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Summary - FaB CEO Briefing: Creating a State Innovation Cluster Fund
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Summary - FaB CEO Briefing: Creating a State Innovation Cluster Fund

When: Tuesday, February 20
11:00 am - 1:30 pm
Where: University Club of Milwaukee
924 E. Wells St.
Milwaukee, Wisconsin  53202
United States
Contact: Shelley Jurewicz

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On February 20, FaB hosted an invite-only CEO Briefing on cluster efforts to create a Cluster Innovation Fund through the WINS Act (
Workforce and Innovation Network for Success.) 

You've probably heard the adage that making legislation is like making sausage. Taking no offense to the analogy, late last year FaB had the opportunity to sign on to support a state bill that would create the Cluster Innovation Fund. Working with FaB Wisconsin's peer cluster organizations, BioForward, The Water Council and M-WERC, we have coordinated representation at two legislative hearings in Madison and have garnered industry support from the companies below.

The bill is being championed by Senators Alberta Darling, Dan Feyen, and Van Wanggaard, and Representative Adam Neylon under the WINS Act (Workforce and Innovation Network for Success). Attendees learned about the bill's intent and its benefits to the state targeted clusters including food and beverage, water technologies, and biotechnology to spur growth and innovation.

While we weren't able to get the Bill passed in 2018, we'll continue to ask our members to reach out to their legislators and/or the Governor to show support and help us grow industry support.We'll go back at it with our cluster peers when the legislator reconvenes in 2019.

Help FaB Wisconsin and our peer cluster organizations see that the Cluster Innovation Fund is created through the WINS Act (Wisconsin Workforce and Innovation Network for Success Act.)  

Please show your support and email your legislator – it’s easy. Learn how and who has.

11:00 am – 11:30 am
Arrive, network, and enjoy a hot buffet lunch

11:30 am – 11:35 am
A warm welcome from FaB

11:35 – 11:38 am
CEO Briefing Sponsor welcome by Jeffrey Ware, Senior Vice President of Food and Agribusiness at Bank of America Merrill Lynch

11:38 am – Noon
FaB updates presented by Shelley Jurewicz, Executive Director of FaB Wisconsin

Noon – 12:30 pm 
About the Cluster Innovation Fund by Lisa Johnson, CEO of BioForward Wisconsin

12:30 pm – 1:25 pm
Cluster organization support for an Innovation Fund Panel with:
  • Lisa Johnson, BioFoward Wisconsin
  • Brad Rostowfske, FaB Wisconsin
  • Meghan Jensen, The Water Council
1:25 pm - 1:30 pm
Closing remarks

FaB's invite-only CEO Briefings are designed to connect with senior leadership throughout the year to garner your insights, input, and support for our Strategic Initiatives. To receive an invitation, you must be a FaB member or the senior executive or ownership team of a food and beverage production or ingredients manufacturer (including packaging and equipment), distribution, or retail company.

Also invited is the senior executive of each of our Annual and Program Sponsoring companies, and selected non-member food and beverage companies. If you'd like to ensure you receive your invite, email Shelley Jurewicz, FaB's Executive Director.


Axis Automation, Ty Sarajian
Baensch Food Products, Kim Wall
Baker's Quality Pizza Crusts, Anne Cooksen
Baker's Quality Pizza Crusts, Patricia Miller
Briess Industries, Ryan O'Toole
Central Standard Distillery, Evan Hughes
Central Standard Distillery, Pat McQuillan
CG Schmidt, Rick Nierzwicki
Chr. Hansen, Enrique Breceda
Chr. Hansen, David Carpentar
Chr. Hansen, Johann Weimann
Clean Beam, Mark Cottone
Clean Beam, Tom Mesi
Door County Brewing Co., John McMahon
East Shore Specialty Foods, Jeri Mesching

Feeding America Southeastern Wisconsin, Patti Habek
Gehl Foods, Eric Beringause
Jam Berrie, Mary Bauschelt
Kettle Range Meat Co., Mark Bearce

Klement's Sausage Co., Ray Booth
Klement's Sausage Co., Tom Danneker
Klement's Sausage Co., Ray Deeter
Maglio Companies, Sam Maglio
Masterson Co., Mike Masterson
Milwaukee Pretzel Co., Matt Wessel
Nikki's Cookies, Kathy Klotz
Nueske's, Tanya Nueske
Omanhene Cocoa Bean Co., Steven Wallace

Palermo's Pizza, Giacomo Fallucca
Palermo's Pizza, Nick Fallucca
Regal Ware, Dave Lenz
Regal Ware, Jeffrey Reigle

Rishi Tea, Dan Boyea
Salm Partners, Chris Salm
Sargento Foods, Louie Gentine
Seaquist Orchards, Laura McMahon
Sysco Eastern Wisconsin, Rob Huether
The Spice House, Nathan Villa

Tribe 9 Foods/RP's Pasta, Peter Robertson
Usinger's, Fritz Usinger
Wixon, Inc., Ron Ratz
Z.T. Distribution, Scot Trojanowski

BioForward Wisconsin, Lisa Johnson
FaB Wisconsin, Shelley Jurewicz
FaB Wisconsin, Brad Rostowfske
The Water Council, Meghan Jensen

Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Darci Miller
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Bryan Mulkerron
Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Jeff Ware, Bank of America
BMO Harris, Tony Leach
Chortek, Mark Albrecht
Consolidated Construction, Rick Bickert
Door County Economic Development, Caleb Frostman
First Business Bank, Craig Cerbins
JP Cullen, Chad Schakelman
Lakeview Equity Partners, Joe Cesarz
Milwaukee 7, Logan Dawson
Quigistics,Vivek Sharma
Reinhart Boerner van Deuren, Bob Heinrich
Wisconsin Center for Manufacturing & Productivity, Joylynn Gilles 


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