Hello Team Wisconsin! Here is hoping your 4th of July was truly spectacular! All over the nation, families lined the streets of their hometowns and gathered in parks to celebrate America’s birthday. It was a long-overdue celebration of our country’s independence!

So much has happened in the last quarter. Last month we worked closely with national and international partners to continue enhancing offerings to our members. This month we held WEDA’s CRA (Community Reinvestment Act) Summer Session virtually. From it we have two new projects that we are putting in front of member banks. We will convene in person October 21st, with the location to be announced soon! All year long we match complex community projects with CRA-Network banks. Let us know if your community has a challenging project looking for funding.

I’m also pleased to report our board of directors recently met to plan our upcoming year. Strategically WEDA wants to continue to offer high-value networking, education, and advocacy.

Here is a look ahead:

  • WEDA is putting the finishing touches on the Best Practices Conference, which will be held in Appleton, WI September 28th – October 1st. Thanks to our generous sponsors, it is going to be the GOAT! Pre-conference activities start with a WEDA Academy on workforce challenges and resources followed by tours on-site at three historic buildings that were redeveloped into multi-unit housing. We hope you’ll embrace this opportunity to meet the developers and hear how these projects utilized creative funding streams to make the projects affordable and financially feasible. The opening night reception promises to be a big hit too! The following day, the conference begins with a super exciting kick off by WEDC Secretary and CEO Missy Hughes followed by Greater Green Bay Chamber’s Matthew Kee who will showcase 3 successful local entrepreneurs. We have nationally respected speakers – including Minah Hall, Dr. Mark Eppli, Kristen Fish, and Barry Nickerson—covering every foundational economic development topic you can imagine such as: Strategies like leveraging workforce to enhance economic development; firing up your BR & E efforts; winning business attraction tools; rock-star regional talent attraction and retention tactics; diversity and equity; getting and using your ARPA dollars; and even a Party in the Park Reception! WEDA has it all here for you. Look for registration to open soon! And if your organization is looking to enhance its exposure, we have sponsorships available starting at only $500. If you’re interested in being a sponsor just let us know at weda@weda.org
  • It’s time to register for WEDA’s Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC). This IEDC-accredited class provides economic and community development practitioners a primary foundation to economic development. BEDC serves as an equivalent to IEDC’s Introduction to Economic Development course in preparation for IEDC’s Certification (CEcD) exam. WEDA’s Basic Economic Development Course runs September 13th- 16th at the Pyle Center in Madison and you can register here.
  • And now for the most exciting WEDA news. Our Annual Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA) ceremony will be emceed by former Wisconsin Governor and current President of the University of Wisconsin System Tommy G. Thompson. The event will take place on September 15th at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison. Nominations came in from all over the state, so register today and you can be part of this celebration of economic development too! Imagine taking a #WisconsinIsWinning tour bus looping from Eagle River to Wausau, Eau Claire, Onalaska, LaCrosse, Green Bay, Oshkosh, Wisconsin Dells, Lodi, Madison, Beloit, West Allis, Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, and finally ending in Racine. You can take this “tour” with us at the CEDA awards where 6 winners will be crowned Best in Business Retention & Expansion, Economic Development Initiative, Public Private Partnership, Real Estate Redevelopment & Reuse and Talent Development! Registration opens soon.

Finally, if you are not a WEDA member yet, why not? WEDA’s sole mission is to make Wisconsin a better place to live and work through economic advancement by providing education, networking, and advocacy to our membership. What benefits can you expect? Members grow their networks, learn best practices and earn continuing education credits at discounted rates via our conferences and WEDA Academy programming. And as the “Voice of Economic Development” WEDA is dedicated to backing programs and policies that create a strong business climate. Visit the WEDA website to find out more about individual and corporate memberships.

All the best to you and your families as we close out summer and usher in Wisconsin’s beautiful autumn.