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"We wanted to work with the Illuminating Project at Johnsonville to shine a light on the many women who are thriving forces in our company.  The project was a great way to say, 'thank you', in a meaningful way to these unsung heroes who are making an impact not only in our family-owned company but also in the meat industry and in their communities. This project was a great way to truly celebrate their accomplishments.” 

- Shelly Stayer, Owner, Chairman of the Board, Johnsonville

“I felt so honored to be included with such an amazing group of women.  Shining a light on my life as a woman in leadership in law enforcement had a great impact on me personally and professionally. I wanted to share my story with the goal of inspiring other women to join law enforcement.   I felt very comfortable participating and enjoyed working with the Illuminating Women team.  The Illuminating Women opening night far exceeded my expectations.  You are truly making a difference with this project.”

- Chief Polly Olson, Appleton Police Department

"Bringing the Illuminating Project to our company was a great decision. Our featured employees felt seen and appreciated, all while the rest of the company felt connected and learned about them on a deeper level. Utilizing this type of employee recognition is not only good for business (retention and building culture), but it’s good for the soul. Seeing other women’s stories was both inspiring and humbling. The Illuminating Project team was fantastic to work with; clear communicators who injected passion into everything they do. It’s clear that they don’t just view the women they work with as stories – but as people who they treat with great compassion.”

- Sierra Trojan, Internal Communication Specialist, J.F.Ahern

"It was an honor to participate in the Illuminating Women project.  Learning more about our colleagues inspired us and sharing our stories encouraged us to shine. The entire experience was perfect.   I enjoyed the interview which gave me a chance to reflect and share my experiences.  It was such a pleasure gathering with my colleagues and leadership, taking in the beautiful photos and inspiring biographies.  It was a wonderful event to celebrate the featured women.  Thank you for all you have done for Johnsonville." 

- Li Kudra, Ph.D., Johnsonville

"Participating in the Illuminating Project was a wonderful experience.  It opened my eyes to how others view me in the best way.  I felt good, cherished and appreciated by my peers and leadership.  The project also inspired me to continue to teach and share my knowledge with others."  

- Chris Bodendorfer, Johnsonville

"I had a great experience participating in Illuminating Women.   I feel more appreciated, and it was wonderful being recognized for my life's work.   After being featured by the Illuminating Project I also feel more respected in my work of running my non-profit organization." 

- Bonnie Klemmer Manske, The Children’s Giving Tree

"Thank you for everything!   Being featured as one of the Illuminating Women means so much to me!  I could show my children that being caring and compassionate is important and valuable.  The project made me feel seen in an occupation that normally doesn't feel that way.  I wouldn't change anything about the experience."

- Ashley Freimuth, Greenville Elementary & Freimuth Fitness LLC

"What drew us to the Illuminating Project was the opportunity to shine a light on women at our company.   This collaboration was a unique opportunity to present our company in an artistic way.  We could recognize our employees as individuals and as valued members of our organization.  The events created through the Illuminating Project helped us build community and strengthened our culture.  The Illuminating Project provided value to our company in employee appreciation, retention, and engagement, and we would definitely recommend the experience.”

 - Krista Ebbens– General Counsel and Corporate Secretary,

Executive Vice President, Human Resources, J.F. Ahern


"It will be great collaborating with the women after the Illuminating Project. Now we know so much more about them and see their achievements. We will feel more connected and work together in a more meaningful way."

- Tim Schneider, Executive VP, J.F Ahern

"The Illuminating Women event brought light and inspiration to our community.   You and your team inspired us to do more to have an impact on the world.  Learning about the other women gave me hope for the future.   I was humbled to be included and it impacted me deeply.  I felt so encouraged and valued in my work and seen as a person.  I feel energized knowing that my efforts make a difference.  I will never forget this experience and hope that the Illuminating Project will continue to recognize individuals for the good they do in this world.   We all need encouragement, and you did it so well with Illuminating Women."

 - Danielle Rybicki, ThedaCare

“The team at the Illuminating Project was so genuine and down to earth (…).  They really listened and made me feel comfortable. A very inspiring opportunity that made me feel special"

- Angie W

"I was deeply honored to be selected as one of the 30 illuminating women in the Fond du Lac area. Who wouldn't want to be told they are illuminating and inspirational? I was even more moved when I discovered that the reason they had chosen me was because of two things I am passionate about--reading and civic engagement. I viewed my participation in their project as an opportunity to spark, perhaps, a similar engagement in those who would view the exhibit they created. Of course, my family was also incredibly proud of me and it gave me the chance to share with my children, especially my daughter, what I view as my purpose in life. My daughter traveled from out of state to attend the opening of the exhibit and that is something I will always treasure. I'm ever grateful to the Illuminating Project for recognizing that what drives me has made a difference in my corner of the world."   

- Amy M

"My experience with the Illuminating Project was very positive and heart-warming.  I was amazed at the insight that Juliane gained about me from what was a casual and friendly conversation. She managed to take bits and pieces of my life and put them together to give a very accurate and complimentary picture. The whole process helped me recognize what I had accomplished and my hope is that it made others realize that if I could do it—they could, too. To me the project is two-fold: it makes the person being featured feel very special, but by illuminating their accomplishments, it will hopefully encourage others to follow their dreams also."

- Mary Ann W

“When Juliane approached me on wanting to illuminate my story I was truly humbled. I never thought I would be recognized for my character and past accomplishments. My mentoring women and volunteer work came naturally to me but I never thought it would be worthy of public acknowledgment. To share my life story with Juliane was an encouragement as she asked just the right questions and listened intently as I shared my passions. She fully understood the accomplishments and she managed to capture my passions and incorporated it into a meaningful recognition.   After this recognition I was energized and felt more joy in the areas I have been serving.      I was honored to be included with other Illuminating Women who have left their mark on our community.”  

- Karla P

"The Illuminating Women Project is exceedingly valuable in recognizing and valuing women and their contributions.  Women have been making a difference in their communities for as long as there have been communities.   I am both humbled and proud to be acknowledged as a woman who has tried to make a difference in her small city, humble to be surrounded by so many effective women and proud to be numbered among them."

- Mary W

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