President’s Message: Matt Mikolajewski

WEDA is off to a great start in 2019!  Our Opportunity Zone Academy session and the Governor’s Conference in February provided useful information and networking for our members, attracted some new faces to WEDA, and exceeded budgeted revenues. Our conference planning committee and WEDA staff should be commended for all their work on these events. A huge thank you is also due Kathy Davies, our conference coordinator.

WEDA President Matt Mikolajewski

Thank you as well to everyone who participated in our 2019 Legislative Day.  It is clear that work on the next Biennium State Budget is likely to last well into the latter part of the year, with different iterations of policy changes impacting economic development to be brought forth and deliberated.  WEDA is well-poised to contribute to the dynamic legislative debate that we are about to have.  As a WEDA member, consider the organization to be a conduit for your voice.  Legislators are very receptive to hearing specific stories about how an existing or proposed piece of legislation will impact their communities.  Your ideas, concerns, and questions over the next several months will be extremely useful; please reach-out to us.

Do you currently have projects in your community in need of funding? Perhaps the CRA Network can help. The goal of the CRA Network is to match projects in need of investment with private lenders interested in helping to grow Wisconsin communities.  Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) requirements place emphasis on activities that will support low and moderate income populations. Key to the success of the CRA Network is a pipeline of projects that WEDA can present to the lending community. As such, let us know if you are aware of any projects near you that could benefit from potential CRA support.

As this is my first WEDA Wire article, I want to take a moment to thank Heather Wessling for her great work in the role of President this past year. I also want to thank you for the honor of serving in this capacity and all the great support that WEDA has provided me.  I first joined WEDA in 2004 at the encouragement of an existing WEDA member. Do you know someone who might benefit from WEDA membership?  If so, suggest to them that they join today. “