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