LAURA GMEINDER + COREYNE WOODMAN-HOLOUBEK: DISRUPTING THE WORLD OF WORK

Photographed by Hillary Schave

Coreyne Woodman-Holoubek is a business owner, wife and mother who is on a mission to create “something better for the world.” She’s co-owner of Contracted Leadership, where she works with small to medium-size businesses to create mutually meaningful engagements within their organizations.

Laura Gmeinder is a business owner, author and public speaker. Previously in the corporate world, Gmeinder owns Coaching & Consulting, LLC, and works with clients on strategy and process improvement in their businesses.

Woodman-Holoubek and Gmeinder— both human resources professionals—are disrupting work as we know it. It all started with a conversation in a coffee shop in 2015 and Disrupt Madison—and most recently Disrupt Milwaukee—a movement focused on sharing ideas and changing the world of work, were born.

Disrupt events feature various thought leaders speaking for five minutes each on topics ranging from employee engagement to leadership to supporting employees in domestic violence situations.

Disrupt is a fast-paced and inspirational experience. Woodman-Holoubek says it aims to expand the concept of the world of work and help the community keep up with economic developers, trends and thought leaders. Changing company environments is not just a job for HR departments. It’s collaboration between departments to improve their company as a whole.

“We wanted to create something where people felt a networking opportunity and an opportunity to be inspired and learn more about what we can do to move the needle forward,” Woodman-Holoubek says.

According to Gmeinder, what’s happening now in workplaces isn’t working. For example, Gmeinder says many women in their mid-30s are leaving. “Women are not being promoted fast enough. The opportunities, the impact that they’re trying to make is greater than what the position enables,” says Gmeinder.

Gmeinder and Woodman-Holoubek held the inaugural Disrupt Madison event in June 2016, followed by Disrupt Madison 2.0 in June 2017. The inaugural Disrupt Milwaukee was held in November 2017 as part of Wisconsin StartUp Week.

Disrupt events have been hugely popular, with both Madison events selling out. Disrupt Madison 3.0 is on tap for June 6 and Disrupt Milwaukee 2.0 in fall. They also plan to take the concept international.

That’s not all Woodman-Holoubek and Gmeinder have on their plates for this year. They plan to create a scholarship fund to help young professionals develop speaking careers and to help high school graduates cover tuition costs with scholarships in Progressive HR. In addition to disrupting the world of work, the pair is working on a short documentary on empowering women. They’ll explore why more women aren’t in leadership roles. “I can attest to opportunities and platforms Laura and Coreyne are carving out for women, minorities and those traditionally underserved in areas of entrepreneurship and activism,” says Natalie Hinckley, director of Hinckley Productions. The documentary is expected to be released sometime this year.

–Hywania Thompson

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