Thrive Speaker Bios

Speaker Bios

Please note that this information is from the 2017 event.  Check back soon for information on our April 2018 conference!


shilagh-088Shilagh Mirgain is a health and sport psychologist at UW Health. A sought-after speaker, writer, facilitator, and therapist, Shilagh is a frequent contributor to WMTV News and BRAVA Magazine in Madison, and has been featured nationally on the TODAY show. Shilagh writes, speaks and trains on mindfulness meditation, mind-body skills to foster optimal health, happiness and wellbeing. She also is a sport psychologist to UW Badger student athletes.

Adrianne Machina

adrianne-head-shot-wydra-1498Adrianne Machina is the chief velocity officer of Tornado Marketing and an in-demand copywriter, speaker and consultant with a special focus on online marketing. She’s a firm believer that progress is better than perfection, and that boring marketing will get you nowhere. Adrianne can help you harness your business passion and purpose into marketing that reflects your company’s unique strengths and attracts your ideal clients. Adrianne writes for The Partner Channel Magazine and teaches marketing to entrepreneurs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and DreamBank Madison.

Amy Crowe

Amy Crowe is a certified financial educator, personal finance guru and motivational speaker. She is passionate about teaching women and young adults the things they need to know to be financially successful. Amy is the Financial Education Specialist at Summit Credit Union and has been featured on local television news money segments and has spoken at local expos and conferences.  She manages Summit Credit Union’s award-winning Project Money program, a financial challenge designed to help families reach their financial dreams. Amy lives in the Madison area with her husband and tween daughter.

Ann Garvin

Ann Garvin, Ph.D., is an award-winning writer with three novels published in five countries. Her novels have been said to provide clarity, humanity, humor and compassion during these times of turmoil and change. A sought-after speaker, writer and educator, Ann has taught for 30 years in higher education, both in Wisconsin and nationally. She primarily focuses on health psychology, health education in all areas of life and humor. She is the founder of and Ann lives in Stoughton.

Bekah Gant

Bekah Gant is grateful to be a yoga and meditation instructor at Dragonfly Hot Yoga. A journey through various jobs, including teaching and quality management in mental health, and creative entrepreneurial endeavors led her to pause and ask herself what her dream life would truly look like. That dream life turned out to be slower and more intentional than how she previously lived, but allows her to be most fully herself. A move from North Carolina to Madison led her to yoga teacher training in 2015, and since completing her training, she has taught over 700 hours of yoga and meditation classes and continues to pursue personal development and further yoga, meditation and anatomy education.

Deborah Biddle

debbieselects-1Known for her calm, levelheaded approach in the face of disruption and change, Deborah Biddle is a leadership and development coach who brings more than 25 years of business leadership, operations, talent development, project and change management, communications, strategic planning and financial analysis experience to her clients. Deborah holds an MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management. She has served as a management leader for two Fortune 100 organizations, a business consultant, a small business owner and as an adjunct faculty member for a local college. Her seminars and individualized coaching serve to heighten the effectiveness of individuals, teams and organizations, leveraging strengths and creating strategies to accomplish results.

Ellen Bartkowiak

ellen-bartkowiakEllen Bartkowiak is a 20-year career management expert who understands the experienced professional, their drive, demands and determination. From career changers, promotion seekers, moms with degrees who are ready to transition back into the working world to organizations hoping to retain their successful employees, Ellen helps them all accelerate careers and opportunities. She is a sought-after speaker, coach and consultant, and president of EllenCoaching, a career management firm that assists professionals in managing their careers and attaining career goals.

Erin Forrest

Erin E. Forrest is the Executive Director of Emerge Wisconsin, an organization dedicated to inspiring Democratic women to run for office and teaching them the skills they need to win. Before joining Emerge, Erin served on the Waterloo City Council, as Chair of the Democratic Party of Jefferson County, and Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin’s County Chairs’ Association. Erin lives in Waterloo with her daughter, Paxton and son, Nevin.

Jessica Schultz

Jessica Schultz, MS, MFT, CFT, is the founder of BeYOUtiful Minds & Fitness. Her professional mission is to help individuals, couples and families re-create their lifestyles, re-write their personal stories and increase their physical and mental wellbeing holistically through a merging of personal training and marriage and family therapy. Jessica holds a Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and is a certified fitness trainer. She serves on the board of the Wisconsin Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. Jessica considers herself to be a social entrepreneur, self-care enthusiast and a devoted cat lady.

The Jills of All Trades

Megan Boswell and Corinne Neil are co-founders of The Jills of All Trades, an online platform that links and lifts women entrepreneurs, consultants and freelancers by building community and creating an ecosystem for businesses and independents to connect and collaborate on a project-by-project basis. Together Megan and Corinne have 45 years’ experience working both in corporate environments and as successful independent consultants. Recognized as a top Brand DNA creator and protector, Megan has led corporate design teams and built legacy brands over her 25-year creative career. Today she is highly sought after for her brand consulting services and as an industry expert instructor. Corinne has built her career around education and instructional design throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe and Middle East. She leads workshops and creates instructional materials and content for public schools, educational publishers, and the educational technology community.

Megan Watt

Megan Watt is an innovative and highly-sought after speaker, facilitator and career coach who inspires people to take new action in their lives. She’s recognized by the Urban League as a Trailblazer, excelling and leading in her industry, and has spoken to audiences at AT&T, American Family Insurance, WARF and the University of Iowa, and has taught career and leadership development at Big Ten universities and served as the vice president of innovation and strategy for a startup. Currently Megan is chief dream maker of Madison’s Dream Catalyst Labs, where the mission is to inspire others to dream big and tenaciously go after those “Someday Goals”—today!

Shanna Wolf

Shanna is a freelance photographer with a background in advertising in communications, specializing in portrait, documentary and interior photography. Her photography aesthetic is modern with simplicity and balance. She loves the storytelling of still photography and being a contributor to publications with meaningful messages. Her personal work is focused on travel and wandering, using her camera as her sketchbook.

Sheba McCants

Sheba McCants is a Madison native with a passion for the arts, wellness and community. She graduated from New York University with a degree in visual and performing arts with a concentration in how the arts can be used to create social justice and community change. Sheba is the community engagement and events coordinator at Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS) and a Zumba fitness instructor at UW Health in corporate and community wellness. She’s also the co-founder of Ótimo Dance, a Madison-based, company that is accessible to all levels of dancers, from beginners to professional performers.

Doyenne Group

Founded by Amy Gannon and Heather Wentler, the Doyenne Group builds entrepreneurial ecosystems that invest in the power and potential of women entrepreneurs.

Dr. Amy Gannon

Dr. Gannon is a Co-founder and Director of Entrepreneur Development at Doyenne, a Madison-based organization advancing women’s entrepreneurship in Madison and beyond by transforming ecosystems to be more inclusive. With more than 10 years experience working with startup businesses, Dr. Gannon has expertise moving entrepreneurs through the idea validation, launch and growth stages. She designs, plans and facilitates developmental opportunities for entrepreneurs, including: 2-day strategic planning retreats, a year-long founder series for leadership development, and one-on-one and group peer coaching sessions.

Summit Credit Union

Summit Credit Union offers several programs for helping individuals achieve both personal and business goals.

Dana Hoffmann

Dana Hoffmann is vice president of Business Services at Summit Credit Union, where she crafts creative small-business financing solutions and serves as a trusted advisor to entrepreneurs. She has over 20 years’ experience in the commercial lending industry.

Susan Young

Through her speaking and training firm Susan Young International, Susan speaks to national organizations and leaders about levering the power of change to improve positivity and performance. Her clients include the U.S. Air Force, McDonald’s, Boeing, American Family Insurance, the Social Security Administration and Marriott Hotels. Susan is author of books and tool kits to help people move from transition to transformation.

Tania Ibarra

Tania Ibarra is a CPA and visionary problem solver and strategist. She possesses rich experience, skills and knowledge obtained from a successful career in finance, assurance, accounting and consulting services, as well as abundant community involvement. She has been instrumental in planning and development of the Latino Professionals Association of Greater Madison, Step up for Equity and Talent Connections Career Coaching Program.

Lisa Peyton-Caire

Lisa Peyton-Caire is assistant vice president of Life, Learning & Events at Summit Credit Union where she and her team manage financial education, giving, events, diversity and inclusion, and employee wellness. Among her passions is empowering women to prioritize personal finance as a path to true freedom and independence.

Theresa Kim

Theresa Kim, PLCC, ACC, is a professional life coach. Through her Suite 101 Experiences and events, she uses art and creativity as tools to help people quiet the negative-thinking hamster wheels in their heads and create their best lives.