Stefan Fletcher

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

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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 director@madisonmagnet.org!

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

Sincerely,

Stefan Fletcher

Board President

Magnet: Moving Forward in 2016

By: Stefan Fletcher 2016 promises some major developments for Magnet that will expand the programming, outreach, and services of our organization. Whether it be through our contributions to the Greater Madison community, or through the opportunities for professional and social engagement we provide our members, Magnet is focused on how we can best serve our members and our region.

A few weeks ago, members of the Magnet Board of Directors sat down for our semi-annual retreat. I sincerely appreciate the input of my colleagues on the Board. Their thoughts and ideas are part of why I am so excited for the future direction of Magnet. Here are some of our goals for the coming year:

 Provide more professional development workshops and sessions that enhance or add to the skill sets of Magnet members in their work environment.

 Re-emphasize community involvement programming as a central tenet of our organization and provide members a structured set of opportunities that will contribute to Madison continuing to be a fantastic place to live, learn, and work.

 Continue to diversify social events to appeal to the broad interests of Magnet members.

 Increase member interaction and communication through social media channels to ensure that members are informed on how to get the most out of their memberships.

If you have any other suggestions or thoughts on how we can fulfill our 2016 agenda, please contact me at director@madisonmagnet.org. I am grateful for any feedback you might have.

Get excited. 2016 holds great things in store for Magnet!

Gobble, Gobble – 3 Thanksgiving Tips for YPs

By: Stefan Fletcher Thanksgiving. A time for family, food, and frivolous, knee-jerk acquisitions at your favorite retail outlets. Sounds pleasant, right? Amongst all the festivities, there do lie some potential pitfalls that can trouble your favorite Turkey-filled (or Tofurky for those so disposed) holiday. Below, find three tips for enhancing the Thanksgiving experience for you and, in all likelihood, those around you as well.

1. Preparation

Perhaps the most important tip. Do not, under any circumstances, show up to the Thanksgiving weekend unprepared. If you are responsible for making a part of the meal, try not to leave the construction of your famous green bean casserole until you’re barreling out of the door to your parents’ house with a 75% higher chance said casserole will end up on your driveway instead of the dining room table. This also goes for shopping over the holiday weekend. Check out sites like blackfriday.com or bfads.net before you enter the battle royale known as Black Friday. It will save you time and a lot of energy knowing what’s out there and, well, what isn’t.

2. Moderation

Notwithstanding my last blog post for Magnet may about it being OK to indulge in food, there is something to be said for having some self-control around the stuffing. The average American consumes 4,500 calories for their Thanksgiving meal. Stuffing, turkeys, yams, and whatever that odd quasi-fluorescent marshmallow “salad” some of you have been passing around the table for years all contribute to the potential for a consumption malfunction. Now, for some this is acceptable and just a part of the day. However, for those who are concerned about eating the equivalent of seven Whoppers in one sitting, some advice: Be mindful of portion sizes by using smaller dinner plates, choose lighter fare for desert, and steam your veggies without the cream that typically might be lathered on top of them. Another option might be to get the family moving after your big meal rather than lulling into the usual food-induced nap which begins about 30 minutes after heading to Turkey- town.

3. Patience

You might be one of the 25 million plus people who will be flying home this holiday season or one of the many more who will be using land-based transport to get where you need to go. If so, you may want to pack some patience along with your toothbrush and favorite novel or electronic device. Long lines at the airport, backups on the highway, or simply hearing Uncle Jim talk about his misspent youth for the 10th straight Thanksgiving all might leave you more irritable than your usual merry self. To manage this, bring along a distraction for your travels or, if engaged in tedious conversation, try to remember that in about 40 years you might be in need of an enthralled audience to talk about the ‘good old times’ once or twice a year. Overall, remember to enjoy time with family, friends, and football this Thanksgiving and resist the temptation to escape the kitchen area like it was Alcatraz when the call goes out to pitch-in with washing the dishes after the meal!

Eating around Downtown Madison in 180 days (or 180 hours if you’re hungrier)

By: Stefan Fletcher “Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.”

                                                                                                                                    ~ Mark Twain

Mark Twain’s quote is probably averse to the more health-conscious of you but would accurately describe my plan of attack when it comes to food. Since I arrived in Madison earlier this year, I’ve had the pleasure of eating numerous culinary delicacies around town, namely out of necessity due to my struggles with cooking food more complex than scrambled eggs and toast (Impressive, I know.)

Below are my top five eateries around town for YPs to indulge in with partners, friends, and other random individuals should that should appeal to you:

  • L ’Etoile

A staple eaterie by the capital square for big spenders and those with a penchant for fine dining. If you’re looking to close an important business deal over dinner or just have a hankering to look at the capital while enjoying your halibut, this is the place for you. The new restaurant Estrellon, also run by executive chef Tory Miller, is another good pick if you prefer a broader range of pricing, plate sizes, and desert (The Basque Cake is an absolute showstopper - they should be selling this stuff commercially)

  • Pig in a Fur Coat

Small plates and sharing?

Typically I would rather eat my napkin before sharing a bit of steak with anyone, but this trend in dining has become inordinately popular around the country and Pig in a Fur Coat does it very well indeed. My mum came here a few weeks ago from the UK and declared the duck fat fries, the best chips she’s ever eaten, which is saying something hailing from a country whose cuisine is often boiled down to the omnipresent fish and chips.

  • Sardine

While dinner is good, brunch at Sardines is absolutely brilliant. Look out over Lake Monona while enjoying Belgian Waffles and a Mimosa may make you think you’re in Brussels itself (until you see someone ice fishing). Service is prompt and polite and the half-priced oysters during the cleverly titled ‘Oyster Happy Hour’ are definitely worth checking out after work.

  • Tempest

Speaking of seafood, there’s probably no better place in Madison I’ve been to than Tempest. The fish is fresh, the cocktails are solid and the live music on a Friday and Saturday is presented in front of a tastefully decorated sea shell. Get a lobster roll for an affordable, filling take on a New England classic.

  • Tornado Steakhouse

One of the first places I ate in Madison is still one of my favorites. Old-school supper club by evening, trendy downstairs bar by night, late night food on the bar menu is among the best in the city, with the steak sandwich a great midnight snack. A good choice for those of you looking for either a fantastic ‘classy date’ restaurant or, like me, the rare eatery that offers Yorkshire Puddings.

This is just a small sampling of the sumptuous scofferies around Madison, a city full of fresh ingredients and new eating experiences. Feel free to judge my choices and my dietary plan, or lack thereof, accordingly.

So, go out there and enjoy while keeping in mind this important piece of advice:

Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ~Julia Childs