A very special brand

Recognizing women who lead, innovate, and take Madison to a higher level.

From the pages of In Business magazine.

Members of this year’s Women of Industry class have something in common: a professional brand that can be summed up with one characteristic — problem-solving.

In all, 45 nominations were forwarded in our third annual Women of Industry program, mostly on behalf of business and nonprofit executives who have demonstrated strong leadership in their respective industries, including several who have forged successful careers in male-dominated industries.

Leadership, however, is but one criterion for this honor. The 2017 winners presented on the following pages also have come up with an innovation or idea or program that moved the needle in the right direction and did so on matters ranging from branding to health therapy, and from the fight against domestic violence to animal welfare.

We also honor a woman who is leading the way on diversity, equity, and inclusion for the Madison Metropolitan School District. In so doing, she’s paving the way for private businesses that want to step up their “D&I” game.

Legacy Winner

Marsha Lindsay

Quality brand

Thanks to her keen “understanding of branding,” Marsha Lindsay has been anticipating the future for nearly 40 years. A lot of the modern thinking about brand psychology — locally, regionally, and nationally — can be traced to the differentiating work of Lindsay and her staff at Lindsay, Stone & Briggs, including the former meeting of the minds known as Brandworks University.

Her contributions to the science of human decision-making go beyond launching new products and brands, and driving business performance at startups and Fortune 500 companies. In her research and her work, she has found that the science of customer behavior offers clues into why even the most researched brand makeovers fail to change ingrained consumer habits. Hint: A compelling emotional connection, one that adds value to a consumer’s life, certainly helps.

What has transpired over the past 40 years has only reinforced Lindsay’s beliefs about brand psychology, but the most fascinating discovery this Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Famer has come across in her life’s work is that branding is an ancient pitch. “It really boils down to very basic human instincts that go back thousands of years,” she states. “We are attracted to things and people that help fulfill our self-concept or aspirations.”

Lindsay, the 1971 Alice in Dairyland and 1984 Wisconsin Entrepreneurial Woman of the Year, even had an impact as a graduate student at UW–Madison, where she not only conducted research on the psychology of persuasion, she used her emerging advertising acumen to help elect a governor, Lee Dreyfus, one of her old communications professors and a former chancellor at UW–Stevens Point.

“He’d always ask us, ‘What are you doing with the time and the talent that you’ve been given?’”

In Lindsay’s case, quite a bit — especially giving us all a better understanding of what constitutes effective brand strategy.

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Shannon Barry

No more shadow boxing

Shannon Barry (standing) is taking a cue from the breast-cancer movement for the benefit of domestic abuse victims. Barry, executive director of Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, recalls when breast cancer was a taboo subject and notes the success of cancer fighting fundraising, research, and programming since the topic came out of the shadows.

By presenting the new DAIS facility as a well-known public space rather than a confidential, undisclosed location, Barry has brought domestic abuse out of the shadows, as well. More importantly, she’s removing the stigma from abuse victims and improving access to services.

Barry notes that an unintended consequence of having secret facilities is that it reinforced the belief among victims that domestic abuse is their fault. “Bringing it out of the shadows and having a very public facility sends a very strong message to victims that they don’t deserve what’s happening to them,” Barry explains. “They do deserve safety. They do deserve support.”

Deirdre Hargrove-Krieghoff

Driving diversity

When it comes to diversity, equity, and inclusion, Deirdre Hargrove-Krieghoff (seated) is eager to share the credit with Madison School Superintendent Jennifer Cheatham and others.

Nationwide, school districts face challenges addressing teacher shortages and creating diverse, inclusive workforces. Three years ago, when Hargrove-Krieghoff joined the Madison Metropolitan School District as executive director of human resources, she and her team encountered the same challenges — and overcame them. MMSD hired 60 teachers of color for the 2016–2017 school year and is on pace to bring a new group of at least 70 teachers of color into its classrooms during the current school year. In addition, the district has made strides in diversifying its central office leadership.

She says the district’s strategies hold promise for businesses. “This can be replicated in the private sector, but the key to the replication is a real belief around this work.”

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Julie Lombardo

Therapeutic cancer fighter

Julie Lombardo is a breast cancer survivor who wants to increase the survival rate and the quality of life of other patients. Her enthusiasts in the medical field believe Lombardo, CEO of Capitol Physical Therapy, has revolutionized how cancer care is delivered by including physical therapy as a standard part of care delivery. It is a practice now endorsed by oncologists and other medical professionals and sought by patients.

While Lombardo thinks “revolutionized” is a strong way to put it, she will take credit for raising awareness in the medical community about the role physical therapy can play for breast cancer patients. More specifically, she is an active proponent of the growth of oncology “PT” specialists, which she considers to be a missing gap in the care of local breast cancer patients.

As she explains, physical therapists are “movement specialists,” optimizing how a person moves as a result of pain or weakness. “Exercise is nature’s ‘polypill,’ notes Lombardo (seated), “in that it’s beneficial for virtually every medical condition.”

Pam McCloud Smith

Friend of furry friends

Among the creative ways that Pam McCloud Smith (standing), executive director of the Dane County Humane Society, has developed to promote animal welfare, she is proudest of reaching out to the community to keep animals in their homes.

Under her direction, the organization not only serves more than 8,000 animals per year with state-of-the-art shelter management, it has collaborated with community partners such as the UW–Madison School of Veterinary Medicine, and established events such as Community Dog Day. Volunteer veterinarians visit local neighborhoods and offer free exams and other services.

DCHS programs have been “adopted” by humane societies nationwide, but Pam is prouder of creating a team of staff and volunteers that work on behalf of people and animals. “We approach things as a team, and by creating all these partnerships, we’re able to do so much more,” she notes. “We want animals to be a part of people’s lives and families because we know the bond and joy that they bring to our lives.”

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Rachel Robinson & Emily Purdom

Technically speaking

Emily Purdom (right) spent much of her time traveling between appointments across 15 different schools. Rachel Robinson (left) worked at a rehab clinic with three-month waiting lists to see a speech therapist. The former graduate research partners at Missouri State University knew there had to be a better way to serve patients.

Through live videoconferencing, they now provide speech therapy services to thousands of students that otherwise would be underserved. The service is the foundation of their Madison-based health technology startup DotCom Therapy, and about the only thing they cannot do during a videoconference therapy session is give their patients live high fives. They have to settle for the virtual kind.

There is nothing virtual about their reach or the potential number of settings in which they can deliver speech therapy services. Those settings, which require an onsite implementer, now include schools, homes, and occasionally clinics, but soon could expand to hospitals and other settings. The cloud-based technology ensures that all patients and on-site implementers need is adequate technology and internet connections, and like other telehealth features, it removes location as a barrier to service.

“The feedback we’re getting is that it simplifies the process of finding a therapist for many of our schools, and the kids enjoy accessing services through technology,” Purdom says. “It’s a medium they are very familiar with, that they are engaged with.”

“For the students, they are able to access services through a medium that they love,” Robinson adds, “and they are able to work with a therapist that really understands what they are going through.”

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