About The Scholars
Mariah is a sophomore from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, attending University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. She is a marketing major with a passion for assisting her community. She was awarded the “First You, Then Me” award for her time as a Student Ambassador for helping her community. She organized fundraisers for disaster relief, cooked for and fed the homeless, and tutored at-risk youth in high school. Although she also played softball and ran cross-country, she “eventually found it to be more beneficial for both myself and the people I was serving to focus my energy and time into [my volunteer program] specifically.”
The second Bruce Fendell scholar, Michelle Verastegui, is a freshman from San Antonio Texas. She is pursuing a Biology degree at the University of Texas at Austin, and is also very community-service driven. While being involved in several Honor Societies, bands and ensembles, robotics teams and sport teams, she remained involved in several major community-service groups. She worked with the Random Acts of Kindness Club, creating a positive environment inside the school and within her community. She worked with the Mexican American Unity Council, where they would “talk about culture empowerment and organize community service activities through the year”. Being part of the robotics team herself, she also joined a community group mentoring elementary students in math and STEM fields.
About Bruce Fendell
Long time industry executive Bruce Fendell died Dec. 5. He was born August 8, 1955, the same day and month as his father and grandfather. Yale Fendell, his father, was a key partner at Libco, the East Coast distributor for Adidas back in the 1970s and 80s, and Bruce began working in the family business even as a teenager. He went to work full time at Libco after college and later at Adidas for many years. He also held key roles at Reebok in charge of the licensed business there. Most recently, Bruce had been VP of strategic planning at WSS, the West Coast retail chain, but the Three Stripes were always at his core.
A conversation with Bruce always started with your family and his family, because family was always first with Bruce. No matter who he spoke to, he always seemed to have a nice word for the spouse, children or parent. But Bruce was also a world-class friend to everyone he met. No favor, great or small, was too much. He made warm connections with the powerful and the meek equally and made them feel special whenever he talked to them.
Even after he became ill, he was comforting his family and friends more than they could comfort him. The generosity of his spirit is something that nobody who knew him will ever forget. Family was first, friends second but business was also a passion for Bruce. He kept his spirits up to the very end here, a shoe dog from cradle to grave.
He is survived by his wife of 36 years, Audrey; a daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Jon Satinsky; a son Harris, now working for Adidas; two grandsons, Asher and Reid; his mother, Sylvia; and a sister, Alyson Breier.