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.

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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.

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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.

Liz Eversoll, Chairperson

Liz has spent the last 20 years in the IT industry and has extensive experience as a business owner, IT executive, technology services and reseller executive, and consultant. Eversoll has led startups and multi-billion dollar businesses to success. She is active in the WI IT ecosystem and serves on numerous boards, is Chairman of the board for mobile gaming and sensor toy companies Mobile Mesh Games, V2 Leagues, and Meeper Technology, and is a member of Wisconsin Investment Partners. Her passion is building businesses with great teams, strong vision and disruptive potential.

Sarah Botham

Sarah is an entrepreneur at heart. In 1988 she opened Botham, INK., a marketing and public relations consulting firm that specializes in branding and strategic planning. She is also co-owner and director of marketing for Botham Vineyards & Winery; president and founder of Acala Farms, a food products business started in 2012, and of her latest business, WiscoBoxes™, launched in 2016. Sarah also brings her business experience to the classroom as adjunct faculty in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the UW-Madison. She serves on the Road America board of directors, elected in 2016 as the first female director in the racetrack’s 60-year history.

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.

Valerie Hildebrant Wulf

Valerie is the President and Co-Manager of Midwest Venture Capital Managers, LLC, a General Partner of the Phenomenelle Angels Fund I, LP, and an independent Director of an international women’s business organization. Valerie previously practiced as an attorney with national law firms in San Diego and Chicago and has invested and mentored private venture businesses for 27 years. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Greater Bucky Open, a charitable foundation benefitting the American Family Children’s Hospital. Valerie received her BBA with Honors from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and her law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School.

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.