News

  • 09 Nov 2016 4:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Business Forum (TBF) is pleased to announce that Mayra Medrano was named the 2016 ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® recipient at their luncheon on Thursday, November 3. Medrano, business community services manager for Madison Gas & Electric (MG&E) supports local businesses in energy conservation, energy efficiency and cost saving measures. She is the current President of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County. Her leadership and creativity has resulted in new funding sources for the organization from Dane County Community Development Block Grant (CDBG). In addition, she has demonstrated initiative by helping the Latino Chamber of Commerce forge more partnerships with the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative and Black Chamber of Commerce.

    Medrano has been recognized by In Business Magazines’ 40 under 40, Brava Magazines Women’s Philanthropy-The Next Generation and one of the WI State Journals 48 most powerful Latinos in Wisconsin. She has also served as co-chair for A Greater Madison Vision since January, 2016; the 2017 Chair of the United Way Rosenberry Society; and committee member of YWCA – Moxie Conference from September 2012 through August 2015. Medrano has served as a “Big Sister” in the Big Brothers Big Sister Program since January, 2012.  

  • 20 Mar 2014 3:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Madison, WI –The 17th Annual ATHENA* Award Celebration, held March 11, 2014 at Monona Terrace, was a special night with nearly 280 attendees to honor the ATHENA 2014 nominees. Six outstanding nominees were recognized for their creativity and initiative in their business or profession, leadership in the community and especially for their efforts to help women achieve their full potential.

    Therese Gulbransen, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, American Printing Co., was named the 2014 ATHENA Award recipient for the many accomplishments throughout her life including her work for the YWCA and A Fund For Women (AFFW).  At the YWCA she served on the board for six years and she served as board chair for two years during the major decision making of their capital campaign.  Her tenure with AFFW taught her “no matter what the size of a contribution, it makes a difference.”  Therese is also currently the chair of United Way’s Women’s Leadership Council.  She believes that when a diverse network of caring, powerful women join together to drive lasting change in their community, anything is possible.  She serves not only as a leader but also as a role model for what women can accomplish when they work together.

    According to Jan Gietzel, former AFFW Executive Director, “Therese is an incredible human being.  She is a fierce advocate for women and has mentored many both directly and indirectly.  Therese is such a role model that even people she has not met are affected by her.”

    Therese lives in Fitchburg and has one daughter, Cass.

    The other ATHENA Nominees recognized at the event were:

        Meghan Benson, Director of Communication Education, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin
        Jeanne Erickson, Director of Operations, Outreach and Programming, Today Not Tomorrow Inc.
        Lori Heffernon, Owner, Oasis Day Spa
        Sally Hestad, Owner/Attorney, Hestad Law Offices
        Sara Jimenez Soffa, PH.D. Director of Research-Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership, Edgewood College

    Proceeds from the ATHENA Award event go to The Business Forum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that awards scholarships to high school students and returning adult women who attend college in Wisconsin.  Since this event began in 1998, The Business Forum Foundation has awarded more than $320,000 in scholarships.

    Keynote speaker for the event was Kathleen Woit, former president of Madison Community Foundation and emcee was Leigh Mills of NBC 15.

    The Business Forum is a local professional women’s organization that fosters the personal and professional growth of its members and other women through networking, scholarships, mentoring and community involvement. For more information, visit http://thebusinessforum.org/.
  • 18 Mar 2013 11:54 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The 16th Annual ATHENA Award Celebration, held March 12, 2013 at Monona Terrace, was a special night with 300 attendees to honor ten outstanding nominees for their creativity and initiative in their business or profession, leadership in the community and especially for their efforts to help women achieve their full potential.

     

    Lieutenant Jen Román, a career firefighter with the City of

    Madison, was named the 2013 ATHENA Award recipient.  Lt. Román began her career in protective services as a volunteer EMT before putting herself through the UW Hospital paramedic program.   While working for the Madison Fire Department (MFD), she earned a graduate degree from UW-Madison in Adult and Continuing Education. Recently, she prepared for and took the Lieutenants promotion exam, earning top scores and was promoted to Lieutenant in January 2012. Along with her full time duties in the MFD, she has been an Instructor at Madison Collegefor over 20 years, teaching EMT, CPR and fire safety courses.

    Jennifer has been an active Girl Scout volunteer for nearly 25 years and brought her two decades of experience with the Madison Fire Department, Madison College and Girl Scouts together in developing CampHERO, a program aimed at building character and self-esteem in girls (kindergarten through high school) by exposing them to the protective services: police officer, detective, firefighter, paramedic, 911 dispatcher, etc.  She organized over 120 volunteers to host the two week inaugural program in 2012 for more than 200 girls.  CampHERO was so successful that it was approved by GUSA to be opened to Girl Scouts across the country in 2013.

     

    The other 9 Nominees recognized at the event were 

    • Milele Chikasa Anana, Editor & Publisher, Umoja Magazine
    • Lisa Bell, Executive Director, Madison Dental Initiative
    • Katherine Bidwell, Broker Associate, Stark Company Realtors
    • Keetra Burnette, Chief Operating Officer, Urban League of Greater Madison
    • Lisa Peyton Caire, President, Black Beauty Ventures
    • Kristen Capogrossi, Economist, Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc.
    • Andrea Marquardt Finck, Director of Marketing, M3 Insurance
    • Janine Stephens, Director of Marketing & Special Events, Boys and Girls Club of Dane County
    • Beth Zurbuchen, President/CEO, The Swiss Center of North America

     

    Proceeds from the ATHENA Award event go to The Business Forum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that awards scholarships to high school students and returning adult women who attend college in

    Wisconsin.  Since this event began in 1998, The Business Forum Foundation has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships.

    Keynote speaker, Jody Glynn Patrick, Publisher of In Business Magazine and 2005 ATHENA Award recipient, gave an impassioned speech, “Living an Authentic Life.” Patrick highlighted the history of her own path to success starting as a young farm girl in

    Illinois, and led the audience through a history of social and political change that has brought women to the place we are at in society today.

     

  • 23 Jan 2013 1:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Goodwill employee Samantha Schmidt was one of seven

    area women nominated to receive the Business Forum’s

    2012 Athena Young Professional Leadership Award.

    The award program supports and celebrates the Athena

    mission of supporting, developing, and honoring women

    leaders, and inspiring women to achieve their full potential,

    thereby creating balance in leadership worldwide.

    The award honors emerging leaders who strive toward

    the highest levels of personal and professional accomplishment,

    excel in their chosen field, devote time and

    energy to their community in a meaningful way, and

    serve as a role model for young women.

    Samantha has worked for Goodwill for eight years. As

    an employment specialist, she builds relationships with

    businesses in hopes of finding employment for individuals

    with disabilities. She also takes the lead role in making use

    of participants’ skills and talents and supplementing the

    employers’ regular training and supervision.

    In her free time, Samantha volunteers with the American Red

    Cross, the University of Wisconsin Hospital, Mount Carmel

    Senior Center, and other organizations including Future

    Farmers of America (FFA). Raised on a farm in Monroe, WI,

    Samantha helps high school girls who participate in FFA

    realize that the farm is not for men only. Her work with the

    girls prepares them to be confident public speakers and to

    have confidence and self-esteem in all that they do.

    Samantha is a past recipient of the United Way Volunteer

    of the Week Award for her work at the East Madison

    Community Center. She is a lifetime Girl Scout member and

    has received that organization’s Silver and Gold awards.

    Congratulations Samantha!

  • 15 Nov 2012 8:18 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Business Forum has named LaShell Lentz, Senior Financial Advisor at BMO Harris Bank, 401 N. Segoe Rd., the 2012 ATHENA Young Professional Award recipient. Lentz was  recognized for her many achievements both professionally and in the community, including creating, directing and leading the inaugural  “One Tough Cookie ” all-women 5K adventure run in East Troy, Wi..The run raised $40,000 for the Girl Scouts of Wisconsin-Badgerland Council and will be an annual fundraiser as a result of her leadership.

    Nominees Pictured Left to Right: Jessica Shiveler, Grief Counselor, Agrace HospiceCare; Kay-Tee Franke, President, Engaging Results Communication; Valerie Croissant, M.S., CTRS, Executive Director, Gio’s Garden; LaShell Lentz (Award Recipient), Senior Financial Advisor, BMO Harris Financial Advisors; Beth Norman, Financial Advisor, Vice President, RBC Wealth Management; Michelle Berryman, Manager of Public Relations, WEA Trust; Samantha Schmidt, Employment Specialist, Goodwill Industries of South Central WI


    Proceeds from the ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award® event go to The Business Forum Foundation, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization that awards scholarships to high school students and returning adult women who attend college in Wisconsin. Since this event began in 1998, The Business Forum Foundation has awarded over $300,000 in scholarships. The Business Forum is a local professional women’s organization that fosters the personal and professional growth of its members and other women through networking, scholarships, mentoring and community involvement.

     

    Other Publications:

    Wisconsin State Journal (11/15/2012)

     

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