Nina Johnson is the Consumer and Business Banking Leader for the Wisconsin market at US Bank, managing more than 400 employees throughout the southeastern segment of the state. She was hired to create a “Bank of the Future” experience using digital solutions that result in a positive costumer experience within the area. She’s worked in the banking industry for more than 35 years and has held several leadership roles in her tenure, ranging from computer operations and consumer leading to direct auto finance and private label loss mitigation.
Nina feels like this year has opened the door to having transparent dialog about sensitive topics and she has used this season as a catalyst for change in her market. She has taken this moment in time to create a safe space for courageous conversations by hosting Town Halls/Panel Discussions to address civil unrest, quarterly leadership development guest speaker events supporting DEI, peer mentoring for white executives that aspire to be a part of the solution, small conversation circles to address difficult topics like privilege, “black lives vs all lives” and other taboo topics impacting society.
Carving out space for real conversation was based on her desire to protect her team both physically and psychologically. Her goal was to use various modes of communication to harness true relationship building and sincere service as essential leaders. The concept is based on the core principle of knowing your audience and delivering a positive experience in the workplace.
Nina’s favorite PD activities are the annual events where she can reconnect with female leaders of all ages. She looks forward to a time where we can gather in-person again and catch up.
Be sure to say hi to Nina at an upcoming PD event and thank her for all she’s done in our community!
Jean Casey is Director of Business Development for GROTH Design Group, an award winning architecture and interior design firm serving many markets including: Corporate, Healthcare, Senior Life, Education, Religious and Community projects. She has provided strategic direction to leading architecture firms in Wisconsin for over twenty years and also connects individuals to jobs through Circuit-jobs.com, a website she created to support the Built Environment: Architecture, Engineering, Construction and Commercial Real Estate.
Jean was born and raised in Milwaukee and is very engaged in our community through a variety of service opportunities and professional association memberships, previously serving on the boards of Rotary Club of Milwaukee, the Social Development Foundation and Alexian Village.
Jean's biggest source of pride though are two children, Ian, 27 and Emmy, 25 (PD’s Member Relations Coordinator!)
Jean joined PD in early 2020 and her favorite virtual event this year was the Ideation Summit. Something about her that you can’t find on her resume is that she skews Type B and asks that you keep that to yourself.
Be sure to say hi to Jean at an upcoming Professional Dimensions event.
Jessica Pharm has been working in Human Resources for several years, working in a variety of different positions. She is also the founder of Blackness and the Workplace, a platform dedicated to creating space for Black professionals. She also hosts a podcast with the same name, where she interviews industry leaders and talks about the various issues and topics that impact Black professionals.
Jessica was born and raised in Milwaukee, growing up in the Sherman park area. Her favorite Professional Dimensions activities are the various networking events that help her connect with like-minded successful and ambitious women entrepreneurs and thought leaders throughout the city.
For more information on Blackness in the Workplace, please visit www.blacknessandtheworkplace.com and be sure to say hi to Jessica at the next virtual event and ask her about her new business!
Simmi Urbnaek is the VP of Business Development and Marketing for Platypus Advertising & Design, a full service agency that does traditional and digital branding, marketing and advertising. She is also the President of the Walker’s Point Association and a volunteer with several other organizations.
Her favorite Professional Dimensions activities are the Progessive Dinners. She says those programs are the best way to meet the most PD members and have the best in-depth conversations. Simmi was also a driving force on our Sacagawea Awards Committee this year and worked tirelessly to ensure the event was a success.
One thing about Simmi that you can’t find on her resume is that she has very vivid dreams and can often remember them for a long time, including a dream in 1999 where she dreamt the Pope blessed her!
Be sure to say hi to Simmi at the next Professional Dimensions outing and thank her for all she did to make sure the event was such a success!
As Senior Vice President for Baird Advisors, Baird’s fixed-income asset management team, Devon Norwood plays an integral role in expanding and deepening relationships with the investment intermediary partners by focusing on driving productivity, efficiency and effectiveness. Devon also serves as Treasurer on the Professional Dimensions Charitable Fund Board.
Devon grew up in Wauwatosa and has been in Milwaukee pretty much her whole life. She moved to Minneapolis for her first “real job” after graduating from UWM but returned to Milwaukee after a year.
Her favorite Professional Dimensions activity is hands down the Sacagawea Awards. She says she always leaves the awards ceremony feeling inspired.
Something about Devon that you can’t find on her resume is that she’s been skiing and snowboarding for just about 30 years. Her family gets together about once a year to hit the slopes. Her five-year-old daughter just learned this past season and she’s hoping to get her three-year-old started soon!
Be sure to say hi or introduce yourself to Devon at our next Professional Dimensions outing.
Tami Sweeny is the Executive Producer and Owner of Life Productions, Inc. Tami is a UW-Madison graduate with a background in Public Broadcasting editing promotional pieces, doing research for local documentaries and working as a news reporter and public affairs host at WNDU-TV in Indiana. Her work has been featured on ESPN along with winning a Chicago Midwest Emmy Award for a Single Public Affairs Program in 1997-98.
Tami has lived in Milwaukee since 1985. Her favorite Professional Dimensions activity is the Sacagawea Awards event, where she helped produce the incredible videos of our honorees and their guests. She said it was an honor to get to tell the stories of trailblazing women in our community, and their accomplishments and contributions never cease to amaze her.
Something about Tami that you can’t find on her resume is that she has four adult children scattered all across the globe, three daughters-in-law, one son-in-law and grandchild #7 coming in November! She loves the outdoors, completed her second half Birkie cross-country ski race this past February and just finished a 59-mile whitewater rafting/camping trip on the Smith River in Montana.
Be sure to say hi to Tami at the next Professional Dimensions gathering and thank her for all she did to make our Sacagawea Awards such a success!
Wendy Terwelp is CEO of Opportunity Knocks of Wisconsin, LLC, the author of the “Rock Your Network” series and our 2020 Sacagawea Awards Chair. Dubbed a “LinkedIn Guru” by the Washington Post, Wendy is an award-winning executive career coach and personal branding strategist who works with high-performing leaders and organizations to advance careers, rock networks and up-level brands. Her consulting services, speaking engagements, and programs serve audiences worldwide through conferences, associations and corporate engagements.
Wendy has been working hard with her committee over the past few months to design a reimagined virtual Sacagawea Awards experience. Her and her committee have successfully sold out the event and achieved record-breaking results with the help of all Professional Dimensions members, friends, partners and sponsors. Wendy’s favorite Professional Dimensions activities are the progressive dinners, where she can meet many different members and learn something new or gain a new perspective.
Something about Wendy that you can’t find on her resume is that she loves live music concerts. While this year many traditional summer events in Wisconsin were cancelled, she is still enjoying the many live-streamed “concerts from home” musicians have been providing on Facebook and other streaming websites.
Be sure to say hi to Wendy at an upcoming Professional Dimensions event and congratulate her on a successful Sacagawea Awards!
Andrea Petrie works for Alverno College as Vice President for Advancement, leading development and engagement efforts with alumnae, donors and friends as the college brings to life its strategic vision and continues building collaborative partnerships with southeastern Wisconsin corporations and foundations.
Andrea moved back to Milwaukee from Chicago in 2006 to work for Marquette University. She now lives in Muskego with her husband and three children.
Her favorite Professional Dimensions activity is the Sacagawea Awards. In fact, it was after her first awards ceremony that she became a member! She found it incredible that although you can tell the women are a close and tight-knit group, they go out of their way to make you feel welcome and that you belong. She has never felt like an “outsider” attending any Professional Dimensions event, and always finds members are genuinely inclusive and inviting.
Something about Andrea that you couldn’t find on her resume is that she loves karaoke! So much so that she bought a portable karaoke machine, complete with a disco ball, that she can take with her places.
Be sure to strike up a conversation with Andrea at the next Professional Dimensions outing!
Meica Hatters is the Vice President of Talent Development for EDGE – Where Leadership Begins. EDGE is a talent and organizational development firm that uses evidence-based practices to help individuals and organizations reach their goals. Meica loves helping clients think creatively about their talent.
Meica lives in the Lake Geneva area and joined Professional Dimensions in 2018 to get more involved in the Milwaukee area. Her favorite Professional Dimensions activity is her committee service. She volunteers on both the Programs and the Membership committee. Committee service gives her the opportunity to work alongside awesome leaders and contribute to the member experience. Those activities fulfill her passion for community building.
Something about Meica that you can’t find on her resume is that she’s a fan of speculative fiction. She’s thrilled that Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson books are coming to Disney as a live action series.
Be sure to say hi to Meica at our next Professional Dimensions outing!
Laura Parrino is an Executive Career Consultant with LAK Group, a boutique consulting firm providing companies and individuals with expertise in transforming lives and organizations. She left a Fortune 500 company to be part of a team dedicated to working on purpose.
It’s been her life’s calling to help individuals move forward through career disruptions and transitions. Work is so important to everyone, and whether a disruption occurs by choice or force, we experience a deep need to uncover not only another job, but to also connect to our life’s purpose and mission on this planet. Laura has logged in more than 19,000 hours in one-on-one coaching conversations with individuals from all walks of life, and take great pride in sharing her network and connections to help others.
Her favorite Professional Dimensions activity is utilizing the membership directory and getting to know other members. She loves having access to 400+ dynamic leaders making a difference in our community.
Laura left Waukegan, IL to attend Marquette University and has lived in Milwaukee ever since.
Something about her that you can’t find on her resume is that she loves to play pool and sing karaoke. Her guilty pleasure is American Idol, and she’s watched 15 seasons!
Be sure to say hi to Laura at an upcoming Professional Dimensions event.