Chair: Dave Ott, EZ Office Products
Vice-Chair: Ann Tieman, Monona State Bank
Meeting Date: 2nd Thursday at 3:30pm at various member restaurants
We have revised our Ambassador program to match today’s industry. This group of business leaders is the welcoming arm of MESBA. The Ambassador Council is a premier business-relationship program and are the backbone of our volunteer force. Ambassadors are very outgoing, sales oriented people that smile often. Serving as an Ambassador is a prestigious and honorable position. The Ambassador Council plays a supportive role in the strategic direction of our organization.
• They meet and greet at our forums and special events
• They attend milestone occasions like ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking ceremonies
• They assist in building relationships with new member-investors
• They organize the Kickstart (new member orientation) event each year
• They provide feedback so we can continue to deliver cutting-edge programming that gives members the tools needed to advance their businesses.
A major responsibility of the Ambassadors Council is to encourage the retention of existing members and the recruitment of new members. This is accomplished by site visiting, keeping in touch with members and prospects and being active in events.
A candidate for an Ambassador holds these qualities:
• an individual who is a member or employee of a member business
• an outstanding business leader in their field
• they must be dependable and enjoy meeting other people
• they are an advocate of the organization
The Ambassadors Council meets monthly on the second Thursday each month at 11am at various member restaurants. At the meetings, Ambassadors are assigned new contacts to connect with and educate about upcoming events and what MESBA is all about. Ambassadors are able to build relationships with businesses through their position at MESBA which ultimately allows them to build relationships for their business as well. We call that a win-win!
Dave Ott, EZ Office Products, Ambassador Chair
Ann Tieman, Monona State Bank
Ann grew up in Onalaska, WI, attended UW Madison and has been a resident of Monona now for over ten years. As a Branch Manager for Monona State Bank, Ann enjoys building strong relationships within our community to help all of our local businesses thrive which makes MESBA a great fit. When not at work, Ann is navigating the demands of a young family. Her and her family enjoy spending the summers on the lakes of Madison. With over 20 years of experience water skiing, you can still see her performing with the Mad-City Ski Team. She also enjoys downhill skiing, running, dining, and traveling.
Jessica Gundlach, Creative Business Interiors
Jessica graduated from UW-Madison in 2006 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design. She started he career working as a consultant/intern with UW Hospital and Clinics and then became an Interior Designer with Workspace Studio in 2006. She was promoted to Senior Interior Designer in 2010. In 2012, Jessica accepted her current position as Account Executive with Creative Business Interiors. At Creative Business Interiors, Jessica helps her clients create highly functional, healthy work environments that are also aesthetically pleasing and support their brand and cultural image. She acts as the “orchestra leader” for her internal team and clients, providing a cohesive approach to the interior design, construction and furnishings of each and every project. She is passionate about design and believes that good design is good business! Jessica enjoys spending time with her family (husband, young daughter and dog), Packer’s football, DIY home projects, trying new restaurants, and doing pretty much anything outside.
Amy Lord, The River Food Pantry
Amy joined the Monona East Side Business Alliance as an ambassador in 2016. She is the Development Director with The River Food Pantry. She enjoys putting her 14+ years of expertise in marketing, communication, and outreach to work to share The River’s mission of providing nutritional basics and encouragement for all community members in need. Amy works to engage donors, manage fundraising and signature events, build better relationships with corporate sponsors, and coordinate grant and foundation applications. She is happy to be a part of a resource making positive change in the Dane County community. In her spare time, you will find Amy and her husband Eric outside. They love to garden (they have a flower and two veggie gardens), kayak, hike or snowshoe depending on the weather, shop flea markets, go antiquing, and cook especially with fresh ingredients grow locally and from their garden.
Gwen Skalitzky, Julie Bass – State Farm
Gwen has over 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. In July 2016, she started her position at the Julie Bass State Farm Agency in Monona. As a member of Julie’s team, she is responsible for new business sales and marketing. She enjoys working with clients and building new relationships. Gwen lives in Madison and loves what the city (and Monona) can offer. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, dining, cheering on the Badgers, and raising her puppy, Augustus. Gwen is excited to be a MESBA Ambassador!
Anne Johnson, SprintPrint
Anne was born in Chicago but has lived in Monona and then the east side of Madison since she was three and attended UW-Madison. She enjoys being a part of the team at SprintPrint to promote a variety of printing, mailing and signage services. “SprintPrint‘s customers know that they can count on our small team to do big work. Because of our size, we are able to offer flexibility to our customers. We meet our customers’ needs better and faster than many of the bigger printing companies. You don’t have to be a big printer to be a great printer!” Anne lives with her identical twin sister and they have a Guinness World Record of being the tallest identical twin sisters in the world in April 1990. They are also proud aunts to six fabulous nieces and nephews (and love to spoil them).
Joshua Holt, Josh Lavik & Associates at Keller Williams
Joshua hails from Eau Claire, WI and has been a resident of the Madison area for over 10 years. He has a diverse sales background including retail management and financial solutions prior to embarking on a career in Real Estate. Joshua is a proud Army Veteran and enjoys building relationships through a mix of community involvement and business networking. This has made his role as a Buyer’s Agent with the Josh Lavik & Associates team a natural fit. Away from work, Joshua enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter as well as cooking, and watching baseball.
Matt Nicgorski, KMA Bodilly CPAs & Consultants
Matt grew up in Milwaukee, WI and attended UW-Madison, graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 2002. He has been a Monona resident for 12 years and became an Ambassador with the Monona East Side Business Alliance in 2016. He started working for Madison Bookkeeping & Tax Service immediately out of college and remained there until the firm was purchased by KMA Bodilly CPAs & Consultants in December of 2014. Matt obtained his IRS Enrolled Agents certification in 2007 and recently passed the CPA exam in September of 2016. Matt’s role with KMAB involves individual, corporate, partnership, trust/fiduciary & estate tax preparation and brings 14 years of experience to the industry. When not in the office Matt enjoys cooking, dining out, and attending/watching Badger & Packer football games.
Robert (Bob) Buedding, Graphite Inc.
Robert is from Wausau, Wisconsin and has been a resident of the Madison area for over 20 years. He has a business sales and management background dating back thirty years, with twenty years of that being in the telecommunications industry. Lucky enough to retire from telecom at the ripe old age of forty-eight, he spent the next thirteen years working in sales for companies of choice, with one of those being the Business Manager at the Apple Store in Madison. Most recently he was hired on in June of 2016 as the Business Account Manager at Graphite Inc, an Apple Premier Partner, selling, servicing, and supporting Apple products. He is married to his wonderful Anne for over thirty-seven years, a proud father of a daughter and son, grandfather of two adorable grandchildren, and a great father-in-law. In his spare time he enjoys biking, listening and collecting music, and buying technology gadgets.
Penelope Kochanski, Emergency Water and Fire Restoration
Penelope Kochanski was born and raised in Milwaukee, and aside from spending a couple years in Tennessee for collage and rowing for the Lady Vols, Wisconsin has always been her home (despite the winters). She has worked for Emergency Fire and Water Restoration for nearly three years who have been an active member of MESBA since 2015. Not only is she involved heavily in the community outside of work, but she has taken that love of helping and charity oriented mindset and merged that with Emergency Fire and Water Restoration’s core goal of helping people in need. Being an active member in MESBA and an ambassador has allowed her to do just that along with supporting other locally owned and operated businesses. In her free time, Penelope enjoys spending time with friends and family doing local charity work and watching the packers! Emergency Fire and Water Restoration is a locally owned and operated restoration company who prides itself in being a homeowner and property/business owner advocate. In doing that, Penelope and the rest of Emergency’s staff, can not only restore properties back to its original state, but restore lives as well.