Spring 2016 Newsletter


February 10th, 2016



From December 27-29, WILSers from across the state gathered in Appleton for our annual Winter Reunion. Special thanks to our reunion planners Leah Witthuhn and Shane Murphy-Pociask for another memorable WILS weekend. After greeting our many friends from all across the state, we glided to the Appleton Ice Arena to begin reunion with an evening of ice skating. After a few slips and falls – and many smiles and laughs – we headed back to the hotel for reflections and social time before bed.

We began Saturday by decorating cookies at a local nursing home. After a few hours of volunteering, we headed to a museum dedicated to one of Appleton’s most famous citizens, Harry Houdini. It featured numerous exhibits about not only Houdini himself, but also the city of Appleton at large and its rich history. After the museum, we split up to eat lunch in small groups. The rest of our afternoon consisted of free time to socialize or swim in the hotel pool. Throughout the afternoon, flurries of snow began to fall, but we persevered and trudged to the Appleton Boys & Girls Club for dinner, board elections and the dance.

After eating some delicious Qdoba, we began the alumni board elections. Many wonderful WILSers were nominated, and we elected fantastic new board members to lead us through 2016. The final activity for the night was our traditional Winter Reunion dance. After the super fun dance, everyone was quite exhausted. We ended the night with some quick reflections and headed to bed.

Sunday’s guest speaker unfortunately had to be canceled due to weather. After breakfast, we shoveled our cars out of the snow and said goodbye before beginning a snowy drive back home. I think that I speak for everyone when I say that we are all looking forward to warmer weather and Spring Reunion!

With WILS love,

Elliot Smallidge, ‘13er

Upcoming Events!


Taylor Bould and Brandon Lamberty have been hard at work planning a fun­filled weekend April 1st- ­3rd in Madison, WI. The total cost of reunion will be $65 which will be in the form of a $35 check deposit and $30 paid at reunion. Please send this form along with a $35 CHECK deposit to Brandon by Friday, March 11th. Please refer to your email for his address but here is the contact form if you need it :


Name: _________________ E­Mail:_________________________

Address: ___________________________ Birth Date: ___________________

Seminar Year: _______Phone #: ___________________________

Need a ride to reunion?: Yes or No Can you drive AT reunion (18+)?: Yes or No

Are you 21+?: Yes or No

Any food allergies/dietary concerns (vegetarian?): ____________________


To Matt Wudi’s Awesome Winter Reunion Car Group:


~Jesse Dirkman

Shoutout to Zach Koop for being a great personal friend and professional resource!

~Elliot Smallidge

S/O to group leader Rhonda..Miss team Kenya from summer 2015, and cannot wait for another reunion !

~Mia Landgraf

A Letter From YourPresident

Dear WILS’ers,

I am proud and honored to serve as the President of Wisconsin Leadership Seminars for the 2015-2016 year. I attended seminar in 2012 and I have not been involved in a group as passionate, enthusiastic, ambitious, and motivated as this one. Whenever I see you guys at reunions, fundraisers, or any other events, I see leaders. I see leaders that have the determination and the dedication to achieve greatness.

Many people believe that they do not have what it takes to make a difference in the world, but the truth is that every one of us has the power to contribute in their own way. So I have a challenge for you. I want all of you to make it a goal to make a difference in your community. It does not have to be an enormous task! You could be the one to bring a smile to someone’s face or you could be the one to encourage someone to reach their full potential. One way you can achieve this goal is by simply becoming more involved with WILS. Apply to be a JS so you can develop leadership characteristics in high school sophomores! Set up a service event in your community and invite fellow WILSers from around the state to help out! It could be anything, just start right now! Make a difference!

One of my biggest passions in life is making a difference in other people’s’ lives. How will I achieve that this year? I will work with the rest of the amazing Alumni Association board to make this year great! I look forward to seeing each of you at future events! #WILS2016

~Kashish Talwar, 2016 Alumni Board President