Get to know Sean Sanders, Grocery/Frozen/Dairy Director Festival Foods

photo courtesy of Frievalt Photography, llc

Born and raised in De Pere. 41 years old – married for 18 years to my wife Sue. Together we have 3 children – Jordan – 22 years old, Zack – 16 years old and Adam – 15 years old. I love spending time with my family and friends… big fan of all sports and having FUN at whatever I do is a must.  I am a member of The Rotary Club of Green Bay and also on the Executive Board of the Einstein Project.

Get to know a little more about Sean:

Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion? When I was about 13 I became a huge fan of RAP music. At the time Run DMC was big… rap went hand in hand with breakdancing… I remember being intrigued with the music and the buzz it was creating in the mid 80’s.  As I have gotten older I really found a passion for music… I enjoy all kinds of music but if I am going to a concert, it is going to be a ROCK concert… the louder the better! How that ties into your dancing question??? I don’t know. J

Who is your dream dance partner?  Jennifer Lopez… what else is there to say? There is “something” about her…

Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why? Donald Driver… because of the Green Bay connection and the energy and smile he displays in his everyday life. Donald has FUN no matter what he is doing. I like that.

Why support the American Red Cross with your participation? I believe it is important to give back to your community. I am blessed to work for Festival Foods… the Skogen family has always believed in enriching the lives of others. Being active in our community is an essential part of who Festival is and we are encouraged to get involved in any way we can.

Hobbies or passions:

–        My wife is my best friend… so that keeps things entertaining at home.

–        I am passionate about my kids… We encourage them to dream big and we will be their biggest fan.

–        I love being around people

–        I must have FUN no matter what I am doing…

–        I am a huge Packer Fan.

Get to know Patrick Warpinski, Owner/Veterinarian of The Animal House

We can dance, we can dance, everybody’s takin’ the chance! –

“Men Without Hats”, 1983

photo courtesy of Frievalt Photography, llc

My very first dance memory brings me back to Eddie Whipp’s Dining Hall, town of Poland, to the evening of one of many raucous Polish weddings. My mother, aunts and cousins coaxed me onto the dance floor, and it was there at the age of 8, that I was introduced to the Waltz and Polka.  It was a tilt-a-whirl of fun being tossed and twirled about by these intrepid women.

Truth be told, my dance lessons did not go much further than that, because in an effort to be cool, I soon learned to make myself scarce after the chicken dinner and hang with the other guys who stood around and looked at the floor. After a long dance hiatus, I did take a Modern/Jazz class while studying at UW-Madison, where I worked night and day to pull out a B-.

Since a dance career did not seem like a strong possibility, I decided to give veterinary medicine a turn. In 1991, I earned my DVM. That time period was a highlight, because a year earlier I also married the love of my life, Collette LaRue.  22 years later we have four children: Shawnda (19), Ross (17), Chloe (17) and Sam (13), who allow me to live vicariously through their own musical, dance and athletic pursuits.

Upon graduation of veterinary school, I honed my veterinary craft in several small farming towns before planting permanent roots back in Green Bay in 1996. In 2004, I launched The Animal House, a start-up business endeavor, which has been both incredibly challenging and satisfying. I can honestly say that I genuinely love working with people and their pets. The work engages, energizes and is different every day. There is absolutely no other job that I would rather do in this world, even dance the Cha-Cha!

After the workday is done, I find specks of time for other interests. As an avid collector of vinyl, I am an aspiring audiophile. Relaxing at home with my family and spinning some vintage blues is my ideal way to unwind from the everyday hustle.

Thank you to The American Red Cross for this unforgettable opportunity. Following in my older brother Bob’s footsteps as a 2012 DWTS contestant, and Winner of the Special Contribution Award, I have big shoes to fill and a brotherly competitive desire to somehow “do one better”.  Admittedly, it is going to be tough!  All efforts of course, are in great fun and for wonderful cause.  I am truly honored and humbled to be a part of this amazing event.

Good luck to all the contestants and let the dancing begin!

Todd Bierowski, President/Owner of Décor Lighting Sales and Assistant Coach, St. Norbert College Football Team


photo courtesy of Frievalt Photography, llc

My name is Todd Bierowski. I am the President/Owner of Decor Lighting Sales.  Decor has offered sales/marketing representation to the lighting industry for 30+ years.  We currently offer representation in nine Midwestern states.

I also serve as an Assistant Football Coach at St. Norbert College, working with Wide Receivers.  Believe it or not there was a Wide Receiver in this 41-year-old body at one time!  I am a St. Norbert alum and have coached at St. Norbert for 12 years.  I am very proud to be a member of the St. Norbert community.  I have had a great experience at SNC; in particular mentoring the student-athletes both on & off the field.

My association with SNC has shaped me in many positive ways but none more important than pointing me in the direction of my beautiful & loving wife of 13 years; Blake!  We are blessed with two beautiful and loving girls; Avery (8) and Egan (6).  We reside in De Pere.

When not working or coaching you can typically find me on a bike.  I have a passion for cycling & exercise.  In addition to cycling, I enjoy running, water-skiing, boating, traveling, reading and spending time at cottage.

I currently serve on the American Red Cross Board of Director for Northeast Wisconsin.  Under the most adverse conditions, the Red Cross is ALWAYS there.  The diversity of services and the ability to receive those services when it is needed most is what has attracted me to the Red Cross.  Supporting this mission is what has inspired me to participate in Dancing with Our Stars.

My first dance recollection is 7th grade Phys. Ed class & the unforgettable feeling of butterflies we all had in having to dance with a “girl” for the first time.

My favorite dancer is easy: #80!!  Does anyone have any greater passion for life, charisma or a better smile than Donald Driver?  What an inspiration!!

My dream dance partner is both of my daughters.  I accepted this challenge with them in the back of my mind; I hope that this experience gives me the foundation to not embarrass them on their wedding day!

Dance Questions:

1.     Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion?

Square dancing in middle school physical education class.

2.     Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why? 

Donald Driver because of his passion and charisma.

3.     Why support the American Red Cross with your participation?

I believe it’s a great organization that is diverse in the groups it serves. The American Red Cross is always there in times of need.

Hobbies or passions:

Coaching, cycling, running, boating, traveling and attending family  events.

Check out the start of Todd’s Cha Cha and Viennese Waltz: 

Get to know Star Dancer 2013 – Rick Bondowski

9131RickI’m Rick Bondowski, Regional Retail Director at Associated Bank, I have been with Associated Bank for nearly 6 years. I serve on the board of Directors for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Wisconsin and the Menominee Tribal College.

I am also a dad, husband, son, brother, uncle. I am on a mission to not embarrass myself and the aforementioned parties with my participation in Dancing with The Stars competition. My wife Claudine and I are blessed to have a wonderful son Jack, who was really excited for this competition; more so to see Donald and Betina Driver dance, rather than his Dad. I enjoy hunting, golfing, coaching Jack’s sports teams, as well as cheer on the Packers, Brewers, Bucks and my alma mater Marquette University.

My early memories of dancing come from family weddings.  When I was teenager, I believed I could really cut a rug.  I realize now that the sprinkler, lawn mower and driving the bus moves I had then will probably not cut it in this competition. I also spent a little time in show choir  in junior high and still take a lot of grief for the spirit finger moves I was required to do.

My personal favorite Dancing With The Stars Celebrity is Katherine Jenkins from the season Donald  Driver won. How could you not love someone who could say “Naughty Bits” on National TV?  She was also elegant, classy and quite a good dancer.

I am proud to support a great organization like the  American Red Cross and all the humanitarian efforts they lead. The risk of embarrassing myself is a small price to pay to help raise money to support those in need, when they need it most. With that, I am somewhat of a quiet guy. This experience is one of those ‘break out of the shell events’ that everyone should try. Pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone can be a good thing from time to time, and I am surely doing that here! When given the chance to sit it out or dance – I hope we all choose to dance.

Get to know Emily Matesic, Reporter, WBAY-TV

photo courtesy of Frievalt Photography, llc

I’ve been a performer my entire life and now I not only play a news reporter on TV, but I get to live out a fantasy and be a dancer!!!Born on New York’s Long Island I had dreams of performing on Broadway.  Those dreams quickly faded after I took my first ballet class and got yelled at ALL THE TIME for talking more than dancing.  Oh and I can’t sing either.So, after my failed attempt at NYC stardom (or my dad’s job transfer), my family moved to the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA and that’s what I call home.  A regular tomboy, I grew up playing soccer and basketball and rooting for the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates.  The Buccos are hard to root for today after 20+ losing seasons, but the Steelers and the Pens still have my heart.

I took my love of sports and turned it into a college scholarship playing soccer at Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina.  I double majored in Communications with a Broadcast emphasis and Journalism.  Following my four years at Elon, I hit the road once again for NYC, after I landed a job at MSNBC.  I worked behind the scenes for a year before getting my BIG BREAK!!  I was hired as a reporter for WENY (often referred to as weenie) in Elmira, NY.  After two and a half years in the Southern Tier I moved three hours south to Altoona, PA and worked for the CBS affiliate there before landing in Green Bay in 2005.

Since moving to Green Bay seven years ago, I’ve jumped out of a perfectly good airplane because someone asked me to be a “celebrity” skydiver.  I’ve also taken the Polar Bear Plunge into Lake Michigan in Jacksonport on January 1st for a story and I’ve fallen in love with a Yooper!

It’s been quite a ride here in Northeast Wisconsin and none of it would have been possible without the love and support of my family and friends.  I especially want to thank my parents for giving me my dance floor skills and my boyfriend Adam (Rock) Rockman for just being on my team.


Check out Emily and her dance partner Jay doing an East Coast Swing:

Learn a bit more about Emily —–

Describe your first dancing recollection. About how old were you and what was the occasion?   I remember dancing in the kitchen as a kid at a very young age.  My parents grew up in the 50’s/60’s so Motown was often playing in our house.  My dad was always spinning my mom around the kitchen doing a Jitterbug or a Cha-Cha.  I loved when my dad would grab my hand for my turn to take a spin!  Thirty-five years later, my parents continue to dance and I still love dancing with my dad! 

Who is your dream dance partner? As a girl who grew up watching Dirty Dancing, I think the late Patrick Swayze would be my dream dance partner.   Nobody puts Baby/me in a corner!

But if I had to choose someone who was still living it would definitely be Maksim Chmerkovskiy.  I just love how he pushes his partners and the limits on DWTS!!  And let’s be honest, he’s just HOT!!!

Who is your favorite dancer of all time on ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” and why?  You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can’t take Pittsburgh out of the girl which is why Hines Ward is definitely my favorite “celebrity” dancer of all time on DWTS.   I remember watching Hines hoist the Mirror Ball trophy while answering phones for the Red Cross Heartbreak to Hope telethon at WBAY-TV last year.

Why support the American Red Cross with your participation? As a news reporter I often see people at their worst, whether they’ve lost their home to a fire or a loved one to war.  These are always heartbreaking stories, but at times they’re also uplifting because I get to see firsthand what the American Red Cross does to help others. Everything from giving a child a blanket or a stuffed animal to help comfort them following a tragedy to feeding the first responders who arrive at a scene, the Red Cross really does help to change lives. Plus, this one time, a volunteer gave me and all the other reporters and photographers a really good breakfast sandwich while we were covering an event!

Hobbies or passions: In no particular order of importance…

– Steelers Football, don’t hate me, I’m not a Green Bay native

– Soccer, I played in college and I still play today

– Cooking, I love to try new recipes and would love to cook with any of the chefs on The Food Network

– My nephews, 4-year old twins Matty and Tommy and their baby brother who is expected to make his debut in January of 2013.

– “I LOVE to dance!”  — quoting Sarah Jessica Parker from my favorite 80’s movie “Girls Just Want to have Fun”