Now Accepting Applications for our Board of Directors!

Greetings, Madison Young Professionals!

Magnet is seeking talented young professionals from the Madison area to serve on our board of directors. Magnet is a non-profit, volunteer-driven organization dedicated to empowering and uniting young professionals in the Greater Madison region through community involvement & engagement, professional development, and social/cultural opportunities. 

Serving on the board of directors provides a great opportunity to connect and collaborate with a diverse group of young professionals in setting the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring our continued growth. A general sense of the board commitment is outlined below.

Term: 3 years (with option for renewal)

Time Commitment: 1-5 hours per month, depending on involvement and events. Board members are strongly encouraged to attend a verity of Magnet events and serve on at least one committee.

Board Meetings: First Wednesday of the month at Murphy Desmond 7:45-9:00am. Also attend semi-annual board retreats/strategy sessions.

Financial Commitment: You must be a current member of Magnet or obtain a membership shortly after being elected to the board of directors in order to serve. A professional Magnet membership is $120 annually, and a student membership costs $30 annually. for Additional fees may apply to participate in individual events.

If you would like to be considered for a seat on the Magnet board of directors, please submit your resume and statement of interest to no later than Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 5.00pm.


3 Lessons in Life and Young Professionalism: As Taught by Jessica Day

I am in love with Jessica Day, and I know I’m not alone.

Written By: Kayla Leverton

Jess and her New Girl squad take up way too much room on my DVR, mostly because they’ve made it look normal – and even a little bit cool – to be 30 years old, live with your best friends, and partake in ridiculous drinking games on the reg (True American meet-up, anyone?).

Maybe you didn’t realize it, but while they were making you feel a little bit better about where you’re at in life, the loft crew was also dropping life lessons. Jess Day and company have been teaching us lessons in young professionalism ever since she replied to that awkwardly worded want-ad on Craigslist.

For those of you who aren’t New Girl enthusiasts, let me give you a little context. The premise of the show is this: Jess Day moves into a loft with three best friends she meets by responding to an online advertisement for roommates. The sitcom follows the foursome (plus Jess’s non-roommate, lifelong best friend) as they navigate the complexities of adulting. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and tune in. I think you’ll love it – as a matter of fact, I’m so confident you’ll love it that if you don’t, your first round at the next Magnet Happy Hour is on me. (<-- Yep, I said it.)

Alright, back to those lessons for young professionals:

Lesson #1: If you can’t be yourself, you’re in the wrong place

Jess Day is the queen of knowing who she is and sticking to it. While I wouldn’t necessarily recommend adopting Jess’s eccentricities in the workplace, there’s definitely a lesson for young professionals here.

As cliché as it might sound, authenticity really is the root of all personal happiness – that notion certainly carries over to your professional life. It’s impossible to feel good about going to work every day if you have to completely change who you are when you get there. If you’ve ever worked for an organization whose values and beliefs don’t jive with your own, you know how miserable it can be.

Whenever you’re exploring a new professional opportunity, be sure you’re weighing the personal fit into your decision-making process as much as the professional fit. Sure, the compensation package might be great and the benefits might be stellar, but if accepting those perks means having to act like someone you’re not for 40+ hours a week, is it really worth it?

Lesson #2: Passion > Paycheck

Speaking of compensation packages...

Jess Day is a classic example of someone who 100% prioritizes her passion over her paycheck. (She’s a public school teacher turned principal, for those of you who don’t watch the show regularly...yet)

Yeah, yeah, yeah – I know she’s a fictional character and there’s no way she could actually live the life she lives off a public educator’s salary in real-life. I know prioritizing passion over a paycheck is easier said than done. Turning down an opportunity becomes exponentially more difficult as the dollar value soars, even if you know in your gut it’s not the right fit. But hear me out.

Yes, you need to make enough money to live comfortably. And yes, having a little money left over after you cover the essentials is nice when you need a spur-of-the-moment vacation or a brand-new LuLu Lemon wardrobe that suits your new yoga obsession (<--hypothetical, of course). But at some point, more money does not equal more happiness. Pouring your professional energy into something you’re truly passionate about, on the other hand? Those returns are not diminishing.

Lesson #3: Never Stop Learning

Not only is she a public school teacher, Jess Day is also a perpetual learner. Carpentry, cooking, hand-belling, Elvis-impersonating – you name it, she has learned to do it. We could all stand to be a bit more like Jess in this regard.

Taking it upon yourself to learn and apply new skills is the best shot you have at making yourself completely indispensable to your employer. Learning new things doesn’t have to mean pursuing formal educational opportunities.

Be the team member who’s willing to take on new challenges and try new things. Be the team member who’s willing to think differently and bring new ideas to the table. Be the team member who’s honestly committed to constantly learning, and I can almost guarantee you’ll be the team member best positioned for the the next promotion opportunity that comes around.

All jokes and New Girl references aside, elevating young professionals in the Madison area is something we take really seriously at Magnet. If you’re ready to join Madison’s premiere young professional networking organization, become a Magnet member today!


Welcome New Board Members!

In 2017, we've welcomed 3 new board members to the team.

Allow us to introduce:

Monica Hickey

Monica is the Director of Client Services for Ideas That Evoke, where she is responsible for providing strategic client direction, building new relationships, and maintaining existing client relationships.

As a digital native, Monica understands that social media has changed the landscape of communication between brands and consumers, and leads the way in discovering, incubating and accelerating innovation that addresses client's business needs.

Tim Bickmore

For the past two years, I have been fortunate enough to call Madison, WI home. When my business partners and I started LBW Wealth Management (LBW) over a year ago, my local network was slim-to-none. If Madison was going to be my home for years to come, not having a strong professional and personal network was out of the question. So, I began my search to find groups where I could find like-minded people and make professional and personal connections.

After researching (i.e. googling “local meet up groups”), I stumbled across Madison Magnet – a group for young professionals providing opportunities to develop, socially, professionally, and civically. After reading more and speaking with current members, I decided it would be beneficial to get my feet wet by coming to Magnet’s Happy Hour events. At first, I was apprehensive in joining the group, but the happy hours were free and as a start-up, we had limited funds to allocate to events. As I continued to go to more events, I met more people and started learning the ropes. One event in particular put me over the edge – the Madison Magnet Annual Golf Outing. I was lucky enough to join a foursome of members who truly take advantage of what Magnet brings to the table. They were either current or past board members, had been involved in or led one or more committee groups, and attended a plethora of events.

After listening to their experiences with Magnet and to see how close they were, I knew that Magnet was the right group for LBW and me. That event showed me the true potential Magnet has not only for myself, but for the community of Madison. The foursome discussed civic events, social events, professional development events, as if they all were college buddies reminiscing of old times. At that point I knew there were others like me who could benefit from a group that not only provides opportunities to grow professionally and personally, but to do so with other like-minded people. I saw this potential and knew being a member wasn’t enough – I needed to become an active member! So, I did. I joined Magnet roughly six months ago, and recently became a board member and a member of the professional development committee. I joined Magnet because I want Madison to be the best it can be and Magnet is a piece to that puzzle. So, I went from apprehensive- to all in, and I don’t plan on looking back!

Kayla Leverton

Kayla is the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Community Sites Market at Forte Research System. Forte specializes in developing software that supports clinical research. In her role, Kayla works with small- to mid-sized research organizations to identify technical solutions that will help streamline operations.

Kayla has been watching Magnet from the sidelines for quite some time, but when the call for Board applications came out, she decided to dive right in. Kayla is passionate about fostering a strong community of young professionals in Madison, and she's looking forward to getting started in her role on the Board!

New Membership Pricing Updates for 2017

Dear Magnet members,

Thank you for being a member of Madison Magnet. I have a few important updates I wanted to share with you as we move into 2017:

1) Beginning January 1, 2017, we are encouraging members to help grow our community of YPs by providing a member referral incentive. For every new member you encourage to join, you will save $20 on the price of your next renewal. If you recruit 5 or more members throughout the year, your next renewal will be free! Our student members are also eligible for this incentive. Discounted rates are indicated below:

Professional membership renewal pricing with referral incentive:

1 new member - $100
2 new members - $80
3 new members - $60
4 new members - $40
5 or more new members - no charge

Student membership renewal pricing with referral incentive:

Up to 2 new members - $20
3 to 4 new members - $10
5 or more new members - no charge

2) Beginning January 1, 2017, all professional development events will be included in the cost of your Magnet membership. This means that you will be able to bring a guest for free as well. This includes our monthly MagPRO professional development series at Dreambank and other special events being planned currently.

3) For the 2016-16 season, Forward Theater, the resident theatre company at the Overture Center, is offering Magnet members discounted tickets to performances. Please contact for the promotional code individually as you would like to see a performance.

4) A reaffirmation that as a Magnet member you are eligible for a 3 year subscription to BRAVA magazine at no additional cost. Please reach out to to receive your discount code.

Thank you again for your support of Magnet!

Happy holidays, 

Stefan Fletcher, PhD, JD
Board President
Madison Magnet

What events would you like to see in the remainder of 2016?


Recently, the Madison Magnet board held its summer strategy session, planning out our programming for the rest of 2016, and talking about how we serve our members. To begin, we recapped some of the great activities we were involved with during the first half of the year, including YPWeek 2016, a workout at MadPower training center, and our new Lunch with a Leader events that bring YPs together with some of the most influential thought leaders in the Greater Madison region.

For the remainder of 2016, the Board focused on innovation, both in programming and membership. Good examples can be seen in the upcoming Cheese Curd Crawl, encouraging members to gather and sample curds from around the downtown area, and our monthly MagPro: Professional Development events at Dreambank, an interactive series of workshops covering a wide range of skill-building topics that YPs need to thrive throughout our careers.

We want Magnet to continue to be a premier destination for young professionals to meet and learn from each other as well as give back to the Greater Madison community. As such, the board is establishing specific objectives to grow our membership. Your participation and voice is important, if you have any feedback please email!

Thanks for your support and look forward to the rest of 2016!


Stefan Fletcher

Board President

Welcome New Board Members!

Magnet is excited to announce two new Board Members to its Board of Directors. Welcome Alison Helland and Adam Rebhuhn! Alison Helland - Attorney at Murphy Desmond S.C.

Alison_Helland_11302015 (1)

Alison Helland is an attorney at Murphy Desmond S.C. Her law practice focuses on assisting clients with business entity formation, contracts and negotiations, business sales and acquisitions, succession planning and estate planning (including wills, powers of attorney, disability planning, tax planning, marital agreements and probate matters). Additionally, she handles issues relating to federal and state tax, executive compensation and obtaining/maintaining tax-exempt status. Alison is a fluent Spanish speaker and writer, and volunteers her time with a number of community organizations. She is a member of the board of the Latino Chamber of Commerce of Dane County (LCC) and a member of the Latino Professionals Association (LPA). As part of her work with the LCC, Alison has taught courses in Spanish to small business owners on topic ranging from taxes to bookkeeping. She has appeared on the Madison Spanish radio station, La Movida, as a guest on the Mundo de Negocios program to discuss business incentives and general tax issues.

Adam Rebhuhn - Chief Technology Officer at Empower


Adam has spent his career merging the gap between evolving business needs and technical solutions.  He came to Madison in 2009, and has worked for area software companies before starting a consulting firm in 2013. He serves as the Chief Technical Officer supporting the business software integration and secure file transfer industries.
He also serves as the Director of IT at the Madison Dental Initiative, which is an area nonprofit, providing dental care to the working poor and homeless in the greater Madison area.
Adam has been a member of Madison Magnet since 2014, and assists the Professional Development team to provide career events to strengthen the community and Magnet members.
In his free time, Adam enjoys biking, woodworking, auto racing at Road America, and spending time at Madison's many festivals and events.

Top 10 Things to See and Do (and Eat) When You Move to Madison

By: Elizabeth Purcell 1. CURDS: Eat ‘em, scarf ‘em, bite ‘em, chow ‘em. It’s not a secret that Wisconsin is known for dairy, and more specifically cheese! Well…what’s better than cheese…duh…fried cheese! Upon moving to Madison, you definitely need to try the city’s selection of curds. They’re gooey, their, they’re crunchy and just plain sinful.

For the cities best curds try:


2. Devils Lake Us Madisonians like to get out into the fresh air and get some exercise once in a while (We gotta burn off those cheese curds somehow!). A great camping and hiking spot is Devils Lake. Only a short drive from downtown, it’s a great place for a day trip to hike, swim and cookout.

Insider Tip – the park can get quite crowded in the summer months, for a more tranquil experience check it out in early spring or fall!


3. Farmers’ Market A quintessential Saturday morning in Madison is spent strolling around the Capitol square procuring some of the city’s freshest produce and baked goods. One of the most popular stops at this seasonal Farmers’ Market along the way is Stella’s, known for the delectably famous Spicy Cheesy Bread; a loaf of warm, gooey heaven. Definitely a MUST!

4. IRONMAN: “Swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles – Brag for the rest of your life.” – John Collins, IRONMAN Founder

Madison is home to one of the most exciting and impressive sporting events; IRONMAN. While participating isn’t for the faint of heart, it’s an impressive and inspiring event to watch. Athletes from around the world flock to the city to put their physical and mental strength to the test.

Insider Tip: The start (swim) is one of the most exhilarating parts to witness. Many triathlons have staggered starts, where different age groups start at different times. Well the Madison Ironman is a mass start – that means thousands of athletes begin the race at once. This makes for a pretty crazy scene in the lake!


5. State Capitol Can’t live in the state’s capital city without a visit to the Capitol building! Not only is it a gorgeous building but a trek up to the top floor promises great views of the city. It’s also the only Capitol building to be built on an isthmus! Check out their website for more information on scheduling a tour!

6. Terrace Well you’ve may have noticed by now that there is no shortage of beer in this city! One of the most popular spots to enjoy a cold one is at the Terrace! Known for their iconic colored chairs and tables, the Terrace is a wonderful spot to catch up with friends, listen to some music and watch the sailboats float across the lake.

Insider Tip: The Terrace is currently closed for a ‘facelift’ but should be back in service by the end of May!


7. Go Badgers Living in a Big 10 college town definitely has its perks. Football season is just one of them! Not only will it make you feel like a (college) kid again, but the sense of community and camaraderie on game day is truly unique! And here in Wisconsin, we sure take our tailgating seriously! When kickoff is at 11am it’s just an excuse to have a brat and a beer for breakfast, but hey there’s nothing wrong with that!

Insider Tip: Madison, WI is the only place where a football game is made up of 5 quarters. “Nowhere except Camp Randall Stadium can you find 30,000-40,000 die-hard fans who will stay for as long as 45 to 50 minutes after the game. Fans stay to watch, sing, dance, and enjoy the excitement of a latter-day Wisconsin tradition: the Fifth Quarter” 


8. Olbrich Botanical Gardens Honestly, I’ve only been here once in the 8 years I’ve lived in #MadTown. But in the long winter month’s it’s a great way to escape the cold and pretend you’re in a tropical paradise.

9. Concerts on the Square Starting in July, the Madison Chamber Orchestra hosts concerts on the Capitol lawn. Be sure to get there early and save your picnic spot with a blanket – and don’t forget the wine and cheese!

10. Brewery Tours Well…are you sensing a theme here?! Here in Madison and the surrounding area there is no shortage of micro-breweries to check out. Whether you are into hoppy beers, dark beers, fruity beers, wheat beers…you are sure to find cold pint to quench your thirst.

Some of my favs are:


5 Reasons why Executives Should Build Strong Relationships

By: Kara Stucky

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.” -African Proverb


Whether you’re a young entrepreneur launching your first business, an experienced professional working at a large multi-faceted organization, or a student who hasn’t quite stepped out into the working world, one thing holds true: building successful relationships will be the key to your future success. Have you ever wondered, “Why should I network?” Or “What’s the point?” Here are five reasons building lasting relationships is critical to your success.

  • You’ll Outperform Your Peers: According to, “Executives who consistently rank in the top 20% of their companies in both performance and well-being have diverse but select networks...made up of high-quality relationships with people who come from several different spheres and from up and down the corporate hierarchy.”
  • A New Perspective: Stepping outside of your current industry and meeting new professionals who are in a different domain or sector than yours will provide you with a different outlook and a fresh perspective. Tom Farley, President of the NYSE advises that “networking is about collecting relationships with interesting or influential people irrespective of the immediate benefit of these relationships.”
  • What Are You Giving Others? Those who get the most out of networking, and who build the strongest business relationships, are those who are generous. Offer others your expertise or help before asking for something for yourself. If you help out others, by offering advice or giving a referral, you’ll be more likely to build long-lasting relationships.
  • Gain Confidence: Sharing your story with others will help you build  confidence in your own brand building.  Once you share your story, try to find common ground and connect with others. Don’t feel intimidated - Farley encourages that “often times people miss opportunities to network because they feel intimidated, particularly if the other person is more senior.”
  • New Opportunities: states that “sometimes it’s individuals outside your immediate network that end up offering the advice you need to propel your career forward.” So remember, that even if you aren’t looking for a new career opportunity today, the investment in others that you are making today, could help you out tomorrow.

Don’t spread yourself too thin when it comes to building these relationships and remember that authenticity is key.

Join us at our next Magnet event for the opportunity to connect with talented, young professionals in the Madison area. Hope to see you there!