MILWAUKEE – The award-winning Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce today announced the participants selected for the second class of its Business Leadership Academy. The Business Leadership Academy is a year-long program focused on developing and fostering the next generation of LGBTQ and allied leaders in the workplace.

Those individuals selected to participate in the year-long program are:

  • Will Anderson, Senior HR Project Manager, Kohl’s
  • Bryant Banda, Senior Events Manager, Saint Kate – The Arts Hotel
  • Peter Brunzelle, Executive Director, WisHope
  • Kelly Fowler, Pastor, New Berlin: Our Lord’s UMC
  • Nate Koch, Senior Manager, Social Marketing & Consumer Brand PR, Kohl’s
  • Katrin Madayag-Ard, Membership Manager, Fitchburg Chamber Visitor & Business Bureau
  • Ashley Norris, Industrial Engineer, Lean Sustainable Solutions, LLC
  • Matthew Peterson, Senior Relationship Banker, BMO Harris Bank N.A.
  • Darcy Pinasco, Business Development Consultant and Assistant Vice President, U.S. Bank
  • Laurie Reisener, Realtor, Shorewest, and Registered Nurse, Independent Health Care Plan
  • Casey Renn, Account Manager, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
  • Justin Roby, Peer Navigator Program Manager, Diverse & Resilient
  • Shelly Sabourin, Regional Director of Operations, Froedtert Health
  • Osha Towers, Youth Program Manager, Diverse & Resilient
  • Karina Willes, Senior Project Manager, Foley & Lardner LLP, and Adjunct Assistant Professor at UW-Milwaukee

“We have an amazingly talented group of individuals who applied and were selected to participate in the second year of our Business Leadership Academy,” said Jason Rae, President & CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce. “This diverse group of phenomenal LGBTQ and allied leaders are learning the skills they need to help build an even more welcoming business community in Wisconsin.”

The 2020 Business Leadership Academy meets monthly from February to December on the second Tuesday of each month from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. These workshops will be held in the Milwaukee area.

The curriculum for the program was developed in consultation with Kerri Balliet of The Red Baron Group, a certified LGBT Business Enterprise by the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. The Red Baron Group is a Milwaukee-based business that works with companies that want to develop effective leaders.

Topics that will be addressed during the program include: Effective Communication, Managing People, Business Financials, Productive Conflict and more. Facilitators for sessions include Balliet, as well as other business and community leaders.

“We had a truly tremendous first year of this program and are excited for this new cohort. Through this program, we are helping break the rainbow ceiling and get more LGBTQ and allied people into senior leadership positions at businesses and companies in the state,” added Rae.

More information on the Business Leadership Academy can be found online at

The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce is an organization of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and LGBT-allied businesses, corporations and professionals throughout the state of Wisconsin. It offers networking opportunities, business development efforts within the LGBT community, and educational programming to its members. The organization has more than 675 members from around the state. In 2015, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce received the National Chamber of the Year Award from the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). More information can be found online at:

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