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Tammie Xiong is making a difference in her community.
Tammie Xiong is making a difference in her community.

Rad Milwaukee Woman: Tammie Xiong

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event.  More information at womensfundmke.org.

Tammie Xiong is the executive director for the Hmong American Women’s Association.

Xiong is also a board member for Milwaukee Public Schools Foundation, co-chair of the Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, co-founder of the first Hmong women’s giving circle in Wisconsin, co-founder of the Wisconsin Women’s Training Institute, member of the Wisconsin Minority Health Council and the Global Shapers Milwaukee, World Economic Forum.

For even more rad-ness, read on. Particularly her definition of success.

OnMilwaukee: What is your personal "mission" with your work? What do you personally receive from the work you do?

Tammie Xiong: My personal mission is to encourage and grow leadership of Southeast Asian women and youth here in Milwaukee in order to work towards achieving social justice for our community. What I receive from the work is hope that our community has the leadership to continue working towards creating a healthier and more vibrant future.

How do you define success?

I define success by what I am able to give to others in terms of support, mentorship and time.

Who has taught you the most in your life?

My mother and my father continue to profoundly influence my life, always encouraging me to stay humble, to love myself and to love and give back to community.

How would you like to see the workplace change for women in the future?

We need more women of color to be promoted in top leadership positions. We need their leadership.

What does a perfect day off from…

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Slide into clean, safe fun.
Slide into clean, safe fun.

Safety is number one at KeyLime Cove

I am a huge fan of The Dells and go every summer with my family. I love the entire scene: from the waterparks to the mom-and-pop shops to the Duck Boats. However, in the winter months, KeyLime Cove, located in Gurnee, Illinois, has become a getaway favorite of ours for a variety of reasons.

We’ve always appreciated how close it is to Milwaukee – an easy 45-minute drive south and right off the freeway. I also like how contained it is: waterpark, lodging, food and drink all under one roof. It makes for a relaxing visit, rather than a whirlwind experience.

This last trip, however, I realized there is something else that I really like about KeyLime Cove: its commitment to health and safety.

KeyLime Cove uses a small amount of chlorine to disinfect their waterpark water – which is a state law – and relies mostly on ozone to do the job. Ozone is 200 times stronger than chlorine but has no effect on skin or hair. Which, in short, means no burning baby eyes.

"Ozone injected into water it is basically oxygen and it kills any type of waterborne illness," says Dale McFarland, the general manager of KeyLime Cove.

I also noticed during this recent trip an unwavering attentiveness among the lifeguards. It was a busy Friday night, but the staff was abundant and really focused. McFarland later told me all of the KeyLime Cove lifeguards are certified by Starguard, which is a staunch program with unannounced auditors who show up at the facility regularly to assure the guards are practicing the high standards.

"We have always exceeded excellence in our audits," says McFarland. "Our management staff in aquatics ensures the utmost quality."

A few years ago, KeyLime Cove installed a new, non-slip floor and earlier this year, parts of the floor were again replaced with rubber. I did not witness one "banana peel moment" during my visit.

"The areas of new flooring has made a huge difference," says McFarland. "It’s almost completely eliminated slips and falls. We went down fr…

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Congrats, April Calvert!
Congrats, April Calvert!

Rad Woman of Milwaukee: FIS Global's April Calvert

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event.  More information at womensfundmke.org.

April Calvert has served as the operations director for FIS Global, an international provider of financial services technology and outsourcing services, for a decade.

"I really love the diversity of my job and particularly working with customers," says April.

She is also a former board member of the LGBTQ Community center and a current member of the Executive Women’s Golf Association (EWGA).

Read on for more rad words from April.

OnMilwaukee: What is your "mission" with the work that you do?

April Calvert: I love when the customer is happy and we were able to provide what they wanted. I also receive deep satisfaction from watching my staff grow and grow in both their work and personal lives.

What does success mean to you?

Success is knowing that at end of day that you have done your best. It’s not about skill or getting the perfect job or all the money. It’s when you work hard and everything goes the way you thought it was going to go.

Who or what have you learned from the most?

My grandmother, who raised me. From her, I received my work ethic. She, and my mother, were women of integrity. I also had a mentor earlier in my career who taught me how to work in an industry that is male dominant. I am usually the only woman at the table and the only woman of color.

What would you like to see change for women in the workforce?

I would like women not have to prove that we can do the job. It should not even be questioned. I would like to see women take the front seat, not the back seat, or hav…

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Congrats, Linda Benfield!
Congrats, Linda Benfield!

Rad Milwaukee Woman: Linda Benfield of Foley & Lardner

Welcome to a series introducing the women who were nominated by professionals and will be honored at "The Rad Women Celebration: Being Rad for Social Change." The event is hosted by the Women’s Fund of Greater Milwaukee and will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20 at the Italian Conference Center. The idea was inspired by the bestselling book "Rad American Women A to Z," by Kate Schatz, who is the keynote speaker at the event. For more information, go here

Linda Benfield is an attorney and managing partner for Foley & Lardner. She was nominated as a Rad Woman by a coworker who said, "Linda is the definition of a Rad Woman; a trailblazing attorney who brings a positive, energetic approach to her leadership of Foley’s Milwaukee office."

She also dedicates significant time to working within the Milwaukee community through the United Way, the Milwaukee Ballet and many others.

Read on for more rad-ness.

OnMilwaukee: What is your "mission" with the work that you do?

Linda Benfield: I am most satisfied when I help people achieve their goals. In my professional life, that could be working through environmental regulations to launch a new product or expand a business. In my volunteer activities, I have the same goal and love being a part of projects and teams that focus on a problem and solutions, or work to implement a great idea. I don’t like to be told "no" and if I am, I just find a way to work around the issue.

What does success mean to you?

It’s all about balancing. Making sure that I am meeting my personal, professional and volunteer commitments within a range of satisfaction. I know that everyone would draw the lines between these commitments differently, based on their own priorities, and I respect that. I also know that as our professional lives change, and our families grow, we have to constantly redefine those boundaries in order to feel successful.

Who or what have you learned from the most?

I have had the privilege of working with strong lead…

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