Conference Speakers

 

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Do you have practical tips and specific information for starting, growing, or improving a business? We would love for you to share your knowledge at our Eau Claire business conference!

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Conference Speakers

Stacie Brenner

Visit Website | Stacie Brenner Coaching

Stacie BrennerHey there, I'm a former teacher turned success coach who is passionate about health & fitness, personal development, family, and adventure. I work with females who are ready to pour into their mind, body, and spirit to become their BEST SELF. I empower my clients to lean into their intuition and break through their limiting beliefs so they can align to their true purpose and create the life that they desire. My programs combine mindset, health, and high-performance habits to equip my clients with the tools they need to achieve and maintain harmony and success. Click here to learn more about Stacie.

LuAnn Buechler

Visit Website | PMC Events & Coaching

LuAnn Buechler

LuAnn Buechler, CMP, Passionate Business Owner, Business Coach, Speaker and Master Trainer. “Finding Joy through Passion, People and Process” Passionate about everything she does. LuAnn uses her unique personality and experiences to relate to her audiences in delivering passionate presentations that inspire people to achieve the success they desire in business and in life, by helping them Live their personal SPARK! As a Certified Facilitator of The Passion Test, LuAnn shares with audiences a simply yet powerful system to determine your true passions and set a course to living your life’s destiny. As a Certified Facilitator of the Passion Test for Business, LuAnn is Igniting the Heart of Business. Bringing to life the unique contribution of the businesses she works with while aligning their team to their personal passions to create a company culture that thrives in today’s business environment. Click here to learn more about LuAnn.

Tammie Clendenning

Visit Website | U.S. Small Business Administration

Tammie Clendenning

Tammie Clendenning is the Lead Economic Development Specialist for the Wisconsin District of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Tammie is responsible for providing training on SBA’s programs and services including capital access, procurement and business advising.  She enjoys talking to entrepreneurs about the many resources available to them at exhibits and networking events.

Tammie is the district office technical representative for the Women’s Business Centers in the state and the Score Liaison. Prior to joining SBA, she held business development and leadership positions in commercial finance. She earned a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and is a small business owner. Click here to learn more about the SBA.

Dr. Emily Elsner Twesme

Visit Website | Vibrant Virtual

Stacy Whaley

Dr. Emily Elsner Twesme is a consultant and thought leader in effective management techniques, developed from years of study, consultation, and direct experience. In early management roles, Emily found she was frustrated trying to understand why some teams were effective and others were not, seemingly without cause. But as she dove deeper, she learned more about what made effective managers different – and how they were able to make small changes to create big results. After her roles in management and then as a University-level instructor in Business Communications, Emily founded Vibrant Virtual to help small businesses manage virtual interns with the goal of strengthening their relationship with the next generation of employees. Click here to learn more about Vibrant Virtual.

Kim Garber

Visit Website | Wisconsin Procurement Institute

Kim Garber

Kim S. Garber is the Director of Small Business Programs at the Wisconsin Procurement Institute. Kim has been with WPI 10+ years. With 25 years’ experience in Government contracting. The Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI), a non-profit organization established in 1987, is an outgrowth of then Congressman Les Aspin’s efforts to help Wisconsin businesses win federal contracts, especially defense contracts.

WPI’s mission is to assist Wisconsin businesses in all of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to create, develop and grow their Federal, State and Local Government sales, revenues, profits and jobs. Click here to learn more about WPI.

Laura Gmeinder

Visit Website | Laura Gmeinder Coaching & Consulting, LLC

Laura GmeinderLaura Gmeinder is an award-winning entrepreneur, certified coach and national speaker. She is an InBusiness Magazine “40 Under 40” and a BRAVA magazine “Woman to Watch”. She is committed to building community and giving back; Laura supports entrepreneurs for the Doyenne Group and The Coaching Fellowship. Laura has made it her life’s mission to empower ambitious women and provide the support they need to be successful -on their terms- in business and life. With over 20 years of experience in business and women’s leadership, her sweet spot is the intersection of mindset and strategy, the “can-do” and action plan we all need to play big and smash our goals. Click here to learn more about Laura Gmeinder Coaching & Consulting, LLC.

Dr. Maysee Herr

Visit Website | Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC)

Dr. Maysee Herr

Dr. Maysee Herr is Chief Executive Officer of HWCC (Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce). HWCC is a statewide Community Development Financial Institution, headquartered in Milwaukee with a satellite office in Wausau, shared office space in Madison, and future offices in Eau Claire and Appleton. Prior to coming to HWCC, Dr. Herr was a professor at University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, teaching undergraduate and graduate courses for nearly 10 years. Her teaching career combined with her background in strategic planning and diversity, equity, and inclusion work, led her to consulting opportunities with businesses in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Being the daughter of a Hmong entrepreneur herself, Dr. Herr has seen firsthand the struggles that many entrepreneurs and small business owners of color face and uses that experience to advocate for HWCC clients and community members that HWCC serves.
She is currently a board member for Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Services (WIPPS), Wisconsin Humanities and Employ Milwaukee. She was recently recruited to serve on the Forward 48 Advisory Board, a program that is working to build diverse civic leadership through “experiential learning, professional development, and exclusive networking opportunities.” Prior to these boards, Dr. Herr served as executive board members for Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, Toward One Wausau, and the Marathon County Child Development Agency. She also serves on several health committees in the community. Dr. Herr was recognized as a BizTimes Media Notable Minority Executive and one of 48 Most Influential Asian Americans in Wisconsin in year 2020. She was most recently nominated as Madison365 2021 Nonprofit Leader of the Year. Click here to learn more about Dr. Maysee Herr and her team.

Gretchen Hudacek

Visit Website | Royal Credit Union

Michelle Madl-Soehren

Gretchen Hudacek has over 30 years of experience, including various leadership roles, within the financial services industry. She's a positive and energetic business professional with proven skills in business development, building brand recognition, and facilitating business meetings. Gretchen is a trusted adviser to business clients as well as a strategic community partner and leader. Gretchen also founded and ran JGT LLC dba What Grows Around Comes Around kids consignment sale in Sioux Falls, SD, for 11 years and successfully sold it. The business continues today under the name of JBF of Greater Sioux Falls. Click here to learn more about RCU.

Carolyn Jahnke

Visit Website | Athena Legal Solutions LLC

Vanessa Klemish

I left my corporate job and started my own business because life is too short not to live your best life! I wanted to use my legal and business expertise to make an immediate and meaningful difference in the lives of those on the front lines of changing the world –  Leaders just like you. You've chosen to take risks to build something that will make not only a difference in your life but also the lives of the people in your communities and even the world. You are amazing! Founding Athena Legal Solutions has allowed me to use my business, nonprofit, and legal skills honed after more than two decades in private and public sectors. Unlike most lawyers, I’ve never worked at a law firm, I've only ever worked as in-house counsel for an organization. Therefore, my approach to the law is based on the pragmatic realities of running an organization and focused on supporting you in achieving your goals! I see myself as a trusted part of your team who understands your business and enables you to use the law to grow your organization and achieve your goals. Too often leaders don’t seek legal advice until it is too late and the costs are too high. Proactive, instead of reactive, legal actions can set you up for greater success and help you avoid higher costs down the road. I'll work with you to evaluate your needs and help you prioritize what actions need to happen in the short-, mid- and long-term to help your organization thrive. Click here to learn more about Athena Legal Solutions.

Erin Johnson

Visit Website | Integrity Audit & Tax

Stephanie Schneider

Erin Johnson is a Certified Public Accountant that holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Viterbo University. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and has a well-rounded career including working for private corporations, tribal government, and public accounting offices. While working for organizations such as Trane Inc, and the Ho-Chunk Nation, she developed all facets of her accounting expertise. She has over 15 years of career management experience overseeing Ho-Chunk Nations’ gaming enterprises CFO’s, non-profit organizations, and Treasurer of the tribal government. Her large contributions include creation and serving on a Trust & Investment Committee overseeing over 400M in funds. This resulted from the volunteer interests she has in building communities and supporting solutions to meet these needs. With her interest in taxation, she has worked over 10 years; with CPA accounting firms and specialty tax organizations including many years supporting a family tax business in Milwaukee, WI. Her focus remains on helping individuals, businesses, and governments strengthen their financial affairs so they may achieve their financial goals. Click here to learn more about Integrity Audit & Tax.

Jeff Kersten

Visit Website | DATCP

Jeff Kersten

Jeff Kersten is the Agency Liaison for the Bureau of Consumer Protection within the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.  As the Agency Liaison, Jeff travels around the state to educate the public, businesses and law enforcement on privacy protection, data security, identity theft, and other areas of consumer protection. Jeff has over 12 years of experience as a police officer and is a prior Consumer Protection Investigator for the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Click here to learn more about DATCP.

Sam Kjelstad

Visit Website | CLA (CliftonLarsonAllen LLP)

Vanessa Klemish

Sam Kjelstad is a BizOps Controller leading the Western WI Nonprofit team with the CliftonLarsonAllen Eau Claire, WI office. Sam has over nine years of experience in the accounting profession serving nonprofit organizations. She graduated with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting and Finance degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Click here to learn more about CliftonLarsonAllen.

Vanessa Klemish

Visit Website | Klemish & Johnson, LLC

Vanessa Klemish

Vanessa A. Klemish is a partner with the law firm of Klemish & Johnson LLC in Eau Claire.  She is a graduate of Bloomer High School, the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and the University of Wisconsin School of Law.  Vanessa practices general civil law which includes business, contracts, real estate and estate planning matters. Click here to learn more about Klemish & Johnson LLC.

Katie Labedz

Visit Website | Learning to Lean

Katie LabedzKatie Labedz is the President of Learning to Lean, LLC. Her goal is to work with individuals and organizations to improve their processes, eliminate waste and provide value back to the business. Katie has experience in deploying continuous improvement in manufacturing and non-manufacturing (IT, HR, Supply Chain) for Jabil, Oshkosh Truck and Plexus. Katie is a Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt that has been practicing Lean and Six Sigma concepts for the past 20 years. Click here to learn more about Learning to Lean LLC.

Anna Ledebuhr

Visit Website | Coulee Boutique

Vanessa Klemish

How did Coulee Boutique get started? I was feeling restless and looking for a challenge - you'd think three kids would keep me busy enough! Though the idea was new and a bit crazy, my supportive family has backed me every step of the way. I am a teacher by trade, and my intrinsic need to help others is satisfied tenfold through this business. I sincerely appreciate each and every customer that Coulee Boutique has blessed me with. From a teacher with a restless heart to a full-fledgling business owner...here we are! Since opening Coulee Boutique, we have grown leaps and bounds. I left my teaching career of 13 years to pursue this business full-time. We've added a brick and mortar, live sales, and a big move to the list of changes since opening in June of 2018. Click here to learn more about the Coulee Boutique.

Kaileen McMickle

Visit Website | Inner Ascent Counseling LLC

Vanessa Klemish

Kaileen McMickle is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Owner/Founder of Inner Ascent Counseling LLC in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. She has been in the mental health field for eight years, six of those years post-grad. She spent six years working with adolescents in a trauma-based day treatment program and now works primarily with adult women. She specializes in trauma, anxiety, perfectionism, PTSD, and OCD, and holds certification as a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP). She is equally passionate about helping people dismantle and and overcome shame. Click here to learn more about Inner Ascent Counseling LLC.

Farrah Miller

Visit Website | Chic Sweets Drinks & Desserts

Vanessa Klemish

My love for all things sweet, and passion for all things Chic, made the perfect recipe for Chic Sweets Desserts to blossom into the desserts lounge  the Chippewa Valley has come to love. My very first memories of baking are those sprinkled with laughter, love and messes made in the kitchen with my late mother Amethysts.  I'm sure she would have never imagined that the very first EasyBake oven she gave me for my third  birthday would be would influence my creative passion for a life time.  After going to school for two semesters for Sports and Event Marketing, I realized the typical class room was not hands on enough for me.  One year later I became a self-taught dessert artist, and I have never looked back. Desserts were only the beginning of how I would express my true desire to style, design, and decorate my way through life.   I've used my natural talents and keen eye for art and design to obtain a very diverse portfolio. Weather I'm Styling a space with balloons, Coving a cake or cookies with buttercream or  using my make-up brushes to "beat" a face, I'm doing what I love. Click here to learn more about Chic Sweets Drinks & Desserts.

Tru Mwololo

Visit Website | Wisconsin Procurement Institute

Tru Mwololo is the Manager of Small Business Programs at the Wisconsin Procurement Institute. WPI Assists businesses in creating, developing and growing their sales, revenue and jobs through Federal, State and Local Government contracts. WPI offers: Individual Counseling at our offices, at client’s facilities or via telephone/GoToMeeting; Small Group Training through workshops and webinars; Conferences to include one-on-one or roundtable sessions. Last year WPI provided training at over 100 events and provided service to over 1,200 companies. Click here to learn more about the Wisconsin Procurement Institute.

Tara Nolan

Visit Website | Transformation Tara

Tara NolanWith fifteen years in Corporate Management and Top Sales Performance, followed by another decade as a world-traveling yogi leading transformation retreats and training, Tara combines her experience in corporate business, cultural awareness, extensive yoga training, and spiritual study to take a holistic approach to modern business. She guides high achievers to define success on their own terms and rise with ease and flow, not stress and struggle. Tara dedicated years of study to Eastern Philosophy, Psychology, Spirituality & Yogic Lifestyle on a quest for knowledge on happiness and deep-level fulfillment. Through this journey, she also learned what is possible in the world of online business and social media to allow freedom in living anywhere doing anything. After traveling over six continents and 25 countries solo, and navigating her path through loss, pain, abuse, love, career change, and single motherhood, Tara has found her gift in guiding others to find their purpose, step into their power and create their ideal life. Click here to learn more about Tara.

Molly Rodriguez

Visit Website | Eau Claire Body Care

Vanessa KlemishMolly Rodriguez is an Arcadia native and cherishes her small-town roots. She moved back to the area from Chicago in 2019. Her career as a nurse, business owner, and professional speaker has led to amazing opportunities. She has worked internationally, is bi-lingual, a former professional dancer and worked the front lines as a nurse during the pandemic. Molly is a professional speaker and engages every last audience member to reflect deeply and grow professionally. You will love how everyone leaves the presentation with a new business strategy and a smile on their face! Click here to learn more about Eau Claire Body Care.

Stephanie Schneider

Visit Website | Together Farms

Stephanie Schneider

I'm Stephanie Schneider, co-owner of Together Farms in Mondovi, WI. We started farming in about 2010 for ourselves only and then expanded to raise meat for others in about 2012. I pretty much wanted to do it all and re-create the little house on the prairie but quickly realized there just weren’t enough hours in the day or dollars in the bank to do that: a job and farmer’s markets. We added a commercial kitchen to our farm in 2018, so we could host on-farm events and add value to our meat. In 2019, I was able to quit the day job and focus all my energy on the farm and YOU! So thanks a million for visiting us - I sure hope I get to meet you sometime soon too! Click here to learn more about Together Farms.

Tammy Tom-Steinmetz

Visit Website | Talking Results, LLC

Tammy Tom Steinmetz

Tammy brings over 25 years of experience to Talking Results. Tammy’s expertise includes working collaboratively and systematically to design customized solutions for businesses, organizations, agencies, non-profits and cooperatives to achieve their unique and specific goals. Tammy has experience in facilitating, consulting, conducting training sessions, mediation and mentoring. Tammy has a Masters of Business Administration, Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Sociology and Psychology. She has certificates and training in change processes, organizational effectiveness, lean, NiaTx, motivational interviewing, ToP Facilitation Methods, mediation and grant writing. Her diverse experience, training, and education is why she is able to offer a unique perspective and ideas to each conversation. Click here to learn more about Tammy Tom-Steinmetz.

Erin Trowbridge

Visit Website | Four Peas Consulting

Erin Trowbridge

Erin Trowbridge is a co-owner of Four Peas Consulting and has over ten years of experience in digital marketing in a variety of industries. She has worked on large and small marketing teams, for entrepreneurs and enterprise-level organizations.  She has experience in team leadership, project management, campaign strategy, content strategy, marketing analytics, marketing technologies, graphic design, training and process improvement. Her passion is educating other marketers, and by sharing her experiences, she hopes to help others become better practitioners and advocates of marketing best practices in today's digital landscape. Click here to learn more about the Four Peas.

Amy Vik

Visit Website | H&R Block

Amy Vik

My name is Amy Vik. I am an Enrolled Agent with 25 years of experience at H & R Block. I specialize in individual as well as business tax returns. I love to help people save money and plan for their futures by sharing my tax knowledge. The new and ever-changing tax laws present a challenge that I enjoy applying to each tax return. Click to learn more about Amy Vik.

Stacy Whaley

Visit Website | Fire Up & Lead, LLC

Stacy Whaley

Stacy Whaley is the Owner of Fire Up & Lead, a business coaching and consulting company she runs virtually from her home office in Chippewa Falls, WI. Stacy is passionate about helping busy and overwhelmed business owners take control of their time and their lives. At Fire Up & Lead the focus is on building the two critical sides of business, purposeful business development alongside purposeful leadership development. Fire Up & Lead's mission is to challenge and inspire entrepreneurs to DO better and to BE better in their business and in their lives. Click to learn more about Stacy and Fire Up & Lead.

Carolyn Zick

Visit Website | Bad Axe Enterprises

Carolyn Zick

Carolyn Zick is a social marketing expert and the founder of Bad Axe Enterprises. For over seven years, she has guided business owners and community organizations towards being intentional and impactful with their online marketing through social media, websites, and online community building. Click here to learn more about Bad Axe Enterprises.

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

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.

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