CEO to keynote Young Professionals Week

    Tony Hsieh, chief executive officer of, will present a keynote address at Newaukee’s 2013 Young Professionals Week, a conference that emphasizes talent attraction and retention among young professionals in the greater Milwaukee community.


    In its second year, Young Professionals Week will feature the collaborative efforts of 37 professional organizations in the city working to coordinate coffee connections, lunch seminars and social hours each day of the week.

    Scheduled to run April 14-21, the week aims to show both the city and the country that Milwaukee is a great place for young professionals to work, live and play, according to Newaukee president Ian Abston.

    “It’s not just Newaukee’s Young Professionals Week,” Abston said. “It’s truly Milwaukee’s Young Professionals Week, and it’s a celebration of all the other groups that are doing great things in the community.”

    Hsieh will speak Sunday, April 21, at “Brunch with Tony, CEO of” The CEO has been instrumental in reviving Downtown Las Vegas, helping to invest $350 million in its revitalization. During his keynote, he will discuss the corporate culture of his online retail website and how he has tied his corporate culture to stimulating economic development in Las Vegas.

    “Tony has never been to Milwaukee before and was very interested to come to check out our culture because he sees a lot in Milwaukee that he has seen in Vegas,” Abston said.

    Securing a high-profile speaker like Hsieh illustrates how vibrant of a community Milwaukee is, Abston said.

    “I think it really makes a statement that the Zappos CEO is willing to come to Milwaukee,” he said. “I think that’s a very powerful statement.”

    This year, Newaukee is working to elevate Young Professionals Week to a nationally recognized event. Milwaukee’s Young Professionals Week is the only talent attraction and retention conference in the country arranged by young professionals for young professionals, according to Newaukee.

    In addition to bringing in national speakers, the organization has reached out to young professionals groups in cities across the country to invite them to participate in the conference.

    “We deal specifically in talent retention, and it’s hard to attract and retain someone if we can’t get them here in the first place,” Abston said. “So if we can touch these national ambassadors – these people that are really in charge of different social groups in different cities – and show them that Milwaukee is great, they can then be ambassadors for our city.”

    Each day of the week will focus on an issue critical to the young professional community. Themes include MKE Day, Sustainability in a Modern City, The Silicon Valley of Water, Women in Leadership, Innovation in Milwaukee, Building a Creative Class Economy, Earth Day, and Talent Retention and Community Engagement.

    “There’s a million things we could touch on, but let’s peel back the layers and look at what are the specific issues that we face,” Abston said.

    “Brunch with Tony, CEO of” will be held April 21 at the Hilton Hotel, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee, from noon to 2 p.m. Admission costs $35. Individuals interested in meeting Hsieh during his four-day visit to Milwaukee can contact Newaukee through The site also features a full schedule of events to be held during Young Professionals Week.

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