Meet our Board
Sustain Dane Board of Directors
Robin Lisowski is a sustainable development and social change advocate professionally and personally. Robin has seventeen years of business, financial, leadership, and sustainability experience in diverse environments throughout the United States, and a professional track record focused on efficient resource management--whether energy, people, or process. She is currently the Director of New Business at the Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC), a Madison-based nonprofit that champions innovative energy initiatives that deliver short-term and long-term economic and environmental benefits to consumers, businesses, and policy makers. Robin was previously the Director of Sales Operations and Portfolio Management and the Assistant Director of Business Programs at WECC. From 2002-2008 she was a Senior Management Consultant in the State and Local Government practice at Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP (now Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP). Earlier in her career, Robin gained financial experience at firms including American Express Financial Advisors and M&I Bank. She holds a Master of Arts in International Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Spanish from Augsburg College in Minneapolis. Robin has been a member of the Association of Energy Services Professionals since 2008, and is a former member of the Project Management Institute and the Government Finance Officers Association.
Annette Miller has lived in Madison, Wisconsin since 1989. She spent 11 years in state government providing policy, budget, and project management skills on topics such as new program development, workforce issues, and operational best practices. In 2003, she accepted an opportunity as Mayoral Aide, expediting and advancing community and neighborhood issues and projects on behalf of the Mayor. Following this, Ms. Miller spent 12 years at MGE as Emerging Markets and Community Development Director, spearheading projects and partnerships that developed MGE’s brand in diverse communities and neighborhoods. In this role, Ms. Miller ensured customer and community engagement was intentionally designed to be reflective of both company and community needs.
In May 2017, Annette stepped away from her role as private sector executive with MGE to pursue her own business venture, EQT by Design, focused on helping organizations build sustainable, diverse and inclusive perspectives and relationships to serve the needs of their diverse customers and community.
Annette brings her passion and deep experience to this new business, which uses design thinking around equity and inclusion to focus on people-centered outcomes that impact how every person can bring their full self to their life and community.
Jim Bradley is a life-long resident of Madison, Wisconsin. Mr. Bradley received a BBA from the University of Wisconsin where he studied real estate and finance. Upon graduation, Jim joined Home Savings Bank and was named president in 1985. Home Savings Bank is a $140 million community bank serving Dane County Wisconsin.
Home Savings Bank has long-term commitment to being a positive influence in the community it serves. In 1977 the bank opened the first active solar bank office in Wisconsin. Located in Stoughton, Wisconsin , the building's solar system is still in operation.
In May 2006 the bank opened its Green Built Branch, the first LEED Silver bank office in Wisconsin. The 5,000 square foot building is located at 3762 East Washington Avenue, Madison. Building qualities include daylighting, recycled materials, low VOC finishes, and a rain garden.
In his community activities, Mr. Bradley has primarily been involved in the areas of housing, strengthening downtown Madison , and environmental sustainability. He currently serves on the boards of the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau, Sustain Dane and the Center for Resilient Cities.
Angela Pakes is the technical director for the Wisconsin Highway Research Program (WHRP) and the Recycled Materials Resource Center (RMRC), two centers of sustainable materials at the UW–Madison College of Engineering that focus on using and reusing industry byproducts to construct greener roads and infrastructure. In 2010, Pakes led the Natural and Built Environments Task Force of the UW–Madison Sustainability Initiative, and she now holds a leadership role in the UW–Madison Office of Sustainability as the External Relations Coordinator, Forum Director and Sustainability Capstone Professor of Practice.
Formerly, Pakes was an Architect/Engineer Manager for UW–Madison Capital Planning & Development. Pakes is a LEED Accredited Professional specializing in sustainable design, development and operations. In her past position, Pakes led green decision-making for campus major capital projects totaling about $1.6 billion each year. She led sustainable design and construction of several major projects on campus including the Education Building renovation/addition project on Bascom Hill, the School of Human Ecology renovation/addition project on Linden Drive, the new Union South, and the Memorial Union Renovation.
Pakes has worked in most aspects of environmental real estate development. Early in her career, she opened a consulting practice in Michigan to serve the environmental remediation needs of the automotive industry. Pakes was later recruited to become an engineering manager at Ford Motor Company, where she led a variety of environmental remediation, construction and development projects in South America, Canada, and the 48 contiguous states; her last project at Ford was a 410,000 square foot retail development which received various honors including LEED Gold certification and a Phoenix Award for turning a “brownfield” into a green development.
Pakes holds undergraduate degrees in geological engineering and geology and geophysics from UW–Madison and a masters degree in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Michigan.
Pakes actively trains for triathlons, is an active U.S. Green Building Council member, and a very proud UW alumna.
Dave has roughly 25 years of energy industry experience in Wisconsin, and over 12 years of experience as a local elected official. He has been re-elected to the Shorewood Hills Village Board since 2004, and was elected Shorewood Hills Village President in 2017. He has served on the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance Board since 2012. He has served on Downtown Madison Inc.’s Transportation and Parking Committee since 2013. Dave has extensive experience in community energy services and policy, local municipal infrastructure projects, municipal law and municipal finance, energy law and utility regulation, and energy legislative and regulatory advocacy at the local, state and federal levels.
Dave is Madison Gas and Electric Company’s Community Services Manager. In that role, he works with MGE’s residential energy efficiency and renewable energy programs, and its ongoing electric vehicle programs.
Raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Karen Crossley received her BA from Colby College in Maine majoring in Environmental Studies, MS in Botany from the University of Washington in Seattle, and landed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison seeking a PhD in Botany, but chose not to complete her degree. Karen worked for The Nature Conservancy for nearly ten years in Washington, Maine and Wisconsin. She received her Executive MBA from UW-Madison’s School of Business and worked at the University of Wisconsin Foundation for nearly seventeen years, first as lead development officer for the Business School and then for six years as vice president serving on the Foundation’s Senior Leadership Team, overseeing development efforts for the Business School, Law School, College of Engineering, Division of International Studies, and cluster of environmental units at UW, and helping grow major gift activity outside of the U.S. Karen served as Director of the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission/Dane Arts, for nearly six years, supporting her lifelong enjoyment and appreciation of arts and culture.
As an encore to her professional career, Karen was associated with UW-Madison's Morgridge Center for Public Service for five years, serving as Special Projects Director. She helped launch a sustainability focus area for the Center's Badger Volunteers program and The Philanthropy Lab course and program in partnership with UW's School of Human Ecology. Karen participated in the 2nd class of Leadership Greater Madison and her volunteer community involvements mostly relate to education, youth leadership development, and the environment. Madison residents for 30+ years, Karen and her husband have three adult children and enjoy athletic pursuits, outdoor adventures, and traveling together. Karen currently is serving as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer, working on organizational capacity building with a local NGO, in Kutaisi, (Republic of) Georgia.
Jordan Hemaidan leads the Energy and Sustainability Group for Michael Best & Friederich, LLP, and is a partner practicing in the areas of energy, regulatory law, construction and telecommunications. Jordan’s work on renewable energy projects includes negotiation of complex property leases, and agreements for power purchase, turbine supply and construction agreements. In the area of public utilities practice, Mr. Hemaidan has provided representation in siting, certification, construction, ratemaking and transactional issues for large power generation facilities, electric transmission lines and a range of renewable energy projects, including wind, solar and landfill to gas projects. He also has significant experience in regulatory litigation and transactional matters involving complex telecommunications, energy and water issues. In addition, Mr. Hemaidan has provided representation on policy and regulatory matters relating to electric and telecommunications industry restructuring.
Jordan also has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating construction contracts for both owners and contractors for large institutional, utility and commercial projects, and administering such contracts throughout the life of the project. In particular Mr. Hemaidan has developed significant experience providing counsel on the construction aspects of renewable energy projects. Mr. Hemaidan also has experience in construction claim assessment, settlement negotiations, mediation, arbitration and litigation.
Leslie is the Director of Community Relations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She serves on behalf of the Chancellor as the point-of-contact for city and county relations, oversees the UW South Madison Partnership, and facilitates meaningful relationships between campus and community across the areas of research, outreach, and service. She formerly served as the assistant director for The Network within UW-Madison’s School of Education, which seeks to build partnerships across the statewide education community, research, and policy for the transformation of education. Prior to joining The Network, she served as an office manager in the External Relations Office within the School of Education, with focused efforts on business administration, public relations, and development.
Leslie formerly served on the Executive Team for the Latino Professionals Association. She is a BIG Sister through Big Brother Big Sister of Dane County, and is involved with two Latino community-serving initiatives: (1) The Latino Equity Collaborative, a community and UW-Madison collaboration that seeks to enhance educational outcomes for Latino youth across Madison through committee-identified priorities for research and outreach around health, food and housing security, educational support, resource access, and more; and (2) The Latino Consortium for Action (LCA), a consortium of leaders across the community that supports Dane County’s Latino population, which seeks to advocate for resources and policy changes in the areas of education, health, immigration reform, economic and workforce development, and criminal justice.
She is originally from Southern California and has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Mount Holyoke College. She also was a "2016 Brava Women to Watch" recipient.
Two summers ago Mark Richardson left his post as Vice President of Strategic Partnerships at the Urban League of Greater Madison to start his own company, Unfinished Business LLC.
Unfinished Business Unfinished Business LLC is a consulting company designed to help professionals prepare for, navigate, and accelerate career transition. In short, we connect talent with opportunity.
GigBlender – started in 2014 - is 5-person technology start up that created a talent and opportunity matching Application (App.). Born as a way to scale Unfinished Business, GigBlender is technology built with intention. It helps people find jobs that fit them on a more personal level, and helps organizations to quickly find talent that is a better fit for them.
At the Urban League, Mark was charged with forging, prioritizing and managing the League’s relationships with organizations in the Public, Private, and Non-profit sectors. Mark also oversaw the Corporate Fund Development for the Urban League. Previously Richardson was responsible for the management, and evolution of the organization’s work readiness training programs and partnerships. Additional responsibilities included strategic planning, and event management.
Mark led efforts to expand ULGM’s partnerships with area businesses, government agencies, nonprofit employers and investors. He helped area employers achieve their workforce diversity goals, identify and hire quality semi-skilled, skilled and professional employees. Mark is the chief architect of the region’s leading Workplace Diversity & Leadership Summit.
Richardson served as Division Administrator with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce where he oversaw the agency’s Minority Business Development and Entrepreneurship Bureaus and their annual distribution of more than $5O million in state and federal funds for Housing and Community Development. Prior to the Department of Commerce. Mark served as Deputy Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, a cabinet-level state agency charged with supporting Wisconsin’s $13 billion hospitality industry. There, he served as chief legislative liaison to the Governor’s office and oversaw two Bureaus: Marketing/Public Relations and Customer Care/Technology.
Prior to Tourism, Mark served as Director of Membership & Marketing for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. In the private sector Mark held several leadership roles over a nearly 10 year period with telecommunications giant Charter Communications, including Director of Marketing & Sales and Regional Sales Manager. He started his professional career in Agriculture as a Regional Sales Manager with AGCO Parts (a successor to Allis Chalmers based in Batavia, Illinois).
Ben Schmidt is an Associate with the Commercial Leasing & Development team at Urban Land Interests, where he assists in the development of new real estate projects and the leasing of both new projects and ULI’s existing commercial properties.
Ben graduated with his MBA in Real Estate from the Graaskamp Center for Real Estate at UW-Madison in 2012. Upon graduation, Ben joined the Commercial Real Estate lending team with US Bank in Madison, where he underwrote and analyzed commercial real estate loans. Before coming to Madison, Ben practiced law and consulted in Chicago. In addition to his degree from UW-Madison, Ben earned his JD and BS in Finance from Indiana University.
Ben and his wife Molly live on the near west side with their new puppy, Bruiser.
Steve is a registered Professional Engineer (PE) in three states, with 30 years of experience working with architects, engineers, contractors and building owners on residential, commercial, municipal, higher ed. and industrial projects. Steve grew up in Pittsburgh and graduated from the University of Delaware with a degree in Civil Engineering. Steve worked first at Greenhorne & O’Mara, a large east coast engineering consulting firm with headquarters in the Washington DC area.
Steve moved to Madison in 1995 where he worked for the building engineering firm of Arnold & O’Sheridan on a variety of site development and commercial building projects. Steve then worked for 5 years with the design firm of Ken Saiki Design Inc. This firm has a strong reputation for quality landscape architecture & site design. At KSD, Steve designed and managed grading, stormwater, utilities, as well as LEED/sustainable design on a variety of projects. The past 4 years Steve has worked for the national firm, OTIE, in their Madison office, providing project management and senior civil engineer services for private & public sector clients.
Steve recently joined the multidiscipline engineering consulting firm of DC Engineering based out of Boise, Idaho. DC Engineering believes that their relationships with their clients are paramount. They take the time to understand their clients’ needs and apply their expertise on projects. DC Engineering knows that they will succeed when their clients’ projects are successful. Steve is very excited to bring his skills in business development, project management and client relations to DC Engineering's Madison office, so that they may better serve their clients in the Midwest.
In addition to his engineering experience, Steve bring a background as a LEED accredited professional, networker and business marketer who works with decision makers and community leaders to develop innovative and creative solutions. Steve is involved in a variety of community organizations in the Dane Co. area including: Wisconsin Green Building Alliance/USGBC-WI, Clean Wisconsin, Downtown Madison Inc., Clean Lakes Alliance, Social Media Breakfast-Madison, Magic Youth Soccer of Madison and Madison Metropolitan Schools-PTA leadership positions.
Steve and his wife Diana, and their four boys (Michael, David, Jack & Peter) have lived on the west side of Madison for the past 22 years. In his free time, Steve enjoys reading, movies, traveling, downhill skiing and playing/watching a variety of outdoor sports with family & friends.
Dr. Erik Ranheim grew up in Minneapolis, MN. He attended the University of Pennsylvania where he played college hockey. He completed his M.D. and Ph.D. in immunology at the University of Minnesota and University of California, San Diego. As a graduate student, he studied how different receptors on the surface of normal and cancerous white blood cells interact during immune responses, and how these pathways might be used to generate immune responses against malignant cells.
Dr. Ranheim did his clinical training in hematopathology (pathology of the blood, bone marrow, and lymph nodes) at Stanford University and was a post-doctoral fellow in the lab of Irving Weissman where he studied B cell development, stem cell biology, and anti-tumor immunity. He joined the faculty at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2003. Currently, Erik is an Associate Professor and Vice Chair for Education in the Dept. of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UW.
Along with his wife, Dr. Cate Ranheim, Erik founded the HEALTH (Helping Educate and Link the Homeless) Program in Madison in 2009, which has seen well over 800 patients who lack the resources or skills to get adequate health care in traditional settings. He has an interest in international health as well, having traveled to Cuba and Belize to help bring laboratory testing and pathology services to resource-poor systems. Most recently, Erik and Cate have embarked on a major prairie restoration project in the town of Vermont.
Rebecca Ryan is a “human spark plug.” Part futurist and part economist, Rebecca is one of America’s most influential thought leaders helping cities and companies think around the corner…to what’s next.
Rebecca Ryan is the Resident Futurist at the Alliance for Innovation, a Senior Fellow at CEOs for Cities and the founder and owner of NEXT Generation Consulting. Her work in the areas of strategy, innovation and foresight has earned her national acclaim. Best-selling author Richard Florida calls, “One of the most reliable sources for leaders who want to attract and retain the next generation of creative workers.”
Other accolades include:
Top 100 Most Influential People, Accounting Today
Communicator of the Year, Women in Communication
Woman of Influence, Business Journal of Greater Milwaukee
Entrepreneur of the Year, U.S. Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Most Powerful Women in Public Accounting, CPA Practice Advisor
Thought Leader, CPA Practice Advisor
Ryan is the author of Regeneration: A Manifesto for America's Next Leaders (2013) and Live First, Work Second (2007). Ryan lives in Madison, Wisconsin.
Joann Kelley is Director of Residential and Community Services at Madison Gas and Electric Company where her team provides expertise, education and consultation to help residential and multifamily customers control their energy use and reduce their environmental. She instituted approaches that engage with customers and community organizations to effectively deliver culturally and linguistically competent information and services. The Residential and Community Services team works with over 200 community organizations each year to reach customers from diverse backgrounds. In addition, they provide energy efficiency advice through e-newsletters, social media, neighborhood and niche media as well as offer online resources and calculators to determine carbon footprints, estimate energy savings and payback period for energy improvements, and to make an array of energy information accessible.
Ms. Kelley holds a Master of Science in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development from the University of Wisconsin. She is a LEED Accredited Professional and is certified as a Solar Site Assessor and as a Consultant in Permaculture Design. As an urban ecologist she developed a set of standards for residential and commercial real estate developments to reduce their environmental impacts and to preserve/restore ecosystems. Ms. Kelley is a licensed real estate broker and through her firm, Eco-Realty, she brings environmental and energy expertise to her clients and the real estate market.
Seeing community involvement and social justice as essential tenets of sustainability she has served on a variety of board of directors and committees in our community, including Urban League of Greater Madison, Communities United, Madison Study Circles on Race, and LGBT OutReach. Currently she serves on the board of directors for Common Wealth Development, Sustain Dane, Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, Madison Area Community Land Trust, and Dane County Development Group.
Joann lives with her life partner of over 30 years, Sunshine Jones, in the Allied-Dunn's Marsh Neighborhood.
Grant Abert, Sustain Dane Co-Founder - 2011
Grant Abert directs the Kailo Fund, a Wisconsin-based investment and philanthropic fund working to address social issues and opportunities through investments, philanthropy and entrepreneurial engagement. An active philanthropist for 30 years, he cofounded the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Community Fund, and served as President of the Threshold Foundation. He is a cofounder and board member of Sustain Dane, which educates businesses, governments, schools and citizens in practical steps toward community sustainability. He was a naval officer, IT professional and food entrepreneur. His present focus, as cofounder of Slow Money Wisconsin, is on growing the financial infrastructure for a resilient regional food system.
Sara Alvarado, 2010-2013
Sara Alvarado was raised in Madison in a family of real estate experts and social activists and now runs her own real estate company, Alvarado Real Estate Group with her husband, Carlos. After graduating from the University of Minnesota with a B.A. in Spanish and Business, and numerous adventurous travels, Sara met Carlos in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and settled there for 3 years. In 2002 Sara and Carlos moved back to Madison with their first son, Alex. Their other son, Leo, was born in 2004.
With a passion for educating and inspiring the community on the importance of sustainable living, Sara is incredibly engaged in numerous organizations. Sara currently serves on the Realtors Association Green Committee (Founder) and has served as Chair of the Dane Buy local Membership Committee and as a member of GreenBuilt Home Program. Along the lines of sustainability, Sara is passionate about education and more specifically public education and innovative learning. After working with Nuestro Mundo Community School (named founder) to become one of Madison’s first charter schools and only dual immersion Spanish school she now serves on the board for Badger Rock Middle School. Badger Rock is a small diverse multiage school that will place a strong emphasis on community, family, culture and the environment. At the center of the Badger Rock Middle School program is an ACTIVE, hands-on learning environment where students learn by working on real-life projects that are both challenging and fun.
Josh Arnold, 2007
Craig Benson, 2014-2015
Wisconsin Distinguished Professor Craig H. Benson serves as director of sustainability research and education and chair of civil and environmental engineering and geological engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.
Benson has a B.S. from Lehigh University and M.S.E. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been conducting experimental and analytical research in geoenvironmental engineering for nearly three decades, with the primary focus in sustainable infrastructure, beneficial use of industrial byproducts and environmental containment for the solid waste, hazardous waste and mining industries. His research includes laboratory studies, large-scale field experiments and computer modeling.
Benson has received several awards for his work, including the Ralph Peck Award, the Huber Research Prize, the Alfred Noble Prize and the Croes, Middlebrooks, Collingwood and Casagrande Awards from the American Society of Civil Engineers. Benson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the University of Texas Academy of Distinguished Alumni, and is former editor-in-chief of the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.
Dave Boyer, President 2010-2011
Dave Boyer is the CEO and co-owner of MCD, Inc., located in Madison , Wisconsin. MCD provides creative graphic arts products and print finishing services to various markets using processes that include die cutting, foil stamping, embossing, laminating, and folding and gluing. The company was originally founded in 1974 and is now one of the largest print finishing companies in the Midwest . Dave purchased the company with his business partner in 1998.
Prior to purchasing MCD, Dave was the President and CEO of Placon Corporation. Placon designs, develops, and manufactures plastic packaging and packaging systems and is considered a leader in product design and creative packaging solutions. Prior to joining Placon, Dave was employed by ITW in Chicago , where he held positions in product design (receiving 4 patents for his work), in sales and marketing, and in manufacturing management. His education background includes a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Illinois and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Dave currently serves on the Board of Johnson Bank in Madison, is a Board member of the Meriter Hospital, a member of the Sustainable Design and Energy Commission for the City of Madison, a Board Member of Sustain Dane, and a Board Member of the Madison Committee on Foreign Relations.
Jonathan Foley, 2004
Jon Foley is Professor of Environmental Studies and Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences and Director of the UW Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE). SAGE uses state-of-the-art computer models and satellite measurements to analyze and seek to understand changes in land use, ecosystems, climate and freshwater resources across local, regional and global scales. He has received many honors and awards, and is committed to applying locally what he is learning from his global research.
Jac Garner, President 2012-2013
Jac Garner is the President and CEO of Webcrafters and has been with the Madison-based firm since 1986, serving in various management capacities in human resources, sales and marketing, and manufacturing. Prior to joining Webcrafters, Mr. Garner worked in many areas of human resources in the medical industry, as well as at the University of Wisconsin. Jac has a degree in finance and economics from the University of Iowa, and a Master's Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin. In addition, Jac is a member of many boards, including Book Manufacturer’s Institute, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, Madison Community Foundation, Sustain Dane, U.S. Bank, and previously Meriter Hospital and Health Services, and Printing Industries of Wisconsin. He has worked in various capacities on the board and campaign committees for the United Way of Dane County. Mr. Garner is a member of the In Business Magazine Executive Hall of Fame and the Book Manufacturer’s Institute Case-In Club. Jac and his wife Edye live in Madison and they have a college-age daughter and a son and daughter-in-law.
Brian Joiner, Sustain Dane Co-Founder
Dr. Brian Joiner has since 1997 been a full-time community volunteer working toward helping to create a just and sustainable society. He is co-founder and President of Sustain Dane, and formerly served on the Board of Trustees of Shorewood Hills, and chair on its Traffic and Storm Water committees.
Prior to his early retirement Brian was Chairman and co-owner of Joiner Associates, a nationally recognized management consulting firm. Prior to Joiner Associates, Brian was a UW professor. He is author of Fourth Generation Management: The New Business Consciousness (McGraw Hill) and coauthor with Peter Scholtes of The Team Handbook, published by Joiner Associates and one of the best selling business books of all time, having now sold over one-and-a-half million copies.
He was one of the original nine judges of the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, and, thirty years ago, was one of the originators of the Minitab statistical software system which is still in widespread use by corporations today.
Wendy Kuo has been working in online media for eleven years. As Senior Account Manager at Shoutlet, a social media company, Wendy works with the larger clients to develop strategies and increase effectiveness in their social media plans using the platform. Shoutlet provides a centralized online platform that helps companies manage and monetize their social media communication. It includes social network management like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube, Social CRM to monitor fans and uncover influencers, create custom promotions, social apps and Facebook tabs easily, and analytics to gauge your social success - all in one easy-to-use interface. The platform gives brands and agencies the tools to create, manage, and measure their entire social media communications. Companies using Shoutlet's platform are able to better design and implement highly targeted campaigns and ultimately improve the business impact of their social media communications. Prior to her work with Shoutlet, Wendy was an Account Director at Microsoft Advertising – Atlas Advertiser, as well as holding various positions at FCBi and iVillage.
Niki McGlathery, 1998-2004
Born in Chicago, Illinois, Vanika attended the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and earned a Bachelor of Science degree. She then received her MBA from the Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Vanika spent time living in Brooklyn, New York before relocating to Madison, Wisconsin. By day, she works in Payroll & Benefits at the UW Madison, is a Real Estate Broker with Keller Williams Realty and serves as the Director of Madison Scholar’s Institute.
Vanika is recognized as a passionate advocate and results driven leader. As a strong voice for children in our community, she recently started a 501(c)(3) to help address the achievement gap in Madison and to promote entrepreneurship among young adults.
Despite her busy and varied schedule, she also finds time to run in preparation for an upcoming triathlon. Outside of her professional life, Vanika loves to read, volunteer, scrapbook and spend time with her son. One of her favorite movies is Shawshank Redemption because the main character never gave up despite his seemingly grim circumstance and he never showed his cards until the very last minute. Guided by these principles, Vanika has distinguished herself as a rising and valued member of our young professional community in Madison.
Rose has been Gary Molz‘s partner in life since 1999 and in business since 2003, and aspires to always be a true partner in both realms. She and Gary both love business, love to work, and love talking about their business – how to do things better and make customers happier. After her first date with Gary, Rose says she was interested in a second date because, “He was the first guy who didn’t say I worked too much.”
After graduating from the UW-Madison, Rose put her plans for law school on hold – too many loans and no money – and went to work for Rayovac in 1987, beginning in customer service and eventually leading a new sales division selling batteries and flashlights to office supply resellers. A customer, the largest national wholesaler, hired her in 1993 as regional director of customer services, a job she says was very cool – like being the center of a wheel. She was liaison to all of the company’s service departments, first in the Southwest where she was based out of Dallas, then on the East Coast based in Philadelphia.
The best part, says Rose, was her boss, Stan, a terrific mentor. “He taught me so much about people and life, not just about the job,” she says. “He’s retired now and rarely does a day go by that I’m not reminded of something he taught or told me. I miss him terribly. My tribute to him is to one day be for someone else the same kind of mentor that he was to me.”
Rose’s favorite quote comes from her mentor: “You can have your say, but you can’t always have your way.” At first it made her angry to hear it, but, she says, “The more you grow, the more you realize how true it is. It’s one of the best lessons in learning good teamwork.” Rose officially joined BF Molz in 2004 as a sales manager responsible for both Wisconsin and the East Coast. As the market developed, she and Gary started looking for new opportunities and decided to move to Madison. Within a couple of years, she’d like to see EZOP become the trusted office products supplier for small- to mid-sized businesses.
And besides, says Rose, “during the thirteen years I was away I always missed my family, but I didn’t realize how much I missed Madison – the people, beauty, the atmosphere and the safe community.” She’s passionate about giving back to the community. “I’d like to help young people grow into adulthood and develop into good businesspeople and managers, to pass on some of the good training I was blessed to receive,” she says.
“The environment is also one of the most important things to our future, and like many others in Madison, I’d like to find practical ways to preserve and improve it. Another priority for me is finding a cure for cancer, especially breast cancer, since it runs in my family and I have eleven nieces.
“If I can make a small contribution in these three areas, I’ll feel I’ve accomplished something,” says Rose.
Michael serves as the Chief Engineer and Director for the Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District. He has dedicated his 25-year career to working on sustainability issues in local government.
“Building public trust through sustainability” best describes what motivates Michael to get up and go to work every day. He believes that the issues of our time are too complex to tackle alone. Moreover, the key to public trust is discovering reasons to work together to make a difference.
Michael is a registered professional engineer in three states. He currently serves as Vice Chair for American Society of Civil Engineers Committee on Sustainability. He is also Past Chair for the American Public Works Associations Center for Sustainability, where he was a founding member.
Prior to joining MMSD, Michael served as Director of Public Works for the City of Olympia, the Capital of Washington for eleven years. During his tenure, he worked with others to achieve significant reductions in overall community water consumption, developed actions to adapt Olympia to sea level rise and advanced a bold vision of being a waste free community.
Michael teaches sustainable leadership and decision making as adjunct faculty at Evergreen State College-Olympia and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He also serves on the Community Board for the Clean Lakes Alliance. Michael has his BS in Civil Engineering from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, his Masters in Public Administration from the University of Washington-Seattle, and completed Harvard University’s Senior Executives in State and Local Government program.
For fun, Michael is learning to play violin and putters around the basement fixing up old Schwinn bicycles. He lives on the East side of Madison.
Sonya Newenhouse, 2004-2009
Jonathan Patz, 2011-2013
Jonathan Patz, MD, MPH, is a Professor & Director of Global Environmental Health at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He Co-chaired the health expert panel of the US National Assessment on Climate Change and was a Convening Lead Author for the United Nations/World Bank Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. For the past 15 years, Dr. Patz has been a lead author for the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC) – the organization that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore.
He is President of the International Association for Ecology and Health and co-editor of the association’s journal EcoHealth. He has written over 90 peer-reviewed papers and a textbook addressing the health effects of global environmental change. He has been invited to brief both houses of Congress, served on several scientific committees of the National Academy of Sciences, and currently serves on science advisory boards for both CDC and EPA. In addition to his sharing in the 2007 Nobel Prize, Dr. Patz received an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows Award in 2005, shared the Zayed International Prize for the Environment in 2006, and earned the distinction of becoming a UW-Madison Romnes Faculty Fellow in 2009.
He has earned medical board certification in both Occupational/Environmental Medicine and Family Medicine and received his medical degree from Case Western Reserve University (1987) and his Master of Public Health degree (1992) from Johns Hopkins University.
Virginia native and Madison transplant, Lisa Peyton-Caire is an educator, writer, women’s health advocate, non-profit leader, and change agent whose work and service continues to impact and empower. An educator by training, Lisa’s work over the past 20 years has spanned the PreK through 16 education spectrum and has included extensive leadership and service here in Dane County and beyond. Regarded for her vision, leadership, and ability to impact others, Ms. Peyton-Caire has led and/or pioneered many successful initiatives that continue to enrich the lives of youth and adults including leadership development and pre-college preparatory programs for young women and first generation college students here in Madison.
Ms. Peyton-Caire is the co-founder and inaugural director of the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s highly successful DoIT Information Technology Academy (ITA), a pre-college technology training & college access program for first generation college students. The program is now in its 14th year and has sent hundreds of young men and women to college here in the state of Wisconsin and beyond. Before returning to Madison, she served as Associate Director of the University of Maryland Educational Opportunity Center providing college access and workforce opportunities to youth and adult learners and displaced workers in Prince George’s County, Maryland; and previously served as Assistant Head of School of the 800 student Hyde Leadership Public Charter School in Washington, D.C., a K-12 college preparatory school. A tireless advocate for educational quality, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities, Lisa continues to consult and volunteer countless hours in the areas of education and community & youth empowerment, and can be found quietly working and assisting to launch or support a number of community initiatives that empower everyday people to lead and exercise their voice.
Spurred by her Mother’s untimely death from heart disease in 2006, Lisa went on in 2008 to establish Black Women’s Wellness Day, an annual health summit now in its fifth year that aims to inform, inspire, and empower women and girls of African descent to build and sustain healthy, wellness-centered lives; and has recently launched the Foundation for Black Women's Wellness, a Wisconsin based non-profit organization committed to eliminating health disparities and other barriers impacting African American women and girls. She is actively engaged in a number of local efforts to promote healthy, thriving, sustainable communities, and serves on the Boards of Sustain Dane, A Fund for Women, and the Center for Resilient Cities.
In January 2014, Ms. Peyton-Caire was named one of twenty-eight Women to Watch by BRAVA Magazine, and in 2013 was nominated an “Everyday Health Hero” by the Wisconsin Women’s Health Foundation. She is a 2013 recipient of the Today Not Tomorrow, Inc. Water Bearer Award for Leadership & Community Service, and was a 2013 Athena Award nominee with The Business Forum. Additionally, she and her husband Kaleem Caire are both 2008 UW Alumni Association Forward Under Forty Award honorees for their record of service and impact on the world by living the Wisconsin Idea.
Lisa holds a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership & Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She and Kaleem and their five children reside in Fitchburg.
Cate Ranheim, 2011-2013
Dr. Cate Ranheim, MD, Hospitalist with Meriter Medical Group, is the passion, energy, and drive behind the Helping Educate and Link the Homeless (HEALTH) outreach program. While working at Meriter Hospital, Dr. Ranheim observed many patients who were homeless or in transitional housing, repeatedly coming to the Emergency Room seeking medical care for untreated illnesses that became acute due to delayed treatment. Dr. Ranheim began to investigate what prohibited these patients from maintaining their health and determined eight barriers to good health: medical illiteracy, limited transportation, lack of insurance or income, inability to afford medications, substance abuse, mental health issues, unstable housing, and failure to access primary care. With this information, she developed the HEALTH program.
Through HEALTH, patients have access to free care, including basic health screening, disease and medication education, prescription updates, basic health supplies, help with disability, Medicare/Medicaid and housing applications, health counseling, assistance linking to local resources and coordination with local primary care providers to establish a medical home. Dr. Ranheim recruited volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants, social workers, dentists, administrative staff, and many others to bring health care to people at accessible sites.
The impact of Dr. Ranheim's efforts is significant. Through the program's design, a trust is being established with the homeless population and they are more proactively addressing their health care needs. Preliminary data indicated that use of emergency services and inpatient care at Meriter has decreased among HEALTH program patients. In 2011, Dr Ranheim expects to serve 1,000 patients through this care coordination model.
Willa Schlecht, Treasurer
Willa Schlecht is a 3rd generation Madisonian, she received her BBA and Masters of Accountancy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Upon graduation Willa worked for SVA, a public accounting firm, in the Tax Department. During a 10-year hiatus from the professional world as a stay-at-home mother, Willa volunteered in a number of venues. She served 6 years on the board of her son's parent teacher group, Co-Founder of her local library's Friends group and also earned a Masters of Library and Information Studies from the UW. Willa worked part-time as a medical librarian for MetaStar, a healthcare quality improvement organization.
Willa is an alum of LGM (Leadership Greater Madison) 12, a leadership program designed to educate and encourage stewards in our community. The project for her team was titled, "A Greener Bottom Line" and brought eco-minded business leaders together for a panel presentation and discussion of green business practices and decisions. Her special interest in sustainability relates to communities and how they develop our sense of place.
Ms. Schlecht is currently employed as controller for Agrace HospiceCare, Inc. She recently served as controller for Meriter Health Services, and on the boards of the Center for Nursing Excellence and Madison Environmental Resourcing, Inc., a collaborative for shared service among the city's 3 hospitals for handling medical waste.
Jen Voichick, 2004
With 15 years of carpentry experience, Jen had a dream of doing something other than landfilling the excess building materials that she saw being hauled away daily. She put together a business plan for a non-profit salvage/surplus building materials store and submitted it to Habitat for Humanity. Habitat was pleased to make it their 50th such "ReStore" nationwide. Jen’s "dream" now has a dedicated staff, over 100 active volunteers, and, since it opened in 2001, has saved over 1500 tons from the landfill and raised enough money to build eight Habitat homes.