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Gridiron Awards Dinner

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5:30 pm - 9:30 pm

InterContinental Milwaukee Hotel
139 East Kilbourn Avenue Milwaukee WI, 53202

Milwaukee Press Club Announces 2018 Sacred Cat and Headliner Awards
Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey of The New York Times share Sacred Cat honors
Gary Grunau and Juli Kaufmann to receive Headliner Awards

MILWAUKEE, WI—The Milwaukee Press Club today announced that Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporters for The New York Times, are the club’s 2018 Sacred Cat Award honorees. The award, which has been given annually since 1973, recognizes excellence in journalism at the national level.

Twohey will accept the award at the club’s annual Gridiron Dinner, set for Friday, May 11th, at the InterContinental Hotel in Milwaukee. Kantor is unable to attend.

The club also will honor its 2018 Headliners, Gary Grunau, real estate developer, business and civic leader; and Juli Kaufmann, entrepreneur, developer and civic leader. Winners of the press club’s 2017 Excellence in Wisconsin Journalism competition also will be recognized at the event.

Emcees for the Gridiron will be Kathy Mykleby, reporter and co-anchor at WISN Channel 12 News, and Fraser Engerman, director of global media relations for Johnson Controls.

Twohey and Kantor in 2017 broke the story of decades long alleged abuse of women by Harvey Weinstein, triggering worldwide recognition of the need to help victims speak up and to hold powerful men accountable for their actions and behavior. Their reporting lead to a Pulitzer Prize for Public Service awarded to The New York Times and a George Polk Award honoring “intrepid journalism.” Both awards were shared with The New Yorker and reporting by Ronan Farrow. They also received the inaugural Impact Award from the Los Angeles Press Club.

Twohey joined the Times in 2016 and initially worked on the U.S. presidential politics team before becoming an investigative reporter. Her work during the 2016 campaign helped uncover President Donald J. Trump’s questionable treatment of women, his history of not paying federal income taxes and his business ties to Russia. She formerly was a reporter for Reuters News, the Chicago Tribune and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; her earlier work revealed predatory physicians, untested rape kits and an underground network that allowed people to abandon adopted children.

Kantor joined the Times in 2003 as arts and leisure editor, after leaving her position as editor of Slate magazine. She later became a national correspondent and now is an investigative reporter for the Times, and a contributor to CBS This Morning. She covered former President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for six years and wrote “The Obamas,” a behind the scenes look at their adjustment to their positions in the White House.

Milwaukee Press Club President LaToya Dennis said, “I can’t imagine two better people to honor at this time. Across the country, women are standing up against sexual harassment, sexual assault and other injustices. Without Twohey and Kantor helping to shed light on sexual misconduct, this behavior would have continued unchallenged.

“We truly are honored to have Megan Twohey accept the Sacred Cat Award for herself and for Jodi Kantor.”

Past Sacred Cat honorees include David Fahrenthold, Marty Baron, Ann Compton, Jonathan Alter, Cokie Roberts, Walter Cronkite, Malcolm Forbes, Judy Woodruff, Michael Bloomberg and David Maraniss.

The Headliner Awards are presented annually to those who are making a positive difference in Wisconsin.

Grunau, one of Milwaukee’s most prominent business and civic leaders, is President of Grucon Group LLC. He is perhaps best known for his work revitalizing the former Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co. complex, transforming it into the current Schlitz Park office complex. Grunau has demonstrated a life-long commitment to Milwaukee and was instrumental in some of its most successful and innovative urban projects, including Grand Avenue Middle School, creating the Milwaukee Education Center from an abandoned Schlitz Brewery building, the Hyatt Regency, the Wisconsin Center, Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin, the Milwaukee RiverWalk, the Time Warner Building, the Boston Store revitalization, YWCA Villages, King Heights and Manpower’s world headquarters.

His projects have won numerous awards including the Urban Land Institute Achievement Award and The National Council for Urban Economic Development Award for Schlitz Park. He has served on numerous nonprofit and civic boards, and currently is chairman of the Milwaukee Academy of Science, vice chairman at Discovery World, chairman of the Turner Hall Ballroom Historic Trust, and a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee.

Kaufmann, a self-described serial entrepreneur, is president of Fix Development, an award-winning Milwaukee commercial real estate company. Kaufmann and her firm have developed more than $25 million in real estate projects and currently are focused on the Lindsay Heights, Sherman Park, Riverwest and Harambee Neighborhoods. Fix Development creates “quadruple bottom line” real estate projects that aim to have positive cultural, social, environmental and economic impact.

Kaufmann also is co-founder of Fund Milwaukee, a local investment group that matches unaccredited local investors with opportunities to support local entrepreneurs. To date, the effort has raised more than $1 million in local capital, funding dozens of local businesses like Purple Door Ice Cream and Coast In Bikes.  Kaufmann also is board chair at 88.9 Radio Milwaukee and is a founder and board member at Bublr Bikes, Milwaukee’s start-up bike-sharing system.

Past Headliner honorees include Carmen Pitre, Howard Fuller, Ted Kellner, Hannah Rosenthal, Ricardo Diaz, Linda Mellowes, Michael Pink, Barry Alvarez, Jane Pettit, Bud Selig, James Lovell, Ben Marcus and Steve Marcus.

Tickets for the Gridiron Dinner are available online at The cost is $75 per individual, or $580 for a table of eight.  Corporate table sponsorships are available for $830 (includes a table of 8, name on table and company logo on printed program).

Founded in 1885, the Milwaukee Press Club is the oldest continuously operating press club in North America. Its members represent a diverse community of media-focused professionals from nearly every local media outlet, and also include a strong contingent of public relations and marketing professionals and others with an interest in journalism and news media.

To view past Sacred Cat Awards, visit:

For past Headliner Award winners, see:

Booking information for attendees:
Entree Selections:
(Beef) Braised Short Ribs, Horseradish Potato Puree, Roasted Cipollini Onions, Market Vegetables, Cabernet Sauvignon Reduction
(Chicken) Thyme Roasted Chicken Breast, Crème Fraiche Whipped Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Whole Grain Mustard Jus
(Fish) Herb Grilled Salmon Filet, Crème Fraiche Whipped Potatoes, Seasonal Vegetables, Beurre Blanc
(Vegetarian) Roasted Vegetable “Lasagna” with Eggplant, Summer Squash, Ricotta, Mozzarella, Roasted Garlic Rainbow Quinoa, Basil Scented Tomato & Leek Ragout (Vegetarian and Gluten Free – Noodle-Less)
(Please contact us for any special dietary needs.)

Event Sponsors

Ally Sponsor:

  • Kane Communications Group

  • We Energies

Once A Year Advertisers:

  • Marquette University

  • Milwaukee Brewers

  • Milwaukee Business Journal

  • Mueller Communications

  • Lowe Group

  • UW-Milwaukee


Table Sponsors:

  • BMO Harris Bank

  • CH Coakley

  • Delta Defense, LLC

  • Gilbane Building Company

  • Grucon Group LLC

  • Johnson Controls

  • Milwaukee Jewish Federation

  • Milwaukee Turners

  • Wisconsin Gazette

In-Kind Sponsors:

  • InterContinental Hotel Milwaukee

  • VISIT Milwaukee


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Bookings are closed for this event.

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