For local young professionals, there’s a new must-attend event in town.
Madison Magnet hosted its inaugural Charity Fête: A Night Above the City, a semi-formal event featuring the first annual Young Professional awards, Sunday, June 16 at the Ovation Sky Room Lounge downtown.
Hosted by Magnet, a local networking group for young professionals, the fête was created with the idea that it would mirror the upscale atmosphere of events like Overture Center's Frostiball, while introducing the younger generation to philanthropic events.
The purpose of the gala is to highlight the incredible work done by young professionals in Madison and to provide an opportunity for those same young professionals to give back to their community, according to Magnet's president, Stefan Fletcher. Proceeds from this first-time event and for future planned events will be donated to the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center, a comprehensive cancer center designated by the National Cancer Institute.
The YP awards consist of three unique categories that align with the three pillars in Madison Magnet’s mission statement: professional development (Mission Possible Award), professional networking (Spirited Award) and community involvement (Impact Award). The recipients of these awards were nominated by ticket-buyers, then Magnet’s Board of Directors narrowed down the pool to four finalists for each category, and the votes of event sponsors allotted for 90 percent of the final decision.
The three awards and this year’s recipients are: Mission Possible Award Winner, Scott Resnick; Spirited Award Winner, Corinn Ploessl; and Impact Award Winner, Winnie Karanja.
Scott Resnick is vice president of Hardin Design & Development, a Madison-based software and application firm in business since 2008. At Hardin, Resnick is responsible for project development, marketing and implementation and human resources. Previously, Resnick was the executive director and co-founder of StartingBlock, an entrepreneurial hub that is set to open in 2018 in Madison. This space is designed to include the necessary resources local entrepreneurs need to start and grow their businesses. Resnick, a natural leader who ran for mayor in 2015 against incumbent Paul Soglin, also served two terms on the Madison Common Council. Through his various positions in the Madison community, Resnick works to provide opportunities for young professionals to develop into business leaders and entrepreneurs.
Corinn Ploessl is the organizational events manager at the Greater Madison Convention and Visitors Bureau. Ploessl expresses her passion for creating connections between people through organizing events that she hopes “leaves attendees transformed by the sensory and hands-on elements.” Previously serving as Madison Magnet’s president for two years, Ploessl is devoted to connecting Madisonians with each other and with the city of Madison itself according to Magnet's Social Committee chair, Monica Hickey.
Winnie Karanja is the founder and executive director of Maydm, a Madison-based organization that encourages and aids young people—especially young women of color—in learning skills used in STEM fields, particularly coding and computer programming. Maydm’s core mission is to diversify the technology sector by providing interactive training and instilling confidence in youth to become the next generation of innovators. In 2016 Maydm worked with 194 students, 66 percent of them were young women.
Madison Magnet will open nominations for its second annual Young Professional Awards in the spring of 2018 and the recipients will be announced at the Charity Fête planned for 2018.