NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski spent the last two days at the 2013 Governor’s Northwoods Economic Development Summit held in Pembine, WI at the Four Seasons Resort. During the course of the two days, Sidlowski met and/or spoke with Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (and her policy advisor Robert Schlaeger), DNR Deputy Secretary Matt Moroney, DOT Secretary Mark Gottleib, Revenue Secretary Rick Chandler, DOT Deputy Secretary Mike Berg, Public Service Commissioner Ellen Nowak, WEDC Secretary and CEO Reed Hall, Representative Jeff Mursau (R – 36th Assembly District), Representative John Nygren (R – 89th Assembly District), WHEDA Executive Director Wyman Winston among others, on a wide range of topics involving broadband expansion and adoption as the means to economic development. NWBDC had the privilege of serving as a Premier Level Sponsor for the Summit, at which Sidlowski was himself a speaker on Day 2, joining members of the Public Service Commission and the UW-Extension Office of Broadband Sustainability on the topic of “Broadband in Wisconsin”.
Representative Mary Czaja (R – 35th Assembly District) lead a mini-summit today in Antigo hosted at the offices of the Langlade County Economic Development Corporation. Joining the summit participants were Rob Swearingen (R – 34th Assembly District) and his legislative aide Dan Perchinsky, via speakerphone Jennifer Esser, the Chief of Staff for Senator Tom Tiffany (R – Senate District 12), NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski and the Executive Directors of the following county economic development corporations: Christine Berry (Langlade), Susan Ryman (Lincoln), Roger Luce (Oneida) and Dennis Heiling (Shawano). The discussion focused on five key economic development policy initiatives which the county EDs in attendance had outlined in a letter to members of the Joint Finance Committee. At the summit, Sidlowski informed the legislators that he had been appointed as Executive Director of Grow North Regional Economic Development Corporation and stated that Grow North strongly supported the policy initiatives being advanced at the summit by the member counties.
NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski has announced that a mini-summit has been scheduled for Monday, December 9 in Antigo in which the featured participants will be Rep. Rob Swearingen (R – 34th Assembly District), Representative Mary Czaja (R – 35th Assembly District) and executive directors of the eco-dev corporations in the two assembly districts. The discussion will focus on a wide range of economic development policy initiatives related to broadband expansion and adoption
NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski announced that on November 11, 2013 the Coalition enrolled to become a Premier Level Sponsor for the upcoming 2013 Governor’s Northwoods Economic Development Summit being held on December 16-17 in Pembine, WI. “This is the most important annual conference held in the Northwoods and attended by all of the cabinet secretaries, the Lt. Governor and the Governor himself and so those of us who are active in the economic development arena have a responsibility to help support and fund the summit”. In addition to the sponsor commitment, Sidlowski will serve as a speaker on Day 2 of the summit.
NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski announced today that meetings have been confirmed with Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Assistant Secretary Matt Moroney while all the parties are participating at the 2013 Governor’s Northwoods Economic Development Summit being held in Pembine, WI this year. Sidlowski noted that he meets in Madison on a regular basis with members of the Walker Administration but the summit presented a convenient venue to conduct the talks in the Northwoods this time around. Topic with the Lt. Governor include job creation projects tailored to the Millennial generation, whereas with Asst. Secretary Moroney the discussion will focus on WNDR assests including towers that can be used for broadband expansion across the state in general but the Northwoods in particular.
For the third consecutive year, NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski has been selected to talk with participants at the 2013 Governor’s Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit in Pembine, WI about the expansion and adoption of broadband in Northern Wisconsin as a means for job creation, job growth and expansion/retention. “It is an honor and privilege to once again be asked to address summit participants about this vitally important area of economic development in Northern Wisconsin” said Sidlowski, adding that his talk will focus on the regional efforts of the Public Service Commission sponsored LinkWISCONSIN project with which NWBDC is closely aligned.
NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski met in Antigo today with Representative Mary Czaja (R – 35th Assembly District) to talk about a wide range of economic development policy initiatives related to broadband expansion and adoption. Invited to join the conversation was Christine Berry, Executive Director of the Langlade County Economic Development Corporation. Sidlowski proposed several ways in which NWBDC could assist with project initiation in both the 35th assembly district in general but in Langlade County in particular. A follow-up meeting has been scheduled for Monday, December 9 in Antigo in which the circle will be expanded to include Rep. Rob Swearingen (R – 34th Assembly District) and the executive directors of the eco-dev corporations in the two assembly districts.
Those attending the two-day Broadband Boot Camp in Wausau, conducted by the UW-Extension Center for Community Technology Solutions (CCTS) were treated to an insightful and fact-packed talk by Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch (R) on the morning of Day Two of the summit. In her remarks, the Lt. Governor thanked NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski for having extended the invitation to her to speak to the participants, and she referenced the importance of broadband expansion and adoption as a means for job creation and expansion in the state. The Lt. Governor coined the now widely used slogan “Wisconsin is Open for Business” and she shared her ideas with those in the room on how broadband, as facilitated by public-private partnerships, or P3s as supported by Governor Scott Walker, were a primary way in which this could be accomplished. By earmarking $5.5M in funds for broadband expansion and development in unserved and underserved communities through a grant program to be administered by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) the Lt. Governor stated that government has a role in facilitating the expansion.
For the second time in 2013 Don Sidlowski, founder of NWBDC, served as a “drill instructor” trainer at the two-day Broadband Boot Camp put on by the UW-Extension (UWEX) Center for Community Technology Solutions in Wausau on November 13-14. The boot camp was aimed at the forty UWEX Community Natural Resources & Economic Development (CNRED) and Family Practice agents along with economic development directors invited from a dozen rural northern Wisconsin counties. The agents participants were exposed to two intense days worth of high technology content on the technology of broadband, its application in the home and the workplace, and strategies for assisting the implementation in their county. Don’s training segments focused on success stories at the community level, featuring what had been done in the Town of Three Lakes in Oneida County as well as at the County level itself.
At the public hearing held today on the county budget for 2014, a resolution proposed by Supervisor Bob Martini was passed with overwhelming support to allocate $24,000 towards the county’s goal of providing the best possible broadband access to its electors and property owners. Speaking as Chairman of the board-appointed Technology Committee, NWBDC Founder Don Sidlowski told the 21 supervisors why their committee urged passage of the funding resolution. “The funds will be used to develop point-to-point wireless broadband infrastructure aimed at concentration of second homes inside the County with deployment by means of public-private partnerships willing to invest up to $50,000 to which will be added matching broadband grant funding administered by the Public Service Commission (PSC) resulting in the County’s investment becoming a pool of nearly $100,000″, said Sidlowski. He went on to add, “a study on the economic benefit of providing broadband access to these second homeowners commissioned and paid for by the NWBDC and conducted by the UW-Whitewater Fiscal & Economic Research Center (FERC) calculated an economic impact of $5.8M per year, every year. If rolled out to this market segment at a rate of only one-tenth of second homeowners per year for the next ten years, the County’s investment still results in an economic impact of $580,000 per year, every year”.