Cultivate Your Teams’ Productivity in the Time of COVID Series


When COVID-19 began, many teams made a quick transition to remote work, a process that was often focused primarily on logistical needs. Now that COVID continues, many leaders are looking for additional ways to enhance resilience, grow team motivation, and delegate and evaluate work – all in an online setting and amongst continued uncertainty and change. In this series, leaders can hear a variety of perspectives on these topics to build a toolkit to support their team – wherever the work takes place. Take all three courses for $535 – a savings of 15%! 

We also recommend taking the Time and Self-Management Course – at no cost – as a nice accompaniment!

Managing Remote Teams

As COVID stretches on, many teams who were able to start working remotely have solved the immediate challenges of how to move online. Yet now that the remote work environment has become more than a stop-gap measure, managers need to start thinking more intentionally about what managing remotely means, including: actions for building strong one-on-one relationships despite the physical distances, strategies for building a sense of team and community when the team rarely or is unable to be physically in the same room at the same time, and managing employee performance at a distance.

March 8, 9 & 10,  1:00 pm –  3:30; $269      Jeff Russell

 Building Resilience in Stressful Times

As leaders who serve on the front lines of our businesses and professions, stress and adversity come with the territory.  It’s how we recover and navigate temporary challenges that will determine how we bounce back and move ahead towards attaining individual, company or organizational goals.

This online session explores the tenants of resiliency and provides leaders with tools – such as values-based planning, strength-based leadership, preventing burnout, and more – that will enable them to develop mental toughness in order to cope and adapt when faced with major or minor obstacles.

April 5-7, 1:30-3:30 pm Aisha Thomas

Fee: Free 2-hour session (CARES Act funding) on April 5; $180 for remaining two sessions

When Every Day Feels Like Monday: Motivating Yourself & Others in Uncertain Times

Motivation is a key success factor in the workplace, yet the challenges of uncertain times can impact our productivity, focus, energy, and optimism. In this 3-part virtual workshop series, you will learn foundations of the neuroscience of human motivation, develop strategies for effectively dealing with low motivation in yourself and your team, identify ways to maximize personal motivators and develop an accountability and growth mindset, improve your ability to get things done, and leave with a personal toolbox of tips and techniques for motivating and inspiring yourself and others through the changing times ahead! 

April 27, 28, & 29; 9 am – 10:30 am; $180 Tracy Nelson & Jon Zulawski

Fee: Free 2-hour session (CARES Act funding) on April 27; 9:00 am – 11:00 am $180 for remaining two sessions


Location: Live Virtual Classes, hosted via Zoom

Schedule:  Dates and times vary, see individual classes for details


  • To Register for the Series (all 3 classes at a 15% discount). You will need to add all three classes to your shopping cart to receive the discount. Series price: $535 (a 15% discount!)
  • To register for individual programs CLICK individual Class titles


Registration policy: Payment will be required at time of registration. You must have either a credit card or valid UW-Madison funding string to be able to register.

Cancellation policy: If you cancel before the program begins, there is a $25 cancellation fee. If you cancel after the program begins you will be charged for the full program fee. To cancel, call registration at 608-262-3909.

Disability Statement: Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the UW-Madison SBDC office at to request accommodations.

The Small Business Development Center at UW Madison is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®.



SBDC instructor Jeff RussellJeff Russell   (Managing Remote Teams)

Jeff Russell, (MS, UW-Madison) co-director of Russell Consulting, Inc., specializes in helping organizations achieve their goals by successfully responding to the challenges of continuous change. With a focus on leadership, strategic thinking, leading change, and performance coaching, Jeff has guided organizations as diverse as Fortune 500 firms, social and public sector organizations, and small family businesses toward their goals. Jeff received his Masters Degree in Industrial Relations from the UW-Madison where he serves as an ad hoc faculty member for the Small Business Development Center. Jeff also is an adjunct faculty member for UW-Milwaukee, UW-Green Bay, and UW-Colleges. Jeff and his wife and business partner Linda have co-authored eight books. Recent publications include: Managing the Problem Employee, Leading Change Training, Strategic Planning Training, Change Basics, Strategic Planning 101, and, most recently, Ultimate Performance Management, (ASTD Press, 2009). For more information on Jeff and his work, visit Russell Consulting, Inc.’s website at

Aisha ThomasAlisha Thomas (Building Resilience in Stressful Times)

Aisha (pronounced: Eye-shah) Thomas is a Leadership and Team Development Expert, Consultant and Professional Speaker. This award-winning Executive Trainer aims to develop leaders and teams to improve resiliency, workplace culture, emotional intelligence and diverse talent management.

She has excelled in multiple leadership roles, managed numerous high-performing teams, and developed leaders from the first tier to executive level. As a member of the United States Air Force, she has proudly served her country during peacetime and global conflicts.

Aisha’s solution-based approach has been recognized for improving organizational breakdowns and practices. She also is a staple in her community by developing the next generation of leaders – today’s youth. Aisha has reached thousands nationwide and continues to transform multiple industries and individuals one solution at a time.

Tracy Nelson MSOD, SPHR, CPTD (When Every Day Feels Like Monday: Motivating Yourself and Others in Uncertain Times)

Tracy is a senior human resources, organizational development, and talent development executive with over 30 years of business experience in a variety of industries spanning healthcare, financial services, insurance, hospitality, manufacturing, and more. She is currently President & Chief Talent Officer at Aspire Talent Group, a talent optimization and training firm with deep expertise in leadership development, human resources, talent management, learning design, assessment services, and coaching.  Tracy teaches in the MBA program at the Wisconsin School of Business and is a talent solutions advisor and instructor for the Center for Professional & Executive Development.  She has earned both national and international recognition for her leadership and employee training curriculums. Her work focuses on helping leaders, teams, and organizations optimize their performance through leadership development, keynote speaking and training workshops, organizational, team, and leadership assessments, coaching, and consulting.


Jon Zulawski, MBA, SPHR, CPTD (When Every Day Feels Like Monday: Motivating Yourself and Others in Uncertain Times)

Jon has over a decade of experience driving learner engagement by leading the development of learning programs and enhancing the effectiveness of the learning function at organizations both large and small across a variety of industries.  Jon currently serves as Executive Vice President of Aspire Talent Group, a talent optimization and training firm with deep expertise in leadership development, human resources, talent management, learning design, assessment services, and coaching.  Jon has led leadership and organizational development, employee development, learning technologies, and patient, customer, and employee experience functions at health care, financial, insurance, and benefit administration companies. Jon has a passion for helping organizations leverage learning technologies to create and deliver effective, engaging development programs and is a recognized leader in designing and developing award-winning virtual workshops.