Meet the PresentersSustain Dane is thrilled to announce the line-up of distinguished presenters at the 2017 Badger Bioneers Conference on Wednesday, November 29 at the Gordon Dining & Events Center at UW-Madison. Register now!
Badger Bioneer Interviewers:
- Bria Brown, B. Brown Productions & Community Shares of Wisconsin
- Karen Lincoln Michel, Madison Magazine
- Rachel Werner, BRAVA Magazine
Mark Richardson, Unfinished Business & GigBlender
- Gregg Potter, Project Kinect
“Equity is not an abstract concept; it is something that leaders and communities live, breathe, and feel to their core… I am on a journey to infuse this soul into my own collective impact work." -Dr. Michael McAfee
Michael McAfee leads PolicyLink executive and program teams in strategic planning, policy development, policy campaign strategy, capacity building, and programmatic design and implementation at the local, state, and national levels. He came to PolicyLink in 2011 as the inaugural director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink. Under his leadership, PolicyLink has emerged as a national leader in building cradle-to-career systems to ensure that children and youth in our nation’s most distressed communities have a pathway into the middle class. His partnership with local leaders in more than 60 communities contributed to significant improvements in the educational and developmental outcomes for children and helped attract public and private investments that exceed $1 billion. Through the 2015 authorization of the Every Student Succeeds Act, the Promise Neighborhoods program is now a permanent federal program.
Before joining PolicyLink, Michael served as senior community planning and development representative in the Chicago Regional Office of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While at HUD, he managed a $450 million housing, community, and economic development portfolio where he partnered with local leaders to create more than 3,000 units of affordable housing and 5,000 jobs and ensure access to social services for more than 200,000 families. He also served as the lead instructor with HUD’s Leadership Development Program. He is most proud of personally ensuring the successful matriculation of more than 168 senior executives through the Leadership Development Program and providing fundraising, leadership, management, and organizational development technical assistance to more than 1,000 persons and 800 grassroots faith- and community-based organizations. His partnership with the White House and HUD's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships has resulted in nonprofit organizations accessing more than $1 billion in federal resources.
Michael believes that every American deserves access to opportunities that give them a fair shot at succeeding in life. He is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow, Aspen Institute Ideas Scholar, and Leap of Reason Ambassador. He served in the United States army, completed Harvard University's Executive Program in Public Management, and earned his doctor of education in human and organizational learning from The George Washington University. He is an avid off-road hiker and practitioner of Bikram yoga.
"Climate justice... is a chance for us to really prioritize people over profits, where people can get some dignified work in a world where our demographics don't define our destiny, where my zip code doesn't determine how long I get to live. It's about fighting for a future where our families are protected and where our humanity is expanded." -Vien Truong
- Watch Vien's 2016 National Bioneers Keynote video, which we featured at last year's Badger Bioneers.
- Learn more about Green For All
Badger Bioneer Interviewers
Bria Brown, interviewing Badger Bioneer Aaron Perry - Before arriving to Madison, WI about a year ago, Bria Brown, spent her entire life (warmly) in the southeast. Bria is the founder of B. Brown Productions LLC, the Membership Manager at Community Shares of Wisconsin, and an online content creator. She’s passionate about social justice, creating video, making people laugh, and any opportunity that can merge all those passions.
Karen Lincoln Michel, interviewing Badger Bioneer Project Green Teen - Karen Lincoln Michel is the editor of Madison Magazine and has more than 25 years of experience in journalism. She is vice president of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism board of directors and is a past president of the Native American Journalists Association and UNITY: Journalists for Diversity.
Rachel Werner, interviewing Badger Bioneer Natasha Smith - Rachel Werner is the assistant editor of BRAVA, a magazine created by women for women. She's previously contributed print, photography and video content to Madison Magazine, Spectrum, Hobby Farms and Urban Farm Magazine while keeping up her side gigs as a fitness instructor, health coach, and a 2016-2017 national WomenRide4Change Ambassador. Follow her adventures around the country on Instagram @therealscript
Mark Richardson is President of Unfinished Business and CEO of GigBlender. Mark is a Chicago-area native with 25 years of experience creating new business models. His latest entrepreneurial effort - GigBlenderTM - is a company on a mission to help organizations build a better workforce with each new hire. Mark is, by nature, a connector of people and a team-builder as was evident during his tenure at the Urban League where he previously served as Vice President of Economic & Workforce Development. Mark's passion for Diversity & Inclusion started as a youth and has now grown to drive his work in both corporate and civic arenas.
Gregg Potter is a writer, activist, public speaker, and the founder of Project Kinect. Potter, a Wisconsin native, recently returned to Madison after spending more than a decade on the west coast and abroad. His life has been focused on offering his tools and gifts to others. In 2014, Potter received his Masters in Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service in Arkansas. The experience catapulted him into a new reality of tangible ways he can create meaningful change. From tornado relief in Alabama, to working with corporations to become more effective in their communities, to fighting for human rights of the marginalized in South Africa, Potter strives to be an effective tool for other people doing social good. Project Kinect was created because of an unfulfilled need that Potter frequently encountered from individuals and organizations. These groups continuously have great ideas but needed tools, insight, and resources to accomplish them. This solution process begins by accepting all definitions of positive social change, is applied with collaboration, and is completed when an endeavor is executed and fully owned by the creator. That is the equation for the success Gregg Potter and Project Kinect have had. His hope is that we can all accept each other, work together, and take responsibility for ourselves to create real sustainable change that benefits everyone.