• interstate 41 Corridor
Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac Counties
Community Foundation receives $100 million-plus estate gift
The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region received an estate gift of more than $100 million, the largest gift ever and one of the largest in Wisconsin’s history.
The gift by former media executive David L. Nelson and his wife, Rita, will generate millions of dollars in grants annually to benefit causes important to the Nelsons and their family, primarily in the Fox Cities and Green Bay areas.
“This is the most generous gift ever for our region, and it is a game-changer,” Curt Detjen, Community Foundation president and CEO, said in a release. “It will be a catalyst for addressing community needs today, but also for investing in exciting opportunities for future generations.”
The Nelsons lived in De Pere. David Nelson helped manage the companies that published newspapers in Appleton and Green Bay before investing in radio stations and other businesses. Rita became a teacher after raising the couple’s three sons.
At more than $100 million, the gift was large enough to have ranked among the top 20 gifts nationally reported by the Chronicle of Philanthropy in 2017. The bequest is by far the largest gift to the Community Foundation in its 32-year history.
The Nelson gift established the David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, a permanent, donor-advised endowment that will award grants to charitable organizations reflecting the charitable interests of David and Rita Nelson and their family. The Community Foundation will support an advisory committee comprised of people who know the Nelson family to award grants from the fund.
The David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund will benefit parks, recreation and waterways, education, health care, community services and community centers, and historic preservation, including lighthouses, museums and historical societies. Other areas of family interest may be considered, as recommended by the fund’s advisory committee.
UWGB receives grant for educating teachers on cybersecurity
The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s Division of Continuing Education and Community Engagement received a grant from the National Security Agency for its GenCyber program, which helps address the shortfall in skilled cybersecurity professionals.
The $64,000 grant will fund a GenCyber camp, which will be free to teachers. It targets teachers who are passionate about providing students with the tools they need to be safe and responsible online. A team of cybersecurity experts will guide them through hands-on activities using current technologies and introduce the concept of digital citizenship.
Participants will learn cybersecurity curriculum they can take back to their classrooms to help students understand correct and safe online behavior, increase diversity and interest in cybersecurity, and promote cybersecurity careers.
Teachers will walk away from camp with a comprehensive set of teaching materials mapped to appropriate standards, including lesson plans, a Raspberry-Pi starter kit, project ideas for their classrooms and a network of like-minded teachers in their area to share ideas in the future.
• The Northwoods
Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties
Oconto County lands $600,000 broadband improvement grant
Oconto County received a $600,000 broadband expansion grant as part of a nearly $7.7 million package of grants from the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin aimed at extending high-speed internet access.
The $600,000 grant, the largest awarded, went to Bertram Communications, which proposes building five new wireless towers and leasing space on two others. Nsight Telservices also received $49,230 to build a fiber route passing 34 locations in the Oconto Falls business park.
The 46 statewide grants were awarded to extend high-speed internet access to as many as 1,600 business locations and 18,000 residential locations.
Elsewhere in the New North, Nsight Telservices was awarded $177,895 for a proposed project to build a fiber route along Highway O in Sheboygan County between State Highway 32 and County Road E, and Hexis Communications received nearly $2,900 to provide a fixed wireless service in rural areas outside Random Lake. The Town of Liberty Grove in Door County received more than $118,000 to build three wireless towers and a fixed wireless service. Kewaunee County received $40,000 to build a wireless tower and install a fixed wireless service.
“Years ago, electricity revolutionized farming for my grandparents. Today, broadband is revolutionizing education, health care, and business and improving the quality of life for Wisconsin’s rural residents,” Gov. Scott Walker said in a press release. “With this historic round of broadband expansion grants, we are another step closer to connecting every Wisconsin community.”
• The Lakeshore
Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties
Sheboygan breaks ground on 126-acre enterprise campus
The City of Sheboygan broke ground on the SouthPointe Enterprise Campus, which will provide shovel-ready developable sites ranging from 2 to 40 acres.
Phase 1 of the project consists of the 162 acres with 132 developable acres available for new industrial and light manufacturing-related businesses. The campus will include 11,000 lineal feet of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main.
Approximately 8,000 lineal feet of new streets including Horizon Drive, South Taylor Drive and SouthPointe Drive will be constructed. More than 700,000 cubic yards of the grading will be completed over this construction season.
“The Common Council’s decision to invest over $13 million in the development of the new campus aligns with the city’s strategic plan and provides new opportunities for supplier-related businesses from Foxconn and other local businesses a strategic location on the I-43 corridor,” Sheboygan City Administrator Darrell Hofland said in a press release.
Badger Tag & Label debuts new facility
Badger Tag & Label opened its new facility in Random Lake. It serves as Badger’s main office, as well as the production areas for digital and flexographic printing, and the rewind operations.
In addition to the main/corporate offices and production areas, the new building has warehouse/storage and receiving areas. The production area houses four flexographic presses for printing custom tags and labels, digital equipment and plotter cutter used for specialty projects, and the rewind machines.
Keller Inc. served as design-build general contractor of the construction project. The new 22,000-square-foot building is located just east of Highway 57, off County Road RR, east of Random Lake. The building is set on 12 acres on Badger Way, the new driveway custom named after the company.
This is Badger’s second facility in the Random Lake area. It continues to use its original 30,000-square-foot building on Bentert Street for its prepress department, letterpress printing and finishing operations. The new building was constructed with potential future expansion in mind. Also, with insight for future growth, the land it sits on allows for sale of select portions for construction by other businesses.
• West Central
Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties
Big Brothers Big Sisters opens new location in Waupaca
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region opened a new location in Waupaca. In partnership with NAMI Fox Valley and Catalpa Health, the building is located at 815 W. Fulton St.
“We are excited to have this opportunity for dedicated office space in Waupaca,” BBBS executive director Lindsay Fenlon said in a press release. “For the past several years, we’ve been partnering with local community volunteers to create life-changing friendships for children in Waupaca who are experiencing hard times. This office space gives us a physical presence to better engage with and serve this incredible community.”
A dedicated staff member, Zach Preboski, BBBS program specialist, is based in Waupaca to meet with current Bigs and Littles as well as connect with interested volunteers and children.