August 27, 2019

Skillsfest 4.0 was amazing!  We learned how to address complex problems at the local level and participate in a leading-edge activity in creating a generative world (education, business, community, and more)!

One tangible outcome of Skillfest 4.0 is that Jason is pursuing prototypes around Generative Business and Generative Local Community.  If you are interested in exploring how business can enable personal and collective flourishing, please contact us below.

Agenda - August 27


Speaker Bios

Jason Schulist Appleton, WI

Jason Schulist is the President of the Generative Local Community Institute (GLCI). He focuses on how to use Adaptive Problem Solving on thorny community problems and develops models of generativity. Jason founded Skillsfest, a yearly gathering of national leaders in community problem solving. He has consulted in the non-profit, automotive, and health care sectors.

Prior to forming GLCI, Jason served as Appvion’s Vice President of Continuous Improvement (CI) and Project Management, as DTE Energy’s Director of the Program Management Office (PMO) and Continuous Improvement, and roles in corporate strategy, business development, and operations at General Motors.

Jason has saved over $1 billion dollars in his career and has led teams that have won numerous global and national accolades. He speaks nationally on the topics of adaptive problem solving, community problem solving, generativity, lean, and project management.

Jason earned a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Marquette University and two Masters’ degrees in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science and Management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

He is a co-founder of the Michigan Lean Consortium and past Chair. He currently serves on the Boards of the United Way of the Fox Cities, CAP Services, the MIT Club of Wisconsin, Community Impact, and the POINT Poverty Initiative in NE WI.

Mike Stoecklein Minneapolis, MN

Mike Stoecklein is a Partner with the Institute for Enterprise Excellence (IEX), a learning organization (a group of pracademics), who have captured lessons learned from many industries that help us expand the approach and application of principles, systems and tools in order to “bring purpose to life.”

Prior to joining IEX, Mike, was the Healthcare Value Network (HVN) Director at the ThedaCare Center for Healthcare Value (now Catalysis). Mike oversaw the systems and activities that support the peer-to-peer learning network that comprises approximately 60 healthcare organizations in the United States and Canada.

Prior to this, Mike served as Vice President of Operational Improvement at Catholic Health Initiatives where he coached leaders and mangers in the principles of operational excellence using management principles he learned directly from Dr. W. Edwards Deming from 1985-1993. Mike also served as a Vice President of Transformation Resources at the Wheaton Franciscan Health System, as well as the Healthcare Market Development Director at the American Society for Quality.

Mike earned his master’s degree in healthcare administration from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a Bachelor of Fine Arts from California State University – Hayward, and a Bachelor of Science in health administration from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, IL.

Paula Morgen Appleton, WI

Paula Morgen is Director of Community Health for ThedaCare hospital health system based in Appleton Wisconsin. She has held several roles in her 30 years with ThedaCare including positions in marketing, market research, community affairs and media relations. For the past 16 years, she has led the system’s Community Health Improvement function including responsibility for Needs Assessments, Implementation Plans, Community Benefit Tracking, Contributions and Sponsorships, Employee Volunteerism and their Community Health Action Teams (CHAT). With Morgen’s leadership, ThedaCare is a two-time finalist for the Foster G McGaw Award for Excellence in Community Service through the American Hospital Association and Baxter International. Paula is married with two children currently in college. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree from UW Madison and is completing a Master’s in Organizational Leadership and Administration from Concordia Wisconsin. She also is a graduate of the Creating Healthy Communities Fellowship offered through the Health Forum.

Ted Toussaint        Los Angeles, CA

Ted teaches, writes, and consults on healthcare innovation. He uses expertise in design thinking, strategy formulation, and lean product development to help teams discover and implement breakthrough organizational change initiatives.

Ted began his career at Boston Children’s Hospital where he served the Six Sigma team to develop measurement systems and audit processes to improve hospital cleanliness. He then moved to Atrius Health in Boston, where he worked as a front-line improvement specialist and an Innovation Engineer. While there he helped build the Atrius Health Innovation Center and worked with teams to design new clinical care models. With Ted’s assistance, the innovation team designed and created the organization’s first home-based urgent care program, which reduced overall costs for elderly patient care by $1.5 million annually.

Ted co-wrote the article “How Atrius Health Is Making the Shift from Volume to Value” which was published in Harvard Business Review. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physics from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Jillaine Smith Bethesda, MD

Since being introduced to Emergent Learning in 2007, Jillaine has facilitated multi-foundation Emergent Learning conversations to tackle a variety of challenges from assessing the impact of general operating and capacity-building support to learning from grantmaking “failures.” She currently coaches teams and leaders to use Emergent Learning practices for everything from strategy development to day-to-day operations.

Jillaine’s 25+ years of experience in the nonprofit sector brings an appreciation for the power dynamics and other complexities of learning between grantmaker and grantee organizations. She is an advocate for “keeping the work at the center” of any learning-related activity.

With her partners, Jillaine is both co-designer/facilitator of the year-long 4QP Emergent Learning Certification Program® launched in 2013 and co-author of two articles about Emergent Learning in Foundation Review.

Heidi Sparkes Guber                      Santa Fe, NM

Heidi has over three decades of experience in bringing learning-based performance and strategic leadership to a wide variety of private, public and governmental organizations in the US and around the world. 

Since founding 4QP, she has focused on facilitating and researching community-based social transformation. She has worked with Indian River County, Florida, since 2010, for example, to deliver the Moonshot Moment, a multi-year all-community breakthrough initiative to achieve 90% literacy in Grade 3 by 2018. 

Heidi now specializes in establishing transformational learning practices for collaborative teams who are aiming for large-scale change around intransigent social issues in their communities. She stays actively involved in organizational and community learning at a global level as Founding Chair of the Global Association of SoL Communities (Society for Organizational Learning).

Landen Garner    Orem, UT

Landen joined US Synthetic as a production technician worker in 2008 and has since been a key team member in developing the continuous improvement culture with positions in leadership and organizational development.  Landen now directs the corporate social responsibility efforts for the organization and can always be found positively greeting everyone he meets with a cheerful “Hey there.” 

US Synthetic is on a mission to Build the World’s Best Problem Solvers in the community.  We believe problem solving skill is the foundation for great leaders, employees, parents, teachers, and students.   When we build and develop our community with problem solving skills, it will bring prosperity to us all.

US Synthetic is located in Orem, Utah and is the industry-leading diamond manufacturer for polycrystalline diamond application in down hole drilling for the oil and gas industry and is a recipient of the Shingo Prize, the world’s most prestigious award for enterprise operational excellence.


Monte Roulier Portland, OR

Monte is President of Community Initiatives (CI), a network dedicated to advancing community health, equity and wellbeing. As a strategist, coach, and facilitator, Monte has helped hundreds of community partnerships develop change strategies resulting in healthier people and places. For more than 20 years, his work has centered on building trust relationships, as well as collaborative practices and structures, that are essential for achieving long-term impact. He is also Co-founder and Convener of, a powerful platform that provides publicly accessible data, visualization, stories and improvement tools for community change makers.

Prior to CI, Monte served as the Senior Community Advisor at the National Civic League where he guided its nationally recognized Healthy Communities Program. Monte also served as President of Service Adventures, leading international teams of volunteer scientists and students who worked with local leaders to establish National Parks across Russian and Central Asia, and who (in partnership with National Geographic) discovered the world’s longest dinosaur track-way. He also joined efforts with Save The Children to initiate a micro-credit banking system that fueled a thriving business and social network of female refugee leaders throughout Tajikistan.

He currently serves on the Boards’ of the Institute for People, Place and Possibility (IP3), the Center for Good Food Purchasing, as well as the Leadership Team of 100 Million Healthier Lives. Monte is a graduate of DePauw University with a B.A. in Political Science and Communications, and studied Political Science/Economics at Oxford University. He lives in Portland, OR, with his wife and four kids and regularly works out of the CI office located in his hometown of Fort Collins, CO. 

Gene Bellinger Outer Banks, NC

Gene has been a passionate Systems Thinker for over four decades. He is highly respected member of the systems thinking community, authored hundreds of models and articles, created over 1,500 videos about relationship and their implications, and from time to time a member of the System Dynamics Society. Gene spent several years working with the developers of both Insight Maker and Kumu. In 2013 Gene coauthored "Beyond Connecting the Dots: Modeling for Meaningful Results" with Scott Fortmann-Roe, the developer of Insight Maker. Gene shepherded the Systems Thinking World discussion group on LinkedIn to 20,000+ members focused on developing a better understanding of, and employing systems thinking principles. Gene is also the developer of the Systems-Thinking website. Presently Gene is actively engaged in developing learning threads on various aspects of relationships and their implications, conducting weekly internet sessions, and participating in various projects as well as discussion groups on LinkedIn and Facebook.

Mike Sandercock Appleton, WI

On paper, Mike leads advanced product quality at Pierce Manufacturing, where he implements processes to ensure every new product delivers the unmatched performance our customers expect. Behind all that is a passion for developing high-performing teams and changing organizational culture through problem solving.

Prior to joining Pierce/Oshkosh Corp., Mike served in various leadership roles in Actuant Corporation’s management development program. Over the course of 7 business units (and cities), he quickly found that teams perform best when they’re given freedom to leverage their uniqueness and safety to experiment and learn.

In his free time between work, GLCI, and chasing down two toddlers, Mike serves on the Board of Apricity Services and is COO of (CI)², an organization that provides pro bono continuous improvement coaching to NE WI nonprofits. Mike holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University.

Chuck Peters Cedar Rapids, IA

After thirty years in corporate management, leading large organizations such as Amana Refrigeration and small start-ups such as Breakthrough to Learning, Chuck has focused the last three years on effective early education for children ages 3-11. For background, see the paper Generative Education at

While active in leadership positions in many community organizations such as United Way, chambers of commerce, economic development organizations, and Junior Achievement he has been immersed in education issues with 27 years on the Coe College Board of Trustees (3 as Chair), 26 years on the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business Board of Advisors, several years on the board of the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa, three years as the Chair of the Board of Advisors at the University of Iowa College of Education and several years on the Kirkwood Community College Foundation Board. 

Current Corporate Positions: Chair of the Board - Foundations in Learning - a start up educational software andconsulting company with products diagnosing and developing automaticity in reading.  ;Chair of the Board - Voxello - a start up communications device company for intensive care patients.  ; Board member - Folience - a holding company owned by a trust for the benefit of itsemployees. ; Director and Treasurer - The Hall-Perrine Foundation - a private foundation in Cedar Rapids, Iowa with assets over $115 million, giving over $5.5 million annually.

Past Corporate Positions: 1998-2017 - President and CEO, The Gazette Company which became Folience Transitioned 130 year old family owned media company to an employee owned holding company; 1997-1998 - Vice President, Corporate Administration, Maytag Corporation - was asked to integrate the acquisition of Blodgett into Maytag; 1994-1997 - CEO, Breakthrough to Learning, an early reading technology and consulting company; 1988-1993 - President of Amana Refrigeration, Inc. - global manufacturer of appliances.

John Lenhart Milwaukee, WI

John Lenhart is the Co-Owner of the technology and consulting company, Flowcess LLC.

He has used his degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering to create models resulting in the formulation and even creation of many consumer products such as a new and improved Liquid Tide for Procter & Gamble, Ultra Purex for The Dial Corp., Plug-Ins for SC Johnson Wax, as well as being the youngest person to receive the Dow Chemical Central Research Inventor of the Year award. In addition to his patents, John has dozens of trade secrets involving how the human brain functions.

Ultimately, he is focused on helping people Flow, which is not just the only thought process that isn't damaging; it has also been called "the essence of leadership". All of this allows John to Dissolve problems and create Generative results.

Leila Pertl Appleton, WI

Leila Ramagopal Pertl is an Instructor in Music Education at Lawrence University and the Music Education Curator for the Mile of Music Festival. She created the innovative music curricula at Next Generation School in Champaign, IL and at Appleton Public Montessori, where music is treated as a core subject; each student being immersed in drumming, dancing, singing, improvisation, composition, and music theory. As the Music Education Curator for the Mile of Music Festival, Leila is generatively co-creating a community of empowered music-makers and arts advocates, through hands-on music-making events.   Her team of 28 music educators offer nearly 50 music-making opportunities for everyone to discover their inner musician. Over the past 6 years of the festival over 25,000 festivals goers have made music with the Music Education Team. Leila is also one of the international instructors for Deep Listening certification, and she, along with her husband Brian Pertl, have given numerous Deep Listening-based creativity and innovation workshops to a wide variety of businesses and organizations—including Skillsfest!  

Leila was the 2018 recipient of the Mentor Award from the Wisconsin Association of Colleges of Teacher Education (WACTE), serves on the council of the Wisconsin Music Educators Association, the Smithsonian Folkways Music Education Committee. She believes that music is a birthright, and loves being with people in collaborative, creative spaces!