Justice Castaneda of Common Wealth Development
Justice Castañeda serves as the Executive Director of Common Wealth Development, a long-standing community development organization in Madison, WI, and is completing his dissertation work in Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. An educator and community development specialist by trade, Justice’s professional and academic work explores the intersections of housing policy, economic development and community violence, looking at the role these intersections play in educational & life outcomes for youth who have experienced traumatic events in early childhood and adolescence. His most recent research explores the relationship between land-use polices (including housing policy) and economic / educational outcomes for youth in Madison, WI.
Justice completed his undergraduate work in planning at UC San Diego, a Master of Arts in Policy, Organization and Leadership Studies from the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University, and earned his Masters of City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he focused on housing policy, community & economic development before accepting a fellowship with the Center for Health and Communities at the University of California, San Francisco medical campus. Before returning to Madison, Justice worked nationally on housing and economic development initiatives for governments and philanthropic partners.
Amber Swenor of Soul Seed
Amber Swenor is a transformational brand strategist who helps visionary leaders live and lead in authenticity. She’s the founder of Soul Seed, a brand ecosystem that exists to elevate conscious leaders and companies. Her company Soul Seed Strategy helps companies grow with profits rooted in purpose through brand strategy, coaching and marketing services. She’s also the founder of Soul Seed CBD. When she’s not strategizing with clients or speaking on stages, you’ll find her rocking with her metal band, Morningstar. She's excited to share here today as she believes in collaboration, and when purpose-driven local businesses work together, we all win!
https://www.linkedin.com/company/9401964/; https://www.instagram.com/soulseedstrategy/ https://www.facebook.com/SoulSeedStrategy
Stacey Scannell of The Soap Opera
I have owned The Soap Opera on State street in Madison Wisconsin since 2016. Before that I managed and opened fitness centers with a business and sales background for almost a decade. I'm excited to share my personable business experience with local leaders, to help us all understand that making a connection is key to success.
@thesoapoperamadison (Facebook, Instagram, & Twitter handle)
Sue Peck of Evolution Financial
I founded Evolution Financial to provide fee-only comprehensive financial planning and investment management for people of all backgrounds, and to help my clients reach their financial goals. I take a different look at financial planning, and help my clients really discover and lean in to their values to see how their finances can support the things in their lives that are truly important.
I'm excited to share how putting your values first can lead to a more fulfilling life.
Kat Casey of Mala Yoga Center
Kat Casey founded Mala Yoga Center in 2016, with a vision to create a community centered space where people of all ages and abilities come together to learn and practice yoga. In 2017 she started Madison area’s only After School Yoga & Mindfulness program for children. It has since then evolved into a year-round after school program and summer camp enriching children with yoga, meditation and mindfulness curriculum.
Over the years Mala Yoga’s mission has evolved to hold space of authentic self-expression and healing for people from all walks of life – inclusive of diverse identities by race, ethnicity, sex, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, education, opinions, culture, veteran's status, religion, disability, and color. Through learning and practicing the 8 limbs of yoga, Mala Yoga Center honors the roots of yoga and applies its lessons to strive for social justice in the community and world. In 2022, Kat Casey was named a Brava Magazine Woman to Watch for her efforts to make yoga a safe accessible space for all including establishing the Allyship Fund - a scholarship for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled people, offering three weekly free classes for Veterans, and her partnership with Trini Foundation - providing yoga scholarships for people in recovery.
Brasserie V & Longtable Beer Cafe
Matt started in the restaurant business later in his career when he and his wife, Andrea, opened Brasserie V on Monroe St. in Madison in 2007. In 2017 they opened a second restaurant in downtown Middleton, Longtable Beer Cafe. Previously Matt worked primarily in sales and sales management. As a small business owner, he has had to be creative in all aspects of the business, learned to pivot often, especially over the last two years, and to have a great deal of patience and perseverance. Matt previously served on the boards of Madison Originals and Ronald McDonald House Charities of Madison. He has a Business Marketing degree from the University of Northern Iowa. He is, of course, a big fan of craft beer, especially from Belgium.