Why I give to the Morgridge Center

Imagine his surprise.

When Mark Meloy, CEO, First Business Bank, sat down for a community outreach breakfast at the Morgidge Center for Public Service, he was simply being the engaged business leader he has always been. He did not expect to see his niece, a UW-Madison student at the time, as one of the presenters. “It was through that first meeting and interaction with the staff that I became even more intrigued. The Morgridge Center is so aligned with my personal beliefs that it was easy to involve myself as well as my employer. First Business Bank has a long history of giving back and closely aligning with the important outreach efforts of community support organizations.”

For Meloy, service and leadership go hand-in-hand. “Skills and talents should be shared with others,” he explained, “especially with those who might improve themselves or their circumstances. I think one’s ability to serve others is an incredibly important attribute of successful leaders. That makes service important to practice in order to become better at it. There are numerous books on the subject of ‘servant leadership’ that draw the corollary between caring for one’s team and leading them. The same can be said for helping others in need. It’s an important ingredient in one’s character.”

Morgridge Center student volunteers and employees always inspire. “These young people are enthusiastic very committed. I think their participation shows and emotional connection to giving back, and, of course, their willingness to sacrifice time and talent for the greater good. Witnessing the positive outcomes of their efforts provide memories for a lifetime. It is in those efforts, too, that they realize why it is so important to help others.”

If you’re looking for inspiration, Meloy himself is a worthy example. He is actively involved in the Madison area not-for-profit community in leadership and fundraising roles. He is helping address issues of food and clothing for the needy, senior living, homelessness and also works with religious-affiliated organizations. He is especially proud of First Business Bank’s focus on giving back.

“We encourage our employees to become engaged in ways that are important for them. Every year many employees participate in fund-raising efforts and spend time with United Way’s Day of Caring. “We keep track of the hours our people provide to charitable organizations and every year we are amazed at the things people do. That is on top of the financial support our charitable foundation provides to community organizations each year.”

It’s no secret that giving back is good business. And businesses that give back attract good employees—including Morgridge Center alumni—who share this commitment. “We publish our philosophy on our website because we are seeing more and more that our efforts of giving back are very important to the young people we interview and who are considering joining our company.”

A single morning breakfast made Mark Meloy a permanent Morgridge Center for Public Service fan. “I support the Morgridge Center because it is both an educational experience for students as well as foundational in supporting the community. We are all on this Earth together and the more we teach young people to give back and to share their talents, the better we all will be.”

Mark Meloy joined First Business Bank in 2000 and is currently Chief Executive Officer. He received his undergraduate degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and is a graduate of the UW-Madison Prochnow Graduate School of Banking.


-By Merry Anderson