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Marquette University Alumni Association

Marge W. Combe

Marge W. Combe

Leadership Excellence Award

College of Professional Studies

Leadership Excellence Award

Marge W. Combe

Retirement for Marge Combe doesn't mean sleeping late. It means a second career.

After retiring in 2008 from Northwestern Mutual, she moved into the world of consulting and business coaching. She works for Milwaukee's Vernal Management Consultants, helping others become the best leaders they can be and providing direction about how to enhance their businesses, communities and personal sense of achievement.

"My professional goals, since I am officially a retiree, are more about how I can apply my interests and talents to enhancing the Milwaukee community — building its leadership at all levels and enhancing its ability to bring together diverse interests to achieve goals," says Marge, a Milwaukee native.

In addition to her work with Vernal, she's a volunteer chair for Marquette's College of Professional Studies Advisory Council and has worked with numerous community organizations, including Future Milwaukee, Pearls for Teen Girls and the Skylight Theater.

One of Marge's favorite quotes is from Henry David Thoreau: "We must walk consciously only partway toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success."

Why this quote? "Planning for life and seeking experiences to add to the list seem to be the stuff that leadership books are made of, but I feel that the true leaders are the ones who find their real contributions by opening themselves to the hazy and chaotic world and choosing opportunities to make a difference," she says.

"The path may not be straight, but the exploration provides growth."

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Favorite quote: “We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal and then leap in the dark to our success." — Henry David Thoreau