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Webinar | Equity in the Boardroom
Wednesday, September 08, 2021, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM CDT
Category: Wisconsin

10:00 AM - 11:30 AM (Pacific)
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM (Mountain)
12:00 PM - 01:30 PM (Central)
01:00 PM - 02:30 PM (Eastern)

Zoom invitation will be shared the day before the event.


Beyond representation on the board, how does a board define, foster and ensure that equity is evoked and thrives in the boardroom.

Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!



Austin Ramirez
President and CEO, HUSCO
Board Member, ONB

Austin Ramirez is President and CEO of Husco International, a privately held engineering and manufacturing company. During his ten-year tenure as CEO the company has tripled in size to more than $500M in global sales, received designation as Global Growth Company by the World Economic Forum and been recognized as Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year. Austin began his career as consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in corporate finance and industrial operations.

An active industry leader, Austin serves as a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB). Austin has served on several education-focused nonprofit boards and is a co-founder of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a K-12 faith-based school serving 1,500 low-income students on Milwaukee’s south side. He is a founder and co-chair of Democracy Found (a non-partisan political reform organization focused on implementing open primaries and ranked-choice voting) and has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s most powerful Latinos. 

Austin holds a B.S. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar (top 10% of his graduating class) and Goldman Sachs Fellow. Austin is a former USA Swimming National Champion and FINA World Championships gold medalist.

Austin was a 2016 White House Fellow, serving on the National Economic Council for both the Trump and Obama administrations.  He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.  


Melissa Donaldson
SVP and Chief Diversity Officer
Wintrust Financial Corporation

Melissa Donaldson is a transformational leader, change agent and a staunch advocate for leadership, equity, inclusion, and reinforcing humanity in business. She is the first to be appointed Chief Diversity Officer at Wintrust Financial Corporation, a commercial banking and specialty financial service company with over $35 billion in assets under management. Melissa reports to the CEO and serves as an institutional advisor and partner to senior leaders and a broad range of constituencies to establish diversity and inclusion priorities aimed at driving business success, enhancing employee engagement and positioning Wintrust as an employer of choice and responsible corporate citizen. She coined the masthead “One Wintrust” as an expression of a unified approach across a complex organization, and launched several initiatives to operationalize the mission, most notably an annual Senior Executive Diversity Forum, D&I Business Unit Action Plans, Board Director engagement, and accelerated multicultural leadership pipeline development.

Melissa’s journey as a corporate D&I strategist began at technology solutions firm CDW, where she served as the company’s first-ever Director of Inclusion Practices. Prior to joining Wintrust, Melissa was Director of Diversity Networks and Communication for Walgreens Co., part of Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) Retail Pharmacy USA Division.

Melissa holds a Master of Science in Communication (Northwestern University), a Master of Science in Administration (Central Michigan University), and a Bachelor of Science in Management Science (Wright State University). Her thought-leadership has been published in Profiles in Diversity Journal, Diversity Executive, and Workforce Management
magazines, and shared through numerous speaking engagements on national and local venues. She sows her expertise as guest lecturer in the Northwestern University Master of Science in Communication program, and on a variety of community boards and advisory councils, including: Chicago Sinfonietta, Financial Services Pipeline, Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, Chicago United, UCAN, American Banker Association D&I Peer Council and Mortgage Bankers Association D&I Advisory Committee. She is a member of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. Associates Group and The Links, Incorporated.

She and her husband Kevin are proud parents to two amazing adult children.


Alan Antoniewicz
Board Member, Sentry Equipment

Alan is an inventive and influential board director specializing in business improvement, leadership, mentorship, organizational development, business transformation, cultural transformation, strategic planning and change management.

Retired C-Suite executive served over 40 years in a variety of industries and capacities; responsible for global business operations, financials, human resources and administration for publicly held, privately held, and family owned businesses.

Mr. Antoniewicz is the current President and Owner of Mark VI advisory group. He  currently serves on several outside boards offering his  expertise and leadership skills to strengthen businesses. He retired in 2021 from  family held Spancrete Group, his most recent position was President – COO and retired after successfully navigating the sale of the business to a strategic acquirer. In his role, he had responsibility for P&L of all business operations, culture, communication and human capital and company strategic direction. Mr. Antoniewicz was a company officer and member of the board of directors. Previous experience with Dresser Co. as President of Global Operations and various position at Manitowoc Crane Group as well as Komatsu mining. 

Mr. Antoniewicz has extensive experience as an outside board member, including directorships with private and family held companies with a wide range of revenue across a variety of industries. He currently serves as an outside director Sentry Equipment, M2M Machining group and Precision Drive & Control. 

Mr. Antoniewicz received his B.A. at Marien University, also Executive Management Program, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University, Durham, NC, Advanced Certificate in Management and Certificate in Management, Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI.


DeVona Wright Cottrell
Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel
GMR Marketing

DeVona Wright Cottrell is chief legal officer and general counsel for Global experiential agency GMR Marketing and the Omnicom Experiential Group (OEG) more broadly. Wright Cottrell is a skilled attorney, results-oriented problem solver, and a passionate leader and mentor. As GMR’s Chief Legal Officer & General Counsel, Wright Cottrell serves as the agency’s key corporate legal advisor, oversees the agency’s legal and risk management teams, and acts as a partner to agency leadership. 

Previous, Wright Cottrell was Director and Associate General Counsel of Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated.  She joined Baird in 2007 and had broad exposure to Baird’s businesses and primary legal responsibility for Baird’s Fixed Income Capital Markets business unit and provided legal support to several of the firm’s corporate resource groups, including Risk Management, Compliance and Facilities with regard to information security, privacy, regulatory and commercial real estate related matters. 

Outside of work, Wright Cottrell is mentor to many and serves in a number of professional affiliations and civic activities, including board chair for TEMPO Milwaukee, board member of First Federal Bank of Wisconsin and Dr. Howard Fuller Collegiate Academy, Greater Milwaukee Committee Member, Co-Chair for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County Diversity Leadership Society and special counsel for Greater New Birth Church. Her accolades in the past few years are many and most recently include a 2021 Women of Influence Award from the Milwaukee Business Journal.



Inge Plautz
SVP, Executive Business Development Officers
Old National Bank

Inge Plautz serves as Senior Vice President and Executive Business development Officer for Wisconsin with a special emphasis on the Milwaukee Region of Old National Bank (ONB). Old National has nearly $20 Billion in assets and was founded in 1834 in the State of Indiana. ONB’s Wisconsin presence is centered among the most dynamic markets of Milwaukee, Madison and the Fox Valley.

Prior to joining Old National in 2018, Inge spent more than 13 years within finance, accounting and commercial insurance. Inge’s expertise includes Global Trade, Leveraged Finance, Bond Financing Structured Finance  Capital Markets and traditional Commercial and Industrial banking. Inge also has deep expertise in Health Care and Employee Benefits.

Inge is also the Co-founder of Pump Hero, LLC, which is a mobile App that connects on-the-go nursing mothers to safe, clean and convenient locations to pump. Inge is an avid community supporter with extensive board and volunteer service. She serves as an Advisor to LeaseCrunch a software technology company. She is on the Membership Committee for Tempo Milwaukee, steering committee member of Milwaukee Women inc, committee member for the Milwaukee Boys & Girls Club Celebrating G.I.R.L.S , serves on the board of The First Tee of Southeast WI and is a board member of Ducks Unlimited. Inge also gives her time to many initiatives devoted to STEM and empowerment of young women. She is a certified PADI Rescue Diver and holds State of Wisconsin Accident, Health & Life License.

A Graduate of University of Wisconsin Madison, Inge holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration and Bachelors degree triple majors in Finance International Business and French.  A native of South Africa, Inge speaks four languages including Afrikaans, French and Zulu.