Peter Welch, Director of Public Affairs and Erik Hollander, Assistant Professor of Business.Peter Welch, Director of Public Affairs and Erik Hollander, Assistant Professor of Business.

Nearly a quarter of a million professionals in Wisconsin subscribe to NEWaukee, a social architecture firm headquartered in downtown Milwaukee.

Established in 2009 with a Milwaukee focus, the influencer organization that helps local businesses attract and retain talent through unique, place-based experiences and educational opportunities, has expanded throughout Wisconsin. For the second year in a row, Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) has been named NEWaukee’s exclusive education partner.

“The partnerships with Concordia University Wisconsin are immeasurably beneficial for the millennial community in Wisconsin,” says Angela Damiani, CEO and co-founder of NEWaukee. “As our state competes against the world for the best and brightest talent, this type of investment in our current population of young Wisconsinites differentiates both our talent pool and talent pipeline as a best in class location for millennials to live, work and play.”

CUW and NEWaukee have forged this partnership in an effort to provide leadership development skills and training to millennials. Just recently the organizations co-hosted the second annual YPWeek Academy during YPWeek in Milwaukee. Throughout the week, attendees took free daily classes taught by noted professionals and CUW faculty addressing the topic of failure. Participants heard personal stories and learned valuable tips to grow and prosper from mistakes.

Erik Hollander, assistant professor of business at CUW and YPWeek Academy presenter, explains why he volunteers his time to NEWaukee, “These young professionals will eventually be our decision-makers. I want to extend Concordia’s mission of helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to all young people, for all of our sake; to prepare leaders to be the best they can be.”

The partnership is piloting another initiative designed to provide leadership development skills training to millennials throughout Wisconsin called LEADNow Bootcamps. This series of two-hour sessions are led by CUW faculty and professionals and cover topics such as sales, social media, and leadership.

“LEADNow represents how Concordia is diversifying its education offerings to create programming that meets learners where they are,” says Peter Welch, director of Public Affairs and University Partnerships at CUW. “It is our hope to become the go-to resource for young professionals looking to advance their career.”

In its 6th year, YPWeek has expanded to 25 different communities throughout Wisconsin with place-based events and programs offered uniquely to the cities they serve. This place-based emphasis is a key component of the social architecture concept upon which NEWaukee is based. Each community is charged to develop unique goals for attracting and retaining young professionals to their region through the conscience design of experiences. Leaders within each community are identified and then NEWaukee and CUW, together, help them develop their professional skills.

According to Welch, “NEWaukee and Concordia are changing the perception of young professionals in Wisconsin. Not that long ago, people had the idea that they have to leave the area to ‘make it’. Now, they meet other thriving professionals who are engaged to the community, and get to know executives who are interested in helping them develop, and they can envision a satisfying life for themselves. Here. That is good for everybody.”

For more information about Concordia University Wisconsin’s partnership opportunities contact Peter Welch at 262-243-4432.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at or 262-243-2149.

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