Ripon Education Foundation’s Great Conversations 2018

April 26, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
Vines and Rushes Winery
410 County Rd E
Ripon, WI 54971
Ripon Education Foundation


With support from our event sponsor Alliance Laundry Systems, the Ripon Education Foundation invites you to a fun night of fine dining and enlightening conversation led by topic specialists. Each table will be hosted by community members who have a special interest or talent in a specific topic. You will select the conversation to enjoy during your leisurely dinner.

Thank you to this year’s sponsors

Event Sponsor
Alliance Laundry Systems                                   

Innovator Sponsor
CG Schmidt
Rauch Family Dentistry LLC
von Briesen Roper, s.c. / Tom Moniz
Peter & Emily Sensenbrenner

Scholar Sponsor
Horicon Bank                                                   

Friend of Education
Bright Orthondontics
Butzin-Marchant Funeral Home
Century 21 Properties
Condon Oil Company
Condon Total Comfort
Edward Jones/Greg Dragolovich
Ernessi Farms LLC
Fish Window Cleaning
Hillside Dental Associates
Knuth Brewing Company
KSF CPA Services
Silver Creek Dentistry
Quality Plumbing

2018 Table Hosts & Topics

Select your top three choices from this list

1. Tony Hron, Alliance Laundry Systems: Plans for the Next Decade in Ripon.
Alliance has grown in the last 25 years from 500 employees to 2,200 in Ripon today. Let’s talk about the most recent expansion projects – the 47th addition to the Ripon campus since 1912.

2. Dr. Henrik Schatzinger, Ripon College: How Did American Politics Become So Polarized?
The political polarization we see today is the consequence of major events and developments since the 1960s. We will explore the main sources of polarization from a historical perspective and the problems it poses, and discuss several solutions.

3. Bryan Ernst, Ernessi Farms: Fresh Brewed Mushrooms: How Our Waste Can be Repurposed to Help Feed a Growing Planet.
With a finite amount of land suitable for agriculture, and with global populations expected to reach 9.6 billion people by 2050, we must find new ways to grow food. What most people see as waste or garbage, can actually be repurposed to grow food, like mushrooms in a safe and sterile environment.

4. Lisa Burdick, Ripon Area School District: Ripon Virtual School
The Ripon Virtual School will be a Project-Based Learning virtual charter school for students in 4K-12th grades within the district and around the state, providing students the opportunity to study at their preferred pace, time and place. The mission is to empower learners through a customized and flexible pathway that fosters forward thinking.

5. Matthew Knoester, Ripon College: Beyond Testing
What are the limitations of standardized tests? What are ways teachers (and parents) should get to know the strengths and challenges of their students? How can that help parents and teachers gain a better understanding of their abilities?

6. Jason Presto, Boys & Girls Club
Hear about the work that has been going on behind the scenes to bring Club services to Ripon. You will learn more about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead and gain an understanding of what to expect in the near future.

7. Adam Downs, Blue Design Co.: From Employee to Entrepreneur
The artists at Blue Design can create everything from a custom wall decal to a fully customized car wrap for your business. Learn a bit more about the different ways vinyl graphics can brighten up your life.

8. Jessi Johnson, Ripon Area School District: Students in the Driver’s Seat with PBL
Project-Based Learning (PBL) is a teaching model where students work for an extended period of time to gain knowledge and understanding by engaging in a question, problem or challenge. Students drive their learning and engage in ways we could have never dreamed of.

9. Christal Wagner: A Career in Dance: Movement, Creativity, Inspiration, Engagement
A career in dance is much more than the rigor it takes to entertain an audience of critics. The art of movement inspires community engagement, creative storytelling, empowerment through physicality and a heightened awareness of self.

10. Alec Hoover, Ripon College: Ceresco Prairie Trail Annex Project
During the spring and summer, the Ripon College Red Hawks cycling team will be holding open community service hours to build new trails on the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy. Let’s talk about this community effort.

11. Nick Goeldi and Jesse Schwingle, Ripon Area School District: International Engineering Camp
Ripon High School students and high school students from China spent two weeks together in the summer of 2017 at an Engineering Camp hosted at RHS. We studied fluids and conducted experiments as well as spent great time together.

12. Rev. Joanna D’Agostino, First Congregational Church of Ripon: Why I Go to Prison: Restorative Justice in Wisconsin’s Prisons
Did you know that of the 33,000 people incarcerated in Wisconsin, 8,000 of them are within a half hour of Ripon? D’Agostino has been participating in Restorative Justice and prison ministry for more than four years and will share statistics, stories, and other information related to working with currently incarcerated men.

13. Janine Rubeck, Green Lake Area Animal Shelter: Everything You Didn’t Know About Animal Sheltering
Many people think working for an animal welfare organization involves the occasional fund raiser and playing with the animals. Here’s your chance to learn what goes on in a full service, open admission shelter right in your community.

14. Bill & Mary Ellen Boesch: Our experiences in Seoul
Seoul, South Korea, is a fascinating city of more than 10 million people. Bill and Mary Ellen have visited twice. Their son has lived their for 10 years and recently married a Korean woman. Learn more about the family’s experiences in Seoul as well as the DMZ.

15. Jason Mansmith: From the Ripon Tigers to Tiger Woods
Join in a conversation about local radio with Jason Mansmith. Learn how, no matter the size of the station, you can still make a difference and cover some pretty cool events!

16. Charlie Marks, Green Lake Sanitary District: Conserving Big Green Lake’s Last Piece of Waterfront
When the last sizable piece of water frontage is going up for sale, what should happen?? Discuss the mobilization of the Green Lake Conservancy Partnership to raise $4 million dollars through grants and donations. Also discuss the importance of the tract of land to the Green Lake and Ripon areas.


Please fill out the registration form below. Click “Add Attendee” to register up to 10 attendees. Click “Submit” once you have all attendees registered.  (you will purchase your tickets after the registration form)

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