Press release date: Tue Mar 22nd, 2016


Contact: Keri Olson, Organizational Facilitator, Sauk County Development Corporation

(608) 393-7419;




     BARABOO, WISCONSIN, March 22, 2016 – The 40-year-old Sauk County Development Corporation (SCDC) is acting on a task force’s recommendations to transform into a private/public partner entity.


     On February 24, SCDC’s board of directors approved of the report and recommendations developed by a task force comprised of six private sector representatives from throughout Sauk County and three SCDC board members, who worked for 120 days to craft a new roadmap for the quasi-governmental organization.


     “Our journey began with the board spending eight months engaged in strategic planning and visioning, beginning in the fall of 2014,” explained SCDC Board President Andrew Strathman of Prairie du Sac, who has been in his position since December. “In September 2015, the former SCDC board president appointed a team of three SCDC board members, including myself, Baraboo Mayor Mike Palm and Village of West Baraboo Trustee Jim Bowers, to be facilitated by SCDC’s organizational facilitator Keri Olson. We were charged with developing a task force of private sector representatives from throughout Sauk County to create a plan that will move SCDC forward into a new configuration.”


     Six private sector representatives were recruited to the task force, including Kari Apel, Apel Associates, Inc., Prairie du Sac; Nicole Marklein Bacher, Cross Jenks Mercer & Maffei, Baraboo; Ken Carlson, Sauk Prairie Healthcare, Prairie du Sac; Derek Cowan, Dental Associates of Baraboo; Kyle Kraemer, Kraemer Brothers, Inc., Plain; and Eric Sauey, Seats, Inc., Reedsburg.


     The task force was charged with identifying strategic economic development partners and the roles they would serve, determining SCDC’s unique value proposition, determining key deliverables and measurements to stakeholders, selecting a business model, determining the size and composition of SCDC’s board of directors and the potential identity of those board members, and considering a new name for the organization.


     “It was a positive and collaborative process, generated by the task force members and four additional individuals from throughout Sauk County who were selected by the task force members to provide advice and counsel as representatives of sectors not represented on the task force,” Strathman noted.


     The task force identified four areas for the future SCDC’s work: business retention and expansion, workforce recruitment and development, housing, and business attraction, financing and loans. Each area complements the organization’s strategic directions, executive director’s priority strategies and leadership (board) capacity strategies, as outlined in SCDC’s strategic plan.


     The task force also addressed board composition, utilizing a skill matrix developed as part of SCDC’s strategic plan, as well as investor structure, proposed budget, timeline for the organization’s transition, change in office location, and a possible change to the organization’s name. While there was consensus for the Sauk County Development Corporation to retain its current name going forward, the task force determined that it would be best for the new SCDC board of directors to consider any potential organizational name change.


     The task force accomplished its work within the 120-day deadline and presented its report to the SCDC board of directors on February 15. The board met again on February 24 to vote on the task force’s recommendations. The recommendations were approved unanimously by the 10 SCDC board members present. The approved plan calls for the transformation of SCDC from a quasi-governmental entity into a private/public partnership, with private sector financial support and the majority of the board members representing the private sector.


     A transition team of current SCDC board members was formed on February 24 to begin implementing the task force’s recommendations. The first order of business for the transition team was to revise the section of the bylaws pertaining to board composition. Last evening, SCDC’s board approved of those changes.


     “We already have business leaders from throughout Sauk County expressing interest in serving on the new board,” noted Strathman.  “As we recruit new board members, we are also recruiting investors for the new Sauk County Development Corporation. We plan to hire an executive director this year. It is an exciting time for SCDC. We are taking action now that will have a positive effect on the economic vitality of our county for years and years to come.”