Empowering Wisconsin’s Economic Future: Uniting at the 2023 Wisconsin Economic Summit

By Missy Hughes, CEO of Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes

This year’s Wisconsin Economic Summit will highlight the power of unity, innovation, and shared vision as we meet again at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center in Appleton on Oct. 23-24.

Our theme, “TOGETHER,” will encourage us to dive into discussions about how businesses, nonprofits, educators, and economic developers can forge partnerships—and connect with public resources—that will drive our state’s economy forward. Guided by this shared purpose, we aim to create an economy that empowers every Wisconsinite to thrive.

At the heart of this gathering is a focus on key topics that are pivotal to Wisconsin’s future prosperity, including:

  • Collaborating to foster economic growth.
  • Meeting today’s workforce needs while preparing our workforce for the future.
  • Building financial stability for all Wisconsinites.
  • Strengthening communities and infrastructure.
  • Nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Achieving growth through innovative sustainability and energy solutions.

The summit will feature a lineup of distinguished speakers who have led with vision and innovation in their respective fields. Jeff Yabuki, Chairman and Founding Partner of Motive Partners, and former CEO of Fiserv, Inc., will be our keynote speaker. Jeff’s journey is a testament to the transformative power of collaboration and innovation, values that align with WEDC’s mission of building an economy for all. This is a unique opportunity to gain insights from a visionary who has driven change on a global scale.

Also joining us will be Amy Pechacek, Secretary-designee of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, and Chris Baichoo, Executive Director/CEO of WMEP Manufacturing Solutions. These leaders will share their perspectives on navigating the evolving economic landscape, offering valuable insights into workforce development, innovation, and community building.

One of the summit’s highlights is the Great Career Tryout — an interactive showcase that invites you to experience the future of workforce training firsthand. Showcasing cutting-edge tools and techniques, this initiative reinforces our commitment to preparing Wisconsin’s workforce for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow. From robotics to nursing, this hands-on opportunity, presented by Workforce Innovation Grant recipients, underscores our dedication to equipping our workforce with the skills they need to excel in a rapidly changing job market.

The summit is more than a meeting of minds; it’s an invitation to be a part of something larger than ourselves—a movement to shape Wisconsin’s economic landscape and build a brighter future for our state. With over 300 business leaders, industry experts, and educators expected to attend, the event is a melting pot of diverse perspectives, creating an environment ripe for innovative ideas and collaborative partnerships.

To participate in this transformative event, I invite you to register on our website and mark your calendar for Oct. 23-24. Your presence at the summit will not only provide you with a unique opportunity for learning and networking but will also contribute to the momentum that is propelling Wisconsin toward a more prosperous future.

In the spirit of unity and shared purpose, I look forward to welcoming you to the 2023 Wisconsin Economic Summit. Let’s take the journey together as we unlock innovation, drive sustainability, and work toward an economy that benefits every corner of our state.

Missy Hughes is the Secretary and CEO of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state’s leading economic development organization.