The Kewaunee County Economic Development Corp. elected a new executive committee Friday during the fourth in a series of meetings designed to reset the nonprofit’s course after recent changes.
The group has been working to hone its vision in the wake of a sharp reduction in the county government’s investment in KCEDC and the resignation of former executive director Jennifer Brown.
Lynie Vincent was re-elected chair, with new officers Lynn Kroll, vice chair; Jeff Kleiman, treasurer; and Kim Larson, recording secretary.
On Thursday, County Board Supervisor and Finance Committee Chair Lee Luft clarified the role of a separate economic development roundtable that met Feb. 20 to do a SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats) analysis of the county.
The group included three members of the KCEDC board, he said: Kendra Bulgrin, Larson and Art Schiller.
“The intent was that we were going to come up with a series of recommendations that we would hope might be valuable to KCEDC and then become incorporated into their planning,” Luft said. “It would be one more avenue, one more flow of information on Kewaunee County economic development that they could use to develop their future plans.”
The group also included County Administrator Scott Feldt, Rob Burke and Claire Thompson from UW-Extension, and several business leaders, he said.
“There were people in the community and frankly on the KCEDC board who were saying, you know, we’re doing a lot of things but they don’t all add up to economic development,” Luft said, citing the “Best of Kewaunee County” vote and the Taste of Kewaunee County event as more appropriate for a chamber of commerce.
Luft said the main goal of economic development should be to identify the kinds of business and industry that might thrive in Kewaunee County and figure out ways to reach out to those businesses.
“Now we’re saying we’re going to head down that path and now KCEDC is saying hey, you know, we need to revisit our vision and we may want to incorporate some of those ideas, and I think that’s healthy,” Luft said.