Welcome, business owners and professionals!

The Carthage Business and Professional Coalition comprises the leading business, civic, and professional leaders in the region. Members meet regularly for luncheons that feature guest speakers and discussions that highlight important national and local issues affecting businesses and organizations.

Members of the Carthage Business and Professional Coalition listen to guest speaker Lester Munson... The mission of the Carthage Business and Professional Coalition is to convene members of the business and professional communities around relevant topics that promote learning, conversation, and relationship-building, in order to lead to a stronger and more vibrant community.

Through programming that includes prominent guest speakers, the Coalition will engage leading business, civic, and professional leaders in the region, and provide a space to engage in substantive conversations that further the region’s growth and prosperity.

“Carthage College is a vital partner to industry, not-for-profits, and government in the Chicago-to-Milwaukee corridor,” Carthage President John Swallow said, “The College works to align our educational programs with the needs of our local and regional communities.”

The Coalition is guided by a steering committee of business and community leaders and chaired by Mr. Bob Lee, Jr., President of Lee Mechanical.


Upcoming Events

The BPC is excited to share our entire 2023-24 program.  

Learn more about Our Next event

April 18, 2024, 11:30-1 pm The Future of Higher Education

President John Swallow will sit down with UW System President Jay Rothman for a fireside chat discussing the future of higher education. Hear these transformative leaders discuss how higher education will build the workforce of the future, and what innovations will be part of the solution for Southeastern Wisconsin’s economic development.


All BPC events are free and open to the public.

Steering committee members and program sponsors

  • Karla Krehbiel; Regional President, Southeast; Johnson Financial Group (Chair)
  • Bob Lee;  President, Lee Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors, Inc. (Past Chair)
  • Tatjana Bicanin; Executive Director, Building our Future Kenosha
  • Carolyn Friesch, CEO United Way of Kenosha County
  • Mike Gentile; President Operations and Product Management, Snap-on Tools
  • Kimberly Kane; President and CEO, Kane Communications
  • Samantha Kerkman; Kenosha County Executive
  • Seth Klugherz; Vice President of Marketing, HARIBO of America
  • Tom Mahoney; Market President, Wintrust Commercial Banking at State Bank of the Lakes
  • Mark Molinaro, Jr.; Principal, Partners in Design Architects
  • Mike Pitts, Jr.; Real Estate Agent, Pitts Brothers, LLC
  • Dave Riley; Chairman and Director of the Board, Riley Construction Company, Inc.
  • Nicole Ryf; President Kenosha Area Business Association
  • Ric Schmidt; President, CEO, and General Counsel, Froedtert South, Inc.
  • Chris Tenuta; Owner, Tenuta’s Delicatessen & Liquors
  • Jenny Trick; Executive Director, Racine County Economic Development Corporation (RCEDC)

Honoring the legacy of Ralph Tenuta

Carthage Trustee Emeritus Ralph Tenuta, a prominent Kenosha businessman who passed away on Jan. 15, 2020, founded the Carthage Business and Professional Coalition in the early 1990s. He aimed to provide a forum for area leaders to gather and discuss mutual concerns and opportunities. To honor the contributions Mr. Tenuta made to Carthage and the local community, a portion of the proceeds raised through sponsorships will support the Ralph Tenuta Experiential Learning Fund, which will help Carthage students to participate in internships and hands-on learning that prepares them for future careers. This fund is managed by The Aspire Center, Carthage’s renowned comprehensive four-year career development program.

Contact us

To learn more about the Business and Professional Coalition and our corporate sponsorship opportunities, please contact Katharine Keenan at 262-551-6464 or kkeenan@carthage.edu.

Our Corporate Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors.


























The Business and Professional Coalition is made possible by the Sam and Gene Johnson Distinguished Visitors Program.