Leading his generation in entrepreneurial and professional achievement is University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumnus Luke Whitburn ’98, one of five recipients of the Alumni Association’s 2013 Outstanding Young Alumni Award.
“I can think of no better reflection on my alma mater … than to designate Luke Whitburn as an outstanding young alumni,” said Scott Neitzel, senior vice president of Madison Gas and Electric Company.
Whitburn and nine other award winners will be honored at a banquet during Homecoming Weekend, October 11-12. They will attend a reception, dinner and awards program in Reeve Memorial Ballroom on Friday, and will have the opportunity to watch the Homecoming football game from the press box at J. J. Keller Field at the Oshkosh Sports Complex on Saturday. Award winners will be recognized during halftime by Chancellor Richard H. Wells.
While receiving his bachelor’s degree in sociology at UWO, Whitburn had the opportunity to work as a teaching assistant for the sociology department; an experience Whitburn believes helped pave the way to his professional success.
“Through this experience, I gained many of the attributes that have served as the foundation for my professional persona, including leadership, public speaking, mentoring and time management,” Whitburn said.
Since graduating, Whitburn has built a strong career as a certified staffing professional. He has worked for two international firms, as well as one Wisconsin-based firm.
Whitburn has worked his way to the top of his industry by becoming involved in the Madison Area Society of Human Resource Management, as well as the American Staffing Association.
He has continued his education outside of UWO by participating in the Wisconsin Physicians Services Insurance Corporation Leadership Beyond Management Program, the American Staffing Association Certified Staffing Professional and ManpowerGroup Corporate Training.
These training and educational opportunities have led Whitburn to receive productivity awards, including the Ranstad Leader of Growth Award in 2001 and various performance awards while working at ManpowerGroup as a branch manager from 2003 to 2007.
“His professional accomplishments speak for themselves: various sales awards at Manpower Inc. and being chosen for special leadership training while at Adtec,” Neitzel said.
Robert E. Gregg, an attorney at Boardman and Clark LLP, commends Whitburn’s success inside and out of the workplace and feels that the awards he has received show the energy and dedication he puts toward every aspect of his life.
“Luke has significant awards from every organization in which he has been involved,” Gregg said.
His many accomplishments include being named In Business Magazine’s 40 under 40 award, based on his outstanding community involvement, leadership in the workplace and industry contributions.
Whitburn’s hard work doesn’t stop in the workplace. He also is very involved in his community. Whether it’s volunteering for the Madison Coalition of Aging, the Aldo Leopold Center, or building boardwalks for the Ice Age Trail Alliance, Whitburn’s dedication to bettering the community has not gone unnoticed.
“Luke brings an energy and focus to all his endeavors. Whether it is volunteering for the Aging Coalition, doing maintenance on the Ice Age Trail, or helping young people appreciate working with the Boy Scouts, Luke has a passion for the causes he participates in,” Neitzel said.
Whitburn’s community involvement inspired him to create a program for the Boy Scouts to earn badges through participation in conservation activities on his 80-acre property and led him to become one of Dane County’s top five volunteers while serving the Westside Coalition on Aging in Madison for 20 years.
David Boerke, principal of The Boerke Company Inc, recounted Whitburn’s success.
“Luke is a proven leader with a heartfelt desire to serve his clients and give back to his community,” Boerke said. “These are qualities that cannot help but propel him to even greater successes in the future.”
The Alumni Awards Dinner will be held beginning at 5 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 11 in Reeve Memorial Union. Reserve your spot at the event by calling (920) 424-3349 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets are $30 per person.