Meet Our Speakers 

October 22, 2018


Christine Bellport

Morning Keynote

Defining and Designing My New Normal

After 14 years of waking up south central Wisconsin residents on The Morning Show on NBC Channel 15, Anchor Christine Bellport retired in mid-May of this year.  She will share with us how she is defining and designing her NEW NORMAL after over 28 years in the broadcasting industry.  

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Susan C Young

Afternoon Keynote

SHIFT, SHED, & SHINE . . . Your Go-To Guide for Resilience in Times of Change

Susan Young is a Positive Impact and Change Expert. Her motivational keynotes and workshops inspire organizations to create POSITIVE CHANGE to BOOST POSITIVITY, ENGAGEMENT, and COMMUNICATION so they can make a POSITIVE IMPACT in life and business. She is dedicated to sharing positive ways for people to thrive in their lives.


Melissa Blettner

Event Emcee and Afternoon Breakout Presenter

THE SEARCH FOR A NEW NORMAL:  From Corporate Executive to Work from Home Entrepreneur

Melissa Blettner is an expert in Brand Operations, Strategy and Execution.  Her career spans more than 30 years in the hospitality industry, 20 of those years with Great Wolf Resorts.  During her time there, she created the culture, foundation and operating procedures for the company. She trained and onboarded thousands of employees and managers, teaching them the core values and service excellence expectations that deliver the award winning Great Wolf experience to guests.  Melissa left Great Wolf in January of this year and began to develop her “NEW NORMAL”.  She knows that to be successful, you need to link arms with successful, motivated, passionate professionals.  So, she launched a FemCity collective in Madison where women gather together to learn business strategies, cultivate relationships and support each other. Her passion is helping others realize and grow into their full potential and she hopes that the lessons she learns and shares with others in developing her “NEW NORMAL” will help women step into their passion and purpose!

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Christie Gause-Bemis

Event Emcee and Morning Presenter

Waking Up to a Life With Pleasure and Meaning Again

Christie is Co-Founder and CEO of Hot Pink YOUniversity, supporting women to reignite to their passions, purpose and play.  As a psychotherapist for over 18 years, she has watched women struggle with depression and anxiety.  Often these labels were the result of living a life of overwhelm, disconnect from dreams and desires and facing challenges along the journey of life.  When a woman can reignite to what she is passionate about, the symptoms often decrease or go away completely.  Christie also supports women in solopreneur endeavors to move from vision to action. She owns and operates Bemis Psychotherapy and Consulting LLC


Hillary Pink-Budworth

Morning Ted Talk and Panel Moderator

I Am...Your Past Does Not Define Your Future

Hillary Pink-Budworth is a 32 year old AVP in commercial insurance sales, a leader in a luxury hair care network marketing company, a Mommy to 2 boys, a compassionate wife to her high school sweetheart, and a co-founder in the Madison Brain Tumor 5k.

For the last 5 years, Hillary has been trying to find her New Normal after the passing of her Father. In a fast paced, quick to judge, materialistic society, it’s hard to be socially accepting of yourself and the path that’s right for YOU.

She has a degree in Accounting and Finance but prefers to be social, live a life of positivity and empower others with confidence.


Kate Barton

Morning Ted Talk

Grit, Gumption & Grace: Lessons I've Learned from living with Cronic Illness

Kate Barton is the creative force behind Gather, LLC, a place where people have the space to reflect, to ask themselves “now what?”, and to create what’s next through art and meaningful exercises.

For the past 20 years, Kate has used grit, gumption, and grace in living with chronic illness and in everyday life as a wife and a mother to two extraordinary daughters.

She has a B.S. in Elementary Education and a Master’s equivalent in Montessori Education and loves leading people to discover for themselves what brings them authentic love, connection, and joy.


Chris Prohaska Van Haren

Morning Ted Talk

Life Savers: Strategies for Preserving Your Mental Health in Stormy Seas

Chris retired in 2016 after nearly 30 years working as a Pharmacist to pursue her dream of starting a business. She has successfully navigated through several “Now What?” seasons of life, from giving birth to 3 children in under 4 years, to adapting to an empty nest, to becoming a full time entrepreneur. As founder and owner of Enchanted Valley Studios, she continues to learn and grow while encouraging others to do the same through self awareness, self care, & mindful living. Her favorite methods of self care include prayer & meditation, journaling, and daily fresh air.


Meghan Skrepenski

Morning Ted Talk and Panel participant

Your Past Does Not Define You

Meghan has a degree in physical education and health education, and has always loved working with children of all ages encouraging them to be strong and healthy. After joining the military, Meghan was unable to work as a teacher because of frequent deployments and trainings that took her out of the state and across the world. She continued to work with children teaching swimming lessons for over 15 years but missed the connection that truly comes with teaching kids more in depth. After returning to school to become a Physical Therapist Assistant 2015, she discovered that maintaining a healthy body is vitally important as we all continue to age. Balance, strength and flexibility are key to a long and healthy life along with maintaining cardiovascular health.


Jasper Dayton

Afternoon Breakout Session

Build a Brand That Works Hard for You, So You Won’t Have To! – Attract Clients, Make Money, Grow Your Business!

As a branding expert, she's spent the past two decades building brands for well-known entrepreneurs with a big dream and a small budget. 
She now knows that branding a business successfully is not something you can do on assumptions. 
You must understand all areas of your business; however, relying on yourself to become an expert in all those areas is a recipe for overwhelm. 

Jasper loves taking someone’s idea that is stuck in their dreams and turning it into something they can hold in their hand that makes people realize they can’t live without it.



Sarah Stone Weber

Afternoon Breakout Session

Your Dreams Are Not Nuts - Getting a Clear Vision and Direction

After spending many years marketing products and services for companies, Sarah found that she would rather help others market their dreams to themselves! To help others not wait for someday and start creating a plan for today!

 In 2014, Sarah got caught waiting for someday.  On January 22, 2014, a rare spine injury threatened her ability to ever walk again without assistance, to ever have the possibility to enjoy the activities that she loved and to dream about her future in a positive way. Sarah pushed forward every day and now most people would never realize that she has paralysis in parts of her body and her dream of helping others is a reality.

 Sarah learned that the journey through a life changing situation can actually be amazing. It did not feel that way early in her recovery, but as each step become another step to move through the change, it became clear that what felt so difficult was actually filling her with power. It changed who she was, because it opened her up to understanding that she was on the path to a new normal. She studied it, analyzed it, challenged it, talked about it, and she accepted the journey by becoming a warrior in her own life.

 Sarah now lives by the mantra: Someday is the day after never!