Madison Family of the Year


 2018 Madison Family of the Year Finalist

The Croker Family 

The Dunaway Family 

The Patel Family

The Crocker Family

The Crocker family prides themselves as having a strong family foundation.  Building, exhibiting, and promoting family closeness has never been difficult for them because that’s the way both Andy and Beth were raised.  “Now it is our job to pass that blessing down to our children.”

Andy, an aerospace engineer, manager, and engaged father, and Beth, a stay at home mom, enjoy being involved.  Andy has a personal passion for STEM education and is a member of the Education Committee for Space Club.  He led a group for a project to design, develop, and build a one-of-a-kind exhibit for the Sci-Quest Hands-on Science Center which will now be used by the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.  Both Andy and Beth are heavily involved in the children’s activities either by leading, coaching, or cheering them on.  Drew and Katie enjoy and perform well in school.  Both children are involved in many school activities, sports and scouts. 

The family looks forward to growing their involvement in service to their community and surrounding areas.  “Our family is so happy in Madison---so comfortable with the high standard and reasonable cost of living, the great schools, the family-friendly community, the Christian values, the diverse offering for children’s involvement, and especially the friends that we’ve all made---all in the middle of one of America’s greatest hotbeds of aerospace and defense and technological innovation---that we couldn’t conceive of our family leaving.  We hope to remain here a long time.”

The Dunaway Family

A military family, the Dunaway’s have lived in seven different states!  They moved to Madison because they knew it was a great place to raise their family.    They’ve stayed in Madison because the city not only has had a positive impact on them, but, they have been able to give back to the community and that has been rewarding for them. 

Rich, a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, has served in the U.S. Army since 1990.  After active duty of eight years, he is now in the reserves.  He is a Lieutenant Colonel and is assigned as the Intelligence Operation Division Chief at the Headquarters of U.S. Northern Command.  Elizabeth is an international Board-Certified Lactation Consultant and is a Lactation Consultant at Madison Hospital.    Her business won the 2017 Madison Chamber of Commerce “Best in Business” award.  They have four “awesome people in the world” that are their children:  Marianne, Nicholas, Richard, and Andrew.  All of the children are very active in the community by being members of school clubs, playing sports, scouts and actively involved in their church.

The Dunaway family thrives on their faith in God, the strength they pull from one another, and the support from their community.  They approach life with a sense of humor and seek to enjoy the journey.  They are continually laughing and playing with each other whether it being playing games together, serving the community, participating in school events, or just joking around.  The Dunaway’s feel that one of their family’s greatest strengths is that they can enjoy each other’s company.   When life throws a challenge their way, they always look for the silver lining.  “It’s important to know how to mine that lining to keep your spirit happy and to be a joy to others around you.”

The Patel Family

The Patel family believes and models the Jim Rohn Quotation, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”  They are thankful to live in a city like Madison where their family is surrounded by so many friends and co-workers who are a positive and caring influence on them.  In return, they are giving back to the community in many extraordinary ways.

Sandy, an astrophysicist, and Amy, teacher and theatre director, may seem like an unlikely pair.  However, they share a passion for their boys, Kieran and Connery, and their community.  Sandy is currently serving as Rotary Club Board member and Rotary Club Foundation President, where he fully believes in the motto, “Service above self.” Amy is heavily involved in theatre in the community.  Her service in this area fosters creativity, empathy and leadership in young performers and technicians while bringing the community together.  The entire Patel Family is very active in many Madison activities: scouts, school clubs and sports, PTA, just to name a few.

“We are a snuggly family”, says mom.  Though very busy, they stay close by making their family a priority.  Having dinner together, playing together, or, just hanging out together are just a few of the ways the family “resets”.  They are a family of diversity, involved and passionate about so many different things.  “We shift constantly to find the right balance, but we believe firmly that we can do that in Madison.  We don’t just live here.  We have truly created a life here.”