Emerging Leaders

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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This annual awards program honors young professionals who live or work in Waukesha County and who are creating and inspiring a better vision for the future. Tomorrow’s leaders are taking the right steps today by building a dynamic and meaningful path that will continue to have a positive impact on the community. They are taking strides to further themselves personally and professionally by showing initiative, determination and commitment.

Click here to nominate someone to be a 2019 Emerging Leader of Waukesha County. Nominations are due January 18, 2019.

Congratulations to the 2018 Emerging Leaders of Waukesha County:

John Dunn
Vice President of Technical Product Management, GE Digital / GE Healthcare
Why he won: In his role with GE, John Dunn is responsible for driving the technology strategy and change management for buying, fulfilling, delivering and installing equipment for customers. John joined GE as an engineering co-op for GE Appliances, and is now seen as an inspirational thought leader on how to drive productivity within the supply chain for the company. He has deployed software platforms in various functions including acquisitions, sales, supply chain, service, finance and engineering over the course of his GE career. John also serves as a co-chair of IT United – a United Way profession-specific affinity group and is on the board of United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County.

Beth Lohmann
Employment and Community Services Director, Easterseals Southeast Wisconsin
Why she won: Beth Lohmann is a dynamic, goal-oriented professional with demonstrated skills in vocational and community rehabilitation. Beth has nearly 20 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities and mental illness and, while at Easterseals, has been an integral part of the growth of integrated programming for work and community programs. Since Beth joined Easterseals, employment programs have grown by nearly $1 million, job placements in community-based jobs have increased from 10 in 2011 to 127 in 2017 and she has contributed to more than $250,000 in grant funding. She is passionate and focused on continually increasing opportunities for individuals with disabilities to live, learn, work and play in their communities. Furthermore, Beth is the past president of the Wisconsin Association for Supporting Employment First and continues to serve as the chair on the training/conference committee. She also leads the Waukesha Independence Network that focuses on increasing employment for persons with disabilities in Waukesha County and providing support and education to Waukesha businesses.

Ryan O’Toole
Vice President, Business Development, Hunzinger Construction
Why he won: Ryan O’Toole has worked at Hunzinger for 16 years. Over the past five years, he was transitioned into a leadership position in Hunzinger’s Interior Construction/Tenant Improvement Division where he heads up and supervises all of Hunzinger’s specialized commercial interior projects that tend to be very customer service driven with high quality finishes. He is not only making his mark in southeast Wisconsin’s construction market, but also in the community with a dedication to volunteering that carries on the Hunzinger tradition to “Do the Right Thing.” Hunzinger has developed a robust community outreach program and Ryan has embraced it wholeheartedly, volunteering for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and Waukesha and the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin, serving on the Association of General Contractor’s Construction Leadership Council and championing Hunzinger’s Troop Care Shipment Program.

Ryan Rethwisch
Engineering Manager, EmbedTek LLC
Why he won: Ryan Rethwisch is an engineering leader in the field of embedded electronics and has spent his career since leading development teams creating innovative embedded systems. Since joining EmbedTek, he has helped grow the engineering department from two people and $3 million in revenue to 20 people and $21 million in revenue. His technical skills are sought out by customers and his leadership and mentoring are sought out by the EmbedTek team. He also mentors youth looking to go into engineering and robotics through Marquette University and local middle and high schools, boy and girl scout troops and more.

Cindy Simons
Operations Manager, WOW Workforce Development Inc.
Why she won: Born in Mexico, Cindy Simons was raised in Texas and gained her permanent residency status at the age of 21. After moving to Wisconsin and discovering that her passion is helping people, she started working in the workforce system and now has over 10 years of experience. As the operations manager for Waukesha-Ozaukee-Washington (WOW) Workforce Development, she assists the president with oversight of the organization’s programs and services to safeguard that governmental agencies, community organizations, partners, employers and clients have a positive experience. Cindy also manages the Business Services Unit to ensure that local businesses have access to necessary workforce development needs including hiring, training and retention services. Having gone through similar hurdles as the clients served by WOW, Cindy continuously thinks outside of the box, works diligently and delivers outstanding services to our local residents and business community.

Steve Wurster
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Ruekert & Mielke Inc.
Why he won: Since starting with Ruekert & Mielke in 1999, Steve Wurster has shown many inspiring talents and growth within the company and the local community. Steve earned the title of COO at only 38 years old. He continually strives to better himself and be an inspiration to those around him. Steve’s passion, dedication and leadership have contributed to many new and exciting things for Ruekert & Mielke from team-building and employee development to transitioning to a 100 percent ESOP company, just to name a few. He is a respected and talented leader to clients and a mentor to staff. Steve knows that an important piece of Ruekert & Mielke is its employees and he leads by example. Steve’s leadership has enabled the company to take tangible steps towards being a better place to work. Along with his personal contributions, Steve fosters a culture of giving at Ruekert & Mielke through his passion, leadership and community involvement.