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Centergy News
Updates from your regional economic development alliance
October-November, 2010- Vol 1, Issue 8
In This Issue
2011 Business Plan Contest
Regional Manufacturing Alliance Event Recap
Unveiling of Bioenergy Supply Chain Software
Central WI Days set for March 9 & 10 of 2011

No surprise to stakeholders, the upcoming state budget process will be actively debated with severe budget cuts.  Centergy annually takes a group of business and civic leaders to Madison where meetings are held with the Governor, his cabinet, and State legislators to articulate the needs of the region.  Our first planning meeting is set for Tuesday, November 9 at 3pm.

Should you wish to participate or be added to the committee news distribution list please contact the Centergy office.

Sustainable Business Conference Registration

Registration is now open for the WI Sustainable Business Council 3rd Annual Conference.  While it is popular to talk "green", is it profitable?  This conference will feature business leaders across the state who have made the investments and are seeing financial returns on their investment.  Topics include:

- Economics of Sustainability
- Identifying and Using Key Environmental Metrics
- Green Trends in Packaging
- Best Practices in Communicating Your Sustainability Messages
- Beyond Environmental Sustainability: How and Why to Integrate Safety, Health, Governance, Labor & Ethics into Your Sustainability Agenda

You can register HERE or contact Tom Eggert at 608.267.2716 or at
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 FleisnerPublic Service Commission appoints individuals to improve broadband access across Centergy region

The State of Wisconsin received a statewide Broadband Mapping and Planning Grant from the National Telecommunications and Information Agency.  The Public Service Commission will be spearheading this project and has appointed the following individuals from the Centergy region to represent their respective industries:

Education: Chet Strebe, NTC

Libraries: Lori Belongia, Marshfield Public Library

Healthcare: Joe Brickweg, Marshfield Clinic

Public Safety: Kelly Zenz

Non-Profit: Kelly Lucas, Community Foundation of South Wood County

Seniors: Bob Williams, Idea Associates

Energy/Environment: Chris Leslie, Midwest Renewable Energy Association

Economic Development: Barb Fleisner, Centergy

Business: David McHone, Travel Guard

Agriculture: Terry Geurink, United FCS

Government: Gerry Klein, City-County IT Commission

Telecom Industry: Jamey Lysne, Solarus

Planning Commission: Dennis Lawrence, NCWRPC


The role of this committee is to develop an implementation plan to extend broadband access to more rural areas of our region, linking in with other regional plans.  Our first meeting is on November 9 and is open to the public.  Please contact the Centergy office for more information.

Barb Fleisner

Barb Fleisner
Executive Director
2011 Business Plan Contest
 As part of Centergy's mission to assist in the growth of new business starts, earlier this year we awarded $10,000 to three entrepreneurs who competed in our regional business plan contest.   We are increasing our efforts to connect local resources so that local entrepreneurs and start-up companies can compete in the state competition.  Click HERE for Centergy's Business Resource Guide.

The Governor's Business Plan Contest exists to encourage entrepreneurs in the creation, start-up and early-growth stages of high-tech businesses in Wisconsin.  Participants have the chance to win seed capital, valuable services that will help launch their businesses and a Grand Prize worth $50,000. 

While not all contestants can be winners, each entry will be given mentoring and comments from judges.  Contestants will have the opportunity to win $200,000 collectively in cash and services.

The first phase of the contest is fast approaching.  This is the IDEA Abstract submission, due by January 31.  These abstracts are 250-word (maximum) business concepts.  This is followed with an executive summary, final written business plan, and the top 12 brought in for oral presentations. 

Interested individuals should click HERE for more details.

Centergy-sponsored Manufacturing Alliance event a huge success
Manufacturing Alliance Photo
Over 65 Central Wisconsin manufacturers and guests came together on October 20, 2010 at Greenheck Fan for a Centergy-sponsored event to foster and support an alliance among regional manufacturers.  Centergy, Central WI's regional economic development corporation, spearheaded the implementation of this alliance in an effort to grow business-to-business connections in the industry; enhance the image of manufacturing to increase size of available workers; advance next-generation manufacturing concepts; and advocate for legislative support.  Wednesday's event proved just how extremely responsive area manufacturers have been toward the development of such an alliance in their industry.

Bill Tehan, President, Centergy Board of Directors, described the event as a positive first step for businesses and Centergy to promote collaboration among advanced manufacturing operations in the region, foster networking opportunities, increase business-to-business sales, share best practices, and speak with a uniform voice on legislative matters. Tehan also described the GIS mapping project that plots regional manufacturers according to industry type; the compilation of a first-ever regional advanced manufacturers' directory; and an assortment of marketing materials developed for the express purpose of promoting Central WI's manufacturers.


Tom Felch, President of J&D Tube Benders and chair of the 15 member steering committee, stated "The alliance encourages manufacturers in the region to work together to create a business-to-business supply chain network and promote collaboration to strengthen efficiencies and economic benefits among companies in the Centergy region."  Manufacturers not already part of the alliance were encouraged to get involved.

The event concluded with a high-impact, motivational presentation by keynote speaker and renowned Central WI business leader, Greenheck Chairman and CEO Dwight Davis. Davis, whose company recently called 200 employees back to work, told his audience they need to promote and educate people about the value of free enterprise, be willing to take risks necessary to compete in the marketplace, be focused and smart leaders of their organizations, and work together to release businesses from expensive and burdensome regulations that stifle free enterprise.   


For more information about how to get involved with the Central WI Manufacturing Alliance, receive a copy of or inclusion into the manufacturers' directory, or other information please contact Centergy Executive Director Barb Fleisner at 715.843.9563 or To learn more about Centergy, please visit the web site at

Project leaders to unveil bio-energy supply chain software
bioenergy event graphic
On November 16 business leaders in Wisconsin can share in meaningful dialogue around our shared energy future hosted by the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative (WBI).  The WBI seeks to cultivate bioenergy expertise among UW-Madison, UW-System and Wisconsin stakeholders to anchor the innovative research that is being conducted within our grate state.  WBI is a university-based coalition that helps talent across Wisconsin crate, commercialize and promote bio-based solutions.  These discussions will be led by Gary Radloff, Director of the Midwest Energy Policy Analysis at WBI; Troy Runge, Director of the WBI; and Gerry Ring, professor and chair of the UWSP Paper Science & Engineering Dept.

Following this roundtable discussion Doug Ahl of the Energy Center of Wisconsin will demonstrate their newly created bioenergy supply chain directory. The WBI, the University of Wisconsin's Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility (LICGF), the Energy Center of Wisconsin (ECW), and the UW Extension (UWEx) established a collaborative effort to combine resources and foster a value chain for biomass production, harvest, aggregation and delivery.  The goal is to help researchers, businesses, entrepreneurs, and policy makers connect to the information and technologies needed to develop and grow the bioenergy industry in Wisconsin.     

The event runs from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and will be held at UWSP, Dreyfus University Center, Laird Room and is sponsored by Centergy and the Wisconsin Technology Council (WIN). Please register online HERE. Cost for general attendance is $10, or $5 for WIN or Centergy members. Please contact Liz Schrum at or Barb Fleisner at with questions. 
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