MThe Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) recognized Roger Nacker as the 2019 Frederick C. Pearce Award winner at WEDA’s 2019 Fall Conference held Oct. 2-4 in Stevens Point, WI. The prominent award, given every other year, was established in 1985 to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of economic development.

Roger Nacker (middle) receives the Frederick C. Pearce Award, WEDA’s lifetime achievement award in economic development. Pictured with Nacker are WEDA members Rob Kleman (left) and James Otterstein (right).

“I’m honored to be recognized by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association for my work in the economic development field. I’m humbled to receive an award named after Frederick Pearce, a Wisconsin pioneer in the field who represented excellence in economic development,” said Nacker. “I have had the great fortune to have my professional career coincide with the morphing of economic development from a policy innovation to a daily public policy requirement.”

Roger has 40-plus years of diverse experience in the economic development industry. He worked at the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for nearly three decades, serving in various roles, including manager of the state’s economic development sales force, director of the State Permit Office and Director of Marketing. During his tenure, he developed and presented numerous customized business recruitment proposals, established the 1‑800‑HELP BUSiness hotline, and authored and published the Entrepreneurial Series of publications including Going Into Business: An Entrepreneur’s Guide and Financing. He also established the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute (WEDI) to provide training for professional economic developers and to conduct economic development research. Roger is a past WEDA President and served on the association’s board for 12 years.

“WEDA is thrilled to recognize Roger for his tremendous leadership in the field of economic development and his commitment to promoting opportunities for growth and prosperity for Wisconsin communities, citizens and businesses,” said WEDA Executive Director Brian Doudna. “His work throughout his professional career has not only had a significant impact on the growth and direction of WEDA, but the state as a whole.”