Inspiration, Community, and Awards at National Conference

2021 GiGi’s National Leadership Conference

Each year in November, GiGi’s dedicates 4.5 days of training and development for our national network of playhouses and startups at the Leadership Conference. This year, 60+ GiGi’s Playhouse locations and startups and nearly 300 attendees joined together for networking and learning opportunities related to our mission, including our Madison team – 3 board members, 4 volunteers, and our site manager, Kelly Antonson.

The week was filled with speakers and breakout sessions that included topics on programming, marketing, development, financial health, technology and data, volunteer management, leadership, and more. The Madison team participated in a variety of presentations and shared our experiences with Staffing for Success, Fundraising Boot Camp, Peer Group Roundtables, and Launching the Speech and Language Program.

The inspiring week culminated in a celebratory dinner and awards ceremony where top Playhouses, volunteers, and staff are honored for their selfless service to their respective communities.

Kelly Antonson Receives Exemplary Staff Award

We could not be prouder to report that our very own site manager, Kelly Antonson, received the “Get It Done” Award and was recognized for her exemplary commitment to both the Madison Playhouse and the whole network community! This award was given to only one staff member out of 60+ locations/start-ups. Way to go and congratulations Kelly!

Get It Done:  Kelly Antonson from GiGi’s Playhouse Madison

The Get It Done Award goes to a Playhouse staff member who blasts through barriers and stands out among their peers in the Playhouse network. This year’s award winner is a true professional who not only supports all within her Playhouse, but also does whatever she can to mentor and support peers throughout the network.  She participates on National Level Committees and always engages, asks questions, and provides excellent feedback to help us all better support one another.  Although she is self-described as an introvert, we’re not sure she has ever met a stranger – at least not within this GiGi’s Family.  This year’s Core Value Champion for Get It Done is Kelly Antonson from GiGi’s Playhouse Madison!

GiGi’s Playhouse Madison is Recognized for Selflessness

We are also thrilled to announce that the whole GiGi’s Madison volunteer and staff team was recognized with the Locally Concerned, Enterprise Minded Award for selflessly contributing both at home in Madison and nationally across the network.

Locally Concerned, Enterprise Minded

GiGi’s Playhouse Madison

The award for Locally Concerned, Enterprise Minded is given to a Playhouse that thinks beyond their local community to share best practices and they have the humility to leverage the collective learnings from across the GiGi’s network. This year’s award winners have demonstrated great leadership in many areas, and across many members of their team. They share feedback and participate in dialogue to help strengthen the entire network.  They mentor others to achieve success. Their professionalism and continued offers to assist others are greatly appreciated by so many across the network. They market the GiGi’s Playhouse name with pride and integrity. This year’s award for our Core Value of Locally Concerned, Enterprise Minded goes to GiGi’s Playhouse Madison!

GiGi’s Playhouse Madison is Standard of Execution Champion

The Standards of Execution (SOEs) define a descriptive list of standards for each of the 8 core functions of the GiGi’s business.  Each Playhouse has an opportunity to achieve along a continuum of growth. Locations that have achieved Strong or Center of Excellence on at least 3 SOEs is recognized as a Champion.

2021 Certificates for Madison include:

Center of Excellence:

  • HR and Volunteer Management
  • Financial Health


  • Marketing
  • Operations and Facility
  • Donation Processing and Data Management


  1. Heather Rodriguez on November 12, 2021 at 7:46 am

    Bravo Bravo Bravo! Amazing work and incredible team!

    • jbyrnes on November 12, 2021 at 10:47 am

      Thank you Heather! We are proud of our team.

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