November 2012

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Page 36 of 99

workWith Me Diane Ballweg Taking her career to new heights Never stop learning. It's a simple mantra, but also the foun- dation upon which Madisonian Diane Ballweg lives her life. Th rough this, Ball- weg has found passions she never dreamed she would try. Namely, learning to fl y an airplane. At the age of 45, when the last of her three children left for college, Ballweg decided to learn something new. "If I learned to fl y, I could go see my kids faster and easier," she says. "It was practical." Now 59, Ballweg, who is a teacher at Edgewood High School, says earning her pilot's license had a momentous impact on her life. "My whole life being a teacher, [I'd been in] female, motherly roles," she says. "Th en I learned how to fl y a plane and it really changed me [in a positive way]." In 2000, Ballweg developed an aviation Life in the Skies Since becoming a licensed pilot, Ballweg has landed at more than 275 airports around the world. One of her most program for Edgewood High. Today, class obligations occupy her morning hours, but afterward, she makes time to fulfi ll another passion: giving back. Not only the founder and president of the philanthropic arm of her family's steel construction business, Endres Manufacturing Company, Ballweg serves on countless committees and boards, including the Madison Children's Mu- seum, Porchlight and more. In her off-hours, Ballweg con- memorable fl ights was in Hawaii when she fl ew the path the Japanese bombers took over Peal Harbor in WWII. "[Th e plane] is a place where wonderful conversations happen." And no matter which hat she's wearing "I love taking people [fl ying]," she says. tinues to soar in her diverse roles. From fl ying students out to lunch, to taking friends up to Door County for an afternoon golf game, to the self-fl y sa- fari over Africa she took with her daughter, Ballweg thrives on provid- ing unique experiences for others. in her life or career, Ballweg is determined to keep the conversation alive and continue experiencing new things. "[I fi nd balance by] living life fully, by being present in the moment," she adds. "And I think everyone can always be learning new things." —Mollie Busby November 2012 35 Photo by Sarah Maughan

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