Dozens of Milwaukee executives and community leaders who competed in a speed donut-eating event this week raised more than $57,000 for the United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County.
Milwaukee-based marketing agency Zizzo Group hosted its sixth annual “Donut Smackdown” contest over ten days, during which winners were crowned in two categories: speed-eating and fundraising.
Last year, the event had 17participants and raised more than $50,000 for United Way.
This year, 38 participants competed in teams of two, each of which tried to eat nine donuts in under six minutes.
The three fastest teams were joined by the top three fundraising teams Wednesday evening during a live event at Central Standard Kitchen & Craft Distillery for a race to see who can eat one final donut the fastest.
The 2022 speed-eating champions are Jim Kanter, chief commercial officer at Central Standard Craft Distillery, and Saj Thachenkary, vice president of marketing and community engagement at Milwaukee School of Engineering. Winners of the fundraising category are Alice Ambrowiak and George Wong, investment analysts at Baird, with more than $9,000 in donations.
“I am incredibly grateful for our participants’ willingness to literally step up to the plate for the community and for United Way,” said Anne Zizzo, CEO and founder of Zizzo Group and the “Donut Smackdown” contest. “In addition to raising much-needed dollars for United Way, we want to bring some smiles and a few laughs to southeastern Wisconsin. Zizzo Group is committed to making our community a better place to live, work and play, and this is one of our favorite ways of doing just that.”
This year’s 19 teams included:
Amanda Raabe, Senior Interior Designer at RINKA+ and Matt Rinka, partner at RINKA, Inc.
Steven Appenzeller, AVP at Johnson Financial Group and Ali Don, attorney at Mallery S.C.
Jim Kanter, chief commercial officer at Central Standard Craft Distillery and Saj Thachenkary, vice president of marketing and community engagement at Milwaukee School of Engineering
George Wong, investment analyst at Baird and Alice Ambrowiak, investment analyst at Baird
Nate Keller, Milwaukee office lead for Gardner Builders and Kelly Sullivan, Milwaukee lead at Gardner Builders
Paul Sweeney, co-founder of PS Capital Partners and Dan Wycklendt, executive vice president at FirstPathway Partners
Earnell Lucas, vice president of security at Fiserv and former Milwaukee County Sheriff and Danny Rivera, deputy sherriff
Erik Kennedy, community relations coordinator at Advocate Aurora Health and Joe Flick, fire lieutenant at Milwaukee Fire Department
Matt Holbrook, financial representative at Country Financial and Collin Yelich, real estate agent at Compass
Nick Starr, president of Starr Group and Saeavanan Shanmugbaskaran, vice president of client solutions at Tuna Traffic
Joseph Schmidt, business development officer at Tri City National Bank and Dan Franecki, vice president of commercial lending Tri City National Bank
Dave Knutson, vice president of government affairs at the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee and Deonte Lewis, Midwest regional chair of the Boys and Girls Club of Greater of Milwaukee
Corey Smith, chair of African American Business Resource Group at Froedtert Hospital and Matt Cordio, founder of Skills Pipeline
Aaron Lipski, Milwaukee Fire Department chief and James Ziech, battalion chief of the Milwaukee Fire Department
Dave Kuklin, management and operations consulting at DK Hospitality and Wes Shaver, president of Milwaukee Pride
Emily Starr, ultrasound clinical project manager at GE HealthCare and Kelly Koenig, REMS tenant services coordinator at Colliers International
Krista Suhr, marketing and business development at Innovative Signs and Chad Schultz, president at Innovative Signs
Christian Schmidt, barber at Gee’s Clippers and Gaulien “Gee” Smith, owner of Gee’s Clippers
Anne Zizzo, founder and CEO at Zizzo Group and Joe Zizzo, account director at Zizzo Group