Businessman offers a hand to the ‘underdog’
Serving others a part of his personal, business plan

By JOE VANDELAARSCHOT - Daily News

July 14, 2017

Modern Woodman Financial Managing Partner Daniel Fry poses for a photo Thursday afternoon in the lobby of the business in West Bend.
John Ehlke/Daily News

Some business owners take on the responsibility of serving and giving back to their community.

That’s the philosophy of Dan Frey, who’s been managing partner at Modern Woodmen Financial on East Washington Street in West Bend for the last five year. He’s been an advisor for Modern Woodmen since 2006.

“I’ve been at this location in West Bend for six years,” Frey said. “Before that I had my office in Horicon.”

Frey said he chose Modern Woodmen over working for other financial advisory companies because Modern Woodmen is a fraternal organization.

“At the end of the day we are a not-for-profit business,” Frey said. “One hundred percent of what we make each year from utilizing our financial products and our life insurance is donated back into the communities. We don’t keep any of it. We want to protect our members now and in the future and we want to make our communities a better place.”

Frey also said local Modern Woodmen managers are allowed to contribute to the organizations or causes they prefer.

“For example, we contributed quite a bit to the redoing of Settler’s Park,” he said. “Woodmen’s believes if you do a better job of community relations people are going to be more trusting to do business and you can protect more families.”

Frey said for several years he has been active on the board of directors with Elevate, which he calls “a wonderful organization.”

“They try to keep kids on the straight and narrow,” Frey said. “We’ve also been doing a lot of things with the Slinger School System. Anything we can do to help we’re happy to be part of.”

Frey grew up in Theresa. When he was 23 he opened and owned a bar in Horicon called Danny Boy’s. He said he ran it for about three years, but began thinking about what was important to him in life.

“I really didn’t feel like I was doing anything for anyone. It was something that really wasn’t my calling,” Frey said. “I knew I had to do something more where I was more involved with people, where I was helping people. There was an office of Modern Woodmen about two buildings down and I had gotten talking with them one day and became really intrigued by the business and the company and kind of stepped in it and started to do a lot of internal things in Horicon to give back and that’s how my career got started.”

Frey said even when he owned the bar he tried to do as much as he could to give back to the community.

“If you own a business and you care about the community your business is going to succeed. I just believe in that,” Frey said. “You have to give back to the people that are making you a living.”

Frey has been married since 2010. He and his wife, Amanda, have two children, Daniel III and a daughter, Tovah. He said he wants his children to also believe in giving back to the community. Frey said he joined the Big Brothers Big Sisters’ bowling committee and helps with that every year and enjoys it.

“I don’t get too involved with the bigger named groups. I love finding the little things behind the scenes that normally don’t get a lot of help,” he said. “I kind of look for the underdog. I like the organization Roots and Branches and I’ve been involved with them the last couple of years. We also helped sponsor the recent West Bend Cleanup Day.”

When looking for new employees Frey said he looks to find people who have the same philosophy as him.

“One of the bigger things I believe in is do they believe in their community. If they don’t that doesn’t really fit into our culture,” he said. “I believe a lot in helping my community and I plan to do a lot more in Washington County over the years and helping where I can help. I believe when doing that the business is naturally going to be successful.”