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 at Edgewood College in Madison, Wisconsin. 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 entrepreneurial efforts across Wisconsin. She has provided leadership & organizational level support for Forward Fest, the Launch Wisconsin conference, judged various business plan competitions across Wisconsin, sat on the WEDWisconsin and Early Stage Symposium Advisory Boards, as well as the B Corp Wisconsin Movement committee.

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

Amy Gannon, Co-founder

{In Memoriam} Dr. Amy Gannon was a change agent dedicated to identifying and unleashing entrepreneurial talent, particularly in places where others weren’t looking for it. Her work focused on building pathways to entrepreneurship for those traditionally ignored by existing entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Dr. Gannon co-founded Doyenne. With more than 10 years experience working with startup businesses, Dr. Gannon had expertise in moving entrepreneurs through the idea validation, launch and growth stages. She designed, planed and facilitated developmental opportunities for entrepreneurs, within Doyenne and with other organizations in the Madison area including the Social Good Accelerator, Madison Urban Ministry (MUM), and others.

Dr. Gannon's passion for supporting all women and lifting them up to reach new hights and beliefs in themselves and the ventures they run is truly missed within our community, but never forgotten as she lives on through all of the work she did while here and the impact she's made on all she touched.  

Dr. Gannon and her daughter were tragically killed in a helicopter accident while on a family vacation in Hawaii on December 26, 2019. While she is no longer physically with us, she is felt within every aspect of Doyenne and continues to influence the work we do and how we create impact in communities.

Amy's torch has been passed to all of us and we will continue to honor and move the dial on the vital work she did throughout her life. 

Our Board

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

Truscenialyn Brooks

Truscenialyn (Tru-see-nah-lynn) Brooks is a Civil Right's Associate Attorney at Stonewell & Friedman, Ltd. Prior to this role, Truscenialyn was an Associate Attorney at Perkins Coie, primarily practicing in Intellectual Property Litigation. Truscenialyn also volunteers in the communities in which she lives to support equality and justice.

Kristin Leutz

Kristin is the Executive Director of Startup Champions Network. She is dedicated to connecting and strengthening connections between ecosystem builders across the country to support the growth and opportunities available for entrepreneurs and the organizations who support entrepreneurial endeavours. Prior to taking the role at Startup Champion Network, Kristin has served as CEO & COO of Valley Venture Mentors, Communications Consultant for Women Moving Millions, and as fundraising and development directors for various other organizations in the Massachusettes region.

Dana Guthrie

Dana Guthrie is the Founder & Managing Director of of Alchemy Angel Investors, an investment firm dedicated to growing the number of people of color investors and putting dollars into people of color led businesses. She is also an advisor of Golden Angels Investors and works at Johnson Controls as a Product Manager.