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June 28 - June 30


Summerfest Tech Celebrates 5th Year with Focus on Innovation
Grows to 2 Days, Adds New Locations, Doubles Pitch Competition Prize

The fifth annual Summerfest Tech will take place Wednesday, June 29 and Thursday, June 30, 2022, with a kick-off party June 28th.

Events will take place across the city of Milwaukee, including at

  • Saint Kate Arts Hotel – 139 E Kilbourn Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • BMO Tower – 790 N Water St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • MARN ART + CULTURE HUB – 191 N Broadway, Milwaukee, WI 53202
  • Henry Maier Festival Park during Summerfest – 200 N Harbor Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

Also, your Summerfest Tech Badge is a 3-Day pass for Summerfest on June 30th, July1st, and July 2nd!


To learn more about how to sponsor or get involved in programming, please contact Lena DeLaet at [email protected]


Saint Kate –
The Arts Hotel

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Opening Night Welcome Party – hosted by Northwestern Mutual
Join fellow attendees as we kick-off Summerfest Tech 2022!


Saint Kate –
The Arts Hotel

8:00 am

Welcome: MKE Tech Hub Coalition

Breakfast, brought to you by Rite-Hite

8:10 am – 9:00 am

Innovation | Discovering the Mindset to Pursue the Impossible
Innovation – it continues to be a buzzword for many organizations. They have innovation hubs, innovation initiatives, and even innovation departments. Yet, despite all the talk, most companies struggle to innovate. Hear from Chuck Swoboda, author of “The Innovator’s Spirit,” how innovation is fundamentally about people, not process. It starts with your mindset, and for many, our life experiences have created beliefs and behaviors that actually hinder innovation. He will describe the six principles that make up the Circle of Innovation and how you can apply these principles in your daily life to uncover your own Innovator’s Spirit. And then he will provide some ideas as to how to identify this mindset in others.

**The first 250 in-person attendees and the first 50 virtual attendees will receive a FREE copy of Chuck’s book “The Innovator’s Spirit”. 

Chuck Swoboda, Innovator-in-Residence at Marquette University, Executive Chairman of Vast Therapeutics, and the retired Chairman and CEO of Cree, Inc.

9:00 am


9:15 am – 10:00 am

Breakout Sessions: Innovation

(1) Leading with Digital, Data, and Disruption
With new technologies being implemented into manufacturing and industrial organizations, data is being created and generated at unprecedented amounts. Led by Dr. Kris Ropella, Dean of Engineering at Marquette University, hear from Rite-Hite, Zurn, Sargento, and Milwaukee Tool how they use the power of the data to drive customer value and innovate products, create new corporate culture that is tech-centric, and rise to innovation challenges in their specific industries.

Dr. Kristina Ropella, Dean of Engineering, Marquette University

Joe Manone, President and CEO, Rite-Hite Products Corporation
Mike Troutman, Chief Information Officer, Zurn Water Solutions Corporation
Chad Jones, Director of Software Engineering, Milwaukee Tool
Bruce Wisnefske, Director of Advanced Manufacturing Operations, Sargento Foods Inc.

(2) Innovating for Diversity
In this discussion, moderated by Art Hopkins (Consultant and Co-Lead of Technology Officers Practice, Russell Reynolds Associates), “Innovating for Diversity” co-authors Bertina Ceccarelli and Susanne Tedrick discuss why traditional approaches to DEI programs have not led to meaningful changes while discussing how innovation principles – courage, risk-taking, trust, collaboration, and leadership – may help to produce results.

Art Hopkins, Consultant and Co-Lead of Technology Officers Practice, Russell Reynolds Associates

Susanne Tedrick, Infrastructure Specialist, Azure for Sports
Bertina Ceccarelli, Chief Executive Officer, NPower

(3) Supporting Innovation In Your Community
Northwestern Mutual will also host a breakout session during Summerfest Tech, focusing on the evolution of its innovation journey and discussing the importance of supporting innovation, diversity and tech in the local community.

10:00 am 


10:15 am – 11:00 am

Collaborations | Engineering and IT Working Together
The importance of cross-department collaboration between engineering and IT teams continues to grow more important every day. Learn from Generac Power Systems and Rockwell Automation on how their organizations collaborate these two teams to support agile delivery, increase efficiencies in process, and leverage their collaborative knowledge to drive technology innovation.

Sabha Museteif, Director, High Performance Organization, Rockwell Automation

Chris Nardecchia, SVP & Chief Digital & Information Officer, Rockwell Automation
Lee Lane, VP GM Sensing, Safety & Industrial Components, Rockwell Automation
Amber Malone, VP Global Engineering Controls & Automation, Generac Power Systems
Tim Dickson, Chief Information Officer, Generac Power Systems

11:00 am 


11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Breakout Sessions: Collaborations

(1) Future-Proof: Bridging the Digital Divide In a Post-Pandemic World
The Covid-19 pandemic exposed where the greatest barriers to digital equity and inclusion exist in our community. Our community needs to continue addressing these barriers, while also looking ahead to future crises that could limit access to essential digital resources. This panel will discuss how we can strive to “future-proof” digital equity and inclusion, ensuring all residents have access to affordable broadband, internet-enabled devices, and digital skills and literacy training.

David Berka, Project Manager: Techquity and Resource Equity, United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County

(2) Dream Building
Our tech ecosystem and the support for its development continues to evolve. Join us as our American Family Insurance community partners lead a critical discussion on the importance of developing inclusive partnerships. The absolute importance of catalytic investments in STEM/STEAM for the advancement of Milwaukee and beyond will be the highlight.

Leana Nakielski, Community and Social Impact Investment Director, American Family Insurance

Joseph Wener, Project Operations, BlocPower
Anique Ruiz, WiscAMP STEM-Inspire Program Manager, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Blanca Gonzales, Executive Director, i.c.stars
Kenge Adams, CEO and Founder, Connect Business Consulting, LLC

(3) IOT + Collaboration
Led by Doug Barton of UW-Madison’s E-Business Consortium engineering, technology, and product leaders of Sub-Zero, The Master Lock Company, and others will share hard-won lessons for collaborative innovation in the “internet of intelligence things.”

Doug Barton, Director, UW-Madison E-Business Consortium

Jody McDonough, Chief Information Officer, Sub-Zero Group
John T. Bartucci, Vice President Connected Products, The Master Lock Company
GE Healthcare

12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Networking Lunch 

12:30 pm – 1:15 pm

Mke Tech Hub Community Meetup
New to the Milwaukee tech scene or want to engage more with the ecosystem? Grab your lunch and learn more about the opportunities to get plugged into the MKE Tech community. Meet with various MKE tech groups, hear about their work, and find ways to get connected to your peers in the city.

1:15 pm – 1:50 pm

Justice Tech Workshop
Milky Way Tech Hub and The Way Out are breaking the cycle of incarceration through technology and bridging the tech gap for our justice-involved population. This workshop aims to educate the audience on the Justice Tech Industry along with the work happening around the MKE Tech ecosystem, and how Milky Way Tech Hub and The Way out are making a collective impact. There will be opportunities to learn from justice-involved individuals.

Nadiyah Johnson, Founder, Milky Way Tech Hub
Eli Rivera, Co-Founder, The Way Out
Ruben Gaona: Co-Founder, The Way Out

2:00 pm – 2:45 pm

Cybersecurity | Trends – Global, National, Regional
Hear from the FBI on what companies and consumers should continue to be diligent about as we move into a more technologically advanced world.

Amanda Knutson, Supervisory Special Agent, FBI

3:00 pm – 3:45 pm

Breakout Sessions: Cybersecurity

(1) Protecting Critical Company Assets
As the world becomes more connected, manufacturing, healthcare, utilities, and public safety segments need secure, reliable, controlled and low latency protection of valuable data in areas where there is limited connectivity. Hear from Cole Crews & James Rose as they bring industry knowledge and use case experience on Private Cellular Networks (PCN) and share examples on how PCNs can help businesses improve uptime and control over critical operations – from people and machines to sensors and analytics.

Cole Crews, Business Development – Private Cellular Networks, UScellular
James Rose, Sr. Manager of Private Cellular Networks, UScellular

(2) Future of Cybersecurity Workforce
This programming will provide an analysis of the current supply vs. demand within, and overall diversity of, the cybersecurity workforce.  It will also cover an overview of strategies employed by organizations working together to expand career pathways into cybersecurity careers to address workforce shortages in a manner inclusive of those historically underrepresented in tech.

Dr. Tom Kaczmarek, Director, Center for Cyber Security Awareness and Cyber Defense Marquette University

Chytania Brown, President and Chief Executive Officer, Employ Milwaukee
Laura Schmidt, Chief Talent Development Officer, MKE Tech Hub Coalition
Dr. Davina Pruitt-Mentle, Lead for Academic Engagement, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Rafat Elsharef, Instructor of IT Networking and IT Security, Milwaukee Area Technical College

(3) Integrated Cybersecurity
Ryan Brooks, CEO and Founder of Stack41, will provide a presentation on application-orientated architectures. He will also provide insight into how today’s customers are using the data center and the cloud to meet their unique colocation needs.

(4) Private CISO Event – Sponsored by Netskope

(5) Private AI Academy Meet and Greet – Organized by the MKE Tech Hub Coalition

3:45 pm – 4:00 pm


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Ethical Machine Learning
The future of machine learning relies on a code of ethics. Machine learning can imitate and enhance human decision-making and amplify human prejudices. As machine learning moves from the research lab to the enterprise, questions around ethics and risk become even more critical. Ethics and governance cannot be applied to the backend and must be considered from the beginning and throughout the development process. Attend this talk to learn how to incorporate ethics and risk into your machine learning development process.

Speaker: Kesha Williams, Senior Principal, Slalom

5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

Networking Happy Hour



BMO Tower

9:00 am – 11:00 am

VC MKE Investor<>Startup Meetings
Summerfest Tech is partnering with VC MKE to hold one-on-one meetings in Milwaukee between Midwest founders of color and national investors that specifically work with these underrepresented founders. For more information about being a startup or investor in this program visit VC MKE.

11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Lunch Break – Private Lunch Hosted by BMO and Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm

VC MKE Investor<>Startup Meetings Continued

2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

WARF “Innovation Day”, Presented by Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Get on the inside to hear university innovation presentations and ask questions of some of Wisconsin’s most innovative scientific researchers.  These early- stage technologies are prime for investment.  Be one of the first to learn how Wisconsin is innovating in healthcare, semiconductors, fusion power, hemp and much more.



8:00 am


8:30 am – 10:15 am

Pitch Competition: Produced by Young Enterprising Society | Sponsored by Molson Coors Beverage Company
The following 8 pitches will compete for their chance to win a portion of $50,000!

1.     Fly Parrots
2.     Rex Academy
3.     ecourt reporters 
4.     Light Pong
5.     Cirkled-in 
6.     Huupe 
7.     Kwema 
8.     Isemantics

Kathleen Gallagher, Executive Director, 5 Lakes Institute
Daniel Gawronski, Partner, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP
Dawn Nguyen, Associate, Hyde Park Ventures
Keaton Nankivil, Principal, Alumnit Ventures
Darrin Vohs, Chief Information Officer, Molson Coors Beverage Company
Robert Wynn, President, CLIMB USA, Inc.

10:15 am


10:25 am – 11:00 am

Funding All Ventures
Fundraising, whether through traditional means of investment, grants, contributions from friends and family, crowdfunding, or pre-sales, takes networking and commitment. Join Matthew Friedel Senior Lecturer at UWM and Co-Founder of Milwaukee Venture Partners MVP Angel Network as he shares his perspectives on how to fund any venture.  In this informal session, Matthew will walk through some statistics, tactics, and strategies for funding your next venture at any stage.

Mathew Friedel, Senior Lecturer, UWM; Angel Investor & Co-Founder, Milwaukee Ventures Partners, Inc.

11:15 am – 12:00 pm

Economic Impact of Cryptocurrency and NFTs In Music And Art

Jake Rohrer, Manager, Wipfli LLP.

Mal Montoya, President and CEO, Milwaukee Artist Resource Network and MARN ART + CULTURE HUB
Christopher Perceptions, Founder, PerceptForm, Inc.

12:00 pm

Programming End



Summerfest Grounds

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Summerfest Tech Networking Event at Dockside: brought to you by University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee School of Information Studies

**All Summerfest Tech attendees can scan their Summerfest Tech badge to enter Summerfest for FREE on June 30th, July 1st, and July 2nd.

2:00 pm

Announce Pitch Competition Winner at Summerfest, Dockside Bar

7:30 pm – 12:00 am

Summerfest Sponsors VIP Deck Parties


To learn more about how to sponsor or get involved in programming, please contact Lena DeLaet at [email protected]


Data HoldingsGenerac LogoMolson Coors

American Family Insurance logoJohnson ControlsNorthwestern Mutualproofpoint logoRite Hite logoRockwell Automation logoWIPFLI logoUScellular businessUW E-Business Consortium

Broan NuToneCheckpointCollaberaConcurrencyExpedientIntelMarquette UniversityMichael Best MATCMKE techNetskopeNVNGOffsite logoUi Path logoVeeam logoUnited WayUWM - School of Information StudiesWEDC logo

Booth Sponsors

Alverno CollegeGodfrey KahnNew Resources ConsultingnvisiaSafe NetConsultingSnowflake

Media Support Provided By

Experience MilwaukeeFoureva Media

Community Support provided by

gener8tor • i.c.stars • Milky Way Tech Hub • MKE Tech Hub Coalition • New North Inc. • Techquity • The Commons • UW-E-business Consortium • Wisconsin Tech Association • Young Enterprising Group


June 28
June 30


Milwaukee World Festival, Inc.


Multiple Sites