Our 2018 Great Conversations Table Hosts & Topics

Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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?


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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.


Table 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 there for 10 years and recently married a Korean woman. Learn more about the family’s experiences in Seoul as well as the DMZ.


Table 15

Jason Mansmith

From the Ripon Tigers to Tiger Woods 

Join in a conversation about local radio with Jason Mansmith and how no matter the size of the station you can still make a difference and cover some pretty cool events!


Table 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.


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