Where Are They Now?
Thirty-five local icons and how they made history
(page 6 of 6)
March 1989, August 1999 (cover), March 2009
Simone started taking swings at the glass ceiling when she became the first woman to lead a Wisconsin technical school, Madison Area Technical College, in 1989. She has helped guide colleges, and has broken new ground for the women who have followed her, ever since. After fourteen years with MATC, which today is Madison College, Simone spent a year as the only woman in senior management for the Higher Colleges of Technology in the United Arab Emirates. Then she returned to the Midwest to become the first woman president of Southeastern Community College in Iowa. She retired almost seven years later. Now Simone is back in Madison, serving as president emeritus of Madison College.
July 1996, November 1994, July 1998
Odessa Piper says she went $70,000 in debt for L’Etoile, the Capitol Square restaurant she launched in 1976 when she was only twenty-three years old. Lucky for us and the world of culinary ecstasy, she was willing to risk sticking with her venture. Her use of locally sourced ingredients was pioneering at the time; now it’s a hallmark of great restaurants. Today Piper lives with her husband in Boston, and chef Tory Miller and his sister Traci, who bought the restaurant from Piper in 2005, continue to expand on Piper’s legacy and delight Madison diners.
November 1994, May 2001 (cover)
How do you become a world-class opera star while living in the dairy state? Just ask Kitt Reuter-Foss, who trained at UW–Madison and raised a family in Verona, all while flying all over to perform with the Metropolitan Opera, the New Japan Philharmonic and several companies nationwide. Locally, she has performed with Children’s Theater of Madison and the Florentine Opera in Milwaukee. Faithful to Madison, Reuter-Foss continues to make a home here and offer private voice lessons, which she’s done for thirty years. Fun sidenote: Husband Scott is the longtime musical director at First United Methodist Church, where Reuter-Foss and her two daughters sing in the choir.
Marc McDowell is an unassuming type of professional athlete, with a friendly, next-door-neighbor demeanor. Don’t be fooled. In the world of professional bowling, McDowell is competitive royalty: five Professional Bowling Association tournament titles, leading the PBA in earnings and being named Bowler of the Year in 1992, and being inducted into the Madison Bowling Hall of Fame in 2008 and the Wisconsin State Bowling Hall of Fame this January. Sure, he retired from pro bowling in 1995 at age thirty-three and is now a retirement plan advisor here in town with Baker Tilly. Still, he plays in a league at Village Lanes in Monona. Local bowlers, you’ve been warned.
March 2004 (cover)
Back in 2004, we chose a staged photo of UW scientist Michael Sussman, clad in a leather jacket and with his arms folded across his chest like a tough guy, to illustrate our cover story on medical genetic research at UW–Madison. Why? Because the human genome had been sequenced and Sussman’s field was coming on like gangbusters. Then, too, Sussman had co-founded the genetic testing company NimbleGen in 1999 and was a leading researcher and professor and the director of the UW Biotechnology Center. NimbleGen sold to pharma-giant Roche for $272 million in 2007. And Sussman remains at the UW. Why? Because, he says, “Nowhere else in this country is science at a university so much fun or appreciated.”
June 2000, June 2004
When then-mayor Dave Cieslewicz created the city of Madison Department of Civil Rights in 2005, Lucia Nuñez was an obvious choice as department head. She had experienced and proven leadership skills, having already served as director of Centro Hispano. She had also served as the deputy secretary of the state Department of Workforce Development for then-governor Jim Doyle in 2003 and followed that by taking on the leadership post at the Equal Rights Division. Nuñez, a survivor of a 2008 pancreatic cancer diagnosis, continues to head up the city’s Department of Civil Rights.
Editorial interns Shelby Lewis and Rory Linnane contributed to this story.