Presentation: Thriving in a Multigenerational Organization

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EDC Announces March 28 Presentation: Thriving in a Multigenerational Organization

On Tuesday, March 28th, St. Croix EDC will host Dr. Melissa Furman for a 60-minute Zoom® presentation on thriving in a multigenerational organization. It starts at promptly at 9:00 a.m. central time but the online waiting room opens at 8:50.


About the Presentation
As the workplace becomes more diverse and change continues to occur at an accelerated pace, managers and employees are faced with unique challenges. Dr. Furman’s engaging and interactive session will provide recommendations and strategies for thriving as an employee or manager within a generationally diverse organization.

About Dr. Furman
Dr. Melissa Furman is not your typical “academic”. She served as the Assistant Dean and Professor at the Hull College of Business at Augusta University (Augusta, Georgia) for 10+ years, but her passion for career, leadership, and organizational development inspired her to launch Career Potential, a consulting, training, and coaching organization. Her expertise include generational diversity, unconscious bias, leadership success, and emotional intelligence. She brings her background in higher education—particularly business, counseling, and psychology to the conversation to help individuals and organizations achieve success. Learn more at

The presentation is free but RSVPs are required to obtain the Zoom® link. Sign-up here:

Event Sponsors
Dr. Furman’s presentation is sponsored by St. Croix EDC’s 2023 Legacy Members: St. Croix County, WI; Xcel Energy; and Derrick Building Solutions.

Danny Boy, if only for a day


Danny Boy, if only for a day


With the Luck of the Irish, St. Patrick’s Day 2023 falls on a Friday. Write your own punchline. There could be two- and three-day celebrations. Write your own itinerary. Parades. Toasts. Cabbage. Irish soda bread. Corned beef. Toasts. Shephard’s pie. Toasts. More Toasts. We’re all Irish for a day. Heck, even our Pepper Festival friends in North Hudson, Wisconsin, known for a heavy emphasis on Italian lineage, will tip their derbies and darbies to neighbors claiming the Emerald Isle as their own. Ditto for the Dutch contingent in Baldwin.

Irish for a day. Celtic music will be played as close as New Richmond, Wisconsin or in nearby hamlets of Cylon, Erin Prairie and Emerald. Keep an eye out for musicians carrying flutes, fiddles, tin whistles, Bodhrán drums, and Uilliean pipes – – Ireland’s national bagpipes. Follow them to their gig.

Irish for a day. In saloons, there’s undoubtedly an old timer at the bar disguised as a leprechaun. The red hair may be faded but the freckles are give-aways. Shout out a last name like Moore, Donahue, Ring, Casey, Geraghty, or O’Keefe and watch for a flinch. Out of nowhere, the leprechaun may belt out a version of Danny Boy. The din yields to the soulful tenor. Patrons may join in. Tears flow freely.

Irish for a day. Danny Boy for a day. Danny Boy is Ireland’s ballad. It was written over one hundred years ago – by an English songwriter named Fred Weatherly who’d never been to Ireland. The product was so-so. Weatherly’s sister in-law, an Irish immigrant, introduced him to the melody of The Londonderry Aire, an old Irish tune. Weatherly put his Danny Boy words to Londonderry’s melody and the rest is history.

The words are haunting:
O Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen and down the mountainside
The summer’s gone and all the roses falling
’Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
’Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
O Danny boy, O Danny boy, I love you so

Many interpret Danny Boy as a message from a parent to a son, wishing a safe return from war or distant travels, perhaps to America. Danny’s return is uncertain. The final line, ‘And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!’ brings a sense of hope of meeting again, one way or another.

Danny Boy has been universally performed, including by Sinéad O’Connor, Eric Clapton, Celtic Woman, and yes, Johnny Cash, the son of an Arkansas cotton farmer. It was played at the funerals of President John F. Kennedy, Elvis Presley, and numerous Irish-American police and firefighters, who died following the September 11 attacks in 2001. Twenty plus years ago, the Diocese in Providence, Rhode Island banned Danny Boy and other secular songs from funeral Masses. To that, retired police officer Charlie McKenna wrote, “I want ‘Danny Boy’ sung at my funeral Mass and if it isn’t, I’m going to get up and walk out.”

Irish for a day. There’ll be plenty of revelry in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley on March 17th. A Public Service Announcement is offered: Pace yourself. And when the tenor leprechaun hits the high notes of Danny Boy, it’ll be a moment to remember. Erin go Bragh – Ireland Forever

EDC Honors 2022’s Top Businesses

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EDC Honors 2022’s Top Businesses

On February 16th, St. Croix EDC honored its 2022 business of the year winners at a banquet hosted by Ready Randy’s in rural New Richmond, Wisconsin. The 2022 honorees included Keystone Medical Technologies (Town of Somerset; ‘Emerging Business of the Year’); Croix Valley Foods (Town of Hudson – City of Hudson; ‘Small Business of the Year’); and Isometric Micro Molding (City of New Richmond; ‘Business of the Year’).

Aaron Sundeen, the EDC’s 2022-2023 President, served as the evening’s emcee. It was the EDC’s first in-person awards event since the 2020 celebration.

About the Honorees:
Keystone Medical Technologies was launched in 2021 and manufactures custom tubing solutions including extrusion, polyimide tubing, and coated wire used in medical devices and components. Keystone’s senior management has over 60 years of combined experience in the medical device industry in all aspects of developing and manufacturing medical devices and components. Adam Sutton is the founder/CEO of Keystone Medical Technologies. Learn more at

Croix Valley Foods was launched 13 years ago by Damon and Lu Holter. The company produces steak sauces, marinades, barbecue sauces, dry rubs, and Bloody Mary seasonings. The award-winning sauces and rubs are all-natural, gluten-free, and MSG-free. Croix Valley Foods received a Governor’s Export Achievement Award last October in recognition of their global business development success. The company will move into a new 20,000 square feet facility in March. Learn more at

Isometric Micro Molding was acquired by its top executives Donna Bibber and Wayne Shakal in 2021 from owner-founder Mike Hudalla. Bibber is the CEO and Shakal is the President. The company has grown to be the largest and fastest growing medical-focused micro molder in the United States and North America. All micro manufacturing processes are completed in-house. Isometic serves numerous medical device industries, including markets for diabetes, intraocular, vascular, neuromodulation, orthopedic, and drug delivery devices. Learn mote at

Each of the honorees received a plaque from the EDC as well as a Legislative Citation from the State Senate and Assembly in Madison, and congratulatory letters from Missy Hughes, Chief Executive Officer, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC); U.S. Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin; U.S. Representative Tom Tiffany; Town of Somerset; City of Hudson; and City of New Richmond.

Past business of the year winners and recipients of the EDC Directors Award were introduced during the program.

An estimated 150 people attended the awards dinner and help celebrated the accomplishments of the honorees.

Penny Here, Penny There


Penny Here, Penny There


It may be a sign of impending old age, but a few residents in Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley still get excited finding a wheat penny. In fact, a fast talking community booster recently freed a penny from an icy tomb in a parking lot. Too shiny for a wheat cent, it still found a place in a coat pocket.

The wheat penny or wheat cent has a special place with U.S. currency. It’s a coveted treasure. The distinctive penny gets its name from the two wheat stalks or sheaves on the reverse side of the coin, with ONE CENT and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA between the wheat. And of course, E PLURISBUS UNUM – Latin for out of many, one – is along the top. The front of the penny features the likeness of President Abraham Lincoln.

Wheat pennies were produced from 1909 through 1958. 1909 marked the 100th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, and the roll-out of the wheatie was the first time a president was featured on a circulating U.S. coin. Commemorating the 150th anniversary of Abe’s birth, the design was changed to include the Lincoln Memorial. Fifty years of wheat sheaves was a good run.

Pennies are tied to many phrases:
-penny saved is a penny earned (money not spent now may be spent later)
-bad penny (unpleasant or unwanted person or thing)
-penny wise and pound foolish (don’t focus on the little things and lose sight of the big picture)
-in for a penny, in for a pound (all-in on something)
-penny for your thoughts (to ask what a person is thinking)
-worth every penny (completely worthwhile)
-penny pincher (a frugal person)
-cost a pretty penny (very expensive)
-shiny as a new penny (extremely bright and clean)
-pennies from heaven (unexpected good fortune, a windfall)

Whether it’s a penny, nickel or dime, experts say the use of spare change is in decline. Fewer Americans find a useful purpose for change. Credit cards and other hip electronic payment methods are seemingly more attractive than cash options. Using cash results in an unwanted quarter, dime and three pennies in spare change.

Does nearly $20 million in sales tax distributions from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to St. Croix, Polk, and Pierce counties put the lowly penny in better standing? All three counties collect an extra half-cent on top of the state’s five cents assessed to taxable goods and services. On a $100 taxable purchase, merchants collect an extra $5.50. Our friends in Madison keep five dollars and return fifty cents to the county where the purchase occurred. In 2022, St. Croix earned $11.9 million (rounded) from Revenue; Pierce got $3.23 million and Polk received $4.83 million. All three counties use the distributions in different ways, but most importantly, they lower property tax bills. Rather than borrow money, special projects are paid for with cash. The interest charged on borrowing is avoided.

The lowly penny has great value. Tourists and travelers in the St. Croix Valley are encouraged to spend away. Ten percent of the sales tax revenue will find its way back. Old Abe would be proud of how a coin bearing his likeness provides ongoing benefits, one cent or a half-cent at a time.

Winning Ticket: Valentine’s Day and ‘Big Game’


Winning Ticket: Valentine’s Day and ‘Big Game’


And they say true romance is on a hiatus or perhaps faces the same headwinds as the economy. Both romance and the economy are fragile. Buckle up. Even with dark skies and turbulence, they shall prevail.

The all-knowing National Retail Federation (NRF), a trade association promoting the importance of retail, recently predicted consumers will spend almost $26 billion (with a “b”) on Valentine’s Day this year. In 2022, romantics-consumers shelled out almost $24 billion. The $2 billion increase is akin to local innkeepers and steakhouses holding the winning lottery ticket. For them, true loves may celebrate on, say, Friday through Sunday rather than on Tuesday, February 14th, a work day for many. Their cash registers will likely ring a little louder for a few days in what otherwise could be a quiet, mid-winter weekend.

Maybe the same innkeepers and steakhouses upgraded their lottery ticket with the Power Play option at the point of purchase? This means cash prizes double on matched numbers other than the grand prize. If they can’t win the entire lottery, there’s a double-down option to win something extra. Innkeepers and steakhouses are savvy players. They’ll be ready.

Those savvy players looked at February’s calendar a long time ago. They choose the Power Play option. Super Bowl LVII, a/k/a the Big Game, will be contested on Sunday, February 12th. So it’s a Big Game – Romantics celebration over the course of a couple days. Cash registers will really ring.

The NRF also forecasts spending on the Big Game. An estimated $16.5 billion will be shelled out this year and includes purchases on things like hosting a party, attending one, watching at a bar, stocking up at liquor stores, team apparel, and even new TVs.

Why is $42.5 billion in spending for two events important? Consumer spending, even when consumers are disguised as romantics and sports fans, accounts for about 70% of the U.S. economy. Every 90 days, consumer spending in the U.S. totals as much as $14 trillion (with a “t”). That’s a lot of appetizers, football shaped desserts, office pools, greeting cards, flowers, dinners, get-aways, and even treats for special four-legged friends.

Romantics and sports fans may wish to know if they’re above the spending norm or below it. The NRF says as much as $190 per person may be spent on celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. Likewise, a little over $85 per adult will be spent on the Big Game. Cupid doesn’t dish out IOUs and neither do unsympathetic employers who expect high productivity versus sick days immediately following the Super Bowl.

In Wisconsin’s St. Croix Valley, innkeepers and steakhouses offer plenty of options for either day or both. Dine-in or take-out. Add a selection from a local winery, distillery or brewery. Local, family-owned butcher shops are not marriage counselors, but they can offer tips on premium cuts and how to prepare them. Regardless of the locale, Cupid will be there. So will Packer and Viking fans, even when they are part of the same family. If an innkeeper can win the lottery based on sales volume, then true romantics and sports fans can do the same in their enjoyment of special occasions. Above the norm or below, here’s to mid-February’s special spending days in the St. Croix Valley.