Our Founders

Doyenne was founded in 2012 by Heather Wentler and Amy Gannon. They met while Heather was launching her first venture and Amy was teaching entrepreneurship. Together they created Doyenne to fill the space that’s missing for so many women entrepreneurs — an organization that understands what it’s like for women who are building a business while wearing many hats each and every day. Doyenne gets it. We celebrate you, your business, and your many hats.

Heather and Amy believe the time is now for you to join the Doyenne movement and take part in creating a truly diverse and gender equal entrepreneurial ecosystem in Madison.

Heather Wentler, Executive Director and Co-Founder

Heather is also the founder of Fractal and the founder of Madison SOUP.

Heather has always encouraged others to reach for what they want to become. Through teaching early-childhood through middle school in disadvantaged schools, her role was more than just teacher for the students and co-workers she spent her days with. She became a parent figure, role model, coach and educator all rolled into one to make sure the lives she was touching were creating impact on their futures.

Heather’s passion for entrepreneurship and supporting women in business became more prevalent in her career as she was founding Fractal and transitioning out of teaching in a traditional classroom.

Heather is an active leader and organizer of Forward Fest, organized panels for the Launch Wisconsin conference, judged various business plan competitions across Wisconsin, sits on the WEDWisconsin and Early Stage Symposium Advisory Boards, and the B Corp Wisconsin Movement committee.

Heather serves as the President & Treasurer of the Doyenne Board of Directors.

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Amy Gannon, Director of Entrepreneur Development and Co-founder

Dr. Amy Gannon is a change agent dedicated to identifying and unleashing entrepreneurial talent, particularly in places where others aren’t looking for it. Her work focuses on building pathways to entrepreneurship for those traditionally ignored by existing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Dr. Gannon is a Co-founder and Director of Entrepreneur Development for Doyenne, a Madison-based organization advancing women’s entrepreneurship in Madison and beyond by transforming ecosystems to be more inclusive. With more than 10 years experience working with startup businesses, Dr. Gannon has expertise moving entrepreneurs through the idea validation, launch and growth stages. She designs, plans and facilitates developmental opportunities for entrepreneurs, including: 2-day strategic planning retreats, a year-long founder series for leadership development, and one-on-one and group peer coaching sessions.

Dr. Gannon serves as the Vice President & Secretary of the Doyenne Board of Directors

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Our Board

The Doyenne Board of Directors is comprised of established women entrepreneurs who redefine the term Doyenne through their experiences, knowledge, and personalities.

Jane Clark

Jane has 20 years of human resources, labor, payroll and benefits experience at both law firms and privately-held statewide companies. She is a frequent speaker on human resources, benefits, workplace culture and management issues. During her career, Jane has advised clients on wide-ranging employment matters, ranging from practical HR and benefits to legal compliance to strategic management. Jane is also a Dane County, Wisconsin Court Commissioner and serves on several non-profit and corporate boards, all focused on women’s issues, as well as education, preservation and tourism.

Mary Romolino

Mary has an extensive background in marketing that began at ad agencies on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile where she worked on major brands before escaping to Wisconsin. Once here, Mary made the leap to the corporate world as VP of Marketing for US Bank and led their Private Banking initiatives in eight states. With a team of experts in 2015, Mary launched Acme Nerd Games to unleash the power of games for learning and self-efficacy; designing apps that help kids thrive while having fun. Mary also serves on the Downtown Madison Rotary Board of Directors where she was named the club’s 2016 Vocational Service Award recipient.

 

 

Melinda Heinritz

Since July 2016, Melinda has served as the Executive Director of the Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools, a fundraising partner to the Madison Metropolitan School District.

Previously, Melinda was the Strategic Partnerships Director at the Madison Community Foundation, focusing primarily on A Fund for Women as well as the Foundation’s regional affiliate program.  Prior to that, Melinda served on the staff of the Wisconsin Historical Foundation for twelve years, eight as Executive Director.  During that time, she also served as Campaign Director of the $78.6 million Forward! The Campaign for the Wisconsin Historical Society.

Melinda has a BA in history from the University of Dayton and an MA in political science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  She and her husband, Mark, have a son at Cherokee Heights Middle School.

 

 

Eugenia Podesta

Eugenia holds a B.A. in Spanish and Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies, M.A. in Latin American Studies, and J.D. from UW-Madison.

A master of straddling different spheres, Eugenia channels over 15 years of nonprofit, international development and tourism experience into her role as co-founder of Synergy Coworking. She is passionate about each professional hat she wears—a female entrepreneur; a Senior Director of economic empowerment and entrepreneurship at Vital Voices Global Partnership (an international NGO based in Washington DC); and a local business mentor. “I love seeing people succeed and excel. I am a problem solver and am passionate about sharing information, knowledge and skills, and connecting people to others that can contribute to their growth.”

Angie Rieger

With more than 25 years of experience in the retail industry, Angie Rieger brings a wealth of knowledge of planning and inventory management in a digitally focused direct to consumer environment in her role as Senior Vice President, Planning and U.S. Direct.   She is a regional board member of a Fortune 500 non-profit and is very active in various other non-profit organizations.

As a seasoned executive and strategic leader with a strong understanding of the Lands’ End business, its customers and their behaviors, Angie is responsible for leading Lands’ End’s global inventory management and planning strategies across all channels and directing the day-to-day operations of the U.S. Direct business. She oversees the development and implementation of all inventory planning and management initiatives at channel, media and product level.  Angie’s responsibilities include forecasting and analytics, product inventory flow and management and customer fulfillment as well as profit and loss ownership of the U.S. Direct business. She strategically partners with cross-functional teams for all U.S. Direct efforts, including marketing and finance to drive profitability and improve market share.

A Lands’ End veteran of more than 20 years, Angie has held various progressive positions throughout the organization. Prior to returning to Lands’ End in 2010, Angie served as the merchandise manager at The Douglas Stewart Company.

Ms. Rieger holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration and organizational development from the University of Illinois in Urbana, Ill.