The Better Together Newsletter - February 2020

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February 2020 UPCOMING EVENTS A Letter From the President


What makes 2020 a little extra special? LEAP YEAR - One more day to enjoy 2020!

Member Orientation 7:45 AM - 9:00 AM

Due to the rotation of the earth and the math behind it, February 2020 gets that extra day. Why is February usually only 28 days? I found several reasons that originated from roman times and this reason just seemed interesting (not sure, if it is true but if not, it is fun to think about):

Martha VandeLeest

February suffered from the ego of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus. Under Julius Caesar, February had 30 days, but when Caesar Augustus was emperor, he was not happy that his month (August) had only 29 days, whereas the month named after his predecessor Julius (July) had 31 days. He added the two days to August and took them away from February? Are we prepared to take advantage of this extra day to do something different? Can we all take a leap and add something new to our calendars from the Chamber offerings? Let the Chamber help you take that LEAP in FEBRUARY by adding one of the events to your calendar. Please look to the right-hand column for this month’s list of events!


Out for Lunch with Deidre Martinez 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM CST



from the desk of the executive director Welcome February! Although this mild weather, feels more like Spring to me. We’ve had an exciting start to 2020, with record participation at our Economic Outlook Breakfast & Annual Meeting on January 23rd. We were able share the results of the annual survey and vote in our new Board Members for 2020. Welcome Kristin Stearns, James Schramm & Barb Hamann, we are pleased to have you on board and look forward to your leadership.


First Friday Forum with Barb LaMue Executive Director of The New North 11:30 AM - 1:00 PM



Deidre Martinez

We are busy prepping for the Annual Chamber Champions Gala and look forward to celebrating the many successes of our partners on February 20th at In the Issue: President Update, Executive Update, Workforce Development Update, Coastal Young Professionals Network Update, Membership Update, Upcoming Events and What’s been happening…photo’s enclosed.



from the desk of the executive director continued... Blue Harbor Resort. If you haven’t already secured your spot, the Viewing Party Tickets are selling quickly and we’d love to have you join in the fun. Reach out today or register online. Viewing Party Ticket Packs of 10 are available at a discounted rate. Let us know if you’d like some printed to share with your teams. New this year, we will host the first Community & Business Expo on Saturday, April 18th and we hope you can join us. Vendors will have an opportunity to interface with other Chamber members, but also with the community as a whole. Free to attend and open to people of all ages/families. Have you secured your booth? Reach out to Carol if you have questions at Please check out all of the 2019 Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce successes along for what’s new in 2020 in the infographic below! #BetterTogether

Newsletter sponsorship opportunities now available! Please contact Scott Kuehn at 920-918-1315 or for more information.


News from WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT - Anne Troka, Community Engagement Manager & Workforce Development Liaison of Sargento The Business Education Partnership (BEP) has been established as a committee of the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce for more than 20 years. I am honored to have served as past co-chair and current active member of the BEP for the past 4 years. The BEP is a 25-person committee made up of Education leaders from K-12 School Districts, Technical Colleges, and Universities; Business leaders from the top five industry segments in Sheboygan County; and key community organizations aligned with workforce development. The valuable work the BEP leads is critical to developing, attracting, retaining, and reintegrating the right top talent, our future workforce, for Sheboygan County. The BEP mission is to lead and support Workforce Development in Sheboygan County by:

Anne Troka

· Facilitating partnerships and collaborative relationships · Sharing of best practice for awareness, training and education tactics · Aligning resources across community organizations, education institutions and business At the 2020 Economic Outlook Breakfast hosted by the Sheboygan Chamber, it was evident the BEP is a leader who can collaborate and partner even more with community leaders - county administrators, mayors, and village presidents - to solve one of our county’s and state’s biggest challenges: significant workforce talent and skills shortages projected over the next 3-10 years. Due to declining population in Wisconsin, it is critical for BEP to continue to create and lead innovative talent initiatives that solve workforce challenges for all of our communities in Sheboygan County by partnering to develop, attract, retain, and reintegrate talent, our current and future workforce. The BEP successes include: 1. Workforce Development Summit - Focused on solving county-wide barriers including new affordable housing, transportation, 24/7 quality childcare, mental health, ALICE population/living wage careers, national awareness as a top place to work and live, nationally competitive compensation/benefits/relocation/signing bonuses, and diversity & inclusion. 2. Explore Your Future (formerly known as Career Connections) - 1,500 High School Sophomores become aware, excited about, and explore careers they are interested in that are right here in Sheboygan County 3. INSPIRE Sheboygan County - Connect students and teachers to businesses and mentors in Sheboygan County to have significant and meaningful career experiences and personal/professional relationships with current employees in the students career area of interest 4. County-Wide, Grade Level Academic and Career Plan (ACP) - Supporting all students in Sheboygan County to learn about and experience firsthand career pathways in all industries in Sheboygan County helping them prepare themselves for success 5. United Way Family Success Plan Pilot Program - Breaking the cycle of two generation poverty through supporting the Academic and Career (ACP) success of both parent and child at the elementary school level who are currently in the ALICE population 6. STEM curriculum enrichment of classroom and work-based learning experiences - Strengthening STEM education and career exploration for all students, especially in middle school, to become aware and excited about careers in Healthcare, IT, Engineering, Maintenance & Production, Marketing & Sales, Research & Development, Quality, Supply Chain, and Finance. Five areas that BEP is focusing on to identify GAPs and create new, innovative talent initiatives that will impact workforce for the 2020-22 BEP Strategic Plan are:


News from WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT continued... 1. Retaining Top Talent - Influencing what current employees think and feel about Sheboygan County as a place to live and work, connect talent county-wide, supporting life-long learning and growth, and make everyone, especially those new to the county, feel welcome and included 2. Reskilling Current Employees - Providing opportunities for current employees to grow from within their businesses through expanded career pathways and on the job trainings including rotational development programs, apprenticeships, and tuition reimbursement programs 3. Developing Education Talent – Increasing the number of students participating in work-based learning experiences and mentorship circles to become aware and excited about career areas they are interested in that are available in our county influencing what all students think and feel about Sheboygan County as a place to live and work 4. Building Underemployed Talent - Increasing opportunities for people, especially those in the ALICE population, to grow skills needed by county employers that will help them become qualified to apply for living wage careers 5. Attracting The Right Talent – Promoting life-long relationships with people who have ties to Wisconsin, our Alumni Network, and inviting them back to work and live including those who have left businesses, graduates, and interns/co-ops; as well as attract new people to Sheboygan County from key competitor companies, colleges/universities student and alumni groups, associations/conferences, county/state career events, and industry networking events; leverage and align with Someplace Better campaign. We look forward to sharing the 2020 BEP Innovative Talent Initiatives identified in our 2020-22 Strategic Plan in an upcoming Better Together Newsletter.

UPDATE FROM Coastal Young Professionals Network Hi there! I am Olivia Zeman, Branch Manager for UnitedOne Credit Unions 8th St. Branch and a Coastal Young Professionals (YP) Committee Member. I joined Coastal in 2012 hoping for experiences to advance my career in the financial industry; unfortunately, I did not participate as much as I could have and missed opportunities. This is why in 2014 when the opportunity to serve on the ambassador committee arose I jumped on it. The ambassador committee intrigued me because I wanted to help other YP’s see what I see in Sheboygan County, as well as come up with an onboarding procedure to ensure other YP’s had the right tools to get started with the Coastal Young Professionals Network. During my time with the committee, Coastal went from 200 members with a select few atOlivia Zeman tending events regularly, to 700 members with new members at every event! We also implemented the new onboarding procedure; including Coastal Welcomes, which helps other YPs understand what tools and resources are available to them within this network. I am currently on the new restructured Coastal committee and look forward to continuing to plan programming for our local YP’s to experience the best things Sheboygan County has to offer while establishing roots in the community and continued development in their careers. I am ready to help the next generation of YP’s become leaders in this community! The Coastal Young Professionals network is very proud of the efforts of our seasoned committee members like Olivia have given. We look forward to continuing down this positive path. Throughout 2019, we worked through strategic planning to build a solid plan on what our focus is. We have concluded that the three pillars that define what we strive to achieve are, professional development, social engagement and diversity inclusion. We feel as a group that those are the aspects that will help propel a young professional to be successful in our community.


News from THE DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT Happy February! The Super Bowl is over, and I hope your team won! The largest Chamber event of the year is happening soon on February 20 at the Blue Harbor Resort and Conference Center. The main dining room is sold out, but the fun doesn’t stop there. Join me and my wife in the Peninsula Room for some hard hors d’oeuvres, cheeses, sausages and other goodies. There will be a cash bar in the Peninsula Room, as well as a bar on each end of the cocktail reception room adjacent to the main dining room. All are in proximity of one another, and will prove to be an event to remember, so don’t miss out! There is still time to register, just go to and register today!

Scott Kuehn

Some things to think about as we move through 2020: If you haven’t joined a Deep Dive yet, there are still openings for all groups. Start 2020 by engaging with other members of the chamber from various business sectors. Health care, real estate, banking, insurance, painting and staining, attorneys, and many others are represented by exceptional people living in your county. Join a family of Deep Divers today! Roundtables are a terrific way to meet others within your business sector. Whether it’s Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, Not for Profit, and others, you’re sure to learn something from your peers. These peer-to-peer networking groups can help any one of your employees, or yourself, accelerate your learning curve, and minimize potential setbacks within your organization. Our own John Rogers does an outstanding job keeping each group on task, and always shares his own wealth of knowledge. Contact and join a Roundtable today! Our Young Professionals network goal is to attract, engage and retain young, diverse talent to Sheboygan County by providing opportunities for young professionals to design their social culture, serve as civic innovators and community stewards, and develop into the next generation of leaders for Sheboygan County. If you are interested in joining the YP network, please text SHEBCOYP to 57838. Check out the chamber calendar at and make sure you mark the remainder of 2020 calendar for all events coming up this year, it is sure to be an exciting and rewarding year! And finally, I’m looking forward to another year of Meet a Member Friday and having the opportunity to meet so many of our wonderful Chamber members throughout 2020! See you at the Chamber Champions Gala in a couple of weeks to celebrate so many of our members, and if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call me, because we are so much #BETTER TOGETHER!

Newsletter sponsorship opportunities now available! Please contact Scott Kuehn at 920-918-1315 or for more information.


News from THE facilitator of business roundtables COME TO A CHAMBER ROUNDTABLE IN 2020 – PEER-TO-PEER RESULTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE! Today, my ‘one-word opener’ has to be “delighted”! My two-minute update would have to go into the URGENT and IMPORTANT quadrant simply because of the 34% increase in roundtable participation in 2019 compared with 2018. Regarding background, well, you [all who attended roundtables in 2019] made it happen. Into the COMMENTS/FEEDBACK/ QUESTIONS section I would add phrases such as: any Chamber member can attend, eight different roundtables give you plenty of options, word-of-mouth satisfaction and referrals are why the roundtables have grown, newcomers are always welcomed, confidentiality is critical, and the mood shift from the openers to the closers is almost always positive. All that plus, silver-bullets are not guaranteed!

John Rogers

“The Nonprofit Roundtable is an excellent way to get to know leaders in the nonprofit community! We gather together, share ideas, and offer help and guidance on issues that are relevant for many of us. I love hearing from other leaders in the community and getting input on areas we are trying to address ourselves at Great Marriages, and figuring out how we can collaborate together. A wonderful group of very helpful people!” -Jocelyn Medrek, Executive Director, Great Marriages Every edition of the Chamber BUZZ lets you know which ones are on the horizon. Read, select, register, then attend. You will be glad you did. Happy trails!



Ribbon Cutting - Honey and Ace

Ribbon Cutting - Van Horn Hyundai

Ribbon Cutting - Northwestern Mutual Sheboygan Branch

Business After Hours at Stefanie H. Weill Center for the Performing Arts

Economic Outlook Breakfast & Annual Meeting

Young Professionals Game Night


Special events

save the dates



To register for these events and find out more information, Please visit


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