8:30 AM – 9:00 AM
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
10:15 AM – 11:00 AM
Breakout Option I
Speaker: LeeAnn Rasachak, CEO, WomenVenture
Breakout Option II
11:15 AM – 12:00 AM
Zoë Levin, Founder and CEO, Bim Bam Boo
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Zoë Levin (AKA, “The Toilet Paper Queen”) is the CEO & founder of Bim Bam Boo, a tree-free paper company on a mission to wipe away deforestation. Her impact-driven leadership style has saved over 1.2 million pounds of trees. From Kickstarter to kicking-ass at grocery stores nationwide, she has navigated a 900% increase in growth and became the #1 selling tree-free toilet paper brand at Whole Foods.
Levin has been featured on the ‘TCB 100 People to Know’, Star Tribune, WCCO and is a Lunar Startups Cohort 3 Alumna. She’s dedicated to using her unique experience as an entrepreneur with irritable bowel syndrome to inspire others to lean into their strength and softness…especially when life is crappy.
Shelisa Demuth a Minnesota-based entrepreneur and nonprofit executive seasoned in startup consulting and media/PR. The founder of LAUREL Development, a PR firm enabling impact-driven startups to establish effective go to market strategies, Demuth’s passion for tech-driven innovators and community building keeps her engaged in solving for connectivity in the startup ecosystem in her home state of Minnesota. In January of 2022, Demuth accelerated that impact by accepting the Executive Director role at BETA, Twin Cities Startup Week and tech.mn. Prior to building her businesses, she studied Biology at Southeastern University and now resides with her daughter in Saint Paul.
Angel Even is the Founder & CEO of Led by TRUTH, a 501.c.3 nonprofit that supports Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) entrepreneurs by building their capabilities to become change agents in their communities. Led by TRUTH’s individualized business coaching services and mentorship program has assisted in BIPOC entrepreneurs across the Twin Cities to build their confidence as CEOs, develop a plan & tactics to help deliver results, and be authentic to who they are & their story. Angel also supports entrepreneurs in her role as the 2022 Entrepreneur in Residence at Lunar Startups, an organization that specializes in growth, connection, innovation for Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQ+, women, and non-binary entrepreneurs.
Prior to founding Led by TRUTH, Angel spent over 7.5+ years as a Consultant that leveraged her skills around strategy, process improvement, and executive coaching to assist organizations in the development, implementation, and sustainment of strategic initiatives. Angel’s approach to coaching & consulting with individuals stems from embracing a LEAN methodology. From coaching C-Level Executives on ways to streamline operations to overseeing a $6.9 million cost savings system initiative, she has incorporated the mindset of “thinking differently” to propel teams and organizations toward their goals. Angel has learned that leaving behind parts of her knowledge for improvement, sharing lessons learned, and allowing teams to test fast, fail fast, and be motivated to try again is what sets her apart from others. Growing people and inspiring others to work with an entrepreneurial spirit has led to key organizational & personal growth for the leaders & teams.
A resident of North Minneapolis for over 38 years, McKnight started her career as a public and charter school educator. Since 2002, she has served in community and held key leadership roles across the economic development sector in metro Minnesota, including on community development boards, commissions, and related initiatives. Additionally, she has extensive experience as a direct business service provider, lending facilitation, racial equity consulting and has served thousands of people across the U.S. and engaged in several key partnerships influencing millions of racial equity investments.
Well-known in the region and community, McKnight has garnered several awards and honors. She is a 2007 LISC Fellow, a 2012 Hubert H. Humphrey Policy Fellow, a 2012 Bush Fellow, a 2017 NorthStar Cooperative Fellow, and a 2019 Alafia Fellow. In 2019, she was dual honored as a Minneapolis & Saint Paul Business Journal “Top Woman in Business” and a Finance & Commerce “Top Woman in Finance.” She is a 2020 Integrated Capital Institute Fellow, a 2021 LISC Developers of Color Fellow, 2 2021 Majira Project Fellow, a 2022 REDi Cohort Member and a former MBA student at Saint Mary’s University in Nova Scotia, Halifax (Canada). McKnight- Ahad has several certificates of completion across cooperatives, housing development with the City of Mpls and more. McKnight-Ahad is also the owner of ZaRah a Cultural Wellness Hub located at 1200 West Broadway in North Minneapolis.
Dr. Carla Manzoni (PhD, MA), LatinoLEAD’s Community Engagement Manager, is a community-based leader, researcher and educator. Originally from Argentina, Dr. Manzoni’s immigrant experience has deeply shaped her perspective of why representation is crucial for more women and BIPOC power as we continue to reshape our communities to be more inclusive and supportive. Dr. Manzoni has extensive experience building community and sense of belonging within nonprofits, K-8 and Higher Education institutions. As professor, researcher and international advising specialist, Dr. Manzoni supported students and partners as she pushed for institutional change. In her Community Engagement role, Dr. Manzoni coleads the 2021-22 Avanzando Liderazgo leadership program as well as the collaboration with LinkingLeaders, our BIPOC-leadership coalition; facilitates the work of our Latinx-centered “action teams”, leads the Community Needs Assessment currently underway and organizes the monthly events of the “Elevate. Inspire” series.
Colleen Moselle is the President & COO of Fueled Collective (formerly COCO), the Twin Cities original flexible workspace company. In her current role, Colleen leads the strategic, financial and tactical operations for the multisite organization. She is an active member of the owner and operator peer group, Everything Coworking, and Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota (WeMN), and is a contributor to Google for Startups, on behalf of Fueled Collective.
Prior to Fueled Collective, Colleen was the Division President for APi National Service Group, a national fire and life safety service provider, where she led multiple functions and helped drive 300% growth over 8 years. Responsible for over 60 employees, Colleen led large-scale, cross-functional initiatives that increased customer acquisition, and improved profitability and focus.
A former US Naval Officer and Fortune 500 consultant, Colleen’s expertise in strategic planning, communications, team development, performance management and process improvement help organizations achieve operational excellence and next-level growth objectives.
In her spare time, Colleen enjoys time with her husband and two children on their small hobby farm west of Minneapolis. A former competitive Irish step dancer, Colleen attended the Naval Academy initially to pursue her childhood dream to become an underwater archeologist. Today, she is an avid reader, hobby crafter and amateur photographer.
LeeAnn is a graduate of the University of St. Thomas where she earned degrees in Mass Communications & Journalism – Public Relations and General Business Management.
Throughout her career, LeeAnn has focused on consumer retail and financial services with an emphasis on brand building and digital transformations for Fortune 1000 companies including Macy’s, RBC Wealth Management, Sleep Number, and Securian Financial.
In recent years, LeeAnn completed a Diversity & Inclusion certification through Cornell University and earned her MBA at Hamline University. A lifelong learner and community servant, LeeAnn is inspired by creating meaningful change in the business world and in local communities in which she works and lives.
She has served as a leader in multicultural and diversity employee resource groups and taskforces. LeeAnn is known for driving policy and cultural change to create opportunities for women and people of color in the workplace.
LeeAnn joined the board of WomenVenture in 2018 and served as chair of the governance committee. She is highly passionate about the organization, its mission, and long-term impact on the community. Supporting women business owners thrive and solving the child care crisis is deeply important to LeeAnn.
Outside of the workplace, LeeAnn is mom to four children and a Labrador retriever. She enjoys traveling the world, cooking, and entertaining, while staying active through running, yoga and cycling.
Connie Rutledge is a leader in the Twin Cities community of entrepreneurs. With over 20 years of experience in entrepreneurship and business management, her expertise ranges from concept design, market analysis, and fundraising to product development, operations, and strategic partnerships. Her passion is supporting innovators with practical advice and strategic analysis so they can recognize their vision in a socially and financially sustainable way.
Connie has developed and taught courses in entrepreneurship for the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of Minnesota. She also coordinated the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire, attracting over 5000 makers, artists, and curious families every year. She holds a BA in sociology from the University of Tulsa and an MPA from the Humphrey School at the University of Minnesota.
Michelle Tran Maryns is the Founder & CEO (or Sparkler-in-Chief) at We Sparkle Co., a public benefit corporation dedicated to building a stronger + more inclusive economy by equipping underestimated entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color, with the AI-powered tools they need to succeed. Prior to starting this Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) social enterprise, Michelle helped thousands of entrepreneurs through her work as Chief of Strategic Initiatives at Meda, a community development financial institution named by the U.S. Department of Commerce as the top minority business development agency in the country for four years in a row.
Alex West Steinman is a Swiss Army Knife who knows how to raise humans and build Public Relations strategies for businesses, politicians, startups, and non-profits. Alex is the co-founder and CEO of The Coven, a network of digital and physical spaces for radical change makers. She is dedicated to the economic empowerment and advancement of women, non-binary, and trans folks through leadership development opportunities within The Coven.
Prior to co-founding The Coven, Alex held the positions of Communications Director for advertising agency Fallon and political candidates in the Twin Cities. Leading PR and communications strategy and execution, she gets joy from telling stories from underestimated communities. Alex loves her two kids, husband, Oprah, and Beyonce in no particular order. She’s genuinely a people-person who enjoys a good cry. She’s been recognized for her inclusive work both locally and nationally, including: Forbes Next1000, 2019 Inc. 100 Founder, the AMEX 100 for 100 list, Bush Fellowship in 2019, 2020 City Pages Best Entrepreneur Award, AdFed’s 32 Under 32 Award, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award, ‘Above the Fold’ recipient.
Mary Younggren is the owner of Advent Talent Group, a local staffing firm serving clients through staffing and recruiting, strategic human capital management, business development, and HR consulting. She is also currently serving as President of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO MN).
Mary is passionate about serving and connecting people. She was a “social work & psychology” major at Concordia College and that study has served her very well in her career in the staffing industry. She finds helping others to be her most rewarding activity and loves that she can do this in her business and volunteer activities!
She is a Wife, Mom of Twins + a Daughter, Grandmother of 5, Singer, Lake Lover, and Connector of People.
For more details on event sponsorship, event attendees and our market reach, view the 2022 Conference Sponsorship Kit or contact:
WeMN Business Development Director
Promote your business by including a business card, flier or other promotional material in the conference swag bag. One bag will be given to all speakers and in-person event attendees. Take advantage of this free perk for members to get the word out about your business!
All materials must be handed in by Friday, April 15, 2022.