Photos by Hillary Schave, Azena Photography and by Shanna Wolf
Hometown: My average residence in any city has been about five years. But I definitely get my sense of place from Southern California. I spent my formative years in San Diego, Ventura, Santa Barbara and L.A.
Street cred: I’ve been a print journalist since high school and spent most of my professional career on the word side of newspapers, including a 13-year stint overseas. I’m so gratified to still be “in print” in the digital age, and at a vibrant publication to boot.
Family: My big man husband Doug and our green-eyed kitten Monkey.
How I get my kicks: In the outdoors, moving my body.
Hidden talents: I can whip a mean softball.
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: Be kind.
Style obsession: Lately, maxi skirts.
Fave color: Sunflower yellow.
The one thing I have to do/see before I die: Every U.S. national park.
If I were an animal, I’d be: An elephant.
Fave Madison space: The view of downtown from John Nolan Drive.
Fave thing about working at BRAVA: Collaborating every day with driven, informed, funny and edgy women.
Ashley PowellVP of Sales
Street cred: Nearly 20 years of sales experience, specializing in building highly productive teams. 2017 Brava Woman to Watch, 2017 In Business Magazine 40 under 40, 2018 Athena Award nominee. National speaker, women’s wealth advocate and subject of a children’s book.
Family: Handsome lumberjack and 2 tiny tornadoes.
How I get my kicks: Introducing and connecting incredible women to one another.
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: “You know the number one way people get what they want? They ask.” This changed my whole worldview when Betty Lark Ross, my high school art teacher, said this to me. I ask, a lot. And people tell me ‘no’, a lot. But I have been given some incredible opportunities by following this advice.
Fave color: Red
The one thing I have to do/see before I die: This is a very serious question! I just want loafer socks that stay put.
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: My kids and my fellow Boss Moms, out there doing incredible things.
In the office, I’m the one who: Keeps a drawer full of shoes.
Current obsession: The ONE Thing book and Podcast. I love the concepts of ruthless prioritization and habit stacking.
Fave Madison event: St. Peter Catholic Church Fish Fry, Disrupt Madison, and Culture Community
Style obsession: Gwynnie Bee. I love being able to rent trendy pieces and not worry about having to wear the same things over and over again.
Fave Madison Space: The Madison Club.
Rachel WernerDigital Editor
Street cred: Fitness instructor and trainer, freelance writer and blogger for the past three years.
Family: A darling kindergartener whom I absolutely adore—and you would, too, if you met her!
How I get my kicks: Running, reading, cooking, talking about and working on sustainable agriculture initiatives, growing vegetables, and learning about how various forms of alcohol can be made.
Hidden talents: Being a ballet dancer. I also can crochet a pretty decent scarf—or baby blanket.
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: “Just let go, and let God.”
Style obsession: My hair. I change the color and style every few months.
Fave color: Blue. (all shades and variations, except teal)
The one thing I have to do/see before I die: Learn to surf.
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: My daughter and the food posts I create from my blog.
In the office, I’m the one who… Wants to start a compost bin.
Current obsessions: A book called “What If?” about preposterous scientific questions that a physicist attempts to answer with actual mathematical equations- and Paddle boarding.
Fave Madison events: Willy Street Co-ops annual “Eat Local Challenge,”.summer farmers markets
Fave Madison space: UW Arboretum; I run the trails many times a week.
Fave Madison cause/charity: REAP & Dane Buy Local
Julia RichardsAssistant Editor
Street cred: Masters in journalism from UW-Madison. I’ve written for Real Change News in Seattle, Wash. and Isthmus in Madison.
Family: 3-and-a-half-year-old son who loves books as much as I do.
How I get my kicks: Discussing an intriguing book, puttering around the garden, going for a long walk by a lake or in the woods.
On my phone you’ll find the most pictures of: My son, although most of them are blurry. 3-year-olds aren’t easy to photograph!
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: “In the end all that matters is, how well did you love, how well did you live, how well did you learn to let go.”
Fave color: green
In the office, I’m the one who… Brings leftovers in a jar for lunch.
Fave Madison space: Olbrich Gardens
Fave Madison events: Fete de Marquette; Greek Fest
Ann ChristiansonArt Director
Street cred: Owner of Radius Creative, designing and collaborating for the past 15 years.
Family: Married to a grumpy Norwegian; two rotten kids and one varmint.
Motto I live by: If you say you can’t, you can’t.
In the office, I’m: …the one who has music on all the time and am tech support for all things MAC.
Fave Madison spaces: Include The Wisconsin Historical Society Library, Dotty’s Dumpling Dowry, Gail Ambrosius Chocolatier and The Barrymore Theater.
Ashley DucheminDirector of Events
Hometown: Elkhorn, WI
Street cred: I graduated from the University of Wisconin – Eau Claire in May of 2008 and started working for Nei Turner Media Group in January of 2009. I am also the aquatics director/head coach for the local club swim team, Elkhorn Penguins.
How I get my kicks: Party Planning.
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: Remember you’ll always regret what you didn’t do rather than what you did.
Fave color: Purple and Black
The one thing I have to do/see before I die: The Eiffel Tower
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: My super cute nephews and niece
In the office, I’m the one who: is organized!
Current obsessions: Pinterest Cooking Recipes
Style obsession: Leggings and Yoga Pants
Fave Madison space: Madison Museum of Contemporary Art
Fave Madison cause/charity: Ronald McDonald House Charities and Gilda’s Club
Gale HellpapSales Executive
Hometown: I was born in West Allis and moved to Cedarburg in 5th grade. I love going back to visit family and friends in the Milwaukee area!
In the office I’m the one: Comes in with an armful of bags. Between my purse, computer bag, book bag and food bag, I don’t travel lightly!
Family: My husband and best friend, Andrew and our two littles, Trinity and AJ.
How I get my kicks: Physical activity (Be it biking, running, yoga or sports, I love to stay active!); attending professional development or networking events; volunteering at church; hosting social gatherings with friends and family.
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: My kids, new recipes I’ve dabbled with and selfies at bike races or running events.
Motto I live by: Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Hidden talent: I have a wicked good memory. I can meet a person once and tend to at least remember where and when we first connected. It even freaks me out sometimes! Also, random bits of knowledge; I’m a great teammate for trivia!
Fave color: I can never pick just one! I tend to lean towards jewel tones.
Favorite Madison Cause/Charity: Box of Balloons; Madison Area Parent Support (MAPS).
Fave project for BRAVA: I absolutely love the Thrive Career Series.
If I wasn’t working at BRAVA I’d be: Starting my own non-profit organization. My biggest challenging is figuring out which passion project to focus on!
Jody WiszSales Executive
Hometown: Born and raised in Beloit, WI. But have lived in Janesville for the past 14 years now.
In the office I’m the one who is: always cracking a joke and trying to make someone laugh
Family: My 18 year-old son, Dalton and 6 year-old daughter, Alyvia
How I get my kicks: Traveling, shopping, spending time outdoors, reading and spending time with my friends and family
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: Kiddos and my dog Buddy.
Motto I live by: “Hold on. God knows what he is doing.”
Hidden talent: I love to dance and used to compete nationally when I was younger.
Fave color: PINK all the way!
Style obsession: Makeup. I love makeup and have way too much of it (but you didn’t hear that from me)!
Fave Madison events: Taste of Madison and the Dane County Farmer’s Market downtown.
Fave Madison space: Capitol Square.
Fave project for BRAVA: Women’s Expo. It is such a fun and uplifting event full of fabulous women!
The one thing I have to do/see before I die: A very long, extended vacation in Hawaii.
Jennifer SchwarzkopfSales Executive
Hometown: All over! I have been in Madison for 17 years now, so it is now the longest I have lived anywhere. I was born in Tennessee and have lived in Mississippi, Illinois, Indiana, Texas, Nevada,and Chile… so my hometown is wherever my family is.
Family: I am a wife, mother and stepmom, as well as my more tenured titles of sister and daughter. My husband Nathan makes me laugh every day and supports me in whatever I want to d;, my daughter Noelle is the coolest person I’ve ever known, plus my Mamá is my role model and rock.
Best piece of advice someone ever gave me: “It takes very little to make someone happy.”
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: Daughter, dogs, delicious food, dear friends and whatever (art) project I am working on at the moment.
The one thing I have to see/do before I die: The northern lights in Iceland.
Fave thing about working at BRAVA: Supporting women and meeting so many fantastic, inspiring females.Supporting women and meeting so many fantastic, inspiring females.
Current obsessions: Chef’s Table on Netflix; India Hicks’ Casuarina Room Spray; Hawaii Style bowl at Miko Poke; and the Fresa Agave drink with steak tacos at La Mestiza.
If I were an animal I’d be: A red panda
Megan TepeSales Executive
Hometown: I have several! I’m from St. Charles, IL but I also call Wausau home because I went to HS there.
In the office I’m the one: Who gets overly excited about sports. I’m a passionate fan of Chicago professional sports and the UW for college sports (must support my alma mater!)
Family: My wonderfully patient husband Jeremy and 2 amazing kids, Bridget and Jameson.
How I get my kicks: Travelling, decorating, volunteering, chasing my kids to their sports events, reading and concerts.
On my phone, you’ll find the most pictures of my: My family or DIY project inspirations
Motto I live by: If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Hidden talent: Yard work. I can get down and dirty with the best of them. You should see my amazing lilies.
Fave color: Green- all shades!
Current obsession: Chandeliers. For every room.
Favorite Madison Events: Any UW sport, the Taste of Madison, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Frostiball, and any nice Farmer’s Market Saturday that is capped off by wandering down State Street, then spending a lazy afternoon at the terrace at Memorial Union.
Favorite Madison Cause/Charity: The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society
Favorite Madison Space: I love the beauty and craftsmanship that went into the Capitol.
Fave project for BRAVA: All of them! But I particularly like meeting the amazing Women to Watch. So inspiring!
If I wasn’t working at BRAVA I’d be: A hand model for a TV jewelry channel. I could wear all the bling and never have to buy it. And probably still volunteering for a bunch of organizations. (I can’t say no to a great cause!)
Shanna WolfFashion Coordinator
Street cred: Expert in styling aesthetics and tailoring clothing to fit your personality, and many years of independent photography.
Current obsessions: Farm to Vase bouquets, Haribo black licorice candies, searching Airbnb.com for my next vacation rental, Sonoma County wines.
Fave Madison events: Wisconsin Film Fest, Make Music Madison, Wisconsin Book Festival, Capital Brewery Dogtoberfest and the Dog Jog.
Style obsession: Smythe blazers, wedge sneakers, tunics and leggings, Rag and Bone booties, C. Alexandria jewelry, Lucite glasses.
Favorite food fix: Cut-out cookie from Bloom Bake Shop, mango curry from Ha Long Bay, the Porta Alba pizza from Porta Alba, anything from the case at Batch Bakehouse.
Favorite BRAVA project: Photographing for the Women to Watch issues, and pulling clothing and accessories from Madison boutiques for the spring and fall trend issues.
Motto I live by: Less stuff, more life.