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DBL Local Leadership Conference

May 24 @ 10:00 am - 2:15 pm

Local Leadership Conference
Business with Purpose & Intent

Held at Holy Wisdom Monastery
10:00 a.m. - 2:15 p.m.
Doors open at 9:30 for coffee and networking
(Note: Masks required per facility policy)

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Managers, Business Owners, and aspiring entrepreneurs – Are you interested in growing as a leader? Are you living your life’s mission and values through your organization or business? Are you struggling to retain staff? If so, join us for Dane Buy Local’s first, Local Leaders Conference – a supportive and connective opportunity for you to evaluate your current practices and grow, personally and professionally. Hear from local leaders about their methods for success, and learn about opportunities to address staffing challenges, including reliability and retention.  

Attendees will gain positive connections, collaborative partners, and community support systems; they will also walk away with ideas and perspectives on how to strengthen their leadership skills and grow their business with purpose and intent. 

9:30     Doors open for registration and coffee

10:00  Welcome and Introduction   
                Meghan Stern | Dane Buy Local

10:05  Keynote Speaker “Building, Developing, and Retaining a Team Who Feels Safe and Supported, While Committing to the Purpose of the Business”  
               Drew Ghelfi | Back 2 Basics

10:45  Networking

11:00  Keynote Speaker “Looking at the Psychology of Business and Generations of Our Employees and Customers."  
               Keena Atkinson | R'oujie Wellness

11:40  Catered Lunch

12:20  Recognitions   
               Colin Murray | Dane Buy Local

12:30   Speaker “The Power of People with Disabilities - As Customers and Employees”  
                Denise Jess | WI Council of the Blind and Visually Impaired

1:00-1:10   Speaker “Gain Freedom and Success with Core-Based Communication”    
                Jason Hafeman | At Your Core Communications 

1:15-2:15  Panel Discussion “Maintaining Your Values While Achieving Personal and Professional Success” 

Meet the Speakers

Drew Ghelfi, Owner

Born and raised in Madison, WI.  Drew's life mission is to empower as many people as he can, for as long as he can, and for many more years thereafter.  Drew values vulnerability, transparency, respect, integrity, honesty, and connectivity.  He eats sleeps and breathes personal development.  Drew has a coaching, developing, and educating mindset.  He enjoys empowering the youth and developing leaders by providing tools and resources to develop ones' character.  
Drew and his Fiancé have three children, 18, 15 and 11 months in May.  Drew is also very involved in his community.  He owns Pancake Cafe Stoughton, is founder of Back 2 Basics and Ghelfi Consulting, & is Co-Developer of The Good, The Bad, The Breakthrough Podcast.

Keena Atkinson, Owner

Keena is a single mother to two sons, activist, speaker, multifamily housing owner, master stylist, writer, actress, and sharer of knowledge, thought and wisdom.
In addition to earning her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Keena is a 500 hr certified trauma informed, social justice and ayurveda yoga teacher and trainer with 5+ years of experience teaching yoga and dance in person and virtually. She speaks and shares on many of these topics and more in her 3 Podcasts and Webshows: The Good, The Bad, The Breakthrough Podcast, R’oujie Ruminations and Revelations and Kaleb Conversations
As a former executive leader for a fortune 500 company, Keena has successfully led, developed and provided leadership to hundreds of people, multiple teams to achieve record high sales volumes, execute timely, successful transitions and consistent growth. As a community servant, she works with various populations and diverse learning spaces on race, social justice, equity, education, wellness and more. Through her wellness company, R'oujie Wellness, and her salon space, K Naturally Hair, Keena focuses on health, wealth and joy from the inside, out.
Her classes are taught throughout Dane County and virtually across the nation with emphasis on creating accessibility to racially disenfranchised and at risk populations through partnerships with schools, community programs, non profit organizations, sponsors and more.
Additionally, Keena provides housing through her multifamily property management company, We3 Property Management. Find her on all social media
@Keenasfa access free yoga yoga classes on her YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/keenasfa and learn more about Keena, R’oujie Wellness and her Podcast shows at the links below.

Denise Jess, Executive Director

Denise Jess began her tenure as Executive Director of the Wisconsin Council of the Blind & Visually Impaired in 2016. She brings more than 35 years of experience in education, advocacy, public speaking, small business ownership and community volunteering to her position.
Serving with honor on multiple national, state and local commissions, committees and boards, Denise brings the perspectives of those living with vision loss into the mainstream. She serves as Vice Chair of the board of Community Shares of Wisconsin,  and co-chairs the Wisconsin Non-Driver Advisory Committee. 

Denise treasures time with her wife of over 30 years, their two adult daughters, family and friends. 
She is proud to serve as the Council’s executive director and believes this role is truly her calling.

Jason Hafeman, Owner

Nearly his entire career (20 years) has been centered around communications. Jason has been a broadcaster, represented organizations to the public, funders and stakeholders, evaluated and generated improvements with internal communication, and given presentations on marketing and communication strategies. As host of the "Let's Get Local" radio show (Devil Radio 92.7FM), he enjoys highlighting local businesses and nonprofits. Jason serves as a member of the Dane Buy Local board, Education Committee and Outreach Committee. He has a Broadcast Journalism degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Jason's business, At Your Core Communications, is aptly named to fit his communication philosophy. 

Meet the Panelists

Justice Castaneda, Executive Director

Amber Swenor, Founder

Stacey Scannell, Owner

Sue Peck, Owner

Kat Casey, Owner

Matt van Nest, Owner


May 24
10:00 am - 2:15 pm


Holy Wisdom Monastery
4200 County Road M
Middleton, WI 53562 United States
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608-836-1631, x100
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