Insight on Business

November 2015

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w w w . i n s i g h t o n b u s i n e s s . c o m N o v e m b e r 2 0 15 • I NSIGH T | 11 Packers put the region on a national map, it was fitting that their day-long visit began with a presentation by Packers President Mark Murphy on plans for the recently-announced Titletown District. e 34-acre entertainment area to be built just west of Lambeau Field — which by 2017 will boast a four-star Kohler hotel and spa, Hinterland brewpub, Bellin Health sports facility, green space for the summer and ice rink for the winter — piqued the interest of the national journalists. "With the Titletown District, you have this wonderful corporate citizen working on something that will be incredible for them, but also incredible for the community," Rasmussen said. en it was off for a flight aboard Jet Air's eight-seat, King Air 200 twin-engine turboprop, provided to New North at cost courtesy of Jet Air. Within minutes they took in the view over Lambeau Field, the Port of Green Bay, St. Norbert College and UW-Green Bay. Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North, Inc., described the landmarks as the plane hugged the Green Bay shore on its way to Door County, taking in some of the 309 miles of Great Lakes shoreline within the New North. With fresh water everywhere, he explained, the New North possesses one of the world's most valuable resources as a Great Lakes state. Each received a copy of the New North Business Locator Guide, which they paged through when they weren't looking out the windows as the plane dipped for better views of such sites as Chambers Island and Peninsula State Park. In the guides they found facts such as the water resources, transportation, worker productivity, quality education and health care value, all of interest to companies carefully weighing the attributes of one region over another when selecting a site for expansion. ey saw the three littoral combat ships currently under construction in the river at Fincantieri-Marinette Marine, mega farms in Kewaunee and Calumet counties and the tall red ladders in the yard at Manitowoc Cranes. Over the Fox Valley they glimpsed the region's heritage paper industry with Appvion, Appleton Coated and Kimberly-Clark, as well as the expanded Fox Valley Technical College Campus. Further south, they saw the enormous lots of army vehicles at Oshkosh Corp. as well as the new buildings at UW-Oshkosh near Lake Winnebago. en it was on to Sheboygan County, where they flew over Sargento and Sartori Cheese companies, before landing at Sheboygan County Memorial Airport. ere they hopped on a shuttle with Sheboygan County Economic Development Director Dane Checolinski, who filled their ears with interesting facts about the area, such as its low unemployment rate (3.1 percent; see page 35). ey enjoyed lunch at Kohler's Horse & Plough Restaurant with Steve Cassady, vice president of Supply Chain and Operations Support at Kohler, who described the history and diversity of the 142-year-old, family- owned company. "I knew about Kohler toilets and faucets, that they're high quality and American made, but the other things they're doing in the hospitality industry, the golf courses and what that means to your region — that's pretty impressive," Rasmussen said. Later they toured Bemis Manufacturing Company with Michael Klein, vice president of human resources, before flying back to Green Bay for dinner at the new 1919 Kitchen & Tap at Lambeau Field before taking in a Packers game. Duran said she was impressed by the collaborative work of NEW ERA (the Northeast Wisconsin Educational Resource Alliance) as well as the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. Both she and Rasmussen were surprised to learn of the North Coast Marine Alliance and the strength of the shipbuilding industry. Rasmussen stressed that the most successful economic development organizations she sees nationwide emphasize collaboration, and that New North appears to be doing it right. "Nothing real and lasting is going to get done unless that happens (collaboration)," she said. "e states and regions doing economic development best are those that are willing to put some of their wish lists a little further down and work regionally on the priorities that will drive business and the economy and the community development further along. It's going to propel it. If you can get enough people working together and moving in the same direction, great things can happen. at's what I see happening with the New North group." Taking in the sites of the New North region by air during a familiarization tour are, from left, photographer Heather Overman of Conway, Inc.; Patty Rasmussen of Site Selection magazine and Rachel Duran of Global Corporate Xpansion. P H O T O B Y M A R G A R E T L E B R U N

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