Graduate of the Last Decade Award



Michael Hostad was appointed the executive director of MiKE (Innovation in Milwaukee), an initiative of the Greater Milwaukee Committee in 2014MiKE fosters partnerships between business, education and the community at large to cultivate and support emerging talent networks with the goal of retaining creative and innovative professionals who fuel economic growth in the Greater Milwaukee region.  



One of Hostad’s recent accomplishments is founding The Commons, a collaboration among 23 of the region’s colleges and universities, including Cardinal Stritch University, to pair students with and to be mentored by local professionals. By engaging students outside of the classroom and offering the opportunity to grow in new and exciting ways, The Commons is raising up future leaders that will invest their talents in Milwaukee as a great place to live, work, play and stay.   



Hostad is also involved with the Downtown (Milwaukee) Task Force, which provides leadership and helps facilitate economic bridges connecting downtown to adjacent neighborhoods.   



His entrepreneurial spirit was awakened and nurtured while working in manufacturing during a summer break from high school. He launched his first web development business while still in high school, through which he gained clients from across the United States. After he earned an associate degree in computer networking at Waukesha County Technical College, he began working at University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee as its first and only web developer. In 13 years at UWM, he led the expansion of his department to 17 employees. He was promoted to director of web and mobile services.  



Hostad earned his bachelor’s degree in management in 2010 at Cardinal Stritch University while working as a full-time professional. With a supportive cohort, he was able to balance academic goals with his career and family.  



Named the “Chancellor’s Designee for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” during his time at UWM, Hostad was also recognized in 2014 as one of the Milwaukee Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for his dedication to the city.



Hostad and his wife, Calley, and their orange tabby cat, Slinky, make their home in Fox Point.  Even in his down time, Hostad loves to explore Milwaukee, seeking out its gems whether hidden or well known. He enjoys travel, cooking and getting lost in great movies or TV shows.