Dennis & Kari Vogel

2022 Commodore

Dennis Vogel and First Mate Kari Vogel

Commodore Career: CEO/Partner Citizens State Bank Commodore Date of Birth: January 14, 1975 Commodore Hometown: Manitowoc, Wisconsin Siblings in order: Aaron, Heather, Chris (deceased) First Mate Career: Interior Designer

First Mate Date of Birth: August 2, 1980 Hometown: Durand, Wisconsin Siblings in order: Corinne, Loren Children 1: Jack, 2008

Children 2: Stella, 2010 Children 3: Reed, 2014
Date of Marriage: April 29, 2006

How did you and your partner meet? My roommate
and I were having beers on a Thursday night when he got a junk email from We thought it would be funny to see if there were any local girls we recognized and laughed, thinking it was a little embarrassing. As he was scrolling through, there happened to be this girl from Minneapolis that caught my eye. Later, when he left my room, I looked at her profile and really liked it; however, she was not interested in anyone outside of a 60-mile radius. There was no way to contact her unless I set up a profile, and there was no way I was going to do that! My roommate and I had a few more beers, and with the help of liquid courage, I decided I needed to further investigate contacting her. I figured out a way I could set up a profile without making it public, proceeded to sign up for a 3-day free trial, and sent her a message. Kari, meanwhile, had recently moved to Minneapolis, where she and her roommate had also decided to sign up for a 3-day trial
on in hopes of just meeting some new people. She got many inquiries, including mine, on the first
day. However, mine did not have a picture (I still wasn’t taking any chances of being recognized on
I had instead referred her to a professional photo of me

online. She read my profile and message and took the extra step to look up my picture online. Kari remembers the moment where she paused and asked her roommate
if she should reply to this one (she was impressed with
my message, but my location was not ideal for her.) Thankfully, her roommate said yes, and we quickly started talking via email and then on the phone, neither of us ever paying for a membership. As they say, the rest is history. Interesting additional information: My brother, Kari’s sister and brother all met their spouses on I must also thank the cold beverages I had on that Thursday night.

Commodore Hobbies and Interests: Working, golfing, walking, coaching, attending sporting events, volunteering with the kids.

Community Involvement: Boys and Girls Clubs (coaching), Aquinas Catholic School Foundation Board, Aquinas Catholic Schools Marketing Committee, Children’s Museum past President, La Crosse Symphony past board member, Tri-Quest Charities, Inc. past President, Big Brothers Big Sisters past board member, etc. Chair and top fundraiser for too many events/charities to list…

First Mate Hobbies and Interests: Skiing, reading, gardening, decorating, fashion, golfing, wine, yoga, and being involved with the kids’ activities.

First Mate Community Involvement: Various volunteering at Aquinas schools, teaching Sunday school, Tri-Quest photographer for many years.

Interesting Family History: Dennis’ dad was a professional race car driver when he was growing up, so

Dennis spent a lot of time traveling around the country being part of the pit crew.

Tell the story of how you were asked to be a Commodore and First Mate: John Lyche called me to see if he could stop in to get my feedback on a storage issue related to Riverfest. This was no big deal because John and I spoke regularly related to different business dealings. The day before our meeting, he called me to let me know that a few other Commodores would be coming along to the meeting. Many of them were customers, and I knew many of them, so I didn’t think much of it. The day of the meeting came, and I got the call that they had arrived. I went down to greet them; however, there were more of them than I had expected. This is when I started to get suspicious that there was an ulterior motive. In the meeting, they told a very good story asking for my thoughts on possible locations near downtown which could house Riverfest items currently stored in trailers. I gave several suggestions and took notes of the needs, all while going back and forth in my mind if this was legit. Finally, it was Bill LaRue who said, “You would be a perfect Commodore to help with this project.” I do not believe I said much at first as I had nine Commodores staring at me…my first thought was how would I fit this into my already crazy schedule. However, after some conversations with the Commodores, Kari and I got on board, and we are so grateful we did.

One thing on your Bucket List! Dennis: I do not have a bucket list; however, the closest thing I ever had to a bucket list item was going to the Masters, which I did for a whole week in 2022. Kari: Travel to Norway with the kids to visit my Norwegian relatives and see the northern lights.

Scroll to Top