Get a jumpstart on 2009 at the Economic Trends Breakfast

Will the economy begin to rebound in 2009, or will the recession deepen? What will be the opportunities for growth? What will be the most significant obstacles in our path?

The answers to those questions and more will be explored in the 2009 Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast to be presented by Small Business Times on Wednesday, Jan. 21, at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee.

The speaker lineup for the 2009 conference will include:

  • Michael Knetter, dean of the University of Wisconsin School of Business in Madison, will return to provide his macroeconomic outlook. Knetter, a former economic advisor to Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, will have some especially timely and critical insight at the 2009 event.
  • With the conference occurring one day after the presidential inauguration, Jeff Mayers, president of, will provide insights about the priorities of the Obama administration, the Congressional agenda and the impact on Wisconsin.
  • Jerry Shereshewsky, chief executive officer of, will travel from New York City to Milwaukee to join the panel and speak about how Wisconsin businesses will have incredible opportunities to market their products and services to the growing population of baby boomer grandparents. This generation has wealth and is more vibrant, healthy and dynamic than any preceding generation of grandparents, according to Shereshewsky, who is a legend on New York’s Madison Avenue. Shereshewsky invented the Mellow Yellow brand of soda. After stints among the "Mad Men" with Wunderman, Burson Marsteller, the Bertelsmann Music Group (BMG) and Yoyodyne, Shereshewsky became one of the driving forces in the growth of Yahoo!, where he spent almost nine years overseeing marketing for the Yahoo! Media Sales Group. Shereshewsky, a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, served on the board of directors of the Direct Marketing Association (DMA), as well as the Dean’s Advisory Board at the UW School of Business.
  • Richard Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Badger Meter Inc., will discuss the challenges and opportunities facing Wisconsin’s manufacturers in 2009. Meeusen says Milwaukee’s proximity to Lake Michigan will provide economic opportunities for the region. Badger Meter has grown to become a global company. The firm’s stock is now traded on the New York Stock Exchange.
  • Jane Cooper, founder, president and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Patient Care, the nation’s leading advocacy company that helps employees navigate the health care system and become better consumers, will discuss the future of health care. Patient Care’s clients include Assurant Health, Harley-Davidson Motor Co., MillerCoors LLC, Briggs & Stratton Corp., Regency Hospital Company and Midwest Airlines. Cooper founded her company in New Orleans in 2001. Cooper and her company fled to Milwaukee after Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005. Previously, Cooper was the CEO of the Community Physicians Network in Madison, Wisconsin, where she led a financial turnaround of the regional Independent Physician’s Association (IPA). She also founded Advantage Health Plan, a regional preferred provider organization (PPO) and health maintenance organization, which grew to $280 million in annual revenues and 300 employees. Cooper also served as the chairman of the American Association of PPOs. She will discuss the future of health care in America.

To register to attend the event, visit

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