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Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 1


Current, a program of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, created the young professional awards in 2007 as a way to honor those contributing to our mission to attract, engage, develop and retain young talent in Greater Green Bay. This year marks the second annual presentation of the Future 15 to recognize the emerging leaders in our community who will serve as the next generation of leaders and who contribute significantly to Greater Green Bay’s overall quality of life. Read on to see the difference these individuals are making.

2 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012


Message from the Chair

About Current

Ali nif | A Pet | D Current’s programming is carefully balanced to offer a variety Tam of activities that consider the needs of young professionals and zal | E their employers. Kr Van Membership Val Current offers both individual and corporate memberships. Ell Corporate membership waives dues for all employees while | K providing favorable marketing exposure and altruistic support Bu of our mission. Visit Chad to learn more. Go ma Current is a program of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce that works to attract, engage, develop and retain young talent in the Greater Green Bay area. Current strives to captivate the young professional audience and initiate their involvement in the local business community.

Ashley Groskreutz, Schreiber Foods, Steering Committee Chair

As a group, Current is very excited for the 2012 annual Future 15 & Young Professionals Awards. It is a great feeling to recognize our next generation of leaders for their involvement and achievements. At last year’s dinner we debuted the Future 15 with great success. This year our candidate pool has grown by 25% and our judges continue to be impressed with the depth of talented individuals and the collective impact of Greater Green Bay’s young talent. Thank you to all of our nominators and nominees, as well as our sponsors including Prevea Health as our title sponsor, for making this event possible. This event truly inspires by showing the effect our young professionals are having on our community, and it serves as a guide to those seeking to increase their own involvement and contributions.

Contact Us

Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce 300 N Broadway, Ste 3A Green Bay, WI 54303-2753 Phone: (920) 437-8704 Web:

Young Professional Awards Future 15 & Young Professional of the Year

Sponsored by Nicholas Natzke and Dante Pizzuti of Northwestern Mutual Future 15 will annually profile 15 area young professionals that are presently growing and excelling in their respective fields and positively influencing the growth, prosperity and quality of life in Greater Green Bay.

Social Activities

Events are designed to cultivate personal and professional relationships while showcasing the many unique venues and outlets that exist in Greater Green Bay.

Membership Programs

Members can volunteer their time on any number of committees to help promote the mission of the program while developing leadership skills that impact local community organizations and employers.

This award is presented to an individual with a demonstrated commitment to Brown County through civic and business involvement. He/She will possess values consistent with those of Current including an unwavering responsibility to the community through involvement with local organizations that elevate the overall quality of life in Greater Green Bay and our ability to attract and retain young talent.

Professional Events

Current organizes professional learning opportunities on topics pertinent to young professional needs, delivered in a variety of formats that provide flexibility for diverse work schedules and employer needs.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year

Sponsored by Nicolet National Bank This award is presented to a local business owner who exemplifies and holds true a commitment to Brown County through his/her demonstrated business accomplishments. Consideration includes but goes beyond financial success to evaluate this individual’s positive impact on the community as an entrepreneur.

Next Generation Best Place to Work

Sponsored by MCL Industries, Inc. This award is presented to a business that demonstrates a commitment to the development of young professionals, adapts work-life friendly policies, values generational differences and institutes attraction and retention initiatives for young talent.

Group Activities

Members are encouraged to self-organize activities focused on a variety of themes that engage other members who share that common interest. This promotes the utilization of community amenities by those who value them most. Examples of organized groups include Dining & Nightlife, Make a Difference and Read to Lead.


Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 3


ison Struve | Dana Kressig | Kristin Hartman | Dana Bzdawka | Jenfer Pollitt | Tammy VanDenBusch | Tanessa Klug | Jordan Sullivan Alfredo Gonzalez Valentin | Chad Weininger | Kari Moody | Matthew tersen | Erin Elliott | Erik Goerke | Jennifer Naze | Alison Struve Dana Kressig | Kristin Hartman | Dana Bzdawka | Jennifer Pollitt | mmy VanDenBusch | Tanessa Klug | Jordan Sullivan | Alfredo Gonlez Valentin | Chad Weininger | Kari Moody | Matthew Petersen Erin Elliott | Erik Goerke | Jennifer Naze | Alison Struve | Dana PR/Social Media ressig | Kristin Hartman | Dana Bzdawka | Jennifer Pollitt | Tammy nDenBusch | Tanessa Klug | Jordan Sullivan | Alfredo Gonzalez lentin | Chad Weininger | Kari Moody | Matthew Petersen | Erin liott | Erik Goerke | Jennifer Naze | Alison Struve | Dana Kressig Kristin Hartman | Dana Bzdawka | Jennifer Pollitt | Tammy VanDenusch | Tanessa Klug | Jordan Sullivan | Alfredo Gonzalez Valentin | Chad Weininger | Kari Moody | Matthew Petersen | Erin Elliott | Erik “Thank you to my oerke | Jennifer Naze | Alison Struve | Dana Kressig | Kristin Hart- nominator, Courtney an | Dana Bzdawka | Jennifer Pollitt | Tammy VanDenBusch | Tanes-Svoboda of the Brown County Home Builders Association, for encouraging me to apply for the Future 15. I’ve also received a lot of support from the Insight Creative team, and I’d especially like to thank our president, Jim von Hoff, for his flexibility as I give time to multiple community efforts.”

struve A word of thanks:

Announcing Green Bay’s

future15 By Jennifer Hogeland

Commitment to Brown County Fifteen of Brown County’s rising stars have been recognized as the Future 15 by Current – Young Professionals Network. These area professionals have experienced growth in their personal and professional lives and have made huge strides to positively influence the quality of life in Green Bay. They have visions for our community and are taking steps to lead changes.

Age: 29

Specialist for Insight Creative

When Alison Struve sets her mind to something, there is no getting in her way. Struve had always aspired to be on television. She landed a job as an anchor/producer/reporter at a Wausau station before moving to Green Bay and becoming a live reporter and fillin anchor on FOX 11’s Good Day Wisconsin. But, after five years in TV news, she realized the career she spent her life preparing for was no longer a good fit. In 2010, Struve stepped out of her comfort zone, and embarked on a full-time job search. Not satisfied with the traditional method of blanketing the community with resumes, she created a website and blog to reach area employers. Insight Creative recognized her initiative and hired Struve as their first public relations/social media specialist. Once on board, Struve was faced with the challenge of overcoming the huge learning curve ahead of her. Not one to be discouraged, Struve jumped in, revamping the firm’s social media presence and getting buy-in for the creation of an agency blog. She joined the local Public Relations Society of America and pledged to learn something new about her profession every day. While she’d love to get involved in so many of the community’s worthy causes, Struve commits the majority of her volunteer time to the Brown County United Way and Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA). Social media, which fills her workday, is also what made her aware of CCFA. Inspired by a woman on Twitter, Struve felt this was one group she wanted to devote some of her time. With no obvious connection to the cause, the reporter in her made Struve want to raise awareness of this troubling disease. Through social media and word-of-mouth, Struve introduced the cause to those unfamiliar with it, and independently raised $3,600 for treatment and research. She continually relies on her communication skills and social media talents to make an impact on behalf of the organizations she’s involved in. Originally from the area, Struve hopes to improve the quality of life in the community. She is passionate about diversity, feeling greater Green Bay would benefit from expanding the educational and networking opportunities for all residents. Her heart goes out to children in low-income families. She said, “Getting parents the support they need to get their children on the right track will lead to success in education. My hope is those children will follow their dreams and give back to the community that supported them.” While Struve admits she isn’t a politician or city leader, she sees her role as figuring out how to build relationships and make connections to tackle the challenges in front of her.

4 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012

dana kressig


Advertising Sales Manager for Green Bay Press-Gazette

A word of thanks: “I would like to thank all the people who nominated me; thinking of me and my work as deserving for this award means so much; thank you! Thank you to the Green Bay Press-Gazette for supporting my community involvement, to Current for their wonderful program, to my amazing professional mentors from this year (Mike Knuth, Lisa Ohalloran, and Amy Hermann), to my parents for teaching me the value of hard work and to always set my goals high, and an extra big thanks to my very loving and wonderful husband Scott for always supporting and encouraging me and all I do!”

Age: 34

Dana Kressig has always been a people-person – a good listener, and problem solver. While she has a knack for building relationships with everyone she meets, Kressig never imagined it would translate to a career in sales. But, it was her first sales job at Imperial Supplies as a sales representative that she realized she found her calling. Here she grew her territory’s monthly revenue by over 300% and was recognized for her successes with several awards. Several years later, she joined the Green Bay Press-Gazette as Digital Sales Trainer but was quickly promoted to Sales Manager. Kressig took on additional management responsibilities and saw tremendous professional growth in 2011. While she’s proven her skills in sales, managing a team of 13 presented a new opportunity. She said, “I spend a lot of time doing extra things to enhance my skills including reading management books and attending classes on being an effective leader.” The tough economy has influenced where Kressig spends her time outside of the office. She feels passionate about breaking the cycle of poverty. Kressig has been an active volunteer since the 90s, for places such as the Golden House, Paul’s Pantry, and the Salvation Army, seeing first hand the number of people in need in our community. She became a mentor through the Salvation Army’s Transitional Housing program; helping families get back on their feet by teaching them to balance their finances, assisting with homework and preparing parents to conduct a job search. Her own encounter with a woman donating her last eight cents to the Salvation Army’s Red Kettle this holiday season inspired Kressig to challenge her friends to join her to do something special for someone else. She isn’t looking for a pat on the back, but rather to share the tremendous feeling of pleasure when helping others. One of her goals for 2012 is to continue her volunteer efforts but also engage others to take part in the community. Kressig hopes her initiatives will allow people to look at people differently, and to judge less. She intends to set an example for her young son, so he learns to appreciate what he has. Because Kressig gives time to groups that warm her heart, it makes sense this newbie mom is active in the local Mothers & More organization. As a busy working mom herself, she promotes and hosts events to accommodate other working moms’ schedules. She understands the struggles women go through as they strive to seek balance, so as Publicity Chair she provides busy moms the tools to keep them engaged in the community. She imagines Green Bay as a place young professionals are able to find work and want to live. Kressig does her part by proudly standing in front of area students, and sharing her adoration for greater Green Bay in hopes to retain the young talent.


hartman B Age: 23

Public Relations Liaison for Sanimax

A word of thanks: “I would like to thank my parents for the constant support, guidance and encouragement they give me in every aspect of my life. My love for community service, volunteerism and helping others is a direct result of my wonderful upbringing.”

Kristin Hartman is one driven 23-year-old. Hartman is a 2010 graduate from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire. She jumped right into her first professional job out of college as a Public Relations Liaison for Sanimax. She shares the last year and a half has been a whirlwind. A career in communications was a natural fit for Hartman; she adores interacting with people. As she delved into her public relations program, Hartman found the industry to be fast-paced –another plus. As a college student Hartman looked ahead, making smart moves to prepare for a tough job market. She completed three internships while still in school, securing temporary positions in the three different public relations settings – non-profit, corporate and agency. Her experience and drive made her an ideal candidate for Sanimax. Within four days she graduated from college, moved to Green Bay, and started as public relations liaison. Born and raised in Green Bay, she knew the community would be a good place to kick-off her career and call home. One of her noteworthy achievements since starting at Sanimax is writing and preparing the application that allowed her company to receive the 2011 Village of Howard Green Business of the Year award. Researching and preparing the application pushed Hartman’s creativity. Community service-oriented Sanimax also allowed Hartman to make an impact on Golden House, New Community Shelter, the Salvation Army and United Way. When returning to the area, she didn’t waste any time to find her own way to get involved in the community. In a matter of months she identified multiple organizations she wanted to dedicate her time. One of those was the Public Relations Society of America. She was involved in the organization in college and continued her association in the Green Bay chapter. She will be the 2012 communications committee chair. She also sought out Literacy Green Bay and Big Brothers Big Sisters. As a big sister to a young girl, Hartman serves as a mentor and strives to make a difference in her life. She said, “Without a mentor a child has a big hole in their life. I love having one-onone time and watching my little sister grow and learn new things.” Each of the organizations chosen reflects Hartman’s passion and commitment to making Green Bay an even better place to live, work and play. While she reveals she’s always open to new things, she intends to continue focusing on groups that support and advocate for the children in the community. She gives kudos to her parents for instilling her generous nature. Once she left home, Hartman realized what a blessed childhood and supportive family she was part of. Her love for volunteering blossomed in college and now defines Hartman.

Age: 39



Bzdawka Team Leader for Public Relations and Communications for Bellin Health

The basic principles of communication are what drove Dana Bzdawka to pursue a career in this field. He enjoys influencing the culture of the organization and working with individuals who take pleasure in what they do. Bzdawka takes great pride in promoting a positive organization and making people feel valued. As a team leader for public relations and communications at Bellin Health, Bzdawka guides a team to effectively communicate the strategic messages of the health system internally, externally, and with the media. In his five years at Bellin, Bzdawka has been directly responsible for all public relations and marketing functions surrounding the Bellin Run. His effective use of web advertising, social media and media relations has contributed to the Run breaking its participation record each year to become the nation’s fifth largest 10K race, and the largest participatory event in Wisconsin. He said, “My greatest sense of accomplishment came from guiding the event from paperdriven to an electronic-driven event without losing any of the enduring sentiment of participants.” Bzdawka has had the privilege of working at three of the area’s largest employers. At each of the community-based organizations – Oneida Nation, Shopko and now Bellin – Bzdawka was fortunate to find individuals to take the time to share their knowledge. As Bzdawka approaches the backside of his “young” professional stage of his career, he looks for ways to educate those coming up behind him. One of the things that drives Bzdawka as an individual and a community member is trying to influence the different perceptions out there. As the founder and leader of the Duck Creek Crossing Singers and Dancers, Bzdawka is amazed stereotypes of Native Americans still exist. Rather than getting discouraged, he accepts the opportunity to change those images by exposing youth to cultural diversity. Singing and dancing gets the Duck Creek Crossing Singers and Dancers in the door, but once inside a school Bzdawka utilizes the chance to inform students his children have similar interests. He said, “I explain culture is another layer that makes up our community.” Bzdawka willingly juggles his personal, professional and community life, because he has a vested interest in each of his commitments. He strives to offer his family an enjoyable quality of life, to make the community a better place, and to develop himself to share what he’s learned with others. Through his work with the United Way, Bzdawka became more aware of local needs. As part of his master’s degree program at Marian University, he was exposed to the needs of the Freedom House. Bzdawka and two fellow students developed a web and social media strategy to increase awareness of the organization and facilitate online giving.

A word of thanks: “At every organization that I have been a part of, someone has taken the time to share their knowledge with me or model the behaviors I hope to emulate. In addition, it’s occasions like this award that cause you to reflect and realize the support provided by your colleagues, friends and - most importantly - family. They are my inspiration.”

Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 5

jennifer pollitt

Age: 25

Chief of Staff for City of Green Bay – Mayor’s Office

Politics is in Jennifer Pollitt’s blood. Growing up with a father as the village mayor and a mother as a city finance director, it is no huge surprise Pollitt would pursue a career in local government. Pollitt earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and a master’s degree in Public Affairs, specializing in government management and public financial administration. She began working in government at the age of 14. By the time she got her first job with the Village of Howard, she already had nine years of municipal experience under her belt. Pollitt was Howard’s first L.E. O’Connor Fellow. It was there she created the Village’s first dog park, community garden, and calculated their first greenhouse gas inventory. Her experience and understanding of sustainability made her the chosen candidate for the city of Green Bay’s first Sustainability Coordinator. In April 2011 she was promoted to Mayor Jim Schmitt’s Chief of Staff. Pollitt’s primary tasks are to inform the community on city happenings and to operate as the liaison between the mayor and city staff. She stands at Schmitt’s side, serving as a sounding board for his upcoming strategies, ideas and vision. While she has worked at different levels of government, Pollitt reveals she finds the most satisfaction helping her neighbors. “Many judge leaders by their successes, by what they’ve accomplished, but I feel it is also critical to measure people by their passion,” said Pollitt. And, Pollitt is one of the most dedicated members of the community you’ll find. Much of her community service revolves around her position at City Hall. She is a member of the International City/County Manager’s Association and serves on the Sustainable Green Bay taskforce. Outside the brick building, Pollitt volunteers for American Field Service (AFS), a high school foreign exchange organization, to share her personal experiences as a high school foreign exchange student in Switzerland. She recently began teaching an MBA class at Concordia University to spread her knowledge on sustainable business practices. Her vision for Green Bay is to be a place that continues to develop and grow. To appeal to young professionals Pollitt feels the area needs to expand on the “what to do” opportunities, and to create more attractions. Initiatives like developing urban housing downtown and opening hip establishments and lively entertainment venues would be a step in the right direction. She is fortunate to be able to buzz in the ear of the community leaders that have the authority to enhance our already remarkable city. Pollitt is confident that along with fellow young professionals, they’ll take great strides in improving the city to be all they know it can be. And, she knows she’s in the right place to make change happen.

A word of thanks: “First and foremost, I’d like to thank my parents. They put their hesitancies aside to allow me to travel and experience new things that have brought me to where I am today. Orville Powell, former city manager of Durham, North Carolina, and Gainesville, Florida, is my mentor in the profession. His guidance, humor and passion for local government have helped me solidify my career path and approach it with perseverance.”

6 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012


tammy vanDenBusch

Age: 24

Media Relations/Communications Coordinator at Nsight and Cellcom

A word of thanks: “I’d like to thank my co-workers at Nsight for their support over the past several years. They’ve made working in Green Bay a wonderful experience and have been instrumental in helping me find ways to give back to this community.”

Over the past two and a half years, Tammy VanDenBusch, formerly Homan (congrats!) felt like she’s had the opportunity to grow by leaps and bounds. A 2008 college graduate, VanDenBusch felt fortunate to find a job in a spiraling economy and in her field, a feat many of her fellow graduates weren’t as fortunate to accomplish. VanDenBusch utilized her communications degree at Willems Marketing as a public relations and online assistant. Eager to learn, VanDenBusch quickly transitioned from the office newbie to an expert in social media. Learning and teaching clients how to use the latest tools became her mission. A year later she joined Nsight as a media relations/communications coordinator. She relied on the knowledge gained the previous year to bring the cell company up-to-date. VanDenBusch was handed an inactive Facebook page and, along with a marketing co-worker, transformed it to be a go-to source for customers. She’s earned the respect of journalists across the state, a valuable approach to assist with her public relations initiatives. VanDenBusch reveals what she adores most about her job is the variety – no cookie-cutter days here. She adds, “One of the highlights of my job last year was assisting with the media relations and coordination of the Cellcom Marathon. Working with all of the reporters, local charities and volunteers was an unbelievable opportunity.” Community support comes in many forms, although most commonly through donations or by lending a hand. VanDenBusch chooses to employ her talents to make a difference – to write effectively or to successfully plan an event. Because cancer touched close to home, VanDenBusch was moved to reach out to the American Cancer Society to inquire if a local Relay for Life needed event planning assistance. The group was preparing to relaunch the HowardSuamico Relay for Life, and she stepped up to serve as the event chair. By integrating into the community and by making connections she was a key contributor to doubling the Relay’s proceeds in its second year. VanDenBusch also serves as the public relations co-chair for the Brown County United Way Emerging Leader Society Advisory Council and is active in the Public Relation Society of America. One of VanDenBusch’s greatest strengths is she never backs away from a challenge. She isn’t one to look at a hurdle too long; VanDenBusch always finds a way to come up with a solution or to get things done. She feels the schools and teachers are in need of support, especially in times of budget crisis, and VanDenBusch plans to continue interacting with students through the organizations she serves. She invites others to join her in this cause, supporting the educational needs in the community.



Director of Development at the CP Center

Age: 31

Tanessa Klug admits to wearing her heart on her sleeve. It’s doesn’t take long to see Klug is caring and compassionate, but she also has the drive to succeed. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2002 and went to work for The Mark Travel Corporation in Milwaukee. Klug was responsible for promoting vacations to warm weather destinations. It didn’t take long for the travel company to recognize Klug was a super star; she was soon promoted. She decided to move to Green Bay and took a job at Carver Boat Corporation focused on product development, market research and strategic planning. The only marketing person in an engineering-focused company, Klug not only met their marketing needs but she was pivotal in helping the executive team determine their destiny. While working in the travel and yacht industries had their perks, Klug felt she was destined for something else. “I knew I was good at what I did but I wanted to make a difference for my neighbors,” she said. “Career-wise, my most important achievement has been taking the steps necessary to make my day-to-day work meaningful in a greater sense.” In 2009 Klug joined the non-profit world as Director of Development for the Cerebral Palsy (CP) Center. Tasked with raising funds for the CP Center, Klug jumped right in. In the last two years the CP Center’s fundraising efforts have been revitalized and garnered more dollars than in years past, a critical need given the current state of the economy. She adds, “I find an overwhelming sense of joy coming to work every day knowing that what I am doing matters in an important way to hundreds of local families.” Klug explains branding is an issue with CP Center. Few understand the breadth of services available. She envisions a world that understands and is able to treat all people the same, even if they appear different. Much of her community involvement stems from her role at the CP Center. With the renovation of an existing playground at the CP Center, Klug devotes her time outside the office to further the movement that provides opportunities for children of all abilities to play, learn and grow together. Klug served on the operations committee for the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon the past two years. She did her part by recruiting hundreds of volunteers to act as crossing guards and to pick up garbage on race day for the 26.2-mile course. She is currently part of the Leadership Green Bay training program, further delving into community issues and inspiring change.

A word of thanks: “I would like to thank my parents for instilling community service as a value upon my sister and me from an early age and continuing to support all of our endeavors wholeheartedly, which has helped both of us to become successful in our chosen professions and dedication to helping others. My husband has been a huge supporter of my career from day one, including my transition from the for-profit world to non-profit and especially with his willingness to volunteer with me at CP events, attend MANY community fundraisers, bicycle the MS 150 Best Dam Bike Tour together, and give up 3 weekends (and counting) to renovate a playhouse on CP’s playground.”


Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 7

jordan alfredo sullivan gonzalez valentin Age: 32

Senior Credit Analyst at Nicolet National Bank

Jordan Sullivan describes himself as a boomeranger. He was born and raised in Green Bay, went off to school in Eau Claire, and worked in Madison for a few years before settling back in Titletown to be close to family. While the transition took time, Sullivan became involved in the community and the area soon felt like home again. Always a numbers guy, Sullivan went to college to earn his finance degree. Early in his career he helped underwrite business loan applications. Since joining Nicolet National Bank in Green Bay, he’s been able to wear multiple hats and grow professionally. Sullivan leads a team of credit analysts and explains his management style is to lead-by-example. He’s the last one to be bossy or boast; he prefers to be a role model, do the right thing and make an impression in his own way. His goal is to find that highly sought-after balance between being a strong professional, father, husband and friend. He adds, “I try not to let one area take over too much.” Because Sullivan is guarded with his time, he thoughtfully selects community organizations that he can make the biggest impact. Outside the bank Sullivan participates in Current’s member relations committee. Last year he chaired the sub-committee to organize and plan Current’s first-ever young professional awards. He said, “It was an opportunity to help create something that honors young professionals in the area doing great things.” Sullivan also volunteers at events for the Miracle League, NEW Community Shelter, ASPIRO and the CP Telethon. Working downtown gives Sullivan an appreciation for the tremendous growth Green Bay has seen in recent years. While the city is smaller than some in the state, he feels the community has a lot going for it – high quality education, access to natural waterways, the Packers, and a hard working labor force. He imagines Green Bay becoming a prominent city for job growth, innovation, education, and entertainment in the Midwest and nationally. “There is some perception nationwide that this is not a leading place for young professionals to relocate due to lack of a vibrant downtown and lack of diversity in the types of jobs available,” said Sullivan. He does his part to educate area youth on the opportunities in their own backyard. As a volunteer with Current, Sullivan attended a career expo for high school students. “I have noticed more and more college students are graduating and either not taking a job or not knowing what they want to do,” he adds. “The career education process needs to start much sooner – in middle school and high school – to make kids more aware of future job opportunities and growing fields.” By manning a booth for Nicolet National Bank Sullivan educated students on the rewards of remaining in Green Bay.

A word of thanks: “There are many people I’m appreciative to for this honor. I’d like to thank my family for being supportive, my parents for being great role models, my employer Nicolet Bank for encouraging community involvement, and Current for highlighting the good things young people are doing for Brown County.”

Age: 23

Executive Bank Relations Sales Manager for Micoley and Company

Alfredo Gonzalez Valentin had his first taste of success as a teen. Watching his parents struggle, and knowing their desire for him to thrive, was Gonzalez Valentin’s motivation. Right out of high school, he celebrated a remarkable record in credit card sales while at American Eagle Outfitters. His career progressed; he became Developer of Sales and Marketing at New York Times Regional Media Group before concluding he’d like to work in the banking industry. Gonzalez Valentin became a Personal Banker/Loan Officer for Associated Bank. He found tremendous satisfaction in helping clients achieve their financial goals. Three years later, he became part of the Bank Relations Team at Micoley and Company. His job responsibilities are to consult with bank executives and assist them in matters regarding disposing troubled real estate assets. Gonzalez Valentin expresses one of his job’s greatest rewards is helping banks meet regulator’s requests and saving them from possible collapse. Because he deals with troubling foreclosures nationwide, Gonzalez Valentin is inspired to be part of the solution. He said, “My impact comes from educating the public on the reality of what’s happening in the real estate market, in both buying and selling. I do this by working with both financial institutions and the general public.” When he started at Micoley and Company he familiarized himself with the client presentations and took the initiative to conduct his own sales meetings. The results were astonishing. Within eight months Gonzalez Valentin expanded the company’s client list from 20 institutions across five states to over 90 institutions within 20 states. This self-motivator soaks up all he can from those around him. He wants to learn something from everyone he encounters. And, he’s willing to turn around and share his knowledge with others. Gonzalez Valentin always had an inkling he was meant to help others. Clients over the years have latched onto him; he answers calls on matters of finance, banking, real estate, economics, marketing and sales. He explains coming from Mexico City he understands the frustration and confusion linked to adjusting to a new community. “I never hesitate to orient someone in the proper procedures and measures that need to be taken to succeed in this ever-changing nation,” he adds. His community involvement includes supporting his Mexican culture. Committed to endorsing various art forms, he was one of the founders of the local Mexican Ballet Group. Gonzalez Valentin has aspirations to change the world. While he’s humble, he strives for greatness. He said, “I want to play a game that everyone is going to remember. That is what I remain focused on.”

A word of thanks: “First and foremost I would like to thank my family for supporting me in every career decision I have ever made. Secondly, Wade Micoley and Jimmy Crimmins for their outstanding coaching and mentoring.”

8 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012



State Representative 4th Assembly District

Age: 39


Director of Corporate Sales for Hotel Sierra (Hyatt)/KI Convention Center

weininger moody

Chad Weininger is a product of Green Bay. He went through the public school system and attended St. Norbert College. He learned about public service with the intent to serve the community. In 2010 Weininger was elected to the State Representative for Wisconsin’s 4th Assembly District. He jumped right in, assisting people cut through the dreaded red tape found in the legislative process. He takes his responsibilities seriously, finding a way to make a difference in the day-to-day lives of those around him.

As a legislator, Weininger is proud to have championed the passage of the Multi-Jurisdictional TID law, allowing two or more municipalities to come together to create a regional or corridor development area. Regions are able to join forces to accomplish a mutually beneficial goal. While the idea was first discussed years ago, Weininger made a commitment to get the proposal passed and delivered on his promise. His past experience includes serving as Green Bay’s City Clerk, part of the Foreign Service at the U.S. Embassy in Tanzania, Chief of Staff to Mayor Jim Schmitt, and Deputy Chief of Staff for Congressman Mark Green. As a former business owner, Weininger appreciates the opportunity to help entrepreneurs to succeed. He’s coordinated workshops and conferences and served on a variety of advisory boards with the intent to assist area businesses grow and to create jobs. While City Clerk, he advocated for greater voter turnout and better access to local government. Weininger advanced open government principles by placing council committee meeting videos and audio online, as well as distributing agendas and council packets via e-mail to interested subscribers to make government more transparent. He adds, “There seemed to be a lack of awareness of city government issues affecting local citizens.” His list of community service is long. One of the accomplishments he’s most proud of is the success with the U.S. Census. As the local chair, Weininger was in charge of designing and promoting the U.S. Census in Green Bay and coordinating activities countywide. By developing outreach plans and identifying ways to reach various demographic populations the city exceeded their typical rate of return. As a result of his efforts, Green Bay was in a better position to receive federal dollars for social, educational and developmental programs. By attending dozens of meetings and advocating for his neighbors, Weininger is attempting to fulfill his vision – making Green Bay the best place to start a business, get a good-paying job, own a home, raise a family, vacation and retire. While that can be an exhausting task he does it willingly for his community. His next challenge: raising twins (due in the spring) to be just as enthusiastic about Green Bay as he is.

A word of thanks: “Without all the amazing people who have inspired, guided, and supported me throughout my life, I would not be where I am today. I’m truly grateful for having supportive family members and friends, and all those who have allowed me the opportunity to serve them in the Wisconsin State Legislature.”

Since the age of five, Kari Moody dreamed of being a Broadway singer. She attended the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater with the intent of making her aspirations a reality, only to discover a singing career wasn’t all she imagined. As she plotted her next move, she took a job as a housekeeper and night auditor at a hotel. That was all it took. She was hooked. Moody has worked in the hospitality industry since 1998. She immediately adored the customer interaction and found hospitality to be a natural fit for her personality. She dabbled in management, but found she was most enthusiastic when working in hotel sales. With her love of the community, Moody is the ideal candidate to stand before travelers from across the country and represent Green Bay.

As Director of Corporate Sales for Hotel Sierra/KI Convention Center, Moody’s had the opportunity to work with many inspiring individuals and accomplished businesses. “With every client I’m able to create unique offerings that benefit their travelers, making them feel at home. I work hard to make sure each guest is taken care of,” adds Moody. Moody’s dedication extends beyond the hotel and impacts a handful of community organizations; she commits her time outside of work to wherever her heart leads her. The three organizations she is most passionate about include the Rotary Club of Green Bay, Management Women and her church. She serves on the board for both the Rotary Club and Management Women; Moody has been on her church auction committee for eight years. Through her professional role, she’s had the chance to coordinate and manage Grizzly’s Holiday Light Tour, raising $8,000 for the Alzheimer’s Association. She also looks for ways to support the tourism industry as a member of the Wisconsin Business Travel Association. In order to make a difference, Moody feels volunteers need to become vested in the organization they choose to commit their time; avoid just going through the motions. She concentrates on building relationships with those around her. “You don’t realize what you can change if you don’t try. Immerse yourself in what you believe in and make your mark on it,” she said. While Moody and her family live just outside of Green Bay, she loads up the car and frequents city happenings to familiarize her children with people of different color and background. She said, “Diversity isn’t always right next door. It’s important to introduce children to different individuals and experiences so they are an expected part of our community.” Her parents instilled in her an inclusive nature. She explains, “My parents are kind and generous. I do my best to follow their example.”

Age: 33 A word of thanks: “I thank my husband, Pete, for believing in my every decision and supporting all that I do, no matter the outcome. I am so thankful for his constant support though my volunteer activities take me away from our family life and add extra stress and responsibility for him. He takes it all in stride and is an incredible husband.”


Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 9

erin petersen elliott


Senior Public Relations and Social Media Account Executive for Hiebing

Age: 31

Anatomy and Physiology Instructor for Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

A word of thanks: “The first people I need to thank are my parents for instilling the joy of hard work in me. I’d also like to thank my wife for her unending support and NWTC for building a positive and energetic place to work – I’m thrilled to be part of such an amazing team.”

Matthew Petersen isn’t your stereotypical scientist – old, messy hair, a mad twinkle in his eye. In fact, at 31-years old, Petersen is younger than the majority of his students at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC.) As a child, Petersen was fascinated by science – chemistry, meteorology, astronomy and more. The love of science stayed with him throughout his education but it wasn’t until college, when he took a position as a teaching assistant, that he considered a career in education. The experience revealed Petersen not only loved science, he loved teaching it to others. Inspired to instill his adoration of science in students, Petersen completed his PhD in Human Physiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin to teach at the post-secondary level. Not surprising, he felt working with real specimens was more appealing than dissecting frogs in a high school lab. For the last five years Petersen has been working at NWTC as an Anatomy and Physiology instructor. He’s also sought opportunities to improve science education by teaching courses and seminars for other instructors to improve teaching methods and instructional strategies. In 2010 Petersen was the faculty leader in the NWTC Dream Catchers initiative. Patterned after the national Achieving the Dream movement, the program is focused on improving graduation rates of technical and community colleges. He explains Dream Catchers ensures NWTC students are prepared for continuing education by offering opportunities to work with faculty, providing access to tutoring, and introducing necessary resources. Petersen has been active in promoting the use of high-quality educational practices in the classroom and in the development of a culture of evidence and inquiry. He has had a hand in improving the technical college’s graduation rates. Through the Dream Catchers program Petersen is able to influence the lives of students beyond those he sees in his classroom. His hope is that students are successful at NWTC and that they will become productive members of society. His community service betters the lives of area children and our environment. In an attempt to interest younger students in the sciences, he engages them in programs of discovery, such as the Einstein Project. He is a volunteer wrestling coach at West De Pere Middle School and in the Youth Wrestling Club. He adds, “It is a terrific individual sport. It has a way of preparing wrestlers for obstacles they’ll face in later life.” Involvement in Leadership Green Bay opened Petersen’s eyes to challenges within the community. His team, aided by NWTC students in the Digital Media Technology program, produced a public service announcement to raise awareness on the importance of recycling electronics rather than letting this potentially harmful waste sit in landfills. While Petersen may sound serious when you talk to him, he reveals he’s extremely passionate about what he does. “I feel fortunate to shape the lives of my students and see so many rediscover the joy of learning.”

A word of thanks: “Being an active member of the community often means spending time away from home, and I wouldn’t be able to balance all the important parts of my life without the support of my husband, parents and the rest of my family. But I really also must thank Schneider National’s PR manager (who also happens to be my colleague/ friend), Janet Bonkowski. Janet has not only been a great mentor for me in the PR profession but is also a true role model for me. She’s taught me that you can have a fulfilling work and family life while also remaining involved in the organizations you are passionate about – you just have to be okay with being really tired most of the time!”

Age: 34

Erin Elliott is a Senior Public Relations and Social Media Account Executive for Hiebing, although she has a permanent seat within Schneider National. While being the lone Hiebing employee embedded within the gigantic Green Bay employer was intimidating at first, she’s successfully guided a team of public relation professionals over the last four years. The number of media impressions they’ve made last year alone is worth celebrating. She explains there is never a dull day in public relations. And, she couldn’t be happier. “Public relations is the same no matter where you are. It doesn’t matter if you are talking to a paper in New York or Ashwaubenon,” adds Elliott. Elliott believes if something you do makes a difference, it is worth doing. And, she gives wholeheartedly. She encourages everyone to get involved and find what resonates with them. The organizations Elliott’s gotten the most involved in are the Brown County Chapter of the Wisconsin Alumni Association (WAA), the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), and Happily Ever After Animal Sanctuary (HEA.) She served two years as WAA’s president and remains on the board. Elliott’s been a leader within PRSA for the last seven years, and is currently president-elect. While those organizations fuel her professional passions, she gets the greatest personal pleasure from the work she does with HEA. As a pet owner and animal lover, Elliott is a volunteer as well as the communications/events coordinator for the no-kill cat and dog facility. Since she’s gotten involved, Elliott has grown the volunteer base from 50 to over 300. She utilizes her marketing and PR talents to inform and educate the community on this valuable animal organization. A recent study revealed HEA has a 50 percent awareness among area pet owners, a significant accomplishment in Elliott’s eyes. She imagines Green Bay becoming known as a premier animal care community. She’s not a big city gal, so Green Bay is just the right size for Elliott. She doesn’t find much to complain about. She finds charm in the close-knit community, hardworking people, and great schools but Elliott challenges others to rise up and make the community an even better place. Volunteer. Contribute. Be more compassionate and understanding. Embrace the opportunity to make a difference. Elliott worries about the issues youth face. Many lack a positive role model; some need to learn compassion. She said, “I would love to see every child have the same opportunity. I think if we can do more to boost up the next generation it would bode well for our community’s future.”


10 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012

jennifer erik goerke CEO for Alliance Enterprises

Age: 26

A word of thanks: “I’d like to thank my wife. She was there for me when I started the companies and went back to school, limiting our time together. She sacrificed a lot to help me grow as a leader and business professional.”


Personal and professional greatness started at a young age for Erik Goerke. As a hard working, self-motivated teen, Goerke earned his real estate license and began selling homes his senior year of high school. He practiced real estate while attending St. Norbert College and in late 2005 he co-founded Alliance Enterprises, the holding company for Alliance Management and Alliance Maintenance. Since taking the role of CEO in 2007, Goerke has significantly contributed to growing the company from 450 units to over 1,200, and increasing the staff from five to 20 employees.

Jennifer Naze always imagined she’d be working in the classroom. She thought she wanted to be a teacher, but once in school she decided to pursue her other profession of interest – communications.

A savvy businessman, Goerke continually identifies and embraces new business opportunities. He pushed to expand their business offerings to include commercial brokerage, commercial leasing, property management and property maintenance services throughout Northeast Wisconsin. Each arm of the business was created to Goerke’s standards. He said, “I’ve invested countless hours in the development of processes, software platforms, and business development opportunities.” He’s led the company to grow 100 percent over the last three years. Alliance Enterprises is still in growth mode. Goerke remains focused on driving efficiencies and hopes to continue developing internal competencies.

At the time, Rasmussen College was new to the Green Bay market. Naze was tasked with educating students on the college’s offerings. Unlike traditional universities, they tailor their offerings and support students differently. She was able to reach those students that might need extra encouragement; Naze shined as she empathized with students and built relationships within the classroom.

As an extension of his business interests, Goerke chairs the Brown County Home Builder’s Multifamily Committee. He reveals one of his greatest contributions is advocacy. He’s worked to cultivate relationships with various communities and landowners to better facilitate communication and provide more investment possibilities. Past projects include working with suppliers to save members over $90,000 on devices needed to comply with carbon monoxide laws. He’s hosted informational meetings with municipalities and worked with state organizations to make sure owners understood the best practices of installation and maintenance. Committed to safety, as CEO of Alliance Enterprises he’s worked with state and private organizations to offer lead-based paint identification and remediation classes. His interest in supporting a vibrant downtown and Main Street spurred Goerke to get involved in Olde Main Street’s Business Development Committee five years ago. Goerke’s contribution to the community is reviewing the strategic plan and exploring opportunities to improve the Business Improvement District. He adds, “I absolutely love working with people who exude passion and channel it into the betterment of the community.” Goerke is currently in the Leadership Green Bay program. His team’s task was to coordinate the painting of murals inside the CP Center over Christmas break, turning the white, institutional walls into something lively for the Center’s youth to enjoy. While he appreciates Green Bay’s charm – a growing city with a small town feel –Goerke hopes to see individuals embrace the community’s diversity.

She began working for the March of Dimes and adored working in the community; however, when the opportunity to work with high school students presented itself, she couldn’t resist. Naze said, “The position offered me the best of both worlds – using my communication and public speaking skills and being in a school setting.”

Naze’s role at Rasmussen College changed while she was on maternity leave. She came back and stepped into her current role as Community Development Manager. Charged with increasing Rasmussen’s community presence, Naze got to work. Within a week, the summer was booked. After making a few calls she scheduled and engaged Rasmussen College in over 30 events in the Green Bay area. Within three weeks Naze was recognized as the number three Community Development Manager in the Rasmussen College system. She adds, “While having contacts in the community helped, the ability to think creatively and see an event that may have been overlooked is a talent I gained from my event planning background.” In an effort to make an impact on as many organizations as possible, Naze attempts to connect her personal and professional interests. Children and students are at the core of her volunteer time. An active volunteer with Junior Achievement, Naze spends time in classrooms with students ranging from first grade to high school. Professionally, she partnered with the organization to allow Junior Achievement to host their training sessions on the Rasmussen College campus. She works with teen parents, revealing it is still possible for them to earn a college education while caring for a little one. Naze said, “So many don’t believe it is possible to go to college. It is very fulfilling to make their dream a reality.” Her role continues to expand. Naze strives to have Rasmussen College visible anywhere and everywhere in the community. She adores the opportunity to benefit the community – spending time in schools and hospitals and doing outreach. She adds, “I hope to use my position as a platform to do good in the community. Whether it is sharing information on Rasmussen or coordinating donation drives that help those in need, or mentoring the student that didn’t believe they could do it.”

Community Development Manager for Rasmussen College

Age: 29 A word of thanks: “I would like to thank the leadership team for developing this position and allowing me to do what I’m good at and passionate about. Together we can see the impact it has made on the community.”


Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 11

CURRENT2012 scheduled events

LUNCH N’ LEARN • EXECUTIVE BREAKFAST • WORKSHOP • THEMED EVENT • AFTER FIVE LUNCH n’ LEARN 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Thursday Wednesday Thursday Tuesday Wednesday Wednesday Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday

Jan. 17 Feb. 22 March 22 April 26 May 23 June 21 July 24 Aug. 22 Sep. 19 Oct. 23 Nov. 13 Dec. 11

Presentation on topic of interest to young professionals over lunch.

EXECUTIVE BREAKFAST 7:30 a.m. - 9 a.m.


9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. Wednesday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

March 7 May 8 Aug. 8 Oct. 4

Breakfast: Executive leader sharing personal story and their organizational strategy. Workshop: In-depth professional development opportunity relevant to personal growth and employer needs.

Themed Event

Thursday Saturday Thursday Tuesday

Jan. 26 April 14 July 12 Dec. 18

Interactive evening event focused on entertainment revolving around a specific theme.


Tuesday Monday Monday Tuesday

5 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Feb. 7 June 4 Sep. 10 Nov. 27

Casual gathering profiling venues of interest while fostering personal friendships.

Current is a program of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce | 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A | PO Box 1660 | Green Bay, WI 54305-1660 Phone: (920) 437-8704 | | Event information is subject to change | Visit for updates

21ST CENTURY SOLUTIONS Avastone Technologies specializes in business software solutions. The Avastone team of developers, systems architects, consultants and business analysts consists of talented individuals working in cross-functional groups to provide 21st Century solutions. WWW.AVASTONETECH.COM

Connatulaaonn to

all the Winners!

The Green Bay Packers are Proud to be Sponsors of The Future 15 and Young Professional Awards!

Care, Know, Do

12 | Green Bay Press-Gazette | Sunday, January 22, 2012



and young professional awards presented by Prevea Health


Jan. 26, 2012 5:00 p.m. Reception & Silent Auction 6:00 p.m. Dinner & Program 8:00 p.m. Conclusion

Hyatt on Main

333 Main St | Green Bay, WI 54301 Fee: $25 Members & Nonmembers of Current, $250 Corporate Table of 10 To register or for more information Email or call (920) 593-3408

All ages are encouraged to attend and celebrate in the accomplishments of our area’s young talent.

Future 15  

Young professional awards to recognize the emerging leaders in our community who contribute significantly to Greater Green Bay’s overall qua...