Richelle Martin

Managing Director, Winnow Fund

Headshot of fund manager Richelle Martin

Richelle is the Managing Director of the Winnow Fund and is responsible for seeking new investment opportunities. Prior to joining the Winnow Fund, she was a leader at UW-Madison’s Office of Industrial Partnerships. The University has an open portfolio of over $4 billion in research grants and contracts with industrial sponsors, with annual awards exceeding $1 billion. Richelle’s position provided a window to the areas on campus that interest private sector industry.

Richelle obtained a B.A. in Art History, Political Science, and Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She went on to receive a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She has experience assisting entrepreneurs, including individuals associated with UW-Madison, in forming companies, including preparation and filing of incorporation documents, and navigating intellectual property matters.

Winnow Fund Investment Committee

Ken Johnson

Managing Director of Kegonsa Capital Partners, Badger Fund of Funds partner

Ken is the Managing Director of Kegonsa Capital Partners, a Badger Fund of Funds I, LP partner. The Badger Fund has committed to invest forty cents in the Fund for every sixty cents in capital commitments from other investors. The Badger Fund intends to be the lead investor and invest up to a total of four million dollars in the Fund.

Ken has a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a MBA from the Illinois Institute of Technology. He is originally from Oregon, Wisconsin.

Kevin Ladwig

President, Johnsonville Holdings

Kevin leads MSAB Capital, a venture fund of Johnsonville Holdings. MSAB makes strategic investments in early stage companies in areas of interest to Johnsonville. Kevin has 20+ years of experience in research and development which includes a strong background of commercializing university technologies.

Kevin received his B.S. in Animal Science from UW-Platteville and a Masters in Meat Science from Iowa State University.

Mike Thorson

Co-manager of Wisconsin Investment Partners, Co-founder and Managing Director of Inventure Capital

Mike is the co-founder and Managing Director of Inventure Capital. Inventure Capital is a multi-asset class investment fund with a diverse portfolio ranging from tech startups to real estate developments. He is also a current co-manager of Wisconsin Investment Partners. 

Mike is a graduate of West Point, where he obtained a B.S. in Economics, and was a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University, where he received a M.A. in Economics, Politics, and Philosophy. He was a Lieutenant of Infantry in the Marines, and then embarked on a 16-year career in global finance, primarily in London and Tokyo, before returning to Wisconsin in 2010.

Brian Wiegand

Serial entrepreneur, ceo of dropcap

Brian has been a founder and CEO of six Wisconsin internet-based companies. His startups include BizFilings, which later sold to Wolters Kluwer;, which was acquired by Corporation Services Company;, which was sold to Microsoft Corporation; Hopster, Inc., which was acquired by Inmar Inc.; and Spin Live. He is the current Chief Executive Officer of DropCap. Brian also sits on the board of Sonic Foundry (NASDAQ: SOFO), a publicly traded software company.

Brian obtained a degree in Economics from UW-Madison. 

DeVona Wright Cottrell

Chief Legal Officer, GMR Marketing

DeVona is the 2024 investment committee representative of Seat at the Table (SAT), a Milwaukee-based group of women investors. 

DeVona currently leads the legal department at GMR Marketing, an experience-focused marketing firm. Prior to joining GMR, DeVona was a director and associate general counsel at Baird. DeVona continues to manage a Baird-affiliated investment club she founded during her time there. 

DeVona is a graduate of Jackson State University. She continued her education at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she received a JD, and went on to obtain an MBA from UW-Milwaukee’s Lubar College of Business. 

Katherine Licau-Gifford (2021)

Partner & Portfolio Manager, KLCM Advisors

Katherine was the 2021 investment committee representative of Seat at the Table (SAT), a Milwaukee-based group of women investors. 

Katherine is a partner and Portfolio Manager at KLCM Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm with approximately $900 million of assets under management.

Katherine is a graduate of Marquette University, with a B.S. in Finance and Business Economics.

Sara Walker (2022)

Vice President of Investments, Catholic Financial Life

Sara was the 2022 investment committee representative for Seat at the Table (SAT), a Milwaukee-based group of women investors.

Sara is the Vice President of Investments for Catholic Financial Life, a life insurance and financial services company based in Milwaukee. CFL has over $1.5 billion in assets. Sara’s background includes investment experience in various high level roles at BMO Private Wealth, BMO Harris, and Associated Bank, among other organizations. 

Her educational background includes a degree in Finance and Economics from UW-Parkside and a MBA from UW-Milwaukee’s Lubar College of Business. 

Jody Lowe (2023)

president and founder, the lowe group

Jody was the 2023 investment committee representative of Seat at the Table (SAT), a Milwaukee-based group of women investors.

Jody is an experienced communications professional specializing in communications strategy, strategic communications, media outreach, and media training. She founded The Lowe Group, a Milwaukee-based financial communications firm, in 2003. 

Jody attended UW-Madison where she received a B.A. in Economics and Political Science.