Last spring, Associate Editor Rick Berg and I took the opportunity to attend the Oneida Tribal summit in Oneida. For a first-time event, the turnout was impressive – most of the tribal leaders and businesspeople among the Wisconsin Oneidas were there.
But we came away with more questions than ever about the business involvement of the tribe. Casinos, bingo, gas stations, hotels, land – what else? We wanted to know.
As Berg describes in this month’s cover story featuring Tribal Chairman Rick Hill, the Oneidas have come a long way since building the Rodeway Inn in Green Bay in the 1970s. From the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center to the construction and engineering firm, Oneida Total Integrated Enterprises, the Oneidas have found ways to diversify their businesses. You may not know that Bellin Health Systems leases its Bellin Health Family Medical Center in Ashwaubenon from a holding company that includes the Oneida Seven Generations Corp., for example.
The Oneidas were lauded at the March summit for their diverse approach to development. “Relying too heavily on gaming revenue or on federal government funds leaves tribes vulnerable to economic and political changes,” said keynote speaker Deron Marquez, founder and CEO of the Academy of Tribal and Local Government. The Oneidas are among a short list of tribes nationwide that have taken their businesses beyond gaming, he added.
Just as their ancestors have always done, the Oneidas consider the impact their actions will have on the future for generations to come. Today we call it sustainability. Turn to page 26 to find out more.
Coming up this month: If you’re intrigued by the concept of sustainable business practices, you might consider attending the NEW Wilderness Alliance conference coming up later this month in Green Bay. Featured in the September issue of Insight, it’s a group that provides an avenue for conservation organizations to collaborate, particularly to find grant opportunities. Members pledge to work together to foster cooperation among all groups working for a sustainable future for our area. The all-day conference will be Oct. 25 at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. For more information, visit the New North website at www.thenewnorth.com and under Key Initiatives, click on Sustainability Committee.
InDevelopment: For those interested in economic development and commercial real estate opportunities in the New North, we’re planning a second mid-year meetup. InDevelopment, a mini-conference and networking event coordinated by Insight Publications, will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. Oct. 21 at the Holiday Inn Riverwalk in Neenah, followed by tours of the new Plexus headquarters down the street. Attesting to the successful June event we held in Oshkosh, this is shaping up to be a great learning and networking event for developers, retailers, brokers, lenders, municipal officials, construction companies and property asset managers. Register in advance at www.insightonbusiness.com. (Click on InDevelopment.) You’ll also want to mark your calendar with a “save the date” for our second annual InDevelopment conference, set for Jan. 13 at the KI Center in Green Bay.
St. Norbert CEO Breakfast & Strategy Series: Early next month, the St. Norbert CEO Breakfast & Strategy Series kicks off its 14th year. Sponsored by Grant Thornton LLP and Insight Publications, these talks offer insight from some of the best minds in business. Tom Poberenzy, EAA Chairman (July Insight cover story), will deliver the first talk Nov. 4 at Riverview Country Club in Appleton. Then on Nov. 16, Richard McCreary, Marinette Marine president and CEO, will speak at the F.K. Bemis
International Center on the St. Norbert College campus in De Pere.
As a member of the speaker selection committee for the series, I can say that this year’s lineup features an all-star cast of great leaders from our region and beyond. You’ll want to register for all eight talks. Look for the insert in this month’s issue for more information. I hope to see you there!