Faith-based organization will return to the City of Steeples for staff conference


Cru—ranked No. 27 in Forbes’ Top 100 U.S. Charities—announced today that the faith-based organization will return to Milwaukee in 2025 for the organization's national staff conference. Taking place citywide July 12-18, the event will welcome more than 5,000 staff to focus on the ministry’s mission of evangelism and discipleship during this unprecedented time in history. In addition to using more than 30 Milwaukee County hotels—including 15,000 rooms—for housing and meetings, Cru will host meetings at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, Baird Center and Miller High Life Theatre.

“Last year’s Cru staff conference was an achievement for our city,” said VISIT Milwaukee President & CEO Peggy Williams-Smith. "2022 was also a year for firsts for the conference, moving from Fort Collins, Colorado, to Milwaukee, the City of Steeples, for this biennial event. As the first new location for the conference in 40 years, we were honored to host the conference, and that was exemplified by our hospitality toward their attendees. Our hospitality community loved hosting Cru, and we could not be more excited to welcome them back to Milwaukee in 2025.”

Since its founding by Bill Bright in 1951 on the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) campus, Cru has reached millions with the gospel of Jesus. The organization now has more than 25,000 team members serving in 190 countries. From dorm rooms and boardrooms to basketball courts and courts of public opinion, Cru’s aim over the past 70 years has remained unchanged: continue to be faithfully and strategically making disciples in the name of Jesus.

Cru staff coming to Milwaukee includes teams from across its various ministries who serve college campuses, veterans, families, inner-city residents, people living in poverty, sports professionals, leaders and more. The conference will focus on the global scope of Cru’s mission and serve as a time for the organization to connect about events, challenges and achievements that took place in the years since they last gathered.

“We had a great experience in Milwaukee in 2022. The city welcomed us with open arms and hearts, and they served us with warm hospitality. Our people enjoyed seeing the city, and the facilities worked well for our needs. We look forward to being back there in 2025,” said Cru President Steve Sellers.

Additionally, Milwaukee boasts one of Wisconsin’s first certified faith-based meeting professionals (CFMP), VISIT Milwaukee National Account & Tourism Sales 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 people of all faiths know they are welcome in the Greater Milwaukee area and feel confident in the professionalism and expertise of our hospitality team when choosing Milwaukee as a meeting destination,” said Megan Husband, CFMP. “Our goal is for Cru to experience that dedicated and unique brand of hospitality again when they bring their staff and families back to our city.”

Cru staff members and their families, including some 1,800 children, come from every state in the country to attend the national conference. VISIT Milwaukee and Cru’s conference team are working together to ensure the organization takes full advantage of Milwaukee’s restaurants, shops, attractions and parks during their two weeks in the city. Cru is also committed to strengthening its strong bond with the community through volunteering and other philanthropy and has done so through its movements across Milwaukee’s college campuses and work with the inner city of Milwaukee.

“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 Alpha Kappa Alpha and USA Triathlon, diverse conventions find a home in our city and VISIT Milwaukee is here to welcome them.”