Nick O’BrienHow to be an advocate for your own community
Nick O’Brien is a community/economic development creative with a passion for building and activating people-centered communities. Following the first several years of his professional life as a TV sports reporter and anchor (which relocated him to the state of Wisconsin), Nick serendipitously collided with the realm of community and economic development when he was asked to manage a young professionals group in the central Wisconsin community where his journalism career had landed him. It didn’t take long for Nick to realize his passion for the work that it takes to drive place-based talent engagement and community-enhancing projects. Since 2015, Nick has built a professional career from his personal purpose in life — to connect people to people, people to place, and people to purpose. His work benefits cities and organizations through the use of grassroots community engagement and creative economic development projects, which has led him to serve on dozens of local, regional, and statewide committees and boards throughout Wisconsin. In addition, Nick has been fortunate to gain recognition as both a 20 Under 40 recipient and a Person of the Year in cities where he’s lived and worked.
Nick is the co-founder and principal of You Are Here, LLC, an engagement and experience design firm that enables him to share his energy and purpose with businesses, non-profits, and municipalities. You Are Here’s people-centered strategies and projects result in valuable outcomes such as higher levels of community engagement, creative activation of underused property, better-connected entrepreneur and talent ecosystems, and a culture of creativity and collaboration. Since 2017, You Are Here has created and led various initiatives in Wausau, Eau Claire, Milwaukee, and Sheboygan.
Judy GoldsmithFixing racial injustice starts with us
Judy Goldsmith, a past national president of the National Organization for Women, also served as Campus Dean/CEO of UW-Fond du Lac from 1993-2002 and again from 2009-2010, in the interim position. She was also a founder of The Humanity Project: Telling the Untold Story, an effort to combat racial injustice.
Goldsmith is a Wisconsin native, having grown up in Two Rivers. After getting an MS degree in English at the University of New York in Buffalo, she taught English for 15 years, first at SUNY Buffalo and then returning to Wisconsin to teach at the UW Manitowoc, before becoming involved in the National Organization for Women. She served in leadership positions at the local and state level of NOW, then was elected to the national board of directors, after which she moved to Washington, D.C. to serve first as executive vice president and finally as national president of the organization (1982-1986).
Godsmith also served on the Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors for 20 years.
Shawn RobinsonLearning to read: From failure to success
Shawn Anthony Robinson, PhD, is a Faculty Member at Madison College, a Senior Research Associate in the Wisconsin’s Equity and Inclusion Laboratory (Wei LAB) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and serves on the Board of Directors with the International Dyslexia Association. Robinson graduated from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (UWO) with a Bachelor’s of Science in Human Services, a Master’s in Education from DePaul University, and a PhD in Language and Literacy from Cardinal Stritch University. Robinson has over 40 publications and has received several distinguished honors throughout his early career such as: the 2017 Alumni Achievement Award/New Trier High School Alumni Hall of Honor; the 2016 Outstanding Young Alumni Award from UWO; and the All-State Insurance’s 2005 Educator of the Year Chicago, ILL.
Dr. Robinson is the author, along with Dr. Inshirah V. Robinson, of the Dr. Dyslexia Dude book series. He is a sought-after speaker, both nationally and the state level, for various organizations and school districts. Robinson is also a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. He is married to Dr. Inshirah V. Robinson, and is the father of Jeremiah and Ezekiel.
Paul SunseriHow families can support a child's mental health
Paul Sunseri, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in children’s mental health and is a pioneer in family therapy. He is the founder of three community mental health agencies and has worked to improve the lives of countless children and families over the past three decades. Dr. Sunseri is also a researcher and has published original research on the relationship between family functioning and children’s mental health. His most recent study (“Hidden Figures: Is the Key to Improving Children’s Mental Health through Better Family Functioning?”) is the largest research study ever conducted and shows that children and adolescents with serious mental illness benefit the most when their family as a whole is treated and family functioning improves. Dr. Sunseri is also the developer of Intensive In-Home Family Treatment (IIFT), an innovative treatment approach for children and teens in high conflict families for which traditional outpatient therapy has been ineffective.
Veronica Scott-FultonHow social determinants impact healthcare
Veronica Scott-Fulton is Regional Senior Vice President and Chief Nurse Executive of SSM Health. She is an accomplished Executive with proven success leading teams in the achievement of a vision for transforming and creating value in healthcare. She has expertise in lean leadership, strategic planning, innovation and process redesign, creating measurable and sustained results.
Lynn RoethkeSometimes you have to lose to win
In a career that began in 1967, Lynn Roethke reigns as one of the most accomplished American women judo athletes in the history of the sport. Lynn holds the rank of eighth degree black belt. This promotion made her the youngest eighth degree black belt and one of only two of the highest ranked woman in the United States.
Lynn was the first American woman to medal in judo at the Olympic Games, winning a silver medal at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Korea. She was also an Olympic team member in Barcelona in 1992. In 1987 Lynn was inducted into the Black Belt Hall of Fame, making her the first woman in the world to earn that honor. In 2008, she was inducted in the inaugural class of the USA Judo Hall of Fame. She was selected by the U.S. Olympic committee as “female athlete of the year” in the sport of judo in 1985 and 1987.
Winner of a silver medal in the 1987 World Championships, Lynn is also a two-time gold medalist in the Pan American Games. Her honors also include some 450 judo awards in competitions throughout the world. Lynn is a nine time U.S. Senior National Champion. Lynn is an honors graduate from Marian University holding a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration and Sport and Recreation Management. She resides in Fond du Lac, and is owner/operator of Club Olympia, an adult co-ed fitness center, which recently celebrated its twenty second year anniversary. She is a certified personal trainer and group exercise instructor. Lynn teaches and coaches a judo program at her fitness club which has produced State, National and International Champions. She also conducts motivational seminars and clinics throughout the United States.
Samantha NelsonWhy snakes are good pets
Illustrator and Fond du Lac native Samantha Nelson holds a bachelor’s degree in illustration from UW-Eau Claire and holds certification in web development. They were the Fond du Lac Public Library’s Idea Studio 2019 summer artist in residence, conducting workshops on life drawing, concept character creation with 3-D printing and screen printing.
Nelson was also instrumental in the launching the Idea Studio’s Girls Who Code Club. Their creativity inspiration comes from their pet rats, beekeeping, reptile breeding projects, tarantulas and microfauna vivariums. They are an avid lover of non-traditional pets and educator on how to care and respect them.
Wendy BabcockA bucket brigade of kindness
Wendy inspires audiences to create more positivity, complain less and challenges us all to be a force against bullying by bringing more kindness to the world. Wendy has been featured in the Readers Digest, The Wisconsin State Journal and many TV appearances such as ABC, NBC, Wake Up Wisconsin, Channel 3000, Fox47 and more.
In 2016 Wendy Babcock teamed up with Will Bowen, #1 International Best Selling author and World Authority on Complaining, to help share his message of A Complaint Free World and Complaint Free Business. Not only is Wendy the only active Certified Complaint Free Speaker in the world – Wendy has also been named the Director of the Complaint Free Trainers Program.
In her personal life, she is a happily married mom of two adult daughters and a fur-mama of two dogs and three cats. Besides avoiding exercise like the plague – she finds enjoyment taking to the ATV trails with her husband on their UTV named “Chuck.” Wendy is an avid prankster and loves inspiring eye-rolls with her quick-fire wit and corny jokes.
Emily TruskUse trauma to propel creativity and success
Emily Trusk is an empath, a vivid dreamer, a singer, an artist, but most of all, a poet. She uses words and voice to draw meaning from darkness. Poetry is her way of healing trauma and using those experiences to create art. Emily graduated from UW Oshkosh with a Bachelor of Science in English Literature and is now the Community Engagement Coordinator at Thelma Sadoff Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac, WI.
Shelley WinnerHiring the formerly incarcerated is best for your team
Shelley Winner is a Restorative Justice Activist whose goal is to change the world, reduce crime and advocate for justice involved people all while helping companies improve productivity and revenues. 76% of people released from prison will re-offend and return to prison; this is called recidivism and Shelley is working to turn the tide on this statistic. Someone has to challenge the societal stigma that prevents companies from hiring people with criminal records and Shelley has taken up that mantle.
Her fight for this cause has changed the hiring policy and practices for one of the largest tech companies in the world, who also happens to be her employer. Winner, a technology specialist, is very active in the restorative justice movement in San Francisco and wants to educate the public about the benefits of hiring the formerly incarcerated.
Maggie WentzellThe Anatomy of Bias
Dr. Maggie Wentzell draws from her experience as a woman in science to explore unconscious biases and their biological origins. Tracing contradictory behavioral drives to specific areas of the brain allows us to begin to understand how to correct them. This TEDx talk will describe the reasons why we sometimes unconsciously behave in ways that are not in keeping with our conscious values.
A neurobiologist, Dr. Wentzell is an assistant professor at Carthage College in Kenosha. Her research interests focus on sensorimotor integration and behavior driven by specific neural networks. Maggie is an “Equity Warrior”, a member of the Carthage community devoted to adopting inclusive practices and programs to create opportunity for all. She leads an annual study abroad trip, focused on health care in India. Maggie was born and raised south of Fond du Lac and graduated from St. Mary’s Springs. She earned her PhD in Biology from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Emily WaisanenIntention vs. Interpretation of Kindness
Emily Waisanen is a middle school English teacher at Oakfield Middle School, a wife, and a mother of two daughters. She promotes kindness wherever she is: work, home, or in the community. She believes that the key to understanding kindness is to think about interpretation rather than the intention of kind acts in order to make an impact.
Craig St. ClairThe Back Door: Living with Autism
Craig St. Clair
Craig St. Clair is a 27-year old bindery and mailing assistant from New Berlin, WI. Diagnosed with Autism at age 3, life has been nothing short of unique. He views every day challenges in a positive light, often referring to his creative solutions as “finding the back door”. His hobbies and interests include drawing, painting, writing, movies, videography, traveling, ships, planes, and trains. Craig has hosted a YouTube channel called “Cruiseshipz Studios” since 2008 showcasing these interests; this is also where he has met many of his friends, the majority of which share his diagnosis and interests.
Mike PetersenWe the People with Social Media
Two years ago, Mike became an instrumental part in an ecommerce business startup and he is looking forward to his to the next business challenge. Before entering the business world, Mike practiced Criminal Defense for several years. He holds a Juris Doctor from Mitchell-Hamline School of Law and a Bachelor’s Degree from UW-Green Bay. During his time in school, Mike discovered his passion for the Constitution and media and its impact on everyday life. Mike is proud to call Fond du Lac home with his wife, Angie, and their sons, Alex and Aaron.
Deano PapeThe 100 Hour Day? Welcome to Your Cellphone
Robert PamenterThe Clock in Your Brain
Mr. Pamenter has over 35 years of experience in the field of sleep medicine having developed and managed numerous sleep laboratory facilities, co-founded an institute for the training of physicians and technicians in clinical sleep medicine, and given lectures to groups of all kinds from community organizations and schools to international professional conferences. He currently serves as a volunteer coordinator for a hospice and volunteers himself for several organizations. And yes, he portrays S. Claus.
Theresa MentingUnlock Your Shackles
Theresa A. Menting, a life-long Fond du Lac resident, holds degrees in theatre and event planning, and is a professional business owner, mentor, educator, life-coach, and a professional performer. Throughout her work in Fond du Lac, Theresa has always been an advocate for marginalized populations and is intentional in fostering relationships with community members and helping those in need. Theresa is passionate about community engagement and using creative modalities in all aspects of her job.
Theresa founded and directs the Women’s Empowerment Series, through the Fond du Lac Department of Social Services. This program provides mentorship, support and education for women in the Fond du Lac community. Since its inception, Theresa has provided direct supervision to members of the committee, as well as direct mentorship to participants involved.
Theresa is also founder and CEO of Sweet ‘N Easy Events, an organization that provides event planning and coordination services in Fond du Lac and throughout the Fox Cities. In addition to Theresa’s numerous volunteer positions, she was nominated as a Young Professional Future 5 Award Winner, and was named one of Fond du Lac’s 2018 People of the Year. Her company, Sweet ‘N Easy Events, was also named the 2018 Best Full-Service Wedding Planning & Decorating Company by Global Wedding Awards. Theresa’s passion for supporting, mentoring and educating others has been a cornerstone to her success in Fond du Lac.
Jacy ImilkowskiWhat's Your Rhubarb Pie? How Trauma Impacts Choice
Jacy Imilkowski (just think “I-milk-cows-on-skis”), PMP, CPCC, ACC, CLL is a mental health advocate, communication nerd, and champion of finding choices. She combines emotional intelligence, stories, and brain science to help people see the choices they didn’t know they had in their communication, relationships, and lives.
An avid learner, Jacy has spent the last 20 years trying out careers to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up. She’s been a store and restaurant manager, customer service representative, massage practitioner, professional trainer, professional artist, project manager, and executive coach. Jacy is currently living her dream as a professional speaker. She’s also the Co-Dean for the National Speakers Association-WI chapter Speakers Academy and a foster home for Greyhound Pets of America-WI. She loves her dog and probably loves your dog too.
Holland DickirsonHealing the Void: Overfed and Starving
Holland Dickirson is a senior at Marian University working toward a bachelor’s degree in Nursing and Psychology. She aims to pursue a career in psychiatric nursing and eventually attain a master’s degree to become a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. In her spare time, Holland enjoys spending time with her 3-year-old daughter, reading, playing guitar, and volunteering. Some of her current and past volunteer activities include: facilitating an art group for juveniles and a bible-based recovery group for women in the FDL jail, teen mentoring with Youth for Christ, and assisting students with emotional and behavioral disorders at Evans Elementary school.
Holland is passionate about mental health advocacy and strives to use her own experiences to encourage and empathize with others. She is excited to use this platform as a way to further break the stigmas and misconceptions that often surround disordered eating.
Angela DamianiChasing Belonging
The leader of the NEWaukee team, Angela has spent over a decade developing engagement strategies that work. She helps communities and companies build meaningful connections and attract top talent. Angela is a serial entrepreneur launching four businesses, guest contributor and writer for national publications like Fortune, New Geography and Style Salute, frequent public speaker at economic development symposiums like Future Wisconsin and was a 2016 40 Under 40 Award Winner. She lives by the mantra, “uncompromising momentum forward” – there is no challenge too big that can’t be tackled by simply asking “how”.
Samuel BiceA Journey to Healing
Samuel Bice is currently working as an Assembly Technician at Mercury Marine in Fond du lac. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts and Business Economics from Providence Christian College in Pasadena, California. Helping others has become a lifelong goal of Samuel’s by coming alongside people who are hurting, listening to their stories, and sharing his own story of childhood trauma. Samuel hopes to inspire communities to come together to help each other and have difficult conversations about issues that are affecting our neighborhoods, specifically, in the case of sexual abuse.
When Samuel is not working, he enjoys coffee shops, a beer at local breweries, or a long Netflix binge.
Ashley AnneHow Emotion Will Change the World
Dr. Ashley Anne is a licensed neurocounselor, educator, and researcher. Her lifelong struggle with physical and mental disease and disorder inspired her as a researcher to translate research findings within the field of Interpersonal Neurobiology into understandable, applicable tools and practices for everyday people.
Through qualitative and quantitative research methods, Dr. Ashley proposed a new framework for mental health diagnosis and treatment, one that veers away from symptom-based conceptualizations and instead ties observable behaviors to the dysregulated neurological mechanisms that correlate to them. Her hope is to push the envelope of how we understand disease and disorder to ultimately transform the manner in which we resolve it.
Dr. Ashley’s research has shown her that the human system has a natural ability to heal itself; we just need to know it works. Now she spends her career educating others about the four dimensions of the human system – body, mind, relationships, and energy, teaching them about what happens to the system when it falls ill, and how to integrate these four dimensions to cultivate a happy, healthy life.
Arletta AllenCreating the Awe in Your Authenticity
Arletta Allen is a dynamic speaker who serves as a great example of perseverance and resilience. Arletta was raised by a single mother, who relocated with all five of her children to escape a highly domestic and abusive relationship. Allen was born and raised in Yazoo City, Mississippi and currently resides in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin with her four sons. Allen is the CEO/founder of the dynamic lifestyle brand Authentically Arletta and promotes Daring to Persevere and Authenticity. Arletta’s academic background is in the fields of leadership development, communication, public speaking, and management. She also serves as a student leader at Marian University. Arletta anticipates graduating in 2019 from Marian University with a bachelor of communication degree with a minor in business. Prior to enrolling at Marian University, she earned an associate’s degree in leadership development at Moraine Park Technical College.
Ms. Allen speaks on the following topics: perseverance, leadership, domestic abuse, motivation, betrayal, empowerment through transparency, teen pregnancy, single parenting, rearing a child with disabilities, and abandonment. Her mission is to accompany her audience in their journey of discovering and developing their authentic self, while inspiring them to make positive transformation. Her vision is for her audience to uphold an optimistic outlook about their future, through perseverance amidst life’s storms.
In addition to speaking on various interesting topics, Arletta is also involved with many local community organizations. She serves on the board of her local church and is a life coach and mentor to many. She is always seeking opportunities to serve the youth and mentor young teen girls especially in an effort to help them develop self-confidence and esteem. Her hobbies include: video blogging, taking long walks, creative hair-styling, makeup artistry, interior design, and baking.
Owen KarcherTrusting the Body: Softening the Contractions of Masculinity
Owen Karcher, MA, LPC, is an art therapist and social justice consultant with the Center for Community Healing, LLC (www.arttherapymadison.com). He works with the individual and collective healing of trauma and oppression through embodied, creative expression. Owen facilitates group processes that invite participants to learn how power, privilege, and identities impact their relationships and work. He has over ten years of experience working as a care provider and educator in the fields of mental health, violence prevention and intervention, child sexual abuse, HIV/AIDS, building healthy relationships, and moving towards social justice.
Sharissa SebastianThe Pursuit of Happiness in the Workplace
Sharissa Sebastian is a Career Success Coach for Women in Corporate Leadership. She’s also a writer for Forbes and the Huffington Post, a member of the Forbes Coaches Council, author, radio show host and the Co-Owner of Stop.Smile.Breathe. Women’s Retreats. Her passion is helping women fully own their value, step into their confidence, build strong professional relationships and have a career and life they love. Her 13+ year corporate career, primarily in technology leadership, led her on a journey to discover joy and fulfillment in her career and she now helps others do the same through coaching, speaking, writing and corporate engagements.
Nathan ScheerDope Dealer to Hope Dealer
Nathan “Nate” Scheer is an assembly tech at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, as well as a local recovery advocate. After an inconvenient intervention from his probation agent on December 23rd, 2016, Nate got sober after a ten year addiction to opiates and heroin.
Born out of a need to fill a time void, with limited money, the father of 3 started a community service effort with his youngest son that came to be known as “Adventures of a Baby Jerk Face” in which the father and son go to local parks and small businesses to pick up trash and help rebuild a community he (Nate) helped destroy in active addiction.
Joe ScanlinThe Implications of Responsive Physical Environments
Joe cofounded and is the CEO of Scanalytics, the leading Internet of Things company focused on sensor-fusion for physical environments that pioneered the smart-flooring sensor. Scanalytics helps future-proof buildings by using proprietary sensors that are embedded into permanent fixtures like floors and ceilings. These sensors, combined with other sensor data, give buildings the most granular, accurate, and consistent observation of space utilization so the building can automatically react to occupant behaviors. Scanalytics is making it possible for the built environment to have a “brain.”
Prior to Scanalytics, Joe studied a range of subjects from Organizational Behavior to Applied Neuroscience, and is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He sits on the board of multiple technology companies in the computer vision, artificial intelligence, and medical device fields. Joe has contributed to and authored books, papers, and patents in the fields of spatial science, sensor design, and natural language processing. He is currently part of a project that is using computational linguistics to help identify and attenuate mental health deterioration. Joe helped create “On Spatial Science” which is a Chicago-based nonprofit focused on promoting urban intelligence through adoption of smart buildings.
Outside of work, Joe is an avid triathlete, enjoys jiu jitsu, and likes pretty much anything with a motor that can go fast. His newest and most important job is that of a father to his recently born baby girl, Sloane.
Samantha PetitteBeatboxing as Therapy (And Other Impractical Career Choices)
Samantha Petitte is a Master’s student and Graduate Assistant at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in Therapeutic Recreation. Her research interests include the treatment of eating disorders and related disorders, the use of nature-based therapy, place attachment theory, music therapy, equine-facilitated psychotherapy and the benefits of different therapeutic recreation interventions for marginalized groups and for mental health. She is currently working on publications involving nature-based therapy, the intersection of leisure and the drag community, and her thesis on the benefits of equine-facilitated therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Community and Leadership Development from the University of Kentucky, where she was the vocal percussionist (beatboxer) of the female a cappella group Paws and Listen. Samantha has been exploring ways to combine her personal skills with her career goals, which has led her to discovering ways to combine beatboxing and therapeutic interventions.
Garry MoiseServing and Leading with a Quality Mindset
Garry Moïse is a management professional serving primarily in Higher Education. His academic background is in the fields of Management, Marketing, and Organizational Leadership. He is a proud alumnus of both Fox Valley Technical College and Marian University.
He is a dedicated education advocate who is involved in multiple initiatives established to make significant contributions to the others life. His passion for helping others on their personal growth journey led him to self-describe as a Leadership Cultivator and Leadership Aficionado.
He is currently serving as the director of Marian University’s Upward Bound Math and Science (UBMS) program and as co-advisor/instructor for the Model U.N. program. Additionally, for the past few years, he has had the privilege of conducting conference presentations for audiences that include professionals as well as pre-college and college students.
In addition to his daily administrative duties, he serves on the board of his local church as well as numerous local, state, and regional organizations or associations that promote either lifelong learning, inter-cultural relations, and healthy living. He also enjoys opportunities to serve, locally and abroad, as a guide and mentor to young people, who are in needs of various types of support.
Moise lives in the Fond du Lac community with his wife, two sons, and one daughter.
Ryan MartinThe Upside of Anger
Dr. Ryan Martin is the chair of the Psychology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and a nationally known anger researcher. His work focuses on healthy and unhealthy expressions of anger, including how we express anger online. He teaches courses on mental illness, emotion, and anger and violence. He also hosts the popular UW-Green Bay Psychology podcast, Psychology and Stuff, and manages the anger and violence blog, All the Rage. Ryan’s work has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, NPR, BBC Radio, and Invisibilia. Ryan received his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Southern Mississippi and his B.A. in Psychology from the University of St. Thomas.
The talk of Dr. Martin has been re-posted as an official TED talk and that is the link provided in this post.
Nadine MachkovechThe Secret to Being Enough
Nadine Machkovech is a certified recovery coach and person in long-term recovery. As an educator on addiction and mental health, she looks to positively disrupt the current landscape for adolescents, especially young women, across the country. Through her unique style of storytelling, Machkovech leaves her audience feeling inspired and motivated; reminding them that they have the choice to utilize their power to help change their world and the world around them.
Machkovech has traveled the country, been featured in Forbes, and is often aspired after for her dynamic peer leadership skills. She has created measurable social change while educating students, teachers, professionals, and peers on topics of substance use and misuse, mental health awareness, leadership, and the development of life skills.
She is also a Co-Owner and Program Manager of RISE TOGETHER, a grassroots organization that is helping to lead a movement of young people to stand up and break the silence around suicide, bullying, mental illness, drugs, and alcohol. Recently recognized by the White House Office of the National Drug Control Policy, Rise Together’s mission is rapidly spanning the United States. Since September of 2013, Nadine has traveled over 200,000 miles, taken the stage nearly 400 times with her team, and educated over 130,000 young adults and adolescents on addiction and mental health.
Machkovech carries this responsibility with a great amount of passion and purpose in hopes that these efforts will help to not only develop peer leaders but also help others towards the achievement of their vision and life-long goals.
Mel KolstadChanneling Your Inner Kid for Your Career
Mel Kolstad is an artist, speaker, instructor and arts advocate who makes her home in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. She is a printmaker, collagist, fiber artist, and papermaker, specializing in tiny art. She is also delighted to be a Certified Papermaker for Arnold Grummer, Inc.; the membership chair of Wisconsin Visual Artists – Northeast Chapter; a member of ArtSpace Collective in Oshkosh; and curator for the Langdon Divers Gallery, located inside the Fond du Lac Public Library.
Mel has participated in many artist residencies throughout Wisconsin and also teaches various classes all over the state. You can view her artwork on her website, melkolstad.com.
Neil IhdeDr. Seuss' Guide to Contentment
While still in college, Neil’s fiancee (now wife of 23 years) asked him what he wanted to be. “I think I want to be a professional speaker.” It took him a few years to figure out how one does that and what exactly he was going to talk about, but in 2006 he formed his speaking company called Life IQ where he helps groups and individuals work, play, relate, and live intelligently. Fast forward 12 years and he has worked with twenty-five Fortune 500 companies including GE, Merrill Lynch, PepsiCo, and AT&T among others. Neil has also consulted internationally with clients from a dozen countries. After turning 45 last year, his five-year goal is to speak in all 50 states by the time he is 50. 50 by 50! He is thrilled to be a part of TEDxFondduLac!
Greg GilesIt Takes a Village
Greg Giles, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, has over 20 years of non-profit experience in youth development, marketing, community education, public speaking, fund development, and collaborative services.
Greg’s professional career has predominantly involved leadership of several YMCAs. For more than 14 years, he has served as CEO of the Fond du Lac Family YMCA. During this time, Greg’s leadership has enhanced community service through collaboration. As a result of Greg’s ability to work in collaboration with other organizations, Greg, through his work at the YMCA, established a one of a kind collaboration between the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club that has gained national recognition and resulted in a new facility and greater resources for this community, but more importantly, new hope for a brighter future in Fond du Lac.
Recognizing the need for laughter in the workplace, Greg has spent more than 20 years speaking to organizations and corporations about enjoying their jobs, but more importantly enjoying their lives.
In 2010, Greg was recognized as the Collaborator of the Year for the State of Wisconsin presented by Ripon College. Greg also has been recognized as Director of the Year for the YMCA in the State of Wisconsin. He has served on numerous local community boards and service clubs including Young Professionals, City of Fond du Lac Redevelopment Authority, Fond du Lac City Council, Fond du Lac Health County 2020, Loaves and Fishes, Kiwanis Club of West Bend, Fond du Lac Noon Rotary and more. Greg also continues to volunteer his time with youth programs at his church.
He and his wife, Laura stay busy raising four children and share the philosophy that “our time on earth should be spent making a difference in the lives of others”.
Nick EspinosaThe Five Laws of Cybersecurity
An expert in cybersecurity and network infrastructure, Nick Espinosa has consulted with clients ranging from small businesses up to the Fortune 100 level. Nick founded Windy City Networks, Inc in 1998 at age 19 and was acquired by BSSi2 LLC in 2013 where he is their CIO. In 2015 Security Fanatics, a Cybersecurity/Cyberwarfare outfit dedicated to designing custom Cyberdefense strategies for medium to enterprise corporations, was launched. A nationally recognized speaker, member of the Forbes Technology Council, regular columnist for Forbes, on the Board of Advisors for both Roosevelt University’s Center for Cyber and Information Security and Bits N’ Bytes Cybersecurity Education, award winning co-author of a bestselling book “Easy Prey”, and host of “The Deep Dive” radio show on 101.3FM WHIW, Nick is known as an industry thought leader and sought after for his advice on the future of technology and how it will impact every day businesses and consumers.
Dahli DurleyYour "Hey Mister" Matters
Dahli Durley is a traveling portrait and wedding photographer, capturing raw and authentic moments on camera. Though she hails from Southwest Wisconsin, her travels taker her around the country and the globe in search of documenting and recording people in places to expand viewer horizons on social media. She has an MBA from Viterbo University and was an AAUW Selected Professions Fellow, and is currently working on her first book.
Anna BudelmanTurning Disadvantages Into Advantages
Anna Budelman is a 24-year-old Fond du Lac resident. She was raised here and enjoys giving back to a community that shaped her youth and young adulthood. She is a Marian graduate of 2018 with a Bachelor of Social Work. Anna is engaged with many different areas of social services, but enjoys working with at risk youth and domestic and sexual violence survivors. She loves to spend time with her partner and dog when she isn’t trying to save the world. Anna is a writer, artist, and loves to adventure in the outdoors. She takes every opportunity and is beyond excited to share her ideas at TEDxFondduLac.
Osa AdenomoWe Are Not That Different
Osarietinme Ashley Adenomo is currently a student at University of Wisconsin – Fond du Lac with goals of establishing her own business and earning a self-designed degree combining Literature and Social Work. She has experience caregiving for humans from all walks of life, including the disabled and the elderly, and helping emotionally disturbed children create healthy lifestyles for themselves through self-awareness of their thoughts and actions.
Born in Bronx, New York and relocating to various cities of Wisconsin, including Milwaukee and West Bend, Osa has experienced the duality of being a biracial American her whole life. The summer of 2017, her beloved sister and she had the opportunity of visiting Nigeria, which is where their ancestral roots reside, and they were able to explore their cultural roots and more fully comprehend childhood experiences based in Nigerian culture. It is her visit to Africa which sparked her topic for TEDxFondduLac.
Gary BoelhowerShared Principles for Wise-Decision Making
Gary Boelhower, Ph.D. teaches in the areas of of ethics, religions of the world, and leadership at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minnesota. He has been a teacher for over 45 years. He has held leadership positions in higher education, including dean of life-long learning, dean of graduate studies, and vice president for academic affairs. He provides consultation and training to a broad range of organizations on dialogue, authentic leadership, professional ethics, the respectful workplace, and wise decision-making. His publications include scholarly articles and poetry in many journals and anthologies.
Alison FettServant Leadership: How a jar can change the way you lead and serve
Alison (Ali) Fett has been the Assistant Vice President of Talent Development at Verve a Credit Union for the past three years. In this role, she strives to create a culture of servant leadership through developmental trainings and one-on- one coaching. Ali takes pride in serving those around her and inspiring others to do the same. Her leadership style is one of self-discovery, empowerment, candor, and unconditional love. Ali firmly believes servant leadership is a journey not a destination.
When Ali is not working, she enjoys golfing, watching basketball, fishing, creating arts/crafts, public speaking and, last but not least, dance parties with her two children Vincent – (“Vinny”) and Penelope – (“PJ”).
She lives by the motto: “Who you are is good enough; don’t ever stop creating better versions of yourself. It feels great to grow.”
Regan A. R. GurungGet Psyched: Think Stronger, Live Longer
Regan A. R. Gurung
Regan A. R. Gurung, Ph.D. is the Ben J. and Joyce Rosenberg Professor of Human Development and Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He was born and raised in Bombay, India, received a B.A. in psychology at Carleton College (MN), and a Masters and Ph.D. in social and personality psychology at the University of Washington (WA), and then spent three years at UCLA as a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) Research fellow. He has made over 100 presentations and given workshops nationally and internationally (e.g. Australia, India, Saudi Arabia, New Zealand).
When not helping people stay calm, reading and writing, he enjoys culinary explorations, travel, time with his wife and two children, and avoiding political discussions of any kind.
Eunbi KimPerforming Through Fear
Eunbi Kim is a virtuosic pianist with wide-ranging artistic sensibilities. She has commissioned new work from Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR), created a music-theatre performance inspired by the novels of Haruki Murakami, and will soon release an album of concert music by 10-time GRAMMY nominated jazz pianist and composer Fred Hersch on Albany Records. Her recital and recording projects are frequently sparked by a fresh artistic obsession, and often present the audience with intimate and challenging subject matter—from the mental breakdowns of literary characters to the inner workings of Eunbi’s own family.
Her genre-defying, often interdisciplinary recitals have been presented in prestigious venues in New York (Symphony Space, 92nd Street Y, DiMenna Center, le poisson rouge, Columbia University, the cell theatre) and across the United States (Kennedy Center, Asia Society Texas Center, PianoForte Foundation, Georgetown University, Bennington College, among many others).
An advocate for arts entrepreneurship and artistic innovation, Eunbi has been an invited speaker numerous colleges/universities and national arts organizations such as Chamber Music America, Asian-American Arts Alliance, the Manhattan School of Music, New York Foundation for the Arts, and New Music Gathering. She has held a fellowship at the Manhattan School of Music’s Center for Music Entrepreneurship, and was one of just 50 artists selected for the New York Foundation for the Arts’s 2012 “Artist as Entrepreneur” program.
Eunbi received her Masters in piano performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Her principal teachers have included Anthony de Mare and Elena Arseniev.
Shawn PollackReclaiming the Old Flavor of Food
Shawn Pollack is a local farmer, chef, and farm-to-table business owner. He spent years working as a television producer in Boston and San Diego, but eventually his passion for food brought him back to his family’s farm in Van Dyne. After becoming a classically-trained chef, Shawn spent the last six years resurrecting old, nearly extinct flavors from the fruits, vegetables, and animals he raises.
Nabeel QuryshiThe Importance of Mentors
Michael RustEmoticons Will Save the World
Michael Rust is dedicated to conflict. By championing others in the resolution of disputes and speaking about the causes of conflict, he is a leader in the field of conflict resolution.
Michael is the Executive Director of the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, Inc., a non-profit organization performing court connected and community mediation through the dedication of volunteer mediators performing nearly 500 mediations per year. He holds undergraduate degrees in Neuroscience and Psychology from Carthage College and a law degree from Marquette University Law School. After practicing litigation for several years, Michael left the private practice of law to focus on conflict resolution full-time. On a personal level, Michael is married with three children, a cat, and a dog (so conflict follows him everywhere). He is an avid cook and enjoys sampling new beers. Michael is an active Rotarian (Oshkosh) and is an enthusiastic TEDster (serving as Licensee and Co-Organizer of TEDxOshkosh).
Aaron SadoffHappiness is the Greatest Technology
Aaron Sadoff served in the US Army as a cavalry scout after graduating high school in 1990. He earned degrees from UW-Madison and Marian University. In the fall of 1997, he began his career in education as a social studies teacher (psychology and history) in Manitowoc, WI. He taught for the next 9 years in Manitowoc and Fond du Lac, WI, mostly at the high school level. His passion and specialty became helping students learn about psychology. In 2006, he was selected to be middle school principal at Bessie Allen in the School District of North Fond du Lac, where he served for 3 years until becoming the Superintendent for the District, which he has served in for the past 8 years.
His current passion is developing and sustaining a culture of happiness in the School District of North Fond du Lac so that the District can recruit, retain and reward a world class staff, while working to prepare all students to be career, college and life ready. He believes the School District of North Fond du Lac is an example of how the science of happiness and positive psychology can revolutionize the way that organizations are working to best impact success. He is active at the state and federal level advocating for public schools and is fortunate to share his passion for positive psychology through presentations with numerous local, state and national groups.
He has a beautiful wife Kelly (married for 21 years) and three great kids – Paige (18), Lilly (16) and Ethan (12). When not at school, he enjoys working around the home and relaxing with family & friends.
Lyndsey Seewald is living out her dream as the head women’s basketball coach at Marian University in Fond du Lac after receiving educational achievements that include a BS in Psychology and a MA in Sport & Performance Psychology. Every day she goes to work with one thing in mind; how to create spaces for our student-athletes, staff, and faculty to seek and fulfill their dreams. The process is her main focus, trusting that the outcome will beautifully create itself.
Laurice SnyderBeing Poor and Empowered
For over 30 years, Laurice Snyder has been fighting oppression and inequity. For the first 20 years it was personal, fighting for basic survival through poverty, hunger, homelessness due to domestic violence and the quandary of racial identity. For the past decade, it’s also been professional, leading work that disrupts systems of racism and oppression in schools and communities. She is currently the Diversity Relations Manager for Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, WI. Prior to that, she spent 10 years in the Fond du Lac School District, working to address policies and practices regarding responsiveness to the racial and cultural needs of students and families.
Laurice has successfully built the capacity for cultural responsiveness in the community in many ways. Her most recent initiative has been co-founding The Humanity Project: Telling the untold story which is the first-ever community conversation in Fond du Lac focused on exposing the histories of people of color in the United States. It’s a year long project that brings individuals together with the purpose of gaining a racial understanding about themselves and the people around them. Laurice facilitates the use of protocols and conditions that isolate race in personal and immediate ways while also focusing on efforts to reduce the devastating impact of systemic racism.
Thom StrizekHobbies Could Save the World
Thom Strizek has lived in Fond du Lac for all but the youngest years of his life, and had a blend of local public and private school education before dropping out of high school and pursuing being a polymath. He’s had many jobs from steel fabrication to cheese making, CNC operation, and his current career as a utility locator, which he’s held for 11 years.
Darold TreffertAccidental Genius: The Little Rain Man Within Us All
Darold Treffert, MD, graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School in 1958, interned in Eugene, Oregon and completed a Residency in Psychiatry at University Hospitals in Madison, Wisconsin. In 1962 he joined the staff of Winnebago Mental Health Institute where he developed the Child-Adolescent Unit. In 1964 he was named Superintendent of the Institute, a position he held for 15 years. In 1979 he left that position to divide his time between the private practice of Psychiatry and a position as Executive Director of the Fond du Lac County Health Care Center. During that time he was also Medical Director of the Alcoholism Rehabilitation Unit of St. Agnes Hospital in Fond du Lac. In 1991 he retired from those positions and now devotes his time to conducting research, writing and lecturing at the Treffert Center.
His book Extraordinary People: Understanding Savant Syndrome has been published in the U.S. and has been translated into ten other languages. His most recent book Islands of Genius: The Bountiful Mind of the Autistic, Acquired and Sudden Savant was published in April 2010; it summarizes his 50 years of interest and research in both autism and savant syndrome. Dr. Treffert was a consultant to the movie “Rain Man”, in which Dustin Hoffman portrays an autistic savant.
Emerson VahlsingPolitics from a Kid's Perspective
Emerson Vahlsing, or E as she is known by her friends and family, is a fifth grader at the STEM Academy in Fond du Lac. She loves public speaking, reading, eating, and being out in nature. Debating is one thing she tries to do frequently in school and she loves to help others become the best they can be.
Lisa WeberFeel Your Feelings
Lisa Weber, MD, is a family medicine physician at Agnesian HealthCare’s Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, where she has worked for the past seven years. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Greenbush with their two children, ages six and eight. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors, gardening and hiking. Her family also enjoys caring for the animals in their small zoo.