Connections – Focusing on passion for success

Posted on Sep 1, 2015 :: Connections
Andrew Schaick
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

When you hear successful business stories, the struggles and obstacles leaders encountered to get to the desired goal often aren’t part of the tale.

This year’s Women, Wine and Whiskey event is geared to change that and will, most of all, inspire those who attend to persevere when times are tough, organizers say.

“This is professional and personal development along with a networking event,” says Liysa Callsen, founder and event host of Women, Wine and Whiskey, planned for Sept. 22 in Manitowoc. “Sometimes all we need the most is inspiration, and that is what this event aims to do so that it will bring together those women who are determined to get things done.”

The event is for women who seek professional inspiration, whether they are managers, team leaders or entrepreneurs. The event’s name comes from the business phases that will be addressed — speakers  (women) will share stories of their journey, including how they celebrate through the smooth (wine) times, as well as getting through the rough (whiskey) times.

“Oftentimes, those types of leaders have no one to turn to because they are running their business solo and this event helps focus on the professional and personal development of the leader,” Callsen says. “You cannot do one without the other.”

Callsen’s background has a lot to do with improvisation and comedy, which she will incorporate into the professional development event. She teaches how to use improvisation to build teams, boost sales and increase customer satisfaction.

“I have not seen a summit or a conference that is based around a fun aspect or name like the one I have developed,” Callsen says. “There is nothing like this in the area where there are interviews and an interactive show style.” If the event draws a lot of interest, she hopes to do additional events.

Investors Community Bank signed on as a sponsor for the event because it aligns perfectly with the bank’s community vision, says Laura Wiegert, marketing director for the bank.

“We wanted to be a sponsor because we like the non-traditional approach of the event and because it is an inspiring program that celebrates successful women in our community,” Wiegert says. “We sponsor many business and community events and the fact that this one focuses on the passion that drives women toward success is really exciting for us to be a part of.”

Presenters from all around Wisconsin will share stories of their journey and how they developed a successful business. For many of the presenters, they will discuss things often not talked about at networking events: the struggles. Many entrepreneurs know the struggles of starting a business, and this event will address how to overcome the obstacles.

“I feel a deeper connection with people when I am honest and say when things aren’t going good,” says Kim Geiser, owner of Kim Geiser Studios and The Sunshine Collective in Cleveland (Manitowoc County). “I like to put it all out there and find ways other people have overcome similar issues.”

Geiser, along with other female business leaders, will share those rough times they encountered while starting and operating their businesses.

“Honestly, the best part of the entire event is we are highlighting the not-so-perfect times of owning a business,” Geiser says. “It’s times like those where I learned the most and inspire me to share them with others.”

For information and registration, visit

Upcoming Events

Thursday, Sept. 10

Liz Murray will be the keynote speaker at the 15th annual Women’s Fund Luncheon from 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, 333 W. College Ave., Appleton. Information, registration:

Thursday, Sept. 24

Progress Lakeshore will be hosting
its second annual Pasta for Progress
from 5-8 p.m. at Seven Lakes Golf & Dining, 1420 N. County Road S, Cato.

The event, focused around
economic development in Manitowoc County, will provide a preview of
results of the Lakeshore Economic Analysis Project survey.

Information, registration:

Saturday, Oct. 10

The fourth annual Catalpa Health Race for a Reason, presented by J. J. Keller Foundation, Inc., will feature a parade of cars, two hours of racing, a Boxkar concert and a fireworks show at the Wisconsin International Raceway. The event begins at 1 p.m.; racing begins at 3:30 p.m. Tickets purchased before Sept. 30 cost $10, and children under 12 are admitted for free. Tickets, information: