Leadership development is our jam

Sometimes the thing that needs to be done is too much for one person. We agree. It’s like the old adage says: Many hands make for light work. No, we’re not about to wax philosophical. However, we do believe that sharing space with people of diverse backgrounds enables you to think differently about how to work together in meaningful ways for impactful change.


As passionate Wisconsinites, dedicated to the growth and development of our city, we’ve found ways to channel inspiration from Wisconsin’s diverse communities, engaged citizens and natural beauty into new projects quite often.

But we realized it wasn’t enough. Wisconsin has infinite potential for more.

So we asked ourselves: “What if we helped equip the area’s rising talent to think differently about the leadership role they can play in Wisconsin’s future?”

After many months of open, honest conversation amongst ourselves and within the community, we stopped asking questions and took action.

hello, forward 48!

Two things became apparent when we actively decided to become a part of the solution:

  1. Providing leadership development opportunities to the area’s best and brightest had to be approached in a new and dynamic way.
  2. Connecting Milwaukee’s most influential professional and civic leaders with today’s rising stars would be critical for knowledge transfer, inspiration and personal empowerment.

Suddenly, we had a vision: Help emerging leaders learn through legacy will inspire them to become impactful change-makers within their communities.

And we were off!

The first Forward 48 cohort was in collaboration with the following Wisconsin-area cheerleaders:

Forward 48 Executive Sponsors & staff

Executive sponsors

Joel Brennan

President, Greater Milwaukee Committee

Barb LaMue

President & CEO, New North, Inc.

Jason Fields

President, MadRep


Maurice Thomas

President, Forward 48

Ian Abston

Founder, Forward 48

Maggie Dauss

Co-Founder, Forward 48

Joe Poeschl

Experience Designer, Forward 48

Isabel Sandretti

Brand Manager, Forward 48

Kim van Elswyk

Operations Manager, Forward 48

Forward48 is a collaboration

Between Greater Milwaukee Committee, The Hoan Group, and New North Inc.

get started


Our Forward 48 leadership development program gathers twice a year. We currently have a waitlist open for our next cohort.