NEWaukee Podcast: The Intersection of People & Place

NEWaukee is a social architecture firm that specializes in talent attraction and retention through place-based engagement strategies. We work with companies large and small to ensure their workforce is connected to the community and highly engaged with their employers.

On a semi-monthly basis, NEWaukee hosts a podcast in conjunction with WTMJ 620. This 20-minute program explores what companies and cities are doing across the world to attract, retain and engage talent. Topics range from: recruiting the next generation, developing metrics for employee engagement, placemaking the workplace, delivering return on community versus return on investment and much more.


Episode 26: Making Milwaukee a Tech Hub

With Foxconn on everyone’s minds, the need for more tech talent is more pressing than ever. We explore what positioned Austin, Tx as a world-renowned technology hub with Julie Huls, principle of the Huls Group and former president of the Austin Technology Council, as well as what Milwaukee needs to do to achieve this audacious goal.


Episode 25: Startup Week Expands Across the State

Hear from Startup Milwaukee founder, Matt Cordio about the successes of Startup Week 2017 and the plans for continued expansion in 2018!

Episode 24: 2017 A Year in Review

The NEWaukee team reflects on what we accomplished in 2017 and what we are looking forward to in the new year!

Episode 23: What does it mean to be #MKEMade?

Special Guest: Nicholas Fallucca

Nick Fallucca is a third-generation leader of Palermo’s Pizza – Milwaukee’s hometown frozen Pizza manufacturer. The family-owned company’s roots go back more than 50 years, starting with Gaspare and Zina Fallucca, who immigrated from Sicily with a suitcase full of cherished family recipes.

Episode 22: Greenheck Fan Corp: Leaning in to Central Wisconsin as a Talent Hub

Special Guest: Jim McIntyre, CEO of Greenheck Fan Corporation

James J. McIntyre is president and CEO of the Greenheck Group. Prior to joining Greenheck in 2011, McIntyre had a 30-year career in the commercial insurance industry and nineteen years in senior executive roles.

Episode 21: GE Healthcare: 125 Years Young

Special Guests: Yvonne Brodsky, Diversity & Early Talent Leader and Steven Brown, Global Finance Senior Human Resources Manager at GE Healthcare

Yvonne leads diversity and inclusion initiatives and the early talent program for GE Healthcare US.  She partners closely with senior leaders to attract, develop and retain diverse talent across the enterprise.  Yvonne is also responsible for national and regional relationships with diverse professional organizations to support critical initiatives to attract a diverse workforce to GE Healthcare.

Steven joined GE Healthcare in July 2005 as the HR Leader for Global Operations for the Clinical Systems business.   In 2007, he transitioned to the US Talent Acquisition Manager role.   Steven was promoted into the global talent acquisition role in 2009.  

In 2011, Steven assumed the overall global HR leadership for the CT&AW business where he and his team identified, developed and retained talent, drove HR processes, and served as employee advocates. He later played a significant role in the integration of the MI and CT&AW businesses and subsequently was named Sr. HR Manager for the new business (Fall 2012).   Since November 2015, Steven has been the Sr. HR Business Partner for Finance for the Healthcare business.  In addition, he is providing strategic leadership for US Diversity & Inclusion initiatives and Early Talent.

Episode 20: Corporate Culture is More than a Pool Table

Special Guest: Elke Zysk-Buerger, EVP, Strategic Integration at GMR Marketing – ‎GMR Marketing

Elke leads the team that is in constant pursuit of finding innovative ways to uncover unique consumer insights that can convert into breakthrough solutions for GMR’s clients’ biggest marketing challenges. Crafting impactful, relevant strategies that emotionally connect brands with consumers through a live experience. Prior to joining the Strategy team, Elke herself has had some interesting experiences, including an appearance in the Barnum & Bailey Circus, an interview on Jay Leno and she is currently writing a book about the ups and downs (mostly downs) of online dating.  Elke dreams of being a cast member on the show Survivor and recreates many of the immunity challenges at home just for fun (and its good practice!)

Episode 19: In a Service-based Business, People are the Product

Special Guest: Chris Widmayer, COO and Co-Founder of Penrod

Founded a company specializing in CRM solutions on the Salesforce.com platform, system data integration, and application development. Through our unique approach to consultant and employee and client engagement, we have become a leading place to work and do business.

As Chief Technology Officer of Penrod, his responsibilities are focused on our product offerings and implementation processes. Chris is also responsible for working with our vendors and partners to establish strategic relationships that expand our product offerings. In addition to overseeing and driving quality improvements in our deliverables, he also focuses on our employee engagement initiatives. At Penrod, we pride ourselves on being one of the best companies to work. Because of this, our employees can provide a higher level of quality work to our clients and partners. For more info, please visit: http://penrod.co/

Episode 18: Kohler: Community Commitment at a Whole New Level

Special Guest: Laura Kohler, Senior Vice President-Human Resources & Stewardship for Kohler Co.

Laura is responsible for the company’s worldwide Human Resources organization, which includes talent sourcing, compensation and benefit programs, learning, organizational development and leadership development and oversees Human Resources in all of Kohler Co. businesses.  She also leads Kohler Stewardship – Kohler’s global corporate social responsibility program which drives ethics, respectful workplace, engagement, community partnerships and associate giving, corporate giving and Arts Industry. Please visit Kohler Co. Careers website to learn more about career opportunities.

Episode 17: Constructing a better workplace and community for all

Special Guest: Scott Heberlein, Vice President & General Manager of Mortenson Construction

Scott began his career with Mortenson in 1998 and is currently the managing Vice President of our Milwaukee office. He is responsible for the overall management of operations and personnel, development of new customer relationships, delivery of all construction services, and direct involvement with all customers.

Scott’s leadership is based on a long and successful track record in the industry and first-hand leadership of many large, world-class projects. Trust, communication, and a commitment to meeting customer expectations are his most important attributes.


Episode 16: Remaking Manufacturing: How Investment in Employee Engagement Sets ETE REMAN Apart

Special Guest: Noah Rickun, VP of Sales and Distribution of ETE REMAN
Featured Article: Placemaking as Economic Development Strategy

Born to sell, other kids were playing in sandboxes while Noah was running his first business…out of his mom’s basement. Today, Noah Rickun is the Vice President of Sales & Distribution at ETE REMAN and a professional speaker, sales guy, writer, and business leader known for his innovative, passionate, and relatable style. He’s a non-practicing attorney, the former CEO of Jeffrey Gitomer’s TrainOne, and master of “the approach” – the single most important part of any sale. As a speaker, Noah delivers inspirational and informational sales seminars packed with implementable strategies, all focused on helping his audience members to go out into the world and “take their shot.” Noah’s column, “Hey Noah,” is featured in NEWaukee’s weekly blog and newsletter.
Hey Noah Blog: http://newaukee.com/4246-2/


Episode 15: Attracting talent to Sheboygan County

Special Guest: Louie Gentine, CEO of Sargento Foods
Featured Article: 25 Cities Where Millennials are Moving

Louie Gentine is Chief Executive Officer, Sargento Foods. As a third generation family owner, Louie has worked at the cheese company in many capacities – from washing trucks in high school to working on the production lines, in accounts receivable and retail sales during college. Following family succession rules, Louie worked outside of the company as a commercial lender at American National Bank in Chicago for three years following his graduation from the University of Notre Dame with a BBA in Finance. He completed his MBA at Loyola and returned to Sargento, gaining additional experience with management roles in marketing, production and procurement. Following several promotions, Louie assumed the position of Chief Executive Officer in October 2013.


Episode 14: More than a Salary: How Mission, People and Place Attract and Retrain Talent
Special Guest: Rich Meeusen, CEO of Badger Meter

Richard A. (Rich) Meeusen is chairman, president and chief executive officer of Badger Meter, Inc., a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, based company that is listed on the New York Stock  Exchange.  Badger Meter’s core competency is flow measurement solutions. The company is a leading manufacturer and marketer of products incorporating liquid flow measurement and control technologies developed both internally and with other technology companies. Badger Meter products are used in a wide variety of applications  including water, oil and chemicals.  Meeusen joined Badger Meter in 1995 as vice president-finance.  He was elected president and chief executive officer in 2002 and chairman in 2004.

Episode 13: 30+ years in, how Skyward became a best place to work in Wisconsin

Special Guest: Cliff King, CEO of Skyward
Cliff joined Skyward on November 16, 1981 as a programmer analyst. During his tenure, Cliff has served in several key management positions throughout Skyward including administration, operations, programming, sales and marketing. In addition, he has served the organization as the vice president of several departments within the company as well as president prior to accepting his current position as chief executive officer in December 2008.

During his 35-plus years of experience, Cliff has maintained and will continue to maintain a companywide focus on providing our customers with the quality administrative software products and support they have come to expect from Skyward.  Today, Skyward has 550 employees at 4 office locations dedicated to carrying out this effort for more than 1,900 school districts and municipalities worldwide. His “Golden Rule” philosophy has become a cornerstone of the company’s culture.

Episode 12: How crowdfunding a community leads to economic develop

Special Guest: Jonathan Berk, New England Director of Patronicity
Berk worked as an attorney focussing on real estate development projects across Massachusetts for the past few years helping developers and investors realize their creative visions for development projects and communities. Working on these he realized there was always something missing. You can build “utopia” within the four walls of the building you’re working on but once you step outside, you’re reliant upon cash strapped municipalities to foot the bill. These community assets are where innovation happens, where relationships are built and where cities and towns become a “community.” Empowering residents to build these themselves is a power every city should have. I’m looking forward to helping you, the residents of New England, empower yourselves to build your own“community.

Featured Article: What ‘Tactical Urbanism’ Can (and Can’t) Do for Your City

Episode 11: How culture impacts even the small and mighty companies

Special Guest: Jordon Meyer, President and Founder of Granular
Featured Article: 20 Emerging City Champions Chosen to Lead Innovative Urban Projects  from the Knight Foundation

Jordon Meyer is the Founder and President of Granular, a leading digital marketing agency based in the Third Ward of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Jordon and his team achieve measurable results through direct response digital marketing, while understanding how to analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the entire marketing mix. Granular’s focus and expertise is paid search (PPC) and executing biddable media and data analysis at a world-class level.

For more information about Granular, please visit: www.granularmarketing.com/‎

Episode 10: Wisconsin’s new brand: Think-Make-Happen

Special Guest: Mark Hogan, Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Featured Article: Talent Attraction Research 2017: What People Look for in Jobs and Locations from the DCI

Mark’s work experience includes almost four decades at M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank and BMO Harris Bank. He retired in 2010 as M&I’s executive vice president and chief credit officer before signing on to serve as senior adviser to BMO Harris in 2011.  Mark served in this role until being appointed by Governor Scott Walker to his current position in September 2015.

For more information about Think-Make-Happen please visit: http://thinkmakehappen.com/

Episode 9: How Summerfest leads Milwaukee’s music culture

Special Guest: Scott Ziel, Associate Booking Director at Summerfest.

Scott Ziel serves as the Associate Booking Director at Summerfest. With over 25 years of experience in the music industry, Scott leverages his relationships with top managers, agents and music publishing executives to secure a diverse lineup of artists for the festival’s side stages and Marcus Amphitheater. Early in his career, Scott founded Don’t Records, an independent record label that helped bring Willy Porter, Paul Cebar and Citizen King, among others, to the national stage. Immediately prior to Summerfest, Scott served as founder and principal of Pursuit Management, an entertainment consultancy firm that served as talent buyers for numerous national music festivals, Big Ten Universities and corporations.

The 50th Anniversary of Summerfest runs June 28 – July 9th this year. Check out their website for the full lineup and more details on NEWaukee’s Live Band Brunch on Sunday, July 9th: summerfest.com.

Episode 8: The Millennial Myth

Special Guest: Crystal Kadakia, author of “The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstandings into Workplace Breakthroughs”

Crystal is a lauded speaker, author, and consultant for Millennials and the modern, digital workplace. At Invati Consulting, she works with organizational leaders to drive understanding of Millennial behavior and design workplace culture solutions that reflect the needs of a digital world. She is honored to be a two-time TEDx speaker as well as a Power 30 Under 30 and CLO Learning in Practice award recipient.

She is the author of The Millennial Myth: Transforming Misunderstanding into Workplace Breakthroughs and Your Career: How to Make It Happen. Her consulting clients and keynote speaking audiences have included organizations such as UPS, Wells Fargo, FedEx, ATD, SHRM, Monster.com, General Dynamic Electric Boat and University of the Pacific.  Crystal is also a blogger for the Huffington Post and Human Capital Institute. Her educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering, a Master’s candidate in Org Development and a career as an engineer and training manager for a Fortune 100 company. You can learn more at www.invaticonsulting.com or connect with Crystal at www.linkedin.com/in/crystalkadakia.

Episode 7: How Northwestern Mutual is recommitting to innovation, culture and Milwaukee

Special Guest: Sandy Botcher, Vice president of campus and event experience at Northwestern Mutual

Sandy Botcher is responsible at both campuses for enterprise business continuity, security and life safety, air operations, construction, improvements and maintenance of buildings and grounds, space planning, company-wide meetings, as well as field meetings associated with schools and seminars, restaurants and catering, and management of warehouse. Botcher is also chairperson for the Campus Connection project, leading the company’s downtown expansion project. She has been an executive offices since January 1, 2010. To learn more, please visit: https://www.northwesternmutual.com/

Episode 6: Company culture matters most

Special Guest: John Wolske, Culture Evangelist at Zappos.com
Featured Article: How to attract talent in the middle of nowhere” by Imriel Morgan from Huffington Post

Jon Wolske is the Culture Evangelist for Zappos Insights, a part of the Zappos Family of companies headquartered in Las Vegas, NV. After a year and a half in the Customer Loyalty Team and a brief stint with the Zappos New Hire Training team, Jon became the company’s first full-time Tours Lead. In a little over a year’s time, Jon had grown the tours team to include a handful of ‘Culture Guides’ and the experience had grown into a business-tourist attraction in Las Vegas. Today the tours team averages over 1800 guests who come to see the Zappos culture in action each month.

To learn more about Zappos, please visit: http://www.zappos.com/core-values

To learn more about Holacracy, please visit: http://www.holacracy.org/

Episode 5: How a state can attract talent

Special Guest: Peter Welch, Director of Public Affairs and University Partnerships at Concordia University
Featured Article: “Impact WV aims to bring young talent here,” by Fred Pace of Herald Dispatch

LEADNow represents how Concordia is diversifying its education offerings to create programming that meets learners where they are at.  Corporate partnership requires listening to the professional development needs of the business community and adapting our curriculum to meet the leadership needs of today’s up and coming talent.  It is our hope to become the go-to resource for businesses looking to develop their talent, and young professionals looking to advance their career. To learn more, please visit: https://www.cuw.edu/friends/community/leadnow.html

Episode 4: City Awake: Revolutionizing millennial civic engagement  

Special Guest: Justin Kang, Executive Director of City Awake
Featured Article: “The Myth of the 40-hour Work Week,” by Ariana Ayu from Inc Magazine

City Awake is a civic innovation lab of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce which focuses on the bold ideas necessary to solve the local issues we deem frustratingly inexcusable in modern society. Most notably, Justin Kang has been recognized by the City of Boston, Boston Magazine, and The Boston Globe for his efforts to mobilize and empower the next generation into important contributors to the civic process in Greater Boston. To learn more visit: www.cityawake.org/

Episode 3: Growing talent and enterprise from within the community

Special Guest: Sarah Filley, CEO and cofounder of Popuphood and CMO at OppSites
Featured Article: “3 Up-and-Coming Places to Live,” by Miriam Weiner from US News & World Report

Popuphood is a social enterprise consulted to incubate small business and revitalizing neighborhoods, block by block.  By rethinking retail and its role in renewal we engage community partners, property owners, businesses, municipalities and developers in participating in the global conversations of collective impact, and creative placemaking. To learn more, please visit: http://www.popuphood.com/

Episode 2: One size fits none: HR needs to be custom-fit for each employee

Special Guest: Jeff Joerres, retired CEO & Chairman of ManpowerGroup
Featured Article: “The Employee Experience Is The Future Of Work: 10 HR Trends For 2017,” by Jeanne Meister from Forbes

Jeff retired from ManpowerGroup as Executive Chairman in December 2015 after serving in that role for 18 months and prior to that, Chairman and CEO for 15 years. Having joined the organization in 1993, Joerres served as Vice President of Marketing and Senior Vice President of European Operations.

Episode 1: How cities are promoting themselves

Special Guests: Downtown Denver Partnership, Inc.
Brittany Morris Saunders, Senior Vice President, Economic Development and Public Affairs
Kate Barton, Vice President, Executive Office and Special Projects
Featured Article: “Welcome to the Multimillion-Dollar Business of Selling U.S. Cities,” by Valerie Vande Panne from Next City

The Downtown Denver Partnership creatively plans, manages and develops Downtown Denver as the unique, diverse, vibrant and economically healthy urban core of the Rocky Mountain Region that is recognized for being prosperous, walkable, diverse, distinctive and green. To learn more, please visit: http://www.downtowndenver.com/


NEWaukee Co-founders Angela Damiani & Jeremy Fojut discuss the formation of their company and their vision for this new podcast!