Conference Speakers


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Conference Speakers

Ann Abraham

Visit Website | Bremer Bank

Ann AbrahamAnn is a Certified Treasury Professional with over 36 years of banking experience.

She began her career as an intern in her hometown bank in Houston, MN during her senior year at the College of St. Teresa.

She has worked in many facets of banking over the years but has found her true passion in Treasury Management. Working with her corporate business clients at Bremer Bank, she helps them structure their accounts and services to provide optimum cash flow and efficiency in their daily operations. Ann covers both the La Crosse and Eau Claire markets for Bremer Bank.

She has been part of panel discussions at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis and was a past speaker at "Market in the Valley" in Eau Claire as well as presenting joint seminars with the accounting staff of WIPFLI on the subject of bank fraud.

Betsy Barnes

Visit Website | Wipfli

Betsy BarnesBetsy Barnes has over 35 years of experience in fiduciary accounting, estate and income tax return preparation, charitable giving techniques, and probate assistance.  Betsy is the Regional Director of Estate Services for Wipfli.

She is proficient in assisting clients with the development of estate plans that achieve their goals. Her specializations are: Estate and gift tax return preparation, Individual income tax returns, Estate/trust income tax returns, Estate planning and administration, Post-death tax planning.

Betsy has worked for over 27 years in Wipfli LLP's tax department. She is a member of American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), and Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (WICPA). She also is a frequent local speaker for charitable entities to educate their donors.


Her education includes:

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

  • Bachelor of science degree in mathematics and psychology

University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh

  • Master of science degree in accounting

Gwen Benner

Visit Website | Kiva

Gwen BennerGwen Benner is a Trustee and Small Business Advisor for She advises and assists small businesses who are interested in 0% microloans for start-ups, working capital, or expansion throughout the state of Wisconsin.


Kari Dahl

Kari Dahl Consulting

Kari DahlKari Dahl is an organizational and leadership development consultant and she is well known for her teaching ability, team development knowledge, organizational culture, strategic planning, leadership development and conflict management. 

Kari has helped organizations achieve sustainable healthy growth throughout the United States and Europe. 

Her business, Kari Dahl Consulting, was recently named New Business of the Year by the Greater Menomonie Chamber of Commerce. 

Kari's self-professed expertise is in helping people be nice to each other and most importantly to be true to themselves.

Mindy Dale

Visit Website | Weld Riley

Mindy DaleMindy advises management in labor and employment issues. In her labor relations practice, she represents employers in union negotiations, unit clarification proceedings, and grievance arbitrations. She assists employers faced with union organizing attempts and in responding to unfair labor practice charges.

In the employment area, Mindy assists employers in responding to allegations of sexual harassment, conducting other workplace investigations, and counseling employers on disciplinary matters. She advises employers in preparing personnel policies tailored to comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and other laws and regulations. She's represented employers before administrative agencies such as the WERC, DWD, LIRC, NLRB, DOL, EEOC, OSHA, and in the courts, and also practices in the area of municipal and school law.

Mindy received her Associates degree from Lake Michigan College in Benton Harbor, Michigan in 1979 and a Bachelor of Science from Indiana University in South Bend in 1982. She studied law at Indiana University Law School, Bloomington, and was on the editorial staff of the Indiana Law Journal. In 1987, she earned her Juris Doctorate degree magna cum laude and was elected to membership in the Order of the Coif. After graduation, Mindy practiced law as an associate with Barnes and Thornsburg in Indianapolis until moving to Wisconsin in 1995. Prior to joining Weld Riley, S.C., she worked as in-house counsel for a private corporation in Wisconsin and as an Assistant Corporation Counsel for Eau Claire County.

Mindy is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin (Labor Law Section), Eau Claire County Bar Association, Wisconsin School Attorneys Association Board of Directors, Chippewa Valley Society of Human Resource Management, and Western Dairyland Women's Business Center Advisory Board.

Mike Dieckman

Visit Website | Wisconsin Business Development

Mike DieckmanMike Dieckman has worked for WBD (Wisconsin Business Development) for 19 years. WBD is certified by the SBA to deliver its 504 Loan Program, partnering with financial institutions to finance fixed asset projects and provide long-term fixed rate financing.

WBD also assists lenders and borrowers with SBA 7a loan packaging and serving as a resource for information on a variety of financing options for small business.

Sarah Godlewski

Visit Website | MaSa Partners

Sarah Godlewski

Sarah is the Co-Founder of MaSa Partners, a social impact investment venture dedicated to providing financial and human capital to socially responsibly, early-stage companies. She serves on the Board of Directors for two social enterprises, and is a Board Member for WE Capital-a female led investment fund that advocates and invests in female entrepreneurs with the dual aim of promoting social impact and generating financial returns.

 Before turning to impact investing, Sarah was a management consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton where she led strategic planning efforts for the Under Secretary of Defense, the Surgeon General of the Air Force, and the Under Secretary of the Army. In recognition of this work, Sarah became the youngest person to receive the Booz Allen Women's Success Award. Sarah also served as the inaugural Director of Strategy and Performance for Arapahoe County, Colorado-helping one of the fastest growing counties in the country plan its future. Her work for the county was featured in Public Manager Magazine and Workforce Live! Most recently, as an avid supporter of women in politics, Sarah was part of Hillary Clinton's 2016 presidential campaign.

Outside of her professional endeavors, Sarah is involved in numerous community initiatives and charitable organizations. Her work has supported a wide range of missions from education to the arts, and from international development to the wellbeing and health of veterans and service members. Currently, she chairs the US Fund for UNICEF's Advocacy Leadership Group and is a member of one of its regional boards, and recently served on a Bipartisan Congressional Task Force for PTSD.

Sarah graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Conflict Transformation from George Mason University. Her educational pursuits have continued as a National Security Fellow with the Air War College, a graduate of the Women's Campaign School at Yale, and is part of the University of Pennsylvania's Executive Program for Public Administration.

Sarah is a proud sixth generation Wisconsinite and a devoted Green Bay Packers fan! When she is not cheering for the Pack, Sarah can be found doing something outdoors with her husband Max and their rescue dog Tanner.

Cindy Hangartner

Visit Website | Weld Riley

Cindy HangartnerCindy advises clients in the areas of estate planning, probate, tax, and business and corporate law with an emphasis on non-profit organizations and business succession planning. She regularly advises clients on complex estate planning techniques and assists clients with simple Wills and powers of attorney. Cindy also represents clients in new markets tax credit transactions.

Prior to joining Weld Riley, S.C., Cindy provided detailed tax analysis and guidance to individuals and Fortune 500 companies. In that time, Cindy provided advice on federal, state, and local tax laws for a major tax advisory authority, telecommunications entities, and multiple Fortune 500 companies. While working for two international companies, Cindy maintained and managed each company's compliance with regulations and industry standards.

Cindy graduated from Luther College where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics with a minor in English. She received her law degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Cindy went on to earn her master's degree in taxation at the University of Denver in Denver, Colorado.

Cindy serves as a board member for Feed My People Food Bank, and is a member of the Eau Claire County Bar Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and the Illinois Bar Association.  She is also admitted to practice in Illinois, Colorado, and Iowa.

Lee Heike

Visit Website | Hookd Promotions

Lee HeikeLee Heike is the owner of Hookd Promotions, a custom branding and digital marketing agency located in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. 

Lee began his career as a television journalist and it was there that he learned the true value of effective communication.  It's those visual/audio communication skills that helped him transition into the world of marketing and advertising just a few years later. 

Fueled by his passion for creativity, collaboration and innovation, he became the Marketing Manager (and the youngest member ofthe executive management team) at Markquart Motors in 2006 beforelaunching his own agency in 2012. 

Since then, he and his team have completed work for dozens of clients in Western Wisconsin, includingCVTC, RCU, Visit Eau Claire, Ken Vance Motors, Hope Gospel Mission,ECCT and Bob's House for Dogs to name a few.  

Chris Herzog

Visit Website | Stokes+HERZOG

Chris HerzogSarah Stokes and Chris Herzog are the married co-owners of Stokes+HERZOG Advertising, Public Relations and Video Studio.

They are the proud employers of six employees and several freelancers. They successfully manage the advertising strategy for several major area brands.

They've sold a business they grew to seven times its size and launched a national consulting business in April.

Prior to their business life, the parents of two were anchors at WEAU 13 News in Eau Claire. You can learn more about how they help companies reach their goals at

Anne Hlavacka

Visit Website | Wisconsin SBDC at UW-LaCrosse

Anne HlavackaAnne M. Hlavacka is the Director of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. 

 Prior to taking that position in June 2010, Anne practiced law for over 20 years with Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., a large corporate law firm (200+ attorneys) headquartered in Milwaukee, WI.   Her legal experience includes extensive work with general corporate and small business matters, government contracts, international/immigration law, dispute resolution, and compliance with federal, state and local regulatory requirements. 

Anne is a graduate of University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and Marquette University Law School.  She is admitted to the Wisconsin Bar; United States Circuit Court - Seventh and Ninth Circuits; United States District Court - Eastern and Western Districts of Wisconsin.Anne is a frequent guest panelist/presenter at various entrepreneurial and economic development programs. 

She has been recognized with the Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee Women of Influence Award (Mentor category), the Association of Women Lawyers Outstanding Mentoring Award and the Small Business Administration's Legal Assistance Award in Wisconsin. 

Anne is board member of the UW-La Crosse Foundation, Pump House Regional Arts Center, Coulee Region Business Center, Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corporation, and Lincoln Opportunity Fund.  

Luke Kempen

Visit Website | Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Eau Claire

Luke KempenLuke Kempen is the director of the Wisconsin SBDC at UW-Eau Claire. Since joining the SBDC in June 2013, Kempen has assisted hundreds of SBDC clients.

His work experience prior to joining the SBDC includes accountant at a large international public accounting firm in Milwaukee as well as serving in senior leadership roles in some fast growing private companies in Eau Claire.

Kempen's experience as an entrepreneur includes starting and growing his own company and then selling it profitably. He possesses extensive business experience in the areas of finance and accounting, leadership, strategic planning, project management and human resources.

Kempen serves SBDC clients with business startup, securing financing, accounting, human resources, marketing, business planning and business sale and succession. A certified public accountant, Kempen holds a BBA in Accounting from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and is a graduate of the Executive Leadership Development Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Kempen was awarded the Wisconsin SBDC network "State Star" award in 2015.

Adrian Klenz

Visit Website | Klenz Financial Counseling

Adrian KlenzAdrian Klenz, the only certified financial counselor through the Association of Financial Counseling, Planning, & Education in the area, has been helping clients negotiate and settle debt since 2009. 

Adrian is the owner of Klenz Financial Counseling and a faculty member with NeighborWorks America and The National Council of La Raza. 

He travels the country teaching non-profit professionals about financial capability.  He offers one-on-one financial counseling and also presents group educational workshops on financial capability. 

Tobi LeMahieu

Visit Website | WCWRPC

Tobi eMahieu

Tobi LeMahieu has been employed with the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (WCWRPC) since April 2011. Initially, Tobi was hired as a planner and worked on various community and economic development projects. In October 2016, she was promoted to Fund Manager. Now Tobi, alongside Jordan Pospishil and Jennifer Ludwig, is responsible for the contract with the Regional Business Fund, Inc. (RBF, Inc.)-a consolidated regional revolving loan fund program created under the 105(a)(15) HUD regulation. RBF, Inc. is capitalized at over $17 million, covering 7 counties in west central Wisconsin. Tobi has her M.A. in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her B.S. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Prior to working at the WCWRPC, Tobi was employed for six years with the Fair Housing Center of Greater Madison, a satellite office of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council.  

Emily Long

Visit Website | Weld Riley

Emily LongEmily's areas of expertise include Divorce and Family Law, Criminal Defense, and Municipal Prosecution. In her Family Law practice, she helps families navigate situations such as divorce, child custody, and adoption.

Prior to joining Weld Riley, S.C., Emily prosecuted felony and misdemeanor domestic violence and sexual assault cases as an Assistant District Attorney for both Eau Claire and La Crosse Counties. At the same time, she developed alternative means for achieving justice by developing and managing the Eau Claire County Diversion Program and working closely with other committees for alternative justice.

Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and math, cum laude, from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She received her law degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School in Madison, Wisconsin.

Emily is a member of the Eau Claire County Bar Association and the Wisconsin Bar Association. She serves the community by coaching and serving on boards for organizations that assist individuals in need in the community. In her free time, Emily maintains a black belt in karate and enjoys running and spending time with her husband and children.

Elle McGee

Visit Website | Odd Brand Strategy

Elle McGeeLauretta McGee (more commonly known as "Elle") is the Creative Director and Co-Founder at Odd Brand Strategy, a design studio based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Her specialties include website design, search engine optimization, social media management, and brand direction.

When she's not being Odd, she enjoys knitting hats with pom-poms, thrift store hunting, and thai food restaurants.

Nancy Mistele

Visit Website | Office of Business Development

Nancy MisteleNancy Mistele has seen both sides of government rules and regulations.  She has over 30 years in the private sector and 5 years in Wisconsin state government, including 15 months in a regulatory agency.

As a Director in the Office of Business Development, Nancy and her team work to remove red tape, reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens that impact business owners and help businesses connect to various resources across the state. 

A self-proclaimed " life entrepreneur," Nancy is married to an entrepreneur, and all three adult children are also small business owners.

Connie Olson

Visit Website | Micon Cinemas

Connie OlsonConnie is Vice President of Micon Cinemas, a family movie theatre chain in the Chippewa Valley that she owns with her husband Mike. That's how you get Micon (Mike and Connie).

Connie grew up in Rice Lake, WI and has an associate degree in accounting. She met her husband at her first job, a movie theatre. She sold tickets and popcorn and he ran the film. They always wanted their own theatre and made it a reality in 2004 opening Micon Cinemas in Chippewa Falls.

Before that most of her career was working in design and marketing offices in Wyoming, Illinois and Wisconsin. She recently retired from UW-­Eau Claire after 28 years in the university's Publications Office, the main design office on campus.

Connie and her husband moved back to the Chippewa Valley in 1987. They purchased and owned Chippewa Valley Softub and Gifts in Oakwood Mall in 2001. Then they were able to open the first Micon Cinemas in 2004 in Chippewa Falls. In 2010 they acquired the Greng's Theatres in Eau Claire. This added an additional 10 screens to the eight they already owned.

Connie works in all facets at the theatre. She works with the accounting, advertising, marketing, designing, booking and sells the tickets and popcorn. She has helped worked with several area organizations to raise money for their causes in the Chippewa Valley.

She has three grown children and five grandchildren.

Krista Paulus

Visit Website | Impact Seven

Krista PaulusWith twenty-one years of business lending experience, Krista Paulus has closed 49 loans totaling $6.6 million since joining Impact Seven in 2013.

She is knowledgeable in a variety of funding sources including SBA Microloans, Rural Development, New Markets Tax Credits, and also assisted in getting Impact Seven and approved Bureau of Indian Affairs lender.

Krista guides borrowers throughout the loan application and underwriting process, tailoring terms and rates to the needs of individual borrowers and continuing to provide support and assistance throughout the life of the loan.

Krista is also active in the community sitting on the boards of local non-profits. Krista holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Wisconsin -Madison, as well as numerous certifications. She is a graduate of the WBA Advanced Commercial Lending School and Real Estate Lending School, as we as the Leadership Washburn County Program.

Taylor Pelissero

Visit Website | Stokes+HERZOG

Taylor PelisseroTaylor Pelissero is an account manager at Stokes+HERZOG Advertising, Public Relations and Marketing in Eau Claire. Her writing and editing skills and her ability to problem solve make her a great asset to the team.

She works on special event planning for clients, as well as social media, client relations, website updates, and much more to provide solutions that give business owners the freedom and peace of mind they need to run their businesses.

Linda Pophal

Visit Website | Strategic Communications, LLC


Linda Pophal

Linda Pophal, MA, SHRM-SCP is owner/CEO of Strategic Communications, LLC, and a marketing and communication strategist with expertise in strategic planning, B2B content marketing, PR/media relations, social media and SEO.

Her background as a freelance business journalist, advertising copywriter and corporate communication professional provides the foundation for understanding how to produce and use high-quality, personalized content to inform, motivate and engage audiences. This, coupled with expertise in online marketing, SEO and social media, serves as a foundation for working with clients to find the most cost effective combination of traditional and digital communication tactics to get the results they're looking for.  

Linda is the author of several books on marketing and business practices, most recently Best Practices in Influencer Marketing.

 Linda is accredited through the American Marketing Association and is a member of the Association of Health Care Executives, the Society for Human Resource Management and the Association of Health Care Journalists. She is a digital marketing specialist with the State of Wisconsin's Center for Business Intelligence.


Renee Sommer

The Marketing VA

Renee Sommer

Renee Sommer is a small business owner with a diverse background in HR/Recruiting, Social Media Management, and Marketing Strategy. She believes that every business can attract and retain their ideal clients by using authenticity, smart branding, and their hearts. 

Sarah Stokes

Visit Website | Stokes+HERZOG

Sarah StokesSarah Stokes has BA in Journalism and Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science. Sarah worked in television news before starting Stokes+HERZOG with her husband. She is an expert in the areas of strategic planning, media relations, writing, editing, event planning, problem solving, on-camera talent, social media expertise, community relations and ad development.

Sarah loves to connect people to solutions. She pours her heart into time with their young son and daughter and has a huge heart for philanthropy, serving on several boards and spearheading fundraisers.

Sarah left TV news in 2013 to launch ownership of a women's magazine called Queen of the Castle. Sarah grew the magazine to 7 times its size and sold the magazine in 2016 to focus more on the growing agency needs at Stokes+HERZOG. She was named the Business Woman of the Year in 2016 for the Western Dairyland Women's Business Center and Extraordinary Business Woman of the Year in 2014 by Polka Dot Powerhouse, a national connection company for women.

Sue Tietz

Visit Website | McDonough Manufacturing Company

Sue TietzSue started work at McDonough Manufacturing Company September 1962 as a 9th grade student. She was employed by McDonough Manufacturing in both part time and fulltime capacity since that time. Sue has been full time  since May 1972. 

She became a stockholder in 1978, as well as becoming the Vice  President. Sue became the Secretary/Treasurer in 1980, Chief Financial Officer in January of 1990. 

Sue inherited co-ownership upon death of her father Jan. 2, 1990. She then became sole owner of McDonough Manufacturing Company on April 28, 1995. Sue is a 1972 graduate of University of Wisconsin Eau Claire with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social Welfare.


Mary Trimmier

Visit Website | SBA

Mary Trimmier  is a Lead Economic Development Specialist who works with lenders, businesses and business associations to understand SBA lending and the resources that support small businesses. 

Mary is the liaison for the Women's Business Centers, coordinates the SBA awards program and markets the programs to the northeast portion of the state. 

Mary previously worked for Prudential Insurance Company where she specialized in customer service and quality improvements.  Mary is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay.  

Serena Wagner

Visit Website | Odd Brand Strategy

Serena WagnerSerena Wagner is the Creative Director and Co-Founder of Odd Brand Strategy. Her focus areas include illustration, editorial design, photography, and branding.

In her spare time she makes dreamy girl pop music under the moniker, Sniffle Party, and acts as the Editor-in-Chief/ Founder of Twig Magazine.

Beth Waldhart

Visit Website | Charter Bank

Beth WaldhartBeth Waldhart joined Charter Bank as an AVP/Business Banker on October 3, 2016, specializing in small business startup and expansions. She brings 15 years of lending experience to the bank, with the last 9 years at Regional Business Fund, Inc., an economic development financing program for business expansion and start up. There, she managed the non-profit organization and provided financing to hundreds of businesses throughout the Chippewa Valley and beyond.

Beth is active in the community, serving as a board member for Junior Achievement, the Eau Claire Area Economic Development Corporation, and the Women's Business Center. She is also a Chamber Ambassador, a committee member of the Women's Business Center Revolving Loan Fund, and a member of the Women's Giving Circle. She graduated Cum Laude from Ripon College with her degree in Economics, Mathematics minor and Business Management Certificate. Beth also undertook a year of graduate work at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute for Public Policy, focusing on Women's Studies and Education Policy, where she ran a program called Tennis Plus, through which low-income girls were taught tennis and life skills.

Christina Wiersgalla

Visit Website | Wiersgalla Company Inc.

Christina Wiersgalla is a life-long resident of the Chippewa Valley and was born into a local family of small business owners.  For over 80 years her family has provided many residents of the Chippewa Valley with employment opportunities in construction and business.  Leaders of local business have raised her and from a very young age she has understood the important role it plays in our community and the financial impact it has on our future existence.

Her personal experience includes an associate degree in marketing from the Chippewa Valley Technical College.  She believes in life-long education and over the years Christina has attended numerous seminars and obtained certificates from the University of Wisconsin;  Eau Claire Small Business Development Center and continuing education certificates in business and industry related courses from the Plumbing Heating Cooling Contractors Association of Wisconsin and the State of Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

Her job responsibilities at Wiersgalla Company Inc. have advanced over the years from marketing manager to general manager to her current position as vice president of operations.  She is a devoted employer and business owner and possesses integrity, persistence and determination.  Because of her decision-making skills, she embraces tough challenges and have had to do so for many years as a single parent of three children and as a female project manager in a male dominated industry.

Denise Woodford

Visit Website | CVTC

Denise WoodfordDenise Woodford has transitioned to the CVTC business and industry team after a number of successful years teaching business technology to CVTC students in the Executive Assistant, Business Management, and Paralegal programs. 

Denise brings a diverse business background to her work with clients. She is a graduate of UW - Eau Claire, and has worked in legal, finance, and business areas, spending 13 years as an operations manager for a chain of retail stores with locations throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

As the owner of a successful small business in the Eau Claire area for more than 20 years, she has personal experience in the challenges facing today's business owners. Denise is the recipient of the Dunn County Educator of the Year Award, CVACTE  New Instructor of the Year Award, and the Domer New Faculty Teaching Award

MaiVue Xiong

Visit Website | Weld Riley

MaiVue XiongMaiVue Xiong'spractice focuses on business formations, business purchases and sales, mergers and acquisitions, banking and financing, real estate, landlord/tenant, and intellectual property law.

MaiVue also uses her expertise in these areas to provide opinions on metallic and nonmetallic (frac sand) mining issues for companies and landowners.

MaiVue received her undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she had the high honors of serving on the Moot Court Board and International Law Journal Board.

She is a member of the Eau Claire County Bar and Wisconsin State Bar Associations, and is a graduate of the Leadership Menomonie 2011 class.  She was previously a member of the Eau Claire Noon Rotary Club and currently serves as a board member on the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce. 

She is originally from Altoona and resides in the Chippewa Valley with her family. Upon returning home, MaiVue helped form Hmong Professionals of the Chippewa Valley (HPCV), a group focused on bringing Hmong professionals together to make positive changes in the community through education, advocacy, and volunteer efforts. 

Outside of practicing law, MaiVue enjoys early morning boot camp classes and spending time with her husband and children. 

Sherri Yukel

Visit Website | Big Dot of Happiness

Sherri YukelSherri is a natural entrepreneur, becoming the "Creator of Dots" in 1999 after her hobby of sewing baby shower gifts for friends and family started to grow, eventually turning into Her husband, Scott, joined the team in 2004 and together, they employ 45 "fanatics" in a 20,000-square-foot facility in Menomonie, Wisconsin.

Sherri manages the sales and creative side of the company while Scott, the "Connector of Dots," focuses on the financial side. The interesting combination of manufacturing and selling your own products presents unique, ongoing challenges as online marketplaces evolve. Because of this, she was selected as one of 300 women from around the world to attend the first-ever Amazon Marketplace Women's Entrepreneur Conference and asked to participate in their conference video.

Sherri has also appeared on numerous television shows to share her party planning expertise, and was featured in various magazines as party style inspiration. According to Sherri, there are three ways to achieve your own dreams: love what you do, fail forward, and be remarkable!

Ben Zugay

Visit Website | Chippewa Valley Technical College

Ben ZugayBen Zugay began his first business when he was 14 years old, which he ran for 9 years.  In his early 20s, Ben was hired by the Walt Disney Company to serve as a Theme Park Operations Manager, overseeing a 150+ employee operation.  By his mid-20s, Ben was serving in a middle and subsequently upper management position at a start-up boutique style resort.

Ben has a Master's of Business Administration degree from Carroll University, and has been recognized for teaching excellence at both Carroll University and Chippewa Valley Technical College, where he is the Program Director for the new Entrepreneurship Program.

Ben will be attending the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater this fall studying in the Doctorate of Business Administration program.

Kelly Zugay

Visit Website | Grace and Gold

Kelly ZugayKelly Zugay is an entrepreneur and educator. She began her career in higher education, and upon relocating to Eau Claire in 2014, became Co-Founder of With Grace and Gold, a creative studio dedicated to providing branding, web design, and education for creative women in business.

Since 2014, With Grace and Gold has become a leading design studio; Kelly has traveled throughout the United States to speak to diverse audiences about entrepreneurship, branding, marketing, and more. Kelly believes every entrepreneur can be successful by embracing and celebrating her unique talents. 

This event brought to you by Western Dairyland Women's Business Center, a program of the Western Dairyland Community Action Agency.
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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.