Fall Conference 2018-10-01T19:17:16+00:00

2018 WEDA Fall Conference

September 26 – 28, 2018
Lambeau Field Atrium | Green Bay, Wisconsin

‘Unpacking Your Economic Development Toolbox’

The 2018 WEDA Fall Conference offered multiple in-depth sessions on the economic development tools at your disposal to drive economic growth in your community and across the state. Sessions provided attendees with information on new economic development programs and tools, updates on existing ones, and expert guidance on best practices for implementation.

Full Conference Agenda:  Please CLICK HERE to review the Conference Agenda

Conference Presentations:

Thursday, Sept. 27

  • Titletown – Creating Destination In August, 2015, the Green Bay Packers announced pans for Titletown and saw the vision become reality in 2017 as the nearly 45-acre, mixed use real estate development west of Lambeau Field opened with an engaging, eight-acre pubic plaza and park that includes tubing lanes on Ariens Hill and an ice-skating rink and trail. The development builds upon the success of the renovated Lambeau Field and complements the vibrant business and hospitality clusters in the area. Planning is underway for additional phases, including a residential component and Titletown Tech set to open in 2018. Titletown Tech is a joint venture with Microsoft aimed at boosting economic expansion in Wisconsin’s Fox River Valley and bringing world-class digital innovations and expertise to Green Bay. Hear about the progress and learn about future plans. Aaron Popkey, Director of Public Affairs, Green Bay Packers

  • Updated Tax Incremental Financing FundamentalsEhlers is the leading TIF consultant in Wisconsin having been involved in the creation of Tax Incremental Districts since the program’s inception in 1976. This session will provide a brief historical backdrop explaining the origin and purpose of TIF and outline the basic mechanics of how the program works vis a vis the tax collection and distribution process, what can and cannot be funded and how the program has been successfully applied in Wisconsin. There will be discussion about proper TID program management and options for structuring TIF plans and agreements to effectively minimize risk to the local municipality. Michael C. Harrigan, President, Ehlers & Associates; Dawn Gunderson, Vice President, Ehlers & Associates; and Phil Cosson, Director, Ehlers & Associates

  • Overview of the Community Development Block Grant RLF-ED CLOSE Program:  Wisconsin’s Department of Administration, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources (DEHCR), proposes to discontinue locally administered CDBG Revolving Loan Funds for Economic Development (RLF ED). DEHCR staff will provide an overview of the CDBG program, update participants on the State’s Small Cities CDBG program and review the CDBG RLF ED CLOSE program highlighting opportunities this program affords local units of government. Learn how to utilize CDBG RLF funds on a much more flexible variety of CDBG eligible uses. If your community or county stands to benefit from the re-programming of CCDBG funds, you won’t want to miss this session and the opportunity to become informed on how reuse of CDBG funds can benefit your community. David Pawlisch, Bureau Director, Division of Energy, Housing and Community Resources; and Mark Staff, Section Chief, WI Department of Administration, Division of Energy Housing and Community Resources

  • Understanding the Federal and State Historic Tax Credit  Programs: The historic income tax credit program can be a vital tool in the rehabilitation of historic properties often being the differences that bridges the gap between a project being viable or not. This session will explore the program, the requirements and process owners must follow to achieve success. What qualifies, how the credits work in the overall project, and how they can be combined with other funding sources will also be discussed. Successful projects will be shared. Mark Buechel, Senior Preservation Architect, Wisconsin Historical Society; and Jonathan Beck, Development Project Manager, Alexander Company

  • Opportunities for Innovative Companies: Opportunities for Innovative Companies
    This session will briefly describe federal grant opportunities and related services provided through the Center for Technology Commercialization in Madison. The goal is to provide education and training on how to recognize and identify people and companies who may benefit from these opportunities. Training and benefits of customer discovery activities will be provided to ensure there really is a market for the innovative technology. Dr. Todd Strother, Senior Technology Consultant, Center for Technology Commercialization

  • 25 Tools to Add to Your Talent Attraction and Retention Toolbox:  25 Tools to Add to Your Talent Attraction and Retention Tool Box After providing an update on the State’s talent marketing campaign, speakers representing a cross section of WEDC’s operational divisions will deliver a “rapid fire” presentation of ideas, strategies and tactics designed to attract, engage and inspire existing and potential talent seeking the best location to pursue their passions. Tricia Braun, Deputy Secretary & COO; Rebecca Deschane, Talent Initiatives Director; and Errin Welty, Downtown Development Account Manager

  • Foxconn in Wisconisn – What Does it Mean for My County:  As the largest foreign direct investment project in U.S. history gets underway in southeast Wisconsin, Foxconn is poised to have a significant ripple effect across the state. From innovation to supply chain to talent, learn how your county can participate in this historic opportunity and benefit from the economic impact of having the world’s largest electronics manufacturing services provider in our state. Jela Trask, Key Business Liaison and Business & Investment Attraction Director, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation  


Friday, Sept. 28

  • Placemaking: Shaping our Community Assets and Potential:  This session will include both the ‘theory’ behind placemaking concepts and provide hands-on exercises that demonstrate public engagement activities for planning public spaces and tools and strategies that make places where people want to live, work and play. The tools will address both interventions in the pubic space and opportunities for adjacent private property owners to bring additional value to the project. Participants will learn about the strengths and weaknesses of different implementation tools including public funding, regulation and incentives. Participants will learn some of the conceptual frameworks used to guide placemaking, review case studies of successful placemaking efforts and learn about the results of research on the impacts-economic, social, and cultural, of making successful places in communities. Finally, by participating in a mini-charrette, attendees learn about tools for placemaking and how to apply those tools to a real site in Wisconsin. Nancy Frank, Associate Professor and Chair Department of Urban Planning School of Architecture and Urban Planning, UW-Milwaukee
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