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Photo by Richard Hurd



Date: Thursday, April 12, 2018

Time: Doors open at 10:30 a.m. The event begins at 11:00 a.m. and will conclude at 1:00 p.m.

Location: Kohl Center – 601 West Dayton Street, Madison, WI, 53703

IceBreaker is deeply rooted in a sense of place, of who we are and where we are going as a community. It is about the people who are accelerating Greater Madison into the future and those who help us peer around the bend.

Most of all, it is about what connects this community to those who yearn to do more. To be more. Those who possess a relentless drive to Seek the Greater. For our fourth annual IceBreaker, we sought the best possible stories from those who seek the greater. What we discovered were three dimensional stories of courage, passion and leadership that will take all of that to a greater degree.

On Thursday, April 12, at the Kohl Center, we invite you to seek the greater – at an event unlike any other in Greater Madison.

2018 Speakers

Marcia Anderson (John Hart WSJ)

Photo: John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal

Gen. Marcia Anderson is the first African-American woman major general in the history of the U.S. Army. Her 36-year military career was filled with stories of leadership, passion and courage, and she is going to share those stories on the IceBreaker stage. Her career is highlighted by her successful effort to make the Armed Forces more diverse and inclusive. Her service earned her numerous awards and decorations including the Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Parachutist Badge and Physical Fitness Badge.

Gen. Anderson has a B.A. in Political Science from Creighton University and a J.D. from Rutgers University Law School. She retired from the military in 2016 and currently lives in Verona.

Syovata Edari headshot

Photo: Hillary Schave/Azena Photography

Syovata Edari is the owner of CocoVaa Chocolatier. After 15 years as a trial lawyer, Edari traveled to France to attend a master chocolatier course at Ecole Chocolat. Now pursuing her passion for artisanal chocolate-making on Madison’s North Side, she remains an advocate for herself and others, including recently defending herself against a trademark lawsuit from Mars Inc., who claimed the CocoVaa name infringed on Mars’ CocoaVia brand of nutritional supplements.

Julia Nepper headshot

Photo: Robin Davies

Dr. Julia Nepper, who at age 23 is one of the youngest Ph.D. recipients in the country, has embarked on a remarkable academic journey that brought her to Greater Madison. Before receiving her Ph.D. in biophysics from UW-Madison in December, she began attending community college in her native North Carolina at age 11, received her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of North Carolina Wilmington at 16 and enrolled in UW-Madison’s graduate program at 18. She is interested in pursuing a career in science outreach, communication and education.


Individual Tickets
$65 for Members
$100 for Non Members

Table of Eight
$520 for Members
$800 for Non Members


Salad with Grilled Chicken (vegetarian options available)

*Please note any gluten and allergy preferences

Parking Tips

The event starts at 11:00 a.m. Please plan accordingly for extra time to park, walk to the Kohl Center, get in line at event registration and walk down to the floor of the Kohl Center.

Visitor parking is available in a variety of ramps surrounding the Kohl Center. Click here for a parking map.

–UW-Madison campus ramps 46 (Corner of Lake and Johnson Ramp), and 83 (Fluno Center).

–City of Madison State Street Campus Garage with entrances on Frances Street (430 N. Frances St.) and Lake St. (415 N. Lake St.)

–University Square (Lucky Building) with the entrance on Lake St., located between Johnson and University Ave.

–Surface lots (69, 78, 87, 91, 94) surrounding the Kohl Center require a campus annual parking permit. Cars without a permit are subject to a parking violations and possibly towing.

–Parking spaces for Persons with Disabilities (PWD) are available in front of the Kohl Center on Dayton St. and along the east side of the building on Frances St. Disability hangtags or license plates exempts the PWD from parking fees or time limit restrictions ONLY when parking at a meter with a time limit of 30 minutes or longer.

2018 IceBreaker Sponsors

Arctic Circle Sponsor:

Glacier Sponsor:


Registration Sponsor:

Ice Floe Sponsors:



Frost Sponsors:

American Transmission Co.
National Guardian Life
Summit Credit Union

This lunch will draw more than 750 attendees to the Kohl Center floor. For more information about sponsoring IceBreaker, contact Helen Stewart at 608-443-1950 or