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 Placemaking Forum

Creative Placemaking ForumWednesday, April 16, 2014
Turner Hall
Program: 2:45-6:00 p.m.
Networking: 6:00-7:00 p.m.
Register and get more info here

Please join us for a forum on creative placemaking featuring local and national case studies hosted by the Greater Milwaukee Committee, in partnership with Creative Alliance Milwaukee and the Mandel Group, Inc.

Featured speakers include:

  • Omar Blaik, U3 Advisors
  • Adam Carr
  • Alice Carle, Kresge Foundation
  • Lyz Crane, ArtPlace America
  • Kimberly Driggins, District of Columbia Office of Planning
  • Michael Fleming, Upper St. Clair Development Corporation
  • Ellen Gilligan, Greater Milwaukee Foundation
  • Marilyn Higgins, SALT District Syracuse NY
  • Neil Hoffman, MIAD
  • Darryl Johnson, Riverworks
  • Dasha Kelly, Still Water Collective
  • Barry Mandel, Mandel Group
  • Polly Morris, Milwaukee Arts Board
  • Michael Murphy, Milwaukee Common Council
  • Donna Neuwirth, Wormfarm Institute

To learn more about the principles of creative placemaking, please click here for a video put together by the Kresge Foundation.

Community Partners

  • Arts Wisconsin
  • City of Milwaukee – Mayor’s Office
  • Creative Alliance Milwaukee
  • Greater Milwaukee Committee
  • INOVA (Institute of Visual Arts) – UWM
  • LISC
  • Mandel Group, Inc.
  • Milwaukee Artist Resource Network
  • UEDA
  • Urban Ecology Center
  • WAM-DC

GMC Annual Meeting features Joerres, Barrett and Meeusen

The Greater Milwaukee Committee hosted its annual membership meeting on Monday, February 10th at the University Club of Milwaukee.

At the meeting, the GMC, in conjunction with Milwaukee Women inc., gave the second annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award to ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres in recognition of his work in promoting gender diversity in the corporate sphere. Read more here.



Following the award, Mayor Tom Barrett spoke about the importance of youth summer employment and his Earn and Learn initiative. Learn more here.




During the business portion of the membership meeting, GMC chair John Daniels, Jr., thanked longtime board of directors member Lyle Balistreri for his service as he stepped down from the board.



Badger Meter chairman, president and CEO Rich Meeusen keynoted the annual meeting, beginning with an update on the Water Council and its major successes and expanding upon the idea of Milwaukee as a global water hub. He then tied in GMC initiatives MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee) and Scale Up Milwaukee, which both focus on attracting and retaining key talent in our region.

The Milwaukee Business Journal and Urban Milwaukee covered the meeting.

GMC awards second annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award to ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO Jeffrey Joerres

Award honoring diversity in corporate governance given by Greater Milwaukee Committee & Milwaukee Women inc.

MILWAUKEE, Feb. 10, 2014 – The Greater Milwaukee Committee (GMC), in conjunction with Milwaukee Women inc. (MWi), bestowed the second annual Mary Ellen Stanek Award for Diversity in Corporate Governance to ManpowerGroup Chairman  and CEO Jeffrey Joerres at the GMC annual meeting on Monday, February 10th.

The Mary Ellen Stanek Award, established in 2013, is given to an individual or entity exhibiting leadership, influence and impact resulting in increased diversity on corporate boards in our region. The inaugural award was given to its namesake, Mary Ellen Stanek.

Jeff Joerres, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, is a champion for diversity in the workplace. He chairs the GMC’s Future Workforce Committee, which focuses on strengthening the diversity of the region’s workforce. Through a combination of research, recognition and initiatives, the Future Workforce Committee seeks both a short- and long-term impact on a diverse workforce across all levels of professional development, from entry-level worker to CEO to the corporate boardroom.

“Jeff has worked tirelessly to promote diversity in the workplace in our region and beyond,” said Julia Taylor, Greater Milwaukee Committee president. “He has truly been a spokesperson for promoting women to executive positions and corporate boards, and understands that it is essential to a successful business climate.”

Joerres co-chaired the 2012 B20 Task Force on Employment, which delivered recommendations to inspire sustainable employment creation at the G20 summit in Mexico. Joerres also led discussions on the world of work at the 2014 World Economic Forum Annual Meeting last month. He is Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago board of directors.

“Jeff understands that having women represented on boards is about the importance of women as consumers, shareholders, and a source of executive talent that drives bottom line results,” said Phyllis King, Milwaukee Women inc. chair and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee associate vice chancellor. “His passion extends to his own company, where more than 30% of the board of directors is comprised of women and 55% of managers are women. Jeff’s leadership and emphasis on gender diversity sets an example for companies worldwide.”

Nominees for the Mary Ellen Stanek Award are reviewed on an annual basis by MWi and the GMC Future Workforce Committee, and the award is announced and granted to the recipient at a GMC membership meeting.

The Greater Milwaukee Committee comprises 185 passionate CEOs who work together to make Milwaukee the best place to live, learn, work and play. Currently led by president Julia Taylor and chair John Daniels, the GMC creates new ideas and implements solutions in education, economic development and effective government. For more information, please visit

Milwaukee Women inc. is a nonprofit organization working to increase the number of women corporate directors and executive officers. The group carries out annual research and produces a biennial report on the gender diversity of the boards and C-suites of Wisconsin’s 50 largest companies. MWi promotes awareness on the benefits of gender diversity and offers educational programs to increase the number of qualified women board candidates. For more information, please visit

Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Teachtown MKE launches crowdfunding campaign

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 12, 2013 – The Greater Milwaukee Committee’s (GMC) newest initiative, Teachtown MKE, launched a new campaign, “Beyond the Books,” inviting Milwaukee’s educators to submit their biggest and brightest ideas for cultivating great education in their schools or classrooms. Using crowdsourced funding, chosen ideas are brought to life through online donations.

Project Flexibus is the first project funded through Beyond the Books. First-year Hmong American Peace Academy science instructor Rick Ferraro wants to teach his students about alternative fuel. Through Beyond the Books, Mr. Ferraro’s students will convert a real gasoline-powered engine to an ethanol-fueled one, which will then power a school bus.

Teachtown MKE hopes to raise $17,000 by mid-February for Project Flexibus through crowd-sourced funding. The funds will cover a used school bus, delivery to the school, engine conversion and fees related to the crowdfunding campaign. The campaign also includes “stretch goals” of $36,000 to include a custom graphics wrap for the bus and $80,000, which would cover a brand-new school bus.

To learn more about Project Flexibus and Mr. Ferraro’s students, and to donate to the campaign, please visit

The GMC created Teachtown MKE at the request of MPS Superintendent Dr. Gregory Thornton, who came to the GMC requesting assistance in recruiting and retaining teachers in MPS. Teachtown MKE works with local partners to fuel a community dedicated to providing local educators with a warm welcome and continued gratitude. To learn more, visit, and to learn more about Beyond the Books, visit

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. Currently led by president Julia Taylor and chair John Daniels, the GMC is committed to building on its past successes and to making Milwaukee the best community in which to live, learn, work and play. For more information, please visit

The Scalerator: A Letter From the President

We all agree that growing jobs is the key to a vibrant economy and Milwaukee’s future. But where will the jobs come from? The structural change to our economy has created the slowest job growth in decades throughout our country. How do we jump start jobs and businesses?

In our region, we have a number of M7 partners utilizing a combination of effective strategies to help the entire region meet its collective job growth goals by attracting new companies, retaining companies and supporting a strong entrepreneurial community.

We are creating jobs through startups assisted by BizStarts, WWBIC and MEDC as well as the accelerators and our cluster organizations -the Water Council, the Food and Beverage Council (FAB), and the Midwest Energy Research Consortium. We are attracting companies and jobs through M7.

But what else can we do to catalyze job growth with our existing businesses and grow the startups and later-stage entrepreneurial-led companies in sufficient numbers to quickly fuel the level of job creation?

The Be Bold: The Wisconsin Prosperity Strategy report by Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. noted, “The public and private sectors must also focus now on encouraging and enabling current employers who have expansion and growth potential to maximize that potential as quickly as possible.”

We believe the greatest velocity of job growth will come from small entrepreneurial-led companies that have the ability and leadership to scale up. In April we laid the foundation for this growth potential when we launched Scale Up Milwaukee. Scale Up focuses on companies that already have revenues of $500K to $10M led by entrepreneurial leaders who are incredibly ambitious and WANT to grow and have a business with the POTENTIAL to grow. Our goal is grow the revenues of these companies by 20% per year.

Scale Up is neutral on sector or cluster and focuses on six strategy areas:

  • Policy
  • Finance
  • Culture
  • Supports
  • Human Capital
  • Markets

Scale Up is not just a GMC project but part of a national partnership with American Express OPEN led by Dan Isenberg, an entrepreneur and professor at Babson College.

Our thanks to our founding partners who are investing time and money to launch Scale Up Milwaukee: American Express OPEN, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the City of Milwaukee. We also want to thank American Express OPEN for selecting and investing in Milwaukee as the pilot city for development of the national model.

We had great success in many of the strategy areas, but in this column I want to focus on one very visible and hugely successful strategy in the Human Capital area – the Scalerator, our intense program where 12 companies were selected for a growth-oriented MBA-like opportunity.

Each of the companies emerged from the pilot Scalerator with plans to increase next year’s sales by at least 20% above their original projections.

Here is what several of the entrepreneurs had to say after the program:

“Participating in the Scalerator program allowed me to realize what we were doing well and what we weren’t doing well in. For instance, we learned that we weren’t speaking to banks well – in the past, we would highlight our goal to become a franchise, which didn’t resonate well. Through the Scalerator, we learned what banks are looking for to elicit a positive response and will now communicate that there is a large market for what we do. We also learned different ways to grow sales quickly… one of which is to grow existing customer base. We applied this right away and to-date, this effort has been successful, and we’re on track to achieve sales growth.”
-Bill Reilly from Hands-on Garage

“Being a part of the Scalerator shifted my mindset to focus on Diamond Discs’ value to the industry. I learned to focus more on the long term partnership based on the value of Diamond Discs’ solutions to the industry demands of corporate clienteles’ operations..rather than simply promoting our products and services. I’ve made considerable progress in securing business relationships with 4-6 large corporations as a result of utilization of this perspective and am on track to experience a 25% increase by Q2 of 2014.”
-Ugo Nwagbaraocha of Diamond Discs International

As noted by Governor Walker at our November Membership meeting, Scale Up is “a strategic investment that goes beyond just startup companies, to scaling up to the next level… now, it’s how do you take it to the next step and scale up to where it has not just a significant economic base but an employment base with business here in southeastern Wisconsin and throughout the state.” If you want to learn more about Scale Up or become engaged in the initiative, we would welcome your help. More to come – including jobs!



Julia Taylor
President, Greater Milwaukee Committee

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