Project Description

Dave Skogen

Chairman of the Board, Festival Foods

Dave Skogen has been in the grocery business for over 70 years. The grocery business is truly his passion and his hobby. Growing up, he was an athlete and had visions of one day being a coach. Today, he coaches and teaches in a supermarket instead of an athletic field. In 1946, his parents opened Skogen’s IGA in Onalaska. Dave started helping in the store at the young age of 4. After high school, he worked in the meat department with his grandpa, and took over when his grandpa retired. In 1974, Skogen’s IGA started to expand, which forced Dave out of the meat department and into the operations of the store. IGA International named Dave ‘National Retailer of the Year’ in 1989. In 1990, the first Festival Foods store opened. Currently, the Skogen’s successfully operate 30+ Festival Foods stores throughout Wisconsin. In 2005, Dave was named ‘Wisconsin Grocer of the Year.’ In 2007, Dave and Barb were named ‘Outstanding Philanthropists’ by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Upper Mississippi Valley Chapter. They also received the Torch Award for Business Ethics and Integrity from the Wisconsin Better Business Bureau. In 2017, Dave and Barb were named ‘People of the Year’ by the La Crosse Tribune for their impact in the La Crosse area, especially their development of downtown Onalaska, along with their initiative to provide local schools with a whole-child servant leadership curriculum, CharacterStrong, which has now been adopted by over 20 local schools. Dave’s leadership style is influenced by the book “The Servant” written by Jim Hunter. Community involvement has always been important to Dave. He is past president of the Onalaska Rotary and an active supporter of United Way. He was honored as a hometown hero by President Clinton in 1998. Other honors include: Oktoberfest Torchlight Parade Marshall in 1981, Recipient of the Paul Harris Fellow Award from the Onalaska Rotary, Iverson-Freking Award in 1997, and the Boy’s and Girls Club Wall of Fame in 2003. He successfully chaired the Onalaska First Lutheran Church Capital Campaign and the John Shelton Hardwood Floor campaign at Onalaska High School. He helped lead campaigns to build a YMCA in Onalaska, and a remodel of the Veterans Memorial Stadium at the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse. Dave and his wife Barb have been married for over 50 years. They have two children and four grandchildren. Their son, Mark, is the President and CEO of the company.