Why We Give: Mike and Janna (Duncan) DeMarsh ’87

“We believe it is important to help continue the growth of small Christian-based colleges, and there is no better place to show this support than Wesleyan. That is the very reason I encourage other alumni to give.

Even though Mike is not a graduate of Wesleyan, everyone welcomes Mike to campus and to alumni events, and he is as supportive of the Wesleyan mission as I am.”

Hometown:
Owensboro, graduated from Apollo High School

Residence:
Crescent Springs, in Northern Kentucky

Education:
Majored in Accounting and Business Management at Wesleyan
Earned certification as a Senior Professional Human Resources Manager (SPHR)

Career:
Employed by Fifth Third Bank at their corporate headquarters In Cincinnati, OH as Vice President, Senior Director for the Commercial Sales Division; previously employed by Owensboro National Bank

Family
Husband Mike is Vice President of the Treasury Management Group for First Financial Bank headquartered in Cincinnati, OH
Two sons, Drew (student in the College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati); Alex (senior at Covington Catholic High School, manager of the football team)

How did Wesleyan prepare you for a successful and rewarding life?

“I learned the value of building strong and meaningful relationships at Wesleyan, and the small college environment also helped me take those skills and be a strong leader. In a recent performance appraisal, my manager said I was the ‘Queen of Relationships.’ A person can have knowledge and skills, but if he/she can’t interact, collaborate and form healthy relationships with people, the knowledge and skills are for naught.

“These skills not only benefit me in my banking career but also in my work with the United Way.  I am the past president of the WINGs committee of The United Way.  WINGs stands for Women Investing in the Next Generation.  Our group of like minded professional women provide over $3 million per year to support early childhood education and development.  Our committee meets regularly with federal and state Senators and Representatives from Kentucky and Ohio to advocate and ensure our children are prepared to succeed in school and in life.”

What are special memories of your Wesleyan years?

“I think of Dr. Ed Beavin, a religion professor, who was a kind and approachable person. He took information from the pages of The Bible and the textbook and made it real and applicable. He made quite an impression on me. I got to know people of different backgrounds from all around the world, and I learned to appreciate all kinds of people who were not like me. I didn’t know it at the time, but those interactions prepared me well for my career.  In addition, I made strong, lasting friendships with my Kappa Delta sisters, for which I am very grateful. I was captain of the cheerleading squad and got to experience the excitement of our basketball team winning the NCAA Championship my senior year.”

Why and how are you involved with the College today?

“When Mike and I were first married, I was the cheerleading coach and Mike was Wesley N. Panther, so our involvement began early. I am now on the Executive Committee of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. I appreciate the opportunity to be a spokesperson for Kentucky Wesleyan, and I take being a representative of my alma mater very seriously. I consider it an honor to serve.”