Pfister Hotel, 424 E Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202

MILWAUKEE, Wisconsin–The Milwaukee Jewish Federation expects another sell-out crowd at its Economic Forum 2017 on Tuesday, Oct. 31, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., at the Pfister Hotel.

This year features Karen Mills as the keynote speaker, who is a former administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. She is currently a senior fellow at the Harvard Business School and at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School focusing on U.S. competitiveness, entrepreneurship and innovation.

As SBA Administrator (2009 – Aug. 2013) and a Cabinet member, Mills served on the President’s National Economic Council and was a key member of the White House economic team. At the SBA, she led a team of more than 3,000 employees and managed a loan guarantee portfolio of over $100 billion. Mills is credited with turning around the agency, streamlining loan programs, shortening turnaround times and reducing paperwork. These efforts resulted in record-breaking years for SBA lending and investments in growth capital. In addition, Mills helped small businesses create regional economic clusters, gain access to early stage capital, hire skilled workers, boost exports and tap into government and commercial supply chains.
Following the keynote speech will be a panel discussion with Milwaukee business leaders: Mike Gousha, Distinguished Fellow in Law and Public Policy at Marquette University Law School; Greg Marcus, CEO/president of The Marcus Corporation; and Justin Mortara, Ph.D., president of Mortara Instrument, Inc.

“The Milwaukee Jewish Federation organizes the Economic Forum to hold a community conversation about the economy, and this year we are celebrating five years of straight talk about the economy,” said Hannah Rosenthal, CEO/president of MJF. “Having a national expert like Karen Mills deliver the keynote speech is an excellent opportunity for this conversation. And our local panel of business leaders brings it all home.”

The lead sponsors of Economic Forum 2017 are BMO Harris Bank, PNC and Milwaukee Business Journal, along with 50 additional sponsors. Limited individual tickets are still available; go to

Event co-chairs are: Allan “Bud” Selig, commissioner emeritus of Major League Baseball; David Lubar, CEO/president of Lubar & Company; Greg Marcus, CEO/president of The Marcus Corporation; and Linda Gorens-Levey, partner of General Capital Group.

Economic Forum 2017 follows last year’s sell-out crowd of 650, which included a panel of prominent local business leaders and featured Vivek Wadhwa, a futurist who is recognized as Silicon Valley’s most provocative voice for his ideas on technology trends, globalization and U.S. competitiveness.

Economic Forum 2017 will be live-tweeted by @JewishMilwaukee. Follow or join the conversation using #EF17MKE.

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