College for Creative Studies: Taubman Center 460 W Baltimore St, Detroit, MI 48202

Thursday, September 21st from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

$45 early bird registration through August 31, then the price increases to $60.
Includes dinner and drinks, conference and valet parking

Dietary laws observed. Business casual attire encouraged.

Rachel Klar (

Join us for the first annual NEXTUp, the first and only professional conference designed to connect young Jewish Detroiters to one another and to some of the biggest names in their respective industries. We’re bringing together executives and experts to share real game-changing, career-building advice that can be applied to any profession. If you’re looking for what’s NEXT in your professional journey, then it’s time to level up with NEXTUp.

Event Schedule

5:30 PMCheck-in, grab a seat and some swag, and get ready for an evening of growth and good times!
6 – 6:45 PMKeynote Speaker Dave Zilko, former partner of Garden Fresh Salsa and CEO of Fuel Leadership will kick us off with his presentation: Turning Irrational Persistence Into Unfathomable Success.
7 – 7:45 PMBreakout sessions: Details below.
7:45 – 9 PMStrolling dinner, beer, wine and networking.

Opportunity for professional headshots available throughout the evening

About our Keynote Speaker, Dave Zilko

Detroit-based businessman Dave Zilko, former partner at Garden Fresh Gourmet, CEO of Skinny Butcher, keynote speaker, bestselling author, and National Association of Entrepreneurs Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, has been an entrepreneur for more than 30 years and inspires people to lead the lives they’ve imagined for themselves, regardless of their age or career stage. Dave will chronicle his real-life journey to success, from using a $2,500 credit card loan to growing Garden Fresh Gourmet into the #1 brand of fresh salsa in America and engineering it’s sale to a Fortune 500 company for almost a quarter billion dollars. Dave’s story is living proof that the American Dream is alive and attainable, even when starting out with (quite literally) less than nothing. He will share his key lessons learned, unique and counterintuitive sales tactics, creative marketing approaches; and much more.

Breakout Sessions

In this interactive session, we’ll share three powerful tools to help you succeed in your career and life. Join us as we explore techniques for achieving your dreams, fueling your growth, and improving your well-being and relationships with others. Whether you’re just starting your professional journey or looking to take your career to the next level, get ready to unleash your potential so you can live a successful and fulfilling life!

Marty Maddin

Founder and CEO of Peak Performance International

Marty Maddin is the founder and CEO of Peak Performance International, a coaching and training company committed to helping successful leaders reach a level of confidence, performance, and fulfillment beyond what they thought was possible. As a past president of NEXTGen Detroit and current JFMD and Hillel Day School board member, he enjoys serving on Boards of Directors of non-profit organizations.

Sarah Crane

COO, Peak Performance International

As COO at Peak Performance International, Sarah Crane helps make the company’s vision – to help leaders reach their full potential – a reality. With prior experience at a Big 4 accounting firm and non-profit organizations, Sarah uses her background in leadership development, organizational effectiveness, and change management consulting to meet the needs of clients in a variety of industries and roles.

As a young adult, you have the unique opportunity to shape your future and discover a fulfilling career path. This seminar will empower you with knowledge, tools and the mindset required to navigate the ever changing job market.

Sherrie James

Career Development Services Supervisor, Gesher Human Services

Sherrie James is the career development services supervisor at Gesher Human Servicesand a Licensed Professional Counselor in the State of Michigan. She is a certified facilitator for True Colors, which is a personal style awareness tool. Sherrie has extensive experience assisting individuals with work adjustment issues and helping those over 50 to re-career and reinvent themselves professionally.

Phyllis Scripsick

Counselor, Gesher Human Services

Phyllis Scripsick is a Licensed Professional Counselor currently employed as a career counselor with Gesher Human Services. She has worked with employment seekers for the last 15 years either as a career counselor or an employment specialist.

What is brand identity? A brand identity is made up of what your brand says, what your values are, how you communicate your product, and what you want people to feel when they interact with your company. Essentially, your brand identity is the personality of your business and a promise to your customers. In this session, you’ll learn how to create your own brand identity.

Sari Cicurel


Sari Cicurel is an in-demand publicist in metropolitan Detroit. She leverages her 30 years of experience to spearhead projects, social media strategies, event production, community relations campaigns, and marketing. Sari is a storyteller who cultivates a favorable public image for her clients in a variety of industries including healthcare, retail, restaurant, hospitality, fashion, publishing, as well as in professional services and for numerous non-profit organizations.

Ever notice how some people seem to really “get” LinkedIn, and others blend in? Bring your laptop or phone with the LinkedIn app installed for hands-on instruction by Brenda Meller, who will show us how to get a bigger slice of the LinkedIn P.I.E. to support your brands and your business, focusing on:

(P) Profile optimization;

(I) Invitation & messaging strategies; and

(E) Engagement and posting strategies.

Brenda Meller

Chief Engagement Officer, Meller Marketing

Brenda Meller is a self-proclaimed “ambassador” of LinkedIn, national speaker and the Chief Engagement Officer at Meller Marketing, which helps business professionals and job seekers enjoy a bigger slice of the LinkedIn pie. She’s a former corporate marketer who “GETS” LinkedIn. In 2021, she published her first book, Social Media Pie: How to Enjoy a Bigger Slice of LinkedIn.

Meetings are the lifeblood of an organization—they are central to its success but are also often seemingly useless and too long. This presents a paradox—how can you make meetings more productive when your attendees may view them as pointless? The answer is to make meetings better.

Darren Findling

President, The Probate Pro

As the President of The Probate Pro, Darren Findling takes great pride in being the nationally recognized, leading probate and trust coordination law firm providing administration, litigation, and planning services. Most of his day-to-day operations are dedicated to representing individuals in contested probate and trust matters, will contests, the embezzlement by fiduciaries, exploitation of the elderly, and disputes in probate and trust files. When not working on his own cases, Darren lends as much support as possible to his legal team on their cases and their professional goals.

Work life balance has become one of the top priorities for job seekers and employees, and doing a self-assessment of the important areas of your life can help you achieve that balance. Together, we will work through an exercise to help you balance the things that influence your overall well-being and fulfillment. The Wheel of Life is a simple tool to help you assess your needs and goals based on your personal core values. You’ll be able to identify the key areas of your life that feel balanced and are bringing satisfaction, as well as the areas where support, guidance and additional focus are needed.

Ryan Landau

Founder of Purpose Jobs

Ryan Landau is the founder of Purpose Jobs, a media and events company focused on the modern job-seeker. Ryan is passionate about helping people connect and building community around culture and purpose. When he’s not working, you can find Ryan training for his next marathon and hanging out with his family.

Register Here

Registration is closed. Thank you for your interest.

NEXTWork is brought to you by the Hadas and Dennis Bernard NEXTWork Endowment Fund.

NEXTUp: A NEXTWork Professional Conference is Powered by the Byron and Dorothy Gerson Fund

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Thank you to our NEXTUp Conference Co-Chairs:

  • Erica Dovitz
  • Jacob Gordon
  • Andrew Luckoff
  • Jeremy Rosenberg
  • Josh Sklar

College for Creative Studies: Taubman Center 460 W Baltimore St, Detroit, MI 48202

Thursday, September 21st from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

$45 per person. Includes dinner and drinks, conference and valet parking

Dietary laws observed. Business casual attire encouraged.

Rachel Klar (

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