When the Waunakee Rotary Club sang “On Wisconsin” before a recent meeting, one of the newer members joked that chose not to sing along.
Tyler Knowles is Hawkeye fan. The Ottumwa, Iowa, native gave his classification talk at the Feb. 2 Waunakee Rotary Club meeting.
Knowles, like a few other club members, is a financial adviser. He is a University of Iowa alumnus and met his wife, Brooke, there. After graduation, the two moved to Colorado and Tyler went to work for JP Morgan Chase. The couple had their first son, Carter, there.
Tyler knew they would eventually move back to the Midwest, and when their second son, Reed, was on the way, their 1920s home in Denver seemed too small.
The Knowles wanted to get to a smaller city with good schools, and so he transferred to Madison.
“Waunakee had a nice, big beautiful home. We jumped on a house in Southbridge,” Tyler said.  
During the snowy winter of 2012-13, Tyler dropped Brooke and Carson off then traveled back to Denver to finish up with a few accounts before joining them. Two years ago, their third son, Cashin, was born.
Tyler eventually made the career move to Northwestern Mutual because he wanted to get back to helping clients manage their financial plans, he said. He also had had a personal relationship with the company.
Now he works with young professionals on their business agreements and their financial planning.
Northwestern Mutual is building a new facility in Milwaukee, a 33-story building with 1.1 million square feet.
Tyler acknowledged Brooke’s contribution to his success, saying, “Behind every man is a great woman. She keeps us all afloat at home.”
The club also heard from longtime member Kathy Cefalu, who gave a short re-classification talk.
Kathy grew up in Monona and worked for TDS. When the company needed a general manager for its Waunakee office about 20 years ago, she filled that role, and she and her husband, Mark, moved to Waunakee.
Today she is the vice-president of human resources for TDS and works out of the Madison office.
She and Mark like to travel, and in the past year have been to Dominican Republic, Las Vegas, Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Seattle and Napa Valley, Las Vegas and the Maui Invitational Badger Bowl. She and Mark have been married almost 28 years.
They have two grown children. Cole is an engineer in Wake Island, an Airforce Base in the Pacific, and Kelly is a senior at UW-Stevens Point. Both played sports and were named All-Americans.
The club also heard committee reports:
•Great speakers are planned for the coming weeks – see the list and bring a friend!
•Linda Olson said plans are being made to travel to Haiti for a project. Someone is needed to attend a grant management seminar on March 23.
•High school sophomores are needed to attend RYLA in May. Scott Biba will be a counselor again. Four scholarships will again be awarded to graduating seniors.
•The club saw $18,000 in revenue from Rotary Lights. Next up for fundraising is the Super Raffle. A $50 ticket includes dinner at Rex’s with a chance to win prizes. Grand prize is $3,000.
•A new Derby fundraiser is being planned.
Other News:
•The board donated $500 both to Post Prom and Project Graduation.
•Mark Venditto is relocating and has resigned.
•Kathy Cefalu received a Paul Harris award. Congratulations, Kathy.
Guests: John Alanis, guest of Kim Langfeld; Jamie Griffin, guest of Tyler Knowles; Dr. Blanchard, guest of Mark McFarland; Mark Cefalu, guest of Kathy Cefalu.
Greeters: Feb. 2, Eric Montie and Ed Niebuhr; Feb. 9, George Ohlendorf and Joe Olson; Feb. 16, Linda Olson and Danny Paul; Feb. 23, Ken Pesik and Jim Pingel.