August 13 workshop speakers

The August 13th workshop “Telling Our Story” is happening soon! If you haven’t registered yet, please do. tiny.cc/driftlessforum

We are finalizing the day’s farm tour hosts, and have confirmed three speakers for the event. Nancy, Rossana and Neil will talk about agriturismo in Italy, and share their thinking on communicating about our farm and culinary richness  in the Driftless. Their bios are posted below. The rest of the day will be devoted to tours and participants crafting regional story themes. We are finalizing arrangements for an informal dinner the night before for those of you who plan to arrive Sunday.

Nancy Christy Heinen is the owner of the consulting firm Meaningful People, Places and Foods, working with companies, universities, organizations and nonprofits to craft well designed, meaningful food and work cultures. Her work has included creation of several social enterprises that merge sustainable agriculture and hiring people who have been disenfranchised from the workforce. Nancy is the former co-owner of the Wilson Street Grill and The Kennedy Manor. She has produced more than a half dozen videos and one related workbook on employing people with disabilities. She is currently working with the Goodman Community Center on a USDA grant to teach kids at risk skills needed to preserve local, sustainable food that is grown for the center and then made available for food pantry recipients in Dane County food pantries as well as Goodman’s own food pantry. She is the co-author of the monthly column Genuine Articles for Madison Magazine. She lives in Madison with her husband Neil and their dog Baguette.

Rossana Strunce is a native of Milan, Italy and moved to Madison, Wisconsin in 1994 with her husband and their two children. She attended the Interpreter School in Milan and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she earned a Bachelor Degree in Anthropology as well as a TESOL certificate (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). She has worked as an interpreter for Madison Mayor Sue Bauman when she went to Mantova, Italy to sign a sister-city agreement. Since then she has participated in many of the Mantova-Madison visits as an interpreter in both locations, as well as giving several presentations about Italian culture and traditions. More recently, when she is not teaching English as a second language to immigrants, she has been undertaking the new project of promoting the Italian agriturismo in the United States. She just came back from a trip she organized accompanying a group of 8 Americans on a two-week vacation around Northern Italy. Her hobbies are playing tennis and travel with friends Neil Heinen and Nancy Christy to scout new agriturismo sites throughout Italy.

Neil Heinen is the Editorial Director for WISC TV and Madison Magazine. He is also co-author, along with his wife Nancy, of the monthly column Genuine Articles. Heinen has served on the Board of Directors of the Association of Opinion Journalists (formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers) including serving as president in 2007, and is a past president of the AOJ Foundation. He is a member of the clinical faculty of the Kettering Foundation, and a member of the adjunct faculty of Edgewood College. He is a member of the board of We The People Wisconsin.