A few of us had the exciting opportunity to get out from behind our desks for few days and venture up to the beautiful city of La Crosse, WI for the Wisconsin Governor’s Conference on Tourism. It was a high-energy two days filled with inspirational speakers, keynote presentations and small breakout sessions with travel and hospitality industry professionals.

image1Stephanie Klett, Secretary of Tourism, welcomed us to WIGCOT.

Watch Governor Walker lead us in a traditional Wisconsin polka here: Video

While the mini sessions focused on how to improve Wisconsin tourism efforts, the keynote speakers addressed how we can live in the present to achieve the happiness we seek and professional life we deserve. While these points may seem miniscule, it hit home for us and aligned with many points of our z2 creed, specifically:

  • I will be inspired by people and things around me
  • I will be positive, passionate and always have fun
  • I will inspire others

The two days reinvigorated our inspiration and reminded us that it’s important to re-energize.



image2(3)Art walking tour during a mini session. Please comment if you’d like more information about the Arts in La Crosse.

One keynote speaker, bestseller author and TED speaker, Shawn Achor, emphasized that happiness starts with a smile and a positive attitude, and can change the way that we perceive things in a matter of 21 days. His approach has lead fortune 500 companies to be three times more creative, 31% more productive and raise their sales by 37%.

Shawn introduced five quick practices that, if done consistently, can help change your happiness in 21 days and extend your overall life. And to make it even easier to commit, the first three only take two minutes.

  • Three Gratitudes

o   Choose three things that have happened in the past 24 hours you are grateful for

  • The Doubler

o   Recall one positive experience from the last 24 hours and spend two minutes writing down every last detail about it

  • Conscious Act

o   Take two minutes to send a text, email, Facebook message, or what-have-you to someone who has made a difference in your life

  • Fun Fifteen

o   Take 15 minutes for fun cardio – your brain will record it as a victory and get the day headed in the right direction again

  • Meditation

o   Take some time to focus only on you, your breathing, your body

The second keynote speaker, Connie Podesta, an organizational therapist and human resource professional, had attendees in hysterics as she inspired us to reach new heights in our personal and professional development.


Connie started her talk by saying that the number one key to success is the ability to get along with other people. How we choose to communicate and resolve conflict with, relate to, and gain respect from others directly impacts our ability to be effective leaders, work as a team, be happy and much more.

She continued by categorizing us into four shapes – square, triangle, circle and squiggle – to convey that everyone is different, whether it be in regards to personality, verbal / nonverbal communication, or work style. And in order to be successful, we need to evaluate ourselves and our behaviors, as well as those of our colleagues and clients. To instill our happiness, we have to remember that we cannot change difficult people, but we can change how we respond to them.

So, we want to know – how do you choose to be happy? How do you utilize the power of positivity in your everyday life?



image4Here’s Kristina, Jess, Heidi and Beth representing z2 in style.

April 7, 2015 · Posted by in art, event, pr, z2 news