Not satisfied with the status quo

Posted on May 30, 2019 :: Editor , Editor’s Insights
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Occasionally, you hear executives talk about how they got where they are today, and you are left in awe. That’s definitely the case with Robyn Davis of the Brown County United Way. I am not going to give too much away here — you’ll have to read Jessica Thiel’s cover story starting on page 22 for all the details — but Davis didn’t take your typical career path. But in a way, that’s what makes her so well matched for her job leading the Brown County United Way, which has a goal of putting 10,000 area residents on a path to stability within the next 10 years.

A lot can change in 10 years. In 2009, the idea of purchasing a locally grown tomato or lettuce in winter was out of the question. But today, thanks to the region’s growing hydroponics and aquaponics industry, you can walk into a Festival Foods and purchase lettuce grown at Riverview Gardens in Appleton or eat a hot lunch in a Menasha school that includes produce grown indoors at the school. Read Sharon Verbeten’s Insight Insider feature starting on page 37 to learn more about the success businesses and organizations are having growing produce in water.

Change and innovation are a constant in technology, but what happens at the intersection of technology and industry? It looks a lot like what’s happening at Schneider in Green Bay. I talked with Shaleen Devgun, Schneider’s chief information officer, for this month’s Personalities feature on page 12 about how the company uses technology, including AI, to help with scheduling and sensors that monitor truck performance.

When thinking about most of the stories we share with readers, there’s usually some form of innovation involved. Whether it’s coming up with a novel product, developing a fresh process or finding new markets, innovation is about not being satisfied with the status quo and acting to make a change. In early May, Insight hosted its annual THINC! conference, where we handed out the Insight Innovation Awards. This year, we had a record number of nominees, and our panel of judges had a hard time selecting winners in each of our four categories of People, Planet, Process and Product. You can read about this year’s winners — plus the winner of a special Entrepreneurial Grit Award — in a special section that starts after page 29.

Innovation also drives us here at Insight. We are constantly looking for new and better ways to connect with readers and to connect businesses and individuals in the New North. If you’re not already following us on social media or signed up for our weekly eblasts, please do so and you can stay informed about what we’re doing to change the status quo.


coming up

The Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey is this year’s celebrity guest at the U.S. Venture Open, which will be held Aug. 14 at golf courses throughout the Fox Valley. Since the outing started 33 years ago, it has raised more than $42 million and granted $26 million to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin. Visit to learn more or to register for this year’s event.

Manufacturing First

Mike Staver, the author of “Leadership Isn’t for Cowards” and an internationally renowned speaker and coach, is the keynote speaker for the 2019 Manufacturing First Expo & Conference, which will be held Oct. 30 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay. Prior to Staver’s address, David Kohler, the president and CEO of Kohler Co., will provide an introduction and presentation.

Visit to learn more.


An extra dose of Insight

Listen to Brown County United Way President and CEO Robyn Davis discuss the organization’s goal of setting 10,000 area residents on the path to stability within the next 10 years.

Davis’ interview is just one of many you will find online at

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