The excitement was palpable. The Black-Eyed Peas tune, “Let’s get it started!” played loud. Everybody danced, including Bob DeKoch and Kathi Seifert, always the good sports.
It was the launch of the New North brand at the 2005 Summit, held at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture museum in Oshkosh. Jerry Murphy, just in from Buffalo, New York, said hello for the first time as executive director of the new organization.
About 600 came, and when we broke for networking it was a thrill to see the nametags on the lapels – it was a who’s-who of leaders from the entire Northeast Wisconsin region, from Sheboygan to Door County, the Fox Cities and Green Bay and everything in between.
Each annual summit since then has had its own flavor. In 2006 we gathered at the Capitol Civic Centre in Manitowoc. The next year it was held at the grand Blue Harbor Resort on the shore of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan. Since then it’s been held in Green Bay and Appleton a couple of times each.
Tomorrow, Dec. 2, the New North Summit returns to the Blue Harbor. It will be the first time some of us have been there since – and we’re told it’s changed quite a bit.
For one, David Sanderson, general manager of the resort, tells me they have “de-mermaided” the place. Gone are the cartoonish beach motifs that helped brand the waterpark attached to the convention center when it was part of the Great Wolf Resorts ownership. Gone, too, is the staircase in the lobby that hid the grand view of the lake. Under independent ownership, the largest resort on Lake Michigan has undergone renovations that bring out its best. Can’t wait to see it!
It’s always well worth the time and travel commitment to gather with business, industry and community leaders who consider it a priority to invest in a vibrant regional economy. Insight is pleased to produce the New North annual Report to the Community, which will be distributed at the event.
What’s on tap this year? With a 2014 theme of “Every Part Counts,” the summit, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature panel discussions with regional business leaders on business development and talent development, Gov. Scott Walker will open the event and take part in a Q& A session with New North leadership.
More networking opportunities than ever are planned, along with a closing cocktail reception.
You can still register today for $90 at www.newnorthsummit.com
or for $100 at the door Tuesday morning. Student tickets are available for $15.
Watch for coverage of the event in an Insight blog later this week and in our January issue of Insight. We hope to see you there!