Over the last several months there has been a lot of controversy brewing on social media, surrounding Joan Krenning; founder of the Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities and the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit.

I decided to look into the situation to see if I could find out the facts, the truth.

Now getting at the truth in this kind of story is not always easy. Life is not always black and white and there can be a lot of grey area between facts and truth. I call that grey area the soft facts, the emotions that drive a person to the decisions they make, after all we are human beings who deal from emotion most times.

Several people who have done business with Joan in the past have come to a place where they are angry and becoming vocal about how she has treated them, how she has conducted herself. Because of their previous dealings with her, many have come to a place where they question her motives on many levels. They have seen a pattern and they are not liking it.

There are those who are staunch defenders of Joan, who see her as a devout Christian woman with pure intent, someone who has turned their life around and there are others who see her as a snake oil salesman who could charm you out of your bank account.

The defenders say the detractors are just jealous and the detractors say the defenders are naive and looking to be hurt and disillusioned.

They either love her or hate her.

Who is Joan Krenning, really, and why should we women riders here in Canada care?

Joan is the founder of the Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities and the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit an event in Loveland Colorado that is meant to bring women riders together. A small number of Canadian women attended the first event.

After having done countless hours of research, and interviewing many people, I am still not sure I understand who Joan Krenning really is. 

Initially when I asked her for an interview regarding the rather ugly situation that is brewing on social media, she had agreed to it but insisted she wanted it conducted by email and included two other people in the emailed response to the interview request.

I said that I wanted the interview on video, that it was to be just her and I, and I presented her with a list of questions that I intended to ask so that she could prepare. I assured her the video would not be aired. I also explained to her that the interview and her answers to my questions might bring up other questions for which there would be no way to prepare. (The list of questions I wanted to cover is in the two photos to the left)

Why did I want the interview on video? Simply put, body language. It is one of the biggest ways we communicate and often tells us more about the direction we need to ask questions in order to get at the truth, better than reading words ever could.

Sadly, after initially agreeing to the interview, Joan has now declined the interview pleading that she is too busy preparing for the Summit to take time out of her day to have her side of the story heard.

Joan has, from what I can see, been getting very bad advice on how to handle the questions and concerns that people have.

So be it.

This article only deals with the paper trail of facts and the experiences that others have had with her.
There will be no soft facts presented, and by soft facts I mean the governing emotions that result in the decisions people make. (IE: a battered woman refusing to testify against her abuser because of fear of reprisal etc...)

I write this piece so that those who are considering doing business with this woman, or attending/speaking at her event can ask themselves the right questions to determine if doing business with her, if aligning their brands with hers and being seen as supporters of her are right for their businesses and themselves.

Only they can make those decisions.

The story of the Joan Krenning/Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit controversy begins with her trip across the USA.

Publicly this ride was supposed to be a 36 month long mission to promote American Made goods and the US Constitution.
At the time of her departure, she was founder and part owner in DesignWraps Brands LLC out of Arizona and had three other partners.

There are those who are very disturbed about many things that transpired during what turned out to be her 20 month long sales trip.

From people who supplied her with products for her motorcycle, to some who promoted her and her trip, to those who housed her at various periods, not to mention some of the people who ultimately ended up funding that trip, the stories have been rather disconcerting.

The image on the left is a message from Joan to her former partners claiming she needs $3,000 a month of financial support while she is on the road if she stays with friends for 15 days of the month.  It also clearly identifies that Joan's goal for her ride was to promote her company, it was not about any patriotic or spiritual mission.

Joan calls herself a patriot, someone who strongly supports her country.

She says she is a woman who has created American jobs since she was in her early 20's and started her first business Rags to Riches. She calls herself a Christian and is very vocal about her religious beliefs.

The only glimpses into Joan, in her own words, that we have, are her various blogs and Facebook postings.

(This blog posting on the left has been deleted in the last few days)

Her Lady Road Dog Blog has some interesting insights to who she is:

Is Joan any of the things she says she is?

Without benefit of her telling her side of the story, the facts appear to contradict much of what she claims.

As far back as I have been able to search on her, Joan Krenning has a history of not paying her Department of Work Force Development bills with the state of Wisconsin. She also has a history of not paying her Department of Revenue bills with the Government of Wisconsin.

To see her history visit:

Search: Joan Schulenberg, Clear Simplicity, Madison Creek Designs, Design Wraps, Joan Krenning

American Taxes are handled far differently from Canadian taxes.

In the US, when an individual files their taxes and it is discovered that the employer has not remitted their employees state withholding taxes, both the state and the individual sue the company and it's directors/owners to recover the funds owed.

In the state of Wisconsin, individual civil cases fall off the record if not renewed every 5 years but government warrants never expire unless they are paid in full.  If payments are being made to the state for those taxes it is noted in the documentation either as a garnishee or as a payment program or so I am led to understand.

As you look at the documents on the Wisconsin Circuit Court access site, Closed does not necessarily mean that the plaintiff recovered their money, that may also mean that the person never renewed their case. Filed only means they have not been able to serve her papers or in the case of a bench warrant, apprehend her.

Bench Warrant 
I mention this, as there is an open bench warrant, issued in Dane Country Wisconsin on August 20th, 2004 for Joan Schulenberg of Madison Creek Designs, for failing to appear.

So why would the Government of Wisconsin not be able to serve her? Why were they not able to arrest her?

Well, from what I can gather by talking to officials in each government department, they tried serving her on several occasions, as well they attempted to execute the arrest warrant on her before she moved from Wisconsin, but were unsuccessful in doing so and consequently, the tax warrants and bench warrant still exist.

During this time Joan was married to a man that she was also in business with, Bruce A Schulenberg, their divorce became final on September 15, 2005.

The paper trail suggests that Joan moved to Canada sometime in 2006 and that she began living with a Canadian at that time. They married in March of 2007.

What is most interesting about her moving to Canada is the fact that Joan is a felon with a criminal charge for pot possession back in 1989, (see document on left below).

She did 90 days in county for that charge and it should have made her ineligible for entry to Canada.

She does not deny this, in fact she has her dates wrong and she embellishes the story declaring she turned 35 in prison, (see picture on right).

County jail and prison are two very different things!

One is left to wonder how she managed to get across the border and the only theories that I have been able to unearth is that she used one of her 25 or so aliases or she has obtained a pardon that I cannot find anywhere.

On July 27th, 2012 Joan filed for divorce from her Canadian husband claiming they had lived separately since March 15th, 2012.  During that time, she stayed with some ladies who befriended her as she was virtually homeless.

It was during this time in her life that she decided to start her "GLORY US-A FREEDOM RIDE" tour to promote patriotic spending and proclaimed herself publicly as "The Lady Road Dog". She claims she was dubbed that by some guy after she told him about a long road trip she had undertaken, however, none of her former business colleagues or former associates recall her ever being known by that handle before early 2013. Myself included. I have known Joan since the Vancouver bike show in 2011 and Lady Road Dog was not what she was known by at that time.

As of right now, she stays with her mother some times, with friends in Loveland Colorado and various places along the road but she does not have what you would call a fixed address.

I "spoke" with her former Canadian husband briefly by private message. He expressed that he was raised that if you have nothing nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all and since he had nothing nice to say on the topic of Joan, he'd reserve comment.  Fair enough, divorces are painful and personal. He wanted nothing to do with talking about her, and asked me to protect his privacy.

What I do know from speaking with those who knew Joan during her marriage to the Canadian is that Joan had worked as a sales rep for his apparel business. After having read their divorce papers, I truly understand why the man has nothing good to say.

In the divorce papers she was seeking interest in the business, the house she had shared with him, his RRSP's and his pension.  I do not as of yet have substantiation of what the final decree, if any, has allowed.

Because her first husband, Darvin Krenning and her second husband, Philip Chain have both passed, I was unable to determine what ended their marriages, death or divorce.

I have not been able to locate her third husband, Bruce A Schulenberg who was also in business with Joan, but it was their company Madison Creek Designs that has wracked up a lot of the DWD and Department of Revenue warrants.

It appears from the paper trail that Joan and her then husband each have tax warrants, however many that are in her former husband's name have been withdrawn. In Joan's case however, the most recent warrants that are in her name personally are for $25,815.15 with DWD in 2010 and the 2010 Department of Revenue warrant is for $29,590.99.

In fact I have located information on civil judgements against her as Joan Krenning from 1992 to 1998 and as Joanie Chain in 1994-1996. I also found judgements in 2000, under the name Joanie Krenning.

Beginning in 2001 there are also civil claims against her under the names of Joanie/Jonnie/and Joan E. Schulenberg and going on under the variations of her Schulenberg name until 2010, with one under the name of Joan Krenning thrown into the mix, in 2006.

The other companies that have debts with both the DWD and Dept. of Revenue in Wisconsin are Clear Simplicity Inc and Design Wraps.  There is a direct tie to Clear Simplicity Inc and that I found from a 2005 case that remains with an open warrant for over $5,000 with the DWD. (Department of Workforce Development) that ties it Design Wraps.

Clear Simplicity - Design Wraps tie in
Now with Clear Simplicity Inc, somehow her son, Matthew Krenning, ends up involved around 2005.

On top of all of the DWD and Revenue Wisconsin warrants from 2010 and back, there are tax warrants from 2012 and 2013 for Clear Simplicity Inc, the company that Joan and her son Matthew are involved in.

There are a number of DWD and Department of Revenue warrants in his name, one is for $48K + dollars and in some of the documents, the address is the same as on some of Joan's warrants, 921 Walsh Rd. in Madison WI which again shows the two companies as tied together.

Without the soft facts, the hard paper trail suggests that Joan is a woman who has gone from marriage to marriage, left the country to either avoid jail time or get married or both and has left much debt behind. Debt predominantly surrounding the non payment of employees commissions and their withholding taxes.

So far, I am not seeing where the jobs this patriotic American created over the history of her various businesses has actually created any meaningful American jobs or benefited the American economy in any way.

In June of 2013 Joan applied for a trademark for the Steel Horse Sisterhood but that applications has since been abandoned. See right.

The links I originally posted timed out apparently so the screenshot to the right replaces the first link - the link below takes you to the trademark search page.

She also applied for the trade mark Lady Road Dog at the same time, on the same date which has also been abandoned:
Search Lady Road Dog

She has applied for charitable status for her newly registered Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities.

BUT according to IRS rules, if I am reading them right, the fact that she has state tax warrants out on her will prevent her from getting that status, in the mean time the IRS is 3 years behind in approving or disallowing charitable status.

In the state of Colorado where she has applied for non profit status and filed her federal forms to become a 501 (c)(3), it does not matter that she has a criminal record. She can still have a non profit.

The way Joan has set up this non profit, she is to benefit from the monies left over after dissolution as CEO, the other members of her board that are registered in Colorado get paid behind her. Then the creditors then any charities she has promised funds to.

She recently announced on Facebook who her new board was, but those names have not yet been reflected in her filings on line. One of those people, the treasurer appears to be her sister who lives in Kansas, and another, LeAnn Illingworth is the person whom Joan stays with and lives at the address filed for the non profit. I have not as of yet found information on the others involved.

TC Conrad - Executive Director
Dawn Lee - Vice President
Jan Peterson - Treasurer
Debra Teplitz - Secretary
LeAnn Illingworth - Board Member

Her new boyfriend, Charles Guthrie is a veteran who reportedly has cancer. He is listed on the new Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities paperwork with the Government of Colorado.  He lives in Virginia.
He is not listed as part of the BOD as you can see.

This screen shot comes from her first application that included the articles of incorporation.
The articles of incorporation have not been amended even though the non profit business has seen two revisions. (Both on the 6th of January of 2015)

You can search the records yourself at:

One of the latest and biggest bones of contention that some of Joan's detractors have involves her first summit in 2014.

Donations to her charities were first announced as $8,000, then as $5,000 and then as $4,500.

People are asking which amount is the real amount and why such a discrepancy but no answers have been forthcoming.

There are rumours and innuendo, but no actual facts as to why there is such a great disparity in amounts. I am pursuing those, but that will take time.

I spoke with Craig from Realities for Children and the Ride for Kids, and he expressed, after having looked into the donations, that they never received any donation not for $500 or for $135, at least not one that he was able to find - not in the name of Joan Krenning or in the name of the Steel Horse Sisterhood Charities or the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit.

I did speak with a representative of Grace After Fire and was told that they received a donation, but the amount wasn't disclosed as the lady I spoke with, Lisa Skier, was in her car on the way to the airport and her vacation.  I have not contacted Helping with Horsepower as I figure if Laura Klock is going to continue on at the Summit as a guest speaker and a vendor, then she must have gotten the said donation. I have not, as of the time of writing, gotten a call back from the Road Guardians and so I have no idea if they have gotten a donation.
I have been unable to find which Optimist Club she donated to.

The latest thing to have transpired that has also raised the eyebrows of many people in the motorcycle industry was the closing down of her partnership in DesignWraps Brands LLC out of Arizona and DesignWraps Brands Inc.

There was a company letter sent out informing their customers, mostly Harley-Davidson dealerships, that DesignWraps Brands LLC & Inc were no longer in business.

Then there was another letter sent out later from Joan under a new company name, Design Wrap Brands Inc. stating that she is still in business.

No one from the original DesignWraps Brands co's would talk to me very much about the situation because of pending litigation but I did learn this much:
That Design Wraps Brands LLC & Inc haven't even been officially closed as of yet, although the paperwork is pending. (I have already found information on a new company called Design Wrap Brands Inc out of Oklahoma.)

It was confirmed for me by her former partners in Design Wraps Brands LLC & Inc that they did not sell their company, its proprietary marketing or intellectual materials or any other information and that no material possessions of the company were sold to this new Design Wrap Brands Inc in Oklahoma.

None of the former partners are involved in the newly formed company except Joan and she apparently has a new partner, a gal named Sara Boyer Little.

Artwork from the New Design Wrap Co.
Catalogue 2014
Maybe it's just my tired old eyes that aren't working quite right, but it appears that the marketing materials from Design Wrap Brands Inc are using the exact same images as the marketing materials created for/by DesignWraps Brand LLC in Arizona.

The name is almost identical except that the S in Wraps has been dropped and there is a separation in the words Design and Wrap!

Here is the link to the new company, Design Wrap Brands online catalogue:

Note the web site address as well:

The web site address is the same now as it was when the company was DesignWraps Brands LLC/Inc.

She appears to using the Riders Wraps term which came from DesignWraps Brands LLC/Inc marketing and the phone number being used for the new company is the same as for the old company. The use of these intellectual and proprietary marketing materials, including the web site domain, without benefit of payment to her former partners would, I assume, be part of the pending litigation that her former partners say is coming.
Artwork from the Old Design Wraps Co. in 2013

When those documents go public, I will be looking hard to see if that is in fact the case.

There is so much more that I could write about, little details that I have learned about people taking second mortgages on their houses, investing money in her businesses only to loose everything they invested.  Stories from sales people who never got their commissions.

There is documented evidence to back up their claims but again, there are no soft facts beyond those of the alleged victims to go by.

There will most likely be a follow-up to this article as I continue attempting to get that the truth of who the founder of the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit really is.

You see I am awaiting the findings from a private investigator that another writer has hired, and for the research department in Loveland Colorado's library to get some information to me that I am seeking.

I am also waiting for the story from yet another investor done wrong that surfaced yesterday.

And lastly I am waiting to hear about the newest law suits that are said to be forthcoming.

So - Who is Joan Krenning? 

Is she truly a woman who is learning and growing from her mistakes?
The paper trail would suggest not.

Is she truly a spiritual and god loving American Patriot who creates meaningful American jobs?
The paper trail would suggest not.

From everything I have learned by reading documentation, emails, speaking with former employees, former partners, investors, and the government officials in Wisconsin, it appears that the talk and the walk of Joan Krenning are different from each other.

Perhaps she'll choose to have her side of the story told now.
I am sure that many others would like to know her side of things so that they have a complete "story" from which to base their decisions.

Have a great day and if you are blessed enough to live where you can be riding today, please remember to ride like everyone around you is blind and cannot see you.

Belt Drive Betty
Editor & Rider

Aliases for Joan Krenning:

This list does not include her maiden name or her Canadian married name

An Update:

The cheque for the Ride for Kids was unearthed and sent to us by one of Joan's people.
I am not sure why the executive director could not find the donation but perhaps he was searching for the wrong date range. The Summit happened in May and the cheque was dated for August but not cashed until October.  One mystery solved? Well know when I send the copy of the cheque to the charity for confirmation.

I sent the cheque for the charity to confirm and they have confirmed, that they did cash the cheque copy I was given.

Here is the Update I wrote on this controversy:

Another UPDATE:
Apparently we have one of those wild Canadian way VS American way things are done, going on and perhaps it is why I have faced a few challenges getting information!

You see the cheque that was sent to me was dated 06/08/14 and cashed 06/10 14
In the US that means June 6th and June 8th, in Canada that would read August 6th and October 6th!


OK now I m really confused.  I got a copy of a cheque made out to the Road Guardians.

The date 11/03/14  according to the person who sent it to me, they did intact get the cheque in November.  The cheque was not from the Steel Horse Sisterhood, but in the Memo area says RE: Steel Horse Sisterhood - the cheque is from Oklahoma! So I am confused, very confused...
So yes they got a donation, but how that donation came to be is what is of concern; coming from Oklahoma, signed by a guy named Phil, on behalf of the Steel Horse Sisterhood, 6 months after the event and 3 months after the donations issues arose.

All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only. The Belt Drive Betty Blog makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site & will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use. All information is provided on an as-is basis.

Post a Comment

  1. A minor point: in the US, "prison" and "jail" are often used interchangeably in common language (not that this changes your point about the difference in the two types of institutions.)

    Also, the trademark links are broken. They apparently included some session information that was specific to when you did the search.

    Lastly, I appreciate that you wrote this and the way you stuck very much to hard facts.

  2. Thank you for your feedback - I have screen shots of the abandoned trade marks but they are too big to put in the article - I didn't realize the links would time out but if you click on the trademark search link on the top left hand side you can do the search yourself. I will update the post to reflect that. It took over 400 hours to research and write this piece - it was important to me to be factual.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Call it what you will. She agreed to an interview to discuss the hard facts and then declined after I sent her a list of questions that I wanted to ask. You may not understand how bad business decisions made affect employees, partners, sponsors but they do and for them, these issues are real. It's not character assassination when one offers you the opportunity to speak to the issues that have been brewing for months and you choose to let the cold hard paper trail do the talking for you.

  5. Full disclosure: I recently met Joan after inquiring about this years Summit. I live in Arizona and have met her once and plan on getting to know her better. At this point what I see is a nice woman trying to eek out a living in an entrepreneurial out of the box fashion. Who loves motorcycles and sees opportunity in the influx of women riders. Trying to build a niche, much as you're doing here, and make a living off of riding/riders. Which I think we all agree is okay.

    But I'm not writing to defend her exactly. I dont' know her wll. The defense of her I'm providing is because I have a background and training in forensic investigations and I see a ton of problems with your article from that perspective. So to publish something like that is just really wrong. Are you a trained investigator? I spent years writing pages and pages of documents for judges based on my investigations. From an investigative standpoint your article has a lot of red flags for me. You wrote an opinion piece based on what you think is a good investigation. I would bet if I looked at you're investigation I'd see lot's of holes and a thing that investigators call "confirmatory bias". Look it up.

    An example of an investigative hole is your statement that Joan has "25 aliases". You state it like it's fact. How do you know that exactly? I worked in or on the fringes of law enforcement most of my life. A person who has lived in two countries and multiple states.. if they chose to have aliases... it's likely that even the US Marshall service would have a hard time tracking them down. How did you find them? Where did you find them? What do you define as an "alias"? Does changing your name for marriage count?

    You read divorce papers and now understand why an EX HUSBAND doesn't have anything good to say about anyone? In my time as an investigator one of my roles was investigating the circumstances of children in contentious divorces in order for the court to decide on child custody. People are always very one sided in contested divorces and are often either flat out lying (usually because of money) or.. well.. they only see their side of things. Hence.. the divorce.

    I take huge issue with your stating of things as fact that you don't know are fact. Such as "she obviously left the country to get married or avoid jailtime or both". You have absolutely no way of knowing why she left the country.

    Lastly you make the fact that Joan didn't interview with you a mark against her. There are a lot of very valid reasons for her to not interview with you. Especially if you were already well into your so called investigation and had already made up your mind about her. She'd risk being misunderstood or quoted out of context or any number of things. There is a reason people are allowed to not take the stand in a court case and many of them are innocent.

    In all good conscience you should take this terrible piece of work of your site.

    Kelly Kelly - Chandler Arizona

  6. Dear Kelly,

    I wrote an editorial, which is what my blog is, with the information that is available through background checks, government record checks, historical data from the police and many other sources. It is through those background checks and court records that I have come to know that she has 25 aliases. Her aliases do indeed involve marriages and variations of her name as found in court documents. I will post the list of aliases at the bottom of the article. The list that came with the background check. It does not include her Canadian Name. I researched and referenced everyone of her aliases in every way I can. I have verified that all but one is associated to her.

    As far as her divorce with the Canadian, I have documents, witnesses statements and the comments from the ex husband to go on to draw my conclusion as to why he was unhappy.

    On her moving to Canada - she either moved to get married or she moved to avoid prosecution or both - as I said, it's an editorial and I have a lot of questions. I have statements from some of her former colleagues and friends to go by regarding her frame of mind at the time and what was going on.

    It is a mark against her that she agreed to an interview and then declined. She was told that it would be videoed for accuracy and I gave her a list of questions for her to prepare. If I really had bias going in, why would I let her prepare?

    I state quite clearly in my editorial that there is no soft facts to go with the hard paper trail - soft facts being the why's of the repeated bad business decisions and over a 20+ year period. There are many former business partners, former sponsors & employees that I have contacted.

    At the end of the day, you are entitled to your opinions, I stand behind the hours of research it took to get an idea of who this person really is. There are many, many people that have talked about their side of this issue and their dealings with Joan, sadly Joan chose not to speak to the facts or the questions that surround her. Until she does all we have are the experiences of others and a hard paper trail to draw any conclusions from.


  7. I've seen the check that cleared the Steel Horse Sisterhood bank account written too the Ride for Kids in the amount of $500.00. It cleared on 6-10-14.

  8. You're calling the addition of her middle initial an alias? You've got to be kidding. For crying out loud. They are her own name or married names. And you made it sound like she was some kind of master criminal with all kinds of identities. One of the names looks like an attempt at having a cool "biker name" made out of one of her legal names. That's just a ridiculous misleading statement and the kind of thing I was pointing out in my original post. You took information and painted it with your bias and opinion. But again... it's an editorial. Never mind you could be ruining someone's life and livelihood with it.

  9. Any variation of a name is an alias - you probably have at least two. The question that her aliases dress is why people in the government weren't able to locate her. Depending on the situation, she has been known to use names that at the time are not her legal one at the time. As far as the person she is - the dialogue that has been created is educating people and causing people to speak out, see Sash Walker's comment:

  10. Oh and Kelly - you just might want to read the update that I wrote - you might find it enlightening too: