Two Madison-area high school graduates who have found success in the digital economy and one current high school student who is an entrepreneur and actor will headline IceBreaker, the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce‘s annual spring luncheon.

Featured speakers are:

  • Kaaren Hanson, Memorial High School class of 1988: Design director at Facebook; previously led design at Medallia and was vice president of design innovation at Intuit.
  • Peter Koechley, West High School class of 1999: Co-founder of Upworthy, a website “on a mission to change what the world pays attention to,” as the website explains. Koechley also was a managing editor of The Onion.
  • AJ Carr, Verona High School freshman: Founder of a nonprofit, Building Bosses, to teach youth about leadership and entrepreneurship; budding actor who recently enjoyed featured roles in PBS’ “Mercy Street” and NBC’s “Chicago PD.”

The theme of this year’s IceBreaker is “prodigium,” the Latin root of prodigy.

“Our speakers are all greater Madison prodigies who will explain how growing up here has set the trajectory for their own careers and inspired them to imagine solutions to global challenges,” the chamber said in a news release.

Chamber President Zach Brandon said the “human element” is one of the factors that makes Madison special, and the message from the three speakers will stress the importance of investing in a diverse range of people.

“Madison should be on the front line,” Brandon said.

The IceBreaker event will be held April 28 at the Kohl Center.

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Judy Newman is a business reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal.