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2023 Conference Schedule

7:45 - 8:15 A.M.

Coffee & Conversation

Light breakfast included.

8:15 - 8:30 A.M.


Opening message delivered by CVTC President Sunem Beaton-Garcia.

8:30 - 9:15 A.M.

KEYNOTE PRESENTATION: A Hmong-American Story: Inclusivity in the Workplace

Presented By: Dr. Maysee Herr
Dr. Maysee Herr will share her stories and experiences as a Hmong-American woman growing up in Wisconsin. The daughter of an entrepreneur, she will share how the experiences working in her family business shaped who she is today. Dr. Herr has worked to create partnerships with many organizations and has done outreach and advocacy to underserved businesses and communities. Focusing on respectful and inclusive practices, she will share information everyone can use and take back to the workplace to integrate into their everyday work habits.

9:15 - 9:30 A.M.


9:30 - 10:30 A.M.

Breakout Session #1

Maximizing Your Time – Working Smarter

Presented By: Connie LeCleir-Meyer
There are not enough hours in the day. That leaves us to decide how to make the most of the hours we have! In this session, you'll learn the importance of time management, including what steals your time, saves your time, and how to create a plan to control your time.

How to Lead with Emotional Intelligence

Presented By: Marya Wilson
Emotions are wide-ranging, and in the current disruptive and transformational time of change, they can surely be tricky. Join us for insight and tools to help you manage and transform difficult emotions using emotional intelligence.

Social Media Marketing Basics

Presented By: Erin Trowbridge
Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest to connect with your audience in a meaningful way. Help your audience know, like, and trust your business and become loyal, paying customers. Come away with a social media planning guide.

Navigating the Waters of Difficult Conversations

Presented By: Heather Kretz
In this session, we'll examine our natural response to having hard conversations. We'll study some fundamental approaches, and you'll walk away with strategies that help you manage your emotions as well as expectations (yours and others!) when entering difficult conversations.

10:30 - 10:45 A.M.


10:45 - 11:45 A.M.

Breakout Session #2

Maximizing Your Time – Working Smarter

Presented By: Connie LeCleir-Meyer
There are not enough hours in the day. That leaves us to decide how to make the most of the hours we have! In this session, you'll learn the importance of time management, including what steals your time, saves your time, and how to create a plan to control your time.

Leading from the Middle

Presented By: Marya Wilson
Leading from the middle can be challenging because there are responsibilities below and above. In this session, we will have an interactive session discussing and creating tools to help you be successful individually, with your team, and for your organization.

Apps/Tools for Work Efficiency

Presented By: Melody Brennan
Several apps and technology tools have been designed to make work and personal tasks easier to manage. How do apps help you achieve your goals and keep you connected in collaborative settings? Microsoft, Google, and other productivity apps can be used to work more efficiently and finish tasks with focus.

The Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce: Serving Minority-Owned Businesses

Presented By: Dr. Maysee Herr
Learn more about the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce. The Hmong Chamber has recently opened a branch in the Eau Claire area. Learn about local resources, economic development assistance, business operations, and more for the Hmong and Asian American communities. This session will include an open discussion on the successes and challenges of entrepreneurship.

11:45 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.

Lunch & Door Prizes

Catered lunch included.

12:30 - 1 P.M.


1 - 2:15 P.M.

Breakout Session #3

Introverted Leader? Extroverted Leader? What is the Best?

Presented By: Connie LeCleir-Meyer
Introverts and extroverts present themselves in different ways, but which are the most effective leaders? This session will explore the differences, assumptions, pros, cons, and ways to adapt efficiently for each.

Creating and Fostering an Inclusive Workplace

Presented By: Kristi Hagen
The ability to work with different genders, ages, races, religions, etc., is necessary, and training that focuses on inclusion is even more important. This session will help employees and supervisors explore' inclusion' and how it increases staff productivity and performance. It will provide tools everyone can use to make their workplace more inclusive and representative in a global world. In a collaborative, applied setting, attendees will build "inclusion" into their workplace.

Dominating Work Stress Like a Rockstar

Presented By: Kaileen McMickle
To be human is to have stress--but what isn't always second nature to us is knowing how to manage our stress responses. Join me in shifting your perceptions of stress, gaining insight into the deeper causes of tension & worry, and walking away with some evidence-based action strategies you can implement in your profession (or anywhere, really).

Welcome to My Home

Presented By: John Kleven
This interactive seminar will help you realize the need to shift the priority of customer service. So long "Golden Rule" of service - welcome to the new era of service expectation. You will look at your current service strategies through a different lens as we consider welcoming the customer to your home. (Figuratively, not actually to your home, but kind of…)

2:15 - 2:30 P.M.


2:30 - 3:45 P.M.

Breakout Session #4

The Advantages of a Strong Organizational Culture

Presented By: Connie LeCleir-Meyer
Organizational culture combines workplace beliefs, values, attitudes, standards, purposes, and behaviors—the written and unwritten rules people follow—the sum of what the employees think, say, and do as they work together. This workshop will discuss what a company's culture is and is not, how organizational culture contributes to its success and ways to improve a workplace culture once given the attention it deserves!

Intention and Attention: Cultivating Awareness to Help You Focus on What Matters

Presented By: Ann Brand
With the ever-changing nature of our current world, our minds constantly buzz with endless tasks, worries, and responsibilities. With these demands on time and attention, we can feel overwhelmed, stressed, and exhausted. We lose sight of what matters as our attention gets pulled in multiple directions. We have difficulty focusing on our goals. We miss moments of ordinary joy and contentment that we need to help us find calm and clarity to weather life's ups and downs. This presentation will explore mindfulness tools that cultivate present-moment awareness to support focusing our attention and following our intentions, allowing us to stay true to what matters to us in these challenging times.

Microsoft Outlook Tips and Tricks

Presented By: Sheila Kohls
Review tips for organizing and sending emails, working with tasks, scheduling appointments, and maintaining contact lists. Develop email etiquette, customize Outlook, and learn shortcut keys.

Understanding the Warning Signs of Burnout in the Workplace and How to Respond

Presented By: Julie Bates-Maves
This presentation will introduce and explain research on contributing factors to burnout and signs and symptoms. Importantly, strategies for responding to burnout will be discussed along with general strategies for supporting the mental health of yourself, coworkers, and employees.


Ann Brand

Ann is a certified mindfulness teacher through The Mindfulness Training Institute (MTI) and the International Mindfulness Teachers Association (IMTA). She is also an Associate Lecturer in the College of Education, Hospitality, Health, and Human Sciences at The University of Wisconsin-Stout and a Program Specialist for Mindfulness Training for Arts Integration Menomonie (AIM). Ann holds a doctorate in psychology from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill with an emphasis on child development and families. She offers professional development for educators in Wisconsin and teaches mindfulness classes in her community at The Center in Eau Claire, WI.


Marya Wilson

Marya is the Principal and Organizational Dietician for MW Advising and is an Assistant Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She serves the manufacturing, service, higher education, non-profit, and government sectors. She brings first-hand knowledge to the learning experience and a clear understanding of the underlying emotional processes that drive behaviors and create individual and team success. She has a BA in Psychology, MS in Management Technology, MA in Human Development, and a Ph.D. in Human and Organizational Systems.


Heather Kretz

Heather believes communication is a tool to change your life. She has enjoyed the opportunity to share that passion and knowledge throughout her career – as a trainer and instructor for CVTC, through higher education leadership roles in recruitment, and most recently, as Employee & Organizational Development Manager at Market & Johnson. Heather holds an MA in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.


Erin Trowbridge

Erin is a co-owner of Four Peas Consulting. She has worked in various organizations as a marketing leader over her 15-year career and now consults with a small number of clients to help them solve their marketing challenges. Her deep knowledge of digital marketing, insights into connecting with customers through storytelling, and process-driven operational focus helps start-ups and established companies explore new ways to grow their business and make meaningful change in the world.


Connie LeCleir-Meyer

Connie is an experienced leader with over 35 years of experience in the fields of electronics manufacturing, legal, health insurance, healthcare, education, and training. She has held leadership positions in human resources, customer service, production management, corporate training, and project management. Her skills include soft skills training, public speaking, facilitation and coaching, project management, team building, leadership development, and learning management. She has a bachelor's degree in Organizational Management and Communication and a master's degree in Adult Education and Distance Learning.


Kristi Hagen

Kristi is a full-time instructor in the Behavioral and Social Sciences department at Chippewa Valley Technical College. In addition to her CVTC faculty position, Kristi is chair of the CVTC Academic Diversity-Inclusion Committee, serves on several other committees, and is a former faculty advisor to Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society and Pride Alliance. Her teaching areas include Sociology, Psychology, Race & Ethnicity/Diversity, Marriage & Family, Human Development, Social Problems, Gender Studies, and many other behavioral science courses. Kristi has master's degrees in psychology, sociology, and education.


Melody Brennan

Melody holds a PhD from the University of Minnesota in Curriculum and Instruction and is currently the director of educational technology. Previously, she was the interim associate dean for the Business, Arts, Sciences and Academic Initiatives Division, a program director and instructor for the Foundations of Teacher Education program at Chippewa Valley Technical College (CVTC). Melody was an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Early Childhood Education in the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Stout. Melody previously held positions as an elementary and middle school teacher in the Wayzata School District in Minnesota and as a preschool teacher and director in Eau Claire, WI.


Kaileen McMickle

Kaileen is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and owner of Inner Ascent Counseling in Rice Lake, Wisconsin. She has 9 years of experience working in the mental health field with an enthusiastic focus on the intersections of trauma, anxiety, and shame. She is also a Certified Clinical Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP) and specializes in treating anxiety-related issues such as PTSD, OCD, perfectionism, panic, and stress.


John Kleven

John was born and raised in Eau Claire and comes from a long line of John Klevens. Notably, the grandson of the founder of Kleven Realtors. He has over 20 years of sales, management, and marketing experience between business-to-business and business-to-customer. John has been at Chippewa Valley Technical College for over 17 years as an instructor and administrator and is an instructor in the Business Division. Currently, John is an Associate Dean of Human Services, Hospitality, and Education. He is a CVTC alumnus in the marketing program, a University of WI Stout graduate with a Bachelor’s in Marketing and Business Education and a Masters in Career and Technical Education. He loves sharing real-life stories about his experience in business as well as his unique outlook on life. He and his family (wife Melissa, boy/girl twins age 11) live in Eau Claire on a small hobby farm that has been in his family for over 70 years.


Sheila Kohls

Sheila is an adjunct instructor for CVTC Workforce Solutions and the CVTC Business Management program. She is a business professional with over 30 years of experience holding leadership positions in process improvement, project management, information technology, contact centers, and customer service across various industries. She has a BA in Computer Science - Business Applications, associate degrees in Computer Information Systems and Accounting, and a Six Sigma Green Belt.


Julie Bates-Maves

Julie, Ph.D., LPC, is a Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at The University of Wisconsin-Stout. Her clinical experiences and teaching focus on trauma, substance use disorders, and reducing the stigma of mental health care.

Meet Our 2023 Conference Keynote Speaker

Dr. Maysee Herr

Dr. Maysee Herr

Dr. Maysee Herr is the Chief Executive Officer of HWCC. Before her current role, Dr. Herr was a university professor for nearly ten years, teaching courses in educational psychology, diversity, early childhood, multiple intelligences, and educational sustainability. Her teaching career and her background in strategic planning and diversity, equity, and inclusion work led her to consulting opportunities with businesses in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors. Being the daughter of a Hmong entrepreneur herself, Dr. Herr has seen firsthand the struggles that many entrepreneurs and small business owners of color face and uses that experience to advocate for HWCC clients and community members.

She is currently a board member of the Wisconsin Institute for Public Policy and Services (WIPPS) and Employ Milwaukee. She is also co-chair of the Toward One Wisconsin conference and an advisory board member for Forward 48, a program working to build diverse civic leadership through “experiential learning, professional development, and exclusive networking opportunities.” Before these boards, Dr. Herr served as an executive board member for the Community Foundation of Central Wisconsin, Toward One Wausau, and the Marathon County Child Development Agency, among others.

In 2020, Dr. Herr was recognized as a BizTimes Media Notable Minority Executive and one of Madison 365’s 48 Most Influential Asian Americans in Wisconsin. She was nominated as a Madison 365 2021 Nonprofit Leader of the Year and, most recently, named TITAN Top 100 CEOs in Wisconsin for 2023. She was also recognized as CEO of the Year by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) during its Marketplace Governor’s Awards Luncheon in December 2022. Dr. Herr has provided numerous presentations and has participated in many conference panels over the years. Outside of work, she, her husband, Asia, and their son, Elijah, love spending time with family and traveling.

Maps & Parking

Where to Find Us

The event is held at our Business Education Center located in Eau Claire.

CVTC Business Education Center
620 W. Clairemont Ave
Eau Claire, WI 54701

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Parking Information

Parking will be available around the Business Education Center during the event. Please follow parking signs upon your arrival at CVTC.

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