Dave Zelinger grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. He attended the University of Wisconsin,
receiving a PhD in Dairy Science, specializing in population genetics. He spent most of his professional career on the East Coast working as a statistician in the pharmaceutical industry, most recently Janssen Pharmaceutical Research. He and his wife, Cherie, moved back to Wisconsin upon is retirement in 2012. They have one son, Frank, who lives in Rochester, New York. Dave resides on Shawano Lake. He volunteers at the Shawano Area Food Center and is a member of their Board of Directors. He is a member of the Boys and Girls Club of Shawano Advisory Board, the Shawano Area Ducks Unlimited Committee and the board of Shawano Area Waterways Management. Dave is also a recent graduate of Lake Leaders Institute as a member of Crew 12.