Executive Director’s Corner: Brian Doudna, EDFP

WEDA and WEDI – Transforming Our Services

WEDA Executive Director Brian Doudna

In the past several weeks, I have been fortunate to have meetings with several of our long-term members. Each of them mentioned the transformation of the new look WEDA as part of our conversation.  Back in 2017, our logo was modified to signify the new direction and the web site launch. 

A new look web site doesn’t necessarily bring changes in services, but the WEDA Board was simultaneously advancing its vision on the Economic Development Academy, CRA Network, and committing to full-time staff for advocacy.   For all past board members and committee members, I want to simply thank you for your efforts in building the current model. I am also very fortunate that WEDA has been able to make strategic hires who believe in and are implementing this model.  Kathy Davies, Kathy Heady, Michael Welsh and Mike Harrigan are all valuable parts of the WEDA model and team!  

Over the next 18 months, WEDA will continue to build upon the service model by aligning some of our new services with efforts that incorporate our foundation, the Wisconsin Economic Development Institute (WEDI).  As a foundation, WEDI structure will help to position our efforts for a broader audience. The foundation’s business model effort is being led by Mike Mathews, Rob Kleman and the WEDI Board of Directors.  I want to thank Mike, Rob and the WEDI Board of Directors for their efforts in restructuring the services of the foundation.  I ask that you please sign up for either of the October 2nd afternoon events (golf and agri-business tour), these are fundraisers for WEDI.

2020 Governor’s Conference Planning – Social Impact Investing

The 2020 Governor’s Conference on Economic Development will have a focus on Social Impact Investing. This is an important trend that is providing social, economic and financial returns that are benefitting new projects and initiatives.  Aligning financial and social resources has been part of economic and community development, but social impact investing changes the project capital stack in some very positive ways.  So WEDA is seeking Governor’s Conference committee members that can help in designing a conference that will inform us on the broad topic of social impact investing.  Hopefully, the Governor’s Conference can be a place where there is convergence of thought leaders from different sectors around social impact investing.  Please email me if you are interested in the conference committee.

CRA Network – Networking Luncheons  

The CRA Network lunches have been scheduled for the fall of 2019.  Please sign up today for these events.  They are free to the membership.  Register online by visiting www.cranetwork.org