In the past few weeks, we have heard announcements from two of our community’s most respected, dedicated, passionate, and influential chamber members.

Mike Sander, President, and CEO of the Monroe Clinic and Hospital announced he will be stepping into a new role in his life and will be allowing his successor to take over the leadership role in Monroe.

During his time at Monroe Clinic, Sanders developed a team and culture to successfully meet the ever-evolving health care landscape. Under his leadership, Monroe Clinic has earned numerous awards, accolades and recognitions including Top 100 Hospital, Medicare 5 Star and Leapfrog “A” patient safety rating, among others.

With a belief that great health care is dependent on the quality of the professionals delivering the service, Sanders was also committed to excellence in physical facilities. In his tenure, Monroe Clinic opened a new hospital (2012), Hospice Home (2017) and new clinic building (2019). The Monroe Clinic FastCare walk-in clinic and Monroe Clinic Urgent Care clinic in Freeport also launched during his time at Monroe Clinic.

Leading with vision, Sanders was one of the first to recognize the importance of electronic health records and helped Monroe Clinic to establish a relationship with EPIC early on and early in EPIC’s existence.

A believer in continuous improvement, Sanders convinced the board and leadership to invest in lean process education and skill development. The result is Monroe Clinic’s culture of pursuit of excellence at all levels while seeking to provide the very best care and experience for their patients and customers.

The search for a new Monroe Clinic president will begin immediately. In order to ensure a smooth transition, Sanders will remain in his current role until his successor is named.

 John Bauman President and CEO of Colony Brands has also announced his plan to transition leadership of his company.  Baumann joined the then Swiss Colony in 1985 full-time as Manager of New Customer Development.  In 1986 at age 27, Baumann was named President, Midnight Velvet catalog. Two years later he was promoted to Vice President, Marketing with a later promotion to Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning in 1994.  In 1996, Baumann, age 37, was promoted to President and CEO of Colony Brands.

During Baumann’s tenure, Colony Brands has blossomed from a traditional consumer catalog company to a diversified business including 10 e-commerce catalog brands, a consulting company (Integrated Marketing Solutions) and an air charter company (SC Aviation).  Now a billion-dollar business with more than three million active customers, Colony Brands is considered one of the largest privately held direct-to-customer retail companies in the United States.  Headquartered in Monroe, Wisconsin, 95-year-old Colony Brands has 1,250 full-time employees and 6,000 temporary employees in the states of Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri and Nevada; and Shanghai, China.

“Bob Erb brings a tremendous amount of industry knowledge to our executive team,” Baumann said.  “He’s very driven.  He understands why we’ve been successful and appreciates the daunting challenges ahead.  I’m excited for Bob and Colony Brands.”

Baumann will remain active in the oversight of Colony Brands as a member if it’s executive steering committee.  Beginning in 2020, he will be working closely with the company’s charitable arm, the Colony Brands Foundation.

Both men have led not only their respective industries but seem to have broadened the passion to make Monroe an incredible place to be. The longevity of such dedicate individuals is amazing and our community has been the beneficiary of their vision and commitment. With respect to their involvement in the Chamber of Commerce, I am a loss for words to adequately articulate the impact they, directly and indirectly, have on our business community.  Fortunately, the legacy of these men will not conclude when they no longer check in to the office on a daily basis.  Leadership and character will be seen in those who have been able to work for and with these individuals.  It will be exciting to see how they will focus their talents and energy in the future.

Thank you Mike Sanders and John Bauman!

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