2019 Voices of Leadership: Jessica Shortall

Jessica Shortall

In a talk that is thought-provoking, funny and emotional, social activist Jessica Shortall delves into the myriad ways our culture reinforces gender roles in work and caregiving — and how the rules we are expected to follow impact both men and women, now and into the future.

Jessica will share her eclectic background that, through its many facets, has stayed rooted to the idea of positive social impact. Perhaps most recognized as the first Director of Giving at TOMS Shoes, building out the company’s now-iconic One for One giving mission, Jessica is the author of Work. Pump. Repeat., a book about surviving breastfeeding and returning to work. She currently directs Texas Competes, a coalition of more than 1,300 Texas employers and chambers of commerce to change the political playing field on LGBTQ issues.

Don’t miss this morning of big ideas that examine how we, individually and as organizations, can start to find our way past gender stereotypes that limit realities of how men and women can fully participate in both work and family.

Voices of Leadership presents:
Jessica Shortall
March 21, 2019
7:30 a.m. Continental Breakfast
8-10 a.m. Keynote followed by moderated panel discussion with community leaders
Ticket cost: $35

Jessica Shortall's appearance arranged through Gotham Artists. 


Meet the Panel

Mary DowellMary Dowell is the principal of MJDowell & Associates, a management-consulting group with emphasis in human resources, coaching, workshops, and public speaking.  She is the author of Playing Through The Fence, a book for emerging leaders or anyone seeking inspiration while facing obstacles on their career journey.  Prior to starting her own company, Mary held the position of Vice President of Foundation Affairs and Global Community Relations for Johnson Controls.  Mary is an active supporter of the community, serving on professional and community boards including Milwaukee Women Inc., Professional Dimensions, Boys & Girls Clubs Sista Pride Committee, the United Way Women’s Leadership Council and is a founding member of UPAF’s Notable Women. Mary has received several community awards, including The Business Journal’s “Women of Influence” Award, the United Performing Arts Fund’s “Notable Women” Award, “Black Women in Sisterhood for Action” (BISA) National Award, and TEMPO Milwaukee “Mentor” Award, among others. 


Mayor EhleyMayor Kathy Ehley, is serving her eighth year as the Mayor of Wauwatosa and is the only female mayor of the 35 largest municipalities in the state of Wisconsin.  In 2016, she was honored with a Milwaukee Business Journal Woman of Influence award for making the community and region a better place.  Prior to being elected Mayor, Kathy Ehley served for five years as Executive Director of the Village of Wauwatosa Business Improvement District (BID) spearheading the creation of a strategic master plan which resulted in one of The Village’s strongest growth spurts.  Mayor Ehley is a tireless advocate in the arts, education and civic organizations, having served on 20 local, regional and state boards.  Mayor Ehley currently serves on the Wisconsin Center District Board as Board Secretary, The Urban Alliance as Vice President, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewage District as Commissioner, is a founding leader of the Regional Transit Leadership Council, and serves on the Milwaukee County Research Park Board, among several others. 


Carlo Emanuele

Familiar with the historically male dominated industrial manufacturing space, Carlo Emanuele has spent the last 7+ years with Brady Corporation, most currently as the Director of SFID & Safety Solutions for North America, providing leadership to the Brady sales team and safety and facility ID businesses.  He has a passion for leading and mentoring professionals, developing a team that represents various experience levels, perspectives and backgrounds, positioning Brady for sustained growth and market leadership.  Prior to Brady Corporation, Carlo held multiple senior management roles at Direct Supply, Inc.

Carlo serves on the Brady Foundation Board of Directors leading the grants committee in supporting leadership and educational programming and strengthening communities. He also serves on the supplier advisory council for Affiliated Distributors.  A large part of Carlo’s life is his two daughters, ages 6 and 9, and he enjoys coaching the eldest’s basketball team.


Jessica ShortallJessica Shortall is a social activist, data enthusiast, storyteller, and mom who challenges and advocates for a change in societal expectations revolving around gender roles. She is the author of Work. Pump. Repeat. Among her other achievements, she also co-founded and franchised a food rescue and hunger relief non-profit, The Campus Kitchens Project, and was the first Director of Giving at TOMS Shoes. Jessica is currently the Managing Director of Texas Competes, a coalition working to change the political playing field on LGBTQ issues.




Vanessa Vasquezl

Vanessa Vasquez is employed at Carmen Schools of Science & Technology under the College & Career Readiness Team.  Previously, Vanessa lead MATC’s Driving Dreams initiative, a program designed to increase graduation rates and identify a path to college for underrepresented students at eight Milwaukee high schools.  Vanessa serves on several boards, among them the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Alverno College Young Alum Club, and the Latina Taskforce Advisory Board at Mount Mary University.  Vanessa has received numerous awards including the Alverno College Excellence in Leadership Award for Outstanding Faculty/Staff Advisor, the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee Future Leader Award, and UMOS’ 2018-2019 Hispanic Woman of the Year. Most recently, she was named as one of the 2019 Milwaukee Business Journal’s 40 Under 40!   




Denise ThomasDenise Thomas is the President and Owner of The Effective Communication Coach, LLC, a consultancy focused on transforming professionals into great leaders by mastering the art of networking and effective communication across language, cultural and communication-style barriers. Denise has travelled and taught communication strategy to professionals worldwide, including Egypt, China and Israel. Her existing portfolio of clients includes Kraft Heinz, Associated Bank, Northwestern Mutual and Stanley Black and Decker, and she has consulted with and coached the National Black MBA Association, the Thurgood Marshall Leadership Institute and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee. Among other accolades, Denise has been named the ONE MKE 2015 “Professional of the Year”, received NV Magazine’s 2016 “Movers and Shakers” award, the MillerCoors Diversity and Inclusion Award, and was recently recognized by the Milwaukee Business Journal as a 2019 Milwaukee top 100 Power Broker. Denise proudly serves on Mount Mary University’s Communications Advisory Council, the Cardinal Stritch University College of Business Advisory Council, and is a member of The Links Incorporated, TEMPO Milwaukee and the United Way of Greater Milwaukee’s Women United Leadership Council.




Sponsored in part by:

Sponsorship opportunities still available. Contact kahla@mtmary.edu.

Johnson Controls     Aurora Health Care

Baird     Marsh & McLennan Agency     WEC Energy Group     

Virginia Cornyn ’62     Nancy Cheski ’65     WaterStone Bank     CHR Hansen     

Marquette University Women’s Innovation Network     Park Bank