Betty Harris Custer, right, began talks about taking over Custer Financial Services with Madison businesswoman Joanna Burish several years ago.Betty Harris Custer has reached an agreement to sell Custer Financial Services, the fee-based financial planning and investment advisory firm she founded 41 years ago, to Madison businesswoman Joanna Burish.
Madison Central High School class of 1966 alumna Betty Harris Custer is proud to come from a long line of Madison public school alumni. Both her mother and father attended Madison High, as did their siblings. Her father, Bob “Boomer” Harris taught and coached in MMSD for over four decades and is something of a local legend. “Even to this day,” Betty comments, “when I provide people with my last name I often get asked if I’m of THE Harris family – the one related to Boomer.”
BY JESSICA STEINHOFF
Brava Magazine, Features, Local Woman, September 7, 2022
It all started with an apartment. Betty Harris Custer was living with her parents while attending UW–Madison. She had wanted to attend college out of state, but it was out of reach financially. At the very least, she wanted a place to call her own.
“My dad said I had a perfectly good bedroom in their house, so I found a way to work full-time while going to school full-time to be able to live on my own,” she recalls.
Taken from Literacy Network's Winter Newsletter 2019
"On November 13, over 100 Literacy Network supporters joined us for the 2019 Growing Through Literacy Breakfast. It was a wonderful celebration of the achievements of adult literacy learners reaching their goals with the Literacy Network. Among the 100 friends of Literacy Network who joined us were long-time supporters Fred Gants, Batty Harris Custer and Peter Lundberg.
Five years ago, Fred, Betty and Pete were with us in a room when we were dreaming up where Literacy Network would grow by 2020. They were there at the beginning of the capital campaign that allowed Literacy Network to build the first fully-fledged learning center in the organization's 45-year history.
In gratitude for their support as donors, campaign volunteers, community connectors and more, Fred, Betty and Pete were given awards of recognition at the Growing Through Literacy Breakfast. Their support was vital in raising the $3 million total of the capital campaign and opening Literacy Network's learning center which since 2016 has allowed us to offer high-quality services in a dignified space to thousands of adult literacy learners.
While receiving her award, Betty shared part of what motivates her as a Literacy Network supporter. She spoke about how adult literacy education can raise up an entire family, parents and children: "Adult learners are key to the achievement gap we're working on... I don't know of an organization that does more for that important need than Literacy Network."
Pete reflected on how he has gotten more involved with Literacy Network over time. To new and old supporters who haven't yet visited Literacy Network's learning center, he has clear advice: "Go... Last time I was there, they were doing a citizenship class and it was just mind-blowing."
Because of Fred, Betty, Pete - and you - Literacy Network is better prepared than ever to meet the needs of the 55,000 adults in Dane County who struggle with low literacy every day. Thank you!"