Urban League of Greater Madison Unity Picnic

Drive Thru Unity Picnic 2020

Saturday, August 29

1:00 to 4:00 p.m. (or until food runs out)

Join us from the comfort of your vehicle, get some BBQ, learn more about Census 2020 and register to vote at the same time!

There is no cost to attend. There will be special hours for village elders from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Please enter the Urban League Parking Lot from Hughes Place.

Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity: Conversations with the Commissioners

Share your perspective on the challenges, opportunities and future of rural Wisconsin

Why a Blue Ribbon Commission?
Rural communities, Native nations, businesses and farms are Wisconsin’s strong backbone. The entire state takes pride in the beauty of our countryside, in our rural industries and workforce, and in our small towns where neighbors look out for each other and work together for a better future. Changes in technology and the global economy have been hard on rural Wisconsin in recent decades. Today’s pandemic-induced health and economic crises have only added to the challenge. Ensuring that every one of our 72 Wisconsin counties can thrive as places of opportunity going forward will require us all to work together. To tap the local knowledge, wisdom and ingenuity that are at the heart of forward-looking solutions,
Governor Tony Evers created the Blue Ribbon Commission on Rural Prosperity and the new Office of Rural Prosperity within the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC).

What will the commission do?
In his 2020 State of the State message, Governor Evers asked the commission to engage and learn from residents throughout the state in order to develop long-term strategies that will “best support the needs of rural Wisconsinites and rural communities.” To accomplish that, the commission will:
*Conduct three Conversations with the Commissioners – virtual public forums at which any rural Wisconsinite may offer their perspective and ideas on the challenges and opportunities facing our rural communities, industries, businesses, places and people.
*Engage directly, on request, with rural organizations, tribal nations, and business and other stakeholder groups via virtual meetings.
*Solicit additional comments from Wisconsin residents on the online portal opening on Aug. 31 through Sept. 30.
*Develop a recommendations report to the governor for how the state can be a good partner, supporting the needs and priorities of families, businesses and communities across rural Wisconsin.

Public Participation Options
The commission members are eager to hear from you. Sharing your ideas and experiences about what it will take to advance prosperity for all in rural Wisconsin. To participate and share your perspective, choose one or more of these options:

Come to Conversations with Commissioners – Please join us for one or more of our series with commissioners. In these virtual forums, it will be an open discussion on topics of rural realities and opportunities to be explored. Interpretation available in Spanish or Hmong.

Monday, August 31, 12-2 p.m.

Tuesday, September 8, 7-9 p.m.

Wednesday, September 16, 3-5 p.m.

Please register for a session at: wedc.org/rural-prosperity

Submit your ideas online – Any Wisconsin resident may provide the commission your ideas in writing using an online portal. It will be open and available for your input on the WEDC website (wedc.org/rural-prosperity) from August 31 to September 30.

Direct Stakeholder Engagement – Groups that hold a special stake in today’s rural Wisconsin and in its future may request the opportunity to meet and provide information and perspective to one or more commissioners. Please email Kelliann Blazek at kelliann.blazek@wedc.org.

Close the Distance: CEO Leadership Conversations Webinar

How should business leaders, entrepreneurs, innovators and strategists direct their organizations to prepare for the future? How is the organization you lead adapting and evolving to this “Next Normal” and guiding your stakeholders into an uncertain future?

Join Special Guests:

Michelle Schuler, Manager of TechSpark Wisconsin at Microsoft

Joe Kirgues, Founder of gener8tor

Barb La Mue, Executive Director of The New North

MITA Webinar: Resources for Exporting and Importing: the Government is Really Here to Help

Join this MITA Webinar to learn how to expand your global markets by using financial programs from EXIM and SBA, hear first-hand success stories from Carma Labs using a variety of resources!

If you could find a key that would virtually open doors to new foreign markets, would you use it? If it was right here in Wisconsin would you want to know more? Would you still listen if it was a government program?

Keys like this really do exist, and Carma Labs (Carmex) will tell you all about it. A first- hand success story about the programs that helped an experienced exporting company like Carma Labs expand its global markets through use of the ExportTech.

In addition, hear success stories of companies which use financial programs from Export-Import Bank (EXIM) and the Small Business Development Administration (SBA). The SBA offers a range of loan guarantees which provide lenders (for their export customers) with up to a 90 percent guaranty on export loans; one in as little as 36 hours. Ex-Im Bank supports and promotes exports of U.S. goods and services through a variety of programs including an Export Credit Insurance program, a Loan and Guarantee program and a Working Capital program.

It may sound too good to be true, but you will discover the keys to success are waiting for you at this resource packed MITA meeting on September 15.

Giacomo Tormene, Managing Director at Carma Labs. During Giacomo Tormene’s five years of tenure Carma Labs, international sales have doubled and substantially increased in profitability. His professional experience encompasses several diverse industries, including industrial automation, food, paper and forest, glass and ceramic, pharmaceutical, and consumer products.
Mike Fazio, is an Export Finance Manager, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of International Trade, Illinois and Wisconsin. Based in Chicago, Mike works with banks and SBA Resource Partners throughout Illinois and Wisconsin to increase access to capital for small business exporters.
Michael F. Howard is the Managing Director for the Central Region of Export-Import Bank of the United States. Ex-Im Bank’s mission is to promote exports of U. S. goods and services through a variety of financial programs.

Tuesday, September 15th 1:00pm – 2:30pm
Cost: FREE for MITA Members (registration required); $20 for Non-Members
This event is Co-sponsored by ME Dey, and ABS Global.

Pivoting for Growth – The Role of Acquisitions

Research shows a proactive M&A strategy enables companies to grow through downturns or aggressively in early recovery – the key is to ACT NOW.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a variety of business challenges and has changed the focus of many business leaders. As in past financial and economic crises, uncertainties in the business and capital markets have caused many M&A buyers, sellers, and their lenders to pause. Despite this sobering environment, some companies are looking beyond today’s challenges and formulating strategies to turn crisis into opportunity. As in previous crises, we expect this pandemic to produce opportunistic M&A openings which otherwise may not have existed.

This webinar will discuss sourcing of acquisitions, valuation and financing, and structure and closing. In addition, we will look at deals which are getting done, deals which cannot get done, and potential M&A hotspots which can help you grow, expand and diversify while your competitors sit on the sidelines.

Session Take-aways:
• A counterintuitive growth strategy
• Market outlook and opportunities during COVID
• Expectations for the post-COVID market
• Sourcing strategy and valuation
• Understanding of bank lending environment


Ann Hanna, Managing Director & Owner; Taureau Group, LLC. Ann has a proven track record leading successful merger and acquisition projects for middle-market companies. Her distinctive background includes more than 20 years of C-level management experience, including involvement in multiple corporate start-ups.

As managing director and owner of Taureau Group, Ann was instrumental in guiding the firm’s intentional evolution. From its roots within a regional CPA firm, she reinvented the M&A practice to create a true boutique investment banking practice. Today, the firm is a fully independent investment banking firm that upholds a relentless drive to realize the best outcomes for clients.

Ann is a licensed investment banker and real estate broker with extensive operational experience as owner of several successful businesses. Her background also includes corporate work for General Motors and Shell Oil.

Act now! Signup today for this free webinar and discover how you can grow your business during and after this downturn.