Mission-Driven Leaders

The Mission-Driven Leaders Series features successful Cardinal Stritch University alumni who align their values with actions to achieve positive results for themselves, their organizations and businesses, and the society at large.


At Cardinal Stritch University, our mission is to help you find yours. One way to discover your own unique path is to learn from leaders who have successfully found their way forward by pursuing goals with purpose, intellect, compassion, and commitment. Attend a Mission-Driven Leaders session to listen to and engage with dynamic professionals who have aligned their values with actions to achieve positive results for their themselves, their organizations and businesses, and the society at large. Our featured speakers exemplify what Cardinal Stritch University strives to cultivate in every graduate: Engaged local and global citizens who build caring and thriving communities in service to the greater good.  

Each Mission-Driven Leaders session takes place in the Sister Camille Kliebhan Conference Center in Bonaventure Hall and all are welcome. There is no cost to attend, compliments of the Cardinal Stritch University Alumni Association and University Advancement. Mission-Driven Leaders evolved from the successful Business Leaders with a Conscience Speakers Series. For questions about the speaker series contact Dr. Mark Gesner. For event questions contact Michelle Goulais, ’10. View video recordings of prior featured speakers.

Upcoming Speakers

Eugene Manzanet

Eugene Manzanet, ’14,’16

Vice President of Community Development

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
South Bronx to Cream City: Making an Impact Through Dreaming, Learning and Baseball​


6:00pm Keynote Speaker
7:00pm Alumni Reception with Speaker

A United States Marine Corps veteran, Eugene Manzanet has dedicated his time and energy to serving the Milwaukee area as a resource of information for financial education and community and economic development. As Vice President of Community Development Banking for PNC Bank, he provides direct support to community social service organizations with financial resources to increase homeownership, enhance small business growth, and support economic development through catalytic projects in southeastern Wisconsin. He earned a bachelor of science degree and a master’s degree in Business Administration from Stritch and is currently a doctoral candidate in Stritch’s Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service program.

Personal Mission: Serve as an instrument of positive change in my family, my work and my community. I will utilize my talents to speak truth to power and help marginalized communities to elevate their lives with love, compassion and resolve. I will use my knowledge and passion for development to connect key stakeholders to create thriving urban communities. Through this focus I will live humbly, ethically 

Denise Thomas

Denise Thomas, ’06

President of The Effective Communication Coach, LLC

Wednesday, November 1, 2017
Effective Communication + Mission Driven Actions = Great Leadership​


7:30am Breakfast and Interactive Networking Session
12:00pm Keynote Speaker

Denise Thomas is an active dynamic speaker and effective communication coach who uses engaging and relevant techniques in her role as “The Effective Communication Coach.” Over the past 14 years, Denise has earned various awards based on her successes in Global Supply Chain and Information Technology for Toyota, ConAgra Foods, PepsiCo, General Electric and MillerCoors. She was recognized as the 2015 ONE MKE Drivers of Diversity Professional of the Year, NV Magazine 2016 Movers & Shakers, and the MillerCoors 2015 Q3 BIS Diversity and Inclusion Award Recipient. Denise earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Stritch and completed the University’s African American Leadership Program.

Personal Mission: Transforming emerging leaders and ambitious professionals into recognized entrepreneurs and leaders by mastering the art of effective communication and networking.

Upcoming Events