ImageOne of our newer club members, Dana Johnson gave her Classification Talk at a recent club meeting and the following provides an overview of her talk. As a self-professed “Cheesehead,” Dana covered a lot of ground before joining Elmbrook Rotary.



She grew up in Slinger, Wisconsin and attended both Marquette University and UW-Milwaukee where she earned her BA in English with an emphasis on Pre-Med. She also earned her Master’s in Physiology.

After a successful career in pharmaceutical sales with Searle, Pharmacia then Pfizer, Dana went on to selling Implantable Devices with Advanced Neuromodulations Systems. However, as a long-time outdoor enthusiast, she was driven to looking for a way to combine her love of adventure with her interest in healthy living which led her to her working at REI (Recreation Equipment Incorporated), where she focused on outreach and marketing activities. This eventually found her opening her own business known as Open Leaf Excursions which has operated for the past four years.

Open Leaf Excursions features unique services and packages such as Adventure Concierge, Travel the World and Wicked Wild Child Adventure Pursuit. Dana’s also a writer doing freelance projects in addition to having her own blog called “Shut Up and Go Outside” blog which can be found at:

If that weren’t enough, Dana is also a partner with her husband Charlie who own and operate Guaranteed Rate Mortgage Along with their two sons, they enjoy spending time together going mountain biking, camping and kayaking.

Service to the community is a big part of Dana’s life as well as she serves on multiple boards and committees including the School Board for the Montessori School of Waukesha and chair of the PTO, Chair of the Governor’s Non-motorized Trails Council, Board of the Friends of Lakeshore State Park, Member of the Langlade Area Mountain Bike Association – Trail development and building, and previous chair of the Federal Recreation and Fees Committee for the Eastern Forest Service

When Dana’s not outdoors, she loves to read historical fiction and dance, especially the Salsa and Bachata. Needless to say however, Dana loves to travel and meet new people from around the world while trying new foods and experiencing whatever adrenaline-laden activities she can find.

Welcome to the club Dana – we hope we can keep up with you!