Women of Distinction 2019: Denise Thomas

It is Milwaukee Magazine’s pleasure to introduce this special section featuring female business owners, financial and spiritual leaders, health care professionals, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and all-around glass-ceiling breakers!

Teaching people to talk with purpose and clarity, as she has through her business since 2017, is Denise Thomas’ dream job. “A lot of times, communication is marketed as a soft skill, but it’s a critical skill in any relationship,” she says. “It’s really important, especially in the current climate, that we surround ourselves with other women who believe in and support us, and we are prepared to do the same.”

While her firm works with nonprofits, corporations, universities and public schools, she loves working with youth, observing “their hunger and passion to make this world better,” she says.

“I don’t ask for permission to do great things. If there’s somewhere or something I want to support, I don’t wait. I’m the change that I want.” – Denise Thomas, President and Owner, The Effective Communication Coach

Q&A with Denise Thomas

How are you a force within your community?

I am an advocate for the unsung and underrated heroes in our community. It’s important to understand that being in any category of distinction, popularity is not a requirement … greatness is.

What is your life purpose?

“To transform emerging and existing professionals into extraordinary leaders by mastering the art of effective communication.”

Click Here to Read More of This Year’s Women of Distinction



A seasoned writer, and a former editor at Milwaukee Home & Fine Living, Kristine Hansen launched her wine-writing career in 2003, covering wine tourism, wine and food pairings, wine trends and quirky winemakers. Her wine-related articles have published in Wine Enthusiast, Sommelier Journal, Uncorked (an iPad-only magazine), FoodRepublic.com, CNN.com and Whole Living (a Martha Stewart publication). She's trekked through vineyards and chatted up winemakers in many regions, including Chile, Portugal, California (Napa, Sonoma and Central Coast), Canada, Oregon and France (Bordeaux and Burgundy). While picking out her favorite wine is kind of like asking which child you like best, she will admit to being a fan of Oregon Pinot Noir and even on a sub-zero winter day won't turn down a glass of zippy Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc.