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CARW Thought Leadership Series “Executive Roundtable”
May 27 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A panel discussion featuring four Milwaukee Executives who will share insights about how their organizations are seeing opportunity in the midst of the COVID-19 disruption. The featured leaders will include: Ted Balistreri, CEO of Sendik’s Food Market; Kimberly Kane, CEO of Kane Communications Group; Austin Ramirez, President and CEO of HUSCO International and Rick Schlesinger, President of Business Operations for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Presenter: Ted Balistreri –
Family Co-owner, Sendik’s Food Markets
Ted co-owns the 17-store Sendik’s Food Market operation with his two brothers and sister. The business was started by Ted’s grandfather in 1926 and has a reputation for high quality products and exceptional customer service.
In addition to owning and operating Sendik’s, Ted serves on several charitable, civic and industry boards. He recently completed a nine-year term with Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin of which he served two years as the Board Chair. He continues in service to that organization as a member of the Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin Foundation Board. Ted also serves as a member of the Concordia University Foundation Board.
Civically, Ted currently serves as a member of the Board of the Business Improvement District for the Village of Whitefish Bay. He has also served as a member of the Community Develop Authority in Whitefish Bay.
Representing the independent grocery industry, Ted is a member of the Executive Committee of the National Grocers Association serving as the organization’s Vice Chair. Additionally, he serves as the Board Chair of the Department of Research and Education, an industry group.
A Wisconsin native, Ted received a Juris Doctorate from Marquette University and a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
President and CEO, Husco International
Austin Ramirez is President and CEO of Husco International, a privately-held engineering and manufacturing company. During his eight-year tenure as CEO the company has tripled in size to $500M in global sales, received designation as Global Growth Company by the World Economic Forum and been recognized as Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year. Austin began his career as consultant with McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in corporate finance and industrial operations.
An active industry leader, Austin serves as a Director of the National Association of Manufacturers, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and Old National Bancorp (NASDAQ: ONB). Austin has served on several education-focused nonprofit boards and is a co-founder of St. Augustine Preparatory Academy, a K-12 faith-based school serving 1,300 low-income students on Milwaukee’s south side. He is a founder and co-chair of Democracy Found (a non-partisan political reform organization focused on implementing open primaries and ranked-choice voting) and has been recognized as one of Wisconsin’s most powerful Latinos.
Austin holds a B.S. in systems engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA from Stanford University, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar (top 10% of his graduating class) and Goldman Sachs Fellow. Austin is a former USA Swimming National Champion and FINA World Championships gold medalist.
Austin was selected as a White House Fellow in 2016 and served on the National Economic Council for both the Trump and Obama administrations. He is a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, a member of the 2018 Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute and a minority owner of the Milwaukee Bucks.
Kimberly Kane – President and CEO, Kane Communications Group
Kimberly Kane is the president and CEO of Kane Communication Group. She is an award-winning journalist and public relations practitioner. Her team works across multiple communication spectrums to develop strategies that define organizations and inspire business results.
During her 15 years in news, Kimberly won multiple awards, including an Emmy nomination and the creation of highly recognized health segment for WTMJ-TV in Milwaukee, WI. In 2006, she entered the business community, working in business development, communications and government affairs before starting Kane Communications Group. The company provides strategic communications counsel to senior leaders and as well as public relations, crisis management, brand, marketing, social media, digital strategy and video production services.
Today, Kimberly is not only involved with her firm and their clients, but is active on numerous boards, advisory boards and committees, regularly emcees events, and is a public speaker – on topics that include crisis management, strategic communications and leadership. She has a BA in Broadcast Journalism and Urban Politics from the University of Southern California and is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Strategic PR and Political Management from George Washington University.
Rick Schlesinger – President of Business Operations, Milwaukee Brewers
Rick Schlesinger enters his 18th season with the Brewers and second in his current position after being promoted on January 23, 2019. He has previously held roles with the organization as executive vice president of business operations (2003-10) and chief operating officer (2011-18). Schlesinger oversees the organization’s business operations, including finance, human resources, information technology, legal, sponsorships, marketing, ticketing, business analytics, broadcasting, communications and non-baseball special events. In addition, he also oversees the team’s Spring Training complex in Phoenix and the operations of the Carolina Mudcats, the organization’s Class-A affiliate. The Brewers have established new records in nearly every aspect of the business during Schlesinger’s tenure. In 2019, over 2.9 million fans attended games at Miller Park, marking the 12th time in the past 13 seasons that the organization has surpassed 2.5 million in attendance.
Prior to joining the organization, Schlesinger spent five seasons (1998-2002) as vice president of business and legal affairs/assistant general manager for the Anaheim Angels. He previously worked for Walt Disney Pictures and Television in motion picture development and production and at the Los Angeles law firm of Latham and Watkins.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1983, Schlesinger received his Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School (cum laude) in 1986. A native of Bayside, Wisconsin, Rick currently resides in Oconomowoc with his wife, Kate. They have five children: Bradley, Sam, Caitlin, Molly and Mathieu.