Featured Speakers

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 Better Together FINAL

Additional Speakers

NOTE: WLA members and members of the Wisconsin library community-at-large, who are conference presenters, are not included in this listing. Nevertheless, their participation is critical to the success of our conference, and we are grateful for their participation! For contact information, members may consult the online directory at http://wla.memberclicks.net/. For non-member contact information, please refer to the printed Conference Booklet, which will be available at the conference and posted on the website as soon as it's available.

Sarah Armstrong Sarah Keister Armstrong has worked in a variety of private, state and federal government offices and nonprofit organizations. She is experienced in using qualitative and quantitative measures to evaluate public policies and programs.  Sarah is Vice President of the Fremont Public Library District Board of Trustees in Mundelein, Illinios, and serves on the board of directors of the Reaching Across Illinois Library System (RAILS).  Sarah holds a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Sociology, and was a recipient of the federal government's prestigious Presidential Management Fellowship.

Gregg BaumGregg Baum brings more than 32 years of experience as an architect and has provided design excellence and project leadership for a variety of library projects.  Gregg provides a hands-on and interactive approach to design with a goal of creating client focused solutions. 


Elizabeth (Elizabeth Schroeder) BausElizabeth (Lizzy) Baus is the Cataloging & Metadata Training Coordinator for Minitex, located in Minneapolis, MN. Previously the Cataloging/Metadata Librarian at Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee, she earned her MLIS and a Master’s degree in Language, Literature, and Translation from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2012. Lizzy enjoys crossword puzzles and long bike rides with her husband. 

Beth BennettBeth Bennett began her post as executive director of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) in May 2010. Prior to joining the WNA, Bennett served as the Director of Government Relations for the Illinois Press Association; as legislative liaison to the Illinois General Assembly Joint Committee on Administrative Rules; and as a member of the staff of the Illinois Speaker of the House.

Valerie Biel author photoValerie Biel’s debut novel Circle of Nine – Beltany has been honored as a 2015 Kindle Book Award Finalist, a finalist in the Gotham Writers' YA Novel Discovery Contest and the Readers' Favorite Book Award Contest as well as being a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. In addition to the young adult stories in the Circle of Nine World, she has also authored two middle-grade novels. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and political science. She now lives in rural Wisconsin with her husband and children, and dreams regularly of a beautiful cottage on the Irish coast where she can write and write and write.  


Bobby BothmanBobby Bothmann is a Metadata & Emerging Technologies Librarian at Minnesota State University, Mankato, and professor in Library Services. Bobby catalogs books and electronic records, wrangles large files full of MARC records, investigates new technologies and attends a lot of meetings. He is currently (July 2015-June 2016) the chair of the Cataloging and Metadata Management Section (CaMMS) of Association of Library Collections and Technical Services. An active member of OLAC (OnLine Audiovisual Catalogers) since fall 2000, he has served in various leadership roles, including treasurer and president, and is also a member of the editorial board for Cataloging & Classification Quarterly. He holds an MLIS from the University of Wisconsin--Milwaukee and an MS in Geography and English Technical Communication from MSU-Mankato. Bobby also moonlights as an adjunct instructor for the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he teaches cataloging and classification courses and tries to convert one student per semester to the cataloging side of the Force. Bobby is owned by three dogs and is a frequent host of his dogs’ many dog friends.

Bradd BrownBradd Brown is a principal at OPN Architects. He is widely regarded for the planning and design of more than 40 libraries, including international-award-winning Cedar Rapids Public Library. He regularly presents his expertise at architecture and library conferences such as the American Library Association annual conference in 2015 and 2016. He also served as a 2016 AIA/ALA Library Building Award juror. He is currently working with libraries in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.


JCoy.jpgJohn Coy is this year's WLA Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla winner for his book Game Changer: John McLendon and the Secret Game, published in 2015. As a child in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, John Coy grew up loving baseball, basketball and football. He loved to read but writing a book was something he did not even contemplate; it was a remote and distant idea. John worked a wide variety of jobs – from dishwashing to mattress making to tour guide – before becoming a writer. He now combines his love of sports and history in his works, which include picture, middle grade and teen books. When John is not writing, he travels throughout the United States and internationally, visiting schools and talking with students. He aims to “demystify the process of writing a book” and open up the world of writing to students from a young age. In part due to his work with COMPAS (Community Programs in the Arts), he travels throughout Minnesota talking to young people about writing and books. Since John currently lives in Minnesota, he particularly enjoys visiting international schools during the winter.

Genevieve DavisGenevieve Davis is an award winning film producer, author and artist. Born and raised in Wisconsin, Ms. Davis has written two books about her family and their experiences.





Jane DederingJane Dedering, ALA, LEEP, AP, is an award-winning interior designer who focuses on creating experiential environments that enhance users’ quality of life.  With more than 25 years of experience, she leads HGA’s national public library practice.  Jane began her career in the San Francisco area and returned to Wisconsin where she continues to deliver innovative, human-centered solutions. “I believe clients should actively participate in and genuinely enjoy the design process.  Collaboration creates spaces that inspire people, transform organizations and create memorable experiences.” Jane is the Interior Design Director of the Great Lakes Office and sits on the Interior Design Advisory Council for Iowa State University and the Eastern Shores Library Board.  She received a BS in Art and Interior Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout, is a professional member of the International Interior Design Association and holds certifications in California and Wisconsin.

Lucie FaulknorLucie Faulknor produced and researched Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (2008) and has worked with award-winning directors, Dorothy Fadiman and Lynn Hershman-Leeson, in the areas of fundraising, publicity, outreach and community engagement. Faulknor has also produced Dublin, Ireland's first Women in Film & Television film festival and presented a lecture series that included Laurie Anderson, Bobby McFerrin, Wayne Shorter, Sydney Pollack and others. She has worked for a number of arts organizations including City Arts & Lectures, SFJAZZ, Palace of Fine Arts Theater, the Irish Arts Foundation, Stern Grove Festival, Yerba Buena Gardens, Dublin (IRL) Fringe Festival and for a number individual performing and visual artists, including Jim Campilongo, Storm Large, Tracy Snelling and Kevin Woodson. She has a Master's degree in Nonprofit Administration from USF's School of Business & Professional Studies and a BA in Arts Management from SFSU. Lucie is a fourth generation San Francisco Public Library user.

Terra FletcherTerra L. Fletcher, owner and founder of Fletcher Consulting, has nearly a decade of experience in business development and marketing consultancy. She has presented more than 100 workshops, panels and classes on marketing, communication and social media. Terra’s business, community and personal growth strategies have benefited individuals, nonprofits, public and private businesses, chambers of commerce and higher education. Terra is an adjunct instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, has partnered with the University of Wisconsin- Green Bay and was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012. Terra has been called upon to teach at the National Chimney Sweep Guild, National Association of Tax Professionals, the American Counseling Association, Georgia Pacific and the Wisconsin Writers Association.

Melissa GorzelanczykMelissa Gorzelanczyk is a former magazine editor and columnist who believes love is everything. She is a proud member of the Society of Children's  Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), The Sweet Sixteens and the Class of 2K16. Her young adult novel, Arrows, is available now from Delacorte Press, a division of Penguin Random House. She is represented by agent Carrie Howland of Donadio & Olson. She lives in Green Bay, Wisconsin, with her husband and family. Online: www.MelissaGorzelanczyk.com; Twitter: @MelissaGorzela

Michael HackerMichael Hacker is an Associate at Bray Architects in Milwaukee.  He served as one of the lead designers on the Oak Creek Civic Center and Oak Creek Fire Station projects.  He is currently the President of the Milwaukee Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.  

Hamilton JaneJane Hamilton 
lives, works, and writes in an orchard farmhouse in Wisconsin.  Her novels have won numerous awards, including the PEN Hemingway Award for Fiction, and The Book of Ruth and A Map of the World were both chosen as Oprah Book Club picks and made into movies. Her latest book, Excellent Lombards, is a coming of age story about a young girl raised on an apple farm.

Jerry Hammernik
retired as Fire Chief for the Oak Creek Fire Department in 2005.  An active library user, he was recruited by the Oak Creek Public Library Board to serve as the citizen liaison for the City Hall/Library Building Committee.  Jerry currently serves as the President of the Friends of the Oak Creek Public Library.  


Matthew Hefti, author of A Hard and Heavy Thing, contributor to Wrath-Bearing Tree,Matthew J. Hefti is the author of the novel A Hard and Heavy Thing (Tyrus / F+W, 2016), which Booklist gave a starred reviewed, calling it “intense and compelling.” He spent twelve years as an explosive ordnance disposal technician in the military, deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan a total of four times and destroying hundreds of improvised explosive devices along the way. While enlisted, he earned a BA in English and an MFA in Fiction. He is now in his final year at the University of Wisconsin Law School. His work has appeared in the anthologies See Me for Who I Am (Hudson Whitman), MFA vs. NYC (n+1), Retire the Colors (Hudson Whitman), and The Road Ahead (Pegasus, forthcoming). Among others, he has been published in Vol. 1 Brooklyn; Literary Hub; and War, Literature and the Arts.


Joe HubertyJoe Huberty is a Partner at Engberg Anderson, an architectural/interior design firm with offices in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, and Tuscon, Arizona. His work is centered on those civic projects that define community, including museums, libraries and religious facilities, all centered on a profound concern for client and user needs. His focus is to help clients understand how the creative process can improve the built environment in an orderly and sustainable way.

Katie James is in her fourth year as President of the Friends of Matheson Memorial Library in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. She leads a group of 90 members and has helped fundraise over $50,000 for the library since 2011. Before returning to the Midwest to work as a stay-at-home mom, Katie served as a political fundraiser, speech writer and sales manager at Tiffany & Co. in New York. She also has a broadcast journalism degree from the University of Missouri and worked briefly as a reporter for KOMU in Columbia, Missouri.


Amy KoesterAmy Koester, a nationally recognized youth services leader, has presented at conferences and workshops nationwide on STEAM, media mentorship, programming and collaboration. She is Skokie (IL) Public Library's Youth and Family Program Coordinator and blogs at “The Show Me Librarian,” where she shares programs and thoughts on librarianship. 



Bill Konigsberg

Bill Konigsberg is the award-winning American author of Out of the Pocket, Openly Straight and The Porcupine of Truth. Out of the Pocket won the 2008 Lambda Literary Award in the LGBT Children's/Young Adult category. His second novel, Openly Straight, was released in June 2013. It received a rave review in the New York Times, and starred reviews from Booklist and the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books. The novel made YALSA's Best Fiction for Young Adults list for 2014; the American Library Association's Rainbow List; The Texas Library Association's Tayshas List; and was nominated for the Georgia Peach Award. The novel is being translated into German, Vietnamese and Portuguese. The Porcupine of Truth, which came out in June 2015, received starred reviews by Booklist and School Library Journal, made the Indie Next List, and will be published in Brazil.

David Lang brings a fresh perspective to architecture. As designer, David is responsible for developing the program’s architectural design solutions, establishing the aesthetic and functional template from conceptual design through project completion. “I’m always thinking of new ways to do things, looking for innovative solutions,” he says. David works closely with clients to develop solutions uniquely suited to their needs. His design inspiration results from a consensus-oriented process—driven by the vision of the community. David received his BS degree from the University of Wisconsin in Philosophy and Molecular Biology and his M.Arch from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is adjunct faculty at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design.

Ron Larson has been the Serials Resources Librarian at the Wisconsin Historical Society since December 2009. Prior to that, he was the library director/researcher at the Wisconsin State Journal and The Capital Times for 30 years, from 1978-2008. He also was an adjunct instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Library and Information Studies from 2009 until 2014, teaching the course Strategic Information Services.

Tomas LipinskiTomas A. Lipinski is the Dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Information Studies. Professor Lipinski has worked in a variety of legal settings including the private, public and non-profit sectors. He teaches, researches and speaks frequently on various topics within the areas of information law and policy, especially copyright, free speech and privacy issues in schools and libraries. He is the author of numerous articles and book chapters. He is a national leader in copyright education, developing and teaching online continuing education courses for both ACRL and the University of Maryland University College, co-chairing the American Library Association Committee on Legislation Copyright Subcommittee, a member of the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), Copyright and Other Legal Matters Committee and part of the IFLA delegation to Standing Committee on Copyright and Related Rights of the World Intellectual Property Organization.  

Dawn LogsdonDawn Logsdon's career has been dedicated to making films about civic issues and city life, particularly at the neighborhood level. She directed and produced Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans (2008), which premiered nationally at the Tribeca International Film Festival. It went on to win the SFIFF Golden Gate Award for Best Documentary and was a PBS Black History Month feature presentation three years in a row. Dawn co-directed and edited Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton (2013) and Lindy Boggs: Steel and Velvet (2008). Dawn edited the Sundance Award-winning Paragraph 175 by Rob Epstein & Jeffrey Freidman, Academy Award-nominated Weather Underground by Sam Green, Emmy award-winning Have You Heard from Johannesburg? by Connie Field, and the Peabody award-winning The Castro. Short films that she produced and directed include Tomboy, which was exhibited at the Whitney Museum and aired on PBS. Dawn received a BA in Philosophy from UC Berkeley. Her honors include a Soros OSI Media Fellowship, California Arts Council Artist Residency, BAVC Media Maker Award, Djerassi Artist Residency, Louisiana Division of the Arts Fellowship, New Orleans Contemporary Art Center Artist Fellowship and the New Orleans Arts Council Award. See more at: http://free4allfilms.org/team.html#sthash.XOff2ONT.dpuf

Joe Mills
is considered a preservation expert in the industry and has written numerous papers as well as consulting work on the topic of preservation and data conversion.

Anthony MolaroAnthony Molaro is a nationally recognized speaker, teacher and consultant.  He has written and presented on a wide range of topics, and as a previous Dean and director, he has planned, implemented and successfully executed multiple projects from building renovations to summer reading programs.  

Image result for rachel monaco-wilcoxRachel Monaco-Wilcox, JD, is an attorney, professor and conflict resolution skills trainer. She teaches Wisconsin’s only Advanced Elder Mediation training at the Winnebago Conflict Resolution Center, serves on the Wisconsin Bar’s Dispute Resolution Section board and has chaired many programs for the State Bar of Wisconsin.  Rachel is a frequent public speaker on her practice areas of Elder Law, conflict resolution and human trafficking. While in law school, Rachel clerked for Justice Patrick Crooks at the Wisconsin Supreme Court. She is a past Fulbright Scholar, and practiced law at Foley and Lardner, Stephen M. Fisher & Associates and Associated Wealth Management of Milwaukee in estate planning, probate, trusts and tax. She received undergraduate honors degrees in English and Theology from Marquette University, and a law degree cum laude from Marquette University Law School. She published “Elder Mediation; What Estate Planning Attorneys Need to Know” in the October 2015 issue of Estate Planning Journal. In 2013, she created the LOTUS Legal Clinic for victims of crime and survivors of human trafficking. LOTUS clinic helped pass the 2015 Crime Victim’s Privacy Rule in Wisconsin Supreme Court. Rachel is Chair and Assistant Professor of the Justice Department at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. She serves on the Advisory Council to the National Crime Victim’s Law Institute at Lewis and Clark Law School. She is a member of the Business Journal of Milwaukee’s 40 Under 40 class for 2013, was awarded the Wisconsin Association of Mediator’s President’s award in 2014, and received the 2015 Thrive Award for survivor advocacy.

Jennifer MoralesJennifer Morales lived for more than 20 years in Milwaukee, where she raised children and served on the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, the first elected Latina. She earned her MFA from Antioch University-Los Angeles. She now lives in Viroqua, Wisconsin.

Detlev Pansch is the Executive Director of the Barrington Area Library in Illinois. He recently completed a 60,000 sq ft renovation that reimagined the library for service in the 21st century: collaborative, creative and meeting spaces; business & technology center; and a museum-quality interactive experience incorporated within youth services.

Wesley ReynoldsAs a principal of OPN Architects, Wesley Reynolds has been with the company for more than 15 years. He founded the Madison studio in 2013 and has led it to impressive growth over the past two years. His career has been primarily focused on corporate spaces. He has a passion for design and a commitment to finding thoughtful solutions that best suit the client’s needs. Most recently, Wesley acted as principal-in-charge for the Waunakee Public Library in Waunakee, Wisconsin, and the Walter E. Olson Memorial Library in Eagle River, Wisconsin.

Jeff Russell

Jeffrey Russell, of Russell Consulting, Inc., specializes in guiding organizations in successfully responding to the challenges of continuous change.  With a focus on leading change, strategic thinking and planning, employee engagement surveys, leadership and performance management, Jeff has worked with organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, nonprofits, the public sector and small family businesses. Jeff’s work with libraries includes individual libraries throughout Wisconsin and Illinois, and with a number of library systems in Wisconsin. Jeff is a frequent presenter at state, national and international conferences, including past WLA annual conferences, Wisconsin State SHRM Conferences, Minnesota State SHRM Conference, HR Florida State Conference, ATD International Conferences and Jamaica Employer’s Federation Conferences. Jeff received his Master’s Degree in Industrial Relations from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he serves as an adjunct faculty member. Jeff and his life/work partner, Linda, have co-authored nine books. Titles include Leading Change Training, Change Basics, Strategic Planning Training, Strategic Planning 101, Engage Your Workforce and Fearless Performance Reviews (McGraw-Hill, 2014).


An associate at OPN Architects, Mindy Sorg leads the interior design group and is the firm’s library and workplace of the future strategist. Among her expanding portfolio of work is the Cedar Rapids Public Library, which has received national and international recognition including being named a Landmark Library by Library Journal and the recipient of the AIA/ALA Award in 2015. In addition to her practice, she has immersed herself in the national library of the future dialogue presenting at multiple library conventions, including the 2015 and 2016 American Library Association annual conference. She also served on the ALA/IIDA Library Interior Design Award jury. Mindy’s passion lies in helping libraries unlock their potential whether it’s an entirely new building or rethinking an existing facility. Her research and analysis of library trends arms clients with knowledge that empowers them to envision their own innovative, patron-centered spaces that celebrate knowledge and encourage the unexpected. She is currently working with libraries in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin.


dthouneDr. Darci Thoune is an Associate Professor of English and the First-Year Writing Program Coordinator. She just finished her eighth year at UW-La Crosse and frequently teaches upper-level courses for the Rhetoric and Writing Major in addition to first-year writing. Her research interests include: rhetorical genre studies, writing assessment, writing program administration, and feedback.

Geoffrey Trotier

Geoffrey Trotier
 proactively assists organizations of all sizes and complexities as well as municipalities and school districts in many diverse labor and employment issues. He works closely with clients to devise and implement litigation avoidance strategies. Geoff frequently defends employers in matters involving discrimination, non-compete agreement enforcement, trade secrets, FMLA disputes, wrongful termination, OSHA, whistleblower claims, and wage and hour suits. In 2010, Geoff was recognized as an “Up and Coming Lawyer” by the Wisconsin Law Journal. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Labor & Employment Section), the State Bar of Wisconsin (Labor & Employment Section) and the Milwaukee Bar Association.


Liza WiemerLiza Wiemer is an award-winning educator with 25 years of teaching experience. Since 2005, she has conducted over 350 interviews and workshops. Hello? is her debut YA novel, which was named a November Goodreads Best Young Adult Novel, called one of the most unique books of the year by Paste Magazine, and was listed as one of ten books for voice in the Los Angeles Review of Books. She also has had two adult nonfiction books published as well as numerous short stories and articles. A graduate of UW-Madison with a degree in Education, she’s married with two young adult sons and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 


Michael ZimmermanMichael Zimmer, PhD, is a privacy and Internet ethics scholar, most noted for his work in online privacy, the ethical dimensions of social media, libraries and privacy, and Internet research ethics. Zimmer is an Associate Professor in the School of Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where he also serves as Director of the Center for Information Policy Research.