Our Story

We are Insight

We’re all about connecting minds, creating insights.

Our business-to-business clients rely on us to help share their stories — in our news magazines, in print and digital advertising and at our regional events. It’s a genuine, holistic approach to sharing ideas and information. It’s one that works.

We are committed to fostering relationships among business and community leaders and others who care passionately about the economic success of Northeast Wisconsin, a community of 1.2 million people in the New North. This mission goes hand-in-hand with our desire to help regional businesses succeed and grow.

We do this monthly in Insight. (Our readers say, “I get a lot of magazines, but Insight is the only one I read!) We do this through Insight on Manufacturing, our bi-monthly magazine for manufacturers.

We also do this through niche publications that fit our mission — including the New North Report and forwardHR, the Wisconsin SHRM publication for members of the Society of Human Resource Management.

Digital versions of our magazines, our e-newsletters and social media reach those looking for more immediate means of communication.

Our events appeal to those who find value in face-to-face communication, as attendees as well as sponsors. These include our InDevelopment conference in March, THINC! event in May and Manufacturing First Expo Conference in October.

Since we launched Insight Publications LLC in 2007 we have formed successful partnerships with such organizations as New North, Inc., the NEW Manufacturing Alliance, St. Norbert College, the Wisconsin Family Business Forum, Enterprising Nonprofits and more.

Our award-winning partners in photography (Image Studios) and design (A2ZDesign) bring a level of sophistication to Insight Publications that is on par with national magazines.

We are proud to have gathered a team of creative professionals striving to outdo our personal best month after month. Our business staff and freelance writers come with years of experience as professional journalists and/or corporate writers. Our editorial and sales teams have years of experience in building regional and statewide relationships with leaders of the most prestigious and respected companies around.

Insight Publications was honored to receive the “Rising Star” award from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry in 2011.


Brian Rasmussen is a fisherman extraordinaire, on the water and on the ice, from Lake Winnebago to the chill waters of Canada. Faith and family are his passions. Give the guy a microphone and he can get any crowd going, pumped up for an event or clapping for his killer karaoke!

Margaret LeBrun is either related to you or has a cousin you know. She also has itchy feet. When she can’t travel she hosts exchange students or random people who show up on their bicycles. Winner of the 2015 Athena Award, she secretly strives to be a goddess but is otherwise good with her YMCA membership.

Wendy Gilbert is your friend and you know it. Just try to walk into a room and not meet at least two people who already know her. She is not a crazy cat lady but she is, however, crazy about her two cats — including one named for her favorite annual event, the Indy 500. Wendy joined Insight the year the company launched, the day we scooped her up in a limo to “take her home” in style!

Sean Johnson is a walking trivia game. Let’s just say he knows more than you, and you don’t care because he makes it so darn interesting. For years he freelanced for Insight, always somehow ducking the times we had an opening for his dream job, until one fateful day in 2014 when his career path finally found an open window with our team. When he’s not wordsmithing or digging for news you might find him on a soccer field somewhere, kicking or coaching, or in a craft brewpub or regional winery, all in the name of research, of course.

Jessica Thiel didn’t fully know what she was getting into when she joined Insight as a part-time staff reporter in the fall of 2016, fresh off an internship at Fox Valley Technical College. Take these assignments, write this blog, show up at a press conference? “No problem!” she says. A crackerjack reporter, writer, copy editor and proofreader, already we like her attitude!

Diane Verhagen is often out and about, pounding the pavement to do what she does best, in style. With years of success in consumer-to-business sales, she feared she didn’t know what she was getting into when she joined Insight in 2015 (especially when, during her first interview, someone on our team had just returned from the dentist with a mouth full of Novocain and she wondered if she had stepped into a Seinfeld episode). We’re glad she never looked back!

Deb Toll is our resident keeper of duct tape and twine, keeping the entire office humming as we prepare to “feed the beast” of perpetual deadlines. If you haven’t officially requested your copy of Insight, she will track you down and remind you that of course, you really do want it. That is, if she is not out on a golf course somewhere, working on her swing for the next tournament, which she will probably win.

Bryan Aschenbrenner gives us something to laugh about almost every day. (Let’s just say he just sees the silly side of life!) The 2014 UW-Oshkosh graduate joined us in the spring of 2017, eager to put his creative skills to work as our full-time graphic designer, responsible for layout of Insight (all but the cover and cover story, done by A2Z Design), all of Insight on Manufacturing as well as uploading content on our website, designing ads, taking photos and more. With a Brian and a Bryan on our team, how do we tell them apart when calling out their names? We’re still working on that, but this one sometimes jokes that he’s “The new, improved Bryan!”

Julia Flaherty joined us in July 2017, bringing “flare” to Insight, in our newly-created position of part-time events and special projects coordinator. Along with Bryan, she also helps add generational diversity to our team demographics. A 2015 graduate of UW-Stevens Point, Julia also brings experience in promotions, digital and social media, copy writing and more. How has Insight put on events without an events coordinator until now? We’ll soon test her potential. Stay tuned!