For more than 30 years, Linda Funk has chosen a career in food marketing and currently serves as President of Flavorful Insight and Executive Director of The Soyfood Council. Her professional experience has included extensive management experience with two large food and beverage manufacturers, Ambrosia Chocolate and Pepsi-Cola and one of the largest commodity associations, Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board (WMMB). Funk created Flavorful Insight to assist food clients in developing and executing marketing programs, new product introductions and high-impact public relations campaigns. Funk’s responsibilities at The Soyfoods Council include creating the organization itself in addition to developing and executing the soyfood programs. Funk has served on the Boards of The American Institute of Food and Wine, International Foodservice Editorial Council, Culinary Institute of America and the Stout University Foundation, (Menomonie, WI) where she graduated in 1972 with a BS degree in Home Economics. She has been recognized by HEIB (Home Economist in Business) as Business Home Economist of the Year and received the “Betty” Award, the highest service award that the International Foodservice Editorial Council bestows on its members.
Jill Etta Nieskes is a financial services executive with a track record of building investment & insurance based sales programs. Her career has touched on all aspects of business strategy, infrastructure, national account relationships, investment product development, sales distribution and marketing. She has a history of driving revenue generating sales teams and initiatives for AIG-American International Group, Goldman Sachs’s Global Atlantic Financial Group and M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank Corporation. Nieskes holds a Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters of Science in Management degrees.
Jill, and her husband Bob, were both active in 4-H during their youth. They now enjoy supporting 4-H and FFA events in Wisconsin and Texas. As Co-Chairman of the Wisconsin State Fair Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction, that benefits the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, Nieskes is part of the group that has expanded sales and donations year over year. She is also an active life member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR) in Houston, Texas (the world’s largest livestock show) which continues to hold numerous world records in 4-H and FFA livestock auction sales and scholarships. She has served as HLSR Vice Chairman, Captain and Committeeman focused on 4-H and FFA Livestock Auction sales, scholarships and agriculture education initiatives.
Laura Herschleb grew up on her family’s dairy farm near Germantown, in Washington County. Throughout her youth, Herschleb was actively involved in 4-H and the Junior Holstein Association, which led her to attend UW-Madison, earning a degree in dairy science and agricultural journalism. Since college, Herschleb has had the wonderful opportunity to work in agriculture throughout her career and today works for Badgerland Financial as the Vice President – Marketplace Strategies. Herschleb also serves as the Foundations’s Marketing Chairperson. Laura and her husband, Mike, and two children Kolby and Lily, reside in Deforest.
With over 35 years of experience in the accounting and finance sectors, Nancy Bilz is currently Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Finance with Equity Cooperative Livestock Sales Association headquartered in Baraboo, Wisconsin. Equity is Wisconsin’s largest livestock marketing agency with 11 markets in Wisconsin and one in northeast Iowa. After graduation from UW-Whitewater with a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting, Bilz was an Internal Auditor with Valley Bancorporation, M & I Marshall & Ilsley Bank and then served as Controller with Amcore Bank in Baraboo, Wisconsin. A native of Janesville Wisconsin, she was involved in 4-H in Rock County. Nancy and her husband, Roger, live in rural Sauk County and they have two adult children, Nathan and Jenna.
Kory Dogs owns and operates a business coaching business and works with business owners on growing their companies through improvements in sales, marketing, team training, systems development and strategic planning. Dogs has experience as a past and current business owner and has also spent 12 years in upper management for large, publicly traded corporations. He has a proven track record of building successful teams and companies and has been a major contributor to the massive growth of those companies.
Dogs was born and raised in West Bend and has strong ties to area communities and Wisconsin. He was active in 4-H as a youth where he participated in numerous programs, including raising and showing market lambs. Kory, his wife Sarah and their four kids live in Kewaskum. His kids are involved in 4-H and among other things, show market lambs at the Washington County Fair. Dogs is a member of the West Bend Sunrise Rotary Club, West Bend Chamber of Commerce, Fond du Lac Association of Commerce, and serves in the following roles for local non-profit organizations:
- Volunteer for the Wisconsin State Fair Governor’s Blue Ribbon Meat Products Auction
- Vice President on the Governing Council of the i4Learning Charter School
- Member of the Faith@home committee at St. John’s Lutheran Church in West Bend
- President of Kewaskum Youth Basketball, Inc.
- President of the Fond du Lac Area Youth Basketball League
Lynn M. Galbraith-Wilson is a partner attorney with the law firm of Brennan Steil S.C. where she primarily practices family law. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (1987) and her J.D. degree from Hamline University School of Law (1993). She is the treasurer of the Family Law Section Board for the State Bar of Wisconsin, serves as the Co-Chair of the Door County Family Law Workshop and is a member of the Continuing Legal Education Committee. She is a founding member of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC)-Wisconsin Chapter, where she recently completed her term as President; she continues to serve on the Executive Committee and is a committee member of the Program Committee.
Galbraith-Wilson was active in 4-H as a youth, raising and showing rabbits. She has continued to serve as a 4-H leader in Rock County for 24 years and she received the Outstanding 4-H Leader Award in Rock County. She created the Rock County 4-H Rabbit Fun Day, and she served on her county’s 4-H Senior Council Executive Board. Her love for 4-H in Wisconsin opened opportunities for her to serve on the Wisconsin 4H Leadership Council and she recently served as President. She credits the 4-H program for developing her into a successful business woman and strong community leader today. In addition to 4-H, she is very active in her community serving on the boards of the Janesville Noon Rotary and Rock County 4-H Fair. In addition, she serves as President of the National Angora Rabbit Breeders Club.
In her free time, she enjoys traveling, cheering on the Packers at Lambeau Field and showing her English Angora rabbits. She resides in Janesville with her husband.
Erin L. Gallagher
Erin Gallagher has been involved with 4-H programs since her youth as a 4-H member in Door and Lafayette Counties. Following 4-H traditions into adulthood, Gallagher continues to be an active 4-H volunteer leader with the Willow Springs Busy Bees 4-H Club, and a Director with the Lafayette County 4-H Leader’s Association. As a self-described campfire song enthusiast, Gallagher enjoys chaperoning Iowa, Green, and Lafayette country members to 4-H Camp at Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center each summer.
Outside of 4-H activities, Gallagher has formed a career in sales and customer service leadership roles in multiple industries. She is currently a Coach (practice manager) of the Ophthalmology-Eye Care department at Monroe Clinic. A graduate of Edgewood College, Madison, WI, she holds a BS degree in Organizational Behavior and Leadership. Gallagher resides with her family in Darlington.
Valerie J. Johnson
Johnson is CEO of Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, where she oversees 25 employees, works with 4,000 volunteers and manages a $7 million budget. Johnson was previously with World Council of Credit Unions as Worldwide Foundation Executive Director, and prior to that served as the director of development for the Agronomic Science Foundation. She chaired the National Fundraising Committee of the National Credit Union Foundation Development Educators Advisory Committee, is a director of the Wisconsin Agricultural & Life Sciences Alumni Association (WALSAA) and has memberships in the Association of Fund Raising Professionals and Rotary International. Johnson has a bachelor’s degree from UW-Madison with a major in Ag Extension Education. Johnson also serves as the Major Donor Chairperson for the Foundation. Her son Kyle Breunig is a recent UW-Madison graduate working in Chicago and her daughter Mikaela Breunig is a UW-Madison student. She was a 4-H member in Rock County.
Dale Leidheiser is the Program Director – Wisconsin 4-H Youth Development, UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, responsible for providing administrative leadership for program, human resources, partnership development, creating and supporting a scholarly environment within the program areas, and building external relationships. Additionally, Leidheiser has administrative oversight of Upham Woods Outdoor Learning Center, located at Wisconsin Dells. Leidheiser was the 4-H Volunteer Development Specialist in Colorado for the University-Extension in that state (1988-2012). In that role, he created a variety of curricula for both rural and urban audiences and program development in the areas of volunteer leadership, community development and staff development. After attaining degrees from the University of Georgia and Ohio State University, he began his Extension Career as 4-H youth development agent in Columbia County in 1978. Dale and his wife, Marti, enjoy spending time outdoors with their dog and five grandchildren, often involving camping, fishing, skiing, and sailing activities.
Mary Kaye Merwin
Mary Kaye Merwin, who now lives in Walworth County, continues to be a guiding force to 4-H, adding to her 38-year career with 4-H, where she worked in various 4-H leadership positions. Merwin began her work with 4-H in Wisconsin, serving for nine years as a UW Cooperative Extension 4-H Agent in Waukesha and Rock Counties. Merwin worked for six years in Texas as a State 4-H Specialist and a District Supervisor, for nine years in Washington D.C. as Director of Programs at the National 4-H Council, and for 14 years in New York, as the Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County on Long Island. Upon retiring from Extension, Merwin returned to Wisconsin and has extended her commitment to 4-H as Board member of the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation. She currently serves with the Wisconsin Historical Society as Interim Site Director for the Black Point Estate, Historic Home and Gardens on Geneva Lake.
Arch Morton, Jr.
Arch Morton, Jr. currently serves as Director of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation. He was elected to the WFBF Board of Directors in 2014 to represent District 2, which includes Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Rock and Sauk counties; he is a past member of WFBF’s Statewide Policy Development Committee and Volunteers for Agriculture political action committee. Morton serves on the La Prairie Town Board in Rock County. He attended the UW-Madison’s Farm and Industry Short Course. He is a former President of the Rock County Farm Bureau, Clinton FFA Alumni and Rock County Dairy Promotion Council. Morton farms 240 acres of land in Rock County. He grows corn, soybeans and winter wheat.
Brenda Murphy grew up on her family’s dairy farm in Brooklyn, Wisconsin where she continues to help with weekend work such as processing calves, tagging and recording and maintaining breeding records. In her youth Murphy was active in 4-H with such projects as dairy, clothing, and foods. Today she continues to be involved in dairy and is passing that passion on to her children who are also in 4-H. She also maintains her activity in the sewing room by being active with a couple of local quilting clubs. Murphy has worked in agriculture for her entire career and currently works as the Director, Producer Communications and Programs at the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board. Brenda and her husband, Al, and two children, Rebecca and Carter, live near Lake Wisconsin.
Sharon Seibel has been involved with the Pierce County 4-H Adult Advisors, the Wisconsin 4-H Adult Leaders Council, and serves as chair of the Ellsworth Industrial Council and the Ellsworth Chamber of Commerce. Prior to becoming vice president and co-owner of J&S Machine, Inc., Ellsworth, Wisconsin, a national distributor of metal fabrication equipment, Seibel was employed as a kindergarten teacher, an early childhood family education coordinator, a registered optometric assistant, and actively involved with the Royal Rushers 4-H Club and the Mile Corner 4-H Club. Each of Seibel’s children, when in 4-H, were elected to the Wisconsin 4-H Youth Leader Council. Anything her children had interest in Seibel pursued as a hobby, and as a result, she has many hobbies.
Marcy Tessmann is President and Partner at Charleston|Orwig, working with clients within the food system on strategic planning, branding and reputation-building initiatives. She oversees the client services team to ensure that client brands are well defined and resonate with their respective audiences. Tessmann has led major branding initiatives with clients in production agriculture as well as consumer-facing retail food brands. Her vast experience in and first-hand knowledge of agricultural markets helps her create a unique strategic approach for each client.
Tessmann’s passion for agriculture is an outgrowth of her farming roots; she and her husband, Art, farmed for more than 15 years on the family’s diversified crop, beef cow/calf, feedlot and swine operation. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tessmann majored in animal science.
Tessmann contributes her time and talents to service organizations as well. She is the current U.S. governor for TAAN Worldwide, a global network of advertising agencies. In addition, Tessmann serves on the board of directors of Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation and the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation.
With almost 20 years of experience in financial services, Nicole Wesoloski is currently the Regional Vice President of Sales and Customer Relations with GreenStone Farm Credit Services in Little Chute, Wisconsin. After graduation from Lakeland College in Sheboygan, Wisconsin with a Bachelors in Accounting and Business Administration, Wesoloski worked for a local public accounting firm as a staff accountant before joining GreenStone as a tax consultant and gaining the knowledge of the agricultural industry. Wesoloski is a native of Yorkville, Illinois; she and her husband, Brian, live in Freedom, Wisconsin with three children, Elizabeth, Andrew, and Nolan.
4-H Educator Liaison
Adult Leader Council Liaison
Youth Leader Council Liaison