David J. Vetta '76
2013 P.E. MacAllister Distinguished Alumnus Award for Service to Carroll
There never seemed to be much of a question whether or not Dave Vetta would attend Carroll. Carroll had long been a part of Dave’s life even before he became a student. Both of his parents, James '52 and Carol (Cunningham) '52 Vetta, as well as his aunts Jean (Cunningham) Cullen '48, Dee (Cunningham) Hanke '49, and uncle, Alvin Hanke '50 all attended Carroll. Dave's decision to enroll continued the family legacy, as did his younger siblings, Tom '78 and Sue '80, a couple of years later. Dave was proud of continuing the family tradition by choosing to attend Carroll and he subsequently took advantage of the many opportunities on campus, both in the classroom and on the field.
Dave was an accomplished athlete playing on the football team during his four years on campus. He was the number one rusher with 254 yards gained on 86 attempts his sophomore year. In 1975, he became the school’s first 1,000-yard rusher, was all-conference, all-state, team Most Valuable Player and honorable mention All-America. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1990 for his achievements.
He received a B.S. degree in business administration from Carroll in 1976 and went on to receive a MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. He is a certified financial planner and has nearly 35 years of experience in the financial and investment services banking industry. Currently, he is the president and CEO of the First Business Bank of Milwaukee.
As an alumnus, Dave has remained connected to his alma mater. He admits he felt some responsibility early on to stay involved, but that obligation quickly turned into genuine commitment, “once you take a look at what goes on here and the caliber and energy of the students, faculty and administration; it grabs you and pulls you in.”
Dave headed the successful campaign and formation of the Class of '76 Endowed Scholarship Fund, and has been a guest speaker at undergraduate and graduate classes. He has served on the alumni council and the Business Advisory Council. He was a member of the Building Champions Campaign helping to raise support for athletics at Carroll, participates in the annual Pioneer Golf Classic, and is a member of the Varsity Club and Trailblazers. He was elected to the Carroll University Board of Trustees in 2003 and ended his term in June 2012. He currently serves on the President’s Advisory Council.
In addition to his Carroll service, Dave has also been very involved in the community with the Waukesha County Community Foundation, Waukesha Memorial Hospital Foundation, Waukesha YMCA, Waukesha and Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club, Waukesha Chamber of Commerce and the Waukesha Business Alliance. Dave and his wife Katy were also co-chairs for the United Way of Waukesha 2010 campaign. They both served on the school board of the catholic high school where their daughters attended. Currently, he is a board member of Second Chance Partners, an alternative education model that combines high school classroom learning and the application of knowledge in a work setting.
Dave believes the depth of caring and accessibility of Carroll people is amazing. He acknowledges the network of people he met through Carroll helped prepare and contribute to his success and to this day many are his closest friends including brother Tom Vetta '78 and sister-in-law Dagmar (Mueller) ‘78, and classmates, Steve Miller '76, Bob Johnson '76, , Tim Moncher '76, Dean Copoulos ’76, Dave Shaw '77, Dave Anschuetz '73, Jeff Cummisford '73, Bob Helf '75, and Jim Schneider '74.
Dave’s student experience and continued relationship with Carroll has kept Dave connected and centered. Carroll not only remains important because of the enduring friendships made, but most importantly, he also met the love of his life, Catherine “Katy” (Crooks) Vetta '78. He recalls one of his fondest memories was during his junior year walking across campus and being struck by the sight of a freshman woman—who after a bad blind date and much prodding over the years—agreed to marry him. Dave and Katy are very fortunate to have three beautiful daughters, Sara, Annie and Kelsey; and son-in- laws, Mike and Joe.