Rising Stars: Michael Fullan, of Hodge

Michael Fullan considers himself relentlessly curious and driven by opportunities for improvement — traits that have served himself and his employer, Hodge, well in the past several years.

Fullan, 33, led a successful rebranding campaign for the 62-year-old logistics company and was part of a public-private effort to bring two new tenants, Duluth Trading Co. and Crown Holdings, to Dubuque Industrial Center West business park.

“That process was really exciting to be a part of, bringing two great companies to Dubuque,” he said.

Fullan serves as vice president of business development for Hodge, which remains under family ownership. His wife, Jordan Fullan, is the daughter of CEO Tim Hodge and serves as vice president of human resources. She is a past Rising Star winner.

Fullan said his role at Hodge allows him to play to his strengths of looking for new opportunities and identifying initiatives.

In addition to helping the company grow, he has also turned that focus on himself. He completed his MBA in business analytics at Loras College and earned a certificate in commercial real estate through Cornell University. He also is active in Young Professionals Dubuque and is on the Future Leadership Team with Greater Dubuque Development Corp.

Fullan was a key liaison for the GDDC and Dubuque city officials in the effort to bring Duluth Trading Co. and Crown Holdings to Dubuque. In addition to touting the professional services Hodge can offer those companies, Fullan said they also showcased how attractive the Dubuque area is for those employers. Hodge takes pride in being able to help grow the local economy.

His nominator, Morgan Reilly, said Fullan is enthusiastic about his work and gets to know colleagues on a personal and professional level. That makes him an effective leader.

“He identifies people’s strengths so when the right project comes along, he knows the person with the right skill set to take it on,” Reilly wrote.

Fullan also has been involved organizing Hodge’s popular Run4Troops fundraiser benefiting local military members and their families. That cause has a personal meaning for Fullan, as his father is a veteran and his brother currently serves in the U.S. Air Force.

“It’s really awesome to see how this event started as just an idea and has really grown into an awesome community event,” he said.

“I’m curious and I’m always driven by seeing what’s next, what can we do better, and looking for opportunities in everything we do. And in my role I can work across the company in multiple disciplines, figuring out how we can improve on multiple levels. I think the role (of vice president of business development) suits me very well.”