Bridget O’Connor is passionate about telling stories, whether it’s helping a large company create marketing collateral, assisting nonprofits with developing a new brand or writing news releases for both types of clients. She’s also dedicated to helping other women with their businesses and careers and sharing with them her story of leaving behind a job offering regular pay to launch her own business. Earlier this year, her passion for helping other women evolved into The Connective: A Place for Women in Business in downtown De Pere. Jessica Thiel has more about O’Connor in her cover story starting on page 22.
While Oshkosh Corp. is one of the largest employers in the region, most of its corporate employees had been scattered around Oshkosh in a variety of locations, including empty strip malls, for years. In October, the company opened its new headquarters on Lake Butte des Morts, bringing about 550 employees under one roof. Jessica and I talked with President and CEO Wilson Jones about the move and how it’s part of the company’s continuing People First initiative. Read more starting on page 38.
As more baby boomers who own businesses reach retirement age, they are trying to determine what to do with their companies. Many are considering the option of selling their business to their employees through an ESOP. An ESOP not only allows a company’s culture to continue and creates stability, but it also helps with recruitment and retention efforts. Read my Insight Insider feature on the growth of ESOPs starting on page 30.
All sectors struggle to find the workers they need, but the banking industry has another challenge: There’s only one college in the state offering a degree in commercial banking, and most students haven’t really considered it as a career. Read Jessica’s industry feature on page 34 to learn what financial institutions are doing to attract more employees.
Please also check out the New North Annual Report, which was delivered with this issue, to learn more about the organization’s achievements during the past year and its plan for the year ahead.
Oshkosh Business Expo
The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Business Expo helps businesses increase brand awareness, share information about themselves and discuss job openings. This year’s expo will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Oshkosh Convention Center. Visit oshkoshchamber.com/business-expo to sign up to be an exhibitor or learn more about the event.
Get updated on the latest news in economic development and commercial real estate at the 11th annual InDevelopment, which will be held March 18 at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center in Oshkosh. The event features keynote speaker Michael Belot, senior vice president of Bucks Ventures and Development, and presentations on some of the area’s most important projects.
An extra dose of Insight
Watch Bridget O’Connor, principal and owner of O’Connor Connective, discuss the role of strategic communication and how she plans to continue to extend the reach of her De Pere businesses.
O’Connor’s interview is just one of many you will find online at insightonbusiness.com/home/cover-story-videos.