Institute for Women’s Leadership Names Bridget Krage O’Connor First Director-in-Residence

Green Bay, Wis. – As UW-Green Bay’s Institute for Women’s Leadership enters its second year of work to create an enhanced women’s leadership pipeline in northeast Wisconsin, the University extends its commitment by appointing the entrepreneur and business owner Bridget Krage O’Connor as the first Executive-in-Residence. O’Connor, owner and president of O’Connor Connective, a Wisconsin strategic communications and organizational marketing agency serving nonprofits and nonprofits, has been officially announced as executive-in-residence. at the Institute’s first anniversary event on April 14.
In his new role, O’Connor will share his professional expertise with the Institute’s staff, board and committees; provide advice and guidance related to the strategic direction of the Institute; assist in faculty research; giving lectures and carrying out awareness activities with the business community. O’Connor’s unique professional experience as a senior college administrator for more than a decade, coupled with her strategic communications and corporate ownership consulting services, makes her an ideal collaborator. between the academic and business communities.

“I am honored to be the Institute’s first Director-in-Residence,” noted O’Connor. “We all deserve an equal playing field. I look forward to having this conversation with business and the University. Together, we will find ways to further advance women while collectively advancing the economic vitality of our state.

In 2019, O’Connor and then UW-Green Bay Chancellor Sheryl Van Gruensven were both independently considering developing more leadership resources for women in northeastern Wisconsin. O’Connor Connective launched her social enterprise, The Connective: A Place for Women in Business, to advance women leaders as part of the company’s strategic communications and consulting services. At the same time, Van Gruensven and her colleagues at UW-Green Bay began work on an institute that would provide leadership development for women in line with the University’s mission. The two efforts came together in 2021 in what is now the Institute for Women’s Leadership.

According to Institute for Women’s Leadership Executive Director Janet Bonkowski, the addition of O’Connor as an Executive-in-Residence underscores the University’s commitment to building important infrastructure to build on the momentum of the Institute for Women’s Leadership. Institute. “Northeast Wisconsin has so many very accomplished women leaders
who get involved with the Institute and are on fire to support and develop other emerging women leaders,” said Bonkowski. “They know that when women rise, our communities, businesses, families and organizations all rise.”

Chancellor Michael Alexander hailed the advancement of the Institute for Women’s Leadership and sees it as a natural extension of the University’s mission. “We are here to create access. Access to education. Access to opportunity. In this case, we believe the Institute for Women’s Leadership will bring men and women into the conversation, education and action to create the talented workforce that our region depends on to be competitive,” a- he declared.

About the Institute for Women’s Leadership
The Institute for Women’s Leadership at UW-Green Bay is dedicated to engaging, inspiring, and empowering women leaders to ensure a strong and equitable leadership pipeline. The University established the Institute in 2021, recognizing the growing need for leaders in the region and the distinct challenges faced by professional women in the workplace. The Institute is a comprehensive leadership resource committed to providing ongoing, forward-thinking networking, education, research, and inspiration to support women and their organizations as they grow.
The Institute presents high-profile programs, events and research, benefiting women with access to experts and support networks. Leadership certificate programs, monthly speaker series featuring notable local women sharing their stories of leadership, monthly networking events, women’s mentorship program, annual leadership retreat, workshops and discussion groups will be offered to support the professional development needs of women. Equally important, the Institute works to increase community knowledge and awareness of issues related to women in leadership and to advance new knowledge about women and leadership in the state of Wisconsin through comparative data on women in business and research on women and leadership. To learn more about the institute, visit

About Bridget Krage O’Connor
Bridget Krage O’Connor is owner and president of O’Connor Connective, which helps community-minded leaders align strategy, research, and marketing communications to drive results. She began her career at a public relations firm in Madison and an architecture firm in Minneapolis. She studied change management and communication while working at the University of Minnesota, earning a master’s degree in liberal studies. In 2002, she returned to her alma mater, St. Norbert College, and served as a college administrator, including vice president of enrollment and communications. In 2013, she launched O’Connor Connective.

O’Connor was awarded the 2020 Small Business Association’s Wisconsin Women Business Champion, and the Greater Green Bay Chamber’s Business Person of the Year in 2018 and the Entrepreneurial Award in 2015. She served on the board of directors of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, Green Bay YMCA, Green Bay Botanical Garden and CollegeReady. She is an Emeritus Advisor for the Green Bay Women’s Fund, has served on the NEW North Marketing Committee, is a member of PEO Chapter N, and has lectured for the Center for Exceptional Leadership at St. Norbert College and UW-Green. Bay. Nonprofit Leadership Certificate.

About the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay
Established in 1965, UW-Green Bay is a public institution serving 9,276 undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students and 95,000 continuing education learners annually. We educate students from pre-college through retirement and offer over 200 degrees, programs and certificates. UW-Green Bay graduates are resilient, inclusive, enduring, and engaged members of their communities, ready to fearlessly face challenges, solve problems, and embrace diverse ideas and people. With four campuses, the University welcomes students from all over the world. UW-Green Bay is the fastest growing UW school in Wisconsin. For more information, visit

Mara R. Wilmoth