The Wisconsin Specialty Cheese Institute (WSCI) said its annual meeting, open to members and nonmembers, will take place on Feb. 15, 2019, at the Chula Vista Resort in Wisconsin Dells.

The program will kick off with “Cheese Café: What’s on the Menu?” — a culinary and cheese trends panel moderated by Lindsay Christians, food writer at The Capital Times and host of The Corner Table podcast, Delavan, Wis.-based WSCI said. Panelists will include Quinn Adkins, menu development director at Culver’s Franchising System, Prairie du Sac, Wis.; Justin Carlisle, chef-owner of Ardent, Red Light Ramen and Laughing Taco restaurants in Milwaukee and 2018 James Beard Award finalist for Best Chef Midwest; and Peter Testory, director of dining and culinary services at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Also on the morning’s agenda will be Mary Felton, president and owner of Appleton, Wis.-based HR Business Partners LLC. An expert in employment law, organizational development and employee relations, Felton will address important human relations-related issues, including immigration status verification, attendance policies impacting unemployment compensation, sexual harassment and workplace violence training, WSCI noted.

Following a networking lunch, WSCI’s afternoon session will feature renowned motivational speaker and author Rudy Ruettiger of Rudy International. Ruettiger’s early life and career as an against-the-odds football player at the University of Notre Dame was the inspiration for the 1993 film Rudy. Rudy International also operates the Rudy Foundation, which works to enrich the lives of young people and strengthen communities by offering scholarships in education, sports and the performing arts.

“We always try to offer an agenda that resonates with the needs and interests of our members at the annual February meeting,” said Beth Crave, President of the WSCI board of directors and customer service manager at Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Waterloo, Wis. “We’re excited about this year’s lineup. For small business owners and specialty cheesemakers, it offers a concentrated dose of what we all need to succeed customer insights, continuing education and personal motivation.”

For more information about the event and how to register, visit