In Business magazine names professional coaching graduate Anne Norman to ‘40 Under 40’ list

Graphic professional coaching attributes UW-Madison certificate

What do the new UW Credit Union logo, the American Family Insurance DreamBank, and Culver’s frozen custard all have in common? 

In two words: Anne Norman. 

In her 15-year career, Norman has become a rising star in marketing for some of Wisconsin’s most iconic brands. As brand manager for Culver’s, she helped grow the company’s desserts category, which included a 42% rise in Concrete Mixer sales. As brand strategist for American Family Insurance, she co-created DreamBank, the industry’s first flagship concept store dedicated to helping individuals realize their dreams. And most recently, as senior vice president and chief marketing officer for UW Credit Union, she’s led the organization’s new brand identity rollout—its first such refresh in more than 20 years.

It’s no wonder, then, that In Business magazine included Norman in its  2019 class of “40 Under 40.” 

Now in its 19th year, “40 Under 40” honors outstanding young professional leaders in the greater Madison area. A graduate of the University of WisconsinMadison MBA program, Norman was also recently recognized by the Wisconsin School of Business as an “8 to Watch Under 40.”

For all of Norman’s accomplishments, one might assume this C-suite executive is a natural-born leader. But leadership is something Norman has had to work at, often through uncomfortable self-reflection and professional feedback. She credits the UWMadison Certified Professional Coach program (UWCPC) with shaping her leadership style.

“The UWCPC was and is the single greatest contributing factor to my development into an effective manager and inspiring leader,” says Norman, a 2014 program graduate

Transformation to leader

Anne Norman professional coach graduate UW-Madison
Norman says professional coaching skills have helped her to become a more self-reflective, attentive leader.

UWCPC participants go through a nine-month series of face-to-face classes and teleconferences that lead to professional credentialing. As the Midwest’s only university-based coach-training program accredited by the International Coach Federation, UWCPC offers top-quality instruction that prepares learners to build a coaching business or expand the role of coaching within an existing organization. The combination of online and in-person learning accommodates busy schedules and multiple learning styles, making UWCPC a flexible choice for working professionals.

Norman’s self-described “coaching style of leadership” comes from what she learned in the program about accepting others—and herself. 

“I gained so much self-awareness from this program, including how to recognize when I am triggered and reactionary, and also how to hold my quiet to allow another person to talk more so I can learn more,” she explains. “I learned how to accept people wherever they are and without judgment, which naturally creates a safe, welcoming environment.” 

Norman says the program enhanced her problem-solving skills, too.

“If I notice my colleague is quieter than usual, I check in. When a deadline is missed, I don’t ask why. I go a level higher and ask what else is going on,” she says. “This approach leads to greater awareness for me as a leader and for my colleagues’ ability to address obstacles and get unstuck.”

Managing for success

Norman says UWCPC taught her to hold individuals accountable as experts in their own lives, and to see each person as innately capable, creative, and competent. Today she sees her role as a leader not as problem-solver, but as a trusted partner who can offer perspective and ask questions that lead others to new awareness.

While she has no current plans to change to a full-time career in professional coaching, she appreciates knowing that she has this credential in her back pocket should she ever change her mind. For now, she’s enjoying her role at UW Credit Union, an organization she says is a great match for her and her leadership style.

“We have an amazing growth and development culture at UW Credit Union that complements my collaborative and influential approach as a leader,” Norman says. “UWCPC helped me see that by making deep connections with people and coming from a place of curiosity, you empower others. It’s amazing how much better the work is when a bunch of creative, competent people are working together in a supportive environment.”

Applications for the fall 2019 UW Certified Professional Coach Program are being accepted until June 28. To register, or for more information, see the program website or contact Chariti Gent, program director, at chariti.gent@wisc.edu.