MILWAUKEE (May 20, 2021) — TEMPO members have elected DeVona Wright Cottrell, chief legal officer and general counsel at GMR Marketing, as board chair of the organization effective May 1, 2021.

TEMPO members also elected four new board members at the organization’s annual meeting last month. They include Aliah Berman, chief diversity officer of North America for TBWA; Mary Robyn Peotter, director of finance and operations for PEARLS for Teen Girls; Ana Simpson, director, community and economic development for WHEDA, and Denise Thomas, founder and owner of The Effective Communication Coach, LLC. Each may serve for up to three, three-year terms.

“DeVona has been a TEMPO member since 2016 and shown increasing engagement across all levels of the organization, including governance, diversity, equity and inclusion, and mentoring,” said Jen Dirks, president and CEO of TEMPO. “DeVona lives and breathes our values and brand – helping to ensure all women can rise to their greatest potential.”

Board Leadership Positions, Re-elections
Lori Richards, CEO of Mueller Communications, assumes the role of past chair as well as director of collaboration. Peotter will join the executive committee as treasurer, while serving as director of finance. Mary Burgoon, business development manager at Rockwell Automation, joins the executive committee as the organization’s new vice chair/chair elect. Julie Granger, executive vice president at MMAC, will serve as secretary.

Berman joins the board as director of diversity, equity and inclusion. Simpson joins the board as director of membership. Thomas joins as a director-at-large.

Four board members were re-elected to three-year terms: Marybeth Cottrill, director-private wealth advisor with BMO Wealth Management; Kris Best, CFO with BVK; Kathie Campbell, vice president, corporate marketing and investor relations with Clarios, and Heather Turner Loth, practice leader – project development with EUA.

“We also acknowledge two outgoing board members, Jody Lowe and Paula Pergl, and thank them for their leadership and service to TEMPO,” added Dirks. View the complete 2021-22 board of directors slate here.

TEMPO Foundation Board Elected
Members also approved a 2021-22 TEMPO Foundation board to oversee activities of the 501(c)3 charitable organization. Dirks serves as an ex officio member of the Foundation board.

• Chair – Mary Ellen Krueger, director of wealth management/partner, Aspiriant
• Vice Chair – Ellen Bartel, retired/consultant
• Past Chair – Joanne Grunau, consultant, Grucon Group, LLC
• Treasurer – Mary Robyn Peotter, director of finance and operations, PEARLS for Teen Girls
• Secretary – Mary Dowell, principal consultant, MJ Dowell & Associates
• Director-At-Large – Jody Lowe, president and managing director, The Lowe Group
• Director-At-Large – Sarah Greenberg, principal consultant, Greenberg Strategies
• Director-At-Large – Ann Miletti, head of active equity, Wells Fargo Asset Management
• Director-At-Large – Felisa Parris, owner, FelisaJoy LLC

“To-date, the TEMPO Foundation has awarded nearly $300,000 in educational scholarships and $45,000 in grants to both emerging and experienced women leaders,” said Dirks. “I look forward to working with the Foundation board to continue to expand the impact of TEMPO’s charitable efforts.”


TEMPO is a professional women’s organization that connects its more than 450 members who hold CEO, executive and senior leadership positions, with one another and the community. The purpose of TEMPO is to provide members with opportunities to network with leaders and future leaders, to enhance our members’ awareness of issues and trends having an impact on Milwaukee, and to promote the active contribution of TEMPO whose presence is essential to the future success of the business community. TEMPO serves its diverse membership and community through educational programming, networking opportunities, relationship building, and mentoring, with the goal of empowering women to achieve and sustain leadership roles.

About the TEMPO Foundation
The TEMPO Foundation, the 501(c)3 charitable arm of TEMPO, advances emerging and experienced women leaders by providing undergraduate scholarships and continuing education grants to females across the state of Wisconsin. Since 1990, the TEMPO Foundation, a 501(c)3 charitable organization, has awarded more than $300,000 in educational scholarships to female college students in Wisconsin and since 2018, has awarded nearly $45,000 to 12 local women. For more information about the TEMPO Foundation, visit tempomilwaukee.org/foundation.

Media contact:
Marit Harm Spransy
[email protected]