About Sarah Sladek

Sarah Sladek and her brother

When I was 4, my brother left for college.

He’s a Boomer. I’m a Gen Xer. Our relationship was my first introduction to generational differences.
Then, early in my career, I had two defining work experiences. First, I was appointed to a prominent leadership role. As one of the youngest people on staff, I was managing people twice my age.
Shortly thereafter, I attended a national industry conference. When the speaker asked everyone under the age of 40 to stand, I was one of just 12 people in an audience of 400 who stood up. I was 28. At that very moment I realized two truths:
    1. When young people aren’t at decision-making tables – or even in the room! – valuable perspective and momentum is lost.
    2. Disengagement will continue to worsen until organizations succeed at creating cultures of belonging for people of all ages and career stages.

In 2002, I launched XYZ University LLC to lead organizations out of decline and into the future.

The xyz part of the company name was inspired by Generations X, Y, and Z and since then, I have dedicated my career to answering these core questions:
    • Why are younger generations less likely to feel like they belong?
    • Why are organizations experiencing more turnover and disengagement than ever before?
    • Is change possible?

I established a unique process to measure organizational performance and engagement in membership associations and workplaces.

Performance and engagement are influenced by organizational culture – but also social change, generational influences, youth trends, workforce shifts, consumerism, and economics. And our team studies it all!
This is what we call Next Gen Intelligence. By using this comprehensive approach, we have successfully turned organizations around, bringing them to a place of increased relevance, relationship-building, growth, and profitability.
When I was 4, I wanted to go to college with my brother. I wanted a voice and a seat at the table then, and I’m still advocating for inclusion and belonging now.
Sarah Sladek
The future you want for your organization is within reach, but you’re not going to get there by using the same strategies that have been used for the past several decades. Everything about the way we live, work, and do business has evolved considerably in recent years — your organization’s approach to engaging people and strategizing for growth must also change.

If you want to realize growth and create a better future for your organization, contact Sarah Sladek.

A Diversified  Approach

At Sarah Sladek & Co, our mission is to help associations develop and implement a diversified value proposition to future-proof, grow, and engage more people. Simply put, working with us requires a willingness to engage new ideas and new people.

With us, growth is possible

We know why declines in engagement occur. More importantly, we know how to reverse the decline.

Since 2002, Sarah Sladek & Company has researched declines in engagement, alongside changing demographics, and economic and consumer trends. 


  • To understand what influences shifts in market values and behaviors, disrupts organizations, and causes decline. 
  • To identify the best path forward — a strategy proven to persevere in times of change and lead to growth.

This market intelligence and strategic guidance have increased engagement for 200+ membership organizations worldwide.