Roger founded the Madison Capital Corporation in 1982, which later changed its name to Venture Investors of Wisconsin, Inc., and served as its CEO and President, and a member of the Board of Directors. He served as a Managing Director of subsequent funds until retiring in 2008, but continued to serve in an advisory role as an Emeritus Managing Director of Venture Investors.
Roger’s pioneering contributions to the Wisconsin entrepreneurial ecosystem are immeasurable. Venture Investors of Wisconsin, Inc. was one of the first venture capital firms in the state. He co-founded the Wisconsin Venture Fair in 1984. He was an early and persistent advocate for entrepreneurship at the University of Wisconsin, where he successfully helped catalyze a first seminar on tech transfer and entrepreneurship on campus in 1987. During his leadership, our firm backed the first University of Wisconsin spin-out based on a Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation license in 1992. Much of our community’s entrepreneurial success today can trace its roots to the seeds he planted decades earlier.
In “semi-retirement,” Roger dedicated himself to investor education, serving for over a decade on the Board of the National Association of Investors Corporation. As Chair and Acting CEO, he successfully guided the organization through significant challenges. His involvement in investor education extended to the Securities and Exchange Commission as a member of its Investor Advisory Board and internationally to the World Federation of Investors, an education and advocacy organization of 40 countries where he was President and Chairman of the board.
Roger’s accomplishments were recognized with many honors over the years. He was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001, he was inducted into the Wisconsin Investor Hall of Fame in 2014, and he received the National Association of Investors Corporation’s George A. Nicholson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award in Investment Education 2021.
Roger’s joie de vivre made him one of a kind. He met life with an infectious vibrance and enthusiasm that put others at ease. His generosity of spirit, kindness, humor, and wisdom made him a special light that is missed by his family, friends and colleagues.