2020 Keynote Speaker
Liysa Callsen grew up with Deaf parents and her husband is Deaf too. Liysa can hear however, American Sign Language is her first language. As a bicultural and bilingual individual she developed transformational ways of communicating for those who want to be heard. Communication is key in any language. Drawing on life experiences, Liysa uses stories, improvisation, audience participation, and tips to help give you a fresh perspective on your obstacles. She will teach you to use humor in life and in business, help you embrace diversity to form stronger teams, and teach you the art of communicating beyond words.
Michelle Madl-Soehren, M.S.
Founder & Co-Host, N.E.W. Women's Business Summit | Owner, Atuni Group, LLC & weHub, LLC
Cultivating relationships to deliver exceptional results is what fuel’s Michelle Madl-Soehren’s passion. She thrives on helping with the development of people through her exceptional interpersonal communication skills and people-centric leadership. With a proven track record for inspiring a positive attitude by tapping into her sense of humor and natural, God-given gifts of connecting, motivating, and teaching others, she is dedicated to coaching and mentoring others to reach their full potential.
With a background that encompasses over two decades of developing people within a variety of roles in the field of human resources, small business and entrepreneurial development, customer service, organizational development and talent development, Michelle is a natural leader highly skilled in partnering and establishing interpersonal relationships. Key accomplishments include designing and implementing professional/organizational development initiatives for business and industry throughout northern and northeastern Wisconsin. In 2010 she founded and served as Visionary Leader for the Northwoods Women in Business networking organization until leaving northern WI in 2015 and led the coordination and launch of the Northwoods Women’s Business Conference in 2014 and 2015. In 2018 she resurrected the women’s business conference in the Green Bay area, launching the first of its kind, N.E.W. Women’s Business Summit.
An enrolled member of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of WI, Michelle has been recognized as a Native American Woman in Community Leadership by the Wisconsin Women of Color, the first recipient of the Urban Hope/E-Hub Woman in Leadership award and graduate of Leadership Green Bay (2018), Leadership Oneida County, Leadership Forest County and Sheboygan County Leadership Institute. She holds a Master of Science degree in Management and Organizational Behavior with an emphasis in Adult Learning from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Behavioral Science from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee. Michelle is the Founder/Owner of Atuni Group, LLC, a Native American and woman-owned consulting firm where she offers Frontline Leadership Development and Customer Service Training for business and industry. She is also the Founder/Event Coordinator of the Northeast Wisconsin Women’s Business Summit. In spring 2020, Michelle is launching her second business known as weHub, LLC. weHub is an online business directory and resource hub for women entrepreneurs throughout Wisconsin.
Owner, Sunrise on Main Boutique & Executive Director, Reset.Life, Inc. & Co-Host, N.E.W. Women's Business Summit
Joan Johnson is the Founder and Executive Director of Reset.Life, a non-profit established in late 2018 to help women “press the reset button on life.” Joan launched a business at the same time to support the non-profit. Sunrise on Main Boutique is an upscale women’s resale shop in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where donated fashionable clothing and accessories are sold in the Boutique to help fund the non-profit.
With an extensive background in the corporate, public, and non-profit sectors, including work as an educator and organizational development consultant, Joan is passionate about helping women navigate personal and professional change, with an emphasis on building interpersonal connection in the process. She graced the cover of “You” magazine in 2016 for her work in women’s empowerment. Known for her high energy, engaging leadership style, and compassionate heart, Joan is delighted to have found a way to marry her business experience with her desire to make a difference in the community by creating this unique social enterprise model.
Joan serves on the Board of Directors for Green Bay’s Olde Main Street Inc., a non-profit representing the district where her venture is located.
She and her husband Denver live in Suamico, Wisconsin, with their new Goldendoodle puppy, Kozmo!
Certified Body Language Speaker, Trainer and Coach
Creating personal connections and developing a thoughtful, people-first approach to improving the internal culture is what Kristin Bock deems paramount to building a world-class team. As the Staff Development Coordinator at Evergreen, my role is to identify the obstacles staff members face to help them best use their talents and invest themselves in Evergreen. Enhancing the employee experience to positively impact retention and recruitment is my top priority.
As a certified body language trainer and coach, Kristin has learned the secrets and science of body language. She has developed the tools of a communications architect, designing nonverbal blueprints for success.
Owner | Principal Consultant, T.L.England Consulting, LLC
Tori has her bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in Public Relations and her master’s degree from De Paul University in Chicago in Corporate Communication.
Tori brings over 20 years of project management and learning & development experience in the insurance, hospitality and utility industries. She has led many Fortune 500 companies through major transformational change. Tori is certified in the PROSCI change management model and is a PMP certified project manager.
Tori has created, developed and led teams that have won industry credentials in instructional design and training operations.
In her early years, Tori worked for Walt Disney World Resorts and is trained in their customer service philosophy. Tori is currently a Faculty member at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College where she passes on her project management expertise to eager students.
Director of Strategic Engagement, Imaginasium
Serving as the Director of Strategic Engagement for Green Bay-based marketing firm, Imaginasium, Melinda Morella-Olson believes, just as a company must uncover and communicate their unique value proposition, uncovering your own unique value proposition and brand is an important part of your personal and professional success.
Melinda is the ultimate people-person and a self-proclaimed networking junkie. She is deeply committed to making the Greater Green Bay community, her hometown, the best it can be and, as such, she uses her love of meeting and learning about new people to connect them to each other and the resources to help them accomplish their goals and achieve their dreams. She applies this skillset in her role at Imaginasium, on the boards and committees in which she serves (YPAC, Literacy Green Bay, SHRM, NEW Manufacturing Alliance, NEW IT Alliance, NEW North Marketing and Branding Committee, and a variety of Greater Green Bay Chamber committees), and as an entrepreneur with her own makeup artistry, cosmetic, and skincare business.
She believes hard work, a positive attitude, and authenticity are her keys to success. A true lover of adventure and the outdoors, Melinda spends her spare time traveling and fishing with her husband, Tony, and lots of time outdoors with their furbaby, Sherlock.
Owner, HeiPro Digital, LLC | Co-Founder, The Nest Cowork + Club
Alex is a website expert & educator – Squarespace guru, and passionate about helping women build businesses of their dreams and lives they love. Alex is from Green Bay, WI and is a mom to two kiddos, a dog, and has been happily married for 4 years. She is the founder and owner of HeiPro Digital, a boutique digital marketing agency that specializes in web design, SEO, visual branding, and social content marketing.
She is a Certified Digital Marketing Professional, becoming certified in 2017 through the University of St. Thomas’ Executive Education program and recently completed an MBA and Digital Experience Certificate, also through UST.
Karen Altekruse, MBA, PhD
Executive Leadership Coach & Business Consultant
Dr. Karen Altekruse (All –Ta-Cruise) is a serial entrepreneur and founder of a marketing communications firm she successful grew into a second-stage enterprise. Her current work and research focuses on business owners who want to grow from a micro enterprise into a sustainable business that generates wealth and provides personal flexibility for the owner(s). Using a combination of practical experience and research, Dr. Altekruse has developed a proprietary system for working with small business owners and entrepreneurs to grow beyond small.
She earned an MBA with an executive coaching certification from Bellevue University in 2011; then, in May of 2015, earned a Doctorate in Leadership Studies from Cardinal Stritch University. She has a passion for helping entrepreneurs and small business owners grow their enterprises. By sharing the strategies and tactics successfully used by others, Karen helps her clients navigate their way through the various stages of business growth and development.
Anna Gouker, MS
Principal | A.G. Ventures, LLC
Founder, Owner & Executive Director | Change Management Communications Center, PCMP
Founder and Executive Director of Change Management Communications Center LLC (CMCC), in Oshkosh, WI. Tina has led innovation, process, and behavior change in organizations for more than 30 years, advancing how leaders address change. Tina is known for her ability to resolve redundancies, strengthen assets, and elevate organizations from “us and them” to “we and how.” Tina’s clients transform from teams at odds with one another to a place where each individual is maximized, not minimized. We’re talking about a way to innovate that unleashes resources that were hiding in plain sight. Tina has a passion for connection, so connect with Tina at the conference and on social media.
Vice President of Finance & Administration, Marcus Performing Arts
Laura Lenhart has been an active leader in the performing arts industry for over 17 years, and currently serves as the Vice President of Finance and Administration with the Marcus Performing Arts Center in Milwaukee. She is a Certified Public Accountant, and one of 60 women worldwide to achieve the Certified Venue Executive designation from the International Association of Venue Managers.
While Laura has spent her career leading teams to align with organizational strategic objectives, her passion lies with helping women develop a personal strategic plan aligned with each woman’s uniqueness. Identifying and growing in this uniqueness is the only way to achieve fulfillment through mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical balance, known as Generativity.
With depression, anxiety and suicide on the rise, now is the time to strengthen our happiness muscle. Our ability to contribute to a generative community where everyone wins, whether a marriage, a family unit, a work team, or the neighborhood we live in, requires us to be flowing as the person we were created to be while also engaging others in their uniqueness. And where everyone wins, there is joy.
Manager, Leadership Development, DealerSocket
Molly Urban is the head of Leadership Development for DealerSocket, a global software company, where she designs, develops, and implements tailored leadership and professional development programs for the organization’s leadership team. She specializes in helping leaders discover how to dissolve personal and corporate challenges. Molly is known for her lively and powerful presentations, bringing revelatory ideas with practical life-changing application.
As a corporate leader, entrepreneur, consultant, executive coach, internationally certified trainer, and mother of two young boys, Molly understands the pressure and stress women face every day. Molly is passionate about helping women embrace the tension in their lives, rather than avoid or run from it, and turn it into a work-life harmony story. Tension is energy that can break us, or propel us with purpose to create a dynamic and exciting future.
Owner, KLO, LLC
Kristin is the owner of KLO, LLC, a training, leadership and employee optimization consulting business. She has extensive experience working in human resource leadership roles focused on employee development, long term organizational planning and legal compliance.
Kristin’s knowledge ranges across both publicly traded Fortune 500 organizations as well as small-cap family owned businesses. She is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR), a Franklin Covey certified facilitator of the 7 Habits for Highly Effective Managers and is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh with a focus in Human Resources and Legal Studies. Kristin is a 2018 recipient of the Manitowoc County Young Professionals Future 15 award and a nominee for Young Professional of the Year. Outside of work, Kristin is a head coach and league commissioner with the Manitowoc Youth Softball League and volunteers with many non-profits in her community. Kristin resides in Manitowoc with her husband Doug and her three girls Grace, Josie and Nora.
Academic Dean, Rasmussen College
Jennifer has been an Instructor at various colleges in Wisconsin, including Silver Lake, North West Technical College and Rasmussen. She specializes in teaching leadership, ethics, training and development and communication courses. Jennifer is a talented professional, seasoned in leading and developing a team. She is a dependable servant leader who produces quality-learning experiences focused on the needs of adult learners. She also has an ability to partner with all levels of the organization allowing her to align training, learning and organizational development to the unique culture inherent in every organization. She brings energy and passion to her work and always delivers best-in-class facilitation. She makes learning fun and her enthusiasm is contagious.
Jennifer’s work history includes 15 years at Schneider National and 3.5 years at PAi, in the area of Training and Development. Jennifer managed and led her teams to embrace change and strive to be both formal and informal leaders.
Currently (6 years), Jennifer is the Academic Dean at Rasmussen College at the Green Bay Campus. As the Dean, Jennifer has the dual role of supporting students in their academic journey and representing the faculty’s policies and points of view.
Jennifer holds degrees in Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a Master’s in Management and Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College respectively.
Jennifer is full of energy, enthusiasm and positivity. She is an engaged and effective facilitator with an inherent ability to gauge the audience and culture she is working with, making others comfortable and eager to learn.
Jennifer and her husband Steve have reside in Green Bay and have been married for 23 years. They are the proud pet parents of three dogs. Jennifer is involved in numerous organizations to include SLOW, and Management Women Inc., where she is currently serving as President. Most recently, Jennifer became a certified yoga instructors and has started teaching at various yoga studios. Namaste!
President & Owner, Red Shoes, Inc.
Lisa Cruz has 25 years of experience in public relations, communications and marketing in areas such as strategy, crisis communication, social media, internal communications, campaigns and traditional media relations. She has worked for a number of industries including health care, finance, economic development, manufacturing, construction, entertainment, fitness and public affairs.
Lisa is a 1994 graduate of UW-Stevens Point and majored in communications, with an emphasis in public relations, Spanish and cultural studies. After graduation, Lisa launched her career in Southern California where she worked for several agencies and national clients.
Lisa Cruz founded Red Shoes Inc. in 2008 in Appleton. The company focuses on strategic communication and quickly grew from three employees to ten despite a down economy. The agency was the first in the state to bring the application of social media to businesses and organizations.
As president of Red Shoes, Inc., Lisa is responsible for overseeing the company’s strategic growth locally, regionally and nationally. Lisa also provides oversight to internal operations, new business development, culture, and strategic consulting for client work such as crisis communications, mergers and acquisitions.
Lisa received the very first Women of Influence Award by Insight Magazine in the Business Owner category. She was also named one of the nation’s Top Women in PR by PR News in 2019. The same year, Red Shoes, Incl received the award for Woman Business Enterprise – Outstanding Small Business, as well as acquiring their Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Certification. Most recently, Lisa was published in the Journal of Brand Strategy on crisis communication. She was a featured guest speaker on WGN’s Amy Guth radio show and participated in an interview on crisis communication with WBBM radio’s Ron Hart.
Red Shoes also achieved certifications as a Woman Business Enterprise (WBE) and a Woman Owned Small Business (WOSB) by the Women’s Business Development Center.
Over the years, Lisa has become the person organizations large and small call in a time of crisis. From natural disasters to investigations, Human Resource issues, lawsuits, embezzlement, death, on-the-job injuries and more, Lisa has worked with organizations to tackle many complex issues before, during and after times of crisis. Her comprehensive approach and quick thinking have resulted in positive outcomes by minimizing risk and identifying areas of brand vulnerabilities. Lisa has also served as the point person for insurance companies and law firms, and their clients in times of crisis.
Owner & Principal, O'Connor Connective and Founder, The Connective: A Place for Women in Business
A marketing communication strategist, Bridget holds over 25 years of experience in helping organizations tell their unique stories. Her strengths are taking complex issues and breaking them down into workable parts that create intended results.
In 2013, Bridget launched O’Connor Connective to help organizations align their strategic goals with marketing communications to achieve growth and reputational objectives. She engages with leadership teams to advance strategic organizational thinking. A skilled facilitator and sounding board, Bridget works with presidents, superintendents, CEOs and leadership teams of small family-owned companies, mid-size privately held organizations, schools, colleges, universities, and for and non-profits of all sizes.
Prior to launching O’Connor Connective, Bridget was a senior administrator at St. Norbert College for 12 years and led a division of 30 people driving the college’s marketing, communications and enrollment. Her team broke enrollment records and partnered with development to break fundraising records. She also worked for Wood Communications Group in Madison, Wisconsin, the University of Minnesota Foundation, and Cuningham Group Architects in Minneapolis.
In 2019, Bridget launched as an O’Connor Connective social enterprise The Connective: A Place for Women in Business, also located in De Pere. In addition, she is a guest lecturer for the Center for Exceptional Leadership at St. Norbert College and serves on the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation Board, the Greater Green Bay YMCA Board, and the Thomas H. Lutsey-Waseda Farms Scholarship Committee. She previously served on the Mulva Cultural Center Board, Green Bay Botanical Garden Board, the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay Advisory Board, Scholarships, Inc. Board and the New North Marketing Committee.
Founder, The P5 Project and P5 Women's Summit
Jenna Atkinson is the Founder of the P5 Project, an organization that provides dynamic events, no BS practical education and resources to help female entrepreneurs, executives and emerging leaders set and achieve larger goals to increase their income, impact and influence. She speaks, trains and consults nationally on strategies and skills needed to create your best life and build meaningful wealth that transcends beyond financial success into significance. She believes it is your duty and responsibility to live to your full potential and become financially successful.
Jenna has written for and been featured in a variety of national publications including Forbes, Success Magazine and The Huffington Post. She is an InBusiness 40 Under 40 Honoree and a two-time Athena Young Professional Award nominee. She is hosting the largest women’s business and entrepreneurship professional development event in Wisconsin- The P5 Women’s Summit- August 9-11, where over 1,000 female entrepreneurs, executives and emerging leaders will get actionable strategies, motivation and inspiration from an unparalleled, powerhouse line-up of nationally and globally known multi-millionaire female entrepreneurs, Fortune 500 Executives and New York Times Best Selling authors.
Owner, The Planner Collective | Co-Founder, The Nest Cowork + Club
Jess Hopp, Co-founder of The Nest Cowork + Club and Women in Entrepreneurship-Northeastern Wisconsin Facebook Group, Jess cultivates communities and builds meaningful relationships wherever she goes. You can find her hanging at The Exchange with a coffee or at Vintage grabbing a taco and always in search of the best donut. As the owner of The Planner Collective, she brings vision to life through the power of events. Jess finds joy in empowering women to find a community and gain support when they need it most.
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