CONNECTIONS – Elevating growth

Posted on Nov 1, 2012 :: Connections
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

The difference between companies that survive and thrive and those that don’t often comes down to the way they develop new ideas and adapt to change. This year’s New North Summit theme, “Innovate to Elevate,” brings in top experts to share their experiences using innovative ideas and collaboration to foster growth in the New North.

“If you are not innovating, you are not moving forward,” says Ann Duginske, research and development project manager of New North. “This year (the conference) is going to capture a lot of that excitement that innovation brings.”

The summit, to be held Dec. 7 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in Appleton, starts at 7 a.m. with networking and continental breakfast and features a CEO panel, breakout sessions and an address by Gov. Scott Walker.

Also shared at the summit will be the results of the Northeast Economic Survey by First Business Bank, which had previously been presented at a separate event, and the NEW Manufacturing Alliance Vitality Index.

“I think we always learn better when we know where we’re at, or where we’re going,” Duginske says.

The CEO panel will highlight several areas of innovation. Speakers include Melanie Cosgrove Holmes, vice president at ManpowerGroup of Milwaukee, who will speak about the teachable fit system to bridge the skills gap, and Christine Mau, global design director at Kimberly Clark. More speakers will be announced as they are confirmed.

Other breakout sessions include information on Fast Forward 1.0, a program to find and accelerate fast-growth entrepreneurs in the region; best practices in sustainability; expanding export opportunities; and collaboration between business and education.

In the end, the summit is about its participants, Duginske says.

“In the past, we had spoken more to the business community and last year focused on (industry) clusters, and that was an important theory we wanted to communicate,” Duginske says. “But this year, we’re really trying to connect with our audience and attendees and be able to offer education. Because in the end people want to go to the summit to learn something.”

Joey Reader, summit coordinator and owner of A-Mazing Events in Little Chute, says one of the big draws of the summit is simply its networking opportunities.

“We did a word-cloud analysis from last year of the responses from the post-event survey,” Reader says, “and networking jumps out as one of the most important things as far as what people liked best about the summit.”

One of the best networking opportunities occurs during the popular Taste of New North, during which culinary entrepreneurs and restaurateurs set up their wares during the lunch period. The summit is still accepting applications for the Taste.

The event is for anyone involved in regional growth and economic development, such as small business owners, education professionals, manufacturing company executives or government and chamber of commerce leaders. Insight Publications, which produces the New North Report to the Community, is one of the sponsors.

More than 800 people attended last year and at least as many are expected this year.

“It’s a great event,” Reader says. “It’s one of those things that allows you to get the opportunity to understand what the New North is all about, from a very basic level to more in-depth, so it reaches a broad range of audiences.”

For more information, including sponsorship opportunities, call Ann Duginske at (920) 336-3860 or email [email protected]


Twitter: #nnsummit12



The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce’s Event Awards – Celebrating Business Hollywood Nights Style program will be held from 5:30 to 10 p.m. at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. The program recognizes excellent business leaders in the community. Black tie is “admired but not required.” For more information, visit



The St. Norbert College CEO Breakfast Series will feature Paul Rauscher, president and owner of EMT International, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the F.K. Bemis International Center at St. Norbert College. The cost is $60 per session or $450 for the season. For more information, contact Jamie McGuire at [email protected]



The Ethics in Business Awards, presented by American Foundation of Counseling Services in partnership with Cornerstone Foundation of Northeastern Wisconsin, Inc., will take place at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:10 p.m. and will feature keynote speaker Mark Murphy, president and CEO of the Packers. For more information, visit