Members of the Grafton
Area Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals participate
in a Friendsgiving event last November at The Bridge
Inn. The group collected food that was donated to the
Saukville Community Food Pantry.
GRAFTON — The Young Professionals group in Grafton grew
from a desire by the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce to
find ways to recruit and retain millennials.
The initial efforts that sprouted from a regional
conference of the Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce
Executives proved to be more popular than expected. What
started as purely social activities has expanded in the
past year after Megan Schelwat was hired as the
chamber’s director of special events and tourism
“One of the key takeaways for us was the importance of
establishing a sense of belonging for our young
professionals,” Pam King, executive director of the
Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, said about those
initial discussions at the conference. “We knew that if
we could help to develop a group that would help support
young professionals in our area, we would be able to
begin establishing that sense of belonging.”
Schelwat – whom King called “our resident young
professional” – was tasked with revitalizing and
expanding the group after she was hired about a year
One of the goals, Schelwat said, has been to partner the
group with chamber members, who host events. She called
it a positive for the businesses and the young
For instance, one of the first events she organized was
a gathering at Ozaukee Crossfit. It helped showcase the
business and young professionals who attended took a
The best turnout so far was for a gathering featuring
cocktails and yoga at The River Room on the Milwaukee.
Another event involved a presentation from Crescendo
Wealth Management on financial planning geared toward
the young professional demographic. The meeting was
hosted by another chamber member, the new Fiddlehead’s
café location in the village.
The events planned so far have focused on networking
opportunities, volunteering in the community and
opportunities for young professionals to make new
friends, Schelwat said.
An upcoming event is the Golf & Grub golf outing, which
will take place at The Bog, 3121 Highway I in Saukville,
from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. May 23. For more information,
call Schelwat at the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce,
“It’s a great way to meet new people and get exposed to
other businesses,” Schelwat said.