Jodi Pliszka has spent the past 14 years building a business on her love of helping others, so when the COVID-19 pandemic sparked a crisis for essential workers and small businesses, she didn’t hesitate to take action.
Pliszka is the president of Muskego-based Pliszka’s Adventures and inventor of Headline It!, a disposable liner for wigs, helmets and hats made out of high-tech wicking material that absorbs sweat, regulates body temperature, and traps oils, salts, and odors.
The idea was inspired by Pliszka’s own challenges after losing her hair to Alopecia 34 years ago. In 2006, the product was featured on the ABC network television series “American Inventor” and is now distributed across the country by the likes of MSC Industrial Direct Co., Granger and Airgas.
Responding to the nationwide shortage of PPE earlier this year, Pliszka found a way to convert the waterproof liners into face masks by folding them in half and adding a nose piece. She and her daughter and business partner, Jess Pliszka, have hand made and sold thousands of “BeSafe” masks and have donated hundreds to frontline workers at area hospitals and grocery stores.
Meanwhile, the mother-daughter duo have leveraged their shared background in psychology (Jodi has a Ph.D. and Jess is currently working towards that degree at Mount Mary University), to counsel business leaders through the mental and emotional challenges of today’s world. They launched a new business, called Neurolicity, which expands upon Jodi Pliszka’s existing “Resilience Reboot” training program.
“We use things like neuroplasticity and cognitive behavioral therapy techniques to help people change the way they think and help them be able to maneuver through their challenges a lot easier, bounce back and move forward,” Pliszka said.
For its efforts, Headline It! has been selected as an honoree with distinction in the Fueling the Frontlines category of MMAC’s Focus on the Future Awards.