161 W. Wisconsin Avenue, #16, Milwaukee
Industry: Social architecture firm – Professional services
Family: Married to James Shiparski
What was the most exciting thing your company did in the past year?
“Through our work with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., we expanded YPWeek to 15 communities across the state, which has created a unifying brand for Wisconsin and launched the nation’s largest millennial talent network. In a time when every community across the country is competing for talent, we have developed a proven mechanism for community engagement and talent attraction as a united coalition. The impact for the state of Wisconsin has only just begun!”
NEWaukee has been partnering with the new owners of Grand Avenue. Why did you make this decision and what can you tell us about this work?
“We have been headquartered in the Grand Avenue for five years and many of our programs have centered on the revitalization of this corridor of our downtown. The Night Market is a prime example of this effort to reimagine Westown (the west side of downtown). We currently serve on the design team with the new ownership of the Grand Avenue and have developed the concept of the urban marketplace based on the successes we have found with the local, micro vending during the Night Market. We’re super excited that the design team and the ownership have been open to re-concepting this three-block development and transforming the property into a premier destination for downtown.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff?
“We’re a lean and mean team, but as our work grows throughout the country we do plan to augment our staff.”
What’s the hottest trend in your industry?
“We are proud to boast that we are the only social architecture firm in the country. Our talent attraction and retention services are place-based. We believe that the place in which a company is located and how invested that company is in the community have a direct correlation to the ease with which it sources talent needed to make its products and the customers needed to buy its products.”
Do you have a business mantra?
“Uncompromising movement forward.”
From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“As a serial female entrepreneur, it is often hard to find peers, let alone mentors to look up to. I believe the work that Miki Agrawal, the founder of Tushy and Thinx as well as other social enterprises, does is amazing. She’s pushing the envelope in many different ways and making waves that only benefit other female entrepreneurs in any industry.”
What is the best advice you would give an aspiring entrepreneur?
“NEWaukee is the third business I founded before the age of 30. My advice to anyone with the desire to jump into the wild ride that is entrepreneurship is to embrace the impermanence of life. Some things work and some don’t, but the only person standing in the way of realizing your dreams is you.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I run a small business that blurs the lines of my social and professional life. I spend a lot of time outside, walking and biking the city of Milwaukee, as well as getting my hands dirty in our tiny garden.”