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  • December 04, 2023 10:08 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    December can feel crazy - you're pushing your team to get every sale in the door, there are all kinds of benefits and tax planning decisions you need to make, people are coming and going; it seems like every organization you're involved in has a holiday gathering that you don't want to miss (hint hint - Tempo Madison Happy Hour on Wed 12/13 at my house ).

    "End of Year" can feel like the last push in a marathon.  You just need to get through it. 

    I get it.  I get how tough it is to schedule time to "step back."  I know what it's like to have a calendar that feels out of control. 

    Allow me to offer a broader perspective.   Here are some things to consider as we come into this final month of 2023 - some of them relate to your business, and some of them relate to you as a Leader, Mom, Spouse, Partner, and Volunteer.  I hope these help you to get grounded on a few things that become the foundation for an exciting year ahead:

    1. What experiences or events have changed your thinking or your outlook?
    2. What accomplishments did you have in your business and your life?  What changed?  What demonstrates success and progress?
    3. Was there anything on your list (personal or business) that you didn't accomplish?  Why didn't those things happen?  Are they still goals?  What needs to change in order for them to happen in 2024?
    4. What are you grateful for?

    Planning for next year starts with you - the Leader.  The stronger, more clear, and more focused you are, the stronger, clearer and focused your team will be.  

    Happy Holidays, invest in this time for yourself and your team, and best wishes for a prosperous new year!  See you on December 12th at the Madison Club to hear and see how Dana Hatch from Virent - a biotech company right here in Madison that is doing amazing things, like clean aviation fuel with United Airlines and Sugar Cane winter wear with Patagonia, is making a mark on our world.  I'm excited to hear about these exciting projects that are happening right here in Madison!

    Susan Thomson,  TEMPO Madison President

  • November 01, 2023 9:31 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Emerging Leaders Program Beginning to Take Shape!

    Welcome to November TEMPO Madison!  (And - snow, wow that happened fast)!

    Your Emerging Leaders Committee, chaired by Vice President Anne Sappenfield and Director Nia Trammell has been meeting to advance our Emerging Leaders initiative.   I thought I'd share an update from them this month, so you're all in the loop on how this important work is progressing:

    Here is the intended direction so far:

    • Make Emerging Leaders a new class of TEMPO Madison membership.  We have some great market research from how Milwaukee TEMPO approaches this cohort and what their learnings have been.  This new class of membership will be a new revenue source for TEMPO Madison long-term, as well as a steady pipeline of "TEMPO-Ready" members as they gain experience and years in the executive ranks.
    • The group is thinking through potential names for this cohort other than "emerging leaders."  Perhaps TEMPO Madison Next, or TEMPO Madison Future...  stay tuned!  And we'd love your creative thoughts on this!
    • Keep the inaugural "class" size relatively small, but not too small.  With 8-12 members in this initial group, we'll have enough people to make them feel a part of the community, and small enough to test out what they would give and gain from such a membership. 
    • Use the committee and Board for the initial selection of members. Since the inaugural class will be so small, the committee and the board will be primarily responsible for recruitment and selection of the first cohort.  There will need to be clear nomination criteria and a clear process for applying and for who is chosen to participate.

    Initial thoughts on what the membership package could include:

    • Attendance at a limited number of TEMPO Madison lunches 
    • Open invitation to TEMPO Madison happy hours to build their network
    • Invitation to the Leadership Series so they can build their leadership skills
    • Some professional development opportunity
    • A social event for this cohort (could include TEMPO Madison members as well)

    There are still lots of questions that the group is working through, so these details are not finalized yet. 

    Many thanks to Anne, Nia, Kathleen Murphy, Susan LaBelle, Jennifer Garrett, Immediate Past President Michelle Vetterkind, Treasurer Fatou Ceesay, Director Brittany Graber, Director Debra Biddle, Hospitality Chair Theola Carter, Communications Chair Megan Purtell, Networking Chair Jennifer Winding and Director DeAnne Boegli.  We appreciate your passion for welcoming this group!  

    If you have any questions or input, the Emerging Leaders Committee would love to hear from you!

    I hope to see you at our luncheon on Tuesday, November 14 th at the Madison Club.  Dr. Rueben Anthony from the Urban League will be taking us through the Black Business Hub: Transforming the Madison Region's Black Entrepreneurial Community from Disparity to Prosperity.  This promises to be an uplifting, insider's view of a really important initiative for our people and region.  Hope to see you there!

    Susan Thomson 

  • October 02, 2023 8:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Efforts Bringing Great Energy to TEMPO Madison! 

    It was a packed room at the Goodman Center where  nearly 40 people gathered to hear the Honorable Frances Huntley-Cooper moderate an impressive panel featuring Judge Nia Trammell, Court Commissioner Signe Mbainai, State Representative Francesca Hong and Dane County Supervisor Cecely Castillo. They each spoke candidly about being the  first woman of color in their respective roles.  

    Being "first" is what galvanized TEMPO Madison's founders 41 years ago. Being first is exciting.  It shows real progress.  And it comes with a lot of pressure to get it right.  Judge Trammell, Commissioner Mbainai, Representative Hong and Supervisor Castillo candidly shared their experiences with the audience.    

    These experiences are particularly poignant for “first” women of color, and universal for women in leadership roles in general.  A recurring theme was that they experienced “Imposter Syndrome” and the emotional toll that comes with feeling like others are watching and judging their performance.  Some experienced self- doubt from time-to-time.  They all feel the pressure (although much of it self-imposed) of being role models for their respective communities, and getting it perfect as women of color.   

    Many people won’t take on challenges like these, but this group did!  In a topic that could get quite heavy, the mood was upbeat and lively, and people were comfortable sharing.  These women took their mis-steps as opportunities to learn and grow.  They stressed the importance of self-care, and generously share their experiences with the rest of us and the next generation. Today’s young girls will know that they can achieve anything!   

    Inspired?  I know I am! 

    Thank you to Connie Chesnik  and Theola Carter and the entire DEI Committee for getting this important effort going – and going so well! 

  • October 01, 2023 8:33 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Samantha Crownover, Owner, Brisbane House

    As the new owner of Arena’s historic William Henry Brisbane House, Samantha Crownover was awarded the 2023 Board of Curator’s Restoration Award by the State Historical Society. The Wisconsin State Journal recently ran an in-depth story on the property. With the support of her husband and a business partner, Samantha directed the restoration and design of this tall, skinny stone building. It was originally built in 1868 by a southern abolitionist and its story is so important, it’s worth sharing. Samantha has opened it up to overnight guests and more information can be found at brisbanehouse.net.

    Kim Sponem, President/CEO, Summit Credit Union

    Kim Sponem was recently inducted into the American Credit Union Hall of Fame for her significant contributions and success in the credit union industry. She will be one of the honorees featured in a special exhibit called “Credit Union Women Making History—Herstory” at the museum in Manchester NH. The honorees are selected based not only upon their contributions to the credit union movement but also for their work in inspiring and lifting up other women in the industry. You can also visit the exhibit online.

    Robin A. Stroebel ASID, RID, LEED AP I D + C, WELL AP, Founder / Owner, InteriorLOGIC, Inc.

    Robin Stroebel's firm InteriorLOGIC recently received a National Design Award from the American Society of Interior Design (ASID)!

    They won the "FOCUS Community – Small Firm" award for their work on Seven Acre Dairy Company, which was presented at ASID GATHER Los Angeles 2023. The ASID National FOCUS Awards spotlight stellar design projects that address different areas of global issues. Wellness, diversity, community, or climate projects were selected on their ability to provide a framework and call to action to advance design in their respective category. Seven Acre Dairy Company is a dairy and food destination, created by saving and revitalizing seven blighted buildings built between 1880s and 1970, into one beautiful location including a boutique hotel, demonstration kitchen, bar, dining and dairy retail and butter kitchen on a seven acre oak savannah at the edge of the Sugar River in Paoli, WI, and now recognized as a site on the National Register of Historic Places. InteriorLOGIC is an award-winning interior design firm, founded by member Robin A. Stroebel in 1989, and specializing in planning and design of complex and diverse commercial environments. They are certified as a WBE by the State of Wisconsin Department of Administration, and as a WOBE certified by the United States Small Business Administration.

  • August 30, 2023 3:41 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It's time to tell Madison about TEMPO.

    We are the pioneers, the trailblazers, the women who dare to break through closed corporate doors and lead companies and non-profits and government entities and educational institutions.  We're the ones who take on a challenge, who lift each other and all women, up.  

    We are TEMPO Madison.

    One of the themes that came through our strategic planning process was that TEMPO has been a "best kept secret" that many female execs don't know about.  Our 40th Anniversary Gala with Judy Woodruff and the dedication of the Frances Huntley-Cooper Council Chambers were a great start to getting TEMPO Madison out in to the public area. 

    Now it's time to turn up the volume!  

    Every Committee is weaving in ways to make TEMPO Madison more visible and seen as a community for women to aspire to join- we'll be sharing their plans with you in the coming months, and encourage you to get involved in those projects that speak to you.

    This month's highlight: Emerging Leaders.

    Vice President Ann Sappenfield, and Director-at-Large Nia Trammell are leading this initiative, which will have its first meeting sometime in September.  This will be a brainstorming meeting to ideate and choose a high-level direction with respect to emerging leaders.

    Here's the premise: TEMPO Madison has a well-established and extremely well-run scholarship program for high school girls who are entering college, and last year established a Mentorship program for that co-hort.  Once those young women graduate from college and begin their careers, we lose sight of them.  It's years before they'll be "TEMPO Madison-ready" - most will be in their late 30's or early 40's before they qualify for membership.  

    The Emerging Leaders group will be looking for ways to engage these younger women as they are moving from individual performer roles into management and leadership - this is the time they need mentorship the most.  The hope is that by providing support to them through these critical years, we'll be building a pipeline of future members as well.

    Some initial things to think about:

    • There could be an emerging leaders (new) classification of membership, much like TEMPO Milwaukee does.  This would not only provide a "place" for these women, it would also build a steady stream of new potential members for TEMPO Madison and provide us with an immediate new revenue stream.
    • There could be a partnership with other organizations that serve mid-level women in management, such as The Business Forum.
    • There could be a mentoring program for this cohort that is open to all women who are pursuing leadership roles.
    • There could be specific programming for this cohort that is open to all women who are pursuing leadership roles.

    This list could go on! There are many ways that TEMPO Madison can make an impact with this group.  If you are interested in participating at any level, please contact Executive Director, Erin Fabrizius at TempoMadison@TempoMadison.org and she'll make sure you're included.  This is an exciting initiative and I hope we get a diverse set of perspectives to launch it!

    I also hope to see you all at our next luncheon on Sept 12th at the Madison Club; Making Home in the DairyLand, the Histories of Latinos in Wisconsin with Dr. Sergio M. González from Marquette.  Latinos were recognized as our State's largest minority population with the 2020 Census; Dr Gonzalez will explore their history, examining how migrants, immigrants, and refugees from across the America have built resilient communities across Wisconsin’s farms, towns, and urban spaces, and in the process transformed America’s Dairyland.  You can register for the September Luncheon HERE.  We hope to see you!

  • July 31, 2023 11:45 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "... People do business with people they know, like and trust." 

    - Bob Burg, The Go Giver

    People also seek out Communities where they Know, Like and Trust their sisters.  And there's no better way to get to know your TEMPO Madison sisters better, than to do things together!

    • Participating on a Committee is another great way to get involved, flex your mental muscles, and get to know your fellow TEMPO Madison members on a different level. You can find the Committee list here; remember you are always encouraged to check these out to see if they are a good fit, and our committee chairs are conscious of this being an organization made up of executives who already have busy schedules.  
    • We have a number of active and ongoing special interest-driven groups that are worth checking out Madison TEMPO Groups.  If you're interested in attending any of these, just use the links right from the website to contact the group leader.
    • Networking Committee Chair, Jennifer Winding is working with her team to give us lots of opportunities to meet in more casual settings, perhaps "give back" through volunteering,  learn together, and have fun.   Jen will be sending out a survey to see what you may be interested in doing.  Several possible upcoming events include:
      • Touring Dairy Facility at UW Ag School with Babcock ice cream on the terrace afterwards - late September
      • Volunteer event - Goodman Community Center - October   
      • UW Women's Volleyball Game - early November
    • Monthly Luncheons are another great opportunity to meet people you don't know yet.  Please join us for a fascinating program on August 8th with Dr. Amy Rosenbrough on the ancient canoe that was discovered in Lake Mendota.  The discovery gives us a unique view into Wisconsin's native peoples and their enduring connection to our lakes and waterways. Registration for that luncheon is here.

    We are a "no judgement" group and appreciate your participating to the level that makes sense for you!

    The sisterhood that plays together stays together - I hope to see you at a Group, Committee Meeting, Networking Event or Monthly Luncheon while this beautiful summer sun is still shining brightly!

    Susan Thomson, TEMPO Madison President

  • June 29, 2023 2:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Wow!  Beginning this year on the heels of our 40th Anniversary and the momentum behind our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Committee and Project Reach, plus the transfer of our philanthropic initiatives to a new Foundation Board is an amazing place start.  I’m both honored and humbled to lead this amazing community of leaders, and excited about what the future holds.

    The work that last year’s Board members did on our strategic plan highlights four main areas of focus for us for the next 5 years:

    1. Moving from one of Madison’s “best kept secrets” to a well-known and sought-after organization that female execs aspire to be a part of.  Our membership committee has done a wonderful job of identifying women who are “Tempo ready” and reaches out to them directly, but many don’t know who we are.  There will be some PR efforts, as well as partnering with other Madison organizations (ie. our joint production of Women in Water & Sustainability with the Clean Lakes Alliance) to raise the profile of TEMPO Madison.

    2. Reviewing our Membership Application process with the objective of making it easier, faster and more transparent, while maintaining very high standards for consideration.  Our membership process has evolved over the years and has become a bit awkward and clunky.  The committee will be evaluating the best way to move forward, so applying or sponsoring a potential member becomes seamless, clear and easy.

    3. Connecting with and nurturing a pipeline of “next generation” leaders.  Our scholarship program does an amazing job of connecting us with high school and college-age women, but we don’t have any programming or connection with them after they’ve graduated and are navigating their way through the work world.  Particularly as these ladies are moving from individual contributor roles into leadership roles, they’ll need mentoring and career advice; they can also serve as an evolving candidate pool for future Tempo membership.

    4. Increasing revenue.  We intentionally dipped in to our reserves in 2020 and 2021 to get through the pandemic; now it’s time move beyond a deficit budget.  Getting “known,” connecting with emerging leaders, and an increase in the number of events that Diversity and Project Reach committees are working on takes money!  The Board identified 4 main areas of opportunity to increase incoming cash: increasing membership, fully funded events, additional GEM sponsors and corporate sponsorships.

    Most exciting is that these initiatives open up all kinds of opportunities for you to get engaged, or re-engaged in TEMPO Madison!  If you have interest in ANY of these initiatives in any capacity, please reach out to Erin and we’ll get you connected.  Serving on a committee is a wonderful way to use your talents and build deeper relationships. 

    Thank You for having me as this year’s TEMPO Madison president. 

    I’m looking forward to an amazing year!  My appreciation to you All!

    Susan Thomson, 2023-24 TEMPO Madison President

  • June 01, 2023 7:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are stronger together.

    The theme I chose for my year as president is synergy, because I believe deeply that when it comes to TEMPO Madison, we are ALL stronger TOGETHER.

    My year as president has reenforced by conviction in countless ways, starting from my first few weeks as president when I asked Sue Studz and Joan Gillman to coffee. Joan first introduced me to TEMPO in 2008. We met in Middleton and sat outside on a beautiful day. I asked them what advice they had for me as I took the helm for such an esteemed group of women. Their advice was sage, sound, and spot on. We talked about ways to continue to provide opportunities to Lead, Connect, and Engage.

    Stronger together.

    As I wrote in my initial column we’re here for each other, in the good times and bad.

    And we have fun! I think it’s safe to say we’ve even surpassed the pre-pandemic “noise” level at our noon meetings. And, while yes, it can take a bit to quiet the room, the energy you bring to the table always makes me smile. It’s an energy we couldn’t produce alone.

    Stronger together.

    As I reflect on our TEMPO Madison events and initiatives of the past year, I have such gratitude for the effort each one of you put in to help reach our many accomplishments. You have a lot to be proud of, and none of it could happen working on our own.

    Stronger together.

    I transition to the role of Immediate Past President knowing that TEMPO Madison will be in the very best of hands under the leadership of In-Coming President Susan Thomson. I’ve no doubt that you will greatly benefit from Susan’s dynamic personality and significant expertise.

    My heartfelt appreciation to our own Erin Fabrizius, the members of our phenomenal Board of Directors as well as our amazingly dedicated committee chairs and committee members. Each of you went above and beyond in offering your time and talents to make this past year extra special for me.

    Stronger together.

    It’s been a true honor to serve as your President. I am most grateful to you all for your support and friendship and for making my past year incredibly meaningful and memorable.

    I hope to see many of you at our annual meeting where we’ll also be recognizing our scholarship winners. Once again we have an amazing group of scholars! Let’s celebrate their success, and ours, together!

    With my deepest appreciation and admiration –


    Michelle Vetterkind, 2022-2023 President

  • May 26, 2023 11:14 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are so close to our goal of $5000 for this year’s TEMPOShares Experience, so you know what we are going to do? Offering hot smoking deals get us to the finish line!

    We are offering the last remaining spots of each experience to those who purchased first – bring a friend, spouse, co-worker, or a TEMPO Madison member you would like to meet!

    Fire Sale Options!

    Fire Sale Price! 

    • 2 spots J Henry Cocktail Class for $40.00
    • 2 spots left UW Volleyball at Bucky's Balcony for $100.00
    • 13 spots left PBS tour on July for $25.00
    • 5 spots left Sip & Scarves for $25.00

    Purchase here!

  • April 28, 2023 1:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Spring is finally here and you can most definitely feel the renewed excitement and energy in the air!

    You could feel it at our TEMPO Madison board meeting this past week and you could most definitely feel it at our Project REACH event on April 11. “Personal Journeys to the Boardroom”, led by the Project REACH Committee, in conjunction with Milwaukee Women, Inc, involved a panel discussion with three inspiring Milwaukee leaders who shared their corporate board experiences. It was an inspiring and informative program. We truly have a gem in our Project REACH initiative, the mission being to get more women on corporate business boards. A special thank you to Kim Sponem and Kris Euclide, as Co-Founders of this most important initiative and to Shana Lewis and Patti Epstein for their roles as current Co-Chairs.

    Project REACH has offered many highly valuable workshops to help our TEMPO Madison members who have an interest in serving on a corporate board. One of my personal favorites has been the “Project REACH Workshop: Write Your Corporate/Business Board Bio” with ML Wattman (FYI – I believe another one is in the planning stages). First and foremost, I will echo the comments of those who have participated in the workshop in that ML is AMAZING! If you haven’t worked with her, you’re in for a real treat. Participants leave these workshops with a complete (or almost complete) board bio that they can begin using immediately.

    Our Project REACH database offers board brief and board bio documents on a broad pool of qualified candidates with diverse backgrounds and areas of expertise.

    Project REACH – take a look on our TEMPO Madison website for more details and to see what’s coming up next.

    A special thank you to everyone who has donated to our April Showers Match Challenge! As I write this column (on April 22), we are nearly at our goal of getting the full $4,000 matching grant from Joan Collins. Thank YOU so very much, Joan, for your generosity! As a result, we have the potential (and I’ve no doubt we’ll get there) to raise up to $8,000 for our TEMPO Madison Foundation Scholarship Program!

    It’s no secret that TEMPO Madison members are most generous and also love a good challenge!

    Our TEMPO Madison Annual Meeting will be here before we know it (don’t forget about the new date – Tuesday, June 20 – the 3rd Tuesday vs. our normal 2nd Tuesday of the month). The board had an exciting discussion this past week about what the event will entail. We’re refining the idea for our Speed Networking event – just for us, TEMPO Madison Members, that will be held just prior to the meeting. As the January head shot session was so well received, we’re planning to have Debbie Borth from Camera Kisses back with us to offer headshots during the June event, as well.

    Don’t forget to mark your calendars for June 20! The TEMPO Madison Annual Meeting is an event that is looked forward to each year. This year will not disappoint!

    At our recent board meeting, Theola Carter reminded me of my favorite way to describe TEMPO Madison (besides Synergy, of course) is that TEMPO Madison allows for you to be as involved as you want to be/can be, at any given time! TEMPO Madison has something for everyone.

    So – who do you know who’s TEMPO Madison Ready? The next membership nomination deadline will be May 31.

    I’m sure you’ll agree that there truly is no better place to network and is often the case, form life-long friendships (yes, it’s Synergy at its best)!

    That said, I look forward to seeing you at one of our many upcoming events!

    Michelle Vetterkind
    2022-23 TEMPO Madison President

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