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News & Press: WEDC Corner

January 2016 WEDC Corner

Friday, January 22, 2016   (0 Comments)
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2016 Governor’s Export Achievement Award Nominations Open

Program highlights global reach of Wisconsin products and services

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) invites Wisconsin companies and organizations that have achieved exporting success to apply for a 2016 Governor’s Export Achievement Award. 

The awards are open to companies of all sizes as well as to organizations that have contributed to the state’s ability to compete in the global economy. 

The preliminary nomination process is simple, requiring only the submission of a short narrative (250 words or fewer) of the company’s recent exporting accomplishments. The online nomination form can be found at Entries should focus on the company’s innovative international strategy and export growth. 

The deadline for preliminary nominations is 5:00 p.m., Jan. 29. 

A panel of international trade experts will review all submissions and identify a group of semifinalists who will move on to the next stage of the competition, where they will be asked to submit a more detailed application. 

“With the rise of purchasing power around the world, exporting is no longer a luxury for Wisconsin companies seeking to expand market share—it’s a necessity,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC’s vice president of international business development. “The Governor’s Export Achievement Awards promote exporting by celebrating the positive results Wisconsin companies have achieved in international markets.” 

Cynthia Brown, CEO of Chippewa Valley Bean, a 2015 Governor’s Export Achievement Award winner, also encouraged Wisconsin companies to apply. “Receiving a Governor’s Export Achievement Award has helped shine a light on Chippewa Valley Bean’s success in reaching customers around the world. Our company is the nation’s largest processor of dark kidney beans, and our global reach is a testament not only to the quality of our product, but also to the dedication of our highly skilled employees.” 

Award winners will be recognized at the annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference in Milwaukee in May. Winners will receive recognition at the event, a custom video about their company’s exporting efforts, a trophy and more. 

Any agricultural, forestry, industrial, high-tech or service enterprise successfully engaging in or assisting in exporting Wisconsin-origin products or services is eligible for nomination. Company employees or those with knowledge of a deserving company can submit an award nomination for consideration. 

For more details on the award or to complete a nomination form, visit or contact Patrick Roetker at


Wisconsin Companies Invited to Join Trade Venture to Germany
Business development trip coincides with the world’s premier industrial technology trade show, financial assistance available for small businesses to help with exhibit costs

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) invites companies to join the Wisconsin delegation at Hannover Messe, the world’s leading industrial technology event, taking place in Germany in April.

Participation options include taking part in WEDC’s global trade venture to explore export expansion opportunities and subsidized tradeshow exhibition space at the show for small businesses that meet certain criteria.

Wisconsin and Germany have a long history of trade and cultural ties, and Germany consistently places among Wisconsin’s top export destinations. It ranked sixth in 2014, with $731 million in goods and services produced by Wisconsin companies going to Germany.

Germany is the powerhouse of the European economy, with a GDP of $3.7 trillion and a growth rate of 1.5 percent in 2014. Like Wisconsin, Germany has a strong historic manufacturing base that has evolved to be on the leading edge of innovation and technological advancement.

The trade venture, scheduled for April 23-29, 2016, is planned in conjunction with Hannover Messe, which is expected to draw more than 200,000 attendees and features more than 6,600 exhibitors from 62 countries. With focus areas including industrial automation, the digital factory, industrial supply, energy and research technology, the show represents the complete industrial value chain, from components to the finished product and everything in between. Participants in this global trade venture will be scheduled for customized one-on-one meetings with potential buyers or distributors for their products.

“Hannover Messe offers a unique opportunity for advanced manufacturing companies and those that support advanced manufacturing to meet with potential distributors and buyers in international markets, all in one place,” said Katy Sinnott, WEDC vice president of international business development. “At this trade show, companies can check out the competition and learn about the latest developments in their fields, in addition to connecting with potential partners.”

“By being part of the Wisconsin delegation,” Sinnott continued, “they will benefit from the expertise of WEDC’s international business development staff to help them determine which sessions to attend and develop a strategy for walking the floor to help them get the most out of this massive trade show.”

The venture fee of $3,100 covers market research and scheduling of customized one-on-one appointments, as well as interpreter fees, hotel accommodations and most transportation. This fee applies to the first registrant from a Wisconsin company that exports a product or service; additional registrants from the same company can attend for a fee of $3,300 per person. State agencies, associations and service providers that are not direct exporters are welcome to attend, but they will be required to pay the full, unsubsidized venture cost of $10,700.

The U.S. is the official partner country for Hannover Messe 2016, and WEDC will have an exhibit booth on the show floor to educate attendees about the strength of advanced manufacturing in Wisconsin.

Trade venture registration information can be found at Interested parties can also contact Stanley Pfrang, WEDC senior market development director, at 608-210-6777 or

Certified Sites Program Accepting New Applications
Development-ready property designation helps attract new commercial projects

The Certified In Wisconsin® Program, offered in partnership by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) and Deloitte Consulting, will accept new applications from property owners starting next week.

The program is open to industrial properties 20 acres or larger in Wisconsin. A Certified Site designation indicates that a wide range of concerns have been considered—environmental and geological factors, transportation access, utility and infrastructure capacity, zoning, property rights—and that the site is ready for industrial development.

Certified In Wisconsin sites also benefit from WEDC’s comprehensive marketing strategy, including a dedicated webpage and print piece offering details about each individual site, and inclusion in a database that allows site selectors to quickly and easily search for sites that meet their criteria.

“Certified Site designation is a fast track for your property to get the attention of site selectors and real estate developers,” said Wade Goodsell, who manages the Certified In Wisconsin Program for WEDC. “WEDC subsidizes part of the cost for the sites that are chosen to move forward. We recognize that this process can be costly for property owners and developers, and we know that having a broad selection of Certified Sites supports the health of the Wisconsin economy.”

Wisconsin currently has 15 Certified Sites. Since the program’s launch in 2012, seven development projects have taken place on six Certified In Wisconsin sites, with a total capital investment estimated at $230 million. “These investments probably would not have occurred, or may have happened in other states, were it not for the Certified In Wisconsin Program,” said Goodsell. “This program paves the way for faster development and mitigates risk in the development process, both for the site owner and for the company making the investment.”

Applications are due by Feb. 19, 2016. Find more information and application details at

Milwaukee to Host National Main Street Center Conference
Event will showcase Wisconsin community development successes to more than 1,500 attendees 

Milwaukee will play host to the 2016 Main Street Now conference organized in partnership by the National Main Street Center and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC). 

Taking place May 23-25, the annual event is the largest nationwide gathering of preservation-based economic and community development professionals. Main Street Now 2016 is expected to draw more than 1,500 participants to Milwaukee, including Main Street directors, volunteers, architects, planners and consultants. The conference will focus on challenges facing 21st century downtowns and commercial districts, while also tapping audience perspectives on community development opportunities. 

“Being selected as a co-host of this prestigious Main Street event speaks to Wisconsin’s national leadership in developing and implementing strategies that create and sustain vibrant downtowns and commercial districts,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan. 

While Milwaukee will serve as the primary location for the conference, with its strong community assets featured throughout the program, other area communities will also share the spotlight. WEDC has worked with the National Main Street Center to organize tours for attendees to Fond du Lac, Sheboygan, Ozaukee, Rock, Racine and Dane Counties, as well as several neighborhoods in Milwaukee itself. 

“Wisconsin is widely recognized for its innovative approaches to encouraging social connections between community residents through well planned, maintained and programmed spaces,” said Darrin Wasniewski, downtown development program manager with WEDC. 

WEDC provides operational support and training to Wisconsin communities to revitalize their business districts based on historic preservation principles developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Currently, 36 Wisconsin communities participate in WEDC’s Main Street Program. Since 1988, these communities have seen more than 2,300 businesses open their doors and 12,000 jobs created, with more than $1 billion in private investment. In 2014-2015, 115 new businesses opened in Wisconsin’s Main Street Communities, creating more than 586 jobs and generating $91 million in private investment. 

Early-bird registration for the Main Street Now conference runs through February 29, with a final registration deadline of May 19. For more information, visit

Wisconsin to Host 2016 Smart Manufacturing Summit

Collaboration with Chief Executive magazine will showcase state’s advanced manufacturing leadership 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has partnered with Chief Executive magazine to bring more than 100 mid-market c-level manufacturing executives for an exclusive event designed to enhance their performance while demonstrating Wisconsin’s manufacturing expertise. 

Chief Executive’s 2016 Smart Manufacturing Summit will take place at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee April 6-7 and will include prominent guest speakers, engaging breakout sessions, CEO panel discussions and local facility tours. 

Featured speakers in the event’s program include the CEOs of Harley Davidson, Snap-On, and Briggs & Stratton Corporation and Joy Global, all global manufacturing leaders based in Wisconsin. Summit attendees will also tour Harley Davison’s Pilgrim Road plant as well as GE Healthcare’s Electric Avenue manufacturing facility. In addition, the event’s agenda includes a guided beer tasting and dinner and MillerCoors’ Miller Inn and Historic Miller Caves. 

Wisconsin companies can receive a $300 discount on conference costs by using promotional code WI300 in the “source code” field at checkout in Chief Executive’s online event registration. 

Chief Executive was drawn to Wisconsin as a venue for its fourth annual summit due to the state’s strong concentration of both makers and users of smart manufacturing technology as well as the proven history of early adoption among Wisconsin’s major manufacturers. 

“As a sponsor of Chief Executive’s 2016 Smart Manufacturing Summit, WEDC’s goal is to promote not only the great companies that operate in Wisconsin, but also the collaboration taking place within the state to revolutionize the manufacturing industry to meet current and future production needs,” said WEDC Secretary and CEO Mark Hogan. 

For more information about the 2016 Chief Executive Smart Manufacturing Summit and to register for the event, visit


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