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2022 Rural Summit Agenda

Tuesday in Marshfield
April 26, 2022    1:00 pm – 4:30 pm 

Enjoy the afternoon in Marshfield area! Two options for attendees: 

  1. 1:30 pm Leave for Stratford Business Park: The Village of Stratford is located in southwestern Marathon County, Wisconsin, with a population of 1700. Hear from leaders of companies that have made Stratford “home”:    
    2:00 pm     AMS bowfishing    
    2:45 pm     Stratford Sign            
    3:30 pm     Omega Thermo Products    
    4:15 pm     Return to Hotel Marshfield

  2. Tour of Area Agriculture farms, including: 

    • Badger State Fruit

    • Aquaponic Farm

5:00 pm Welcome Reception 


6:30 pm Taste of Marshfield event downtown 
Enjoy dinner with WPR board members at area restaurants. (Cost of dinner on own)

Wednesday, April 27


8:30-am        Welcome 

  • Sandy Decker, WRP President Welcome

  • Lois TeStrake, Newly elected Mayor of Marshfield (invited)

  • Office of Rural Prosperity, WEDC

Breakfast Sponsored by Cedar Corporation


9:15 am         Break - Visit Exhibitors


9:30 am          Breakout sessions

  1. Collaboration for Shared Public Services - Sponsored by WEC Energy
    •    Moderator -
    Seth Hudson, Director of Economic and Strategic Development, Cedar Corporation
    •    Tim Hanna, Executive Director, Local Government Institute of Wisconsin 
    •    Lee D. Turonie, Attorney, Dempsey Law Firm, LLP 

  2. Healthcare Collaborations to Meet Pressing Community Needs

  • Moderator: Marie Barry, Director of Community Economic Development, Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative

  • Physical Health Ryan Neville, Chief Administrative Officer – Wausau/Weston, MMC Neillsville

  • Youth Mental Health Amanda Lange, Director – Community Health and Foundation, Aspirus Medford

  • Alcohol + Substance Abuse Reduction and Recovery Meagan Pichler, Community Health Manager, MMC Ladysmith

   3. Rural Broadband: Positioning Your Community for Success 

            Sponsored by MaryAnn Lippert Consulting

  • Moderator: MaryAnn Lippert, MaryAnn Lippert Consultant LLC

  • Federal Infrastructure Support: Jaron McCallum, State Broadband Director, Public Service Commission

  • Communities & County Planning for Broadband: Gail Huycke, Community Development Outreach Specialist, UW-Madison, Division of Extension 

  • Local Match: Wendy Gehlhoff, Director, Florence County Economic Development Corporation


10:30 am        Break - Visit Exhibitors


10:45 am        Breakout sessions

  1. Public Safety Services in Rural Communities

  • Moderator: Mike Koles, Executive Director, Wisconsin Towns Association

  • Bill Euclide, Supervisor, Town of Adams

  • Matt Fennig, Merton Lake Country Fire and EMS Chief

  • Phil Stittleburg, LaFarge Fire Chief

   2. Developing and Strengthening Community Leaders

  • Todd Johnson, Land Use + Community Development Specialist at The University of Wisconsin-River Falls

  • Jeremy Solin, Leadership Specialist and Local Government Education, University of Wisconsin

   3. Leveraging Natural Resources for Tourism and Economic Development 

  • Introduction & Moderator – Cassandra Mordini, Community Development & Communications Specialist, Office of Outdoor Recreation, Wisconsin Department of Tourism 

  • Angie Close, Executive Director, Langlade County Economic Development Corporation 

    • Nicole-Wolf River Scenic Byway: Leveraging Natural Resources for Tourism and Economic Development

  • ​Brian Finstad, Community Volunteer, Gordon Fire Tower

    • For people connected with the Town of Gordon (Douglas County) it was never a question of “Can we save the fire tower?”  It was a commitment to “We will save the fire tower!”  Hear the inspiring story of how a former DNR fire tower slated for demolition is preparing to be a daytime and overnight tourism destination.


11:45 am        Lunch: Sponsored by Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

  • Awards ceremony - Top Rural Development Initiative (TRDI) winner

  • Bob Jones, Cuba City, 2021 TRDI winner 

  • Sam Rikkers, COO, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation


1:00 pm        Break - Visit Exhibitors


1:15 pm        Breakout sessions

1. Emerging Opportunities in Agriculture and Forestry

  • Moderator MaryAnn Lippert, MaryAnn Lippert Consultant LLC

  • Jessica Niekrasz, Principal, Clean Fuel Partners 

  • Shane Kleiman, Interdepartmental Specialist, Green Timber Consulting Foresters

2. Financing Small Business Growth in Rural Wisconsin

  • Moderator - Seth Hudson Director of Economic and Strategic Development, Cedar Corporation

  • Wendy Gehlhoff, Director Florence County Economic Development

  • Mark Speirs, Consultant, Wisconsin Small Business Development Center, UW-Stevens Point

  • Kyle Kuntz Vice President – Loan Officer, Wisconsin Business Development

  • Jed Lechleitner, Vice President – Commercial Banking, Nicolet Bank


2:15 pm        Break - Visit Exhibitors


2:30 pm        Keynote Speaker:  Vision of the Future with Kwik Trip

Since Kwik Trip’s first store opened in Eau Claire in 1965, the chain has grown to more than 700 stores in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, and Illinois. Kwik Trip opens more than 50 new stores per year, and its continued expansion is constrained only by geography. Scott Teigen and John McHugh will discuss Kwik Trip's vision of their future, and growing their rural presence. 

  •  Scott Teigen Vice President, Real Estate development

  •  John McHugh, Director of Corporate Communications, Leadership Development, and Training 


3:15 pm        Thank You | 2023 Annual Announcement

Agenda Subject to Change

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Reserve Your Room Today at Hotel Marshfield!

To reserve your room, call (715) 387-2700, great rates still available!