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New Career Speaker Panel Inspires Students to Dream Big

MILWAUKEE, WI. – Junior Achievement of Wisconsin will launch a monthly virtual Career Speaker Panel series for middle and high school students on September 15, 2021.  The Hispanic Entrepreneur/Professionals Panel will include Ignacio Enriquez, Mario Cortez, and Manny Vasquez who will discuss their career choices, challenges, and successes.  

Ignacio Enriquez is a thirteen-year police officer in the State of Wisconsin and has four years of experience as a Juvenile Corrections Officer in the State of California. Ignacio has served as a patrol officer, school resource officer, and is currently the Behavioral Health Officer at the Appleton Police Department. As a Behavioral Health Officer, Ignacio is responsible for conducting crisis interventions, safety planning, and connecting citizens to mental health services. Ignacio is a trained hostage crisis negotiator and serves as the department's main resource of mental health and substance abuse information and training and is a founding member of the Officer Wellness Committee; furthermore, he is a Peer Support Officer for the department. Ignacio earned a master's degree in Professional Counseling from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC).

Mario J. Cortez serves as IT Service Delivery Manager (Operations) with ManpowerGroup’s World Headquarters in Milwaukee, WI. He is a performance driven IT leader with extensive experience leading Account Management, IT Operations and Infrastructure Services (including Identity and Access Management functions), large strategy-level Program Management, and Business Process Transformation.  During his career Mario has led ITSM support teams in the U.S. and internationally. In addition to his work experience, Mario has also served on Advisory Boards with Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC), Marquette University, Prospanica and Brew City HDI. 

Manny Vasquez is Vice President of Business Development for Pfefferle Companies, a commercial real estate leader founded in Northeast Wisconsin in 1971. He is responsible for connecting Pfefferle’s expertise and resources to a variety of clients, including local and national companies, real estate owners and investors, developers, site selectors, and municipalities. Manny works in collaboration with Pfefferle’s sales & leasing team, as well as its facilities & property management group, to offer a full platform of commercial real estate services with a focus on industrial, office, retail, multifamily and investment property. He also helps the company extend its market reach by leveraging Pfefferle's affiliation to NAI Global, a network of 400 local offices in 48 states and 45 countries. Today, Pfefferle has four offices, 120 employees and manages more than 13 million square feet of real estate statewide. 

The September panel is the first of 12 monthly panels that are designed for 8th through 12th grade students to hear, firsthand, what it is like to work in a variety of careers.  Wisconsin educators have already registered over 1,100 students to view all 12 panels.   

Educators and students can register to hear the speaker panels live or watch pre-recorded videos.  The panels are held from 10:00 – 10:45 am on the third Wednesday of each month, beginning September 15, 2021.   

September 15 – Hispanic Entrepreneurs/Professionals 
October 20 – Manufacturing & Trades 
November 17 – Accounting/Finance/Business 
December 15 – Information Technology 
January 19 – Health Care 
February 16 – African American Entrepreneurs/Professionals 
March 16 – Female Entrepreneurs/Professionals 
April 20 – STEM 
May 18 – Human Resources/Training/Development 

Speakers will share their stories and career journeys. A moderator keeps the event moving, adding insight throughout the event, and facilitating the Q&A time for the final 10-15 minutes of the event. The purpose of these panels is to provide inspiration and education to students, to help them “dream big”.  

“Students can’t be what they can’t see,” said Michael Frohna, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “Our Career Speaker Panels will bring a variety of careers to life with engaging speakers who provide inspiration and career education to students so they can plan a fulfilling career.  By showing students the careers available across Wisconsin, we are doing our part to help build the workforce of tomorrow,” added Frohna.  

The registration form is located at here. Registering once allows students to view all 12 monthly panels.  For more information, contact Brooke Tabbert at 

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