American Family, Husco and GRAEF CEOs to speak at 2020 Economic Trends event

To be held Jan. 24 at Italian Community Center

American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel
American Family Insurance CEO Jack Salzwedel

Last updated on March 17th, 2020 at 01:33 pm

The speaker lineup is set for the 2020 Economic Trends event, BizTimes Media’s 19th annual forum on what lies ahead in the new year.

The event will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 24, at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee.

The speakers will include:

  • Jack Salzwedel, chairman and chief executive officer of American Family Insurance. Madison-based American Family is a Fortune 500 company and is dramatically increasing its presence in the Milwaukee area, sponsoring the American Family Insurance Amphitheater and will become the new naming rights sponsor for Miller Park in 2021. The company recently announced where it plans to establish a downtown Milwaukee office with 400 employees.
  • Austin Ramirez, president and CEO of Husco International. The Waukesha-based company manufactures components for automotive and off-highway mobile equipment. During his eight-year tenure as CEO, the company has tripled in size to $500 million in global sales. Ramirez is also co-founder of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a K-12 faith-based school serving 1,300 low-income students on Milwaukee’s south side. He was selected as a White House Fellow in 2016 and served on the National Economic Council for both the Trump and Obama administrations.
  • John Kissinger, president and CEO of GRAEF-USA Inc., a Milwaukee-based engineering, planning and design firm. The company has additional offices in Madison, Green Bay, Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami and Orlando. The company will move its office from the west side of Milwaukee to The Avenue (the redeveloped former Shops of Grand Avenue) in downtown Milwaukee.
  • Michael Knetter, president and chief executive officer of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, who will return to provide his annual Economic Trends macro economic outlook, including predictions for the new year and a look back at how his predictions for 2019 held up. Knetter is a former economic advisor for the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations.

The Economic Trends event is sponsored by Annex Wealth Management, BMO Harris Bank and SVA. Supporting sponsors are Bridgewood Advisors and Vistage.

Click here to register for the event, or for more information. Click here to see a video recap of the 2019 Economic Trends event.

2019 Economic Trends event crowd
2019 Economic Trends event crowd

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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