Featured Speakers

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Ann Bausum writes about U.S. history for young people from her home in Beloit, Wisconsin. Her publisher, National Geographic Children's Books, is releasing two new titles by her in 2007: Our Country's First Ladies and Muckrakers. Other recent books examine issues of social justice—including the 72-year-long fight for women's voting rights (With Courage and Cloth, 2004) and the Civil Rights struggle to integrate interstate bus service (Freedom Riders, 2006). She has written about Our Country's Presidents (2005, 2nd edition) and the explorer Roy Chapman Andrews (Dragon Bones and Dinosaur Eggs, 2000), too.

Her books consistently earn awards and recognition, including a Sibert Honor designation for Freedom Riders and a Jane Addams Children's Book Award for With Courage and Cloth. Both titles were named notable books by the American Library Association (ALA), too, and gained recognition on many other lists of commended books. In addition, Booklist, the ALA's trade magazine, named Freedom Riders "Top of the List" as the Best Youth Nonfiction Book of 2006.

Ann graduated from Beloit College in 1979. Two of her books feature other Beloit College graduates: Roy Chapman Andrews (class of 1906) and Jim Zwerg (class of 1962). She and her husband (who is a Beloit graduate, too) have two teenaged sons.


featuredKen Foster is the author of the bestselling memoir, The Dogs Who Found Me, and a collection of stories, The Kind I’m Likely to Get, which was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.  He is also the editor of two anthologies:  The KGB Bar Reader and Dog Culture.  His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Bark, The Believer, Urban Dog, Salon, Fence, Flaunt, and other publications.  He has appeared as a guest on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program with Terry Gross, WGBH’s “Morning Stories”, and dozens of other radio and television shows. 

Currently a visiting assistant professor of creative writing at Tulane University, he lives in New Orleans with his three dogs, Brando (a Dane/Pit Bull), Zephyr (a Rottweiler/Shepherd) and Sula (American Pit Bull Terrier).


featuredJoan F. Gilman

As Director of Special Industry Programs, Executive Education, for the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business, Joan's office acts as a conduit between University resources and the business community.  In this role, she currently co-hosts a daily radio show, On Air with In Business on Madison 1670 from 6-7 PM, focusing on local business issues.

Joan’s duties span Executive Education from small business and entrepreneurship to teaching managers and designing executive programs. She has taught in both the Small Business Development Center (Business Planning) and Executive Education for the Supervisory Management Series.  She was co-director of the Agribusiness Executive Management Program that assisted farmers and agribusinesses in Wisconsin.  As founder of The Family Business Center, a regional membership program which addresses the special needs of the family business dealing with succession, communication, and strategic planning issues, she successfully completed succession planning for the center.

From 1989-2006, Gillman’s national duties have included Executive Director for USASBE-United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, the national division of the International Council for Small Business.   She coordinated the functions of a comprehensive organization of 1100+ outstanding researchers, scholars, teachers, administrators, and policy makers interested in entrepreneurship and small business.  Gillman coordinated activities with The Coleman Foundation, the Kauffman Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and The Edward Lowe Foundation as well as develops strategic alliances for the organization.  Gillman currently serves on the board of FOCCUS (Friends of the Children of Chernobyl US).

A native of Pittsburgh, she received her B.S. from Indiana University in art education and radio and TV.  Since coming to Madison in 1968, she has worked for the departments of Preventive Medicine, Psychology and Waisman Center.  In 1984 Gillman took her GRE's with a pencil that said "Life begins at 40" and completed her Master's in business in December 1986. She has been Program Coordinator, then Director of Madison’s Small Business Development Center until 1996 when she started her two new programs. The Madison-SBDC serves 15,000 businesses plus all those thinking about going into business by offering one-on-one counseling and courses in the areas of marketing, management, finance, and business feasibility/strategic planning.

Gillman has two children and enjoys traveling whenever possible.  Her most recent travels have been in Croatia, Macedonia and Bulgaria for the Open Society Institute, the nonprofit foundation of George Soros, where she is starting centers for Entrepreneurship.  She is also the second woman ever to publicly address men in Saudi Arabia.  She is active in many local organizations.



Ellen Kort was named Wisconsin’s first poet laureate in 2000.  She is the author of Wisconsin Women and Their Quilts:  Stories in the Stitches, produced in association with the Wisconsin Quilt History Project and, among other awards has received the Pablo Neruda Literary Prize for Poetry. The author of a number of books on poetry, Ellen has been featured in a wide variety of journals and anthologies. Her poems have been architecturally incorporated in downtown Milwaukee’s Midwest Express Center, the Green Bay Botanical Garden and the Fox River Mall in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Ellen believes poetry is a “healing art” and has facilitated poetry workshops at medical conventions for physicians and psychologists.



Judith Krug, Director, American Library Association, Office for Intellectual Freedom since it was founded in 1967, Ms. Krug continues to remain unparalleled in her    commitment to educating the public about their rights to free access of all expressions and ideas. In terms of public policy, she continues to strongly oppose the notion that libraries ought to censor the material that they provide to patrons. Since 1967, Ms. Krug has advised countless numbers of librarians and trustees in dealing with challenges to library materials.  

She helped to found the Freedom to Read Foundation, a sister organization of ALA, and has served as its Executive Director since 1969. 

Krug also helped found Banned Books Week, an annual celebration of the right of individuals to choose their own reading materials. Now entering its 25th year, the program serves to raise awareness about censorship and remind Americans that our freedoms can be fragile if we're not vigilant in protecting them.  

In 1998, Krug received our profession's highest honor, the Joseph P. Lippincott Award, in recognition of the leadership and support she has provided to the American Library Association, to the profession to which she is so integral and to the American public in upholding one of our most basic rights in a democratic society. 

In addition to her ALA responsibilities, Ms. Krug serves as VICE PRESIDENT of the Phi Beta Kappa society, as chair of the Board of Directors of the Center for Democracy and Technology, chair of Media Coalition, vice-chair of the Internet Education Foundation, and a member of the GetNetWise Advisory Board.   

Honors include the Irita Van Doren Award presented by the American Booksellers and the Harry Kalven Freedom of Expression Award presented by the American Civil Liberties Union to the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom. In May 2005, Ms. Krug received an honorary doctorate, Doctor of Humane Letters, from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 


featured Michael Perry is the author of the bestselling memoir Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time, and the essay collection Off Main Street.  Perry has written for Esquire, The New York Times Magazine, Outside, Backpacker, Orion and Salon.com and is a contributing editor to Men’s Health.  His essays have been heard on NPR’s “All Things Considered” and he has performed and produced two live audience recordings, I Got It From the Cows and Never Stand Behind a Sneezing Cow.

Raised on a dairy farm, Perry graduated from nursing school in 1987.    He equates his writing career to cleaning calf pens – just keep shoveling, and eventually you’ve got a pile so big, someone will notice.  His latest book, Truck: A Love Story, won the 2007 Banta Award.

Perry lives in rural Wisconsin, where he remains active as a volunteer firefighter and emergency medical responder. 


Kevin P. ReillyDr. Kevin P. Reilly began his tenure as the sixth president of the University of Wisconsin System on September 1, 2004.  His vision for the state’s public university system is that it should be Wisconsin’s premier developer of advanced human potential, of the jobs that employ that potential, and of the flourishing communities that sustain it.

Through the Wisconsin PK-16 Leadership Council, the Committee on Baccalaureate Expansion and other partnerships, Dr. Reilly also collaborates with the Wisconsin Technical College System, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, and the Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities. 

Dr. Reilly has served as Chancellor of UW-Extension and as Provost and Vice Chancellor of Extension, Chair of the American Council on Education’s Commission on Adult Learning and Educational Credentials, as a member of the Board of Directors for the University Continuing Education Association, Vice Chair of its Commission on Leadership and Management, and on the Board of the Learning Institute for Nonprofit Organizations.  He was also a member of the Steering Committee for the four statewide Wisconsin Economic Summits and a founding member of the UW System Federal Relations Council. 

Dr. Reilly earned his B.A. at the University of Notre Dame, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota. He has authored and edited books and articles on higher education policy, accreditation, biography, and Irish studies.  He and his wife, Kate, reside at Brittingham House in Madison, Wisconsin.  They are the parents of three children.


featuredJeffrey Russell

Established in 1987, Russell Consulting, Inc., has been developing leadership programs to help organizations and businesses increase the capacity of their leaders and employees to identify and better understand the challenges and opportunities in their organizations.  Jeff has worked to design programs that define these leadership roles for every level of organizational structure and build competencies to fulfill those roles. 

Jeff is a frequent presenter at local, state, regional and international conferences, including a two-day “Leading Change” seminar in China in which participants from Thailand and China were very receptive to many applications for the program in the growing Chinese economy.    


featured Stuart Stotts is a songwriter, storyteller and author from Wisconsin.  He’s worked as a full-time performer since 1986, and he gives over 200 shows a year for kids, families, and adults around the Midwest.

Stuart has worked extensively as an artist-in-residence in elementary, middle and high schools.  He has released several award-winning recordings, and is also the author of The Bookcase Ghost: A Collection of Wisconsin Ghost Stories and Books in a Box:  Lutie Stearns and the Traveling Libraries of Wisconsin.  His latest book is a biography of Curly Lambeau, the father of the Green Bay Packers, published in September of 2007.  He is currently at work on a book about the song “We Shall Overcome” and another about musicians and the growth of their art form. 

Stuart is the lead guitarist and principal songwriter for the rock band Tongue ‘n’ Groove, a Madison based dance band that plays “Dance Music for the Revolution.”

Stuart is a member of the Kickapoo Woods Coop, and he owns and manages 45 acres of sustainable forest near the Kickapoo Reserve.  He is married to Heather Terrill, the love of his life, and has three daughters, Cerise, Calli, and Celeste, and one son, Simon.  They live in Deforest, WI.




Staff Sergeant Joseph Streeter has been a member of the Wisconsin Army National Guard for over twelve years.  While deployed in Iraq, he served as a squad leader in the 2-127th's C Company.  He also works as the system administrator at the Wisconsin Joint Force Headquarters and runs a sports photography business.  He lives in Madison.