By Valerie Waszak
Find what is meaningful and rewarding to you. Build and nurture relationships. These are just some of the principles guiding Amanda Schmidt, ’09.
Raised in Verona, Schmidt’s search began when she was in her early teens. After learning about the College through members of her extended family and Verona High School’s chief rival, Edgewood High School, Schmidt knew Edgewood College was right for her.
“On my first day of my freshman year in high school, my English teacher had us write letters to ourselves that would be mailed to us once we graduated from high school. In that letter, I wrote that I hoped to attend Edgewood College,” she said. “The reason I felt so strongly about Edgewood was the small classes, the community feeling and it was close to home. … I never thought about going anywhere else.”
Her college years were busy. While earning a bachelor of science in business – marketing and a minor in Spanish, Schmidt was a full-time office worker for Schmidt’s Auto, a company owned by her father and uncle. She said, “I would go to work, unless I had a class. I’d go to class, go back to work, then go to class again!”
One class in particular has had a huge impact on her life. While working on a group project for a marketing class, she got to know classmate Jordan Casto, ‘09. The two turned a semester-long project into a lifelong commitment when they married this past August. (Casto is a loan officer/representative with Park Bank.)
Schmidt’s studies and the College’s Mission have served her well. Since June 2010, she has been the marketing manager for Green Cab of Madison. It is Madison’s first all hybrid taxi company.
Regarding the College’s Mission to educate students for meaningful personal and professional lives of a lifelong search for truth, she said, “In my eyes ‘search for truth’ means to search for something that is meaningful and rewarding to you as not only a person of the community, but also as a business person. …You should find purpose in what you are doing and not just go with whatever is easiest.”
In her role as the company’s marketing manager, “‘Search for truth’ means to me that in everything I do with Green Cab of Madison, I am trying to build relationships - build relationships with our drivers and staff members and build relationships with our passengers and community. Being able to help people with something so important as transportation and help the company be reliable and provide a service that is ‘green’ is very rewarding,” she said.
Schmidt has a long list of things about the company that she finds rewarding, or, more accurately, is passionate about.
“I love how our cabs are environmentally friendly,” she said. “Our Prius taxis get about 51 miles to the gallon while other traditional taxis get somewhere in the upper teens. … And, each of our taxis has a bike rack on the back of it to help promote more eco-friendly ways of travel.”
She is also proud that the company does not use meters to determine each fare. Instead, customers are charged based on the number of “zones” in which they travel. That way riders don’t have to worry whether the driver is taking the shortest route or if the taxi gets stuck in traffic. Plus, riders can save money by choosing to share the ride with other passengers, all passengers are told beforehand how much the trip will cost and each taxi is thoroughly cleaned after every shift.
As in her college years, Schmidt is busy. In addition to her duties for Green Cab of Madison, she works part time for Schmidt’s Auto, leaving little time to pursue her photography hobby.
But, she is taking the number one lesson of Prof. Moses Altsech’s “The Meaning of Life” talk to heart – it’s all about family. “I always remind myself that you can work very hard, but you have to make sure that you spend time with your loved ones.”
And, she follows her own bit of advice. … “Be the first one to say ‘hello.’”