State of the Association: WEDA President and CEO Mary Perry

Hello WEDA family! I hope you’re having a lovely summer! We have been enjoying every minute of it, but behind the scenes, there has been plenty of activity as we develop valuable content for the upcoming Best Practices Conference that will be held in La Crosse. Our hosts, the City of La Crosse, along with La Crosse County and La Crosse Area Development Corporation (LADCO) have been super generous with time, effort, and financial support. I think I can speak for them to say how thrilled they are to be hosting WEDA members and partners in their beautiful community September 28-30 – which incidentally overlaps with their world-famous Octoberfest. Registration and lodging information can be found here.

We’re also excited to report that WEDA continues to grow! We have been talking to organizations whose raison d’etre intersects with ours: promoting economic prosperity in Wisconsin. As a result of these conversations, we are happy and thankful to announce many corporate investors like WBD, Xcel Energy, MG & E, Vierbicher, VJS Construction, and US Bank have elevated their membership levels; and new corporate members like AARP Wisconsin, Spectrum, First American Credit Corp (FACC), and Acquire Talent have come on board!

Thanks to our generous Corporate Sponsors, WEDA is out and about around the state:

  • In collaboration with corporate investors FACC, American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin (AICCW), and Institute of Business and Entrepreneurship, WEDA resumed our Tribal Economic Prosperity Planning program. In short, we are delivering exciting training designed to assist individual Native Nations in their business and enterprise structuring and expansion efforts.

  • This fall, WEDA heads to beautiful Trempeauleau County to deliver ED 101-Economic Development for Local Leaders. Would you like your public officials, board members and residents to better understand and support economic development efforts? Then this is a program designed for you! Our curriculum is accredited by the International Economic Development Council (IEDC) and is designed and customized specifically to provide information foundational to economic development policies and practices affecting your area. Call me (414.699.3917) if you want to discuss hosting an ED 101.

  • Wisconsin’s IEDC-accredited Basic Economic Development Course (BEDC) comes to Pewaukee September 12-15. Hosted by VJS Construction, The Wisconsin BEDC is a prerequisite to IEDC’s CEcD accreditation. Last year we had attendees from as far away at Montana, and this year we have an attendee coming all the way from the United Nations Development Programme in Ethiopia! Wisconsin BEDC is recognized as one of IEDC’s highest quality courses. Do you plan to pursue the IEDC Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) credential? Does your work require you to understand best practices in economic and community development? If so, register now… Just click here.

  • As I reported in the previous issue of the WEDA Wire, despite our best efforts to prevent it, we are planning to raise 2023 membership rates and event registrations by approximately 10%. Pending WEDA Board approval, here are the Proposed New Rates for 2023:
    • Individual Membership: $350
    • Small Organization Membership: $600
    • MVP Membership: $650
    • Associate Membership: $1500
    • Elected and Tribal Membership: $250
    • Retired Membership: $60
    • Student Membership: $30

Enjoy the rest of your Summer! I look forward to seeing you in La Crosse at the end of September for the WEDA Best Practices Conference…


WEDA is committed to an inclusive approach where equal opportunities exist for all our members and partners. We strive to support a diverse, equitable, and inclusive community that creates a sense of belonging and an environment that includes all backgrounds and perspectives.