Stacy Tapp is the chief of communication & community engagement for Racine Unified School District.
Tempo Racine Communications Chair Jessica Safransky Schacht met with Stacy to learn more about her leadership journey.
What led you to become a Tempo Racine member?
I was new to Racine and TEMPO offered an opportunity to meet and collaborate with amazing women leaders in this community, while learning about some of the wonderful resources and organizations Racine has to offer. I joined the Board early on, which offered me the opportunity to get to know some truly inspiring women leaders. I encourage all TEMPO members to step into one of the Board positions when your schedule and life allow. It’s a rewarding way to give back and support women who are leading our community forward.
What is an important piece of advice for female leaders?
I have three daughters and one of the most important pieces of advice I give them often is that nothing worth doing is easy. Always remember that when you are most uncomfortable and most scared, you are likely embarking on something meaningful that will help you stretch and grow and become the best version of yourself. Don’t let fear stop you and you may surprise yourself!
What is your favorite thing to do in Racine?
Hands down, the Racine Zoo. It is an amazing gem in the community and my family has grown to love our time there. We’ve even fed the giraffes!
Lisa Just is the president of South Wisconsin Patient Service Area for Advocate Aurora Health.
Tempo Racine Membership Chair Liz Powell recently sat down with Lisa to learn more about her leadership journey.
In all the time that I’ve worked for Aurora Health Care while living in the Racine area, I always became involved in the communities in which I worked. With the opening of the new Mt. Pleasant hospital and my main office now located here, I realized that I had the opportunity to network in my own community. I chose to join Tempo Racine for a variety of reasons; the focus on developing women leaders, the diversity of it’s membership, and the opportunity to develop stronger relationships with highly talented individuals who are committed to change.
Never underestimate yourself, and definitely never underestimate your ability to learn. I once expressed to a consultant whom I was working with that I was worried that having recently been promoted to a position I actually knew very little about academically, that for me this promotion may be seen as the “Peter Principle” in action. I will never forget that the consultant said that the Peter Principle, or being promoted to the level to which an individual is no longer competent, totally ignores that individual’s capacity to learn. I have always focused on continuous learning to benefit me in my current role and prepare me for the next unknown role.
Every summer I look forward to my season tickets at Animal Crackers, the Racine Zoo’s jazz concert series. It’s a combination of so many things I love – a beautiful view of our Lake Michigan, getting to see lots of people, enjoying great jazz music, and knowing it helps support our wonderful Zoo!
Amy Mlot is the Chief Operating Officer for Home Helpers.
With over 30 years of experience in the long-term care field, Amy’s expertise includes case management, quality improvement and business development. She is excited to continue to expand the services of Home Helpers throughout Southeast Wisconsin and ensure an exceptional client experience for every family they serve.
Lynda Knudtson recently met with Amy to learn more about her leadership journey.
What brought you to Tempo Racine? I was first introduced to Tempo about 5 years ago. I saw it as a supportive network of like-minded women and a place to connect and grow my network outside of the healthcare industry. I found that TEMPO is not your typical networking space. It is a group of supportive women who build each other up and has provided me with a greater awareness of issues impacting our community as well as provided me with support and mentoring throughout my career.
What advice would you give female leaders? When my previous company was going through an acquisition, a very wise mentor of mine told me to keep my options open. Keeping an open mind and having an awareness of all that goes on in business in my community has allowed me to continue to grow in both my professional and personal life. Keeping your pulse on your community will open your eyes to things that you never knew even existed.
What is your favorite thing to do in Racine? Having grown up in Union Grove, my favorite thing to do each summer has always been to go to the Racine County fair. Now that I spend my days in the downtown Burlington area, I have loved visiting all the amazing shops and restaurants that are available out here. I would welcome the opportunity to host fellow TEMPO members that would like to visit Burlington for lunch any day of the week. The options are endless.
Sharon Johnson is the CFO/Vice President of Finance and Administration at Gateway Technical College.
Tempo Racine treasurer Lynelle Saunders and Sharon had lunch at Racine Gem Blue Bear to get to know each other better.
Sharon grew up South Carolina where, she stressed, it is HOT. She and her husband moved to Wisconsin for his job. Shortly after arriving, she began working at Gateway, which she enjoys.
Sharon has four grown children and two grandchildren whom she gets to see daily. Sharon enjoys exploring and learning all about Wisconsin and the people who live here.
Why did you become a member of Tempo?
I was interested in professional development and increased community development. I was connected to Tempo by my boss, Bryan Albrecht.
What do you most appreciate about Tempo?
I appreciate the networking opportunities with other professional women. Tempo is really helping me to move out of my comfort zone and get to know women and businesses in the Racine community.
What is your favorite thing to do/place to visit?
My favorite thing to do is to explore different areas in the fall to view fall foliage. I also just generally enjoy exploring new areas and seeing beautiful, unique cultures and learning about their history.
What piece of advice could you share for a female leader?
Never allow anyone else to set limits on what you can achieve. Another person's opinion of what you can achieve can never stop you, only you can. So, follow your dreams and make a difference in your sphere of influence!
For our December Membership Spotlight, Tempo Racine Program Chair Liz Hanson-Will sat down with Alison Sergio, executive director of Health Care Network.
Having earned a Bachelor’s in Social Work and a Master of Business Administration, Alison Sergio, Executive Director of Health Care Network since 2014, has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 26 years. Alison is also an adjunct instructor at UW-Milwaukee's Child Welfare Partnership Program within the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare. She has abundant experience in grant writing as well as program development and implementation with a proven track record of positive outcomes.
What led you to becoming a Tempo Racine member? What do you most appreciate about in regard to Tempo?
I was introduced to Tempo by Lynelle Saunders. What drew my interest was all of the interesting women who were already members and the prospect of building a bigger network. Not being from Racine, I was looking for a way to learn more about the community and the “movers and shakers” within this community. I have enjoyed my many connections and have found it not only a socializing experience but have also made connections related to my work. I truly believe that both learning and change can only happen when people make strong connections with each other, and that building rapport is the foundation for every positive impact we make. Because of this, I greatly value my Tempo Racine membership.
Throughout my 20-year career in nonprofit management, I have been afforded many opportunities that have gotten me to where I am today. I have had so many incredible experiences that have taught me so much and molded not only my career, but my entire life. Because I have been given so many opportunities, I believe that it is my responsibility to share my knowledge with those who are just beginning their careers or who are questioning what they want their futures to look like. Mentorship is so very important! And I encourage women leaders to participate in some level of mentoring, whether it be in a school setting or within the workplace. This only serves to make our community stronger!
Do you have suggestions for what Tempo can do better/different/more of to enhance membership value?
I am so impressed with the changes that Tempo has made and the many more offerings there have been (meeting with other Tempo groups, and extra evening meet ups). I am also very excited about this year’s holiday celebration! At this time, I cannot think of other suggestions, but I sure do like the direction we have been going!
When I first learned of the career opportunity at Health Care Network, I admit that I was less than thrilled that the organization was located in Racine. I didn’t know anything about the community. However, it did not take long for me to learn of what a gem Racine really is. And so, I have spent time exploring the many offerings. Racine offers a beautiful beach and a fabulous zoo that I like to visit. But I think my favorite part is the many amazing people that I can now call friends in a city I am proud to be a part of!
President, Tempo Racine
I recently sat down with Kelly Fragassi, executive director of Volunteer Center of Racine County. Kelly was recently appointed Executive Director in September and joined Tempo Racine in October.
Kelly holds both her Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Master's degree in Business Administration from National Louis University Chicago, IL and her dynamic background includes leadership roles in Finance, Procurement and Operations Management. She is known to lead by example, volunteering and participating in the events that she coordinates as well as her notable sense of compassion for those she serves.
A Chicago native, Kelly has resided in Wisconsin for the past six years and enjoys raising her daughter Alana to have the same passion for volunteerism as she. Kelly is inspired by her coworkers’ dedication to the enhancing the well-being of the community and her commitment to working hard in collaboration with her team will lead the Volunteer Center of Racine County into a bright future.
What led you to becoming a Tempo Racine member?
I was interested in Tempo because I love the idea of connecting with women who are in similar positions and who have come up in the same environment as myself, so I can learn from their experience and also share my experience with them as well. By learning from each other’s successes and failures we are able to draw from knowledge that we don’t always have firsthand and those perspectives can only help us become better leaders in the end.
Any opposition to your vision is simply an opportunity to enhance or cement your vision. You do not need to take everyone’s advice; just choose what you think is best and learn from your mistakes. Have faith that you will rise to your full potential regardless of what anyone says to you, so as long as you persevere.
What is your favorite thing to do in Racine?
My favorite thing to do in Racine is to sit by the water and watch the lake while sitting on a park bench. I usually find a spot on the south side where I can go and just relax and get away from all the noise and action of the city. But now that the word is out, I may have to find a new spot!!
Over the past year, I’ve shared insights and information on Tempo Racine through my blog, Carolynn’s Corner. This year, I’d like to put the spotlight on our membership by highlighting individual members. Recently, I sat down with Liz Hanson-Will, owner, operator, and outpatient mental health therapist at Therapy Solutions.
Liz grew up in Racine and proudly attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison for both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Social Work. After moving away for a time, she returned to Wisconsin in 2000 and began working with children and families in treatment foster care. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Wisconsin who has also worked as a school counselor, outpatient mental health therapist and Executive Director at Family Service of Racine. Liz now owns her own outpatient solo practice in town. She and her husband enjoy travel, gardening and reading in their free time.
Jenny Eastman invited me to a luncheon, and I found the women very welcoming and supportive. At the time I joined, I was the leader of a local non-profit and being the leader can be isolating as you don't have peers within your organization to whom you can vent. I found the women of Tempo to be the peer group I needed in terms of support and ideas. I then had a chance to see the upcoming programming and really liked the variety offered.
Seeking collaborative work in an organization is not being "unwilling to make the tough decisions" as it is sometimes portrayed. Rather it is investing in team building, gaining buy-in from staff and providing stabilization for the organization as a whole and therefore it is critical.
I love the variety of locally owned restaurants and bakeries that we have!
Thanks to Liz for being our first membership profile! The Board and I look forward to sitting down with more members and sharing their experience and advice with you.
Tempo Racine, President
When you focus on your greatness you elevate everyone around you. – Gabrielle Bernstein
Tempo Racine’s fall meeting schedule is full of opportunities to focus on expanding your understanding of local organizations. We hope that you’ll add our upcoming meetings to your calendar.
On October 14th, Angela Zimmerman, executive director of the Racine Public Library, joins us for an update on the many happenings and changes occurring at the Racine Public Library. She will share the vision behind the current 2nd floor renovation of the library which includes an emphasis public spaces that foster connections. Registration is now open through October 5th.
Looking to November 10th, we will highlight the arts in Racine. Our guests will be Kathi Wilson from the Racine Arts Council and Denise Zingg from Spectrum School of the Arts and Community Gallery. We’re looking forward to learning about wonderful work of these organizations and our thriving arts community. Due to seasonal changes at Meadowbrook, this meeting will take place at The Summit Restaurant.
Our annual holiday luncheon is always a fun opportunity to ring in the season with friends. This year, we will be at Hot Shop Glass Studio & Gallery on December 8th for a fun-filled, group activity. This will be an event for members only.
I hope you’ll join us to learn more about these great Racine organizations.
Welcome back for a new year of engaging, informative programming with Tempo Racine!
Our meetings will continue to be held on the second Thursday of the month from 11:30 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. We will start off at Meadowbrook on September 8 with Kimberly Kane, president and CEO of Kane Communications Group. She will share the research her team conducted in 2021 about the state of working women in Wisconsin and strategies women can put in place to fuel success and professional growth. This is sure to be a great meeting!
We are always accepting nominations for new members. For those interested in nominating someone, please send your nomination letter to our email address which is email@example.com. The nomination letter should highlight the person’s work experience, community service, and education. The Membership Committee and Board of Directors reviews nomination letters on a rolling basis.
To be considered for membership, nominees are required to meet at least three of the following five criteria:
If you have questions on the nomination process, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming meeting!
Thank you to everyone who joined us at the annual picnic. It was wonderful to see many new faces and enjoy a relaxing lunch on the patio. A great time was had by all!
For those interested in nominating a new member, please send your nomination letter to our email address which is email@example.com. If you are interested in seeking a nomination but don't know a current member, reach out to us via email as well and we will assist you.
The Membership Committee reviews nomination letters on a rolling basis. Earlier this year, the membership criteria was revised to better reflect our community and commitment to advocating, accelerating, and elevating women across Racine County.
· At least 7 years of work experience
· Holding a mid-level leadership role or higher in her organization
· Community Service Experience
· Holding a post-secondary degree or certification
· And relevant additional achievements (Leadership Racine graduate, Woman of Distinction).
A quick reminder that we do not have a meeting in August. We will resume our programming on September 8th at Meadowbrook Country Club. In the meantime, please feel free to visit our sister organizations like Tempo Kenosha. I plan to attend their wine tasting event on Wednesday, August 10th. Hope to see you there!
Enjoy the rest of the summer and see you in September!
Serving women leaders and businesses throughout SE Wisconsin.
Located in Racine, WI