Young professionals making a vibrant future for Portage County

                                                                                        Thank you to our Exclusive Ignite Fuel Sponsor:


Ignite Young Professionals is a collaborative, energetic group dedicated to personal and professional development for all young adults connected to Portage County. Ignite provides the opportunity to develop leadership skills, connect with other young professionals, and learn about the people and places that make our community a great place to live, work, and play.

Latest Updates:

Ignite is a dynamic group whose aim is to engage the next generation of community leaders who want to make a difference in their community.

The group focuses on developing and providing network development, social, and leadership opportunities for members as well as encouraging philanthropic and community involvement. Ignite strives to make Portage County a great place to live, work and play for all young professionals.

Check out our current events! 

For only $50, your Ignite Young Professional of Portage County membership will provide you with the opportunity to visit local businesses and talk with the entrepreneurs who have built them, meet and network with your peers, as well as business leaders in the county, and get involved in your community. You can also enjoy the benefit of attending Portage County Business Council (PCBC) events at PCBC member cost even if your employer is not a PCBC member. Ignite members live and work throughout Central Wisconsin.

For Employers
Why is it so important for Portage County employers to support Ignite? Here are the top five reasons:

  1. Employee Loyalty/Retention: As employees feel more attached to an area through community involvement, they are more likely to stay in the area and with the same employer.
  2. Recruitment: Networking with current members can enrich the recruitment pool with leadership skills and other desirable traits.
  3. Increase Knowledge Base: Access to new ideas and resources can help your business become a stronger company internally and in the eyes of the surrounding area.
  4. Know the Human Resources Available: Companies have the opportunity to meet and network with the next generation of employees and be able to realistically gauge those who will be advancing in their careers.
  5. Peer-to-Peer Marketing: Members discuss where they work and what they do with each other at Ignite events. This is a way for other professionals to learn about your company from current employees.

Ask your employer to sponsor your membership or check out our new Corporate Memberships! 

Backstage Pass Events
See businesses and community organizations behind the scenes at Ignite Backstage Pass events. Learn what goes on inside Portage County’s best from food and brewing to politics and insurance. These events give members an opportunity to meet business leaders and learn what goes into their success while networking with fellow young professionals.

Bite with Ignite – formerly L3: Lunch, Learn, Lead Series
Bite with Ignite programs are lunchtime events featuring a local leader in the area. The speaker gives a presentation while guests enjoy lunch and networking.

Social & Networking Events
From speed networking to Make the Spirits Bright Holiday Party, Ignite members grow their connections while building relationships professionally and personally. These opportunities ensure a skilled workforce for a growing Portage County economy, while members enjoy time with peers.

Volunteer Opportunities
Ignite is currently responsible for the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup on Cty HH three times per year – at least two of which are community events. Ignite also covers one or two bartending shifts at the MREA Renewable Energy Fair each year in June. With a diverse list of community service activities, members are able to find a cause that is tailored to fit their personal passions. Ignite encourages members to volunteer at community events throughout the year.


Ignite Advisory Board:

The Advisory Board is responsible for the overall decisions and function of Ignite.

Give your input and help plan Ignite events…join a committee!

2023 Advisory Board

Malorie Paine, Farming for the Future Foundation

Marketing Co-Chairs
Olivia Molle, Sentry
Lexi Beecher, Skyward

Career Co-Chairs
Mikayla Kleifgen,
Boys & Girls Club of Portage County
Miguelgabriel Campos,
Wellston Properties

Connect Co-Chairs
Hannah Testin, Kalmbach Media
Hannah Klein, United Way of Portage County

Community Co-Chairs
Billie Sjomeling, U.S. Bank
Harlee Stinson, Summit Credit Union

Membership Manager
Harlee Stinson, Summit Credit Union

Ryan Ritchay, CLA


Past President
Nichole Wiza, NP Digital

Portage County Business Council Liaison
Deb Zaske, PCBC

Want to learn more about joining a committee or the advisory board?

Email us! 


Sign up for events and membership at Eventbrite.

Visit us on Facebook

For additional information, please call 715-344-1940 or email

Committee Information