Fond du Lac area, Wisconsin: Located at the foot of Lake Winnebago, Fond du Lac is a city of 43,000 and the county seat of Fond du Lac County (pop 102,000). Fond du Lac’s central location places it within one hour of Wisconsin’s four major markets – Milwaukee, Madison, the Fox Cities and Green Bay - thereby offering access to a broad regional population of 850,000 and workforce of 500,000. The area is easily accessible via U.S. I-41, U.S. 151 and Wisconsin 23, making is an important manufacturing and distribution center. Economic clusters include a robust high tech manufacturing sector, farming, healthcare, education, retail and a developing entrepreneurial/IT cluster.
Fond du Lac offers an exceptional quality of life with affordable homes, short commute times, outstanding arts and cultural attractions and a myriad of parks and recreational opportunities to suit every lifestyle. Fond du Lac residents enjoy all the benefits of living in a smaller community with easy access to large metro markets offering professional and college sports, an international airport and the state capitol city. Fond du Lac has a range of retail shopping option and outdoor activities are plentiful, including boating, swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, hunting, golf and the area’s one-of-a-kind Sturgeon Spectacular held every February on the shores of Lake Winnebago.
Fond du Lac is proud of its quality educational opportunities with an excellent public school and private schools options across in the region. The Campus District is an energetic, dynamic environment emanating from the nearly contiguous campuses of three institutions of higher education: University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac, Moraine Park Technical College and Marian University.
Fond du Lac Association of Commerce: Formed over 100 years ago, Association of Commerce (“AC”) is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization with over 850 members with a mission to foster a vibrant business environment throughout the Fond du Lac County area by promoting commerce, developing key partnerships, creating opportunities and building community. The AC’s operating budget is $1.2MM, staff of 11 and is governed by a 18-member Board of Directors. In addition, the AC has a 501(c)3 Foundation. Website: www.fdlac.com
Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation: Created in 1989, the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation (“FCEDC”) is a 501(c)4 public-private economic development corporation serving 9 communities in Fond du Lac County. Its mission is to generate increased and sustainable economic prosperity thereby enhancing the quality of life for its residents. FCEDC is governed by a 23-member Board, has 6 staff and an annual budget of $700,000. FCEDC markets 8 industrial and business parks that offer strategic access to interstates and highways along with some rail access. Website: www.fcedc.com
Future Direction: Over the years there has been discussion about merging the AC and the FCEDC into one synergistic organization to more effectively serve the Fond du Lac area and community leadership is currently in the process of that merger. This yet-to-be-named organization (“AC/FCEDC”) will be led by a single President & Chief Executive Officer and governed by an 18-member Board from among the former AC and FCEDC Boards. The merged organization will have a budget of nearly $2MM and the new CEO will guide this new alignment and the important and prominent business leadership and economic development activities within the Fond du Lac area.
The Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) will report to the 18-member Board which meets monthly. Other important interactions include: executives and employees of member and investor organizations in Fond du Lac area; local, county, state and national elected officials and their staffs; representatives of other public and private sector partnership organizations; officials from higher education institutions; state of Wisconsin economic development professionals; site selectors and commercial real estate professionals; members of the media; and representatives of target and prospect organizations. This person will supervise 18 member staff and budget of nearly $2MM. Responsible for coordination of the program of work for Association Commerce and all economic development efforts; organizational structure and procedures; motivation of volunteers; income and expenditures; maintenance of membership and investors; employment, training and supervision of staff; interpretation of policy; maintenance of quarters.