By Chi Ab Vang and Nick Gourdoux
Governor Scott Walker stopped at the Chippewa Valley Regional Airport to introduce Reed Hall as the new chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Wednesday.
Hall, who was previously employed as the executive director of Marshfield Clinic from 2000 to 2010, has served as the interim secretary/CEO of WEDC since November. The duo have been touring the state since the announcement yesterday. Walker has highlighted stops in Brown County, Madison, Milwaukee, Racine, Janesville and La Crosse on his twitter page.
“Reed’s experience at the Marshfield Clinic, in numerous civic organizations, and involvement in creating private sector jobs in Wisconsin makes him a perfect fit for this position,” Walker said in a press release. “He will be guided by years of experience and a record of effective management in the private sector. I look forward to working with Reed and the WEDC to continue to improve Wisconsin’s business climate.”
During the press conference Reed spoke about different ways to better WEDC.
“We firmly believe in nourishing existing businesses, because a lot of growth comes businesses that are already existing,” he said.
He spoke about the role the community can play, as well as his own role, in economic development.
“It gives me a chance after 36 years in the private side, to do public service,” he said. “To participate in new chapters of history, for me professionally, and we all must support economic development and job growth. It’s something that you have to support if Wisconsin’s going to move ahead.”
The visit, however, comes just one week after Eau Claire company Lifenet announced that it will be closing, and that an estimated 120 people will lose their jobs. The embattled WEDC has faced an array of scrutiny since its creation in 2011.