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We are living and working in ways we hadn’t previously imagined. Covid-19 has disrupted the world; our business models, our supply chains, our workforces, and the resilience of our businesses. In 2020 there has been an increased awareness that our systems need review and modification.  Sustainability can be the catalyst to achieving economic recovery while making a positive impact on our people and planet.  Let’s leverage this moment in time, together!

WSBC’s 2020 Virtual Conference will bring us back to the basics of the triple bottom line to explore how the business community needs to evolve to get the people, planet, profit and prosperity model right; leveraging this moment in time to build sustainable futures.

Bringing regional sustainability leaders together, we will explore how businesses have been pivoting to manage current events. The conference tracks will discuss the financial case for sustainability, how we can better take care of our people and manage our impact on the planet, and how you become a better influencer to drive sustainable change in your organization.

For 10+ years WSBC has brought thought leaders and influencers together to help shape the sustainable business conversation in Wisconsin. This year, you too can be part of the learning, idea sharing and networking, all from the comfort of your desk!

Virtual Conference Tracks:

Business Leadership Path:

Profit Track: The business case for sustainability hasn’t been stronger. Not only are employees, stakeholders and investors demanding it, the opportunities for cost savings, growth and innovation are well documented. This track will explore the 21st Century Business Case for sustainability and why now, more than ever, is it critical to act.

  1. Keynote: Barbara Tormaschy, Vice President and Treasurer of Alliant Energy
  2. Bob Willard, The Sustainability Advantage and Business Case (Prerecorded)

Understanding the business case for sustainability, current market drivers, and the potential opportunities for your business can be missed by leaders busy guiding their organizations. Leaders are responsible for the financial health and overall wellbeing of their organizations. While they likely acknowledge that environmental and social concerns deserve attention, they do not want it to come at the expense of the current or long-term financial health. Many organizations, however, are discovering an improved financial position and enhanced stakeholder value by performing on environmental and social KPIs. In this keynote session, Bob speaks to many opportunities, economic and other that come from focusing on sustainability. He will share how to assess a company’s bottom line’s positive impacts using his open-source tools.

    1. Opportunities in Sustainability, The Leadership’s Perspective
      The number of opportunities available to businesses by organizing around sustainability now outweighs the equation’s risk side. Employees, stakeholders, and investors expect it, and the cases for cost savings, enhanced brand, revenue growth, and increased innovation are well documented. This session is a candid conversation with business leaders about the positive business impacts sustainability has brought to their business results.

      1. Moderator Kevin Tubbs, Oshkosh Corporation
      2. Wayne Wehking, VP of Sales and Marketing Birchwood Foods
      3. Russ Klisch, President and Founder of Lake Front Brewery
      4. Ratish Namboothiry, Director of Innovation for Good and Sustainability, Kohler Company


  1. Pivoting for Resilience and Recovery; How are Leaders Fairing with Continuous Disruption and Change.
    Leaders today are under enormous pressure to manage their businesses and employees to address the very fluid and ever-evolving pandemic landscape. In this session, we hear from the industries most impacted by Covid about how they manage constant change, pivoting to stay resilient, and their plans as they look to the future. How are they managing the day to day, the challenges with their supply chain, and find time to plan for the future. We will also hear how they are keeping sustainability a top business priority.

    1. Moderator Marie Mansheim, WMEP
    2. Advocate Aurora, Kathie Bender Schwich


People Track: Your people matter. Your impact on society matters. This track will focus on the human side of sustainability. How to engage your workforce in this moment and be a responsible participant in the stake for equity and human health.

  1. Evolving Employee Engagement Programs

How are employee engagement programs growing and evolving? The workforce is changing and requires engagement programs to evolve along with it. This session will discuss best practices from leaders effective at dynamic engagement and highlight their tips and best practices for what is working today as well as what changes they are making. The speakers will share ideas and strategies to implement in your programs, projects, or initiatives to take them to the next level. The session will focus more broadly on engagement strategies that work for best practices you can apply to your sustainability programs or initiatives, allowing you to take a fresh approach!

  1. Moderator: Kayla Buszka, Project Coordinator, Sustainability & Innovation for Good at Kohler
  2. American Family Insurance, Jan Kittoe, VP of Talent Development and Ignite
  1. Strategies for Employee Health, Safety, and Wellness
    Keeping workers and workplaces safe and healthy is of the utmost importance How are businesses prioritizing health and wellness for their employees, and how are they maintaining workplace cleanliness and safety? This session focuses on what the company can do day-to-day and will discuss certifications and considerations for high-performing buildings, such as air quality, energy, and lighting.

    1. Moderator: Phil Vetterkind, Director of Sustainability, Sustainable Building Solutions
    2. Mark Alan, Senior Vice President of Product Management and Development, Inpro Corporation
    3. Tim Nicols, Partner, 4 Elements Group
  2. Leveraging Partnerships for a More Robust and Inclusive Workforce
    How can partnership help advance your workforce challenges and goals? This session focuses on partnerships and collaborations as a strategy for reaching your objectives. The panelists will discuss workforce development strategies for diversity, equity, and inclusion goals, upskilling to match your talent needs, and creating spaces that connect employees and facilitate innovation and collaboration. Overall, these strategies help build a more robust workforce. These professionals will highlight tips to advance specific workforce needs and discuss how partnerships have been critical.

    1. Moderator: Lisa Geason-Bauer, President, Evolution Marketing
    2. Kenya Jacobs, Director, Diversity Recruiting & Workforce Development for Trane Technologies
    3. Jerry Baake, Workforce Development Manager for Advocate Aurora
    4. Jenna Kunde, Director of Global Sustainability for Johnson Controls, Inc.

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Sustainability Professional Path:

Persuasion Track: Whether needing buy in from your leadership team or from fellow employees, it takes skill to influence others to have a stake in sustainability. This track is designed to equip professionals with skills needed to reach critical mass for sustainable cultures.

  1. Keynote: Bob Willard, Influencing for Sustainability
    Being able to persuade others and get buy-in from leadership is a core skill needed to drive sustainable change in any organization. As an expert on leadership, culture change, and organizational development, Bob will reiterate the critical business drivers today, how to overcome internal objections to advancing sustainability, and provide practical guidance on how to embed sustainability into the corporate culture.  By connecting the dots between timeless leadership practices and sustainability strategies, Bob shows how sustainability champions at any company level can transform into a smarter and more sustainable enterprise that will thrive in the new economy.
  2. Influencing as a Skillset: How to get Buy-In from others for sustainability
    To sell sustainability strategies inside your organization, you need to be able to influence others. The skill helps move projects forward and assures you consider a broad perspective. This session showcases how professionals are successfully driving sustainability in their organizations. What skills, tactics, and strategies are working? What barriers have they overcome to getting internal buy-in for sustainability? From getting projects on priority lists to weaving sustainability into corporate culture and governance, the panelists will share their tips for overcoming internal barriers for sustainability.

    1. Moderator: Carol Crawford, WMEP
    2. Theresa Lehman, Director of Sustainable Services, Miron Construction
    3. Rob Palmerg, VP – External & Member Relations, Dairyland Power Cooperative
  3. Discussion with Regional Sustainability Groups in Wisconsin; Growing Sustainability Buy in through Forming, Growing, and Participating in Regional Groups. (P2P session)
    1. Moderator: Waukesha County Green Team, Stacey Bailsly
    2. Sheboygan Sustainability Group, Alec Bartoli, Sargento
    3. Racine Sustainable Business Network, Tom Buhler, Butter Buds
    4. Sustain Dane, Claire Schaefer Oleksiak, Executive Director

Planet Track: Sustainability has long been about reducing your environmental footprint; however, the conversation today expands beyond efficiency to climate and carbon, metrics that matter, and to how to engage your stakeholders in your planning and prioritizing.

  1. Strategies to Engage your Stakeholders in your Sustainability
    Knowing your stakeholder groups and what they expect from your business is key to having a positive impact, creating value, and driving growth. This session will focus on three different strategies for stakeholder engagement. First, ABB will share how they engaged their stakeholders in developing and setting sustainability KPIs. Second, Trane will discuss how they leverage their Culture Committee for internal and external engagement, and Artisan Dental will share how they enlisted feedback from their supply chain to drive their impact metrics.
  2. Moderator: Kurt Baehmann, Outpost Natural Foods
  3. Engaging Stakeholders in Sustainability Goals – ABB Nicole Berney
  4. Culture Committee for internal and external engagement – Trane, Ashley Henderson
  5. Impact and Supply Chain – Artisan Dental, Scott Andersen
  6. Determining Metrics that Matter & Using Data for Influence
    Knowing and understanding which metrics are material to your business and how to track them effectively can be a powerful tool in advancing sustainability strategy and impact. Hear from these professionals about how they determined which metrics were most important and how they use them to drive impact, goals, and positive change.

    1. Moderator: Greg Gasper, WMEP
    2. Catherine Musulin, Senior Manager, Sustainable Development and B Corps at Danone
    3. Adam Hammes Sustainability Strategist at Kum and Go
  7. The Hidden Opportunity in Carbon; The Connection Between Cost Savings and Carbon Tracking
    Carbon tracking and reporting can be a misunderstood and overwhelming topic to tackle for many businesses. There are, however, cost savings opportunities that arise from understanding your business carbon impact that often gets overlooked. This session focuses on understanding the connection between metrics and carbon tracking, what the data tells us, and how we can better use it to drive decision making and efficiency gains. The session will also touch on how to set targets and goals that provide value to your organization.

    1. Moderator: Mark McDermid, Sustainability Consultant, WMEP
    2. Promega, Corey Meek, Corporate Responsibility Lead
    3. Alliant Energy, Jeffrey Hanson, Director – Environmental Services and Corporate Sustainability

Register Now

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