Keynote Speakers

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Rich Harwood

Wednesday, November 5 

Harwood SmallerRich Harwood, who authored Citizens and Politics: A View from Main Street, will be the keynote speaker at the WLA Conference on Wednesday, November 5, at the Kalahari in Wisconsin Dells.   Soon after publication of his landmark book, he became a national leader in rethinking on how to move communities forward in Hope Unraveled, Make Hope Real, Why We’re Here and The Work of Hope. By focusing on impact and not funding, he has created new ways to support small groups and the hardest hit communities in tough economic times.   His success has won him partnerships with some of the largest, most respected nonprofits in the world, such as United Way Worldwide, AARP, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the American Library Association. People from all walks of life have read about Harwood’s ideas, innovation and approach. Come and listen to one of the greatest innovators of this decade. 


Michael Johnson

Thursday, November 6

Michael Johnson, MBAMichael Johnson, CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, is scheduled to speak with Tim Metcalfe, owner of Metcalfe Market, on Thursday morning, November 6, at the WLA Conference, at the Kalahari Resort & Convention Center, Wisconsin Dells. 

In late 2013, Johnson enlisted Metcalfe and Will Green, director of the Salvation Army of Dane County Community Center, to go undercover with him to understand the challenges of the homeless population in Madison, Wisconsin. The team came away from the experience changed because of their unique encounters with the homeless people. The story broke nationally on Yahoo Shine late last year, along with Johnson's powerful message that to educate oneself about the issue and experience homelessness is to learn how to help homeless people in the community.

Education and experience are part of Michael Johnson's philosophy of work management. Under his watch, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County continues to lead in youth development, and through community collaboration the AVID/TOPS Program has produced high graduation rates for four consecutive years in a row. A large percentage of these graduates continue on to higher education. Johnson, himself, has a MBA from the University of Phoenix, a BA from Chicago State University and certifications in Fund Development from the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University. Prior to moving to Madison, Wisconsin, he spent 15 years in executive level positions in several cities leading large, complex government and nonprofit agencies. 

To learn more about Michael Johnson, MBA, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of Dane County, visit the website at <


Tim Metcalfe

November 6

Metcalfe-036-1Tim Metcalfe, President of Metcalfe’s Market in Madison, will be one of our keynote speakers, along with Michael Johnson, CEO of the Boys and Girl Club of Dane County, on November 6 at the WLA Conference in Wisconsin Dells.

In 2013, Michael Johnson recruited Metcalfe to help take on a community project to understand the homeless, resulting in each spending three days and two nights on the streets of Madison as a homeless person. Both came away from their experience transformed and their story inspired an all-out effort by numerous people to reach out and help the homeless.

In an interview with the Capital Times last December, Metcalfe, in referring to the phenomenal response by the community to help the homeless, humbly admitted that he was “pretty good at engaging people in causes.” He is also pretty good at raising money. The World’s Largest Brat Fest, produced by Metcalfe’s Market, has raised more than $1.4 million dollars for charity since it began in 1983.

Join us on November 6 when Metcalfe and Johnson talk about their experience in being part of the homeless population in Madison.