The Greater Milwaukee Committee – About Us

The Greater Milwaukee Committee is a private sector civic organization whose mission is to contribute to the cultural and economic base of the Milwaukee Metropolitan area.

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GMC Initiatives

The Greater Milwaukee Committee's work is implemented through its initiatives and committees. Learn more about our work throughout the community.

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The Commons

The Commons is a collaboration between the GMC’s MiKE initiative and Startup Milwaukee that works to attract, develop and retain the brightest entrepreneurial minds by creating a cross-university program that promotes the applied use of entrepreneurial teachings.

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Welcome to the Greater Milwaukee Committee

The Greater Milwaukee Committee’s mission is to make Greater
Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work and play.

Our membership – comprised of our region’s business, labor, academic, philanthropic, nonprofit and civic leadership – believes that intelligent, active interest in public affairs is the true measure of citizenship, and the foundation for community.

Scale Up Milwaukee Participants Recognized as Future 50 Award Winners

Scale-Up Milwaukee LogoMILWAUKEE – May 19, 2015 – Eight participants of Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program were named MMAC/COSBE 2016 Future 50 Award winners. The Future 50 program recognizes the outstanding achievements of local, fast-growing entrepreneurs. The combined revenue of all Future 50 firms total $1.19 billion, with almost 4,000 employees.

The Scalerator alumni winners are:

  • Able Access Transportation LLC
  • Clear Path Connections
  • Diamond Discs International
  • Hurt Electric, Inc.
  • RSP, Inc.
  • Scathain LLC
  • Superior Equipment & Supply Co.
  • ZMac Transportation Solutions

Scale Up Milwaukee, an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, helps companies grow and accelerates the environment that makes growth a core, self-sustaining part of the fabric of Milwaukee, with all the social and economic benefits that accompany it. One of the many programs Scale Up Milwaukee offers to businesses in the Milwaukee area is Scalerator.

Scale Up Milwaukee’s Scalerator program is a unique, intense, six-month training program for owner-entrepreneurs with current revenues of $1-10 million who demonstrate a scalable business model and ambition to grow. Individual workshops, taught by world-renowned Babson faculty and supplemented by local expert instructors, tackle topics including marketing and sales strategy for growth, organizational building for growth, organizing and managing sales teams, building sales pipelines and assessing, choosing and enlisting sources for financing growth. The third Scalerator cohort completed the program in March.

The Scalerator programs have impacted growth in 45 companies, reflecting more than $195 million of economic engagement. These companies have created more than 200 new jobs at $2,000 public cost per job and have a 24% average annual revenue growth.

The application for the next Scalerator cohort opens this July, with the sessions starting in October. For more information on the Scalerator or other Scale Up Milwaukee activities, visit

A Big Week for Scale Up Milwaukee

Scale-Up Milwaukee LogoLast week was an eventful one for Scale Up Milwaukee! We celebrated growth and Scalerator 3 participants at the Celebration of Growth, learned about the Bucks’ plans and challenges from president Peter Feigin and heard from Palermo Villa, Inc. president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca.

At the Celebration of Growth, nearly 100 attendees heard success and growth stories from Scalerator participants. Each company shared their progress and learnings from the Scalerator, along with their strategies for continuing their growth. The latest graduating class is projecting an average 40% revenue growth by the end of 2016. Following the event, Mayor Barrett invited Scale Up Milwaukee to ring the city bell in commemorating the businesses’ growth. Congratulations to our Scalerators!

At Meet the Masters, Palermo Villa, Inc. president and CEO Giacomo Fallucca talked with Dan Isenberg about his company before giving candid answers to questions posed by the audience. He described the struggles of starting and growing a family business and the importance of personnel. Giacomo, who has led Palermo’s to be one of the world’s largest frozen pizza producers, is very involved in the local business community, sitting on Scale Up Milwaukee’s Steering Council, co-chairing Food and Beverage Wisconsin (FaB Wisconsin), and belonging to The Executive Committee.

At the CEO Forum, CEOs openly discussed challenges their companies are facing and how they’re addressing them. Bucks president Peter Feigin went in-depth on the Bucks’ new mission and strategic plan, soliciting ideas and perspectives from the other CEOs around the table. Following the Forum, the CEOs toured the Bucks’ practice facility and enjoyed refreshments in the courtside lounge.

Thank you to everyone who attended and for making our events successful.

A Letter from the President: April 2016

Taylor, JuliaOn Monday, the Public Policy Forum released a report entitled “Help Wanted” that examines the teacher pipeline issue in our region. Educator attraction and retention is not a new issue, but it continues to plague many cities throughout the country because of its multifaceted nature. Here are some important pieces that color this complex landscape in Milwaukee:

We’re fighting national trends. These educator trends are not unique to Milwaukee; our numbers reflect national trends. The New York Times recently reported that there is a teacher shortage nationally. Half of all teachers nationally leave the profession after five years. Many urban markets are facing vacancies including Oklahoma City, Providence, and San Francisco. Recently, Hawaii’s state department of education announced they will need to fill 1,600 vacancies for the 2016-2017 school year. Also, Wisconsin is not the only Midwestern state experiencing declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs; Indiana is facing similar issues.

We’re experiencing some demographic shifts. Decreasing enrollment is not only in teacher prep programs. Locally, Milwaukee metro-area colleges have seen a nearly 9.2% drop (7,224 students) in enrollment since the 2010-2011 school year. We believe that this drop is largely the consequence of demographic shifts. There were 15.2 million college students in 1999 and 20.4 million in 2011. The number of Americans turning 18 hit its recent peak in 2009, and will continue to decline through 2017, according to the New York Times. In the state of Wisconsin, youth ages 15-19 showed a population drop of 14,915 from 2010-2015, a 3.7% drop. (Source: UW Applied Population Lab and State of Wisconsin Demographic Services Center)

Still, there exist promising practices here in Milwaukee are already reversing this trend. These efforts work each day to make Milwaukee the top destination for urban educators throughout the region.

The GMC launched Teachtown MKE in 2013 and since then has welcomed nearly 2,500 educators to our urban schools, helped relocate nearly 500 of them to this region and continues to serve hundreds each month in social and professional development activities. In fact, educators that participate in Teachtown MKE activities are 15% more likely to be retained in the classroom.

Education Deans of Greater Milwaukee is a group comprised of our area deans of education who are working to address these issues collaboratively.

Alan Shoho, dean of the School of Education at UWM, is also working to engage local middle and high school students to explore careers in education. His pilot will be launching in fall so stay tuned for some additional information on this exciting initiative.

Americorps education programs such as City Year, Teach for America and College Possible are immersive opportunities for high school and college grads alike to begin their careers in the education field.

Additionally, there are recognized best practices for teacher retention including:

  • Increasing salaries: 97% of teachers who earned more than $40,000 their first year returned the next year, compared with 87% who earned less than $40,000. By the fifth year, 89% of those earning $40,000 or more were still on the job, compared with 80% earning less than $40,000.
  • The power of mentorship: 92% of teachers assigned a mentor their first year returned the next year, and 86% were still on the job by the fifth year. Only 84% of teachers without mentors returned in the second year, declining to 71% in the fifth year.

Milwaukee Public Schools includes both of these strategies for their first year educators. The MPS teacher starting salary is $41,262 and each new educator is paired with a teaching mentor.

We do not want this discussion to end here. In fact, we hope that this is just the beginning; our teacher workforce is one of our community’s most precious commodities. We hope you’ll join us on May 4th for a luncheon, in partnership with the Public Policy Forum, at the Italian Community Center, where we’ll continue this important conversation. The event will begin with a presentation of the new report by the Forum’s senior education researcher, followed by a panel of education stakeholders who will discuss potential solutions. For more details on this event, please click here (registration closes at 5:00 p.m. Friday, April 29).



Julia Taylor

Creative Alliance Milwaukee and Innovation in Milwaukee Announce Near West Side Neighborhood as Location for Walk the Talk 2016, New Speaker Series

Walk the Talk

MILWAUKEE—April 27, 2016—Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM) and the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative are pleased to announce that the Near West Side (NWS) neighborhood will host Walk the Talk 2016. The partners today also announced the addition of a four-part Walk the Talk Speaker Series leading up to the fall conference.

“We are excited to showcase the assets of the Near West Side neighborhood to the hundreds of attendees of Walk the Talk 2016,” said Michael Hostad, executive director of MiKE. “The variety of cultural and entertainment venues, businesses and community assets in this neighborhood gives our planning committee a wealth of options to produce a blockbuster event in a Milwaukee neighborhood that is home to so much creativity and innovation.”

The inaugural Walk the Talk took place October 7, 2015, at more than 18 locations throughout the Historic Third Ward and Walker’s Point neighborhoods, including the Broadway Theatre Center, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, Global Water Center, JCI Innovation Center, Cramer-Krasselt, PKWare, Translator, SURG on the Water, Next Act Theater, WHEDA and Material Studios.

“Walk the Talk is an intentionally designed experience, and its cool factor is as much about where we host it as it is about who attends and what goes on throughout the day,” said Sara Meaney, board chair of CAM. “The Near West Side was a natural next location for the event, as its diverse and eclectic assets and the action-oriented tone of its leadership personify what the event experience is all about: creativity, innovation, action. The Near West Side Partners definitely walk the talk.”

“The Near West Side is a neighborhood of neighborhoods and home to some of Milwaukee’s most innovative and creative institutions, attractions and businesses,” said Keith Stanley, executive director of NWS Partners. “We look forward to partnering with CAM and MiKE on Walk the Talk 2016 and showing Milwaukee what we’ve got.”

Walk the Talk, the annual conference produced by CAM and MiKE, explores the intersection of creativity and innovation in greater Milwaukee. The event draws more than 300 regional thought leaders and practitioners in the realms of creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The day-long event is hosted at multiple venues and features dozens of speakers, presentations and hands-on working sessions to bolster creativity, teach proven creative processes and foster innovative practices that attendees can apply in their workplaces. It is also the premier networking event for area creatives and innovators and those who employ or contract with them. Walk the Talk 2016 is scheduled for early October, with a date announcement expected in early May.

To build momentum and reconnect past attendees over the summer, CAM and MiKE will host a four-part speaker series leading up to the October conference. The first Walk the Talk Speaker Series, presented by Harley-Davidson and Southwest Airlines, will be on May 2nd at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee and features Paul Topolos, an artist from Pixar Animation, who will share his story of the intersection of creativity and innovation within his industry. More information and registration for this free event is available at

About the Organizers

Creative Alliance Milwaukee exists to drive economic prosperity for all by fostering a more creative Milwaukee and a culture of innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship throughout the region.

Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) is an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee that creates and supports programming that convenes corporations, universities and talent networks (entrepreneurs, students, independents) in order to create a collaborative ecosystem and foster the development of an innovative workforce in the greater Milwaukee area.

About Near West Side Partners, Inc.

Near West Side Partners, Inc. is a non-profit organization with a mission to revitalize and sustain the Near West Side as a thriving business and residential corridor, through collaborative efforts to promote commercial corridor development, improved housing, unified neighborhood identity and branding, and greater safety for residents and businesses. Near West Side Partners, Inc. is an organization of businesses and civic leaders from throughout the Near West Side, including the organization’s five anchor institutions – Aurora Health Care, Harley-Davidson, Marquette University, MillerCoors and Potawatomi Business Development Corp.

Scale Up Milwaukee announces membership program

Scale Up Milwaukee is the single platform where anyone who cares about growing their business or impacting growth in Milwaukee – companies of all sizes, banks, industry trade organizations, academic institutions, nonprofit support organizations, government entities, professional service firms & many more – can all come together for their own benefit and that of the community. Companies like ManpowerGroup and Mandel Group, financial institutions like Associated Bank and Park Bank, Scalerator alum like Diamond Discs International and Telecom Data, universities like UWM and Marquette and nonprofits/EDOs like WWBIC may be varied but they all joined for the same reason: Scale Up Milwaukee membership provides unique value to them as the only place in Milwaukee that a network and set of resources focused on their growth comes together.

Check out more information and become a member here.

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