I grew up in a small farm community in Eastern Iowa that today has lost its grocery store, gas station and the elementary school where I heard the news about JFK. My first experience of Wisconsin was attending Camp Manitowish in Boulder Junction during the summers of 1969 and 1970.
I watched Neal Armstrong’s moon walk at Camp Manitowish. If man could go to the moon with 1960s technology, we can do better than last place in the achievement gap standings. And we can balance our budget. And we can be the leading Midwest technology state.
In the early 70’s our dad took us up to see the races at Road America. More great memories! Even if you aren’t a race fan, Elkhart Lake is a great destination -- like so many other beautiful parts of our state. WI is first and foremost a tourist state.
I moved to Stevens Point in 1996 to work for a Wisconsin Rapids company that has provided much-needed stable employment in Wood County over the past 30 years. I later moved to Sun Prairie, one of the fastest-growing WI cities.
Today I’m a small business owner. I know from firsthand experience how hard it is to start and/or run a business. Stable employment gives people the opportunity to build their life in their community.
These experiences are why I believe WI can be a great place for everyone. But only if our state leaders are fiscally responsible. They have to negotiate from a position of strength, and understand how to leverage our most important strategic advantages. And compete for market leadership.