Thrive Speaker Bios

2018 Speaker Bios

Dr. Soyeon Shim

Dr. Soyeon Shim assumed her current position as the Dean of the School of Human Ecology (SoHE) at the UW-Madison in 2012. Dr. Shim’s scholarly research focuses on consumer decision-making. Dr. Shim has received numerous teaching, research, and leadership awards. She has authored or co-authored over 100 scholarly articles in refereed journals To recognize her scholarships and leadership, she has been named as Ted Kellner Bascom Professor at UW-Madison in 2017.


Introduction by Kim Sponem, Summit Credit Union

Kim Sponem is CEO/President of one of Wisconsin’s largest credit unions, Summit Credit Union. Under her leadership since 2002, then CUNA Credit Union, it has grown from $200 million to $3 billion in assets; its branch network has expanded from four locations to 34 across South Central and South Eastern Wisconsin, including three in Madison high schools.
Madison Magazine recently awarded Kim the Brian Howell Excellence in Innovation Award at their Best in Business annual event in honor of her leadership in innovative financial education, including her work as a co-founder of STAR Credit Union, a credit union for kids located in the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County and offering hands-on learning about money and business.

Amber Swenor

Amber Swenor is the founder of Strategic Partners Marketing in Madison, where the team helps small to medium businesses and nonprofits to grow through brand strategy and implementation. Its services include web design, social media and digital marketing, media buying and public relations. In 2016 Amber created Amberdella Consulting to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses with access to knowledge, resources and tools to enable them to market more effectively. She was a 2017 BRAVA Magazine Woman to Watch, 2017 In Business Magazine 40 Under 40, is an active member in The Doyenne Group, Dane Buy Local and the Madison Chamber of Commerce and volunteers with the Between the Waves Song Conference and Festival.

Amy Crowe

Amy Crowe is a financial education specialist at Summit Credit Union where she started her career in marketing over 20 years ago and now leads its award-winning signature community financial education programs, Project Money and Project Teen Money. A personal finance expert, Amy spends her time writing, speaking, developing learning content and educating about money. Her thoughts, ideas and advice have been featured on television, in print and online magazines, on podcasts, at conferences and on expo stages. Amy is passionate about illuminating the connection between mindset and money behavior, and empowering others to make breakthrough changes that result in financial transformation. This passion led her to being named a 2016 CU Rock Star by Credit Union Magazine, the publication of the Credit Union National Association. She is a graduate of the UW-Stevens Point where she completed her degree in communications.

Betsy Delzer

Betsy Delzer is the Coordinator of Mindful Education & Leadership Development in Middleton schools. She is a yoga teacher and mindfulness coach who is passionate about the journey inward.

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.

Jocelyn Vande Velde

Jocelyn Vande Velde is a marketer and storyteller by trade, but probably by DNA too, and has always worked in different facets of active lifestyle industries with Red Bull, Saris Cycling Group, Johnson Health Tech and, currently, Trek Bicycles as a Brand Manager. Her expertise lies in consumer experience, brand activation and global markets. She co-founded Ignite Madison and was nominated for the 2015 ATHENA Young Professionals Award. Jocelyn especially loves connecting people, exploring, being outdoors and on the water, trying eateries and cooking, riding one of her bikes, lifting heavy things, reading and discovering new music whenever possible. A mother and wife, she resides in Monona.

Laneice McGee

Laneice McGee helps people transition in their careers as a district director for the Department of Workforce Development. She loves the work because she serves people from all walks of life, from those who have never had a job to those who have been in the workforce for over 20 years. She looks at her career as an opportunity to support both staff and customers as they discover their goals and purpose through work.
Laneice is also the co-founder of Big, Beautiful & Blessed, an agency committed to cultivating a positive self and body image in all women. She is the founder of F.E.M.A (Future Entrepreneurs Moving Ahead), that helps accelerate the development of youth as entrepreneurs.

Disrupt Madison

Laura Gmeinder and Coreyne Woodman-Holoubek, Wisconsin’s own Disruptors, are not your traditional HR ladies. Laura and Coreyne advocate for the empowerment of women and the disruption of the workplace.

Coreyne Woodman Holoubek

Coreyne Woodman Holoubek is an entrepreneur and progressive HR Expert with 15 plus years of global business, leadership and strategic HR experience. She’s married and has two daughters and now leads the HR team for Contracted Leadership, a business co-owned by her husband Bruce Holoubek. Coreyne and her team partner with CEOs and business leaders to develop customized HR programming and initiatives that align organizational talent and human potential to strategic organizational goals and objectives. Coreyne’s passion project, co-organized with Laura Gmeinder, is Disrupt Madison and Disrupt Milwaukee, a movement designed to empower change in the world of work; how we view our role and the definition of work.

Laura Gmeinder

Laura Gmeinder is a “passion igniter” who inspires and empowers women to shine in business and life. She is a top-rated speaker, coach and consultant. Laura has connected the dots in her life to create a business based on her experience and expertise: adult learning, HR. coaching and community leadership. She questions. She listens. She champions what’s possible, by introducing the creative strategy that’s missing. Laura survived a quarter life crisis, harnessed her reawakened sense of adventure, left a corporate job and set out to make an impact in the world. She’s proud to share what’s possible when you put your mind to it.

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.


Heather Wentler

Heather Wentler is an advocate for women and girls to be recognized as strong, independent individuals capable of success. Professionally trained as an educator and taught for 5 years, Heather pivoted into entrepreneurship as a way to connect with and advocate for women and girls in ways she couldn’t in the traditional classroom. Heather is the founder of Fractal, founder of Madison SOUP, and Executive Director & Co-founder of Doyenne.
Heather has won multiple local awards and has been publically recognized for entrepreneurship and the work she does in the community. She serves on various committees and Advisory Boards from across Wisconsin to make sure diversity and inclusion is a top priority for organizations and conferences focusing on entrepreneurship.

Alex Lindenmeyer and Sinéad McHugh

Alex Lindenmeyer and Sinéad McHugh are Co-Owners and operators of Short Stack Eatery, an all-breakfast restaurant in Downtown Madison. While traveling abroad in college, the Madison-bred duo and Edgewood High School alums were inspired to someday open a late night breakfast restaurant in a college town. After researching and taking classes at Madison College in restaurant finance and marketing, they launched the eatery in 2014. Short Stack has quickly become one of Madison’s most popular dining spots featuring locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to giving back by supporting community non-profits and small business coalitions.

Megan Watt

Megan Watt is a highly sought after speaker, facilitator, career coach and author who brings an innovative approach to her work. Participants leave her sessions and workshops excited to take new action in their lives. She speaks to audiences such as AT&T, American Family Insurance and the University of Wisconsin-Madison on the power of strength and the power of connection in the pursuit your goals. Her new book, “Discover. Act. Engage” is a 60-Day catalyst guide to accomplishing your someday goals.

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.

Melanie Schmidt

Melanie Schmidt is an experienced strategist and executive adviser with a passion for helping organizations and individuals become more effective. She established Timpano Group in 2003 as a creative consultancy specializing in management consulting, organizational development, stakeholder engagement, and strategic communications. Building upon experience that spans sectors, Melanie is known for getting to the core of issues and then framing the actions necessary to move things forward—beyond business as usual. Melanie is a nationally certified governance trainer and a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt with a Master’s Degree in organizational development and a love for food.

Melanie Schneider

Strengths-based coaching and positive psychology resonate with Melanie Schneider. Focusing on what you do well— your strengths—instead of fixating on your weaknesses, is an inspiring message she needs to share with others! Her strengths as identified by the Clifton StrengthsFinder Assessment are Input, Restorative, Individualization, Achiever and Significance. As a coach with these strengths, she recognizes the unique qualities of clients, managers and teams and assists them in capitalizing on their assets. Melanie helps clients identify their strengths potential while becoming more self-aware. She shares her expertise and resources to support clients and teams as they work to achieve their desired goals. She is passionate about exceeding expectations.

Summit Credit Union

Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative open to anyone. Summit holds $3 billion in assets and has more than 174,000 members and 552 employees across 34 locations throughout Southcentral and Southeastern Wisconsin. At Summit, we don’t sell products, we build relationships. We’re all about helping you turn wishing, waiting and wondering into planning, doing and experiencing. We can help you save more, pay off debt and reduce your stress.

The Doyenne Group

Doyenne is changing the face of entrepreneurship in the Madison-area and beyond. Women are powerful players in our economy and unleashing their entrepreneurial potential will change the world. Doyenne brings strong, motivated people together to advance women’s entrepreneurship through four key strategies.

Short Stack Eatery

Short Stack Eatery began as an idea written on napkins at a restaurant on Guatemala and opened in downtown Madison in 2014. The restaurant has quickly become one of Madison’s most popular dining spots featuring locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to giving back by supporting community non-profits and small business coalitions.

Natalie DeMaioribus

Natalie DeMaioribus has taught Chimera Self-Defense since 2015. She first took Chimera as a college freshman and hasn’t stopped thinking about it since—it helped her grow from a scared kid, convinced that nighttime was synonymous with rape, to a confident woman with her own success stories. Assertiveness and awareness are daily skills that are useful in every aspect of life. Natalie loves watching her students’ worlds change; and every time this happens it’s because the student has changed her outlook on the world and on her own safety. Getting to be part of that transformation is intensely fulfilling, and bit by bit helps create a world where women are fearless participants in society.

Sagashus Levingston

Information coming soon!

Sarah Young

Sarah Young works with big thinkers and inspiring teams to increase their positive impact in the world. Prior to launching Zing Collaborative, Sarah spent eight years in the corporate world leading people, projects and teams, and became obsessed with human potential. Sarah uses corporate experience, research, mindfulness, leadership, coaching and experiential learning to empower organizations, teams, and individuals to get great results in a way that feels inspired and alive. Her clients range from financial services firms to top universities to construction crews and more. In her free time, Sarah enjoys camping, riding her fat bike through the woods, experimenting in the kitchen or hanging out with her favorite two-legged and four-legged companions.