Economic Trends

The annual Economic Trends Event, presented by BizTimes Milwaukee, hosts a vibrant discussion between prominent Wisconsin business leaders, state representatives, and industry experts on the state of the economy. This annual event includes a macroeconomic outlook on the economy from Michael Knetter, Ph.D., economist and president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation.

Economic Trends caters to all business leaders, providing insight into the economic outlook through analysis of industry trends and current economic indicators. Selected panelists bring perspectives from their industry while providing forecasts about the year ahead in business. This event has been annually attended by business leaders in Southeastern Wisconsin and for many has become the first significant business function of the calendar year.

Seeking a Shot in the Arm | What lies ahead in the new year?

The economic shutdowns had a devastating effect on the economy in 2020. Although the economy showed significant improvement in the second half of the year, it is still not performing at pre-pandemic levels. The hope is that a vaccine will bring the public health crisis to an end, allowing consumers to resume normal activity and giving the economy a shot in the arm. In addition, the new presidential administration will result in economic policy changes from the federal government and likely have a big impact on trade, taxes and stimulus proposals. Learn how these factors and others will determine how the economy fares in 2021 by watching the 20th annual Economic Trends event.

Featured speakers:

(click on the speaker’s name to download a PDF of their presentation)

  • Michael Knetter Ph.D., Economist, President & CEO, University of Wisconsin Foundation (1)
  • Ryan Festerling President & COO – QPS Employment Group (2)
  • Blake Moret, CEO – Rockwell Automation (3)

Breakout Sessions to Follow Presentations

(click on the session name to download a PDF of the presentation)

Unmask M&A in 2021

We will provide an outlook of M&A as we continue to navigate COVID as well as the effect the new administration may have on the economy.


  • Andrew Sannes, Managing Director, Taureau Group, LLC
  • Tyler Carlson, Vice President & Co-owner, Taureau Group, LLC

The Southeastern Wisconsin Economy: A Closer Look

Join Mike Knetter and Dave Anderson as they discuss the economic outlook for manufacturing, food and beverage, logistics, transportation and construction in southeast Wisconsin. Mike Knetter will share perspectives about fiscal, monetary and trade policies that may shape the larger trends in these industries.


  • Dave Anderson, Senior Vice President – Managing Director, Head of Commercial Banking, Southeastern Wisconsin, BMO Harris Bank
  • Michael Knetter Ph.D., Economist, President & CEO, University of Wisconsin Foundation

The Impact And Planning For Taxes After The 2020 Elections

As business owners and executives, part of understanding the current economic trends that affect you is understanding taxes and how they could affect your business planning and;/or the business owner’s wealth planning


  • Richard Kollauf, JD, CPA, CFP®, AEP®, Manager of Tax Planning, Annex Wealth Management

Event Details

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Networking – 12:00 PM
Program – 12:30- 2:00 PM
Breakout sessions – 2:00 – 2:30 PM

Watch Videos

Click on the speaker or breakout name to download a PDF of the presentation.

Presented By


Interested in sponsoring an event? To reap the benefits of the ultimate in-person marketing opportunity contact Linda Crawford, Director of Sales, to discuss opportunities. Event sponsorships are limited.