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.

2018-19 Leadership at Noon

Cynthia HougumTuesday, November 13, 2018
Cynthia Hougum, PhD
VP, Product & Customer Excellence
GE Healthcare Digital
noon–1 p.m.
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

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Cynthia just moved into the position of  VP, Product & Customer Excellence, a part of GE Healthcare’s Digital Imaging business.  Cynthia has been with the General Electric Corporation for 25 years joining GE’s former Advanced Materials (Plastics) business on the Technical Leadership Program & then moving to GE Healthcare medical  equipment & Life Sciences businesses.  She has worked on business transformation & turnarounds across three industries & seven divisions which include, but are not limited to Acquisition Integrations from Customer to Ops, Product Management, R&D, along with Business Digitization (IoT) covering from Sales to Supply Chain to Finance.  Her expertise in Business Turnaround situations, Mergers & Acquisition integrations has resulted in an average of 40% ROI in sales & employee growth of 25%.

Teamwork is core to any successful business & she considers it a privilege to have successfully led large teams across eight countries with three expat assignments which honed her global approach to leadership &  business. 

Cynthia received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from Duke University, Durham, NC,  and a BS, magna cum laude in Chemistry from Viterbo University, La Crosse, WI.  She has been highlighted in Working Woman magazine and with a GEHC President’s award for the development of the global Life Sciences India market & engineering organization. She was one of the founding members of the GE Healthcare’s Women in Technology initiative and currently leads the GE Girls STEM camp @ MSOE.  Cynthia is a member of Duke University’s Graduate School Board of Visitors.  She lives in Brookfield, Wisconsin with her husband Shree and daughter Rachel. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Altra Federal Credit Union
noon–1 p.m.
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Tuesday, March 5, 2019
Trust Point
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

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Lee Rasch
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Dr. Lee Rasch, Executive Director of LeaderEthics-WI
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

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Lee founded LeaderEthics-Wisconsin in March 2018, a non-profit/non-partisan organization committed to promoting ethical leadership among elected officials. He serves as the Executive Director of the organization.

Prior to this experience, he served as President of Western Technical College from 1989 to 2017. Throughout his career, he has actively promoted leadership development, continuous improvement, economic development and sustainability at the national, statewide and local levels. He has written articles and given numerous presentations on these topics. Lee was Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Technical College System for more than 15 years. He was a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Congress in 1994 and 1996.

Lee has a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State University. He is married to Susan Fox. They have two children and three grandchildren. In his spare time, Lee sings in a quartet and plays bass guitar in a rock band.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
Michael Modawell, Business Development & Strategic Engagement Officer at U.S. Army Garrison Fort McCoy
noon–1 p.m. 
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Michael Modawell is a native of West Salem, WI, graduating from WSHS in 1987. That same year Michael joined the United States Army; while serving on active duty, his assignments have taken him to Bosnia, Croatia, Germany, Hungary, the Czech Republic, and Serbia. He remained on active duty until 1997 then transitioned into the Wisconsin Army National Guard and later the U.S. Army Reserve, eventually retiring with 26 years of military service.

Modawell has 31 years of total service with the U.S. Army both as a Soldier and an Army Civilian. His previous assignments included nuclear weapons guard, police officer, sniper, SWAT commander, hostage negotiator, counterintelligence agent, interrogator, physical security inspector, surveillance and counter-surveillance specialist, police captain, instructor, antiterrorism officer, and human resources officer.

Some of his career highlights include serving in Germany during the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union; Peacekeeping Operations in the former Yugoslavia; and providing antiterrorism and espionage training to over 30,000 Soldiers deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan.

He has worked at Fort McCoy WI since 1998, he assumed his current duties as Business Development & Strategic Engagement Officer in September 2017. He served previously as the Fort McCoy Command Security Officer (2010-2017), Command Force Protection Officer (2000-2010) and Police Captain (1998-2000). Michael earned a master’s degree in Business Administration with strong emphasis on ethical leadership and a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration focusing on organizational management from Viterbo University, in La Crosse, WI.

Kaise AschlimanTuesday, October 16, 2018
Kaise Aschliman, Human Resource Specialist
Acuity Insurance
noon–1 p.m.
Reinhart Center Board Room 107

Kaise Aschliman is currently a Human Resources Specialist at Acuity Insurance in Sheboygan, WI. She started her career in HR in June of 2017 after graduating from UW - Green Bay with a Bachelors of Business Administration with a double emphasis in Human Resources and Management. During her time at UW - Green Bay, she was the leader of the SHRM Chapter and involved with Current Young Professionals. She also held several positions related to HR having an internship at a local insurance company as an HR intern and working at Lambeau Field in several positions mostly enjoying her time assisting the HR team with orientation and onboarding. Through her time in college and now as a young professional, Kaise has always tried to find ways to develop herself as a leader and influence others which in her eyes will always be a continuing and evolving journey.

2017-18 Leadership at Noon

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Mike HomewoodMike Homewood, Vice President of Ingredient Sales 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.


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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