Staff Profile: David Mossner

Part of Oakwood Foundation Director of Development David Mossner’s role is all about connecting donors with opportunities to make life at Oakwood Village even more enjoyable for residents.

As Dave puts it, donor gifts provide the “margin of excellence” that makes Oakwood…Oakwood.

“We have two very nice campuses, but donor gifts from people on campus and people in the community, really are important,” Dave explains. “They make an impact by funding much of what makes Oakwood great. New programs, fitness centers, computer labs, new sound systems in our chapels…donors make those things happen. They even supported the addition of rickshaw bicycles to both campuses. I’ve given rickshaw rides to people, and I can see firsthand the joy they get from them.”

David is a Janesville native who became fascinated by radio as a kid. A sports fan who couldn’t get enough of the Milwaukee Bucks, he was taken by sports play-by-play and decided to go into radio. A part-time job at a local Janesville radio station while he was in high school sealed the deal. While attending Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, he gained even more experience working at a radio station and in a TV news reporter job to boot.

“I worked in either radio broadcasting or television news during my time at Drake, and I spent a semester internship covering the Iowa Legislature for a local TV station,” says Dave.

It was there that he met his wife Rhonda. Dave continued his early career as a legislative and agriculture reporter, returning to Wisconsin to work for Madison’s WISC-TV in its Rock County bureau.

Dave and Rhonda raised their two boys as he transitioned from TV news to insurance with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans and into fundraising roles for the North Wisconsin District of the Lutheran Church– Missouri Synod and Lutheran High School of Indianapolis.

“We wanted to come back to Wisconsin, so in 2012 I joined Oakwood,” he says. “The people of Oakwood are what make it great. That includes residents, staff and family members… a big universe of people! Residents are happy to be here, and the staff is so friendly. I joke that we only hire cheerful people. They feel good about Oakwood and our mission.”

If you ask Dave what he does in his spare time, be prepared for an impressive list of volunteer service and creative pursuits.

He volunteers at his church, Cross Lutheran of Middleton, and shares his professional time and talent with the local chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the Wisconsin Association of Charitable Gift Planners.

Taking a page from the early days of his career, Dave knows how to share a story whether through spoken words, written words or no words at all.

“A great joy of this position is learning each donor’s Oakwood Village story and why this place is so important to them. It was a blessing for me to return to Wisconsin and become part of the Oakwood team.”

His early interest in radio was reignited in a way that manifested in voice acting, which includes doing voiceovers for commercials and other projects.

Dave’s interest in photography led to a hobby photographing lighthouses and covered bridges. He even paired his love of photography with his enjoyment of cycling.

“In 2018, they had Bucky Badger statues located around Madison as part of a ‘Bucky on Parade’ project," says Dave. "I biked to all 85 statues from our home in Verona to photograph them. In the midst of that, I realized many Oakwood residents would never see all of these Buckys, so I talked with Life Enrichment and put together a presentation for residents. The talk seemed to be well-received, so I started going out into the community to local libraries and senior centers to talk about biking to Bucky.”

Dave also maintains a blog, which he began in 2012, as a place to write about his interests. Anyone who blogs knows consistency is key. Dave posts four days a week, sharing content about interests such as photography, sports, writing and family life.

David’s joy of life extends to his work. He says the greatest thing about his job is talking with residents about their lives and the projects they are excited about supporting. Dave notes working with friends and colleagues keeps their efforts to thank and inform donors fun and interesting.

“A great joy of this position is learning each donor's Oakwood Village story and why this place is so important to them,” says Dave. “It was a blessing for me to return to Wisconsin and become part of the Oakwood team.”

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