Festival Foods Chairman of the Board Dave Skogen had a message to share after nearly six decades in business. Life is about “earning, learning and returning.”
Skogen presented to a full house on the stage of UW-Green Bay’s Weidner Center for the Performing Arts Thursday (March 26) evening as the keynote speaker for the University’s fifth annual Business Week dinner.
Skogen had the rapt attention of students, faculty, business leaders and sponsors, alumni and other guests, as he discussed growing his family business from one IGA store in Onalaska to the Festival Foods chain that boasts 20 stores and more than 5,000 employees statewide.
“We’re all in the same business, serving and enriching others,” he said. “From mechanic to physician, from educators to grocers.”
Skogen challenged current leaders and asked students to think about their leadership opportunities as they enter the working world. He left the room with these nuggets to consider:
“Don’t confuse management with leadership. Management is what we do, leadership is who we are. Leadership is influencing other people to action. Leadership is an acquired skill and the test of a servant leader (one who meets the legitimate needs of others) will leave those they lead better than when they came.”
- “Good leaders are more plowhorses than showhorses.”
- “Practice behaviors until they become habits.”
- “To develop a winning culture, hire character. Search out people with moral maturity. Hold people accountable and the consistent underperformers? Share them with the competition.”
- “Business is a game, and winning is a blast.”
- “Excellence motivates, not money.”
- Finally, every day, “focus on what you get to do not what you have to do.”
Skogen has achieved a great deal of success throughout his lifetime in the grocery business. He was named “IGA Retailer of the Year’” in 1989 and Wisconsin “Grocer of the Year” in 2005. He and his wife were named “Outstanding Philanthropists” in 2007 by the Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Skogen is the author of the book, “Boomerang! Leadership Principles that Bring the Customer Back,” about the leadership influences and philosophies that brought him success in the grocery industry. In an interview upon releasing the book, Skogen said the book uncovers what he believes are the leadership intangibles: honesty, accountability, service to a higher purpose and love.
Associate Dean and Director of the Austin E. Cofrin School of Business, Lucy Arendt, served as the event emcee. She shared the following highlights from the School of Business in the past year:
Faculty awards and recognition — Don McCartney was the recipient of the Founders Award for Institutional Development, an annual award given to only one individual.
Strong enrollment — The School of Business serves more than 800 undergraduate and graduate students; Business Administration is and has been the largest major on campus for many years. More than 80 percent stay in Northeast Wisconsin after they graduate.
Successful recruitment of faculty including those with expertise include finance, MIS, strategy, and supply chain.
Establishment of two Advisory Boards, one with students and one with rising alumni, which helps the School of Business to examine and enhance its curriculum and ensure student success. A third board composed of business leaders will be formed this year.
Scholarships — more than 10 new scholarship funds were created, mostly endowed in the past year
Internships — Students completing internships has increased significantly over the past two years. Appreciation to Professor Ann Selk and others.
Student recognition — example, Bryan Boeck was one of only nine students in the state selected as a recipient of the LeRoy Schmidt 150-Hour Accounting Scholarship from the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Educational Foundation. Two UWGB alumni, Mary Frank-Arlt (2008) and Joel Hansen (2001), were chosen as the recipients of the 2015 Outstanding Graduate Award for the UW-Oshkosh MBA program.
Accreditation progress — Received recent approval from the initial Self-Evaluation Report from AACSB, the most prestigious accrediting body for business education in the world, meaning UWGB is on target to achieve AACSB accreditation within the next few years.
First-ever endowed chair — Professor David Radosevich was appointed the Austin E. Cofrin Endowed chair, recognizing his productive and sustained commitment to the vision and mission of the School of Business and UWGB.
Cofrin Executive-in-Residence — Tim Weyenberg was recently named the first-ever Austin E. Cofrin Executive-in-Residence. He is the past CEO and current Executive Chair of the Board of Directors for Foth. He has become a key contributor, helping faculty, staff, and students build and strengthen relationships between the Business School and the community. His extensive community involvement has included leadership roles with the New North, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, and Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.
A number of students were recognized at the event.
Recognized as scholarship recipients were:
- Emily Kunst, junior, Business Administration
- Kelly Niemuth, sophomore, Accounting and Business Administration
- Brittany Behrens, junior, Accounting and Business Administration
- Mallory Woloszyk, junior, Business Administration
- Michael Tuchalski, junior, Spanish and Business Administration
- Emily Blaha, junior, Business Administration
- Ben Lindberg, junior, Economics and Business Administration
Phoenix Trader of the Year — simulated trading (equities, futures, options, currencies, futures options and bonds, etc…) competition organized by the Student Finance Organization. The top three traders with the highest portfolio value at the end of the trading period were selected as winners. At the close of competition, the top three traders had generated a combined trading profit of $584,327 on their initial capital — an annualized return of 67.5% compared to S&P 500’s annualized return of 10%.
- First place, Kyle Marshall, junior, Business Administration
- Second place, Ben Lindberg, senior, Business Administration and Economics
- Third place, Kendra Rottier, senior, Business Administration and Mathematics
Elevator Pitch Competition winners (from 110 submitted videos):
- First place, Jacqueline Grady, senior, Business Administration
- Second place, Aimee Villwock, junior, Business Administration
- Third place (tie), Brooke Arndt, senior, Business Administration; Lacey Duerschmidt, junior, Business Administration; and Andrea Miller, senior, Business Administration.
Also recognized was the UWGB Career Services Office personnel for preparing students to enter the business environment post-graduation, as well as alumni, University personnel, and event sponsors (see below).
Photos by Sam Zingsheim, photo intern, Marketing and University Communication