D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership

Leadership at Noon

Since 2002, the D.B. Reinhart Institute for Ethics in Leadership has collaborated with the Dahl School of Business to host a series of "brown bag" presentations featuring regional business leaders. The purpose of the series is to bring students and community members together for regular discussions about the values and virtues that inform successful business practices.  

The presentations are free and open to the public. No registration is required. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch to the event. A limited number of box lunches are available for purchase.

2017-18 Leadership at Noon

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mike HomewoodMike Homewood, Vice President of Ingredient Sales of Agropur
Sam Vanden Heuvel, Profitability & Financial Manager of Agropur
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Mike Homewood joined Agropur Ingredients (formerly Main Street Ingredients) in 2001 as a new Winona State University business administration graduate. Mike’s first role in the company was in the Food Ingredient group selling dairy commodities. Over time, Mike developed key strategies in the contract manufacturing and branded ingredients group. Now, as Vice President of Ingredient Sales, Mike is responsible for overseeing sales coordination and leading the success and expansion of the ingredient distribution and branded ingredients divisions. He is an active participant in both day-to-day selling and long-term strategic efforts. Mike is married and enjoys outdoor activities, bowling, playing golf, coaching baseball and hunting.

Sam Vanden HeuvelSam Vanden Heuvel joined Agropur Ingredients in 2015 to support the financial analysis and profitability function for Agropur's La Crosse, WI plant. His main efforts revolve around working with the sales team to set prices, analyze costs, and assist in contract negotiations. He also works with operations and IT to improve productivity and efficiency throughout the plant. He is involved in leading the effort to combine all of the Agropur Ingredients - Custom Solutions businesses under one Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) system to streamline operations, finance, and supply chain. He received his Chartered Financial Analyst Designation in 2012 and is currently working toward his MBA at Concordia University of Wisconsin. Sam is married with two children and enjoys working on his family’s beef farm in rural La Crosse, relaxing on the Mississippi in the summer, and snowmobiling in the winter.

Tom StillTuesday, Feb. 6, 2018

Tom Still, President of the Wisconsin Technology Council
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Tom Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. The Tech Council is the non-profit, bipartisan science and technology policy advisory board to the governor and the Legislature. Its programs include the Tech Council Investor Networks, the Tech Council Innovation Network, the Governor’s Business Plan Contest and regular events that connect entrepreneurs, investors, researchers and others with a stake in the tech-based economy.

Still serves on the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, the UW System Business Council, the Marshfield Clinic Information Services board of directors and advisory boards for the UW-Madison College of Engineering, the WiSys Technology Foundation and the Waisman Center Biomanufacturing Center, among other civic and business groups.

He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal in Madison. Still writes a syndicated column that appears regularly in more than two-dozen publications.

Still moderated the Wisconsin Economic Summits (2000-2003) and helped write the Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy in 2010. Still is the co-author of “Hands-On Environmentalism,” published by Encounter Books, New York. He was a 2008 winner of Madison Magazine’s “Best of Madison Business” award and was named to InBusiness magazine’s 2010 Executive Hall of Fame. Still was named “Communicator of the Year” by the Public Relations Society of America/Wisconsin in 2012.

Still is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences Communication in the UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences.


Barbara NickTuesday, Oct. 31, 2017

Barbara Nick, President and CEO of Dairyland Power
Brian Rude, Vice President of External and Member Relations of Dairyland Power
noon–1 p.m.
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Barbara Nick joined Dairyland Power Cooperative in December 2014 as president and CEO. Prior to Dairyland, Nick served in various leadership roles at Wisconsin Public Service/Integrys (now WEC). Past roles includ: president of Minnesota Energy Resources, president of Michigan Gas Utility, president of Upper Peninsula Power, and senior vice president of Energy Delivery and Customer Service for WPSC. She has over 36 years in the energy industry.  Under her leadership, Dairyland Power Cooperative has focused on resource diversification and sustainability. Dairyland’s solar investment doubled the solar generation in Wisconsin during 2016. The cooperative has also announced a variety of wind power purchase agreements.  An engaged community member, Nick has over 26 years of board service in various profit and nonprofit boards. She served for over seven years as a director of Seventhwave (formally Energy Center of Wisconsin). In September 2015, she was appointed for a six-year term to the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB), which includes oversight of state funds valued at over $100 billion. She also serves as a Board of Director for the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Board and the La Crosse Chamber of Commerce/Executive Committee Boards. As an advocate of strong and principled leadership, Nick is the author and editor of Lenses of Leadership, A Call to Action.  After attending Arizona State University and the University of Wisconsin, Nick earned a bachelor’s degree in communications and business from the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and has completed Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program.  Nick and her husband live in La Crosse and have six children and 11 grandchildren. They share a hobby of teaching children about literacy and science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) through their books and activities.  

Brian RudeBrian Rude is vice president of External and Member Relations of Dairyland Power, based in La Crosse, Wis. Dairyland is a generation and transmission cooperative serving 600,000 consumers in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois.  Rude is responsible for government relations, community and member relations, communications, printing and graphics, administrative services and energy efficiency. He also serves as a member of Dairyland’s Senior Management Team.  Rude has an extensive career background in politics and communications. He served on the research staff of the Iowa and Wisconsin State Senates and worked in the corporate communications department at Trane Company.  In 1982, he was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly and in 1984, to the Wisconsin State Senate. On two occasions, he served as president of the Senate, from 1993-96 and again in 1998.

After a 17-year career in public office, in 2000 he resigned from the Senate to begin work at Dairyland.  He received a B.A. degree in history and political science from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, and a M.A. in public administration from the University of Wisconsin.  Rude represents cooperatives on the Board of the Wisconsin Public Utility Institute in Madison, and is active in many community activities, including as a member of Lions and currently serving as president of the Wisconsin Historical Society and as a member of the Coon Valley Industrial Development Corporation, the Vesterheim Museum Board, and River Bank Board.


Maria NorbergTuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Maria Norberg
, Owner, Grounded Specialty Coffee and the Apothik Food Truck 
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Maria Norberg was raised on a farm in the rural town of Prairie Farm in northern Wisconsin. She moved to La Crosse to attend Viterbo University and received a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Legal Studies in 2009. In 2011, Norberg bought Grounded Specialty Coffee from Todd and Deb Ondell. In 2015, she founded the Apothik Food Truck, a mobile restaurant offering locally sourced food with a menu that evolves seasonally. In addition to managing her businesses, she is active in the Rotary Club of La Crosse-Downtown and recently joined the board of directors for the new SOUP La Crosse.

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