Meet Our 2014 BNE Speakers & Panelists

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Friday, October 24, 2014 | Room 2235 Nancy Nicholas Hall

For event schedule, please see details at bottom of page

Thanks to everyone who attended our 2014 Badger Networking Event!


Kick-Off Speakers:

Adrian Reif & Matt D’Amour, co-founders of Yumbutter

After fueling much of his life with “peanut butter”, in 2008, Adrian Reif (left) held a jar of a not-so-tasty peanut butter and asked the fateful question, “How do you make this?” After grinding his own homestyle batches and emptying the kitchen cabinets off oddly inspiring ingredients, he would never go back. Adrian continues to brew up foods from scratch. His home is packed with bubbling crocks of kraut, kombucha, water kefir, massive massaged kale salads, and graced by delicious potluck dinners with friends.

For Matt D’Amour (BS ’04 – right), the epiphany took place when he began studying holistic health, nutrition, and exercise kinesiology, over 10 years ago. Matt began to see nutrition as a way to heal himself after coming down with severe digestive issues caused by giardia. Let food be thy medicine, he thought. His immersion in holistic health showed the impact ingredient quality and nutrition density have on the body and overall well-being. Unable to find a nut butter up to his standards, he began churning his childhood staple from nutritious nuts & seeds and adding in other nutrient-dense ingredients to boost nutrition. He would never go back. Matt received his undergraduate degree from the School of Human Ecology where he majored in Consumer Affairs.


Brenda Chamberlain (BS ’02)

Brenda ChamberlainBrenda Chamberlain (BS ’02) received her undergraduate degree from the School Human Ecology, where she majored in interior design, and later earned a certificate in nonprofit management from Georgetown University. Most recently, she was executive director of Horton’s Kids, which provides wrap-around services to children in Washington DC’s Anacostia neighborhood. Brenda joined the nonprofit world in 2003 as a volunteer tutor for Horton’s Kids and was hired the following year as its director of volunteers. She has more than a decade of experience strengthening dozens of nonprofit organizations as an executive director, manager, volunteer, board member, nonprofit partner, and consultant. She is now principal at Brenda Chamberlain Consulting in Madison.


Matt Muenster (BS ’00)

Matt MuensterAs an Interior Designer and Licensed Contractor, Matt Muenster (BS ’00) sees every project as a chance to challenge the boundaries of design while keeping functionality and design in mind. After earning an interior design degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Matt honed his design skills by working on a variety of projects including restaurants, hotels, casinos, and high-end residences. He has been a host on HGTV and DIY Network for the past 6 years on shows such as Bath Crashers, BATHtastic!, Blog Cabin and HGTV Dream Home.


John Zeratsky (BS ’05)

John ZeratskyJohn Zeratsky (BS ’05) is a designer and writer who’s worked on consumer, enterprise, and medical software products. He helped redesign YouTube in 2011, he was an early employee at FeedBurner (acquired by Google in 2007), and he led design for Google’s advertising agency products. As a design partner at Google Ventures, he helps startups use design successfully. He’s worked with more than 50 companies, including Pocket, Blue Bottle Coffee, RetailMeNot, and Foundation Medicine.


Jon-Paul Bianchi (BS ’00, MS ’08)


Jon-Paul Bianchi (BS ’00, MS ’08) is a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan.

As a member of the Education & Learning team Jon-Paul’s national work focuses on young children and their families in the context of community, early care and school. His grantmaking targets the various programs, practices and policies that impact children birth to age eight and their families.

Prior to joining the Foundation in 2010, Jon-Paul was the early childhood initiatives director at the Colorado Children’s Campaign, a statewide non-partisan advocacy and research organization. Working closely with the Colorado legislature and executive branch, he was appointed to multiple committees and commissions focused on early childhood care and education. He served as staff advisor to the Colorado Early Childhood & School Readiness Legislative Commission where he authored several laws aimed at improving quality, family access and continuity of child care and pre-kindergarten services, teacher professional development and creating systemic alignment between various early care and education programs in Colorado.

Other earlier positions include project assistant at the Infant-Parent Interaction Laboratory at the University of Wisconsin Waisman Center for Developmental Disabilities and policy research assistant at the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families. Jon-Paul began his career teaching preschool, elementary school and coaching high school track and cross country.

Jon-Paul holds a Master of Science in Human Development and Family Studies and Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he trained early childhood and elementary educators, and conducted research on medically fragile infants and their parents as part of a National Institute of Mental Health grant. The study’s focus was on risk and resilience, parent-child relationships, child self-regulation, attachment quality and later developmental outcomes for children and families.


Dee Warmath, PhD: Moderator

Dee WarmathDee Warmath, Assistant Professor, Consumer Science, earned her PhD from the School in 2012.




The annual Badger Networking Event (BNE) is an opportunity for students, alumni, faculty and staff to come together and focus on professional development, leadership and collaborations. Speed Networking will give participants the chance to explore different career paths, practice networking skills, and connect with other students and SoHE alumni.

This free, no-cost event will feature a panel of alumni who will talk about the personal growth and professional success they’ve enjoyed in their careers and draw on their own experiences to share tips and advice.

Event Schedule – October 24, 2014:


  • Room 2235 (Michael Axelrod Collaborative Learning Hall) – School of Human Ecology – 1300 Linden Drive

12:30 – 1:00 p.m. | Registration and Check In

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Speed Networking:

  • Welcome from Dean Soyeon Shim, School of Human Ecology
  • Kick-off from Matt D’Amour & Adrian Reif, co-owners of Yumbutter
  • Networking stations for all four of SoHE’s areas of study: Consumer Science, Design Studies, Human Development & Family Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies

2:00 p.m.  – 3:00 p.m. | Alumni Awards Presentation & Panel Conversation moderated by Dee Warmath, PhD, with panelists:

3:00 – 3:30 p.m. | Reception

For more information on how you may be able to participate in the 2014 Badger Networking Event as a UW alum, contact Kim Lombardi, Associate Director of Advancement.


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