Collective Impact Summer 2019

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SUMMER 2019 | ISSUE 26
















Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

A CEO’s call to action


his article is an adaptation of the presentation Christopher B. Lofgren, PhD, retired president and CEO of Schneider and co-chair of the 2018 Brown County United Way workplace campaign, gave at the Brown County United Way annual breakfast in February 2019. As I look back on the past several months as co-chair of the Brown County United Way’s annual workplace campaign, there are several things that strike me as being important to reiterate. First, the need that the Brown County United Way is fighting for is real, and it’s pervasive. In Brown County, one in three households lives below a basic cost of living threshold. Ten percent live below the

traditional poverty level and 24 percent are what the United Way has defined as ALICE – an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These are households with adults who are working, but who still don’t make enough to afford the actual costs of basic necessities like housing, childcare, food, transportation, health care and a cell phone. Because of this, they are often one unplanned expense away from having to make a decision on whether to buy food or pay their rent. This hit home for me when I began contemplating who these people are. The reality is that some are people who work at Schneider. They are people who work at all of our companies. They’re college students and recent graduates, young families and young military veterans. They’re people with disabilities, family caregivers and many seniors. They are many of the people who we interact with on a daily basis. Despite this huge need, the barriers that exist to fixing the problem are equally great. While the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 benefitted many people in our community, it did have a negative impact on some people’s decisions to give financial donations. With the increased standard deduction, the tax benefit for making charitable donations was eliminated for millions of Americans. We are also seeing a decrease in many of the federal, state and local government grants that fund the nonprofit programs designed to aid people who are struggling. The result is that there’s now more competition amongst nonprofits for a smaller pool of money. There are a growing number of charitable asks being made of a static, at best – and perhaps more realistic, decreasing – source of giving. Plus, many of these requests

Christopher B. Lofgren, PhD

come from national charities, which support worthwhile causes, but don’t have a local connection and don’t provide immediate relief to those who are our friends and co-workers. Donor fatigue is more real than ever. The solution, I believe, is our corporations and their top executives. We must be the leaders in our local United Way campaign. As leaders, we set the tone. Schneider has long had a philosophy that our top executives must lead by example. And it’s worked. I am proud of the success we have each year as one of the top contributing organizations to Brown County United Way, and ultimately to the betterment of our community. It is part of our culture, and like any other company culture, it starts at the top. My concern is what will happen if we don’t rise to this challenge – if we don’t take this stand as community leaders. If we don’t, we must be willing to accept the consequences of our actions. We must be willing to see the role of the Brown County United Way either stagnate or diminish, and – as a result – those one in three households will continue to struggle. Because of that, our businesses will struggle, too. The concept is simple: now, more than ever, community leaders need to step up to support the priorities of the community. That’s what the United Way fights for, and it’s what we need all companies to fight together for – to help our community win.

Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT



Chamber membership –

A vibrant kaleidoscope of benefits Most of us tinkered with a kaleidoscope as children and quickly realized that depending on how you used it, what you’d see/your viewpoint could change. The same could be said about Chamber benefits. The

Chamber program, service, offering, initiative or department you tap or support can easily set your viewpoint of the Chamber. This article’s purpose is to broaden the lenses through which you see the Chamber and what we do to benefit you and your business. We are business promoters, recognizers, savers, connectors/ convenors, workforce development enhancers,

economic developers, advocators, relationship builders, lobbyists and so much more. Here’s a sampling of the ways the Chamber supports business, both on individual and community-wide levels, both very visibly and sometimes, behind the scenes.

Startup support

Al Zeise, president, ZyQuest, and member of the innovation and entrepreneurship task force of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan “I’ve been working hard in the community to create a startup ecosystem here. Greater Green Bay has a lot of really old companies with a long history of innovation but to continue to be what we’ve been, we also need to start growing new companies as a way to keep the economy growing. The way to have a strong, vibrant economy here is to build a really strong startup ecosystem here. “Having started and owned several companies, my participation on the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan innovation task force

is worthwhile because it’s about creating the ecosystem so people with ideas can launch them here. We don’t want to be a Chicago but do we want to have a vibrant place for entrepreneurs. The plan provides resources we didn’t have when I started businesses – where to raise money, find mentors and connect with other likeminded people. I see this task force as a way to bring all those things together to build a place for startups to go so we can build the future of Greater Green Bay.”

Chamber Fact Book

Sharon Leitzke, physician recruiter, Bellin Health “We utilize the Chamber’s Fact Book publication as a tool in our physician recruitment process to give prospective employees a good overview of the Greater Green Bay area. It speaks volumes regarding our educational system, cost of living, activities, size of our community and more. We give a copy to every candidate who visits or interviews with us even if they have lived in the Greater Green Bay area or the state previously but due to training, residency or fellowship have been away from the area for several years. Greater


Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

Green Bay has changed immensely over the last 10 years, and this provides a very nice view of our community’s positive growth and development. The Fact Book adds validity to our interview process. It’s a nice visual reference while attending conferences or in-person interviews and visits, allowing us to give people something tangible. I appreciate how professional and attractive it showcases the community – how the publication is done portrays how we are as community, too.”


Member deals

Sheryl Biersteker, regional account manager, DigiCopy “The first time we took advantage of putting a free post on the Chamber’s member deals page on its website, we received several phone calls and projects from it. We were able to connect to people we hadn’t worked with before and get our name out there for members’ printing needs. People may not have an immediate printing need, but having a presence on the member deals page of the website gives us an opportunity to remind people we’re here and

creates brand awareness. We have since changed up the promotion and are tracking the business we know comes from the member deals.”

Connections to build business

Danielle Dombrowski, owner/CEO, Hawaiian Shaved Ice Co. “I didn’t know where to start when it came to obtaining a liquor license for my business. When I looked into it, I came up dry. I was at a Chamber event and someone suggested I talk to Jayme Sellen [vice president of government and community relations for the Chamber] about the ins and outs of the law. She sat down with me and went through what I was looking to do; at the time I was considering partnering with a local restaurant to sell alcohol in my shaved ice during Green Bay Packers games. She shared what she knew and looked further into it, talking to Green Bay City Hall

and other entities and confirmed how I could do so legally. As a result, I’ve been able to partner with certain establishments and events on something that is clearly a good way to go business-wise. Our margins are awesome and it’s something nobody else doing so it’s opened an entire new market for me.”

Connections to share mission

Sean Tiernan, development manager, Rawhide “Working in development, it’s all about knowing people and building relationships; there’s nothing about our field that is transactional. Finding out how organizations want to be part of the community is my role, as Rawhide can’t do what it does without the community taking a hold and partnering with us. The Wisconsin Herd is an emerging sports team in Wisconsin and because of our relationship with the Packers, we’ve had our eye on the Herd as a potential partner for some time. We wouldn’t have met and connected with them on a personal level, however, without an introduction at the Chamber’s Power Networking Breakfast. Those breakfasts are powerful because they allow people to get to know

each other and build long-term relationships. I’m also proud to have developed a relationship with Mark Dunning from LaJava; I can say we are now good friends…he’s been to our campus and now tells others what we’re doing and how they should visit to learn the Rawhide story. For me, it’s about planting seeds, and if you plan enough seeds, fruit will develop. I couldn’t ask for more from the networking opportunities with such a cool group of people who are mission-minded and grasp the bigger picture. And that picture is our community and lifting one another up…we need to be ‘All In’ to make that work.” Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT



Darin Schumacher, marketing manager, OSMS “I’ve been affiliated with Chamber member businesses over the years and that included involvement with the Greater Green Bay Teen Leadership and Leadership Green Bay programs. But I didn’t want to assume I knew everything available to Chamber members, so I attended one of the free Membership ROI events. Just by attending that session, we were able to take advantage of several promotional opportunities

I wasn’t even aware of such as our free Member to Member ad and advertising in the magazine, Collective Impact. A one-hour meeting opened us up to different aspects of membership that I didn’t realize existed or didn’t take the time to realize in the past.”

Current Young Professionals Network

Brandon Lyons, BSA/AML compliance analyst, Nicolet National Bank, and social engagement committee member, Current Young Professionals Network “When I joined Current Young Professionals Network, I was just hoping to meet some people with similar goals in life. It has been much more than that for me. Instead, I’ve made a lot of amazing friends, built out my professional network and experienced a ton of new locations and activities

in the Greater Green Bay area that I would not have gone to if not for Current. It’s even encouraged me to volunteer more and try to help others reap the same benefits from the program.”

Golden Apple Awards’ value

Deb Patterson,Valley View Elementary School Literacy Team, Golden Apple Award Team Recipient “We were really humbled by this award because we have an outstanding staff of educators at Valley View, and it is truly a team effort. It’s inspiring to see all the excellent work of educators across Northeast Wisconsin. Seeing people in your profession being elevated motivates you to want to be the best you can be! We are so grateful for the Chamber shining a light on the positive work that’s being done in education for students in the community so they are ready for additional educational experiences or prepared to enter the workforce. Being an educator is a community-oriented profession. Everyone contributes to, depends on and benefits from a quality educational system, especially business owners and their workforce. Teaching is complex work. We recognize that children learn differently 6

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

and that the use of technology actually changes their brain structure. Teachers are lifelong learners who are responsive to students’ needs and ensure children have the resources necessary to learn. Being part of the Golden Apple Awards was so uplifting. The whole process of connecting us as educators from this area is very powerful. A whole new professional learning network has been created through this experience. The Golden Apple Awards is multilayered by highlighting exemplary work and showcasing that what we do every day matters. It’s crucial to recruit the most passionate educators we can for the future; it’s so much bigger than one night.”

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The Company: Ahlstrom-Munksjö One of the world’s leading players in sustainable and innovative fiber solutions, Ahlstrom-Munksjö (formerly Expera Specialty Solutions) employs over 1,000 people in Northeast Wisconsin. Employees work at locations in Kaukauna and De Pere. The Problem Ahlstrom-Munksjö was looking to decrease its health care utilization dollars while combating the continuous increase of health care costs. They wanted a program that could impact both the benefits and the workers’ compensation side of the business. The Solution Beginning July 1, 2018, Ahlstrom-Munksjö partnered with OSMS and incentivized its employees to choose OSMS for orthopedic and rheumatology care. With the ability to have care in the OSMS on-site orthopedic surgery center, procedure room, or outpatient rheumatology infusion clinic, costs were often times up to 40% less than care in a hospital while keeping the same or increasing the quality level of care. The Result As of March 2019, Ahlstrom-Munksjö realized $147,407 in savings! The company plans to continue the current incentives, as well as expand the program to include more procedures, thus saving even more health care utilization dollars. The Program The OSMS Employer Partnership Program was created as a way for companies to take advantage of the savings many OSMS patients realize every day. The program helps organizations combat the rising cost of healthcare while still being able to provide benefits to employees.

“Controlling costs is a must to be profitable. So is providing quality healthcare for our employees. It’s not a one or the other. It’s both. That’s why our partnership with OSMS is perfect. It gives us peace of mind that our employees will receive the highest quality care while still protecting our bottom line.” Rick Counihan Head of Compensation & Benefits

Learn More At: Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT



Achieve Brown County’s existence and progress

Tim Weyenberg, board member, executive team member and former chair, Achieve Brown County “The Chamber was one of the founding sponsors of Achieve Brown County (with the Brown County United Way and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation). It’s virtually unheard of for those types of organizations to come together on something like this in the best interests of a community. But the cooperative and collaborative nature of the Chamber and its leadership is worth mention because Achieve Brown County would not have happened without it. They helped to bring the three entities together and said,

‘We are in this together.’ I believe the basic fundamental success of Achieve Brown County in its fundraising and development of a leadership council would not have happened without a strong business component – business leadership, business sponsorship and business visibility. The Chamber provided credibility in the business community that was tangible, and we couldn’t have gotten that from anywhere else. The result is that a table is being set around community agenda items, bringing together institutions to work on common ground. Just the ability to convene some of these unlikely partners may not have happened without the ability of the Chamber to gather and convene.”

ATHENA Award impact

Therese Pandl, RN, FACHE, division president and chief executive officer, HSHS “I was definitely humbled to receive the ATHENA Award last year and to be among the past recipients, many of whom I have gotten to know and respect. Personally, I’m not an award seeker. But I learned a long time ago that when you share your story, it encourages others to take a similar path or try something they hadn’t before. I know that after I received one award in the 1990s, a woman came up to me and said, ‘You’re

Theresa Pandl, aren’t you? Your story inspired me to go back to graduate school. I have small children and work but I thought that if you can do this, so can I.’ Awards have value by inspiring others as well as reinforcing the pride within an organization. There is a collective impact on leadership and for women in particular who need to be encouraged.”

Business development

Steve Roth, general manager, Profile by Sanford “I’ve benefited from Chamber and Current Young Professionals Network membership on so many levels. When I moved here from Sheboygan, Current introduced me to the city and people. It led me to become an ambassador with Current and to oversee the volunteering for Fridays on the Fox that financially benefits Current. But perhaps the most beneficial part was meeting a lot of people and making a lot of contacts on a personal level so that people knew me when I opened my business. We’re just more than a year into business, and those connections are an important part of my


Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

story. Selling a story and weight loss is a challenging business. I’ve been attending Power Networking Breakfasts and other events since we opened, and I’d say that 30% of my membership base – or more—has come from those efforts alone. It was the only way to build this business I’m a firm believer that people buy from people they know and trust.”


Innovation and entrepreneurship task force progress

Garritt Bader, principal, GB Real Estate Investments, LLC, and member of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan innovation and entrepreneurship task force “We’ve all seen the familiar routine: conduct a study and then watch it collect dust on a bookshelf. How refreshing, then, to be part of a group actively working on implementing what this particular study [The Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan] has recommended! We’re visiting other cities, meeting with their economic development and planning personnel and gleaning ideas that we can implement to make our community better. What’s working there that we should be doing? What are best practices that we need to adopt? Green Bay has the global name recognition to leverage opportunities that other cities our size can’t, and ones that can make us an even more amazing community. We want to be on the winning side when it comes to the race for talent. [The plan] is a comprehensive

way to holistically make Greater Green Bay better. I believe economic development ‘lifts all boats,’ and improving economically benefits everyone. For my specific industry, name the type of development (housing, retail, industrial space, etc.) and it usually only occurs when there is a market demand for it. If we’re growing economically, there’s more demand and therein drives growth not only for me but the broader real estate sector as a whole. I wouldn’t have moved back to this area nine years ago if I didn’t believe we could be a great community. I love seeing others who also moved away, and when they return, are in awe of what we’ve already accomplished—let alone what’s still possible! They’re in shock and say, ‘This isn’t the Green Bay I remember!’ We still have more to do and there’s more to come through the work of the plan. So if they’re wowed by this, just wait!”

Chamber ambassadorship Dan Terrien, account executive, Woodward Radio Group

“Being a Chamber ambassador for the past 15 years has provided me great insight into our business community, opportunities to meet business and community leaders and, of course, expand the impact of Woodward Radio, all while serving our developing community. Over the past few years, I’ve developed a deeper appreciation for the entrepreneurs behind the businesses. Those are the people who drive my career and inspire me to work hard, develop, adapt and grow. It is an honor and privilege to represent the business community in this way.” Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT


MEMBERSHIP SERVICES Professional connections

Michelle Pierquet-Hohner, development specialist, Unity Hospice “I learned on a Monday afternoon that, due to a communication error, I did not have a guest speaker for my Friday morning event. I reached out to a few professional connections with no luck for a last-minute replacement. I was in a little bit of a panic…with only a few days, I feared I may need to cancel our event. It was then that I thought to reach out to Sue Zittlow, vice president of workforce and leadership development at the Chamber to see if she had suggestions. She learned more about the professional group that would be in attendance and the focus I was looking for. She understood it was important that our guest speaker

provide insight and value to our attendees. Sue got back to me rather quickly with a handful of Chamber members she thought might be a good fit for my audience and offered introductions to those I was interested in. Due to Sue’s insight and Unity’s involvement in the Chamber, I had a guest speaker confirmed the following afternoon and a very successful Friday morning event for the Aging Network of Greater Green Bay! Sue’s variety of professional recommendations also have provided me with a few new topics ideas and speakers for events to come. I am so thankful for our connection with the Chamber and Sue’s ability to connect me so quickly!”

Startup Hub resources

David VanderBloomen, owner, Branding180, and Startup Hub client “When I decided to make this business more of a focus after a few years of it being a ‘side business,’ Ron Franklin, Startup Hub manager, was one of the people I contacted for strategies and ideas. He helped me in creating my business plan, pointing me in the right direction with software and advising me on everything that needed to be included. He also brought me to a 1 Million Cups event to speak about my business, and I received exposure to people who asked good questions related to my business. I knew I needed to expand

if I was going to take this business to the next level, and that included talking to him about how I should go about bringing on a sales staff and maybe a third person to perform event planning and public relations. I’ve now hired two staff people and am excited about where I can take the business next.”

Current Young Professionals Network sustaining partnership

Brenda Busch, associate director of graduate recruitment, St. Norbert College Donald J. Schneider School of Business and Current Young Professionals Network sustaining partner and Future 15 title sponsor “We were super excited to connect with Current Young Professionals Network as a sustaining partner for many reasons. Young professionals are exactly the type of individuals we’d like to have interested in our program. But it’s more than that; St. Norbert College as a whole knows it’s important to invest in, support and encourage the community we sit in the middle of. And by invest, we don’t simply give money but show up. So the YPs see that St. Norbert actively engages in our activities and keeps a finger on the pulse of it. It’s part of the DNA of the college. And in this case, it’s a matter of being involved and contributing to the community-wide effort of retention of talent. Our 10

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

MBA program is part of that, and it’s given us an opportunity to showcase what is new at SNC with a huge audience. People get to know, ‘Hey, there’s Brenda and she’s with the MBA program’ and in a few years, if they want to obtain their MBA, they are aware of what we have. The value for us supporting Current is in the marketing and in keeping really amazing YPs in the community.”

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MEMBERSHIP SERVICES Current Young Professionals Network sustaining partnership

Sara Oettinger, manager of talent acquisition, Imperial Supplies, a sustaining partner of Current Young Professionals Network “Imperial has been a strong supporter of Current Young Professionals Network because its mission is extremely important as we work to attract and retain the next generation of our workforce in the Green Bay area. We’ve been headquartered in Green Bay since 1958, and we wanted to do something significant to show our commitment to the community and get our name out there among this part of the workforce. We also recognize the need to provide individual development and selfexploration opportunities to young professionals in addition to the job-related tools, resources

and training we have internally. Current offers these types of personal development/individual exploration opportunities related to goal setting, networking, personality/ communication styles and many other topics. Current gives our team members another avenue to pursue their own development and gain exposure to professionals in a variety of industries with varied experience levels.”

Passion for community

Kasha Huntowski, executive director, Neville Public Museum Foundation, ambassador for the Chamber, past chair for Young Professional Advisory Council (YPAC) and past chair and current captain and curriculum committee member, Leadership Green Bay “Being involved with the Chamber has been a great experience for me and it all started in November 2012 when I got my green coat and became a Chamber Ambassador. Learning more about the community, being there to support and advocate for local business owners and being invited to help celebrate their success helped to reenergize my love for the Greater Green Bay area. From there I wanted to get more involved and applied to be a part of Leadership Green Bay. “Leadership Green Bay taught me what it really meant to be a leader – not only at work, but also

in the community. After graduating in May 2014, I stayed on to help with the curriculum committee and to be a team mentor, started a new job with more of a leadership role, became chair of the ambassadors and chair of YPAC, was one of the 2016 Future 15 award recipients and took on other volunteer duties in the community, including being on the executive committee for On Broadway, Inc. “Knowing what is going on in the community and volunteering to make it a better place to live, work and play for all ages will always be important to me, and that is a large part of what Leadership Green Bay and the Chamber are all about.”

Sincere listening and problem solving

Garry Moss, president and CEO, GKM Consulting Wisconsin division “The reason I rejoined the Greater Green Bay Chamber is because Renae Schlies, [vice president of membership and retention], listens. She understands that being a member of any chamber of commerce isn’t going to continue if the business owner can’t quantify value. By communicating ideas that I pass along to Red Shoes, Inc., Renae demonstrates value. A great example is Panelist Discussion for TEU Solutions, an event once held in Green Bay that was moved elsewhere. On Aug. 22, 2019, the WI Platform Panel discussion 12 Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

will return to Green Bay. GKM WI will be hosting the discussion on the University of WisconsinGreen Bay campus in the 1965 Room due in part because Renae has been proactive working with GKM WI and Red Shoes, Inc. to share information about the discussion.” “I look forward to additional work by the Chamber to understand what GKM and GKM WI is; why we exist and how academia underscores industrial realities that impact commerce in Northeast Wisconsin.”



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Leadership skill development

Ashley Tuszka, former workforce development specialist, Greater Green Bay Chamber, and graduate of Greater Green Bay Teen Leadership program “Greater Green Bay Teen Leadership taught me many valuable life skills during and after the program such as communication, teamwork, resilience and creativity. Working with other students from the Greater Green Bay area while in the program taught me how to communicate through differences,

collaborate toward a common goal and persevere through challenges. Working with the program as an alumna has taught me how to tailor my communication to each person’s unique leadership style and be creative within the set curriculum to help students maximize their learning within the program.”

Youth Apprenticeship program participation

Eli Ronsman, Ashwaubenon High School graduate and former Youth Apprenticeship student at Machine Plus LLC “The Youth Apprenticeship program allowed me to get experience and test the waters in a handson environment. This experience allowed me to focus on something I enjoyed during a time when I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

Without Youth Apprenticeship and Machine Plus LLC, I might have had no real direction in life now. This job experience really opened my mind to the massive industry of machining and manufacturing.”

Youth Apprenticeship program mentor

Jamie Veeser, president and owner and Youth Apprenticeship supervisor, Machine Plus LLC “In 2011, the Advance Business and Manufacturing Center (what is now the Startup Hub) helped Machine Plus LLC get financing and get started with training, knowledge and help. Now the Greater Green Bay Chamber is helping Machine Plus LLC hire talent straight out of high school. “We were looking at trying to find a good fit, and then we were told about Eli. As our first Youth Apprenticeship student, he was great, because he soaked in everything and his attitude is 100% what we were looking for. The Youth Apprenticeship program allowed us to take on someone and teach him the basics – our way – right off the start, and 14

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he hit the ground running. He also uplifted the spirit in the shop. People like training and sharing their knowledge! “Eli has since graduated high school, but he’s going to be employed with us through college. We want him to be dedicated to Machine Plus LLC. As a company, we definitely want to continue supporting the Youth Apprenticeship program because Eli was such a great turnout. So many people go into fields where they’re meant to be; the cool thing about the Youth Apprenticeship program is that these kids can know whether or not they want that as a career. You have to pay it forward.”


Current Young Professionals Network individual membership

Leadership Green Bay

Taylor Pierce, owner, The Cupcake Couture, and ambassador for Current Young Professionals Network

Jared Spude, strategic account manager, Breakthrough “Leadership Green Bay gave me the opportunity and confidence to step out into the community and put the leadership practices I studied and learned about into action. It was a catalyst for community engagement, a way to give back and a one-stop-shop networking opportunity where I was able to meet so many other passionate, energetic, like-minded people who wanted to grow as individuals and be a part of something bigger and greater at the same time!”

“Being involved with Current Young Professionals Network has been very beneficial to me because I am able to help others find their niche in the Greater Green Bay area and create wonderful friendships along the way. I am a ‘people person’ who wants everyone to be happy and involved, so the ambassador committee was the perfect fit for me to put my strengths to good use. It also benefits me by getting involved with the community and other business owners to be able to team up on events and make great friendships. I highly recommend joining Current!”

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Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT



Economic development

Marty Piette, airport director, Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport “As a key component of the region’s economic activity, the airport serves as a reflection of the community. When the community is doing well from an economic standpoint, we see that reflected at the airport in terms of the number of passengers on flights and general aviation activity. Because the community drives the airport growth, we are keenly aware of what is going on in the community with regard to the region’s economic development, business retention and business development, as well as employee retention. That’s why I appreciate the Chamber’s efforts to develop a strong working relationship with the airport, connecting us with local business leaders who depend on air service.

I regularly meet with the Chamber to discuss what’s going on in the community and to keep a finger on the pulse and opportunities for growth. The Chamber has been instrumental in talking to airlines about the air service needs of our community and helping to build business cases for new routes. That included the Atlanta route on Delta, and more recently, attracting Frontier Airlines. I know that we need the backing of local business to drive the point home with the airlines; without them, it’s just the airport telling an airline that we can support the service.The Chamber’s local support is critical to our success.”

Diversity and inclusiveness task force progress

Mohammed Bey, director, diversity and inclusion, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and co-chair of the diversity and inclusiveness task force of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan “Some members of the current diversity and inclusiveness task force of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan were involved in the previous diversity group supported by the Chamber. One of the differences between the two groups, based on the documents and verbal accounts, is the direct link that the current group has to the economic development plan, a plan that serves as a guiding document around the community’s stated diversity and inclusion goals that calls for metrics to show that growth and development is happening. “The visibility and influence of the Chamber has been instrumental in putting out a call of action to organizations/CEOs, encouraging them to explore what could/is diversity and inclusion look(ing) like in their organizations as well as encouraging them to utilize the skillset of the task force and resources to aid in the process. Task force members have been instrumental in helping organizations to understand the racial and ethnic demographic shift that’s taking


Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

place, primarily in Green Bay, and providing various organizational tools and professional development opportunities. These conversations have been elevated to a different level as we promote the CEO Action Pledge to businesses to take to their boards, bring in individuals to do training on unconscious bias, perform organizational audits and use other tools to help organizations understand how these issues can affect their work environment. Things such as the CEO Action Pledge are fantastic resources, and we’re looking to build far more to give people what they need to grasp diversity and inclusiveness at their own pace. The plan keeps us on task so we can do this work to positively impact the economic health of Greater Green Bay.”

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The Greater Green Bay community has been actively working on moving forward the strategies and tactics that comprise the 11 initiatives in the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan.

Updates this quarter include: • The business development task force (Initiative 1, 2 and 3). The Manufacturing Forward series will be launched in fall 2019. This by-invitation-only series is designed to assist the region’s manufacturers in understanding the implications of 4.0, productivity, automation and other trends, and will provide specific takeaways for implementation. The series is specifically geared to manufacturers with 75 to 225 employees. • The talent & education task force (Initiatives 4 and 5) continues to work hard on expanding education assets along with attracting and developing a talented workforce. Kelly Armstrong, vice president of economic development, along with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance (NEWMA), participated in a military transition summit, Hiring our Heroes, May 8 to 10, 2019. The Chamber’s economic development arm had a presence with a few materials focused toward transitioning military personnel; the information included highlights of career opportunities with select Greater Green Bay companies. This pilot transition event attracted 75 to 100 attendees. The booth experience was excellent because our booth was placed within an entire row of Wisconsin organizations. (See photo at right.) We tracked 20 serious conversations about relocation to the Greater Green 18

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

Bay area and anticipate about 80 individuals submitted their information online for follow up. We believe participation was valuable as the NEWMA group had deeper conversations specific to service members’ experience. We also learned that each military base has different concentration areas, and while all skills can be used across the board, we may wish to assess the area of concentration of the base to select locations to visit in the future. This event was heavy on transportation, logistics and OSHA/safety. • The Downtown Green Bay & urban development task force (Initiative 6) finished its second study trip, this time traveling to Kansas City.Their focus areas were entrepreneurship, arts/culture, connectivity, downtown, entrepreneurship and technology and higher education. The trip included impactful meetings with KC Tech Council, Economic Development Corporation Kansas City, KC Design Center and Downtown Council.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT We learned takeaways about the collaborative relationship between development the city, the use of street cars, mini urban districts, funding options, supporting public art as an economic driver and more. (See photo on previous page.) • The innovation and entrepreneurship task force (Initiative 7) is meeting monthly and currently working diligently to expose the gaps and strengths in the entrepreneurial ecosystems so they can better guide the startups in Greater Green Bay. TitletownTech announced their partnership with Sterling Equities, University of Wisconsin, NY Mets, Delaware North and the Boston Bruins. • Alignment & conferences task force (Initiatives 8 and 9) reported that Green Bay hosted the Wisconsin Aviation Conference in May.The conference had a $200,000 economic impact to the area.

• The Diversity & inclusiveness task force (Initiative 10) members continue to reach out to the attendees of the CEO Action Pledge breakfast to encourage them to sign. There are currently 49 companies in Greater Green Bay that have signed the diversity and inclusiveness pledge.The CEO Act!on “Check Your Blind Spots”/Unconscious Bias mobile tour stopped in Green Bay the week of June 17 at Schreiber Foods and Associated Bank. The buses offer people the opportunity to learn about and explore ways to mitigate unconscious bias in their everyday lives.This includes virtual reality, personal stories and tools for spotting bias. At the end of the tour, individuals were offered the opportunity to sign the I Pledge to Act on Supporting Inclusion Pledge offered by the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion.

This tour represents a fundamental part of the work being performed by the diversity and inclusion task force of the Greater Green Bay Economic Development Plan. (See photo below) Learn more about this task force’s efforts at economicdevelopmentplan

Summer 2019 | Collective IMPACT



Jayme Sellen vice president of government and community relations


he Southern Bridge Corridor Project has had its ups and downs and this past month has been no different. However, our diligence is the key to (inter)change Brown County. The Greater Green Bay Chamber has represented the business community in a coalition with Brown County, local municipalities and our state delegation to figure out the mess that we currently experience while traveling over the Fox River in southern Brown County. After decades of delays, reviews and rewrites, our Southern Bridge Corridor had made some progress until Gov. Evers’ actions created some uncertainty. Progress This past June, the Joint Committee on Finance (JFC) included the enumeration of lane expansion on Interstate 41 (I-41) under the Major Highways budget of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT). Specifically, the enumeration includes the construction of an interchange located near the intersection of Southbridge and Creamery Roads, neighboring the Foth building. In addition to the interchange, the plan also includes expanding the number of lanes on I-41 from four to six between De Pere and Appleton. The I-41 interchange represents both a considerable and expensive section of the Southern Bridge Arterial Project. JFC also included a modest amount of funding in the 20

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

budget for the completion of federal environmental review processes and interchange access reports required for the advancement of this project. So how does an interchange relate to the bridge? The only Southern Bridge Arterial route that meets all state and federal requirements would connect County Highways GV and EB using a bridge at Rockland and Red Maple Roads and an interchange onto I-41. This would be a four-lane facility that has a moderate speed of 45 miles per hour. The enumerated interchange not only will serve as the gateway to the Southern Bridge Arterial but also allow our local governments to apply for and (hopefully) obtain additional federal funding for the remaining sections of the arterial. The actions JFC took last June are the first step in completing this 23-year-long project. The advantage of enumerating this part of the project is in having the weight and resources of the state behind an expensive feature of this large project. Naturally, WisDOT has a well-established relationship with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This allows them to finalize the work-in-progress studies for this project and obtain the federal approvals and records of decision in a shorter timeframe. We are truly blessed to have strong leaders both in our local governments and in our state delegation. While all of our delegation has been supportive of the Southern Bridge Arterial, a few took the lead in getting this part of the project done. Sen. André Jacque fought hard within his caucus for this project to move forward and Sen. Rob Cowles was right beside

him. Reps. John Nygren and John Macco were our voice on the Assembly side and within the JFC. Uncertainty Unfortunately, Gov. Evers used his line-item veto to remove the interchange from the budget. His budget memo indicated an objection to “dictating specific design elements for congestion and safety improvements.” What does this mean for our project is yet to be fully determined. We are working with WisDOT to make sure the interchange is built as part of the I-41 lane expansion. In previous conversations, WisDOT had expressed their support for the interchange as a means to ease congestion from the Scheuring Road interchange. As a coalition, we need to continue to stress how important the remaining sections of the arterial are for the safety, efficiency and economic growth of our community. The interchange will be a great start to this project, but we still have more hurdles to overcome. I feel very optimistic we will leap over those hurdles by working with WisDOT to secure an interchange and entrance to the Southern Bridge Corridor.

Benjamin Franklin has been quoted saying, “Diligence is the mother of good luck.” With a project like the Southern Bridge Arterial, we will need both.


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The workforce development team at the Greater Green Bay Chamber is working to address our community’s workforce shortage. Are you preparing, too?

Quick quiz How well is your human resource department prepared for the future workforce? If you answered “yes” to the first three questions, and hesitated to answer “yes” to the fourth question, you are encouraged to collaborate with the workforce development team at the Chamber, as we are here to support your efforts. We are providing opportunities for employers to get in front of the future employees to highlight the breadth of career options in our area. We want to feature all the careers in the 16 federally-recognized career clusters. One of our events to give students a career exploration experience is celebrating its fifth year. The fun and interactive Find Your Inspiration 22

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

1. Is your company on the lookout for quality employees? 2. Are you battling the workforce shortage? 3. Are you interested in investing time and energy in creating the workforce of the future – your future employees? 4. Do you have a plan for your future workforce needs?

event is happening this fall at the KI Convention Center on Monday, Nov. 4, and Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2019. Similarly to last year, we will host a free Community Exploration Night that Monday evening for high school students and their families as well as educators and other community members. Then, on Tuesday, more than 3,600 eighthgrade students will experience the event at the Student Exploration Field Trip day. Find Your Inspiration allows students to explore countless career paths, whether they want to work right after graduation, attend a technical college, join the military, participate in an apprenticeship

program, pursue a four-year degree program or explore any number of other career options.


Find Your Inspiration provides an opportunity to highlight the amazing career options your organization offers to the next generation of workers. Benefits of participating in the event include: 1. Increasing awareness of your company to the future generation of workers, their families and our community. 2. Improving the skills pertinent for area youth to be successful in their high school

academics to prepare them for the future workforce and the careers important to your company’s success. 3. Inspiring area youth to explore further career training opportunities and pursue the necessary post-secondary education required for attaining a career that aligns with their interests here in the Greater Green Bay area.

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Exhibitor registration is now open and all area businesses are encouraged to join in the efforts

of preparing our students for their career paths. Our goal is to retain students in this community to support our economic growth and development! Contact April Pingel, youth career development manager, to learn more about Find Your Inspiration event scholarships and logistics: apingel@ or 920.593.3404.

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Impact. Change. Discover. What do fundraising for local urban projects, a chance to explore cutting-edge technology and a whodunit have in common? These are just some of the highlights of CurrentWeek that took place May 3-10, 2019 – all in celebration of young professionals (YPs).

Current provides an opportunity for YPs to participate in professional development, social networking and community engagement opportunities. According to Program Manager Mallory Nash, CurrentWeek is a weeklong campaign designed to help area young professionals meet new folks, discover something new and build a collaborative community by partnering with local businesses and organizations to showcase the exciting things happening in Greater Green Bay.

Mallory Nash

“CurrentWeek was an excellent opportunity to offer a variety of unique events and special community connections for young professionals,” added Brenda Busch, associate director of graduate recruitment at the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics at St. Norbert College, a sustaining partner of Current. “What was especially impressive was the creativity and reach: From a Doggie Block Paw-ty in downtown De Pere to a family day at the NEW Zoo in Suamico. Current understands there’s great value in providing ways for our young professionals to explore beyond their own backyard and places of employment.” Busch explained that CurrentWeek invited participants to experience new spaces, create new relationships and – most importantly – have fun.“We couldn’t be more delighted to support and celebrate these types of events!” said Busch.

Brenda Busch


Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT Tice echoed this appreciation for partnerships fostered through CurrentWeek. “There are so many businesses, individuals and organizations here that are ready and willing to work with YPs. Engaging with YPs is great exposure for them, and it’s also a wonderful opportunity for YPs to explore something new in the community.” Staff and volunteers of Current are thankful to the hundreds of attendees and dozens of businesses who contributed to help make CurrentWeek a success, including event sponsors Badger State Brewing Co., City of Green Bay, Definitely De Pere, Green Bay Distillery, Green Bay Packers Give Back, NEW Zoo & Adventure Park and Stadium View.

Jenny Tice

“The events we planned were pretty diverse – from dancing and animals to creative projects and innovation in Green Bay,” said Jenny Tice, operations director for Scholarships, Inc. and chair of the Current Young Professionals Network community partnerships committee. “CurrentWeek brought together not only YPs but also people of all ages. I saw a lot of new faces! It was great to meet so many people attending their first-ever Current event.” You can learn more about the events that took place this year (and keep an eye out for details about next year!) at

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s I reflect on nearly eight years as your Chamber president, the extent to which the Chamber serves as a connector, convener and influencer continues to grow. I know without a doubt that we are living our mission now more than ever. There’s a reason I include the mission on the page of every president’s message I share because I look to it every single day, believe in it with my whole heart and live it every day, and that resonates with others as well. Speaking of heart, that’s a piece of why more and more businesses and community members value the Chamber. We live in a world in which an increasing number of people and businesses seek a purpose-driven life whether it’s during their work hours or how they spend their leisure time. I’m proud to say that the Chamber offers opportunities for companies – and their staff – to take their internal company mission, vision and culture and extend it beyond their four walls and into the community at large. Chambers of commerce who know their communities and truly serve their needs offer a very specific opportunity to their members and investors. One chamber executive aptly described today’s chamber of commerce 26

Collective IMPACT | Summer 2019

“an arena to find their niche in corporate responsibility and to find the right alignment between community and their mission.” People inevitably want to support and what resonates with them; I’ve even been told by some that engaging in their Chamber membership is a part of their companies’ DNA. The Chamber offers many, many ways members can live their mission through the Chamber’s economic and workforce development efforts. And it’s the long list of ways members can support, invest, engage or influence that allows each member business to plug into an area that is a natural extension of their company culture. I realize this is a pretty weighty statement but it’s rooted in truth and part of how we remain relevant even as a 137-year-old organization. Most people look at the history of a chamber, including ours, and what first comes to mind are often events, initiatives, recognition, advertising/ promotional opportunities and other member benefits that drive business growth. We wouldn’t be who we are or where we are as a community if we didn’t have such an extensive menu of member and investor benefits, without a doubt. They are at the core of our being. But what people need to remember is that our offerings – some of which are transactional and all of which are essential to different segments of our member population – are there to help achieve results and obtain a return on investment that every business seeks in today’s global economy and competitive marketplace. That said, they are not merely transactional opportunities but entry points; every event, program, initiative and committee is not just a means to an end

but diverse opportunities for our members to showcase what matters to them. For one, it might mean supporting the recognition of teaching excellence via the Golden Apple Awards. For another, it may be investing in the work of our economic development arm and its Startup Hub because they’re passionate about supporting entrepreneurs. For yet another, it may be supporting the steering committees of programs such as Leadership Green Bay or Current Young Professionals Network because their respective focuses on leadership development, community involvement and young professional retention/ engagement/attraction/development matters to them. And by matter to them, I mean not only to their individual staff members but how the company gives back to and contributes to the community at large. They’re specific means for living the mission and vision they have painted on the walls of their lobby, discussed in team meetings and encouraged in their staff members’ performance plans. Sometimes it’s a matter of monetary support; in others, it’s an investment of time or talent. We need all three to successfully propel the Chamber forward not only as a provider of transactional benefits our members value (savings programs, advertising opportunities, recognition, e.g.) but also the transformational benefits outlined above. As human beings, and even as businesses entering a very challenging talent war, each of us is looking for ways to be authentic, give back and do something that matters to us at a very personal level.

A great example of this is our Greater Green Bay Economic Development Strategic Plan which, contrary to its name, is not just about economic development but also workforce development and what we call “quality of place.” Delve into the 11 initiatives outlined at and you’ll see a plan that was written based on the input of more than 350 community members. You’ll find seven task forces co-chaired by community leaders who are meeting regularly and driving the tactical strategies outlined in the plan forward. I am unbelievably proud to attend a meeting and to have committee member or even a community member pull out an obviously well-used copy of the plan and refer to it. That’s community ownership of the community, which is what we strive for at the end of the day. There’s a reason I repeatedly refer to the Chamber as a convener and a connector, and why we work really hard to do things WITH people versus TO people. Transformation doesn’t happen without the engagement of multiple sectors of the community including sometimes difficult conversations that involve opposing viewpoints. It’s a testament that so many people are so willing to step up and sit at the table and talk and even more than that, ACT in way that rings authentic to them. When we all do that, it fulfills not only a community need but acts as an extension of their company mission and desire to demonstrate their social responsibility and satisfies that human desire to make a difference. I think our Leadership Green Bay program got it right when it chose this quote to represent the program as it well represents everything I’ve just highlighted here:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

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— Laurie Radke

president, Greater Green Bay Chamber

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