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Be the Difference

Diederich College of Communication Award Recipients


CadeDenise Perry Cade, Jour ’84
Wheaton, Ill.

Denise has climbed the ranks of several major organizations throughout her 30-year career. Now, she’s paying it forward, using her experience to improve the careers and lives of others, particularly women, and people of color. “Marquette helped me to develop the courage to be the arbiter of my success and not let others define it for me,” she says.

The senior vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary for IDEX Corporation, an S&P 500 global applied solutions company, Denise is responsible for the organization’s legal, regulatory, compliance corporate governance and information security matters. She didn’t always want to pursue a legal career, however. She initially chose Marquette for journalism. When she decided she wanted to be a lawyer her sophomore year, Dr. James Scotton, college dean at the time, advised her to keep journalism as her major so she could get a foundation in writing and reasoning skills. She’s grateful that she did.

Recognizing her unique position to affect change, Denise believes she has a responsibility to help the next generation on their path to success. She’s especially focused on developing and coaching future legal and professional leaders. 

One way she does this is through The Chicago Network, an organization of Chicagoland’s most influential women leaders. It connects female leaders across various industries so they can build relationships, empower other women to lead, and advance businesses and philanthropic efforts throughout Chicagoland. She is the vice chair of the organization’s board of directors and recently served as a member of the search committee for its next president and CEO.

Fun Fact:

If Denise could have dinner with anyone, she would choose her maternal great-grandfather, who passed away when she was three. “I would like to learn from him firsthand how he navigated the segregated South to educate his children and become a landowner,” she says.