Barbara J. Zabawa, JD, MPH, CHC

Barbara is the founder and Board President of the Wellness Compliance Institute (WCI).  She is lead author of the book Rule the Rules on Workplace Wellness Programs, published by the American Bar Association. Barbara is a frequent writer and speaker on health and wellness law topics, having presented for national organizations such as WELCOA, National Wellness Institute, HPLive, Healthstat University and HERO.

Barbara is also a Clinical Assistant Professor for the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee College of Health Sciences, Department of Health Services Administration where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in health law and compliance, US health care delivery and health professions career development. Barbara also owns the Center for Health and Wellness Law, LLC a law firm dedicated to improving legal access and compliance for the health and wellness industries. 

Branden Zimmerman, BA, Paralegal

Branden helped start WCI with his expertise in launching new organizations.  Branden brings a wealth of experience in design and created WCI's logo and initial website.  He is a graduate of UW-Whitewater in mulit-media arts, an expert drafter in AutoCAD, and a trained paralegal.  Branden serves as the WCI Board Treasurer. 

Branden Zimmerman, BA, Paralegal

Branden helped start WCI with his expertise in launching new organizations.  Branden brings a wealth of experience in design and created WCI's logo and initial website.  He is a graduate of UW-Whitewater in mulit-media arts, an expert drafter in AutoCAD, and a trained paralegal.  Branden serves as the WCI Board Treasurer. 

Amy Williams, CWWPM, CIC

Amy has twenty-five years of experience designing and facilitating health promotion programs as well as helping people build the necessary skills to sustain health-driven behaviors. She has attained certification in wellness program management through the National Wellness Institute (CWWPM). Her experiences in the development of workplace wellness program design are multifarious; implementation, evaluation and sustainability in the business sector. Risk reduction-driven outcomes were confirmed within three years for 90 percent of corporate clients resulting in cultural and biometric improvements. For the past 3 years she has been a subject matter expert for the CDC's Work@Health Program.  She has coached more than 100 employers through the Work@Health online training portal.  Amy has achieved WELCOA faculty status for the past seven years.

Patricia Lenius, M.Ed

Patricia helps transform healthcare by empowering employers, employees and their families to take charge of their health, wellness and healthcare costs directly with providers. She is dedicated to improving the delivery of proactive and preventive population health.

Patricia is an accomplished professional experienced in assisting organizations cut through the noise and clutter to find innovative solutions growing strong communities that are visionary.
Her passion is thought planning and establishing result-driven strategic solutions with analytical measurements, both qualitative and quantitative. Her strengths are in healthcare, higher education, physicians development, public relations, and marketing, as well as market share and programmatic growth, building key stakeholder relationships, bringing organizations together in diverse economic times.  Patricia is a highly motivated strategic business and healthcare professional leader.

Lisa Elsinger, PhD

Lisa provides enriching learning experiences – inspiring minds and hearts – to foster workplace, academic, and community environments that support healthy living, self-care, and personal development, empowering people to become their "best selves" throughout their lifespan.

As the Wellness Program Manager at Broward College in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Lisa leads comprehensive population health and well-being initiatives and events, wellness programming, and

strategies to promote a positive and engaging work environment. In collaboration with academic faculty and area healthcare organizations, she brings timely and relevant interactive educational programming to the College. Addressing the needs and preferences of departments and teams, Lisa also facilitates mindfulness/meditation/stretch break sessions, provides ergonomic workstation assessments and recommendations, and writes a weekly newsletter entitled Well-being Wednesday.

As a speaker and consultant, Lisa has presented at conferences including The Art & Science of Health Promotion, Wellness Council of Wisconsin, ACSM Health & Fitness Summit, American Association for Adult & Continuing Education, and for local business groups. Having a PhD in Continuing & Vocational (adult) Education with a Health Promotion emphasis, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she instructs a multidisciplinary graduate course on adult teaching and learning.

As a fitness instructor/trainer, Lisa is grateful for the opportunity to help people discover the joy of movement and gain a feeling of vitality. She holds certifications from The American Council on Exercise (ACE), the Arthritis Foundation, and is a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance, teaching yoga at LA Fitness Broward County, FL, locations.

Marybeth Herbst-Flagstad, JD

Marybeth serves as the WCI Board Secretary.  She is an accomplished corporate counsel skilled in enterprise risk management through devising and implementing practical solutions to complex regulatory, compliance, and litigation concerns. She is skilled in negotiating and communicating with all levels of decision-makers. Her internal clients have commented that she is an effective, creative developer of compliant products and business practices in a variety of industries.  Her compliance expertise is highly valued on the WCI Board. Specialties:

  • Risk Management in Business Methodology and Operations
  • Negotiating and Drafting Contracts
  • Administrative Process Monitoring and Implementation
  • Outside Counsel and Litigation Management
  • Regulatory Compliance and Product Development
  • Health care, insurance, employment, and Indian law

Carrie Aiken, CHC

Carrie's wealth of experience in health care compliance is an asset to the WCI Board.  She is a dynamic and skilled professional with broad experience in healthcare business and leadership from healthcare provider, payer, and third party perspectives. Carrie is knowledgeable in the healthcare compliance regulatory environment and application of concepts in an operational and leadership structure. Carrie advises other healthcare providers and other entities on best practices in healthcare.


  • Compliance and healthcare regulation
  • Contracting
  • Healthcare auditing and quality assurance
  • Healthcare privacy and administrative security
  • Hospital, Physician, and Pharmaceutical experience

Michaela Conley, MA, MCHES, CIC, CVS

Michaela helps organizations and individuals solve real-world problems through evidence-based tools and methodologies. She is an experienced, Master Trainer, Interventionist, Consultant, Educator, Facilitator and Intrinsic Coach in Health Education, Behavior Change and Lifestyle Medicine. 

As a Certified Intrinsic Coach, she is attuned to the essence of I>E>S valuing which permeates her work with both individuals and groups. By supporting others in the use of their own best thinking, choices are illuminated, change is embraced and sustained long-term.
Values can not be separated from one’s experience in the world. As a Certified Valuation Specialist, Michaela uses the Hartman Values Profile to assist individuals and groups navigate through change with clarity and resilience.

To promote expansive thinking through storytelling and metaphors in a group environment, Michaela uses LEGO® Serious Play®. The LSP methodology effectively harvests 100% of the organization’s collective intelligence to rapidly solve complex issues and enhance decision-making. LSP creates an engaging hands-on environment, where the activity is perceived as meaningful and one’s abilities are in balance with the challenge at hand and the tools to express the emerging knowledge.

Additionally, Michaela is well-known in the health promotion/ education professional communities as an entrepreneur as the founder of HPCareer.Net in 1999 then HPLive. To date, she has hosted hundreds of hours of unbiased professional continuing education events with industry experts and thought leaders from around the world.

Michaela is a masterful interventionist in lifestyle medicine, a subject matter expert in health promotion, a Master Certified Health Education Specialist and master trainer for the National Diabetes Prevention Program: Lifestyle Coach Training. She earned her Bachelor’’s degree in Exercise Science from Ball State University and Master’s degree from the Fisher Institute for Wellness.

Dan Keith, MBA, RN

Dan is the CEO and Founder of It Starts With Me Health.  For the first 13 years of his career, Dan worked in a variety of areas of nursing – cardiology, oncology, medical-surgical, mental health, addiction treatment, pain management and IV therapy.  He then became a Workers’ Compensation Case Manager and moved to various nursing career fields outside of the hospital setting - catastrophic case management, chronic disease management, legal nurse case management and utilization review.  He returned to the hospital to work in hospital management, directing an occupational health department that focused heavily on employer contracting, wellness programs, EAP, & case management (medical and workers’ compensation). In the early 2000’s, he simultaneously started and operated a Medicare-certified home health agency, moonlighted as a nurse at a detox center for the homeless & uninsured, and founded It Starts With Me Health.  

As a long-time thought leader in the industry, Dan believes that employee health & wellness has become an industry where clinical expertise is increasingly important, but where little clinical expertise exists. In addition, marketing & selling services to employers rules (instead of assuring results). “You’ve got to have a wellness programs” has become the first action item from wellness coordinators and employee benefits brokers. However, Dan believes that the rush to put wellness programs in place has led to a significant lack of expertise in determining exactly what initiatives will be most effective for each employer. In short, it is very simple: How can companies put clinically focused programs in place without clinical expertise to develop, run & evaluate them?

Dan’s wide clinical experience, being an employer himself, his vast experience working with other employers, employee benefits, data, health plans, & health technology, as well as building/overseeing clinical solutions for employer health and wellness efforts, gives him an extremely rare vantage point and skill set. He a uniquely qualified expert in the employee health and wellness industry.

Rosie Ward, PhD

Dr. Rosie Ward is a consultant, professional coach, and author known as a thought leader who challenges the status quo, pushes boundaries, and engages people and organizations to find success through shifting old, ineffective thinking habits. She has a diverse background with over 25 years of experience promoting wellbeing, employee engagement, and transforming organizations in various settings. 

As CEO and co-founder of Salveo Partners, LLC, Rosie consults with organizations, blending the worlds of Organizational Development and employee wellbeing to provide a unique approach to create thriving workplace cultures that free, fuel, and inspire people to bring their best selves to work. She also serves in a part-time role as the Director of Organizational Effectiveness & Leadership Development for University of Minnesota Physicians where she created a leadership development framework and strategy to support people development at all levels within the organization, as well as guiding culture transformation efforts via workshops, coaching and strategic consultation.

Rosie has degrees in kinesiology, public health and a Ph.D. in Organization and Management where her research focused on organizational culture, leadership, intrinsic motivation and coaching. Rosie is regularly interviewed for business publications, is a contributing author to the book Organization Development in Healthcare: High Impact Practices for a Complex and Changing Environment and is co-author of the popular book How to Build a Thriving Culture at Work: Featuring the 7 Points of Transformation with business partner and co-author Dr. Jon Robison. 

JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, PhD, FACSM, FAWHP

Dr. JoAnn Eickhoff-Shemek, Professor Emeritus at the University of South Florida(USF), has over 40 years of professional experience. She served as the founding coordinator of USF’s undergraduate program in Exercise Science and the coordinator of a graduate program in Fitness and Wellness Management at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. She received outstanding teaching awards at both institutions. Prior to becoming an academician in 1994, Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek worked as a fitness manager/educator in community and clinical settings for nearly 20 years. She currently serves as President and Founder of the Fitness Law Academy, a company devoted to advancing the fitness profession by providing educational programs to help enhance fitness safety and minimize legal liability.

Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek is an internationally known researcher, author, and speaker in the areas of fitness safety, legal liability and risk management. She has authored or co-authored numerous publications including two textbooks - Risk Management for Health/Fitness Professionals: Legal Issues and Strategies (lead author) and Rule the Rules of Worksite Wellness Programs (co-author), 10 book chapters, and 85 journal articles. Dr. Eickhoff-Shemek also was a contributing author to The Australia Fitness Industry Risk Management Manual. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1995.


Phone: 608.579.1267 


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