Women’s Fund Presents… Game Changers, Driving Equity Forward

Keynote Address by meghan duggan, she and her teammates on the USA Women’s National Hockey Team took a stand for pay equity, threatening to boycott the 2017 World Championship Tournament. Meghan will share the empowering story of how she and her teammates put the issue of fair compensation ahead of the game, and bonded on the path to winning gold at the Olympics in 2018. 

Friday, October 23, 2019 Virtual Event 

What does it mean to be a Game Changer?  What does courage look like when the norms are standing in the way of equity and justice? What does it take to achieve greatness? Game Changers create a vision for something and inspire others to join them on a journey. Meghan talked about leadership, teamwork and empowerment saying “trust, communication, and unity” are essential in order to change the game.  She also reminds us that we “need to see it, to be it.”

We heard about the game changing moves our event honorees who are named by our sponsors,  are making. They are bold in their thinking, strong in leadership, and challenging the norms of the inside game. We celebrate them and their wins.


“Kudos to all and especially the Women’s Fund for a truly exceptional program!  Terrific honorees and presentations and loved how it really worked to make you feel as if you were there and participating. Well done!!”

“The event was incredible! I cannot begin to tell you how much I enjoyed it! The WF event was the BEST virtual event I have attended!” 

Event Emcee

Celeste Cuffie

Game Changers…Our Event Honorees

Signature Sponsor

Visionary Sponsor

Equity Sponsors

Foley & Lardner LLP
Quarles & Brady LLP
Julie Ragland &
   Monica Shah-Davidson



Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette University

Annette Jacobson

Johnson Financial Group

J.P. Morgan

Jeannie Martin


Michael Best

New Resources Consulting

Northwestern Mutual Women’s ERG

Ogletree Deakins

Holly Ryan

Erika Sander


Celeste Cuffie

CEO and Founder, Life Empowered Consulting Services

Change Management Specialist, Molson Coors Beverage Company


Monica Shah-Davidson, Chair

Celeste Cuffie

Nicole Horvath

Paige Hunt

Melissa McCord

Joell Poole


Kristin Carlson, Focal Point Coaching

Nicole Horvath, Cardinal Stritch University

Paige Hunt, Johnson Controls

Sheila Long, MalamaDoe

Jackie Mortenson, Milwaukee Women Inc.

Joell Poole Bela Roongta

Laj Waghray, Red Crane Films

Lisa Weisman, LM Club


Women’s Fund Presents… The Future, 2030

Keynote Address by Rebecca Ryan, Economist and Futurist.

Friday, November 1, 2019 at The Garage, Harley-Davidson Museum, 12-1:30PM

How will today’s trends shape our lives in ten years? What do we envision for 2030? What actions can we take to create a more equitable future that we all want now? At this event, Rebecca Ryan, a trained economist and futurist, shared her perspectives with humor and engagement. Rebecca is a researcher and trend-tracker who helped us envision the possibilities for the year 2030. She taught us to think like a futurist and encouraged us to act boldly to make the world a better place. 

Described as a “human spark plug,” Rebecca Ryan is the founder and owner of NEXT Generation Consulting, Inc., the Resident Futurist at the Alliance for Innovation, the Resident Futurist at the Local Government Institute of Wisconsin, the chairperson of the board and a faculty member for the Institute for Zen Leadership and the founder of Futurist Camp. Rebecca has degrees in Economics and International Relations from Drake University and a Professional Certificate in Strategic Foresight from the University of Houston.

Event Emcee

Bridgett L. Wilder, Founder
PERSEVERANCE Health and Wellness
Coaching and Nutritional Consultation

Futurists…Our Event Honorees

Named by our Event Sponsors, these women are working and leading for a better future!

Signature Sponsor

Visionary Sponsor

Equity Sponsors

Rockwell Automation


Alverno College Research Center for Women and Girls

Carlson Dash LLC

April Calvert


Beth Weckmueller/Sandy Cunningham

Divine Savior Holy Angels High School

Gathi Analytics

Julie Ragland and Russell Grabczyk


Institute for Women’s Leadership at Marquette University

J.P. Morgan

Michael Best

Mount Mary University

New Resources Consulting

Northwestern Mutual

Nancy Peterson/Sheila Reynolds

Ogletree Deakins

Erika Sander

Women Rocking the World


Shela Grant

Neille Hoffman

Voyageur Book Shop

Table Captains

Angelica Catarozoli, EmPower HR

Kristin Carlson, Focal Point Coaching & Executive Training

Chris Grota, Northwestern Mutual

Nicole Horvath, Cardinal Stritch University

Andrea Hubbert, Hub+company

Johannah Karstedt St. John, Professional Dimensions

Melissa Limas, Bay View Neighborhood

Sheila Long, MalamaDoe

Juanita Mast, Saint John’s on the Lake

Amy Muehlbauer, Advocate Aurora Health

Monica Shah-Davidson, Google

Barbara Vélez, Vélez & Associates

William Vélez, Retired, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Laj Waghray, Red Crane Films

Lisa Weisman, Concordia University WI with Tracy Foss, Wisconsin Bank & Trust

Event Committee

Marilka Vélez, Chair

Nicole Horvath

Melissa McCord

Debi Miller

Monica Shah-Davidson

Carla Washington

Emily Wright


The Power of Philanthropy with Joan Marie Johnson, PhD.

November 1, 2018 at The Garage, Harley Davidson Museum

We celebrate the Power of Philanthropy with a keynote address by Joan Marie Johnson, PhD., historian, author, and storyteller. Joan will help us understand how women, for decades, even generations, have influenced and created change to advance equity for women. From the suffrage movement for the 19th Amendment to integrating John Hopkins Medical School, Joan will entertain attendees with fascinating stories we need to know.

Event proceeds helped provide Grants, Programming, and HER Scholarships. Your commitment demonstrates your dedication to advancing equity for women and showcases your organization as a leader in the community. Thank you for your generosity.


  • Holly Baumgart, Sargento
  • Jane Durment, retired, Marcus Corporation
  • Kristine L. Havlik, Foley & Lardner
  • Patti Keating Kahn, PK2Group
  • Jean Kreiser, Baird
  • JoAnne McGrath, Highland Street Foundation
  • Rachel Monaco-Wilcox, LOTUS Legal Clinic
  • Joan Robertson
  • Deb Roesner, BMO Harris Bank


Women’s Fund Presents…Donna Orender and the 45th Anniversary of Title IX

October 25, 2017 at The Garage, Harley Davidson Museum

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

The year 2017 marked the 45th Anniversary of Title IX, a key piece of legislation that served as a stepping stone in the equity of women movement. Title IX ensures equity in sports and also provides access to higher education, opportunities for STEM curriculum/careers, services after sexual assault on college campuses, and more. For many women, their participation in sports was just the beginning. Especially at the collegiate level, where earning scholarships to participate in athletics created the opportunity to pursue higher education. These opportunities continue to be the building blocks of personal achievement, building career/business success. Personal health, confidence, leadership skills, teamwork, and trust, are just a few of the ROIs. The event featured keynote speaker Donna Orender, CEO of Orender Unlimited and former president of the WNBA and recognized numerous Title IX Athletes named by event sponsors.

Bernell Hooker, Founder and CEO of Images of Us

Principal Owner Midwest Women’s Sports Group

Bernell Hooker is the Founder/CEO of Images of Us (IOU) Sports a nonprofit organization empowering girls to achieve their best through sports. With 15 years leading IOU Sports, she’s worked with over 1,500 girls and women teaching life lessons through sports, careers in sports and a host of programs and events. In 2014, Bernell acquired a Semi-Professional Women’s Basketball Team, the Milwaukee Aces to complete her mission. She believes Wisconsin lacks pro women’s sports and girls need to see firsthand women playing professional sports and the careers that derive from it.


Marquette athlete, Nicki Barnes, shares Title IX experience

“Being an athlete prepared me for the workforce”

Today, women are able to benefit from Title IX, signed into law, 45 years ago. Title IX is a law banning sex discrimination in publicly funded institutions, giving female students access to play sports, a privilege their male counterparts have always been able to take advantage of. Read More…


Title IX Athletes

  • Melissa Moore Baldauff, Milwaukee County
  • Nicki Barnes, Robert W. Baird
  • Bet-z Boenning, Walker’s Pint
  • Kareeda Chones-Aguam, Milwaukee Bucks
  • Janine A. Emmer, Associated Bank
  • Jacyln Gruber, Johnson Financial Group
  • Gabrielle Hood, Alverno College
  • Bernell Hooker, Midwest Women’s Sports Group
  • Rebecca Hulce, BMO Wealth Management
  • Natalie Maciolek, Kohler Company
  • Kathryn Markgraf, Markgraf Sports and Leadership Academy
  • Kathryn Muldoon, Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Kelsey Peterson, Mt. Mary University
  • Heather Tiltmann, Adient


Women’s Fund Presents…Kate Schatz and Rad Women

October 20, 2016 at the Italian Community Center

In 2016, there was a Rad Women Celebration, a celebration of the fact that American history was made by countless rad—and often radical—women. Leading our celebration was New York Times bestselling author Kate Schatz with a keynote on “Being Rad for Social Change.” Her book, “Rad American Women A to Z,” illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl, documents America’s famous and unsung heroines. Like all A-Z books, this one illustrates the alphabet—but instead of “apple,” A is for Angela—as in Angela Davis, the iconic political activist; B is for Billie Jean King, who shattered the glass ceiling of sports; C is for Carol Burnett, who defied assumptions about women in comedy; D is for Dolores Huerta, who organized farmworkers; and E is for Ella Baker, who mentored Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped shape the Civil Rights movement. The inspirational and uplifting conversation highlighted rebels, trailblazers, and visionaries who shaped our history and our future on a national and local level.


Rad Women MKE

  • Linda Benfield, Foley & Lardner LLP
  • Corey Joe Biddle, FUEL Milwaukee/MMAC
  • Sandra Botcher, Northwestern Mutual
  • April Calvert, FIS
  • Katherine L. Charlton, Hawks Quindel, S.C.
  • Dr. Darienne Driver, Milwaukee Public Schools
  • Janel Hines, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Kara Kaiser, BMO Private Bank
  • Carmen Pitre, Sojourner Family Peace Center
  • Molly Snyder, OnMilwaukee.com
  • Teri Sullivan, Arts@Large
  • Deborah Telman, Johnson Controls, Inc.
  • Amalia Todryk, Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Tammie Xiong, Hmong American Women’s Association


Women & Public Policy Event…Let’s Talk About It

September 30, 2015 at the Harley Davidson Museum Chrome

In 2015, the focus was on economic empowerment, education, and leadership equality for women and girls. This groundbreaking program featured a panel of men, leaders in our community, who help to make social change happen. Our Panelists and Honorary Hosts worked towards changing public opinion and policies that provide ways for women to attain economic empowerment and serve in leadership roles. Their inspirational stories and experiences reached deeper into the business community to foster a greater awareness of what needs to be done for equal treatment of all women. We are proud to highlight men empowering men to do the right thing!



  • David Gay, Ernst & Young LLP
  • Doug Harris, The Kaleidoscope Group
  • Stephen Johnson, BMO Private Bank
  • John Kissinger, Graef – USA
  • Kevin Long, Quarles & Brady LLP
  • Barry Mandel, Mandel Group
  • Mark Sabljak, Milwaukee Business Journal
  • Todd Teske, Briggs & Stratton Corp.

Sangita Kasturi, Women’s Fund board member served as the panel moderator. Ms Kasturi is the principal and founder of Tan270 Consulting. She helps public and private organizations maximize their potential for inclusive leadership and gender equality.