Conference Agenda


Registration7:00 - 8:00 am

Power Panel8:00 - 9:00 am

Power Panel

Sarah Stokes | Stokes+HERZOG ,   Christina Wiersgalla | Wiersgalla Company Inc. ,   Sue Tietz | McDonough Manufacturing Company ,   Sherri Yukel | Big Dot of Happiness ,   Connie Olson | Micon Cinemas

The Power Panel features leaders of four prominent women-owned businesses. Join moderator Sarah Stokes (of Stokes+HERZOG Advertising, Public Relations & Video Studios) as we learn how they got started, how they overcame obstacles, and their tips for success.

Break9:00 - 9:30 am

Session 19:30 - 10:30 am

Are You an Entrepreneur?

Ben Zugay | Chippewa Valley Technical College ,   Kelly Zugay | Grace and Gold

This session will examine the traits and characteristics of entrepreneurs. You will evaluate yourself as an entrepreneur; focused on your strengths and areas for improvement. Finally, you will leave with tools to use this evaluation to develop a personal growth plan.

Crowdfunding Your Startup

Gwen Benner | Kiva

Crowdfunding is not new, but accessibility and the delivery methods have changed. Learn how to use online tools like Kiva, Indeigogo, and Kickstarter to fund your small business startup. Kiva U.S., part of the nonprofit, is a website that enables financially excluded and socially impactful entrepreneurs to access 0% interest small business loans. These loans are crowdfunded through a borrower's personal and professional networks as well as the Kiva community of over 70,000 potential customers, business advisors and brand ambassadors.

Effective Engagement with Government

Nancy Mistele | Office of Business Development

If you've ever needed help solving problems, getting answers or reducing red tape, encounters with state government then this event is for you! The Lt. Governor has coined the phrase 'concierge service for business' to describe the Office of Business Development. During the presentation you will learn about the services they offer and hear numerous examples of their success to date helping solve problems for business. This interactive program includes time for you to share stories, ask questions and understand how you can have an impact on rules to positively affect your business and industry. By the end of the program you'll know why they are an essential addition to your Rolodex!

A Long & Winding Road: How do I Find the Path to Compliance? An Employment Law Update

Mindy Dale | Weld Riley

The regulatory climate for employers is constantly changing.  This session will try to provide some context for this regulatory climate by taking a look at where we are, how we got here, and where we may be going.  Come along for the ride as we discuss a wide range of topics from unemployment compensation to OSHA whistle blowing; from social media to LGBT issues; and, everything in between.

The New Digital Consumer: Create & Cultivate Your Online Presence

Elle McGee | Odd Brand Strategy ,   Serena Wagner | Odd Brand Strategy

The Internet can feel like a huge shadow for small businesses - it's there, you know it could be useful, but you don't know where to start. Recent research shows 90% of consumers are turning to the internet before making a purchase decision, therefore having a strong Internet presence is more important than ever. Odd Brand Strategy is here to help you discover the three pillars of creating an engaging and successful online presence through your website, search engine optimization, and social media.

Break10:30 - 11:00 am

Session 211:00 - 12:00 pm

Stop Wasting Marketing Money

Sarah Stokes | Stokes+HERZOG ,   Chris Herzog | Stokes+HERZOG

There are millions of marketing and advertising options and most have a price tag. Start-ups, growing companies, and multi-million dollar businesses all face the same issue: where can we make the most impact for the least amount of money? Chris and Sarah will take you through the crucial questions you need to ask before signing up for anything.  We'll give you strategies to clearly decide where to put your marketing and advertising dollars and leave you with a blueprint for a more effective advertising plan.

Help! I've Been Robbed! Business Account Fraud

Ann Abraham | Bremer Bank

If you are a business owner with a business checking or savings account, Ann will walk you through the current business account regulations, the various types of business account fraud and past and recent trends in bank account fraud, how fraud is perpetrated, and what a business account owner can do to prevent monetary loss.

Vetting your Business Idea - The Business Model Canvas

Luke Kempen | Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Eau Claire

In this session you will be introduced to the Business Model Canvas…a tool you can use to help assess the feasibility of building a sustainable business model for your idea. You will learn about the nine essential building blocks of any business model with a focus on meeting customer needs, and the importance of the lean start-up approach and testing your idea and pivoting if needed, before launching your business. 

Social Media for Employee Recruitment

Renee Sommer | The Marketing VA

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for employee recruitment - if you know how to use it. For as little as a $1 a day, you could be promoting your openings to a highly targeted demographic. Learn all about how social media marketing is the new HR tool of your dreams and say goodbye to post and pray!

All Things Family Law and How They Can Impact Your Business

Emily Long | Weld Riley

From the basics of family law to the finer details, we will explore how family law issues can affect your ability to maintain and keep your business.

Lunch12:00 - 1:00 pm


Christine Varnavas | ,   Chester Gustavson |

Each attendee will receive a $5 coupon to use towards purchases made in the Davies Center food court. Use this time to check out the exhibits in the Exhibitor Hall or grab your lunch and participate in relaxation and self-defense demonstrations in the food court provided by Christine Varnavas of Chippewa Valley WellFEST and Chester Gustavson of AKF Martial Arts.

Session 31:00 - 2:00 pm

How to Build a Customer-Centric Brand That Wins

Lee Heike | Hookd Promotions

You might know what your brand is (or what you want it to be), but have you asked what your customers want it to be? The first step to developing a strong and successful brand is to LISTEN to your customers. In this session, you'll learn how to create your brand with the customer in mind and you'll leave with tools that you can use to continue doing so as your business grows. 


Start Strong, End Strong: Build, Maintain & Repair Credit

Adrian Klenz | Klenz Financial Counseling

Credit has become part of everyone's financial foundation. Without it, it is nearly impossible to purchase a car, become a homeowner or start a business. Learn the common pitfalls to avoid and take control over your financial future. In this session, discover how to build, maintain and repair your credit in order to achieve your financial goals.

Rural Business: Getting Started & Strategies for Growth

Anne Hlavacka | Wisconsin SBDC at UW-LaCrosse

This session will consider the challenges and opportunities in starting and growing a business in a rural area.  Topics will include startup and growth planning; the importance of having a market niche; the use of e-commerce and "buy local" strategies; and how technological changes can help reposition rural areas and improve the likelihood of small business success.

Outlook Tips & Tricks

Denise Woodford | CVTC

This session is structured for those who are already familiar with the use of Outlook but who are interested in exploring some of the hidden shortcuts and tricks that can make your use of the application much more efficient. We will explore tools that will help you to better manage your email, calendar, address book, and task list.

Understanding Business Contracts

MaiVue Xiong | Weld Riley

Whether or not you are aware of it, contracts govern businesses' daily activities.  What kind of contracts do you need in place to protect your business?  What should you do with the contracts you are asked to sign?  Come join in the fun as we explore the elements of contracts and get a better understanding of the purposes of Non-Competition Agreements, Confidentiality Agreements, Non-Disclosure Agreements, and any other types of contracts you want to discuss.  

Break2:00 - 2:30 pm

Session 42:30 - 3:30 pm

Content Marketing and Using Social Media to Promote Your Business

Linda Pophal | Strategic Communications, LLC

There's power in digital communications and opportunity to leverage content across various online channels (website, blog, social media, etc.) to generate real results. But the options and opportunities can be overwhelming. Learn how to harness the power of content marketing across all of your communication channels-efficiently, and effectively!

Ask the Lender

Beth Waldhart | Charter Bank ,   Mary Trimmier | SBA ,   Mike Dieckman | Wisconsin Business Development ,   Tobi LeMahieu | WCWRPC ,   Krista Paulus | Impact Seven

This panel of experts will provide information about available funding sources geared toward start-ups and expanding businesses.

Social Enterprise

Sarah Godlewski | MaSa Partners

Starting a nonprofit is not the only way a woman can be innovative and make a difference. Why not start a business? Social enterprises are businesses that are changing the world while also generating a profit.  Doing good and making money do not have to be mutually exclusive.  In fact, social enterprise is on the rise as more people are becoming conscious consumers.  Learn more about this unique space including the basics of a social enterprise, the benefits of becoming a social venture, and tips for gaining access to capital. Your idea or even business might be a great fit!

You Created an Instagram Account. Now What?

Taylor Pelissero | Stokes+HERZOG

As business owners, you're constantly hearing that social media is key to keeping your clients and customers in the know with what's happening at your business. Instagram is quickly becoming one of the most popular channels used by consumers today, but where do you start? And how is Instagram different than Facebook or Twitter or any of the other sites? To begin using the platform more effectively, start by learning the strategy behind Instagram for business.

Passing the Torch & the Tweets: Business Succession Planning

Cindy Hangartner | Weld Riley ,   Betsy Barnes | Wipfli

Most small businesses do not survive into the next generation. Succession planning can ensure business owners meet their cash flow needs in retirement, provide for family members and key employees, minimize taxes, and hand over control to the next generation so the business continues to thrive. We will also discuss the importance of digital assets in such transactions.

Closing Comments, Silent Auction Winners, and Happy Hour3:30 - 5:00 pm

This event brought to you by Western Dairyland Women's Business Center, a program of the Western Dairyland Community Action Agency.
Copyright  ©  2017 Women's Business Conference  |  Website design and hosting by First Net Impressions, LLC.

Small Business Administration Logo funded in part through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Agreements for persons with disabilities will be made at all times in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and associated amendments. Arrangements for persons with special needs will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. This institution is an Equal Opportunity Provider. Language assistance services are available for limited English proficient individuals.