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Speakers: Sarah Sladek

Sarah Sladek

Sarah delivers clear value to audiences committed to bridging the generational gap and creating sustainable organizations.

Sarah Sladek was leading the charge for organizations and companies to adapt to younger members and workers long before anybody else. Her accolades are substantial.

Sarah Sladek

Generations Expert | Author | Demographic Shifts | Talent Management |
Multi-Generational Workforce | Leadership Development |
Future-Ready Associations | Succession Planning

www.xyzuniversity.com | Download a pdf with more information.

Based in Minneapolis, MN.

Click here to view Sarah Sladek, Generations Keynote Speaker on YouTube or watch the video below.

About Sarah

Sarah Sladek was leading the charge for organizations and companies to adapt to younger generations long before anybody else.

Concerned about declining engagement in our nation’s membership associations, non-profits, and workplaces, she founded one of the nation’s first generation-focused companies in 2002. XYZ University remains the only generations-focused consulting and strategy firm in North America specialized in helping organizations engage the membership, leadership, and marketshare of Generations X, Y, and Z.

xyz university

Sarah is the author of four books. The New Recruit: What Your Association Needs to Know About X, Y, & Z (2007) was the first book to address the generation gap in membership associations. She immediately followed with a second book geared towards bridging the talent gap in the workplace, Rock Stars Incorporated: Hiring the High-Performance, High-Maintenance Hotshots Half Your Age (2008).

Sladek_DustjacketRockStars book cover

rock stars @ workShortly thereafter, Sarah founded the RockStars@Work Conference, the nation’s first business conference focused on bridging talent and leadership gaps in the workforce, drawing in such notable companies as DreamWorks Animation, Fortune, and Best Buy.

The end of membership as we know itSarah’s third book is a bestseller for Association Management Press. The End of Membership As We Know It: Building the Fortune-Flipping, Must-Have Association of the Next Century (2011), advises associations how to stay relevant and grow membership amidst rapidly-changing technology, demographic, and economic shifts. 

Her latest book, Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now (2014), provides advice on how to engage Generation Y, and delves into the economic shifts that have impacted their value systems and differentiated their communication, buying, and engagement behaviors.

In addition to being an author, Sarah is co-founder and producer of the Millennials to Members online course, the first interactive curriculum designed to help associations grow membership among younger generations and develop an engaging, future-focused membership strategy. 

Sarah Sladek’s expertise has been prominently featured in international media, including Forbes, Inc, Financial Post, Fast Company, and National Public Radio, and she has keynoted events worldwide. Backed by years of experience and supported by solid research, she remains committed to helping organizations engage every generation to thrive and prosper in the new economy.

Knowing Y: Engage the Next Generation Now

Knowing Y: Engage the
Next Generation Now

The largest shift in human capital in history—the ascension of Generation Y in the workforce — presents a strategic opportunity for (or keep it moving in your direction) by tailoring your offerings and culture to the preferences of the dominant demographic. Doing so makes economic, consumer, marketing, and management sense, according to Sarah Sladek, author of this book and its bestselling predecessor, The End of Membership as We Know It.

To effectively serve this largest-ever population demographic, you need to know and understand its principal actors and their expectations. Through this book, author Sladek will help you do just that. Knowing Y is brimming with firsthand insights from Gen Ys, examples of organizations that have successfully engaged Gen Y, and experience and advice from the author’s 10-plus years researching generations and demographic shifts. You’ll learn what this generation thinks about the following and more:

  • Advocacy versus Social Awareness
  • Control versus Freedom
  • Community versus Globalization
  • Loyalty versus Relationships
  • Ownership versus Access
  • Jobs versus Entrepreneurs
  • Sales versus Service
  • Status versus Inclusion

Innovation is a central theme among those interviewed for the book. The message is clear. Adapt and engage this largest population. The consequences are dire if you don’t.

Purchase the book here. | Download a flyer

Most Requested Presentations for Associations

The End of Membership As We Know It

The competition is cut-throat and membership as a commodity holds little value. Associations are challenged more than ever before to retain membership, market to prospective members, and raise revenue. Rather than negotiate and haggle your way back to the top using traditional methods, learn revolutionary membership strategies to put your association on the fortune-making fast-track. Sarah Sladek's insights will help your association build a sustainable, prosperous, next generation association that will corner the marketplace and keep members coming back for more.

Most Requested Presentations for Business


A core challenge for organizations over the next decade will be to attract and retain a skilled workforce while managing four generations — each with their own distinct values and attitudes toward work. Plus, the arrival of the Millennials (aka Gen Y) has influenced the workforce in radical ways and shifted our values. Discover why what worked before isn't working anymore, and the recruiting, retention, motivation, and management techniques needed to successfully engage workers of all generations from here on out.

Getting Gen Y to Buy

Millennials. Generation Y. Regardless of how you refer to them, the largest generation in history is nearing its peak earning and spending years, but this generation isn't spending like other generations. This generation has come of age during a technology boom and a recession, resulting in unique buying behaviors-including a disinterest in ownership, advertising, and being sold anything. Meet the Recessionistas, Digital Natives, Migrators, and Trophy Kids and learn how to get Gen Y to buy your products and services.

Workforce 2020

We're in the midst of the largest shift in human capital in history, and by 2020 the workforce will be considerably different — and younger — than ever. Although the future is difficult to predict, a number of likely scenarios have emerged which depict the workforce of 2020 and the strategic implications for employers looking not just to stay ahead of the curve, but shape it to their competitive advantage. Learn about the chief workforce indicators of change, how to position your organization to be innovative and responsive to these changes, and how to attract top talent and win in the marketplace.



Sarah truly did a fabulous job and the data and the insight she presented during her presentation was invaluable to the attendees.
Jennifer Wilson, American Nurses Association

The information Sarah Sladek presented to our audience of entrepreneurs was tremendous and well appreciated. Her insights on what the data means and how it impacts small businesses was very valuable. Plus, I asked participants to complete a speaker’s survey after her session and she received a nearly 100% rating! Awesome!
Kathleen Riopelle, Metropolitan Economic Development Association 

Sarah’s generational perspective was very well received by our members and very timely for our industry as we work to determine not only our customer of the future but what our association will look like in 2015. She engaged our chapters to think in different ways about engagement, the use of technology, and her ‘what’s in it for me’ outlook translated well for our membership strategies.
Elisa Brewer Pratt, The Associated General Contractors of America

Ms. Sladek did a terrific job of engaging the entire audience and really made sure that all generations were included. Also, quite impressive was her dedication to making the presentation one that really applied to the industry. All in all, Ms. Sladek’s presentation was a great success. Attendees raved about her content, as well as her ability to captivate and engage the audience.
Jenica Hickey, Minnesota Multi-Housing Association

Our challenges ranged from declining membership to generational differences. Thanks to Sarah's insight, as well as her organizational management acumen, we were able to implement some very significant changes within our organization.
Teresa Foster, National Athletic Trainers Association

Sarah’s presentation provided creative ideas, encouraged people to think outside the box, and motivated us to proactively reach the younger generations. Our audience was so impressed!
Kathy Messerli, Minnesota Medical Association

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