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WEDAWire December 2015
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December 9, 2015

Member Newsletter

In This Issue

1. From the President
2. Executive Director

3. New Lobby Rep
4. Legislative Update
5. Membership Meeting Results
6.WEDC Corner
7. WEDI News

8. WEDA Opens New Office
9. WEDA Receives Award 

10. 2016 Gov Conference
11. Speaker Profile
12.Corp Sponsor Spotlight
10. Upcoming Events
11. New Members
12. Job Openings

Upcoming Events

Feb 1 - 5, 2016 
NDC: ED101-Economic Development Finance
Minneapolis, MN

Feb 3, 2016
WEDA Legislative Day

Madison, WI

Feb 3-5, 2016
2016 Governor's Conference on Economic Development 
Madison, WI

Feb 24, 2016
Business Day in Madison
Madison, WI

Feb 24-25, 2016
Manufacturing Matters! 2016 Conference: Taking the Lead
Milwaukee, WI

March 10-11, 2016
IEDC: Technology-Led Economic Development
Milwaukee, WI       

Welcome New Members

Rhonda Suda
Southwest WI Workforce Development Board

Job Opportunities

Executive Director, Crawford County EDC, Prairie du Chien

WEDC, Madison Openings:


From the President
Christian Tscheschlok

What Matters

What matters? Or, what matters. Whether this is a question or a statement makes a difference…as does, I suppose, how we respond. WEDA has made its choice, and we’ll all have to attend our 2016 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development to find out how that plays out.

The phrase “what matters” first became etched in my thinking as a guide for making important choices by an inspirational leader I experienced while volunteering for the United Way. It was early in my career at the time. The executive director of the local United Way was using this mantra from the national organization to drive exceptional volunteer engagement and campaign success despite acute local economic crisis.  

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Executive Director Report
Brian Doudna

Ch Ch Ch Changes

Change. It is a single word. But when used as a verb it is defined as “make or become different.” This action verb has the ability to strike fear into many of us. Change can definitely cause stress; that reminds me of the song “Changes” by David Bowie. If you know the song, you know the “ch” sound is repeated three times before getting the full word out. Ch Ch Ch Changes…

The changes in the field of Wisconsin economic development have been very fast paced over the last five years. WEDA has also seen rapid changes, and that will continue into the first quarter of 2016.

This past year has been one where changes have been experienced at pretty much every WEDA board meeting. That is not something I am proud of, but it is the reality of the fast-forming partnerships that are creating a solid foundation for future initiatives. Some changes were definitely not expected or sought, but rather are part of the passage of time and changing business models. We must be open to change by accepting without fully comprehending the potential ramifications to our daily work and personal lives. I know that is often easier said than done.

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New Lobbying Representative: James Buchen

In November WEDA announced a transition of the organization’s lobbying representation from Hamilton Consulting to James A. Buchen Public Affairs, a preeminent advocate for the business community.

While serving as Senior Vice President of Government Relations at Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, Buchen led the organization’s legislative, legal, political and communications programs. He has served both Democratic and Republican governors on numerous boards and commissions. His current public affairs practice enjoys a strategic relationship with the Hamilton Consulting Group.

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Legislative Update
James A. Buchen Public Affairs

Legislative Session: The legislature wrapped up its last floor period of the year in November having acted on a number of significant measures including John Doe, Campaign Finance and GAB reform bills. They have scheduled a series of spring floor periods beginning January 12 which could run through April 7, however, the leadership has indicated a desire to finish the session by the end of February. Key WEDA issues likely to be considered this spring include restructuring WEDC and TIF reforms.

Transportation Bonding Approved: The state budget approved last June included an $800 million reduction in bonding for transportation over the Governors original proposal. The Legislature’s decision to cut the level of bonding was driven in large part by concerns over the increasing level of long-term debt service associated with bonding and the lack of a sustainable revenue stream for transportation. The legislature did, however, provided a mechanism for a bonding increase, if deemed necessary, which could be triggered by action of the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee.

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Results from Special Meeting of Membership 

On November 18, fifty-three members of the association approved the proposed bylaw changes.

After questions from the floor were answered, a motion was made and seconded to approve the modifications. It was approved by unanimous vote of the membership.

Also discussed was a suggestion that WEDA should annually seek interest from members to serve on the WEDA board. The suggestion was implemented on November 20. As a result, the nomination committee had 12 individuals show interest in serving on the WEDA board. This will be implemented each year before the Nomination Committee begins its work. A list of potential candidates has been developed and will transfer from one Nomination Committee to the next.

For your use, here is a link to the current WEDA bylaws.

WEDC Corner

In this issue:

  • Marquette University Launches Enterprise Seed Fund
  • Wisconsin Companies Invited to Explore International Business Growth in Canada, Mexico Trade Ventures
  • New Report, Video Showcase Significance of Bioscience Sector In Wisconsin®
  • New Website Supports FDI Strategy In Wisconsin®
  • ConnectED Puts Businesses in Touch with Statewide Economic Development Resources

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WI Economic Development Institute News
Roger Nacker, President

In this issue:

  • One Stop Business Portal
  • Statement No. 77, Tax Abatement Disclosures, Takes Effect on December 15
  • A “Real-World” Look at Business Taxes in the States
  • Updated Workers Compensation Fact Sheets
  • State of State Business Incentives 2015
  • A State Report Card
  • The Economic and Fiscal Impact of Wisconsin’s Brownfields Investments

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WEDA Opens New Office with Workforce Development Association

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association and Wisconsin Workforce Development Association are proud to announce an agreement to open a joint office at 2801 International Lane in Madison. The 1,056-square-foot office provides adequate space for each association, while providing flexibility to grow or potentially add a third partner to the office.

The one-year (gross) lease contains two renewal options with WEDA providing a 60-day notice to exercise the lease options. This provides each association certainty of lease expense for the next three years, while also providing both associations flexibility. After months of discussions, the associations seek to enhance their operations by sharing common back office operational expenses. Office sharing and administrative service agreements are being developed to formalize the working relationship between the associations.

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WEDA Honored with WBD 2015 Friends of Small Business Award

Each year Wisconsin Business Development (WBD) highlights an organization for its contributions to small business success at the Annual Friends of Small Business Luncheon. This year WBD recognized the WEDA as the 2015 WBD Friends of Small Business Award Winner.  

Dan Schneider, WBD President and CEO, thanked WEDA for all it does to help small businesses explaining, "It is easy for those on the financial side to overlook all of the activity performed by economic development professionals behind the scenes.  The efforts are substantial, the results are compelling and WEDA members are often at the center of the activity.  This award is a much deserved thank you for all they do."

Read WBD Press Release


Aligning Our Direction: Finding Common Ground

Governor's Conference on Economic Development

February 3-5, 2016
Monona Terrace & Convention Center • Madison, WI

Tax Policy, Transportation Budget, Immigration, Business Incentives and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation are all essential ingredients to growing the Wisconsin economy, but finding common ground on these topics is not easy.

The Governor's Conference on Economic Development will bring national experts to Madison to explore these topics. Add former state senators to the mix and the table is set for invigorating discussion. 

Join us as we seek to find common ground moving Wisconsin Forward!

Register Today

Governor's Conference Speaker Profile: Kenneth Poole 

Managing Incentives for Performance

During the past two years, some 30 states came together through in-depth technical assistance and peer workshops to identify and share best practices in incentive management. States and communities need to consider incentives management approaches that emphasize (1) transparency and accountability, (2) data collection and quality, and (3) reporting and evaluation. What can Wisconsin learn from other states to ensure that economic developers remain trusted public stewards in a hyper-competitive business development environment?

Don’t miss Dr. Poole’s presentation at the upcoming Governor’s Conference on Economic Development.

View Kenneth Poole Profile

Corporate Sponsor Spotlight: Twin Disc

Our products are essential to the function and productivity of critical machines working in rugged conditions all over the world. A fishing trawler in the middle of the Bering Sea.

An aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicle poised for emergency service at virtually any airport. An armored military truck enduring the heat and sand of the desert. A rock crusher or wood chipper making molehills out of mountains.

A gas- and oil-field servicing rig keeping our energy up. Or simply a lone irrigation pump running around the clock in the middle of nowhere to make arid land fertile.

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