Light the Hoan: Direct Supply named winner of Milwaukee’s first Intern Challenge

MILWAUKEE  – After four nights of bracket-style competition and public voting, the competing intern team from Direct Supply has been named the winning team of Milwaukee’s first Intern Challenge, hosted by Light the Hoan and sponsored and catalyzed by Northwestern Mutual. Eight teams from local companies including Northwestern Mutual, American Family Insurance, Baird, Direct Supply, Kohl’s, Quarles & Brady, Rockwell Automation and We Energies competed in the challenge and were tasked to design a light show that best represented their company’s brand and culture.

Archit Mishra, Chandler Frakes, Doris Pan, Jacob Pinney, Jennifer O’Keefe, and Sierra Thomas comprised Direct Supply’s winning team and produced a show that focused on the company’s employee-owners, including a nod to the six different inclusion groups within Direct Supply. The design also made prominent use of the color gold – representing the golden age of seniors – to reflect the company’s mission of bringing what’s next to senior healthcare. Each individual intern on the winning team received a complimentary roundtrip ticket from Southwest Airlines, giving them the opportunity to connect with something important in their life. Direct Supply will also be home to the Intern Challenge trophy for its inaugural year, until a new winner is announced in the next Intern Challenge.

“The Light the Hoan Intern Challenge provided our interns with a valuable experience,” said Wade Krogwold, Campus Recruiting Manager at Direct Supply. “Working together, they had to not only define the message they wanted to express about Direct Supply, but also communicate it in a very unique medium. It’s an experience that they will not soon forget!”

The competition taught local Milwaukee interns how to code light shows in celebration of National Intern Day, and served to celebrate the intersection between tech and art while demonstrating Milwaukee’s growing reputation as a hub of tech talent.

“This competition built something bigger than a few light shows – it demonstrated the level of access to opportunity in our city, fostered camaraderie among local businesses, and connected young professionals under the unity of art and technology,” said Michael Hostad, Co-founder of Light the Hoan.

A collective of local business and civic leaders, Light the Hoan is a committee of the Daniel Hoan Foundation. In May 2018, the group launched a public crowdsourcing campaign to help raise more than $3.5 million to illuminate the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge, the iconic tied-arch bridge spanning nearly two miles across Interstate 794.

Direct Supply, Inc. delivers innovative platforms, products and services to help solve the toughest challenges facing Senior Living and Healthcare. Founded in 1985, this Milwaukee-based, 100% employee-owned company is dedicated to offering world-class solutions, Taking Cost Out of Healthcare® and helping senior care providers thrive. Learn more at