Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mary Jo Quinn ’73 is a Fortune 500 Hero

Mary Jo Quinn ’73 works for Allstate.          Photo by Steve Lebeau – Allstate

Nearly 27 million people go to work for the Fortune 500 companies every day. Fortune magazine online found 55 of them whose extraordinary acts of bravery, kindness and selflessness are changing people’s lives. Mary Jo Quinn was selected as Fortune’s hero #20 for pro bono work she does helping people in poverty find employment and build new lives despite having criminal records. Mary Jo says, “The pro bono work is really rewarding and I’m honored to be chosen for inclusion. The work I do during my day job is running the Investment Law team at Allstate, so it has nothing to do with this pro bono work.”

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Groundbreaking on Renovated Track and Field

After years of deteriorating conditions, Edgewood High School announced that construction will begin this summer on a $1.5 million outdoor athletic complex through a generous $1.025 million gift from the Goodman Foundation with additional major gifts from Edgewood families and their associated foundations. The facility will provide new, cutting-edge running surfaces for track and field training as well as state-of-the-art artificial turf for outdoor sports, including football, baseball, softball, soccer, track, lacrosse and ultimate frisbee. 

Executive director of the Goodman Foundation E.G. Schramka said, “The Goodman Foundation is proud to partner with Edgewood High School in the renovation of its track and field complex. At the University of Minnesota, Irwin Goodman was a track star, and Irwin and his brother Bob throughout their lifetimes had a passion for physical activity. This complex will continue their legacy by being a community-wide venue that will serve all of Madison from children to seniors through games, camps and other activities.”

Other major sponsors of the project are the Wahlin Foundation, Inc., Park Bank–the Heggenbarth and Senty Families, Jerry and Carol Kelly, an anonymous Edgewood family, with additional support provided by Kevin and Sheila Conroy.

Edgewood High School President Mike Elliott notes, “This is a game changer for Edgewood and the Madison community. Our students will benefit greatly with the best possible conditions to train and compete on. Plus this complex will allow us to hold many more of our practices on campus. In addition, neighbors and members of all ages in Madison will benefit because of our commitment to the community and our central location.”

Soggy spring field conditions and a crumbling track surface have frequently prevented students from safely using the facility in recent years. Donors and those involved in the design and reconstruction process joined Mike Elliott in happily kicking off the latest high school renovation. In the past few years, classrooms in the old wing have been redone, hallways and bathrooms have been repainted and reappointed, lighting and drinking fountains have been updated. In addition, the Commons received a facelift, music classrooms were rebuilt as the Walker Music Center and the Wilke Gym floor, bleachers and walls were redone.
The central artificial turf area’s full length will have competition fields for football, soccer, lacrosse and softball while the width can be divided into three 50-yard practice fields, allowing different teams or sports to practice at once. One of the biggest beneficiaries will be the sports of baseball and softball. Spring field conditions often prevent practicing outdoors and the artificial turf and appropriate drainage will ensure more outdoor practice time.

The track area will allow high school, college and area youth athletes to benefit from the engineered running surface. In the past, Edgewood provided its track and field facility for 8-10 area parochial schools to practice and hold an annual meet, the only early track and field development for many grade school students. Due to the deterioration of the track, this event has not been held in recent years. The improved running surface would also allow the school to once again partner with groups like the Madison Westside Track Club. The facility could also help older people interested in elevating their health and fitness by providing a measurable, safe, walking surface for older people to use.

According to Edgewood High School athletic director Chris Zwettler, “This new facility is something that has been in the works for a long time, it is a dream come true for us. This field is the continuation of our school trying to provide our student-athletes and coaches with the best facilities possible for practice and competition. I’m excited by how many student-athletes will benefit from this great venue.” 

Read more in article by Dennis Semrau at madison.com

Monday, June 15, 2015

Register now for the Patrick O’Gara ’81 Memorial Golf Outing

Reserve your spot today and join family and friends of Pat O’Gara on August 1 at The Oaks Golf Course in Cottage Grove, Wisconsin, for the 2nd Annual Patrick O’Gara Memorial Golf Open. Proceeds from the tournament will be donated to the Patrick O’Gara Scholarship Fund at Edgewood High School.

The Oaks provides GPS Monitors on all of their 2012 Club Care Precedent Golf Carts. These provide a picture of each hole, yardage to the pin and other various hazards. The GPS Monitor will display a “LIVE LEADERBOARD” that will enable all players to see where their team’s score stands in relation to the other players.

Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. with a Shotgun Start Tee-Off at 1:00 p.m. Six special events will be held on the 18-hole course, with the friendly tournament followed by food, beverages and prizes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

$100 (nonrefundable) includes the round of golf and cart. Outright donations to the scholarship fund are also greatly appreciated. Make checks payable to: Kyle Kennedy, 5682 Dartmoor Drive, Fitchburg WI 53711. (Please write 2nd Annual Patrick O’Gara Golf Open in the Memo Line). Email kkennedy@tmacmail.com if you have questions.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Check out this new app by Devin Turner ’09

Devin Turner (left) with fellow Marquette alumnus, Charlie Beckwith
Devin Turner was featured in a Milwaukee Business Journal article for his business mobile app, FocalCast, that lets users present PowerPoints and interactive whiteboards from their tablet or smartphone directly onto a television or other display device.

Devin and his business partner had their idea accepted this spring by Capital Innovators, a St. Louis-based tech accelerator that gives out $50,000 to startup companies in return for an equity stake.

In an interview at myPreso, FocalCast was explained: “We have all experienced painful presentations and connection issues are still a problem for students, teachers and salesforces everywhere. FocalCast was created based on the technology that is now available in Chromecast, Miracast and Apple TV as a solution to make presentations mobile, wireless and interactive. … With FocalCast and wireless adapters you can turn an entire school or office into a cordless interactive workspace for the cost of a single SMART Board.”

Visit focalcastapp.com for more information or watch the demo video on YouTube.

Thursday, June 4, 2015