Ger Thao Receives WEDA Young Professional Award for Exceptional Work in Economic Development

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) recognized Ger Thao as the 2020 Young Professional Award winner at the 2020 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development held Feb. 5-7 in Madison, WI. The prominent award, given every other year, was established in 1985 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions in the field of economic development at the front end of their career.

“I came to WEDA’s Governor’s Conference with the purpose of continuing my educational growth in economic development and was surprised when I was honored with the 2020 Young Professional Award, said Thao. “This award is a reminder that I am on the right track and there is value in the work I do. I am excited to continue pursuing my passion in economic development and to help build generational wealth for all underserved communities.”

Ger currently serves as Operations Manager at the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce (HWCC), a CDFI that provides economic development assistance to Hmong and Southeast Asian businesses in Wisconsin. In his role, Ger oversees the Chamber’s loan program, provides technical assistance to businesses & entrepreneurs, and coordinates programming for the organization. Prior to his work at the Hmong Chamber, Ger was a critical team member at Wisconsin Procurement Institute as well as the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin.

“WEDA is thrilled to recognize Ger for his tremendous leadership and creativity in the field of economic development. His commitment to the professional and desire to drive growth and prosperity in his community is exceptional,” said WEDA Executive Director Brian Doudna. “Although he is still at the front end of his career, Ger’s dedication and notable work has had a significant impact on the economic growth of the Hmong Community and Wisconsin as a whole.”