its digital, online, mobile, and branch operations into a satisfying and seamless customer experience.
“What expanded my horizons was the diversity of expression and meeting a wide range of people all over campus. That was the void that UW–Madison filled.”
A drummer when he came to UW–Madison, Dewing opted for marketing over music and hasn’t looked back. “Some of the skills I learned in pursuing my marketing degree, I use every day. It’s about analyzing data and knowing your customers,” says Dewing. “At Associated Bank, we are pushing the envelope in advanced data analytics. While half of all transactions are performed outside a bank branch, we know people still need personal service, too.”
Dewing and his wife, Beth ’95, whom he met at UW–Madison during his freshman year, have also been active as fundraisers at Milwaukee’s Ronald McDonald House. For nine years, he helped organize events that raised $2 million.
“You think you’re having a bad day, just go visit a Ronald McDonald House (RMH). You realize you’re not having such a bad day, after all,” says Dewing, whose brother died of childhood leukemia. “We’re in Milwaukee, but we serve all 72 counties in the state. Last year, RMH kept over 2,300 families together as they faced some of life’s greatest challenges.”
Thank you, Sawyer County, for Darren Dewing — and all those who serve our communities and help those facing difficult challenges.