Mary’s Story

The inspiration for Building Brave came from businesswoman and our founder, Mary Burke and her unlikely run for governor of Wisconsin against a strong incumbent. The race was tightly contested and notoriously nasty. In the end, Mary lost the race but discovered something important. She had underestimated her own abilities and potential. The campaign forced her out of the comfortable and into the terrifying. Through the experience, she overcame self-doubt, fear of failure and letting what others thought hold her back. She learned how to build her brave, and now she is supporting other women in doing the same.

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Our Team

Mary Burke

Founder and CEO of Building Brave

Mary believes in working towards a world in which people’s ability to reach their potential and dreams are not held back… continued.

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Regan Vanden Boogard

Director of Engagement & Product

A graduate of the University of Iowa and Marquette University, Regan brings 16 years of experience building meaningful… continued.

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Masayo Engel

Private Community Manager

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (go Badgers!), Masayo is the Private Community Manager who empowers… continued.

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Rachael Brunk

Engagement Specialist

A graduate from University of Michigan (Go Blue!) with a degree in Business Administration, Rachael built her project… continued.

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Mai Kou Vang

Engagement Specialist

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Community and Environmental Sociology, Mai Kou has always been curious… continued.

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Meghan Roberts Wollack

Digital Marketing Strategist

A graduate of Edgewood College with a degree in Marketing, Meghan has made a point to focus her career on work with… continued.

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Ann Imig

Writer

Award-winning humorist, performer, and speaker– channeled her theater major (BA, UW Madison), a masters in social work… continued.

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Mentormate

App Development

Mentormate is a software development company with seven global offices in Minneapolis, Bulgaria, and Sweden and is the team… continued.

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Mueller Communications

Mueller Communications is a team of the best, most creative communicators and strategic problem solvers who work to leverage… continued.

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Our Board of Directors

Griselda Aldrete

Board of Directors

President & CEO – Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee (HPGM). If we tried to name a tenth of what Griselda… continued.

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Melissa Auchard-Scholz

Board Secretary

Founder – Scholz Nonprofit Law. After 12 years at a large law firm (plus 3 daughters and crazy work-life… continued.

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Linda Benfield

Board of Directors

Linda is the managing partner of the Milwaukee office of Foley & Larnder LLP and is an environmental lawyer with the… continued.

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Patty Cadorin

Board of Directors

Senior Advisor – BMO Harris Bank. As head of Communications and Chief of Staff to the CEO, Patty has worked at BMO… continued.

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Kristin Dewey

Board Treasurer

Director – The QTI Group. Kristin is excited to be a member of the Building Brave community – a community that… continued.

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Winnie Karanja

Board of Directors

Founder & CEO – Maydm. A charismatic creative inspired by the impact of tech on communities around the world,… continued.

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Jennie Kent

Board of Directors

As Executive Vice President of Administration & General Counsel, Quad/Graphics, Jennie oversees legal, human resources… continued.

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Alex Lindenmeyer

Board of Directors

Co-Owner/ Co-Founder – Short Stack Eatery.  Alex is the Co-Owner and Co-Founder of Short Stack Eatery: an… continued.

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Becky Splitt

Board of Directors

Executive Chairman – StudyBlue, Inc. Over 25 yrs leading and growing technology businesses. Currently Executive… continued.

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Telisa Yancy

Board of Directors

Chief Marketing Officer – American Family Insurance. A decidedly Midwestern upbringing (undergrad from the University… continued.

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Our Emeritus Board

Thank you to so many amazing people that have contributed their insights, guidance and support to creating Building Brave

Ellen Brothers

President, American Girl/ EVP Mattel, retired

Ellen moved to Madison 22 years ago to accept a job with American Girl….best decision ever! She’s a Midwesterner,… continued.

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Dr. Sona Dimidjian

Assoc. Prof, Dept. of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of Colorado Boulder

Dr. Dimidjian’s passion and research focus on the mental health and well-being of women and girls. Her research addresses… 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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Dr. Morton Gernsbacher

Prof of Psychology at University of Wisconsin–Madison

As a professor, Morton conducts research on and teaches classes about human communication. Although a baby boomer, Morton… continued.

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Dr. Janet Shibley Hyde

Prof. of Psychology & Gender & Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison

Janet graduated from Oberlin College before earning her PhD at the University of California, Berkeley.  As a Professor of… continued.

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Toni Sikes

Co-Founder & CEO, CODAworx

Toni Sikes is the founder of three art companies, and currently serves as CEO of CODAworx, the global leader in commissioned… continued.

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