My Best Advice: David Fantle

David Fantle
David Fantle Credit: Jake Hill

David Fantle

Chief marketing officer
United Performing Arts Fund
Milwaukee
Industry: Nonprofit
Website: upaf.org
Employees: 22

“(Don’t) miss out on any of these moments that you can never take back.”

“It’s amazing how just a few people can change the trajectory of one’s professional career. In my case it was at Wisconsin Gas, relatively late in my 13-year tenure. It was the company’s president Bronson Haase, who molded his ‘actions speak louder than words’ management techniques while playing for Al McGuire at Marquette.”

“Bronson demonstrated the importance in practicing the almost lost art of workplace balance. I worked with Bronson closely in 2000, when he co-chaired the United Way campaign with former UWM chancellor Nancy Zimpher.”

“It was a warm summer day and another United Way meeting. I was hoping to take my son to Chicago to watch my favorite (baseball) team, the Minnesota Twins, play the White Sox. When I mentioned possibly skipping the meeting for the game, Bronson told me, without hesitation, to go and not miss out on any of these moments that you can never take back.”

Age: 59

Professional experience: Fantle holds a bachelor’s in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He worked at Wisconsin Gas for 13 years, exiting as media and public relations director. Fantle later worked for VISIT Milwaukee, where he initiated the Bronze Fonz statue project. From 2011-’14, Fantle was deputy secretary for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and acted as the force behind television ads “Airplane!” and “Naked Gun.” Since 2015, Fantle has served as chief marketing officer for UPAF. During his four years there, the organization has raised nearly $50 million for the arts. Fantle also has co-written two books, “Reel to Real” (2004) and “Hollywood Heyday” (2018), and is an adjunct professor at Marquette University teaching film history, pop culture and public relations.

In the news: In June 2019, Fantle announced that he will be retiring from full-time work after 36 years and will leave UPAF on Aug. 30th. Fantle’s retirement plans include continuing to teach, talk, write and travel.

Get our email updates