WeMN Ignite your story


Learn more about each presenter by following them on social media by clicking on their Twitter handles in their bios below! On the day of the summit, connect with other event attendees on social media by using the Twitter hashtag #WeMN16 and as always, follow @WeMNOrg to get your daily dose of helpful business info.

Don't have a Twitter account? Here is a beginner's guide to help you set one up!

Lori Silverman
Keynote Speaker

Lori Silverman
  "Once Upon a Time" to "Happily Ever After:"
Using Business Storytelling to Distinguish You from Your Competition 

How do you currently sell your products and services? How effective is this approach in making you stand out in a crowded marketplace and in motivating prospects to do business with you? What role does story play in all of this? Everyone talks about the need to use success stories on our websites, in social media, and when we engage with others in conversation. But, is this really enough to get a prospect to buy? And to buy from you? When engaging in the sales process — which starts prior to prospecting and goes all the way to those activities you do post-sale — it’s not just about you telling your own stories. You need to also use a few story techniques very few ever talk about. Learn and practice them in this keynote to spike interest and sales. 

In 2003, Lori Silverman found herself on radio and TV shows promoting the book, Stories Trainers Tell. Each time, the hosts asked the same question: “Can story be used for more than training?” That’s when she realized little research had been done in the field of business storytelling. This gap sparked her to spend the next three years writing Wake Me Up When the Data Is Over, a book highlighting 81 applications of story use in myriad business functions. When the Dummies series called in 2013, she once again put pen to paper and churned out her third bestseller on the subject with Karen Dietz.

When Lori’s not writing or speaking, as the owner of Partners for Progress®, she helps firms navigate through large, messy, complex changes and develop and implement long-range breakthrough strategies to catapult growth. Since 1991, she’s worked with companies across 25 industries, including Chevron, Target, the Midwest Energy Association, Wells Fargo, Children’s Hospital and Clinics of MN, American Family Insurance, the American Legion Auxiliary, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, and the U.S. Air Force Reserves.  Lori’s also an adjunct professor in the MA in Industrial and Organization Psychology program at Golden Gate University.


Catherine Byers Breet
Closing Keynote

Catherine Byers Breet

  Beyond the Castle Walls: What's a Girl to do When the Flying Monkeys Arrive?

“Watch out! She’ll make you laugh so hard you pee your pants …then step into action anyway.” – Jennifer F.

Catherine Byers Breet once got caught hiding under a desk from an Executive VP who bore a very close resemblance to the Wicked Witch of the West. That was NOT her finest moment! However, it WAS the moment she decided to risk it all, stand up for her values and do the right thing. 18 years later, she’s still walking through her fear …and teaching others how to do the same.

When she launched ARBEZ ten years ago, Catherine thought her biggest challenge would be finding and closing business. Imagine her surprise when she discovered that her biggest barriers to success were entirely self-imposed. Join her for an invigorating look at 

  • The 5 deadliest fears poisoning the entrepreneurial spirit
  • How to separate the smoke from the mirror (and figure out which fears are real)
  • How to make your fear your BFF

Catherine has been closing the gap between people and career success since 1997. After surviving a couple of toxic bosses, she launched ARBEZ with one big dream: to help 1M people do what they love for a living. Ten years later, she and ARBEZ are still going strong … online and in person, from South Africa to Texas to Minnesota. Catherine is a highly-sought speaker, consultant and stripe changer. Her online tools are unmatched on the market, and kicking the butt out of the new world of work’s most vexing challenges.

Active in the community, Catherine runs a weekly networking group and sits on two boards. She was recently selected for an Exceptional Businesswoman award. Outside of work, she can be found chasing fun and scary adventures with her two small boys and husband.

Oh, and by the way … she owns a zebra. His name is Joe.

Catherine Byers Breet video presentation preview
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Twitter: @StripeChanger

Kristen Brown

Kristen Brown

Kristen Brown, Co-Master of Ceremonies for the Ignite Conference, helps individuals and organizations minimize stress, leverage goals and boost performance which directly impacts personal and bottom line growth.  Prior to becoming a keynote speaker, she spent 15 years leading teams and working with Fortune500s, start-ups and everything in between including Disney, Walmart, Hanes, Target, and Coca-Cola. 

Kristen was widowed in 2007 with a new baby during the economic collapse which prompted her shift into helping others spin stress into success despite the challenges we face every day.  She holds a Master’s in Integral Theory (the art and science of multiple perspectives), a holistic coaching certification and has won several awards for business and writing.  

She’s a regular on screen and stage including Live with Kelly & Michael, HLN, Forbes, Inc., Women Presidents Organization, Cargill, Regis, Mayo, Vistage, General Mills, Boston Scientific, Regis, and more.

Kristen and her daughter live in Minneapolis and she will do just about anything for bacon. 

Twitter: @SpeakerKristen

Amy Jauman

Amy Jauman

Amy Jauman is Co-Master of Ceremonies for the Ignite Conference. Amy is the Chief Education Officer and Owner of Remotely Smart, a virtual company that provides educational support to traditional and virtual organizations. She is a speaker, professor, and social media strategist who bills herself as "an educator for the business environment." She focuses on using social media, interactive presentations, and online resources to make information meaningful to collocated and geographically dispersed adult learners in business and educational environments. 

Amy has a Master's Degree in Experiential Education and a Doctorate in Organization Development. In 2013, she became a Certified Social Media Strategist (SMS) and Certified Instructor through the National Institute of Social Media (NISM).  

In March 2014, Amy was accepted as one of 58 members representing 12 countries in the inaugural class with the Prezi Educator Society. She is also a member of the National Women Speakers Association and a past Social Media Director for Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota.


Kendra Dodd
Networking Facilitator

Kendra Dodd 


We will discuss the benefits and watch-outs of networking. You will learn your purpose in this art of engagement and will feel empowered to conquer the terrain of networking.

The two sessions will deliver small impactful exercises. We will provide effective tools and techniques to networking. Our focus is for you to move outside your comfort zone to a place of intention. By the end of the two sessions you will be able to:

  • Map your current networking status 
  • Navigate how to improve your networking proficiency
  •  Identify and create action steps of how to network in the future

This is a great opportunity to acquire new techniques for connecting and having the chance to practice in the safe environment of fellow entrepreneurs! 

Kendra holds her Master in Human Resources Development and has spent over eighteen years in the Human Resources industry working within fortune 100 companies. Her first love of helping others, speaking and facilitating continued during her human resources career.

Along with her formal education, Kendra is a certified DDI Trainer, certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and Board Certified Life Coach. Kendra is a national Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) member and has been a board member for three years in her local SHRM chapter. Kendra will be indoctrinated for the local board for NSA-MN (National Speakers Association - Minnesota Chapter) starting the 2016-2017 fiscal year. 

Twitter: @KendraDodd

Amy Quale

Amy Quale

Publish on Purpose: How to Create a Book and Elevate Your Platform

Do you have a story idea that you can’t seem to shake? Or, perhaps you are an expert looking to leverage your content and ideas in a new medium? From writing and editing to design and marketing, Wise Ink will take you through the planning stage of publishing to teach you how to create a book with serious impact.

Amy Quale is the co-founder and chief publishing officer of Wise Ink Creative Publishing. Amy’s passion for helping people launch their messages into the world led her to start Wise Ink in 2012. Wise Ink is an independent publisher that arms authors with totally custom books, marketing plans, and distribution services as well as educational tools to help authors publish smartly. Amy has a master’s degree in English. Amy lives in St. Peter, Minnesota with her husband and their happy, busy toddler.

Amy Quale WeMN Ignite Conference Video presentation preview
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Twitter: @Wiseink

Jayne Morgan 

Jayne Morgan
  Skip the Rabbit Hole, Alice!  Create Your Own Business Wonderland

We all want to have the business of our dreams. However, none of us want the kind of dreams with frantic bunnies, toothy cats, mad hatters, or murderous queens! As entrepreneurs we fall down the rabbit holes of daily work, without intentionally creating a business environment that suits us best. Take away strategies for developing a work culture that works for YOU — one that you excel in and enjoy. If you want to have or already have employees, learn the four factors that attract and inspire people to do their best work. In other words, Alice, put that teacup down before it’s too late, because your real wonderland awaits!

Dr. Jayne Morgan is a workplace communication and emotion expert who wants people to feel as good going to work as they do leaving it. She founded Workplace Oasis to help organizations become premier destinations where people want to go and do their best work. Jayne’s book, Workplace Gems, provides 21 strategies that foster joy on the job. She has partnered with a diverse range of organizations, including U.S. Cellular, Heartland Express, Tyson Foods, Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, and the City of Phoenix. Jayne holds a Ph.D. in organizational communication from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As a speaker, facilitator, teacher, and trainer, Dr. Morgan has been on the front lines of professional and leadership development for 20 years.

Jayne Morgan WeMN Ignite Conference video presentation preview
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Twitter: @WorkplaceOasis

Rose McKinney

Rose McKinney
  Public Relations and Marketing: The Balance That Impacts Your Bottom Line

PR, Advertising, Marketing. All the same?  Entirely different? Among the many benefits of the increasing blur between these important business drivers is understanding how to create balance among them — in ways that have a positive impact on your bottom line.  Learn how these complement each other. Determine optimal timing to maximize the value that each can deliver. Integrate smart combinations to create success for your business. This session takes textbook content to a practical level of primary importance for business owners and leaders.

    With aspirations of becoming the next Jane Pauley and “Today Show” host, Rose McKinney entered journalism school in 1984. She quickly realized, however, she didn’t want to report the news — she wanted to create it!

    Rose's accomplishments – which range from establishing a national Millennium celebration to saving a Shriners Hospital from closure – are notable. She has helped hundreds of organizations tap the power and potential of brand and reputation.

    Enjoying equally counseling and agency-management, Rose launched Pineapple RM in 2011, a communications firm focused on reputation management. Additionally, she has been an adjunct professor at Metropolitan State University since 2005.

    Each step of Rose’s career has yielded new insights, greater leadership opportunities and an even deeper network of colleagues – she keeps in touch with her first boss, works with clients going back through the decades, and is proud to say one of her protégés has been a student, an employee, and a client.

    Rose McKinney WeMN Ignite Conference video preview presentation
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    Twitter: @PineappleRM

    Steve Kloyda 

    Steve Kloyda

    The Art of Prospecting: Target, Tools & Tactics

    Let's face it, nothing happens until you get in front of the potential prospect or client. The biggest challenge that we all face is getting the their Attention!  Does the thought of prospecting leave you overwhelmed, frustrated, and exhausted?  That will change in minutes once you meet “Hector” the prospector and explore why he consistently gets the Gold!

    One isn't born knowing how to sell. It's a skill and ability that is developed over time. Sometimes, you need a “guide" to share those “valuable insights" with you, to tell you when you’re headed down the wrong path and how to get back on track.

    For more than 30 years, Steve has been creating unique selling experiences that transform the lives of salespeople. In addition to facilitating thousands of workshops across the country, he has personally made more than 250,000 telephone sales and prospecting calls, listened to and analyzed more than 25,000 sales calls and facilitated more than 6,000 one-on-one coaching sessions. Steve’s mission is creating ideas that InspireEncourage, and Empower salespeople to do their best work.

    Steve Kloyda video presentation preview WeMN Ignite Conference
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    Twitter: @SteveKloyda

    Jen Radke 

      Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Who's Got the Best LinkedIn Profile of Them All?

    Are you number one in your village? If your LinkedIn profile doesn't make your professionalism and expertise obvious, you may as well be hiding in the forest. Join Jen Radke to learn specific tips for improving your profile and techniques for communicating with your top clients through LinkedIn!

    Jen Radke is the CEO of the National Institute for Social Media and owner and chief strategist for Socially Inspired, a social media training and consulting company based out of the Twin Cities. She is certified as a Social Media Strategist (SMS) and also serves as an instructor and trainer. Her mission is to simplify and more effectively utilize social media in an organizational setting through proper planning and team training.

    Jen Radke WeMN Ignite Conference video preview presentation
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    Twitter: @NISMPulse


    Dawn Van Tassel 

    Dawn Van Tassel
      From Formation to Litigations: 10 Moments in Every Entrepreneur's Journey When She Needs to Summon a Dragon-Slayer

    As a business owner, you are used to doing it all.  You're hardly a damsel in distress in need of saving. But when does it make sense to engage a little hired muscle to untie you from the railroad tracks? Minneapolis attorney and entrepreneur Dawn Van Tassel will guide you through 10 key forks in the road when every savvy business owner should summon her legal fairy godmother for a little advice.

    Dawn Van Tassel has served as an aggressive advocate, trusted advisor and legal sherpa for more than 16 years.  A self-described "BigLaw refugee," Dawn founded Van Tassel Law Firm in 2014 to provide small-business owners with the same type of savvy legal representation she had been providing to Fortune 500 corporations without the astronomical hourly rates. Dawn received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of California Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall).

    She has been named a "Rising Star" by Minnesota Law and Politics numerous times and was named a "SuperLawyer
    " in 2014, 2015, and 2016. She has also been named three times to the list of Top Women Attorneys in Minnesota.

    Dawn Van Tassel WeMN Ignite Conference Video Presentation Preview
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    Twitter: @G8rDawn

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    Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota

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