Jason Rae, state Sen. Kooyenga among Milwaukee business leaders chosen for Harvard program

Jason Rae, founder and CEO of the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce, state Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) and Maggie Beckley of Advocate Aurora Health are among a group of 10 Milwaukee young professionals chosen to take part in the Young American Leaders Program (YALP) at Harvard University in June.

This will be the second year that a group of Milwaukee executives was chosen to attend the prestigious four-day event to learn how to form innovative solutions to pressing issues in Milwaukee’s business community. The program will take place June 25-28.

The Greater Milwaukee Committee again served as the coordinators of the selection committee for Milwaukee’s group and will oversee the logistics leading up to the program. Southwest Airlines, the largest carrier at Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport, will support the group by providing air travel while Milwaukee-based engineering and consulting firm Graef will cover expenses for room and board at Harvard.

The program provides the group with insight into how American cities are tackling key issues like transportation, education, health care and workforce development. Each cohort will be challenged with returning to their respective cities with a plan to improve an issue in their city. In addition to Milwaukee, in 2018, the 12 metro areas involved included Seattle, Miami, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, the Twin Cities, Nashville and Boston.

The entire group is:

  • Joaquin Altoro, commercial banker with Town Bank, a Wintrust Company;

  • Irissol Arce, assistant director of community outreach at Northwestern Mutual;

  • Maggie Beckley, real estate manager of Advocate Aurora Health Care;

  • Maggie Dauss, community manager and co-founder of the The Commons as part of the Greater Milwaukee Committee;

  • Sarah Fierek, director of underwriting partnerships at 88NineRadio Milwaukee;

  • State Sen. Dale Kooyenga, who is also chief financial officer of Stonehouse Water Technologies;

  • Rebeca Lopez, attorney with Godfrey & Kahn S.C.;

  • Jason Rae, founder and CEO of LGBT Chamber of Commerce, who is also secretary of the Democratic National Committee;

  • Darlene Russell, senior program office of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation;

  • Maurice Thomas, founder and executive director of Milwaukee Excellence Charter School.

Many on the list, including Beckley, Fierek, Lopez, Rae and Thomas are former Milwaukee Business Journal 40 Under 40 winners.

Last year's group decided to focus on workforce development in the region, where there are many suburban Milwaukee companies looking for work at the same time there are many Milwaukee central city residents looking for jobs.

You can read about their work by clicking on the headline below:

Listening, learning on jobs issue: Harvard program positions local group to tackle topics (Video)

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