President’s Message: Matt Mikolajewski

WEDA President Matt Mikolajewski

Late spring means graduation!  Commencement ceremonies and related parties seem to dominate the calendar this time of year.  Of course, graduation is really just the beginning of one’s education, not the end.  One of the great benefits that you have of being a WEDA member is the opportunity to continue your education through the variety of training programs that WEDA offers.  

As described further in the Academy Update section, WEDA hopes to offer additional course work related to mixed-use development, affordable housing, and redevelopment in the months ahead.  Please take the opportunity to further your post-graduation studies by attending one of these sessions.

Some WEDA members are Economic Development Finance Professionals (EDFP) through the National Development Council (NDC).  As a reminder, many of us will be required to demonstrate that we have completed the necessary continuing education requirements in 2020 to maintain our certifications.  WEDA has now been approved as a recertification trainer through NDC. 

We are still working on determining what previous and future WEDA activities will count toward re-certification and we will provide more information about this topic in the months ahead.  This illustrates another way in which WEDA can help you further your career.

The CRA Network recently reached an important milestone with the decision by WBD to continue the program after its first successful year.  I want to personally thank WBD for their continued support of this effort.  Seventeen banks are now CRA Network members and a handful of investments are already in the process of being completed. 

With your help, we look forward to even more success in the second year of the program ahead of us.  Many of the member banks are local and deeply rooted in their communities.  If you believe a bank in your area would benefit from CRA Network membership, please let Brian Doudna know.  Likewise, if you are pulling together the financing for a project in your community, please consider the CRA Network as a resource to help with your efforts.

As economic development practitioners, we understand the important role that our corporate neighbors play in the health of our communities.  Did you know that corporate members likewise allow WEDA to provide its great level of service to you and your fellow economic development colleagues?  Over a dozen businesses have made a commitment to WEDA by becoming a corporate member. 

You can see who they are by visiting our homepage at  WEDA would not be able to provide our level of programming and advocacy without the financial foundation provided by these organizations.  We are grateful for their support and welcome other businesses to join these companies by becoming new corporate members.  If you believe your employer might be interested, please contact Brian Doudna.

Have a great start to the summer!