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52nd Annual Meeting Recap

On January 26, 2024, we hosted Jay Rothman, Universities of Wisconsin President, to discuss the importance of higher education in our changing world. We also presented our winners for the Distinguished Service Award and the President's Award. We want to thank our sponsors Xcel Energy, La Crosse Regional Airport, and Dairyland Power Cooperative for helping us make this event possible. For more information on our award winners, read their biographies below!

Distinguished Service Award: Patti Balacek

Every year, we host two awards at our Annual Meeting. One of these awards is the Distinguished Service Award, which is presented to an individual who is devoted to helping the businesses in our community thrive. This year's recipient of this award goes to Patti Balacek (pictured at the right). Patti has over 30 years of experience in education, strategic planning, operational and leadership development, and project management.  She currently works as the Director of Strategy at Gundersen Health System and serves at LADCO’s Past President. She has also served on numerous community boards and committees over the years and believes strongly that an organization dedicated to true economic development is what helps move communities forward. Congratulations, Patti!


President's Award:
The Kapanke Family

Our other award is chosen by the LADCO President to a person/group who embodies leadership, commitment, and community support. The recipient for this year's President's Award goes to the Kapanke Family. The Kapanke's got together with the Northwoods League and the City of La Crosse to create the Loggers Baseball team and are headed into their 22nd season. This team attracts college players from all over the United States to improve their skillset in the La Crosse area. In addition, the Kapanke family will host the very first game for the new La Crosse softball team on June 15th at Copeland Park! Congratulations to both of our award winners, you all are an inspiration to our community.

26th Industry Appreciation Recap

On October 5, 2023, we hosted Tom Larson, Executive Vice President at Wisconsin's Realtors Association, to discuss Wisconsin's real estate market. Tom talked through topics such as workforce housing, short-term rentals, court cases, and other commercial issues regarding real estate in Wisconsin. We also presented the results from the tri-state workforce survey, as well as our winners for the Kwik Trip Business Plan Competition, Triangle of Achievement, and Diamond Recognition awards. Read below for more information!

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Tom Larson's Presentation Materials

We held our 26th Industry Appreciation in October and wanted to extend a thank you to our speaker, Tom Larson.  Tom talked about Wisconsin's real estate market as well as addressed workforce housing and other commercial issues. Did you know, that the average housing development takes 14 months to be approved? To learn more about Wisconsin's regulations and real estate market, feel free to check out Tom's slideshow posted to the left.

Tri-State Workforce Presentation Materials

As our region's businesses continue to face workforce and other economic-related challenges, La Crosse County, Western Technical College--Business & Industry Services, The 7 Rivers Alliance, LADCO, The Upper Mississippi Manufacturing Alliance, The Mississippi River Regional Planning Commission, and the Western Wisconsin Workforce Development Board have teamed up to develop a uniform survey that will provide our organizations guidance for future programming and member support. The results of this survey have since been collected and were presented at the Industry Appreciation event last week. For more information regarding the business retention survey, please see the presentation to the right!

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Kwik Trip Business Plan Competition

This year’s winner of the LADCO/Kwik Trip Business Plan competition and recipient of a $2,000 grant was awarded to Savanna Xiong with FeyeneInk. FeyeneInk Studio operates as a specialized cosmetic studio providing permanent eyebrows, eyelash extensions, and fine line tattoo services. FeyeneInk is currently located in the Coulee Region Business Center but aspires to “graduate” into the community in a high-traffic area to ensure visibility and accessibility for their target clientele. In the future, Savanna would love to open a larger studio to allow students to rent chairs and have a place to start their careers. For more information, check out her website here

Triangle of Achievement Award

This year’s Triangle of Achievement recognizes our three leading automotive businesses – Dahl Automotive, Morrie’s Auto Group, and Pischke MotorsCollectively, their investments in their people, in real estate, and in support of our community through various non-profits and fundraisers are remarkable examples of achievement, leadership, excellence, and collaboration. These three businesses represent more than $42 million in real estate investment, much of that occurring over the past few years, as well as supporting more than 780 jobs in the region. We would like to thank these businesses for their great impact on the community! 

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Diamond Recognition Award

This year’s Diamond Recognition award is presented to J.F. Brennan Company. This year’s winner understands the value of adaptation, but also recognizes the importance of retaining who they have always been as a company: their values, strong culture, and the way they do business remains the same. J.F. Brennan’s mission is to create and execute innovative solutions to the world's most complex maritime, environmental, and infrastructure challenges. Headquartered here in the La Crosse area, they are a fourth-generation, family-owned, marine construction firm that specializes in environmental services, dam, marine, and railroad construction, commercial dive, harbor services, and submarine cable services.

66th Economic Forum

LADCO's 66th Economic Forum highlighted the critical importance of organizational culture, how to better understand your organization's culture, and the impact it has on talent attraction and retention.  We want to thank our speakers, Rob Van Craenenbroek and Tim Eimermann, for sharing their knowledge.  Rob discussed his book, The Culture Factor, and what he has learned from his leadership roles. For more information, check out their website here


Economic Forum Presentation Materials

We held our 66th Economic Forum in June and wanted to extend a thank you to our speakers, Rob Van Craenenbroeck and Tim Eimermann. Rob talked about his book, The Culture Factor, and explained how leadership can build the desired culture in the workplace. To learn more about workplace culture, feel free to check out their slideshow posted to the right, as well as the videos from their presentation below.

The Solution for Labor Challenges

Importance of First Followship

Relationship Equity

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