Connecting Dreams to Reality: Miranda Bonde
For a woman who isn’t afraid to step out of her comfort zone, Miranda Bonde knows a thing or two about self-care. Her mornings begin before sunrise. By 5:30 a.m. in her quiet De Pere neighborhood, she and her wife Megan are awake. Their two rescue dogs from Bay Area Humane Society – Bailey, the mild-mannered, soft one, and Xena, who is goofy and energetic – whine to hurry them out the door. The dogs, Miranda said, remind her to love with all her heart and be a little silly. Then the Bonde family walks. They pass old trees. Homes with character. Those charms are exactly why they chose the area. The steady, gentle mindset found in her morning routine sets the tone for her busy workday as a financial advisor and humanitarian in two traditionally male-dominated arenas.
BREAKING GLASS CEILINGS
A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Bonde now works as an LPL Financial Advisor at Laura Mossakowski, LLC in Bellevue. She loves to include everyone in the financial planning process, an area some would call a “man’s business.” Retirement and planning for large purchases such as a home are part of her expertise.
“We work a lot with women and LGBT families,” Bonde said, an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Her passion to connect people’s reams to reality extends to her free time, too. This year, Bonde will serve as president of Rotary Club of Green Bay, the local arm of Rotary International, which has more than 32,000 clubs worldwide.
How does she define Rotary?
“In essence we are humanitarians,” Bonde said. “We believe it is our duty to make a positive impact.” The club’s history goes back to the year 1905 when founder Paul P. Harris, an attorney in Chicago, wanted to create a professional group with the same friendly spirit he felt in the small towns of his youth. He and three friends called the new club “Rotary” after the practice of rotating meeting locations.
Diversity and inclusivity will drive her work as Rotary president.
“It’s important to me to listen to different perspectives,” she said of diversity. “I welcome ideas from young and old, and all ethnicities and backgrounds.”
She credits former diverse and women leaders for changing Rotary’s dynamic, which historically is not famed for its inclusivity.
“Rotary is global. Anyone can belong. It can be for anyone.”
A CITY IN NEED
Here at home, there is much work to be done. “The beautiful community of Green Bay needs to be aware of issues such as mental wellness, drug abuse, sex trafficking, food scarcity and homelessness,” Bonde said. “Sadly, these things exist in our community, and it is up to us as community members to get involved.”
This is a belief she practices. In addition to serving as Rotary president, Bonde is involved on the Rotary committee level, which she said is where the magic happens.
“My heart belongs most to the community service committee,” she said. “We need to be consistently out there.” One example of a major project was helping to launch the Oral Health Partnership, or Healthy Teeth Healthy Kids program. Club funds, which are built mainly through planned giving by members, raised more than $300,000 dollars for the program. Members also provided guidance as board members.
“[The project] has had a phenomenal impact in our community,” she said.
Another work of her heart is the RYLA (Rotary Youth Leadership Award) program that allowshigh school students to spend a weekend
at a leadership camp. Teachersand counselors nominate students who haven’t broken out of their shells. The programs are led by former attendees who talk about leadership, bullying, discrimination and breaking stereotypes.
“The whole experience is meant to take the kids out of their comfort zone.” Upon arrival at camp, the teens don’t know anyone. They have to interact by letting their guards down.
“I think a program like this would have changed my life,” Bonde said. She credits two role models who have made a difference in her life.
First, her mother Jean Lulloff of Kiel, Bonde’s hometown, who inspired Bonde by starting a wedding DJ business, along with other businesses
throughout the years.
“She demonstrated such a great ability to connect with people and put them at ease,” Bonde said of her mother.
The second role model is her peer Laura Mossakowski.
“Laura reminds me every day to challenge myself,” Bonde said. “She provides guidance in areas I need encouragement and development.”
HOPE FOR THE FUTURE
Gentle, genuine, steady and honest. These qualities seem to come naturally to Bonde. Through her work as a financial advisor and humanitarian, she said she hopes to make the world a better place for everyone. The secret?
“I believe that if we all include each other, our world will be better,” she said. “We can learn so much from our neighbors, as well as set a good example for our youth.”
Her future focus is to grow her client base while remaining deeply involved in the community. “I am lucky that I started so young,” she said of service. “I have so much time to give back. The best is yet to come.” For more information on Rotary, visit greenbayrotary.com. w