In 1986 while serving as the Director of The Executive Committee's Senior Managers Program, George Halaska, also a TEC Chairman, discovered that the participating managers and executives had a need for a forum similar to TEC because of the following: mentoring, discussing their problems and opportunities, venting frustrations and learning from non-competing peers. In fact, their need was more pronounced than that of many CEOs because of top-down pressure from the CEO, bottom-up pressure from direct reports and sideways pressure from peers.
After discussion with TEC Midwest owners, Harry Dennis and Jim Handy, it was decided to launch a program called Executive Agenda under the TEC umbrella. In the spring of 1987 Halaska made a formal proposal to the Senior Managers' groups and invited the participants to express their interest.
Eight people stated a desire to pioneer Executive Agenda, soon abbreviated to EA. Halaska was unable to chair the initial group because seven of the eight individuals were direct reports of his TEC members and would have represented a conflict of interest.
Tim Pappas, TEC's Resource Specialist (speaker's bureau) Coordinator, was assigned to complete the formation of the first group. On October 20, 1987, EA 1, chaired by Pappas, met for the first time at Webcrafters, Inc., in Madison. The meeting was hosted by John Weston, VP of Manufacturing, Webcrafters.
Also affiliating with EA 1 were Chuck Brys and Harry Reichwald with the expectation that EA 2 would be formed in the Fox Valley/Green Bay area the following year. From those early efforts, Executive Agenda now serves over 500 members in 42 groups in the greater metro Wisconsin areas of Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Milwaukee.