She's owned a popular Eau Claire dessert shop and now is United Healthcare's senior operational trainer in Eau Claire. Sandi Basley ('05) has leaned on her master's in training and development to blaze trails in both arenas.

Ownership of Dessert First for nearly four years came after she won a Downtown Eau Claire business plan competition and received a grant to launch her concept. "My master's helped me lead my employees and analyze business ownership and growth."

In 2011 she sold the thriving business, which continues to supply Eau Claire area dessert lovers with gourmet special-order cupcakes and cookies.

Since moving on to United Healthcare, Sandi has led projects, events and training that infuse the company's values --integrity, relationships, compassion, innovation and performance – into employees' jobs and everyday lives. She also led development of a new training guide that shows facilitators how to infuse that company culture into employee classes. The guide is being piloted in Eau Claire.

"UW-Stout's program was the driving force behind my ability to develop and implement the culture facilitator guide. I have People Process Culture (a system learned at UW-Stout)to thank for allowing me to contribute to the culture of the company and not only be an advocate for the change, but an ambassador living it every day. Being able to live it and deliver the infusion is a double whammy!"

Visit United Healthcare at and Dessert First at