Get to Know: Bob Warpinski

Hello, my name is Bob Warpinski. People who know me well don’t know that my first ballroom dance lessons were in college while at UW-Madison.  I don’t recall if I took the class to learn how to dance or to meet girls, but rest assured, I wasn’t successful at either.  It took another ten years to find the future Mrs. Warpinski, and another 20+ years before someone told me I had any rhythm. That comment came from my “Dancing with the Stars” Instructor, and I think she was paid to tell me that!  Today, my favorite dance partner is my wife, Nancy.  Now…Nancy has rhythm.  I am hopeful that after all the preparation for the final competition, Nancy will finally let me lead after all these years.

I count myself lucky and really proud to be a Green Bay native.  I think our quality of life is fantastic and I can’t imagine living anywhere else.  Nancy and I live on the far west side of Green Bay with our daughter, Dana, the centerpiece of our lives. When I am not busy practicing a waltz or a tango, I work as an IBM sales executive representing IBM in various community, government and philanthropic endeavors. I also serve Junior Achievement of Brown County as a long-time volunteer and current Chairman of the Board of Directors, and volunteer with Encompass Child Care for the Big Event for Little Kids. Cross-country skiing, golfing, playing tennis and fishing are just a few of my hobbies. Perhaps now you can see why I love living in Wisconsin so much.

It’s a great honor to be a participant in the 2012 American Red Cross Dancing with the Stars event.  The Red Cross is an amazing organization that quietly performs a tremendous amount of service to our community. I recently made my first blood donation to the Red Cross and look forward to becoming a gallon donor some day.  Every vote for this competition will help the Red Cross and someone you know in ways both small and large. Best of luck to all the contestants involved in the Dancing with the Stars competition! I will leave with you some great words to live by, “When you get the choice to sit it out or dance… I hope you dance!”

Get to Know: Brad Hutjens

Hi! I am Brad Hutjens, the Chief Credit Officer of Nicolet National Bank.  I am originally from De Pere and moved back to Green Bay in 2003 after finishing college at UW-Madison.  I am also a graduate of Marquette University.  I am currently engaged and attempting to assist my beautiful fiancé, Ryanne Cunningham (soon to be Hutjens), in planning our wedding in August.  On my free time I enjoy running and working out with Ryanne, attending various sporting events, golfing (after all, I am a banker), and going out to dinner.

I would have to say that my dancing ability is very similar to my pool game.  More specifically, I feel that I am a better dancer in that 3-5 drink range, and, on either side of that range, I’m just not that good.  However, any natural skill that I do show on the dance floor may go back to my childhood.  Due to the fact that I am the youngest child in my family and the only boy, I had to sit through every dance class that my older sisters took.  To this day, I don’t understand why my mom had to be at every dance practice…?

The reason that I am participating in Dancing with the Stars is because of the worthy organization it benefits, the American Red Cross.  The organization does an amazing job of providing relief and support when it is needed most. I am proud to be a part of this event along with the other Stars that have been chosen for the 2012 Red Cross Dancing with the Stars event!

Get to Know: Kate Burgess

My name is Kate Burgess and I am the President/CEO of FulfillNet.

I grew up in Glenbeulah, WI, a very small town outside of Elkhart Lake. It was a great childhood experience — everyone knew everybody. As a young girl, I worked at the local grocery store and babysat.  Receiving my babysitting license was my first recollection of the American Red Cross.  Following Elkhart Lake High School, I went to Marquette University, graduated and worked in Milwaukee for several years. In 1994, I began working for a company in Appleton and traveled for two years in a semi truck with my husband, Tom. We landed in Green Bay in 1997, started FulfillNet, and fell in love with the community. We are blessed with three wonderful children, Emily, Maddy, Ben and our dog Roxy.

My family, Tom, Emily, Maddy and Ben, my work family, my friends, my customers, and my community, are all part of my passion for people. I believe that life is all about constant learning, having fun and moving it forward.

I first remember dancing when I was 5 years old. I took tap and ballet lessons. It didn’t last long — a season — and I remember the beautiful costume we wore for the recital.  It was red with fringe and a black top hat. I loved it!

My dream dance partner would have to be my husband Tom, who introduced me to ballroom dancing when we were in high-school at his cousin’s wedding. I really wasn’t sure what do to; he said, “Follow me.”

Our family is a military family.  From World Wars to current conflicts, our family has been involved and family members currently serve in the armed forces.  Our connection with the military as well as the HOPE that the American Red Cross represents is something I want to help with and give what I can to “move it forward.”

Get to Know: Staci Kring

I’m Staci Kring, Senior Vice President for Retail Sales for Schreiber Foods, Inc. I was born and raised in Kansas where I met my husband, Scott, while attending Kansas State University. I started my career with Schreiber Foods, Inc. in 1995 and throughout the last 16 years have made many moves and changes with the company. I have moved along with my family multiple times and have lived in Utah, Kansas, and Arkansas. I now live in Suamico with my husband Scott and our boys; Skyler (age 13), Spencer (age 10) and our 14-year-old black lab, Chance.  My family has also enjoyed being a part of the Green Bay Gamblers association by participating as a billet family where we host a player in our home for the season. In addition, I am also active on the board for the Greater Green Bay YMCA.

My first dancing memory comes from my childhood. When I was young I was ‘pigeon toed.”  It was suggested I either join a gymnastic class or a ballet class.  At the age of 5, I tried gymnastics and was frightened of the balance beam so my mother entered me in a ballet class.  I remember my first performance was of “Alice in Wonderland” and I was a red lobster.  I was very disappointed, as I really wanted to wear a tutu.  Back then most of the costumes were made by hand with felt and tulle.  Because it was my first costume at a performance, I really enjoyed it.   I didn’t have to come up with a costume that year as I got to be a lobster for Halloween.  No one knew what I was…I really wanted that tutu.

My boys purchased the Michael Jackson Wii Dance game for my birthday and so far this is the only electronic game that I have a chance at beating them.  My favorite game is “Thriller” and I am proud to have already accomplished 5 stars on that song.

Thinking about “my ideal dance partner”… When I was younger, I would have definitely chosen Mikhail Baryshnikov or Fred Astaire…I also would have selected Patrick Swayze.  Who wouldn’t after seeing Dirty Dancing! I am a Southern girl at heart and passion, so I could definitely see myself dancing a two-step with the likes of Brad Paisley, George Strait or Tim McGraw.  But, at the end of the day, my dream dancer is my husband, Scott, who has been dancing with me for over 16 years.

I am really passionate about the care of people and how they are treated during an unexpected event in their lives.  During any disaster, the American Red Cross steps in and assumes the role as the representative of the people involved, to help them through the crisis and to be their advocate.  This Dancing with the Stars for the Red Cross program helps to provide the necessary funding to purchase items needed for Americans when a crisis arises.  I am honored to be a part of it!