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About Us


Competitive Wisconsin, Inc.

Competitive Wisconsin, Inc. (CWI) is a unique non-partisan coalition that engages business, education, agriculture and labor in strategic collaborations dedicated to strengthening and growing the Wisconsin economy.

CWI was founded in 1981 and for more than thirty years has engaged in powerful strategic analysis of Wisconsin’s economic challenges and opportunities. We do so as skilled business leaders, institutional managers and policy experts dedicated to identifying and advocating for policies and activities that will support the retention and creation of family-supporting jobs, sustain prosperity and protect and enhance Wisconsin’s quality of life.


2017 CWI Leadership

Competitive Wisconsin is governed by an elected president, an elected vice-president and an Executive Committee. 


2017 CWI Executive Committee

Mr. Jerry Deschane, Executive Director
League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Mr. Mark O'Connell, Executive Director
Wisconsin Counties Association
Mr. Michael Theo, President
Wisconsin REALTORS® Association
Mr. James Wood, President
Wood Communications Group

Membership Engagement Oppotunities

CWI members come from different environments -  a variety of different business, labor, academic, and institutional communities – but share a desire to play a hands on role in getting things done. Recognizing the value of tapping into member expertise and energy, CWI provides a wide range of engagement opportunities that allow members to participate in different activities or to drill down in one or more areas. 

Pints n’ Policy


CWI regularly hosts informal "Pints n' Policy" sessions where members have a chance to hear from and then mingle with key state opinion leaders. This year, we hosted two sessions, one with Eric Schutt, then Chief of Staff for Governor Scott Walker, and one with Ray Cross, President of the UW System.


Issue Briefings & Discussions

fitz accordian picCWI Members have access to special briefings on important issues facing our state like April's briefing on State Budget discussions from Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald and Co-Chair of the Joint Committee on Finance, Representative John Nygren; an insightful and informative overview of Wisconsin’s food processing industry from Seneca Foods Senior Vice President and COO, Paul Palmby; an equally thought provoking look at Wisconsin’s major transportation opportunities and challenges presented by Wisconsin Transportation Development Association Executive Director Craig Thompson; and a BE BOLD III up-date from Jim Wood. In addition members play an active role in all CWI and BE BOLD meetings and briefings. This year CWI and the BE BOLD Council co-hosted with UW and Wisconsin Technical College campuses, Regional economic development districts and local chambers of commerce14 briefings around the state on the preliminary findings from the BE BOLD III: Accelerate Wisconsin initiative. Members attended meetings in Stevens Point, Madison, Green Bay, Waukesha, and Milwaukee.


Economic Summit Series

econ summ picCWI oversees the Wisconsin Economic Summit Series, a series of three conferences convened at locations around the State dedicated to informing opinion leaders, the news media and the general public about the BE BOLD initiatives’ research and recommendations and providing them with an opportunity to share their thoughts, opinions and concerns about the information.


Pints 'N Policy Briefings

Join Competitive Wisconsin

Competitive Wisconsin is always looking for forward thinking leaders to help us achieve our mission. Please take a moment to learn more about the benefits of joining our organization.
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Join the Be Bold Council

The BE BOLD Council identifies the topic, frames the research protocol, and oversees the work of the BE BOLD initiatives. It’s exciting and important work. Please think about joining us.
Learn More