Dr. Michael Bender joins Foundation Board

The Fort Atkinson Community Foundation is pleased to announce that Dr. Michael Bender has been appointed to serve a five-year term on the organization’s Board of Directors.  He was nominated by the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce and will be replacing Dean Brown who has completed his term and who will spend 2017 serving the board as past chairman.

“We are thrilled to have Mike join the Foundation board” declared Foundation Chairman Chris Rogers.  “His extensive involvement with our community, both through his work and his volunteer experience, will make him an extremely valuable board member.”

Bender earned his bachelor’s degree in economics from Marquette University before heading to dental school at the University of Minnesota.  He came to Fort Atkinson in 1987 to join the dental practice of Dr. Thomas Gobel, which eventually became today’s Bender, Kind & Stafford Dental.

Ever since arriving in Fort Atkinson 30 years ago, Bender has immersed himself in the community, volunteering his time and talents to the Fort Atkinson Optimist Club, Fort Atkinson Rotary Club, Jaycees, Cub Scouts, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, and the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce where he has filled many roles.

In addition to his personal commitment to the community, he also shaped his dental business into a community-minded practice, sponsoring a boy’s Little League and girl’s softball team every year for the local Parks and Recreation department, donating dental services to help those in need, and sending all his employees through the Chamber’s Project Lead program to enhance their connection to our community.  Not surprisingly, in 2015, Bender was recognized by the Chamber with its Small Business Person of the Year award.

But the best thing he’s ever done, according to Bender, was to marry his wife, Donna, whom he met at Marquette University.  They have been blessed with three children, all of whom are products of the School District of Fort Atkinson.

“The founders who set up the Fort Foundation,” remarked Bender, “had such great foresight, we as citizens are so grateful that they were able to carry out their vision.  The Fort Foundation is one of many assets that really improve the quality of life in Fort Atkinson.   I am honored to serve on the board and serve our community which has been so great to my family and me. “

The Community Foundation’s Board of Directors consists of five members, each serving a term of five years. These volunteers are chosen for their community involvement and knowledge of the educational, cultural, civic, public, and charitable needs of the Fort Atkinson area.

Appointments to the Board are made, in turn, by the School District of Fort Atkinson, PremierBank as trustee, the Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce, the Fort Atkinson Historical Society, and the Fort Atkinson City Council.  However, directors represent the community in general and do not represent or act as advocates of their respective appointing bodies.

Currently serving on the Community Foundation’s Board of Directors with Bender are chairman Christopher Rogers, vice-chairman Mary Behling, and directors Kristin Wallace and Scott Housley.  Joining the five voting members are past-chairman Dean Brown and secretary and legal counsel James Vance.  The Board of Directors is supported by the foundation’s program administrator, Sue Hartwick.

More information about the Fort Atkinson Community Foundation is available at www.fortfoundation.org or by contacting Hartwick at (920) 563-3210 (office), (920) 222-1191 (mobile) or via email at facf@fortfoundation.org.