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Centergy News
Updates from your regional economic development alliance
March, 2010- Vol 1, Issue 1
In This Issue
Centergy Sponsors Central WI Days
Regional alternative fuel project spotlight
Centergy business plan results
The latest news from the Centergy Board

Centergy is joining a statewide initiative to tie Wisconsin's recent overall branding efforts into those of seven regional economic development entities.  The result of this multi-region branding effort will be a broad based picture of the state, represented by a "patchwork" state map identifying the major regions and labeling their key industries.  Further, each region's brand story will be told through expanded presentations covering industries, trends, opportunities, demographic and cultural aspects.  

Centergy's goal is to occupy a unique and marketable brand position. This newly defined identity will be employed in two ongoing marketing efforts:

1. Within the context of the state's 7-region branding initiative.
2. In Centergy's own promotional efforts.

Our brand will represent the region's true character, appeal to a range of prospective businesses and potential newcomers and serve as a model for future activities.  

Should you wish to join Centergy's marketing committee, or get involved in any way, please contact the Centergy office.

Meet the Centergy
Board of Directors
Centergy is blessed to have a strong, diverse board of directors from both the public and private sectors.

Meet them HERE.
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Barb FleisnerAbout Centergy, Inc.
Centergy, Inc., is a nonprofit organization created to attract and retain thriving businesses and a high-quality workforce, to foster entrepreneurial activity, and to inspire continuous improvement in quality of life. Our region boasts a wide range of progressive, innovative industries. Most notable are medical sciences, advanced manufacturing, emerging sustainable and bio-based technologies, and innovation through new product development.

Through our monthly newsletters we will feature regional initiatives for the purposes of communicating the issues of our plan of action, and the desire for increased participation.  We value creative thought, expression of opinions, and passion to the growth of our region.   

We look forward to working with you in the advancement of our 2010 strategic plan of action.

Best regards,

Barb Fleisner
Barb Fleisner
Executive Director
Centergy sponsors Central Wisconsin Days
State Capital Building
A team of business, educational and community leaders headed to Madison earlier this month for Central WI Days, an event in which we showcase our region to state leaders.  The summary of our issues was as follows:

Sustainable Technologies and Biofuels
1. Support the broader definition of 'biorefinery' to allow for the displacement of petroleum-based products in manufacturing processes.

2. The Rural Alternative Energy Education Center requires $2.8 million to complete the project. The 2010 Federal budget has designated $500,000 toward the methane digester portion of the project. Centergy is asking Governor Doyle and the WI State Legislature to support state matching funds for the designated Federal funds towards the methane digester.

3. Funding for three students (approximate cost $45,000 each) to assist with the Value - Supply Chain Assessment and Mapping coordinated through the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative.   Potential for allocation of work-study or research dollars that already exist within the UW budget to be allocated to this project, or funding from the Office of Energy Independence to allow this project to move forward in a timely manner to capitalize on the current pressure to move more of our energy production to bioenergy.

1. Completion of added lane capacity between Marshfield and Junction City by 2012.

2. Business Highway 51 Project:  Centergy supports submittal of this project to the TPC for ranking and funding.

3. Highway 13 Reconstruction Project:  Centergy supports TPC highway study funding for the Highway 13 Reconstruction Project (extension of Highway 13 Corridor Study from Marshfield to Prentice completed in 2009).

4.  Highway 54 Arterial Project:  Centergy supports environmental analysis funding for the Highway 54 Arterial Project.
Centergy region alternative fuel project: Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology
Alternative Fuels GraphicThe Centergy region boasts a number of ongoing alternative fuel and energy projects. Over the next few months we will update you on the happenings of individual projects. This month, we are focusing in on the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology's biorefinery research endeavor.

The mission of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Technology is to provide the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the collaboration of University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point researchers with private sector organizations committed to the advancement of environmentally and economically sustainable technology. A UWSP biorefinery research project headed by Professors  Eric Singsaas and Don Guay is the first to have developed into a WIST project. Their research focuses on the production of biofuels and bio-based products in a refinery process that uses biocatalysts to break down waste from pulp mills. The production of these biofuels and biopolymers has the potential of lessening the country's dependence on foreign oil, not only for fuel, but also in the form of petroleum-based chemicals used in the manufacture of materials such as plastics, rubbers, adhesives and even carbon fiber.

In 2008, the researchers received major grant funding to explore their biorefinery concept. American Science & Technology (AST), a Wausau-based private advanced technology firm, was included as a subcontractor on that grant. Since then, AST and the WIST researchers have collaborated their efforts, endeavoring to provide Wisconsin pulp mills with a technology that can further process the mill's waste pulp into useable products. The ultimate goal of the project is to provide an industrial-scale biorefinery at each pulping site in the State of Wisconsin.
Centergy business plan contest results

Centergy established an inaugural Business Plan Contest with the goal of encouraging the preparation of business plans for starting businesses or enhancing newly created business ventures in Central Wisconsin.

Sheldon Ferkey, chair of the Centergy contest, states "I was pleased with the quality of the business plans received and encourage the entrepreneurs to continue their plans and compete in the State competition. I am sure the entrepreneurs who took the time to compete in Centergy's regional competition found it a very valuable and professional experience, bolstering their confidence and competence."    

The contest was organized in cooperation with the Heart of Wisconsin Business Alliance, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Portage County Business Council, and Wausau Region Chamber.  SCORE and the Small Business Development Center were also involved as business counselors.

Contest corporate sponsors Wisconsin Public Service and Alliant Energy, and legal and marketing sponsors Ruder Ware, Gannett, and Flapjack Creative, awarded the top three business plans with a total of $10,000 in prizes.

First Place Winner:    Jason Nieman, SS Trike
Second Place Winner:   Hilary Bilbrey, Trademark U, Inc.
Third Place Winner:       Christopher Benson, Blackheart Laser Etching LLC  

While this contest was only one event, many entrepreneurs were connected with regional partners throughout the process to provide technical support.
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