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Meet ICMA’s 97th Annual Conference Keynote Speakers


ICMA’s 97th Annual Conference in Milwaukee is just around the corner, and we’re happy to present a lineup of amazing keynote speakers to set the tone for the event.  Find out a little more about this year’s four keynote speakers below.

On Sunday, Tim Hoelter, the former Vice President of Government Affairs for Harley-Davidson Motor Company will open up the conference. Mr. Hoelter helped bring Harley-Davidson back from the brink of bankruptcy and will share how he overcame the company’s most difficult time. In addition to government relations, he was responsible for legislation management, accessing overseas markets, and handling industry affairs. Mr. Hoelter’s many accomplishments during his 30 year career at Harley Davidson include creating a licensing program and applying to trademark the famous Harley-Davidson engine sound.

On Monday, Bill George will discuss the ideas behind, “True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership.” Mr. George is the former CEO of a top medical technology company, Medtronic, and is currently a Professor at Harvard Business School. The Truth North philosophy is the center Mr. George’s book, True North Groups. He is also the author of six other books and has become frequent guest on many news channels. Mr. George has been named one of the “Top 25 Business Leaders of the Past 25 Years” by PBS. Read more of his recent articles here including, Why Leaders Lose Their Way and Values-Centered Leadership: the Key to Success in the 21st Century.

On Tuesday the lineup continues with Rebecca Ryan, the founder of Next Generation Consulting, a market research firm. She also the author of the book, Live First, Work Second: Getting Inside the Minds of the Next Generation. While at the conference she will discuss how the future workforce is very different than the one before it, and how to attract and keep young professionals working in your community. Her firm Next Generation Consulting has been educating organizations on how to make changes now for future longevity and the how to integrate this new style of employee into their offices. 

Last but certainly not least on Wednesday, Wes Moore will close out the conference with an amazing story of how leadership made an incredible impact on his life. His story is one of overcoming all the odds and moving forward towards unbelievable success and personal achievement. Mr. Moore grew up in a poor community in Baltimore where he struggled in school until turning his life around in high school. From there he only went up becoming a Rhodes Scholar, decorated army veteran, White House Fel­low, accomplished businessman, and now author. His book, The Other Wes Moore, is an autobiographical account of Mr. Moore’s life in contrast to boy from the same neighborhood with the same name who grew up to have drastically different life. Mr. Moore’s story is an inspiring one and an especially important reminder of the significance of strong leadership; see him discuss the importance of community on the Colbert Report.

We’re looking forward to applying the lessons of these diverse speakers to today’s challenges in local government. Be sure to check out our conference blog at for the latest on our keynote speakers and other events in Milwaukee. 

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