Message from the WEDA Board Chair: Donna Walker

As WEDA Board Chair, I have the fortunate pleasure of traveling around The Great State of Wisconsin meeting many business leaders, entrepreneurs, and professionals who work tirelessly to make their communities better. I love to hear their stories and listening to their struggles, their failures, their bounce backs, their successes, and their victories. They all fill me with an overwhelming glow of admiration, respect, and thankfulness. WOW! These are the professionals that make up the Wisconsin Economic Development Association! Every one of you are special to me, and to WEDA.

Like me, going back to 1975 (the year WEDA was founded), the Chair of this organization has listened to our members stories, as it is these stories that drive our organization to excel and meet our member’s needs. Through advocacy, networking, and education, we provide our members with the additional resources, support, and tools to strengthen their skills so they can continue to do what they do best –promote economic growth in their communities!

2022 CEDA Awards

Establishing a platform that our members can utilize to talk about their successes – one that strengthens and helps grow their businesses, their organizations, and/or their programs – is what our Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) program is all about. The very idea of the awards came from our members that needed an additional way to help tell their story. The CEDA awards recognize outstanding economic development achievements by our members, organization volunteers, communities, companies, and legislators. They help further the story of economic development and were given out at our Fall Best Practices Conference last month.

Public recognition through the CEDA awards exposes all nominees to new clients, can differentiate your organization from competitors, and hopefully helps one view themselves in from a different more positive light as they go through the process of telling their story. A CEDA nomination is a form of recognition, so simply going through the recognition process does provide an awesome experience and exposure. Congratulations to all the 2022 nominees and award winners.

Being perfectly honest-I feel that I haven’t even scratched the surface on hearing from our members and learning what cool and exciting things our members have been up to. The CEDA awards reminded me that there are so many more stories still to be told. Recently, the WEDA Board of Directors gathered to review and adjust the organization’s Strategic Work Plan. I have since encouraged WEDA Board member to reach out to the membership just to listen. I too will be reaching out to as many members as possible to gain feedback and hear your stories!  I believe this is a great way we can continue to position the organization where you would like it to be in the future, whether that’s one, three, or five years from today. I look forward to the conversation.