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Chad Olson named WITC-Rice Lake's 2013 Distinguished Alumni

Chad Olson named WITC-Rice Lake's 2013 Distinguished Alumni.

(5/31/13): Annually since 1992, Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College Foundation has sponsored Distinguished Alumni Awards to outstanding diploma and degree graduates at each of its four campuses. Alumni selected for the award have distinguished themselves professionally in their careers and have demonstrated extensive service to the college and their community.

WITC nursing instructor Jeanette Olsen (WITC-Rice Lake Distinguished Alum, 2012) said that when she first heard of the award, she instantly thought of her brother-in-law, Chad Olson, of Cumberland. She nominated him and he was chosen by the selection committee to receive the 2013 Distinguished Alum Award. He was presented a plaque in recognition of the award at a recent WITC all-staff meeting. 

Chad Olson graduated from WITC-Rice Lake in 1993, with what was then an agri-business degree and went to work as the feed mill manager for Cenex in Cumberland. He was soon tapped to become an agricultural lender at what was then First Star Bank.

First Star became US Bank and Olson was promoted to branch manager and then to his current position of district manager, overseeing retail operations and 80 employees for bank branches throughout northwest Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota. He is a six-time recipient of US Bank’s prestigious Pinnacle Award and three of those years also received the Top Tier Award.

“Chad’s employees describe him as the type of boss that every employee wishes they had,” says Olsen. “Straight forward, always encourages an open door policy and goes to bat for all his employees.”

Olson often talks to high school students about what helped him get where he is today. As one of his mentors once told him “you can’t teach people skills,” he says, emphasizing the soft skills that will get them ahead in any career they choose.

Olson also gives freely of his time to community service. He's been a volunteer firefighter for the Cumberland Fire Department for 20 years, as well as coaching youth wrestling, softball and baseball. He is also member of the Cumberland Education Foundation Board, vice president of the Wrestling Association, serves on several community and church-related committees, and organized many community events.