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TEMPO Program Meeting - September 2023
Thursday, September 21, 2023, 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM CDT
Category: Program Meetings

Date: Thursday, September 21, 2023 
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. 
Italian Community Center (631 E. Chicago St. Milwaukee WI 53202) 

Event Description: 
The Wisconsin Center District is working feverishly to hit multiple milestones in the $456 million expansion of the newly-named Baird Center. Not all of the milestones have to do with construction.

The Wisconsin Center District is also building an engaged workforce.

In 2019, Marty Brooks commissioned an employee engagement survey in response to low workplace morale. He launched a vision, based on the results, to bring employees across the Wisconsin Center District together to Be Bold. Be Proud. Be Experience Obsessed. Through these values, known as BPX, Marty and his leadership team are empowering employees to create guest experiences that earn WCD venues recognition for providing superb, captivating and buzzworthy events. Living these values has also generated innovation and problem solving at all levels of the organization.

At a time when unemployment rates are at record lows, what does it take to turn a challenging culture into a thriving one? What do CEOs need to hear to make employee engagement a top priority? How is WCD prioritizing equity and diversity on its way to becoming an employer of choice?

TEMPO Member Sarah Maio will interview Marty Brooks about the Wisconsin Center District’s journey, actionable ideas that individuals at every level of an organization can take with them, as well as the significant impact of the largest construction project in the state of Wisconsin today. 

About Our Speakers: 
Marty Brooks
joined the Wisconsin Center District (WCD) as president and CEO in January of 2018. As owners and operators of the Baird Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Miller High Life Theatre, Brooks oversees business growth and operations for the venues which create demand for downtown hotels and restaurants and increase the economic impact of hospitality and tourism for all of Milwaukee. 

Brooks was at the helm of a culture change within WCD staff upon his arrival, resulting in a CEO vision and the core values to Be Bold. Be Proud. Be Experience Obsessed. Whether full time or part-time, every member of the WCD staff is empowered to take ownership, make decisions, and act in the best interest of client, guest, or colleague. Using these values to increase trust and communication with the WCD Board, in April of 2020 Brooks received authorization from the Board for a $456 million convention center expansion, doubling the size and doubling the opportunity for the city of Milwaukee in a post-COVID landscape. The newly named Baird Center will bring the exposition hall to 300,000 contiguous square feet, add 24 new meeting rooms for a total of 52, six new loading docks for a total of 22, and include a rooftop ballroom with spectacular outdoor terraces. In addition to creating not-to-be-missed meeting and event spaces, Brooks has also committed to contracting with at least 25 percent of minority-owned businesses, five percent of women-owned businesses and one percent of veteran-owned businesses for the expansion project. Additionally he has committed to a 40 percent Residents Preference Program (RPP) goal, meaning at least 40 percent of on-site construction labor hours will be performed by trade workers residing in the city’s most underserved zip codes. The expansion broke ground in late October, 2021 and is on track to open in May 2024.

Sarah Maio serves as the Vice President of Marketing and Communications for the Wisconsin Center District (WCD), where she oversees marketing and communications efforts for the Baird Center, UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Miller High Life Theatre. Maio has experience in developing and executing integrated brand and marketing strategies, internal and external communications strategies, public relations and government affairs, business development, strategic partnerships, board relations, executive positioning and employee engagement. Her impact on the WCD has reverberated through the community, including recognition as a Milwaukee Business Journal CMO of the Year, BizTimes Notable Marketing Executive, co-chair of TEMPO Milwaukee Leadership Event and co-chair of TEMPO Milwaukee’s professional development committee, guest speaker at Marquette University, Women’s Fund of Milwaukee “Reclaiming Feminism” honoree, and Communicator of the Year Paragon award-winner from PRSA southeastern Wisconsin chapter.

Registration for this event is closed. To join our waitlist, please reach out to [email protected]. 

TEMPO Members | No Charge
EWL Members, WAA Members & Guests | $40

Contact: TEMPO; [email protected] | (414) 301-6680