Governor’s Conference 2019-01-16T01:06:49+00:00

Governor’s Conference

 About the Conference

WEDA’s biggest education and networking event of the year is the Governor’s Conference on Economic Development. This three-day conference includes educational sessions covering the some of most important economic development topics and issues of the time, exhibits, receptions and other networking opportunities. The conference is a great opportunity to meet other economic development professionals who work to shape Wisconsin’s economic future within their community. The conference provides continuing education credits for: EDFP and CEcD certifications.  AICP  certification credits are being reviewed.


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2019 Governor’s Conference

Conference Hotel: Hilton Milwaukee City Center     Hotel Address:  509 W. Wisconsin Avenue, Milwaukee                               

State/ Government – Room Rate -$90.00/$110.00 – Make State Rate Hotel Reservation  

Conference Rate – Room Rate $139.00 – Make General Hotel Reservation

Reservation Phone Number: 1-414-271-7250
Group Name: Wisconsin Economic Development Association
Arrival Date: 06-Feb-2019      Departure Date: 08-Feb-2019

2019 Governor’s Conference Agenda (PDF version)


  • 5:00 PM – Opening Reception – Potawatomi Casino, Serenity Room – 1611 Canal Street


  • 7:30 AM –  Registration / Continental Breakfast / Exhibits Open (Wright Ballroom)
  • 8:00 AM – New WEDA Members or First-Time Conference Attendees (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 8:15 AM – Welcome to the Conference – Mayor Tom Barrett, City of Milwaukee (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 8:30 AM – Governor Tony Evers (invited) – 2019 Conference Opening Remarks (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 9:15 AM – WEDA Awards Presentation (Frederick C. Pearce Award)- WEDA President Heather Wessling and Governor Tony Evers (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 9:30 AM – Business Insights in the Global Market – Blake D. Moret, Chairman and CEO, Rockwell Automation (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 10:30 AM – Break / Exhibits (Wright Ballroom)
  • 10:50 AM Designs on the Future – David Zach, Futurist (Crystal Ballroom):
    • We want the future to be logical, clear and safe. But, that’s not how it works. The future often surprises us. Sometimes it shocks us. Too often, the future leaves many of us behind, lost in a world in which many of the rules and rewards seem hidden. This presentation is not just a forecast of new technologies and markets, or just more ‘thinking outside the box.’ This is a deeper conversation on how to ‘think into other boxes,’ to make unexpected connections between design and modern-day piracy, between amateurs and AI apps, between curiosity and creativity, between hope and all the opportunities we can find in what comes after what comes next.
  • 12:00 PM – Networking Luncheon (Empire Ballroom)
  • 1:00 PMDesigns on the Future: Feedback and Discussion – David Zach, Futurist (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 1:30 PM – Business Trends 2019 and Beyond (Crystal Ballroom): What are the business trends in and for 2019 and even in the next few years? Hear directly from these stellar entrepreneurs, business advocates and leaders from their experiences and views in the local and national market place. An engaging conversation with direct conversation and dialogue from the panel.
    • Tina Chang, Chairman and CEO, SysLogic
    • Ruth Harper, VP Global Strategic Communications, Manpower Group
    • Andy Nunemaker, CEO, Dynamis Software
    • Tim Sheehy, President, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
  • 2:30 PM – Break / Exhibits (Wright Ballroom)
  • 2:45 – 3:15 PM – CONFERNCE TRACK – First Session 
    • TRACK – I
      • Millennial Barriers for Minority Populations Entering the Workforce Part I (Crystal Ballroom): A lack of support networks among minority, microaggressions and unconscious bias in the workplace, as well as socio-economic issues, prevent young people from achieving the skills needed for upward mobility. We need to connect our future workforce with opportunities to gain industry credentials and provide role models for success. This session explores creative ways to provide meaningful careers and gainful employment for minority populations.
        • Willie Wade, Executive Director, Employ Milwaukee
        • Pam Her, Ph.D., Fox Valley District Team Leader, SEEK Careers
        • Griselda Aldrete, President & CEO, Hispanic Professional Association of Greater Milwaukee
        • Scott Farley, Group Director Talent Management, Komatsu Mining Corp. Group
    • TRACK II
      • CRA Regulatory Panel (Regency Ballroom): The regulatory agencies will provide an update on the Community Reinvestment Act and its modernization.
        • Paul Ginger, Office of the Comptroller of Currency (invited)
        • Steven W. Kuehl, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
        • Carol Maria, FDIC (Invited)
  • 3:20 – 3:50 PM – CONFERENCE TRACK – Second Session
    • TRACK I
      • Millennial Barriers for Minority Populations Entering the Workforce Part 2 (Crystal Ballroom)
    • TRACK II
      • Opportunity Zones and Your CommunityWayman Lawrence, Partner, Foley & Lardner, LLP (Regency Ballroom)
  • 3:55 – 4:25 PM – CONFERENCE TRACK – Third Session
    • TRACK I
      • Wisconsin Fast Forward (Crystal Ballroom): This session provides an overview of the WI Fast Forward worker training grants with tips on how to apply for those grants and highlights of recent and upcoming changes to the WI Fast Forward program. An overview of the WI Internship Initiative will also be included, highlighting the benefits to employers and interns.
    • TRACK II
      • PACE Financing (Regency Ballroom): Learn how C-PACE financing, available through PACE Wisconsin, helps stimulate local economies by funding the upfront cost of energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements on commercial buildings. This session provides an overview of PACE Wisconsin’s partnerships and organizational structure, as well as the benefits of participation for all stakeholders.
  • 4:30 PM – WEDA Annual Membership Meeting (Crystal Ballroom)
  • 5:00 PM – Evening Reception / Dine Arounds @ 7 pm (Wright Ballroom)


  • 7:00 AM – Buffet Breakfast / Exhibits (Wright Ballroom)
  • 8:00 AM – Business Retention & Expansion Models Underway Across Wisconsin (Crystal Ballroom):
    • This session will provide case studies that describe investment strategies used by WEDC in working with our regional and local partners to advance business and community development projects.
      • Barb Fleisner LaMue, Vice President, Business & Community Development, WEDC
      • Tina Chitwood, Senior Economic Development Director, WEDC
  • 8:45 AMA Business Case for Diversity (Crystal Ballroom):
    • What is the current state of diversity in Wisconsin’s manufacturing industry? Why should manufacturers make the investment to actively pursue, develop and promote individuals that represent race, gender and socio-economic diversity? What strategies are companies using successfully?
  • 9:40 AM – Break / Exhibits (Wright Ballroom)
  • 9:55 AMRe-entry Initiatives for the Justice Involved: Integrating Correctional and Workforce Strategies – Anna Neal, Reentry Employment Coordinator, WI Department of Corrections (Crystal Ballroom):
    • For people released from jail or prison, finding meaningful employment can seem insurmountable. For employers, finding and retaining quality employees can be a constant challenge. The WI Dept. of Corrections is working closely with its partners to provide incarcerated individuals with the opportunity to learn new skills and increase their chances for employment after release. This session highlights a few of the creative initiatives and strategies in place to train and prepare these men and women for their eventual return to the community and to the workplace.
  • 10:35 AMInternships and Apprenticeships to Attract Youth to the Workforce. (Crystal Ballroom):
    • The Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA) is an important partnership that is leveraging resources and coordinating efforts to expand an educated, innovative and nimble talent system to meet 21st Century workforce needs. The benefit goes beyond the student and employer, building the talent pipeline and strengthening regional and state economies.  
      • Mark A. Mone, Ph.D., Chancellor, UW-Milwaukee
      • Daniel J. Bukiewicz, President, Milwaukee Building & Trades Council
      • John Schulze, Director of Legal & Government Relations, Association Building Contractors
  • 11:15 AMBeing Your Own Economist: What the Best Indicators Tell Us to Expect in 2019-2021 – Clare Zempel, Principal, Zempel Strategic(Crystal Ballroom):
    • Clare Zempel will show you the best leading indicators to track to anticipate the economic opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for the nation and Wisconsin. Zempel will identify the numbers that matter most, show where to find them easily and inexpensively, and explain how to apply them in practical decision-making.
  • 12:00 PM – Governor’s Conference Closing Remarks
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