Conference will help companies ‘Get Smarter’

To compete in the 21st century, the Milwaukee region will need smarter companies led by smarter executives who hire smarter employees.
That’s the premise behind the third annual BizTimes Get Smarter Conference, which will provide business owners, top-level managers and human resource leaders with insights on how education and workforce development can be the catalysts for economic development in the region and throughout the state.
The conference will take place on Thursday, Oct. 20, at the Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee, beginning with a breakfast at 7:30 a.m.
The opening remarks at the conference will be presented by Wisconsin Superintendent of Education Tony Evers. Evers was elected to the post in 2009 with more than 57 percent of the popular vote. With more than three decades of public education experience, Evers will give a report about what the state’s educational system must do to prepare tomorrow’s workforce to meet employers’ needs.
Evers’ remarks will be followed by a panel discussion about the challenges and the opportunities facing southeastern Wisconsin’s educational infrastructure. Panelists will include:
* Gregory Thornton, Ph.D., superintendent of Milwaukee Public Schools.
* Melanie Holmes, vice president of World of Work Solutions at Manpower Group and chair of the Milwaukee Area Technical College District Board.
* Paul Sweeney, founding partner at PS Capital Partners LLC in Milwaukee and chairman of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Education Committee.
* Robert Rauh, principal of Milwaukee College Prep School.
* Renee Herzing, president of Herzing University.
The panel discussion will be moderated by BizTimes executive editor Steve Jagler.
After the panel discussion, the conference will present several concurrent educational workshops for business executives. The leaders of the workshops will include:
* Scott Jansen, talent dividend director at the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Jansen and the GMC are exploring ways to transform Milwaukee into a “City of Internships.” Jansen will lead a workshop to help employers establish internships to develop young talent.
* Christine McMahon, principal at McMahon & Associates, a sales training and coaching firm. McMahon also is a columnist for BizTimes Milwaukee magazine. McMahon will lead a workshop about the secrets of successful negotiation. She will share best practices to help sales executives gain leverage and results.
* Susan Marshall, a consultant and founder of Executive Advisor LLC in Oconomowoc. She also is the author of "How to Grow a Backbone." Marshall will lead a workshop about building confidence and competence for young executives.
* Aleta Norris is a co-founding partner of Impact Consulting Group and Living As A Leader, a leadership training, coaching and consulting firm. Norris will lead a workshop to help companies to become more competitive by developing their workforce.
To register to attend the BizTimes Get Smarter Conference, visit www.biztimes.com/smart.

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