Think of us as mentors in your pocket…

Featuring proven female industry stand-outs who facilitate our Mentor Circles, with experience and expertise spanning Fortune 500 executives, start-up founders, entrepreneurs, nonprofit leaders, nationally-acclaimed coaches and speakers, world-class athletes, artists, educators, thought-leaders, game-changers, and go-getters.

Abiola Keller

Asst Professor of Nursing, Marquette

Abiola Keller is an Assistant Professor in the College of Nursing at Marquette University. She teaches undergraduate and… continued.

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Alex Lindenmeyer

Co-Owner, Short Stack Eatery

Alex is the Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Short Stack Eatery: an all-breakfast restaurant in Downtown Madison. Alex is also the… continued.

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Alisa Robertson

SVP & Chief Advancement Officer, WFAA

In her current role at the Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association, Alisa oversees the development, marketing, alumni… continued.

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Ana Hooker

SVP Operations, Exact Sciences

Ana Hooker is the Senior Vice President of Operations at Exact Sciences overseeing the Clinical Laboratories Operations,… continued.

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Angie Rieger

SVP Planning & Head of International, Lands' End, Inc.

With more than 25 years of experience in the retail industry, Angie Rieger brings a wealth of knowledge of planning and… continued.

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Anza D’Antonio

Senior Group Commercial Counsel, Johnson Controls

At Johnson Controls, Anza D’Antonio manages a team of contract professionals and ensures that commercial agreements… continued.

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Becky Splitt

Executive Chairman, StudyBlue, Inc.

Becky has over 25 years of experience leading and growing technology businesses. She is currently Executive Chairman of… continued.

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Beth Healy

President, Beth Healy Consulting, LLC

Beth is the consummate seller, coach and a manager. She has worked in large companies and startups always focused on driving… continued.

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Carol Skornicka

Vice President Secretary & General Counsel

Attorney, Carol Skornicka, spent nearly 30 years in senior leadership roles prior to her retirement. She was a Partner at… continued.

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Carole Nicksin

Editor and Publisher, Milwaukee Magazine

Carole Nicksin joined Milwaukee Magazine in 2016 as editor-in-chief, taking on the additional role of publisher in 2018.… continued.

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Cathy Schulz

AVP I/S Infra. and CS, American Family Insurance

Cathy is an IT professional with 20 years of IT experience and 14 years of leadership experience. Her background includes… continued.

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Cindi Short

Co-Owner, Chief Experience Officer, Lexico

A serial entrepreneur, passionate about helping people think differently. With a background in design, a passion for… continued.

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Chantel Byrd

VP of Shared Services, ManpowerGroup

Chantel is a dynamic executive with over 25 years of progressive experience leading high performing teams, delivering… continued.

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Cheryl Tidwell

Vice President US Sales Team, BTS

Cheryl comes to us with an extensive background and experience executive leadership with revenue, strategic growth and… continued.

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Christy Brown

CEO, Girl Scouts of Wisconsin Southeast

Christy L. Brown has results-oriented experience for over two decades in education, human and social services, and corporate… continued.

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Clare Stoner Fehsenfeld

Co-Owner, Quince and Apple Treat

I am a member of three different family businesses! My husband and I own an artisan food manufacturing company called Quince… continued.

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Deanna Tillisch

President & CEO, United Performing Arts Fund

Deanna L. Tillisch is President & CEO of the United Performing Arts Fund (UPAF), the largest arts funds in the country.… continued.

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Deb Cooksey

Associate General Counsel, Mt. Diablo Unified School District

Deborah A. Cooksey is the Associate General Counsel for the Mt. Diablo Unified School District. She has practiced law in the… continued.

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Denise Knoblich

Vice President of Marketing, Roth Living

Denise Knoblich is the Vice President of Marketing at Roth Living. The business specializes in luxury appliance distribution… continued.

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Eileen Harrington

Professor & Consultant

Attorney, Eileen Harrington, served for nearly 30 years in senior leadership and policy-making roles at the U.S. Federal… continued.

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Ellen Gilligan

President & CEO, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Ellen M. Gilligan has led the Greater Milwaukee Foundation as President and CEO since 2010. Serving Milwaukee, Ozaukee,… continued.

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Hilary Stohs-Krause

Lt. Software Dev, Ten Forward Consulting

Hilary Stohs-Krause is a full-stack software developer at Ten Forward Consulting in Madison, WI. She came to tech by way of… continued.

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Jackie Hermes

CEO Accelity

Jackie Hermes is the CEO of Accelity Marketing, a Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based marketing agency that drives growth in B2B… continued.

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Jan Eddy

FMR President, Wingra Technologies

Jan Eddy founded and served as President, CEO and Chairman of Wingra Technologies, a developer and distributor of email… continued.

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Janette Braverman

Dean, College of Business and Management

Janette is the County Board Supervisor for District 24 of Ozaukee County. She serves on the Health and Human Services… continued.

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Jean McKenzie

Board Director, Retired EVP Mattel & President American Girl

Jean is a highly accomplished C-Suite Leader who has transformed organizations into top performers. As the EVP of… continued.

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Karen Lincoln Michel

Publisher and Editor, Madison Magazine

Karen Lincoln Michel is publisher and editor of Madison Magazine and president of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative… continued.

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Kari Schneider

Director of Sales, Zendesk

Kari Schneider first joined Zendesk to build the Sales Development team in Madison, WI in 2015. She has since helped… continued.

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Karrie Castro

First Officer Airline Pilot, United Airlines

I have been a pilot for United Airlines for 22 years. I have experience on the B727, B737, B777 and Airbus A320. I am… continued.

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Kathy Cramer

Prof. of Political Science, UW-Madson; MIT

Kathy Cramer (B.A. University of Wisconsin-Madison 1994, Ph.D. University of Michigan 2000) is a Professor of Political… continued.

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Kathleen Murphy

Director, Business Administration, TASC

Kathleen brings 25 years’ experience in the financial services industry and is passionate about leading people to success… continued.

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Kathy Park

Chief Executive Officer, NCCD

As CEO of NCCD, Kathy Park provides strategic vision to the organization while overseeing programmatic and organizational… continued.

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Katie Frank

Owner, REFORMadison

I’ve lived in Madison since 2004 and have been a fitness instructor since 2013. I have a variety of certifications and… continued.

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Kelly Fitzsimmons

Co-Founder, Custom Reality Services

E. Keller Fitzsimmons is a serial tech entrepreneur, artist, and mother of two. She is the cofounder of Custom Reality… continued.

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Leslie Vitale

Sr. Advisor Human Capital Optimization at TASC

For over 25 years, Leslie has worked in leadership and consulting roles in Human Resources focused on leadership coaching,… continued.

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Lorinda Lewis

President, GPS Training & Consulting LLC

Dr. Lewis is a scholar-practitioner, established in a wide variety of disciplines and areas of business. She has accumulated… continued.

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Lu Borchardt

IS Director, American Family Insurance

Lu Borchardt is an Information Service Director at American Family Insurance. She has worked for AmFam for 40+ years and has… continued.

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Kris Naidl

EVP, Managing Director, PR, Laughlin Constable

Kris has led numerous high-profile assignments during her career, including providing strategic communications counsel for… continued.

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Lori Richards

President and Partner, Mueller Communications

Lori Richards is the President of Mueller Communications, Wisconsin’s largest independent public relations agency. Lori… continued.

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Madhavi Krishnan

Senior Full Stack Software Developer

Madhavi is a data-driven and results-oriented engineer and entrepreneur with demonstrated accomplishments in web and… continued.

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Mariel Poole

Industry Manager, Retail, Facebook, Inc.

As Industry Manager, Mariel Poole leads a Facebook sales team in the US focused on the CPG and Specialty Retail verticals.… continued.

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Marketa Lindt

Partner Sidley Austin LLP

Marketa, a partner in Sidley Austin’s Chicago office, works with U.S. and global corporations to implement business… continued.

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Mary Burke

Founder & CEO, Building Brave

Mary founded Building Brave in 2016 to inspire and empower women to unlock their potential. She serves on the boards of the… continued.

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Mary Schmoeger

Accomplished C-Suite Leader

Mary Schmoeger is an accomplished C-Suite Leader with a unique career path. A scientist turned insurance executive…… continued.

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Megan Hakes

Co-Founder and GM, Reputation Partners

Megan Hakes partners with public and private companies, organizations and non-profits to drive greater recognition for and… continued.

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Melissa Auchard Scholz

Owner, Scholz Nonprofit Law

Melissa Auchard Scholz is the principal attorney for Scholz Nonprofit Law, a Madison-based firm focused on serving the tax… continued.

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Michele Nygro

Fmr. Regional President of Community Banking

Retired from a 40 year career in banking holding numerous sales, sales management and executive leadership positions at BMO… continued.

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Michelle Pribyl

Business Manager Wallman Investment Counsel

Michelle is a dynamic, proactive, and engaging business professional with a record of establishing long-term relationships… continued.

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Nancy Hanks

Chief of Schools, Madison Public Schools

Having gone from a life poverty on the west side of Chicago to becoming a Harvard graduate, Nancy Hanks knows firsthand that… continued.

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Nicole Kalscheur

Dir of Employee Health & Wellbeing, UW Health

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Nicole has over 10 years of experience working in health care. She… continued.

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Patty Cadorin

VP & Senior Advisor, BMO Harris Bank

Patty Cadorin is Vice President and Senior Advisor of BMO Harris Bank. Previously, she was Chief of Staff to the CEO. Prior… continued.

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Rachel Neill

CEO, Carex Consulting Group

Rachel Neill has built her career around talent acquisition and company culture, with a passion for startups and healthcare.… continued.

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Renee Moe

President & CEO, United Way of Dane County

Renee Moe is President and CEO at nationally recognized United Way of Dane County, a community mobilizer and change… continued.

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Robin Douthitt

Emeritus Dean & Professor, UW-Madison

Robin Douthitt is a 1st generation college graduate. Appalachian born. Ivy League PhD in economics. Created the women… continued.

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Ru Nataraj

Owner, Spirit & Style Events LLC and Groove Madison

Ru Nataraj is the owner of an event planning agency that serves the midwest and beyond. One of her main goals as a small… continued.

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Sam Norpel

eCommerce & Digital Marketing at ST Norpel, LLC

Sam Norpel is an eCommerce executive and digital leader with a proven track record of developing omni-channel marketing… continued.

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Suma Elwell

VP for Org Dev & Strategic Planning at WI Reinsurance Corp

Suma Elwell is the Vice President for Organizational Development and Strategic Planning at Wisconsin Reinsurance… continued.

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Tiffanie McClain

Compl. People Leader, Northwestern Mutual

Tiffanie McClain grew her career from the ground up moving from an entry-level mail clerk to a people leader taking many… continued.

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Terri Young

Chairwoman, Dept of Ophthalmology & Visual Sci at UW-Madison

Terri Young, MD, MBA, is Professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences. An internationally… continued.

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Winnie Karanja

Executive Director, Maydm

Winnie is the Founder and Executive Director of Maydm, an organization focused on equipping girls and students of color with… continued.

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Alumnae Mentors

Amy Bridge

Director of Strategic Development, MIG

Amy Bridge has worked within the Design and Planning industry for the past 35 years, working her way up from project… continued.

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Anna Watt

Community Marketing Manager, Textio

Anna Watt is a design and technology project manager turned community builder, freelance writer, and public speaker. Within… continued.

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Annie Hsieh

Engineering Manager, Square Root

Annie Hsieh has worked as a web developer at various startups for 7 years. This last year she has taken on a leadership role… continued.

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Beth Bovis

Partner, Global Leader A.T. Kearney Strategic Services

Beth Bovis is a partner and the global leader for the Leadership, Change and Organization practice. She is also the Partner… continued.

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Candy Embray

VP Sales & Service Operations, American Family Insurance

Candy Embray is the Vice President of Sales and Service Operations at American Family Insurance. Candy has spent her entire… continued.

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Carolyn Munoz

Chief Operating Officer, Cybercrime Support Network

Carolyn Munoz joined Cybercrime Support Network to implement the vision of connecting victims to resources, increasing crime… continued.

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Cecelia Gore

Executive Director, Milwaukee Brewers Community Foundation

Cecelia Gore is the Executive Director of the Brewers Community Foundation, the charitable arm of the Milwaukee Brewers… continued.

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Deborah Keller

Principle, Black Frame Advisors, LLC

Deborah has over 30 years of experience in drug development and is the former CEO of Covance, the world’s most… continued.

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DeVona Wright Cottrell

Director & Associate General Counsel, Baird

DeVona Wright Cottrell joined Baird in 2007 and is a Director and Associate General Counsel. DeVona partners with Baird’s… continued.

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Gail Ambrosius

Owner/Chocolatier, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier

Gail Ambrosius realized her dream of becoming a chocolatier in 2004, after the nudge of a lay-off notice from the State of… continued.

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Karen Timberlake

Principal, Michael Best Strategies

Karen works with clients across industries to identify and advance strategies that lead to positive business and community… continued.

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Kelly Ehlers

Founder/President, Ideas That Evoke

After years in the traditional ad industry, Kelly Ehlers pioneered the social ad scene as founder of Ideas That Evoke—an… continued.

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Kira Lafond

Market President/Publisher, Milwaukee Business Journal

Kira Lafond, became Market President and Publisher of Milwaukee Business Journal in July. She oversees a team of talented… continued.

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Jen Cheatham

Superintendent, Madison Metropolitan School District

Dr. Jennifer Cheatham is the superintendent of the Madison Metropolitan School District. Jennifer’s focus is on… continued.

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Laurie Benson

Executive Director, Nurses on Boards Coalition

Laurie currently serves as the Executive Director, Nurses on Boards Coalition, whose mission is to improve health in… continued.

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Liz Maida

Founder and CEO, Uplevel Security

Liz Maida is the Founder and CEO of Uplevel Security. She was formerly a Senior Director at Akamai Technologies and served… continued.

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Mary Beth Berkes

Principal, the Shorewood Group

Mary Beth Berkes is an investor in healthcare companies. She is Principle at Shorewood Group LLC. She is Co-Founding Partner… continued.

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Dr. Mary Leonard

Professor & Chair, Stanford University Department of Pediatrics

Mary Leonard, MD, MSCE, is the Arline and Pete Harman Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford… continued.

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Piper Kent-Marshall

Ret. Senior Company Counsel, Wells Fargo

Piper is a senior counsel (Ret.) and business advisor with extensive in-house and law firm experience in several… continued.

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Shontra Powell

VP Sales Strategy & Operations, Hertz

Shontra Powell has crafted leadership and general management skills throughout her 26- year career in business. Shontra has… continued.

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Tami Kozikowski

Chief Operating Officer, The Waters Senior Living

Tami is currently the COO for The Waters, a developer/owner operator of high-end senior housing. Throughout her 30+ year… continued.

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Uplifting and inspired guests pop into our community…

Building Brave guests rotate in and out of our mobile community to provide their refreshing perspective and uplifting insights on a wide range of topics from parenting-to-sober-living. These women have written books, led lectures, changed minds and opened hearts. Learn from their unique experience and expertise, or reach out an ask them a question.

Featured Guests

Alicia Muñoz

Counselor | Couples Therapist

Alicia Muñoz, LPC is a couples’ therapist based in Virginia and the author of “No More Fighting: 20 Minutes a Week to a… continued.

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Beth Ridley

Positive Psychologist

Beth believes life is short, so we should live it fully. That’s why she’s combined her broad professional experience… continued.

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Dr. Christine Whelan

Author | Professor | Speaker

Dr. Christine Whelan is an author, professor and speaker. She’s the author of five books, most recently, The Big Picture:… continued.

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Elisabeth Stitt

Parenting Coach and Educator, Joyful Parenting Coaching

Building Brave Experts, Author and award-winning parent educator, Elisabeth Stitt is not only a mother herself, in 25 years… continued.

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Keryl Pesce

Author | Entrepreneur | Co-Host

Keryl Pesce is an author, entrepreneur, and co-host of the award-winning radio show “Happy Hour” on K104.7FM. Through… continued.

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Lynn Price

Speaker | Author | Attorney

Lynn Price is a speaker, author and attorney with over twenty years of experience providing creative business solutions to… continued.

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Mia Manusco

Registered Nurse | Accountability Coach

Mia Mancuso is a Registered Nurse as well as an Accountability Coach for the gray area drinker. Her education and training… continued.

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Tina Paulus-Krause

Transformation and Leadership Speaker | Trainer | Coach | Author

After 22 years in corporate leadership, Tina made the leap and today owns a leadership development company dedicated to… continued.

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Veronica Rueckert

Author| Speaker | Coach | Host of The Veronica Rueckert Show

Veronica Rueckert is a Peabody Award-winning communications specialist. She was the host of  Wisconsin Public Radio‘s… continued.

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