Faith-based organization finds a new convention home in the City of Steeples

Cru – ranked No. 25 in Forbes’ Top 100 U.S. Charities – has chosen Milwaukee for its 2022 National Staff Conference. Taking place citywide July 14 through July 24, the event will welcome 5,000 staff and 1,800 children. In addition to using more than 30 Milwaukee County hotels for housing and meetings, Cru will host meetings at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Wisconsin Center, and Miller High Life Theatre.

“This is a major achievement for VISIT Milwaukee which has worked with Cru on this partnership for two years,” said Peggy Williams-Smith, president and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “For the first time in Cru’s history, the convention will take place in a city instead of on a college campus. Milwaukee will be Cru’s first new location in 40 years, and we are honored that they have chosen the City of Steeples.”

Bill and Vonette Bright founded what was then “Campus Crusade for Christ” in 1951 on the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) campus with the mission to connect college students to Jesus Christ. Since then Cru has expanded its mission to include philanthropy and community volunteering, military and humanitarian aid, as well as an arm dedicated to caring for athletes and coaches. Today, Cru has a ministry presence in 191 countries including Ghana, Philippines, Germany, and France.

“Milwaukee was a perfect fit for our convention in a number of ways,” said Steve Sellers, president of Cru. “Cru’s student outreach connects to Milwaukee’s 12 major colleges and universities, as well as three more higher education institutions nearby. And Milwaukee’s 191 distinct neighborhoods comprised of many diverse cultures speak to Cru’s international presence and work.”

Additionally, Milwaukee boasts one of Wisconsin’s first certified faith-based meeting professionals (CFMP), VISIT Milwaukee National Account Executive Megan Husband. This is a newer designation by the Religious Conference Management Association (RCMA) earned by individuals who have successfully completed RCMA’s in-depth program.

“We want to ensure that all faiths know they are welcome in the Greater Milwaukee area and that they should feel confident in the professionalism and expertise of our hospitality team when choosing Milwaukee as a meetings destination,” said Megan Husband, CFMP. “Cru will certainly experience that dedicated and unique brand of hospitality when they bring their attendees and families to our city next year.”

Cru staff members and their families come from every state in the country to attend the national conference. VISIT Milwaukee and Cru’s conference team are preparing to help Cru employees enjoy Milwaukee restaurants, shops, attractions, and parks during their two weeks in the city. Cru has also expressed a desire to develop a strong bond with the community through volunteering and other philanthropy.

“There is a reason why we call Milwaukee the place where unique unites,” Williams-Smith said. “It is for our diverse populations in our resident community as well as our visitors and convention attendees. From Cru to Comic Con to USA Triathlon, diverse conventions find a home in our city and VISIT Milwaukee is here to welcome them.”

About VISIT Milwaukee

VISIT Milwaukee is a community asset that markets the destination as a top choice for business, convention, and leisure travel to national and international visitors to increase the economic impact of tourism in the region. VISIT Milwaukee has over 600 members, including hotels/motels, restaurants, attractions, services, and area businesses. The Wisconsin Center District, which is undergoing a large-scale expansion slated for completion in 2024, and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino are strategic partners with VISIT Milwaukee, providing funding support for conventions and tourism programs. For more information call (800) 554-1448 or visit