igniteEX Conference

Experience the region’s largest, most powerful conference focused on continuous improvement and organizational excellence!

About igniteEX

You don’t want to miss this conference, focused on the best and emerging practices that facilitate excellence in people, organizations, and communities! Explore excellence in leadership, customer focus, workforce engagement, operations, innovation, resilience, and other drivers of performance! Discussions will focus on tools, methods, insights, and proven practices that help you improve your processes and results. And this conference will offer unique and powerful ways to network, connect, and EXcel together.

  • April 18, 3pm – April 19, 3pm CDT
  • Optional pre-conference workshops: April 18, 9am – 4pm CDT

  • Mystic Lake Conference Center, Prior Lake, MN —
    And streaming worldwide

  • Conference rates start at $400.
    Early Bird, Group, & Member discounts available.

PENworks is now igniteEX:

Same powerful content; Same powerful networking; New name! Read more about why we made the change, and what it means:

Invest in yourself, your team,

and your organization

3 reasons to attend igniteEX:

High Value

It’s an affordable, high value professional development event, packed with insights, tools, best practices to help you navigate today’s challenges and to begin to position for improvement, innovation, and future growth.

Hybrid Flexibility

It’s a hybrid event, offering the networking & energy in an in-person option or the convenience, efficiency & accessibility of an online option. Either way, the same great content, same great energy.


It’s being recorded, so you’ll have access to all proceedings after the conference: you can view ALL sessions, not just the one you pick to see live. Or watch one a few times to catch more insights. Now igniteEX has a shelf-life!

Keynote Speakers

Two powerful voices who will help us ignite our spark:

Phyllis Braxton

Change is Inevitable; Progress is Optional — Facilitating Cultural Change

Leaders today know the importance of recognizing human differences and creating cultures that value and foster workforce engagement, safety, diversity, and inclusion. But facilitating culture change requires to develop five intercultural skills – withing themselves and their teams: 1) cultural self-awareness, 2) empathy, 3) tolerance for ambiguity, 4) authentic curiosity, and 5) cognitive flexibility. Drawing on over 25 years of international experience, Phyllis will introduce you to proven frameworks for greater effectiveness in leading across cultural differences and creating cultures that enable high performance.

Anne Bonney

Ignite Your Shift: Thriving Through the Chaos of Change

Change is hard. It’s all around us & it isn’t going away. In fact, it’s accelerating. So having the tools to navigate change will improve your effectiveness and resilience – as leaders, as professionals, as human beings! Anne Bonney will spark your courage and ignite some action, sharing ground-breaking concepts from her red-hot book Get Over It!

Learn how to better navigate change with more confidence, courage, and resilience. Reduce the burden of stress that constant change causes. Explore how to turn change into a unifying factor that motivates, inspires, and improves productivity & other results!

Breakout Speakers

We are EXcited to announce a powerful lineup of nearly 20 local, regional, and national speakers, each sharing insights, tools, and best practices to improve organizational & community outcomes!
This year’s sessions will focus on topics such as:
  • Managing change
  • Navigating staffing challenges
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Organizational & community resilience
  • Diversity, equity & inclusion (DEI)
  • Customer engagement
  • And many more!

Pre-conference Workshops

Thursday, April 18, 2024

9:00am – 12:00pm

Edwin Boon

The LEGO Game: Reducing waste & Increasing Productivity (Chaska)

Mary Rapaport

The Strategic Playground: Cultivating and Sustaining a Strategic Mindset (Winona)

12:00pm – 1:00pm

Jan Lehman

Create a Culture of Productivity, Starting at the Top! (Chaska)

Michael Garner

Excellence is About People! (Winona)

Thank You, Sponsors & Exhibitors!

We are grateful for organizations and individuals who support PEN’s mission and the igniteEX conference as sponsors or exhibitors.
If you are interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at igniteEX 2024, please email


The igniteEX conference will be hosted at Mystic Lake Conference Center – the largest casino in Minnesota – as well as streaming live online.

Note: Hotel room block available at Mystic Lake Casino — call 800-262-7799 and ask for “PEN” rate.

  • 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd, Prior Lake MN 55372)