MILWAUKEE – To recognize some of our region’s most inspiring business stories, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is announcing 15 finalists for the 2021 Focus on the Future awards.
Winners in each of five categories will be revealed at the Focus on the Future awards luncheon on Friday, Sept. 24 at the Italian Community Center. An additional group of companies is being recognized as honorable mentions.
Download a copy of the slides from the July edition of the MMAC Business of Metro MKE webinar series. This episode featured guest host Jim Paetsch, Executive Director of the Milwaukee 7 Development Partnership, along with Milwaukee City Development Commissioner Lafayette Crump and Todd Battle, President of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance. Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, also gave a regional health update.
Replays of this and other webinar episodes are available on MMAC’s YouTube channel.
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce recognizes the foundational role a democracy plays in supporting a free-market economy. As such, we affirm these principles:
To continue its work to advance economic development efforts in the seven counties of Southeastern Wisconsin, the Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership is reorganizing its leadership roles. These changes become effective July 1.
As a result of this reorganization:
O’Brien was named the inaugural Executive Director of M7 after it was created in 2005 to bring together the seven counties of Southeastern Wisconsin to collaborate and advance economic development efforts in the region. O’Brien also previously served on a part-time basis as leader of MDC, an MMAC affiliate focused on catalytic real estate development with $37 million in assets. O’Brien will now focus on this role on a full-time basis.
“During Pat’s tenure, M7 has matured from a fledgling concept to a fully grown regional economic development partnership,” MMAC President Tim Sheehy said. “M7 has worked on talent development programs, international trade, entrepreneurship, and region building with its local, state, and federal partners. On behalf of everyone in the Milwaukee Region’s economic development and business communities, we thank Pat for his important work in making this vision a reality.”
Paetsch also has been with M7 since it launched in 2005, previously serving as Vice President of Corporate Expansion and Attraction. During that time, M7 has recorded 113 attraction and expansion project wins, adding a total of 24,000 pledged jobs, $1.3 billion in annual payroll and $3.2 billion in capital investment.
“Jim is a dynamic leader who has become the driving force for our region’s corporate attraction and expansion efforts,” Sheehy said. “His promotion to Senior VP and Executive Director is in recognition of these terrific efforts. Jim has a proven track record of collaborating to deliver results, including major projects such as Haribo, Milwaukee Tool, Komatsu Mining, Nexus, and Ingeteam, to name just a few of more than 100. Jim will also oversee the role M7 plays in economic development. This promotion and new role will allow for continued coordination with our local and state partners, while delivering best-in-class attention to our development prospects. We congratulate Jim on this well-deserved acknowledgement of his efforts.”
In her newly created role, Olberding will integrate economic development programing across M7 and MMAC to support members, investors, and regional and state partners. She brings a breadth of experience to the organization, most recently as President of the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce in Iowa. She has an MBA from the University of Iowa.
“We’re proud to welcome Lynn to the team, and excited for her to get started,” Sheehy said. “As we emerge from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and refocus on the M7 Prosperity 2025 campaign, Lynn will lead the strategy development of this critical effort to ensure the future prosperity of the Milwaukee Region.”
About the Milwaukee 7 Regional Partnership
The Milwaukee 7 is the regional economic development partnership of the seven Southeastern Wisconsin counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha.
Launched in 2005 by founding partners MMAC, the City of Milwaukee and the Greater Milwaukee Committee, M7 is dedicated to bringing the Milwaukee Region’s business and economic development community together to grow, expand and attract businesses and develop talented employees. mke7.com
About the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
For more than 150 years, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) has been serving area businesses as a private, not-for-profit organization. Today we represent approximately 1,800 member businesses with 300,000 employees in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties and beyond. Our mission is to improve metro Milwaukee as a place to invest capital, grow business and create jobs. mmac.org
In this episode of MMAC’s Business of Metro MKE webinar, we heard from Milwaukee Tool Group President Steve Richman and Dr. Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin.
A replay of the event will be available on MMAC’s YouTube channel shortly after it concludes.
To download a copy of Dr. Raymond’s presentation, click here:
Today, the City of Milwaukee announced that it would lift most COVID-19 restrictions on businesses beginning June 15.
Read a statement from MMAC President Tim Sheehy:
"Today’s announcement is a huge positive step toward full economic recovery for our region. We appreciate the leadership of Commissioner Johnson and the team at the Milwaukee Health Department in helping businesses navigate through the constantly changing complexities of the COVID pandemic over the past 14 months. Being able to reach a point where the emphasis can shift away from government controls and safety mandates to increased business flexibility and individual responsibility is a validation of the hard work and sacrifice by so many individuals and businesses who made the tough choices necessary to slow the spread of COVID. We urge continued vigilance by the entire community to make the commonsense choices necessary to keep our region healthy and allow our economy to return to full strength."
For additional perspective, watch a video from our Senior VP of Governmental Affairs Steve Baas:
In the May 11 edition of MMAC's Business of Metro MKE webinar, we discussed what factors businesses should be considering as they plan to bring employees who have been working remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic back to the office. Below, you can download presentations from this episode. Video replays will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel shortly after the live episode has concluded.
MMAC has launched an online application for the 2021 Focus on the Future awards.
These awards will highlight the Milwaukee Region’s most inspiring business stories, honoring organizations for their excellence in one of these five categories:
Additional information is available on MMAC.org including a link to the application. The application deadline is May 28. Members of the Milwaukee community also can nominate an employer worthy of consideration. Nonprofits and startups are eligible for award consideration. Small and mid-size businesses, and diverse-owned businesses, are encouraged to apply.
Winners and honorable mentions in each category will be honored at an award ceremony on Friday, Sept. 24. Specific event details are to be determined, but it is expected to be held in person at the Italian Community Center.
We thank our sponsor First Midwest Bank and media partner BizTimes Media for their support of this program.
Chamber invites attendees to “have a shot and a beer on us!”
To emphasize the pivotal role that COVID-19 vaccines play in the Milwaukee Region’s economic rebound, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) is partnering with one of its member companies, Novir, to provide free COVID-19 vaccinations to attendees at this week’s Madison Night in Milwaukee event.
The event, which will be held at the Saint Kate hotel on Thursday, May 6, is MMAC’s first major in-person event since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Milwaukee-based Novir, an MMAC member company and leader in on-site COVID-19 testing and vaccination services, will provide free vaccinations, plus free antibody testing and antigen testing, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the event.
“Milwaukee’s economy is bouncing back already, and we’ll make even more economic progress as more and more of us get the robust, safe and scientifically proven protection that comes with vaccination,” said Steve Baas, MMAC Senior Vice President of Governmental Affairs. “While this is not the first time you’ll hear someone in Milwaukee talk about having a ‘shot and a beer,’ we’re temporarily borrowing the phrase to help encourage everybody to get vaccinated and have a little fun in the process.”
Madison Night in Milwaukee is MMAC’s annual reception thanking state elected officials for all the work they do and showcasing the Milwaukee region and its companies. Working together, we are making the Southeast Wisconsin a world-class business location.
Last year’s event was cancelled because of the pandemic. This year’s safe, socially distanced event is designed to follow City of Milwaukee health and safety guidelines. Masks will be required when not eating or drinking.
Registration remains open for the event, although capacity is limited by City guidelines. Visit MMAC.org for details.
New poll: More than 70% of voters in Milwaukee, Waukesha Counties support modernizing I-94 East-West corridor
Area residents overwhelmingly support the modernization of the 60-year-old I-94 East-West Corridor with an added lane in each direction to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow and safety, according to a poll of Milwaukee and Waukesha voters released today.
Roughly three-quarters of those surveyed drive this vital stretch of Interstate between the Marquette and Zoo interchanges at least once a month, with 28 percent using it weekly. People who live along the 3.5-mile proposed project work area are most likely to use the corridor daily.
“The poll shows that people understand this section of the Interstate is old and reaching the end of its life,” said Terry McGowan, president/business manager of the International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 139 and member of the I-94 East-West Econ Connect coalition. “Doing nothing is not an option. Instead of a continual cycle of short-term fixes, like another resurfacing, which will lead to years of orange barrels and traffic diversions with no improvements in safety or increase in capacity, we need to move forward now to create jobs and rebuild the corridor to meet the region’s demands for the next 50-plus years.”
Read the full release here.
MMAC is hosting the latest edition of its monthly Business of Metro MKE webinar on Tuesday, April 13. A replay will be available on MMAC’s YouTube channel.
To download a copy of the presentation given by Dr. John Raymond, President and CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, click here:
Metro Milwaukee’s great strength is its resilience. Our ability to navigate an always turbulent economy has led to a consistent run of prosperity. As other regions rise and fall, we have consistently ranked among the top 25 U.S. metros measured by per capita income for the past 40 years.
To ensure our future, the big idea is to double down on our greatest asset: our citizens.
Click below to download presentations from Tuesday's Business of Metro MKE webinar, featuring:
In MMAC's new interview series Take 10, we’ll get to know business and community leaders who are playing a significant role in building the future of Milwaukee, our region and the state of Wisconsin. Our series kicks off with Nancy Hernandez, President of the Hispanic Collaborative. Watch our interview with Nancy here:
MILWAUKEE -- Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) President Tim Sheehy expressed support for a proposal unveiled by Governor Tony Evers today which would allow counties and large municipalities to seek referendum approval for an additional half cent local sales tax.
“For more than a decade, MMAC has been working to find ways to restructure our state and local tax systems in a way that encourages economic growth,” Sheehy said. “Allowing referenda asking local voters for permission to raise additional sales tax revenue increases local taxpayer control of their own communities’ financial destiny and diversifies the revenue options available to local governments.”
Governor Evers announced that the sales tax referendum provision would be part of the state budget proposal he will be releasing next week. The Evers language would allow counties to increase their local sales tax to 1 percent, while municipalities with at least 30,000 people could add a 0.5 percent sales tax. Both would need approval from local taxpayers via referendum. Currently, local county sales taxes are capped at 0.5 percent.
Sheehy noted that Evers’ sales tax proposal was similar to the actions Republican Governor Tommy Thompson took in the mid-1990s to allow local governments the option of raising property taxes via referendum.
“We applaud Governor Evers’ leadership including this measure in his state budget proposal,” Sheehy said. “Allowing direct voter input on local taxing decisions makes local governments more responsive to those constituents in their spending decisions. Nearly three decades ago, Governor Tommy Thompson showed the leadership to empower local voters with regard to property taxes. With this budget proposal, Governor Evers has shown similar leadership with regard to sales taxes.”
Click here to download the presentation from Tuesday's Business of Metro MKE webinar, featuring Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond, Chancellor Rebecca Blank of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Chancellor Mark Mone of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee:
A recording of this program will be available on MMAC's YouTube channel.
MILWAUKEE – Catherine Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert Health, has been named Chair-elect of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) Board of Directors.
Jacobson will succeed current MMAC Chair Jonas Prising, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, as part of ceremonies at the MMAC’s All Member Meeting in fall 2021.
“I’m honored by the opportunity to lead the MMAC at such an important time for our region,” Jacobson said. “I look forward to advancing the significant strategies MMAC and its member companies are pursuing to help everyone in the Milwaukee Region realize our opportunities and address our challenges as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m confident my experience leading our health care system throughout the COVID-19 crisis will help our members amplify our efforts and make a real impact on the metro Milwaukee community.”
Jacobson joined Froedtert Health in 2010 as executive vice president of finance and strategy, chief financial officer and chief strategy officer. She was promoted in 2011, becoming president, and in 2012, she assumed the CEO role. Prior to joining Froedtert Health, Jacobson spent 22 years at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago in various leadership roles.
Prising noted that addressing the COVID-19 pandemic while increasing efforts to make our workplaces and our community more diverse, equitable and inclusive, will be continuing challenges.
“We are excited to announce Cathy as Chair-elect of the MMAC and warmly welcome her deep knowledge acquired from such broad engagement in so many important aspects of our community. Her proven expertise in driving results together with her strategic prowess means she is the right leader to accelerate our progress especially around becoming a Region of Choice,” Prising said. “I look forward to the unique perspective and strong leadership I know that Cathy will bring at such an important time for the region.”
“As a business community, we welcome Cathy as our next Chair,” said MMAC President Tim Sheehy. “The qualities that make her such an effective leader, both at Froedtert Health and as a member of our Board of Directors, will help drive our initiatives to grow a globally competitive region that is prosperous for all our citizens.”
A national leader in the health care industry, Jacobson served as the voluntary national Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association during the 2009-10 term. Her other board appointments include Vizient, Teladoc Health and the Greater Milwaukee Committee. She is also a past chair of the board of the Wisconsin Hospital Association and is currently serving on the board.
MMAC will announce details of this fall’s All Member Meeting later this year.
Additionally, MMAC welcomes the following new members of its Board of Directors:
MILWAUKEE – The Milwaukee 7 Economic Development Partnership has recognized former Milwaukee Commissioner of City Development Rocky Marcoux with its second annual Excellence in Economic Development Award, M7 officials announced on Wednesday.
The award, which recognizes outstanding achievements that have contributed to the economic vitality of the Milwaukee Region, was presented during M7’s annual meeting. The meeting was held virtually on Wednesday morning.
“Rocky has been an incredibly supportive and trusted M7 partner over the years,” said M7 co-chair Gale Klappa, Executive Chairman of WEC Energy Group. “For two decades, Rocky’s imprint was seen on every major development project in Milwaukee, creating a lasting legacy for our region. We thank Rocky for his hard work and endless energy. He has made an exceptional contribution to our region’s growth and prosperity.”
Marcoux is the longest-serving development commissioner in the city’s history, serving for 16 years until he retired from his position last May. During his tenure, he oversaw a significant development boom in downtown Milwaukee and beyond, along with the creation of thousands of new jobs and the construction of tens of thousands of new housing units citywide.
“It’s an honor for me to accept this award from the Milwaukee 7, and I greatly appreciate it,” Marcoux said, in a virtual acceptance speech. “I remember back in 2005 when the Milwaukee 7 was formed, and the incredible collaboration that was needed to make it happen between the business community, government and economic development professionals. We could take that leap of faith that we could combine our assets, that we could have one marketing effort, that we could become competitive with other regions in the United States. I think since 2005, it has proven incredibly successful.”
Significant projects during Marcoux’s tenure include:
“I would like to extend my congratulations and thanks to Rocky,” M7 Executive Director Pat O’Brien said. “We’ve all been proud to call Rocky a partner, and a friend, over the years. Now it’s time to wish him all the best in his retirement, and I’m proud to honor him with this award. While his time in office has come to an end, his exceptional contributions to our region’s economic growth and prosperity will have a lasting impact.”
The Racine County Economic Development Corporation won the inaugural award in 2020.
About the Milwaukee 7 Development Partnership
The Milwaukee 7 is the regional economic development partnership of the seven Southeastern Wisconsin counties of Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha, dedicated to growing, expanding and attracting business and talent.
Download the presentation from the Jan. 12 MMAC/M7 Business of MKE webinar.
We've adopted a new monthly format for our Tuesday webinars in 2021.
Since the first stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, MMAC and M7 have partnered with the Medical College of Wisconsin and a wide range of Milwaukee Region subject matter experts to provide actionable, trusted information for business leaders during our 11 a.m. Tuesday webinars.
In 2021, we look forward to an end to the COVID-19 pandemic and the emergence of a new normal. There will be new opportunities to capitalize on, emerging trends to prepare for and long-standing challenges to confront. Once a month, join MMAC President Tim Sheehy, Medical College of Wisconsin President and CEO Dr. John Raymond and a wide range of business and community leaders to present actionable information on issues that are shaping our region’s interconnected health and economy.
If you're already registered for the previous Business Strategies During the Pandemic series, you should be all set. Otherwise, registration is free and available online. Replays of past webinars are available on MMAC's YouTube channel.