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Centergy News 
Updates from your regional economic development alliance
January 2012- Vol 3, Issue 1
In This Issue

Join us for Central WI Days: Feb. 15 & 16 - Madison, WI 

Please join fellow community and business stakeholders along with Federal and State Leaders to articulate our economic development needs in Central Wisconsin. Centergy is a non-partisan organization that identifies issues for state and federal assistance.  Due to the timing of another major event in Madison, the format for this year's Central Wisconsin Days has changed slightly.    


Central WI Days Itinerary

Wed., February 15:

9amCentergy Team briefing in the Capitol Room at the Best Western Inn on the Park 


10:30am - 5pm - Centergy Team meetings set up with Governor Walker, his Cabinet, and legislative leaders


5 - 7pm - WMC's Welcome Reception with U.S. Senate Candidates and WMC's

registered guests at the  

Madison Club (Please note that Centergy will not be hosting our own reception this year, but encouraging our team members to register with WMC for the reception and Business Day.  There is a cost to attend their event.  You may register for the event HERE.)      


Thurs., February 16:

7am - Centergy Team Breakfast Meeting with Cabinet Members/debrief at the Top of the Park at the Inn on the Park   

9am - WMC's Business Day at Monona Terrace (separate registration required)...

Elections: 9 - 10am - Frank Luntz  'What is Really on the Mind of America?"


Energy: 10:30 - 11:30am Robert Bryce - "Five Reasons to be Optimistic About Future Energy and Power Supplies"


Luncheon: 11:30am  


Economy: 12 - 1pm - Todd Buchholz - "The Economy in the Age of Obama"


Governor Walker: 1:30 - 2pm


2:30-4:30pm: Centergy legislative visits


(Final debriefing will be done electronically upon our return to Central Wisconsin.)


For more information, please contact Centergy, Inc. at or 715.843.9563. 


*Centergy has a block of rooms available at a rate of $94 - single.  Please call Best Western Inn on the Park at 608.285.8000, reference Centergy Central WI Days room block,  We encourage you to book early as there will be a large demand for hotel rooms around the capitol these two days.

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Centergy looks forward to an exciting 2012; welcomes new interim executive director  


Barb Fleisner

It is with mixed emotion that I will be leaving Centergy due to acceptance of a position with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.   


I have thoroughly enjoyed my time working for Centergy, in helping to create Central Wisconsin's new regional model for economic development.   I value the professional relationships I have been able to develop with our board, business partners, local economic development professionals, educational and civic leaders, and hundreds of volunteers.  I look forward to working with the Centergy Board in the transition to a new leader and the continued support of regional development in my new role.  I have been very impressed with the transformation of the previous Department of Commerce into the new WEDC and its leadership structure and am looking forward to continuing my work with state, regional, and local stakeholders.

As with any good business plan, you need an exit strategy.  To that end we are pleased to announce that Peggy Sullivan, previously with Sentry Insurance, has agreed to serve as Centergy's Interim Executive Director.  I am very confident that under Peggy's and the Board's leadership, the positive rewarding work of Centergy will continue without missing a step. Please click HERE to view a press release announcing my new position with the WEDC, and HERE to view a press release welcoming Peggy as Centergy's Interim Executive Director.


I wish to thank you for the support that you have shown me over the past several years.  My time here has been a very positive, rewarding experience. 


I wish you health, happiness, and prosperity into 2012.




Peg Sullivan"I am excited and honored to have the opportunity to build on the strong framework that Barb and the Centergy Board have established.  My previous involvement with the organization on a volunteer basis provided insight and knowledge of the mission and priorities.  I truly believe in Centergy and recognize the opportunities to positively impact economic development in the region.  Thank you for your confidence in me to transition the organization and I look forward to working with all of you."     


Peggy Sullivan
Centergy Interim Executive Director    

2012 Issues for Central Wisconsin Days 

While Centergy is not a registered lobbying organization, we do communicate issues of regional significance through a non-partisan basis and suggest concepts to improve our business climate.  Please refer to for issue and agenda updates.


Business Development:  

Buy Wisconsin Campaign

Support legislative concept that gives vendor preference if the company is based in Wisconsin.  Current draft legislation requires that state agencies and other purchasing agents maximize the awards given to businesses that have at least 50 percent of their operations in Wisconsin or that plan to have at least 50 percent of their operations in Wisconsin in the next year.  To accomplish this goal the state agency or purchasing agent may purchase materials, supplies, equipment, and contractual services from any such business that submits a bid or proposal that is no more than 5 percent higher than the apparent low bid or most advantageous proposal.    


Venture Capital and Seed Funding

Support venture capital funding that will be allocated to qualified venture capital firms, while allocating a portion of the funds to go to Angel Investment Networks and certified seed fund partners based in Wisconsin to encourage start-up and growing companies in the region.


Workforce Education and Training

Jobs Training Fund to assist in moving individuals off of UI benefits

Support the creation of a pilot program of special occupational/employer based job training programs in each workforce region of the state which will focus on high demand occupations that have immediate growth potential.   The concept would be for Unemployment Insurance recipients to take six weeks of training (20-24 hours per week) in a high demand industry with an employer who certifies with the State that they have job openings that they would be willing to evaluate the participant's skill level to fill.  The participants will receive their weekly unemployment compensation check and a stipend per week.   The participant would be considered a temporary employee of the State during the training period, so that the business can evaluate their skill level and willingness to learn before placing them on their payroll. 



Transportation - Support rail enhancements to improve freight rail service for our food processors and manufacturers; Support local projects gearing up for future enumeration into the Majors Program to include Business 51, Highway 54 Bridge, and Highway 13; Support increased weight limits for agriculture and frac sand mining.


Additional items being monitored that will be discussed at the Team Briefing:

Mining Regulation Changes - This bill creates new statutes for regulating iron mining and modifies the current laws regulating metallic mining so that they cover only mining for nonferrous minerals.    


Next Generation Jobs Reserve Fund for bio-science based increased employment - If signed into law, the bill would allocate a percentage of payroll taxes from new biotech industry jobs into the Next Generation Jobs Reserve fund, with the self-funded program being capped annually and over the life of the program.  Returns on the investment and repayment of loans would be reinvested into the same fund. 

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