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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The GMC Talent Dividend

The Talent Dividend is a GMC-sponsored initiative built upon regional collaborations between businesses, institutions of higher education, K-12 school systems, service providers, community organizations, economic and workforce development agencies and community leaders to grow the regional talent pool to match the human capital needs of existing and emerging businesses.

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MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee)

The Greater Milwaukee Committee aligns our region’s assets in advanced manufacturing and our global innovation companies through MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee), a design, technology and innovation cluster that serves as a catalytic source for rapid innovation and talent to compete on the world stage.

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GMC launches teachtown initiative

After being approached by MPS Superintendent Dr. Greg Thornton, the GMC and its education committee launched the "teachtown" initiative to help MPS address the impending loss of human capital. Teachtown will help MPS widen their talent pool, and create some important supports for them so that new teachers are able to access our community and make meaningful connections to their students and to Milwaukee.

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‘Creational Trails

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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.

Creative Alliance Milwaukee and Innovation in Milwaukee Announce New Conference Name, Focus, Location

Inaugural “Walk the Talk” scheduled for October 7, 2015

Walk the Talk

MILWAUKEE—August 17, 2015—Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM) and Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE), an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), today announced the name of their new combined annual conference: Walk the Talk.  The event takes place Wednesday, October 7, 2015, from 8:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m.

“To ‘walk the talk’ means to do as you say, to back up what you say with action, to practice what you preach. This conference is a call to all Milwaukeeans to move beyond just talking about the things we want for our community to putting our dreams into action,” said Michael Hostad, executive director of MiKE.

“At CAM, we talk a lot about the importance of collaboration and about the critical link between creativity and innovation,” said CAM president and CEO Maggie Kuhn Jacobus.  “We’re walking our talk by joining forces with MiKE to create this dynamic and fresh approach to the conference experience for Milwaukee and by creating an event that fosters actionable dialogue around the topics of creativity and innovation in our community.”

The theme of this year’s Walk the Talk is the Intersection of Creativity and Innovation and includes keynotes and workshops throughout the Third Ward and Walker’s Point to move attendees from talk to action. Add in an ice cream social, recess and live music, and this is a conference unlike others held in the city. The conference is being experience designed by local firm Translator.

“Walk the Talk is not only a literal description of the connective action that is designed into the day, but a call to action to the community to ‘up our game’ by understanding the crucial intersection of creativity and innovation,” said Translator co-founder Mark Fairbanks regarding the conference name and graphic design. “The look and feel of the graphics is modern and colorful, with the intent to brand the experience similarly to some of the better-known national conferences, such as SXSW.”

What: Walk the Talk inaugural conference

When: Wednesday, October 7, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Where: Multiple venues throughout the Third Ward and Walker’s Point showcasing and inspiring Milwaukee’s creativity and innovation

Who: Keynote speakers, Milwaukee super colliders and thought leaders from the corporate, small business, creative, entrepreneurial, tech, nonprofit, startup and academia communities

Cost: $150/person through August 31; $200/person thereafter. Ticket price includes morning coffee and bakery, lunch, treats and cocktail reception. A limited number of full and partial scholarships are available. Contact for details.

Where to purchase:


About the organizers: Creative Alliance Milwaukee exists to drive economic prosperity and connect creative to commerce in order to links leverage, promote and grow the creative industries and foster a culture of innovation, ingenuity and entrepreneurship throughout Milwaukee. CAM incorporates placemaking and economic development strategies that focus on human capital and attracting and retaining talent across all industries to raise the profile of the value of creatives and the creative skill set to the region’s economy.

Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) is an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee. MiKE 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.

A Letter from the President: July 2015

Dear GMC members,

For many of our members (and even the GMC itself), the word “summer” is synonymous with “interns.” College students – some of them Milwaukee natives, some not – arrive in droves in May to work at area companies, nonprofits and other organizations big and small and learn what they can in the three months before heading back to school. Looksharp reports that Milwaukee is one of the most likely places in the United States to find a paid summer internship – 70.1% of internships here are paid – making our city desirable to the more than 10,000 students who flock to Milwaukee annually.

We know that interns need more than busywork to make their time here worthwhile. If given meaningful projects, interns can see the impact of their efforts and even have the opportunity to make enough of an impact to secure a job offer after graduation.

Interns are also vital to the health and future of our city. We must ensure that interns enjoy their time in Milwaukee and see it as more than just a summer stop-over; by opening the doors to the city to them, interns will see Milwaukee as a place to return to after graduation to start their careers, families and more.

The GMC worked diligently throughout the year to help place summer interns, especially through Morehouse. The GMC partnered with the MKE Fellows program, championed by Quarles & Brady and John Daniels, to pair students with GMC companies. A total of 15 students were paired and are receiving joint programming all summer long through an organized “Lunch & Learn” series and professional development workshops hosted by The Commons, part of the GMC’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative.

The GMC’s summer intern, through the Morehouse Scholars program, is Justice Hudnall. Justice is a Milwaukee native himself, having graduated from Washington High School. He will start his junior year at Morehouse in the fall, studying business marketing, finance and accounting. At the GMC, Justice has worked on several projects, including our multiple summer strategic actioning sessions, the Scale Up Milwaukee initiative and a weekly intern newsletter. He has learned how to use marketing software and the benefits of the GMC’s work to the community, school systems, businesses and transportation. He plans to come back to Milwaukee after he graduates in order to build strong foundations in urban communities. We hope other interns have had such eye-opening experiences and plan to bring their knowledge back to Milwaukee.

Earlier this month, the GMC, in partnership with United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County, hosted the third annual Intern Celebration right here at the Global Water Center. Interns were encouraged to network and meet others outside their own companies in an informal setting at a location that they might not otherwise visit. Badger Meter president, chairman and CEO Rich Meeusen gave a resounding welcome to the interns, stressing the fact that companies and their CEOs are aware of how vital interns are to their inner workings. In order to facilitate networking, interns also filled in the blank of the statement, “My favorite thing about Milwaukee is…”. Some of our favorite answers:

  • Summerfest
  • The Riverwalk
  • Accessibility to leadership
  • Lake Michigan
  • No traffic!
  • Affordability

Thank you to the many companies who are employing summer interns through the Morehouse Scholars program and Earn and Learn. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with interns at your companies to ensure their success and excitement about our city – please email Danya Strait at the GMC with any suggestions and best practices you’d like to share with other members.




Julia Taylor
Greater Milwaukee Committee

State business survival strong

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Published July 11, 2015

While Wisconsin has taken its lumps of late for being among the nation’s lowest-ranked states for company startups, the picture looks a lot better when company “survivorship” is measured.

Wisconsin ranked 7th among the 50 states for companies with a six-year survival rate and also among the top 10 for the business 10-year survival rate, according to 2013 figures from the U.S. Commerce Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. noted in its latest report on the state’s Qualified New Business Venture program, which is marking 10 successful years, it often comes down to ensuring that young companies have the tools they need to succeed.

“Plain and simple, a company started in Wisconsin has a better chance of beating the obstacles that affect young companies,” the WEDC report noted, for reasons that range from the general cost of doing business to advice on the front end from strong advisors to upstream connections to customers and investors.

One emerging resource is Scale Up Milwaukee, an organization focused on working with companies that are beyond the startup stage and poised to grow.

A project of the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Scale Up Milwaukee is based on a model developed by Daniel Isenberg, founding executive director of the Babson Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Project. An investor and entrepreneur as well as an academic, Isenberg has worked with entrepreneurship systems in Colombia, Brazil and Denmark. Milwaukee is the first U.S. community to develop an entrepreneurship program based on his model.

Read the full article here.

A Letter from the President: June 2015

The last months have been exciting for our creative placemaking initiative and projects. As you may recall, we launched the Creative Placemaking Committee last fall, chaired by Ellen Gilligan and Barry Mandel. The second full committee meeting took place yesterday, but subcommittees have been meeting regularly all year.

In the Riverwest and Harambee neighborhoods, the GMC is working with Riverworks Center, the City of Milwaukee and MKE<->LAX on the Beerline Trail Neighborhood Development creative placemaking project. We are investing in this corridor as an opportunity for the sharing of access and resources between the neighborhoods and a spine for redevelopment. As a vibrant public space, the trail serves as the symbol and the source of our focus on access and equity. The bike trial in the Riverworks area is far from just a bike trail; it has become an important component of neighborhood economic revitalization.

This project exemplifies the importance of cross-sector, public/private partnerships. Through a strategic actioning process earlier this year, a wide range of participants from across sectors and interest worked to create an interactive infrastructure as well as an integrated process for communication, planning and workflow. In the subsequent months, we held a follow-up session and hired two project coordinators, and Riverworks hired two new staff members to focus on the project. Keep an eye out for a news conference and more updates coming soon.

The second area we focus on is West Wisconsin Avenue, where WAM DC has formed a Creative Placemaking Subcommittee in order to support efforts along The Avenue. This subcommittee is a collaboration with the City of Milwaukee, the GMC, Westown Association, NEWaukee, Creative Alliance Milwaukee (CAM), MKE<->LAX and other neighborhood stakeholders.

The subcommittee’s work aligns with the City of Milwaukee’s Growing Prosperity Plan including using creative placemaking to establish places within Milwaukee in which all segments of the community and region can interact. Further alignment with the City’s plan includes revitalizing The Avenue with a focus on cultivating artists as entrepreneurs, supporting innovative businesses, enhancing quality of life and opportunity, and improving neighborhood market conditions.

The WAM DC Creative Placemaking Subcommittee builds from work initiated in 2014 through Creational Trails: The Avenue including the NEWaukee Night Market, which was supported by ArtPlace America, and CAM’s 4MKE Initiative, which was commissioned by WAM DC. These 2014 summer initiatives influenced community perspective on safety, density and vibrancy on The Avenue, particularly at night, through the integration of art and creative entrepreneurship. The Avenue explores walkability and interaction with a broad range of cultures enjoying downtown’s main street through animating a vacant lot and historic streetscape.

The WAM DC Creative Placemaking Subcommittee also announces a second summer of collaborative programming with Westown Wednesdays, which this year includes the Westown Association Farmers’ Market, River Rhythms, the NEWaukee Night Market and CAM’s 4MKE Initiative. This collaboration is made possible with the support of the City of Milwaukee, WAM DC, the GMC, CAM, NEWaukee, the Westown Association and MKE<->LAX, with funding support from local businesses and the Southwest Airlines Heart of the Community grant, which also includes in-kind technical support from the Project for Public Spaces.

As you can see, there isn’t a dull moment in our creative placemaking projects. We look forward to supporting a more vibrant and connected city in the years to come.



Julia Taylor
Greater Milwaukee Committee

The Commons moves to Ward4

Published June 19, 2015
From BizTimes

Entrepreneurial skills accelerator The Commons has moved from Walker’s Point to the Ward4 co-working space in the Historic Pritzlaff Building near Milwaukee’s Historic Third Ward.

The Commons was previously located in a 4,000-square-foot space at 170 S. First St., in the space above Colectivo. It will have less dedicated space at Ward4—three 10-foot by 12-foot offices—but will have access to a collaborative environment and shared conference, project and event spaces at a more affordable price, said Matt Cordio, co-founder and program director.

The Commons is a nonprofit venture founded last year by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative and Startup Milwaukee, with foundational support from a host of academic institutions and businesses across southeastern Wisconsin. In April, it completed the pilot program of its 10-week mentor-driven, seed accelerator, through which entrepreneurial-minded college students can grow early-stage companies and connect with area corporations seeking talent.

Read the full article here.

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