7 Rivers Alliance - November 2015 e-Newsletter         
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Dear Colleagues,

October was a busy month at The 7 Rivers Alliance.  The team worked to pull together our first ever State of the Region event.  Special thanks to our event sponsors:  Gundersen Health System and Organic Valley/CROPP for supporting our efforts. We would also like to thank Mayo Clinic Health System, Dairyland Power Cooperative, Coulee Bank, Western Technical College and Southeast Minnesota State Technical College for sponsoring tables.  Several people have asked me about the format of this event and how it came about. This event was designed in response to the numerous requests for regional data that we receive. We know that business and community leaders need timely and informative data to make good decisions.  It was a pleasure to coordinate this event and bring experts to the 7 Rivers Region.  Below you will find the link to the Power Point presentations and a link to the La Crosse Tribune article.   The feedback from participants was very positive and we have begun planning the 2016 State of the Region event.

During the week of October 26-30th, I had the privilege of participating in a U.S trade delegation to Córdoba, Argentina. On this trip, I learned a lot about building international trade relationships. Next, I will be coordinating introductions between foreign trade ministers from throughout South America and Argentina companies and our companies in the region.
Next week, we will partner with Monroe County Economic Development to offer the Revitalize Storefronts seminar.  This event is filled with regional and national best practices for re-energizing rural downtown corridors.  This is a good opportunity to learn what about some exciting work underway throughout our region. See below for more details and the registration link. 

There is a common theme to all of this work and that is building collaboration.  Together, we can advance the vitality of this region and build relationships that will strengthen our businesses for years to come. Thank you for the opportunity to work with you.


Lisa Herr
Executive Director


Eight seconds. Eight seconds is the average amount of time it takes for a customer to walk by a typical storefront. From those eight seconds, 70% of people know  whether they will buy something within two seconds. How does your storefront make those valuable seconds count? 

Don't forget to register for the the Revitalize Storefront Conference on November 19th from 10 am to 3:00 pm at the Cashton Community Hall in Cashton WI. Join us to learn about holistic solutions, national trends, best practices, and success stories that will help improve your community's downtown and spark ideas to re-energize  those empty storefronts. 

Click here to register for Revitalize Storefront Conference. The event cost $20 per person and includes lunch.

State of the Region Event Pictures and PowerPoints   
The State of the Region Event was a great success with over 140 attendees.  Business leaders and key decision makers gained insights and information about the economic vitality of the region.  Stay tuned for an updated BORE report by the end of the month.

We have posted links to the presentations on our website for your reference. Click here to view the presentations online. Also, the October issue of the fedgazette from the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank is also available online.  If you are interested in a hard copy of the Fedgazette, please stop by the 7 Rivers Alliance office.  
The top image was taken by Erik Daily, La Crosse Tribune.
Next ECO DEVO: December 9th
Join us for our next ECO DEVO Meeting on December 9th, 2015 from 10 am to 12 pm. This meeting will held in Winona, MN at the Winona County Government Center.  The address is 177 Main Street Winona, MN 55987.  Natalie Siderius, Economic Development and Sustainability Director, will be updating us on the SE Minnesota Workforce recruitment and retention project.  To RSVP, email
ACE IV Trade Delegation

From October 26 to 30, 2015, Lisa Herr participated in a trade delegation that visited Córdoba, Argentina.  During the visit, she toured the region and met with major food and healthcare manufacturers.  She also built relationships with trade directors from Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Chile. 

"I returned to the United States with a new found inspiration for building on the relationships that  I established.  I look forward to connecting our businesses to the contacts that I made during this trip."

Welcome Emma and Megan! 
We are pleased to introduce Megan Sukovich and Emma Wuerslin to the 7 Rivers Alliance Team.  Megan is our new Marketing and Communications Intern and Emma is our Marketing and Graphic Design Intern. Megan is majoring in Organizational and Professional Communication and minoring in Professional Writing. Emma is majoring in Marketing and minoring in Graphic Design. They are both seniors at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse and are excited to be a part of the 7 Rivers Alliance team. 

2015 Wisconsin Deal Flow Snapshot

The Wisconsin Deal Flow Snapshot reports shows success throughout Wisconsin so far in 2015. The snapshot shows that the state saw more than $136 million in funding for early-stage and emerging technology companies so far this year. Additionally, there has been increased activity in the early-stage angel and venture capital space and a growing pipeline at the pre-seed and accelerator level. This level of investment, captured by Pitchbook, is an encouraging sign for a strong 2015. To find additional investment news and resources in Wisconsin below, click here. 

DNR receives award for providing job opportunities to individuals with disabilities

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources received the Large Employer of the Year award from the Minnesota Rehabilitation Association during a banquet on October  22, 2015. The award recognizes a successful partnership between the DNR and the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to boost employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.  In January, the two agencies signed a memorandum of understanding that guarantees DNR job interviews to qualified applicants who are referred by DEED Vocational Rehabilitation Services. To read more about this award, click here.

IEDA approves assistance for Kraft Heinz retention project in Davenport 

The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) board approved a High Quality Jobs Program (HQJ) award to Kraft Heinz Foods Company to construct a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Davenport.

The incentives awarded to Kraft Heinz included modest tax benefits in the amount of $1.75 million and direct financial assistance in the amount of $3 million that can only be used by the company to demolish the existing facility and create a development-ready site that is marketable for future projects. The project has a capital investment of $163 million and will retain at least 475 jobs, of which 261 are incented at a qualifying wage of $17.84 per hour. To read the full article, click here.

Midwest Active Transportation Conference 

Join University of Wisconsin- La Crosse at the Midwest Active Transportation Conference for one day of active learning, networking, collaboration, and continuing education. UW-L is celebrating the bonds of all who share an interest in empowering people in our communities by increasing awareness, implementation, and coordination of active transportation. 
When: Saturday, May, 21, 2016
Proposals must be submitted on or before Friday November 13, 2015.  
Late submissions will not be accepted.
Notification of acceptance or denial will be sent by Friday December 11, 2015. 

Click here to find out more information about the conference. 

Juneau County's Woodside Sport Complex prepares to build on-site hotel

The funding for the $10 million project for  the Woodside Sport Complex is in place as they await for the final guarantee for the last 20% by Juneau County.   This 85 room facility will generate income for the county via room tax, retail sales tax, and property tax, but the benefits don't stop there.  Woodside will be holding weekday clinics in addition to weekend tournaments.  This has been the missing link in Juneau County, preventing their economy from growing.  Additional skilled workers become interested in relocating there, allowing our existing manufacturers and retailers to expand operations and evolve to the next level.  To read more about the sports complex, click here
Copyright © 2015. 7 Rivers Alliance. All rights reserved.

Mailing address:
601 Seventh Street North
Suite 400
La Crosse, WI 54601

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Phone: 608-787-8777
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