Biz Notes

Milwaukee-based Gener8tor, a startup accelerator that also assists early-stage companies in Madison, has been ranked among the top 15 accelerators in the country by the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project. The project, in its fourth year, serves to point entrepreneurs in the direction of accelerators that have a proven track record of growing and scaling startups. Gener8tor was listed at No. 14, with 20 accelerators total named to the list. Project rankings were announced in mid-March at SXSW (South by Southwest), an Austin, Texas-based technology, culture and music festival. This year is the first that Gener8tor allowed the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project to access its startup outcome data in order to be considered for the final rankings. Gener8tor was established by a team of five in 2012. The accelerator is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs for its 2015 Milwaukee program. For more information, visit

Driven to Achieve Awards
The second annual Driven to Achieve Awards honored representatives from four Milwaukee charities in a March 21 celebration held at the Pfister Hotel. Award recipients included John Cary of Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer (MACC Fund); Patty Flowers of the American Red Cross; Dr. Carol Keintz of Next Door; and Vincent Lyles of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee. The Driven to Achieve Awards were created by former Green Bay Packers receiver Donald Driver to recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of multiple charities, companies, community leaders and celebrities on a national and local level. The charities represented by this year’s award winners were granted a total of $220,000 at the event. Additional award winners included Emmy Award-winning television personality Sherri Shepherd and Anthony Anderson, award-winning actor and executive producer of ABC’s “Black-ish.” The 2015 Driven to Achieve Awards event was co-hosted by Driver and Shepherd. Additional celebrity guests attending the event included Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev; “American Idol” winner Kris Allen; and country music Songwriter of the Year Phil Vassar, who performed at the event. Presented by BMO Harris Bank, the Driven to Achieve Awards have granted more than $425,000 to various charitable causes in two years.

LISC Milwaukee
Local Initiatives Support Corporation recognized Dawn Hutchison-Weiss, director of communications for LISC’s Milwaukee office, with the President’s Award during the organization’s National Leadership Conference last fall. The award is presented to individuals who are affiliated with the national LISC network and who are making exceptional strides in community development. In remarks given by Michael Rubinger, president and chief executive officer of LISC, he said Hutchison-Weiss is the “gold standard” for elevating the profile of a local LISC program. “She is a creative and strategic thinker, taking otherwise routine program activities and leveraging them to build relationships with new partners, donors and the media, greatly enhancing LISC’s work,” Rubinger said. LISC primarily works to transform distressed neighborhoods into neighborhoods of opportunity for the residents who live and work within them.

Godfrey & Kahn S.C.
Rebeca Lopez, an associate in Godfrey & Kahn’s Labor, Employment & Immigration Law Practice Group in the Milwaukee office, recently received the Young Alumna of the Year Award from the Father Danihy Alumni Club of Alpha Sigma Nu through Marquette University. At Godfrey & Kahn, Lopez serves clients impacted by labor and employment issues, such as wage and hour claims, employment discrimination and internal investigations with employees. Lopez has represented clients before equal rights agencies, arbitrators and federal and state courts and also helps clients devise employment policies and agreements. Lopez earned her law degree, magna cum laude, from Marquette University Law School. While attending law school, she was business editor of Marquette Law Review.

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