21 Mar Commerce's Leinenkugel finds silver lining in dark economic clouds
Hungry for some good economic news for Wisconsin and the Northwoods, a crowd of more than 60 members of Grow North Regional Economic Development Corp. and regional business and government leaders filled the Eagle River Inn Conference Center last Wednesday for a keynote luncheon presentation by Wisconsin Department of Commerce secretary Richard J. “Dick” Leinenkugel.
Named to the post by Gov. Jim Doyle last September, Leinenkugel was invited to address the bi-monthly Grow North gathering by Vilas County Economic Development Committee chairman Robert “Bob” Egan, a District 16 supervisor who serves as Vilas County’s representative to Grow North, a private volunteer-driven corporation dedicated to promoting economic development in Vilas, Oneida, Forest, Lincoln and Langlade counties.
A Northwoods native and owner of a Bass Lake vacation home in the Eagle River area, avid snowmobiler and ice fisherman Leinenkugel oversees the 400-employee Department of Commerce, which provides development assistance in a variety of areas including marketing, business and community finance, exporting, small business advocacy and manufacturing assessments. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce also issues professional credentials for the construction trades, administers safety and building codes, regulates petroleum products and tank systems, and administers the Petroleum Environmental Clean-up Fund.
Prior to his appointment, the Marquette University alumnus and fifth generation brewing scion served as vice president of sales and marketing at family-operated Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Co. of Chippewa Falls, which he joined in 1987.
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