Mission-Driven Leaders

The Mission-Driven Leaders Series features successful Cardinal Stritch University alumni who align their values with actions to achieve positive results for themselves, their organizations and businesses, and the society at large.

At Cardinal Stritch University, our mission is to help you find yours. One way to discover your own unique path is to learn from leaders who have successfully found their way forward by pursuing goals with purpose, intellect, compassion, and commitment. Attend a Mission-Driven Leaders session to listen to and engage with dynamic professionals who have aligned their values with actions to achieve positive results for their themselves, their organizations and businesses, and the society at large. Our featured speakers exemplify what Cardinal Stritch University strives to cultivate in every graduate: Engaged local and global citizens who build caring and thriving communities in service to the greater good.  

Each Mission-Driven Leaders session takes place in the Sister Camille Kliebhan Conference Center in Bonaventure Hall and all are welcome. There is no cost to attend, compliments of the Cardinal Stritch University Alumni Association and University Advancement. Mission-Driven Leaders evolved from the successful Business Leaders with a Conscience Speakers Series. For questions about the speaker series contact Dr. Mark Gesner. For event questions contact Michelle Goulais, ’10.

View prior featured speakers

Upcoming Speakers

Denise Thomas

Caryn B. Esten, ’95, ’97, ’05​

Vice President, Strategic Planning and Performance Measurement, Froedtert Health

Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Finding Opportunities, Developing Relationships, and Being Intentional about the Path Forward​

6:00pm Keynote Speaker
7:00pm Alumni Reception with Speaker

Caryn Esten was appointed Vice President, Strategic Planning and Performance Measurement, for Froedtert Health in January 2013. Prior to joining Froedtert Health in 2005, she held leadership roles in both the Interactive Marketing and Financial Services industries.  In her role, Caryn has responsibility for key business functions, including strategic planning and measurement, business development, market research, customer experience and market intelligence/analytics. 

Caryn received a Master of Business Administration Degree, a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science and a Bachelor of Arts Degree, magna cum laude, with majors in accounting, marketing and management information systems all from Cardinal Stritch University.

Caryn is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives, the Society for Healthcare Strategy and Market Development, and the Association of American Medical Colleges Group on Institutional Planning.  In addition to being active in her local community, Caryn serves on the Stritch College of Arts and Sciences Advisory Council, the First Stage Board of Directors, and the United Performing Arts Fund Next Generation Leadership Council.

Personal Mission: With a sense of purpose and joy, I strive to approach everything I do in ways that will positively impact the people, organizations, and communities around me.


Eugene Manzanet

Ryan Krohn, ’01, ’14​

Director, The Institute for Personalized Learning

Thursday, April 19, 2018
A Balancing Act: “To reach out you must have roots, to grow roots you must reach out.”

6:00pm Keynote Speaker
7:00pm Alumni Reception with Speaker

Ryan Krohn has dedicated his thoughts and efforts to stripping educational systems to reveal its primary function; learning. As Director of The Institute for Personalized Learning, he engages with pioneers in the field of education to build powerful networks in Wisconsin and across the nation. Frustrated with a system that frequently tells students “what they are not, rather than what they are,” Ryan seeks to push back on the system with processes and practices that nurture powerful learners. Ryan believes “we have a design problem, not a people problem,” and that by placing ‘learning’ as the primary function, we can create the optimal design for each learner.

Ryan earned a master’s degree from the University of Minnesota in adaptive education and a second master’s in educational leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. Thanks to a ‘powerful network,’ Ryan earned his Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University, as he researched transformational leaders and their successful transformation of a traditional educational environment to a personalized learning system.

Personal Mission: A community of learners: I believe that in order “To reach out you must have roots, yet to grow roots you must reach out.” To that end, it is about working as a father, friend, and professional to allow learning to take place in its purest and most effective form. At the same time it is essential that we work as a community to nurture relationships to build a strong, connected, system of roots. I am committed to establishing that balance, as each time you learn, you grow beyond yourself, and grow closer to others.


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