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  • June 27, 2022 5:47 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TEMPO Madison – we are ALL stronger TOGETHER!

    First and foremost, thank you for the incredible privilege to serve as your new TEMPO Madison President!  As I mentioned in my remarks at the Annual Meeting, while I’ll be forever grateful to my dear friend Joan Gillman for bringing me into TEMPO Madison in 2008, I never thought I’d be awarded the opportunity and distinct honor of leading such a prestigious group of women.   

    I am so very grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from our immediate past president, Elaine Rich, during her term.  Elaine’s oh-so-calming manner and collaborative leadership style should be an inspiration to us all. 

    As part of a recent radio interview (featuring local Lady Bosses), I was asked about my role in TEMPO Madison.   While of course I recited TEMPO Madison’s mission – To lead, engage, and connect influential women of diverse backgrounds and experience to help them succeed at the highest professional levels in our community….. it made me pause to think about everything else that TEMPO Madison stands for….. In addition, several weeks ago, I was asked by the program committee – what my theme will be for my year as President of TEMPO Madison.  I’ll admit that my initial reaction was to not mess up the fine work of Elaine – and all of the amazing leaders who have come before me. 

    Upon taking some time to further ponder both of those questions, I’d have to say my theme for the coming year would be “Synergy – TEMPO Madison – we are ALL stronger TOGETHER”

    A year ago, in my letter to the TEMPO Madison Foundation Board as president of that organization, mentioned that one of my favorite words is Synergy…..the interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect GREATER than the sum of their separate effects.”    At that time, I stated that when I think of TEMPO Madison, and the TEMPO of Madison Foundation, I believe synergy describes this mutually beneficial partnership perfectly!   While each organization is represented by phenomenal, compassionate and strong women leaders – it is TOGETHER that we make an even greater positive impact in our community.

    However, after the past year, upon learning (much) more about the work of the two organizations, I strongly believe that theme continues even more-so into my role as TEMPO Madison President.  

    We genuinely are ALL stronger TOGETHER – we’re there for each other – in the good times – in the bad. 

    Together – we grow; Together – we are stronger; Together – we thrive.

    And….Together - we have fun!   After all, there’s nothing like the energy & excitement you hear and feel when you walk into one of our monthly meetings. 

    I hope you all have October 8 on your calendars for the 40th Anniversary Gala.  From the anticipation and excitement of having Judy Woodruff as our Keynote Speaker – to the unveiling of our new TEMPO Madison Video.  I can’t wait to see the finished product of the great work of Susan Pigorsch and her Team.  After all, there’s nothing like first-hand testimonials to speak to what TEMPO Madison is truly about!   

    On that note, another goal of mine is to increase awareness of TEMPO Madison.  After all, we have such an inspiring story to tell! 

    We’re most definitely poised for an exciting year and many new initiatives which will be highlighted over the coming year.

    I look forward to working with our TEMPO Madison Board and the newly restructured TEMPO of Madison Foundation Board.

    I look forward to working with our committees, including our three new standing committees (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI); Mentorship; and Scholarship).

    I look forward to working with our Executive Director, Erin Fabrizius. 

    And….last but certainly not least, I look forward to working with (and connecting with) all of you, our most valued TEMPO of Madison Members. 

    For now – enjoy our Madison summer.  There’s truly nothing like it!

    My appreciation to you all -

    Michelle Vetterkind, TEMPO Madison President

  • June 06, 2022 8:56 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    All members are invited to share their perspective on what TEMPO Madison means to them in our coming 40th anniversary video. There are two opportunities to share your story.

    1. Tuesday, June 14, prior to or after our TEMPO Madison annual meeting. Our interview team will be set up in the Madison Club's Capitol Room, second floor.
    2. Wednesday, June 15, by appointment. Our interview team will again be set up in the Madison Club's Capitol Room, second floor.

    Please let Susan Pigorsch know if you’re able to participate on either June 14 or 15, and what time slots you might be able to accommodate on your calendar.

    We welcome your perspective! Our hope is to record as many voices as possible to celebrate TEMPO Madison's 40th anniversary.

  • June 06, 2022 8:48 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Betty Harris Custer
    , Founding Managing Partner, Custer Financial Services

    Betty Harris Custer was awarded Lincoln Financial Advisors' Stuart Smith Award. Read the press release here

    Barbara Hughes, Consultant to the Johnson Teigen, LLC law firm

    The Arc-Dane County selected Barbara Hughes to receive the 2022 President's Award. "The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding efforts to affect positive change in the Iives of those with Intellectual / Developmental Disorders (IDD) and their families, with appreciation and gratitude for your dedication and hard work to bring Wings for All (R) to Dane County." The Awards ceremony will be held on June 1.

    Carol Koby, Retired

    Carol Koby has been elected Chair of the Board of Visitors of the UW Initiative to End Alzheimer’s. The IEA promotes and supports the complementary goals of the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Institute, including its statewide memory clinic network, and the  Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, an international leader in the development of new treatment strategies and cutting edge research.

    Karin Wolf, Administrator, Madison Arts Program Karin Wolf received a Wisconsin Visual Artist Association Community Arts Advocate Award.

  • May 31, 2022 3:15 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings TEMPO Madison Members and Happy June!

    I can hardly believe that this is my last president’s message. Where did this year go?  When I joined the TEMPO Madison Board six years ago as a Director-at-Large focused on the Scholarship Program, little did I know that I’d eventually be graced with the enormous honor of leading this wonderful organization.  It has truly been an enriching experience and I have enjoyed meeting and engaging with many of our members.  Next month, we will be welcoming in our new leadership team and recognizing our collective commitment to keeping TEMPO Madison strong by renewing our membership. 

    How can I best summarize this past year? From my vantage point, our year was one of continued transition with optimism for our future.  Last summer, we were still meeting virtually and hosting just a few, small outdoor networking events.  Then in the fall we started offering hybrid luncheons and other events and are now offering even more in-person events as we’ve come to learn how to adjust to life with COVID. Today, you can feel the energy at our events.  Our members are genuinely excited to reconnect in person.  It seems like we are back to a pre-pandemic noise level at our monthly luncheons.  Lately, I’ve had to ring the bell to corral everyone to be seated and start the meetings! 

    We kicked off our 40th Anniversary year in October with an event that celebrated our past, showcasing four TEMPO Madison past presidents from each decade, while setting the stage for our future; raising about $5,300 for our Foundation’s scholarship fund to benefit female graduating high school students.  We were inspired that evening as we listened to the personal journeys our past presidents lived through to get to where they are today. We will be incorporating the theme, “There’s No Place Like TEMPO Madison” to celebrate the closing of our 40th year this October 8th at our gala. We’ll be looking back at where we started and just how far we’ve come with a video, currently in production, which will capture the interviews of TEMPO Madison members speaking about what makes TEMPO Madison special to them. For me, TEMPO Madison has always been about the strong bonds formed among us, like a sisterhood of diverse professional women coming together in a place where they know they will be accepted and recognized for who they are.         

    I hope to see many of you at our June 14th annual meeting.  It’s the first time we are holding this meeting in person in three years.  The Board, committees and other group representatives are excited to host stations during our extended networking time so you can learn about the many opportunities you have to engage with TEMPO Madison members.  Our newest initiatives, the Diversity Equity and Inclusion Committee, Project REACH, Kiva Lending and Mentoring committees cannot wait to visit with you, answer questions and see if there’s an interest in joining their committees.  The more viewpoints, expertise and experience we can bring to these initiatives the stronger they will become!

    At the meeting, we will also highlight this year’s scholarship recipients.  Take a minute to say hello to them in person!  Once again, we have found an admirable group of promising young scholars.  We’ll conduct our organization’s business, approving bylaws changes and passing the gavel to incoming president Michelle Vetterkind.  Our group is in for a great year as I know her to be a leader whose enthusiasm for all things TEMPO Madison has no bounds. Be sure to stay to the end of the program for the big announcement of our 40th keynote speaker! 

    Thank you again for allowing me to serve as your TEMPO Madison President.  With your kindness, support, and inspiration it has been an extremely rewarding experience. 

    With gratitude,

    Elaine Rich

    President, TEMPO Madison 2021-2022

  • May 01, 2022 10:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy May! 

    As I pen this month’s message, it’s about as gloomy and cold here in Madison, as it was one month ago. This time, there’s no gorgeous view from a St. Martin terrace, only my back sunroom that is trying oh-so-hard to bring in what little light is sneaking in through the gray skyscape.  Whenever spring finally decides to show up, I’ll be sure to head outside and enjoy it while it’s here. 

    Today, I am feeling proud.  I am proud that TEMPO Madison continues to prove that it is on course with our mission to help elevate women of diverse backgrounds to their highest professional levels.  We’ve come to be a group of women dedicated to supporting one another.  Allow me to summarize some of the events and activities TEMPO Madison members took part in last month.  These events not only showcased our support of women but also reflected how we can become their advocates and allies.

    Who better to discuss the importance of being an ally to women than Missy Mael Co-Executive Director of RCC (the Rape Crisis Center) of Dane County? April was Sexual Assault Awareness month.  We learned some hard truths at our luncheon about the prevalence of women who have been the victims of sexual abuse and assault. It leaves scars both physically and emotionally, robbing women of their self-confidence as so many incidences of abuse go unreported. Later in the month, RCC sponsored a free Chimera self-defense class.  At the class we learned some assertive communication techniques and self-defense moves we can use in situations when we feel we are not being treated as we wish or are not being heard.  It was an eye-opening class for me personally and it left me wanting to learn more and offer these classes to my mostly female staff.

    Another example of TEMPO Madison’s commitment to being an advocate and ally to women was our latest Leadership Series Event.  Our Leadership Series, which now has a six-year history, has been providing relevant sessions and events to elevate women leaders. This event’s theme was Building Relationships: How to Make Meaningful Connections.  We heard from a panel of women leaders who have built success by making meaningful connections throughout their lives.  They shared examples of being a mentor, mentee and advocate for themselves and other women. Their personal stories were moving and inspirational to us all.

    We also celebrated our very own Executive Administrator, Erin Fabrizius. She was named by BRAVA Magazine as one of their 2022 Women to Watch.  She is part of this year’s group of ten diverse women chosen for their leadership, work championing change and advocating for women, all in the name of building a better future for our community.  After a few pandemic related delays, BRAVA’s soiree was held last month to honor the recipients.  If you get a chance, take a moment at our next event to chat with Erin. She’s a fascinating woman and we are lucky to have her on our leadership team.  

    Finally, as an offshoot to our TEMPO Madison Scholarship Program, we ‘soft-launched’ a mentoring initiative last fall, with the initial goal of reconnecting with our former scholarship recipients, now college students.  The TEMPO Madison board is working on a proposal to create an official Mentoring Committee whose charge will be to advocate for and be mentors not only to our scholarship students but also for our newer TEMPO Madison members. Think of it as a support system to help our newest members feel that they are connecting with TEMPO Madison and that they have an ambassador who can help them engage and get the most of out their membership.  On the student side, we are working on building connections between the students and TEMPO Madison members.  We will have more information to share as the initiative gains approval. It is just another example of TEMPO Madison exploring ways in which we can live up to our mission, which at its core is about being allies for women.

    Cheers and see you soon!

    Elaine Rich, TEMPO Madison President

  • April 01, 2022 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Project REACH is focused on increasing the number of TEMPO Madison members on business boards. Women are currently underrepresented on public and private business boards in Wisconsin and across the country.

    Since its formation in 2019, Project REACH has:

    • Launched a Database of Board Candidates, which includes 17 board bios and counting! 
    • Held eight workshops aimed at breaking down barriers to attaining board seats and developing corporate board skill sets. 
    • 64 TEMPO Madison members have taken at least one Project REACH workshop.
    • Members of the TEMPO Madison Project REACH steering committee recently presented as keynote speakers at the Wisconsin Chapter of the ESOP Association's spring conference about the importance of diversity on business boards.
    • Project REACH Co-Founder Kim Sponem highlighted the mission of Project REACH in a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story
    Project REACH is now in its Connections Phase. During this phase, the steering committee members plan to reach out to other groups and individuals to inspire them to serve as advocates for our members in their pursuit of business board positions. 

    If you have business board connections to share, please contact Project REACH Co-Chairs Shana Lewis and Patti Epstein

    Add Your Board Bio to Our Database!

    Project REACH has been working closely with ML Wattman, an expert on crafting board bios. She has led two very successful board bio writing workshops for us.  If you are interested in developing a board bio with ML in a one-on-one setting, you can contact her at: mlwattman@1920west.com. She charges $100 to review a draft board bio and $250 to create a bio for you. 

    If you already have a board bio, please email it to Patti Epstein or Megan Purtell

  • March 31, 2022 5:48 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Dear TEMPO Madison Colleagues,

    2020 and 2021 were interesting years for TEMPO Madison!  We've learned how to network, engage, and provide support in a hybrid world. 

    At the same time, we have an eye toward the future and are planning a variety of initiatives and events to keep our mission strong: 

    To lead, engage, and connect influential women of diverse backgrounds and experience to help them succeed at the highest professional levels in our community, 

    All of this takes investment, of course, and your Board and Executive Administrator made several decisions to help members remain connected, retain membership, and continue to attract new members.  Here's a sample from the last 2 years:

    • Membership initiation fees were waived for 2020/21 and parts of 2021/22 so as not to create a barrier to entry for potential new members
    • We heavily subsidized networking events and Project REACH programming to allow more people to participate or lower registration fees
    • We held membership dues to 2014-15 levels
    • We significantly upgraded our organization's operations by contracting with Erin Fabrizius (much needed!). Erin is our sole contracted staff and runs all aspects of TEMPO Madison. She has helped lessen the work load for our volunteer Board of Directors and has helped professionalize our organization.  

    To provide this much-needed support, and with the Board's approval, we've dipped into our reserves over the last two years to cover operating expenses. 

    This is OK - that's what the reserves are there for.

    And, we must, with respect and fiduciary responsibility to this organization as well as our future health, begin the 2022-23 fiscal year with a balanced budget. 

    What that means to you is:

    • We may need to increase dues this year.  Note the last dues increase was a modest $10 increase in 2014-15.  If this proves necessary, we'll give you ample notice and keep that increase to a minimum
    • We'll require that networking, Project REACH, Executive Development and committee events break even.  That means the investments that you make here will be covering our costs fully, and we will not be dipping into our remaining reserves to cover expenses.

    How you can help!

    • New and ongoing members are our lifeblood - 95% of revenue.  Help us identify and recruit women of TEMPO Madison-caliber, and participate fully so you're taking advantage of all the benefits you get with your membership!
    • Become a GEM sponsor!
    • Sponsor an event that you find particularly inspiring.
    • Keep your suggestions coming for events & benefits - your ideas are fantastic and give us both direction and programming for the future!

    There are exciting days ahead - let's do this together!


    Susan Thomson, TEMPO Madison Treasurer 

  • March 31, 2022 5:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy April! 

    When I left Madison last weekend for Spring Break it was 26 degrees outside with a windchill of 6. 

    As I write this month’s message from a patio overlooking the Caribbean Sea, it’s hard to imagine that winter still hangs on back home, but I remain hopeful we’ll have a mild month.  For a moment of quiet escape, see attached photo. 

    This month marks the start of our board working on next year’s budget.  While our new fiscal year doesn’t begin until July 1, 2022, I have been thinking lately about the value that our membership fee provides us.  For the sake of our newest members, but also for those of you seasoned members who could benefit from an update, here’s a breakdown of some of the benefits your membership provides you.

    1)    Monthly luncheons- which have returned to the Madison Club as of last September.  It feels so good to interact with one another in the warm and inviting Madison Club Terrace Room.  The club staff is working diligently to provide us with great service and wonderful food, a not-so-easy task with a pandemic-induced shortage of workers.

    2)    Two newsletters per month- We know how you busy women like to stay informed and mark your calendars with upcoming events.  That’s why a while ago we increased our communications frequency to twice monthly so you can always have the latest information on all things TEMPO Madison.  I especially enjoy our members making the news items.

    3)    The printed member directory- How many of you noticed the return of our printed directory this year and rejoiced?!  Yes, it’s a low-tech means of accessing fellow-member’s contact information, but I love it nonetheless!  Much work goes into making sure you have the most up-to-date member information and headshots. 

    4)    Access to networking events- While the pandemic has given us an opportunity to get creative with networking events, we’ve still managed to provide engaging, relevant and fun events for members.  Look for even more in-person options in the coming months.

    5)    Access to TEMPO Madison clubs- We have many, such as our two book clubs, WOWzers group, No Strings Attached, Scholarship program and our newest group, the Kiva Lending Team.

    6)    Livestream Options– While it became absolutely necessary during the pandemic to provide a livestreaming option for our luncheons and other events, we’ve decided to keep providing this as an option so that you can continue to have the flexibility to tune in remotely when you prefer it. 

    7)    Assistance with securing corporate board seats and access to our board biography database. Through the efforts of our Project Reach program, we now offer you the ability to build your board bio and summary which highlight your amazing qualities, experience and talents.  The goal of posting our board bios and summaries is to get more women to sit on paid corporate board positions.  If you have not yet worked on your board bio and would like some help, please contact our co-chairs Shana Lewis or Patti Epstein.  I’m about to post mine soon and could never have done so without this group’s guidance! 

    As I close this month’s message, I am proud of the member programs, events and benefits that TEMPO Madison has built over its 40-year history! I believe that as long as we continue to keep member satisfaction a top priority and strive to provide an environment where every member feels heard and supported, we will stay a strong organization for many years to come and leave it in great shape for the next generation of leading women!  

    All my best,
    Elaine Rich
    TEMPO Madison President

  • February 28, 2022 8:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As the international community turns its attention on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, I’d like to take a moment to honor the courage of those that are fighting for liberty, working to restore peace or are otherwise caught up in the chaos.  Particularly the women of Ukraine; mothers, daughters, partners and contributors who are experiencing such uncertainty while trying to keep their families and lives together.  They seem to have a light that will not be extinguished.  My heart goes out to them. 

    I see March as a transitional month that moves us into spring.  The calendar may tell us that March 20th is the first day of spring but I for one am never ready to shed those winter clothes for at least another two months!  Speaking of transitions, starting today the Dane County mask mandate is being lifted and the CDC just announced that nearly 70% of the country may be able to go without masks as they are considered low risk for high COVID hospitalization rates.  It’s a welcome and refreshing bit of good news. Add to that warmer weather ahead and we may well be able to start spending more time together in person.    

    March 8th marks International Women’s Day, which also happens to fall on our luncheon day this year.  This year’s theme is Break the Bias.  Imagine a world where there is gender equality.  A world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive.  It’s a theme that resonates with TEMPO Madison.  Our Diversity Equity & Inclusion Committee continues its work on developing a strategic plan and programming to create a welcoming place where differences are valued and celebrated.  TEMPO Madison’s Kiva Lending team was recently formed to help underserved women gain access to capital. We’ll also hear the stories of two Madison area female executives of Food Fight Restaurant Group at our luncheon.  I am going to make March a month of taking action to do what I can to elevate and highlight women’s achievements. 

    I have been wanting to share the identity of our 40th Anniversary gala keynote speaker but alas our committee is not quite ready to make the official announcement.  Rest assured, you will know just as soon as we can get the word out. Our goal is for you to experience an evening of jubilant celebration of our 40 years as a powerful, leading women’s organization.  Please consider inviting your family, friends, and colleagues to this open to the public event.  We endeavor to raise awareness of and funds for both our TEMPO Madison Foundation and TEMPO Madison proper so that we may stay strong financially and keep providing you valuable experiences for many years to come. Information on sponsorship opportunities will soon be available. 

    One last nod to women, March is also Women’s History Month!  There are countless famous women I could mention in this newsletter, household names even but I encourage all of us to think about some of the amazing achievements of our fellow TEMPO members.  We have 40 years’ worth of incredible member stories.  I have not forgotten my pledge to chronicle more member stories as part of our living history project. More on that to come!

    Have a terrific month!


    Elaine Rich

    TEMPO Madison President

  • February 01, 2022 10:21 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Greetings TEMPO Madison Members,

    Happy February! 

    Well, we made it through another brutal (weather & pandemic wise) January. As we turn the page into a new month, hope for longer days of light and less frigid temps seem to be in the air. I just marked my 50th Birthday on January 30th so I find myself feeling reflective but moving along (headfirst and blindly!) into what may be the next half-century of my life.

    As we look ahead into all that February brings us, three items come to the top of my mind.  First, it’s National Black History Month.  I read President Biden’s moving proclamation this morning and am reminded that Black History is American History.  Let’s take time this month to celebrate the achievements and contributions of Black Americans, past and present while also recognizing that we have much work to do yet in addressing the injustices and inequities of our past. 

    You know by now that we always try to highlight TEMPO Madison Members' achievements and accolades in our monthly newsletter section “Members in the News” but please allow me this space to make a special note of the Black American females who have lately touched TEMPO Madison personally- first there is member Frances Huntley-Cooper who is, as we speak, being considered to have the Fitchburg City Hall named after her.  Then we have TEMPO Madison member, the Honorable, Judge Nia Trammell who was recently highlighted in the Wisconsin State Journal column “Know your Madisonian” discussing her first year sitting on the bench as Dane County’s first Black female judge and the awesome responsibility she feels to her community.  Finally, although she was not a TEMPO Madison Member, the late poet and civil activist, Maya Angelou, who was in fact our 20th Anniversary keynote speaker was the first Black American female to be featured on our U.S. quarter. I am humbled and honored to be in the presence of such impressive women!

    Second, I have financial wellbeing and access to investment capital on my mind.  I’m excited for our upcoming guest speaker, Linda Lepe, Director of the Consumer Finance and Financial Planning program at UW-Madison.  Her program has graduated two of the four financial planners in my firm!  She is going to discuss how one’s financial wellbeing is about much more than our intellect guiding us to make sound choices, we are more often drawn to behave in manners that do not resonate with our financial values. I welcome learning more about this normal and common disconnect and how we can improve our own financial wellbeing. Our guest speaker’s message provides us with a natural link to the launch this month of our new TEMPO Madison Kiva Lending Team!  All TEMPO Madison members are welcome to join this nascent team whose mission is to expand access to financial capital to underserved communities via crowdfunding loans.  The team’s priority will be to give loans to women owned/operated businesses and projects in the local area.  I’m excited to take part in this team.  Their inaugural virtual meeting will be on February 9th at 4:00 PM.  Hope to see you there!

    Finally, I have matters of the heart on my mind.  How can we not take a moment of our lives to remember February as a month focused on love?  I do not simply mean love for your family, significant others and friends, which is at the heart of everything I hold true but also self-love.  So as Valentine’s Day draws near, I wish you all a healthy, safe and loved-filled month.  Do take some time to care for yourselves and recognize that you are cherished. 

    With great respect,

    Elaine Rich

    TEMPO Madison President

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