Small Business, Big Investment: JPMorgan Chase & Co. Announces $30 Million to Help Entrepreneur Networks

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 22, 2014 - JPMorgan Chase & Co. today launched Small Business ForwardSM, a five-year, $30 million grant program to boost small business support networks that help growing enterprises in specific industries. Small Business Forward connects entrepreneurs with critical resources to help their businesses grow, create jobs and strengthen communities.

Small Business ForwardSmall businesses can increase their impact on a region’s competitiveness and economic output through business concentrations known as economic “clusters.” In fact, nearly half of the high performing clusters in the nation’s 10 largest metros grew roughly three times faster than other local businesses between 2003 and 2011, according to a new study from the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

“Beyond their vital role in our economy, small businesses are often the source of innovation and inspiration,” said Scott Geller, CEO of Chase Business Banking. “Helping local, small business clusters grow faster and create more jobs will take JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the entrepreneurial community to a new level.”

JPMorgan Chase launched Small Business Forward at a forum supported by Maria Contreras-Sweet, Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration; U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, chair of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee; U.S. Senator James Risch, the committee’s ranking member and Rep. Sam Graves, chair of the House Small Business Committee.

 Small Business Forward will fund nonprofit cluster organizations that work with small businesses concentrated in a single sector. In addition to supporting strategic planning and research, JPMorgan Chase’s grants will help cluster organizations provide participating small businesses with:

  • Networking that helps businesses connect with investors, mentors, competitors and customers;
  • Partnerships with colleges and universities that help drive industry research and innovation;
  • Workforce and management training that gives them access to the skilled employees and managers they need to grow;
  • Supplier networks that offer specialized products and services to cluster businesses; and
  • Export promotion to help businesses access new markets, and source new customers and suppliers.

In addition to their impressive economic growth, businesses participating in high performing clusters typically add more jobs than other businesses in local/regional markets, according to the ICIC research, which was commissioned by JPMorgan Chase. Between 2003 and 2011, many small business clusters outperformed overall employment growth in their metropolitan areas. For example, the Education and Knowledge Creation cluster in Los Angeles increased employment growth by 31 percent compared to general employment growth rates in the city during that eight year period. The Oil and Gas Production and Transportation cluster increased employment growth by 47 percent in Houston during that same time frame. ICIC is a nonprofit research and strategy organization founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter in 1994. ICIC’s extensive knowledge of urban economies and small businesses has contributed to the advancement of cluster theory and practice.

“Clusters are driving economic growth in major cities, contributing to job creation, higher wages and innovation. But the impact of clusters on small business growth could be strengthened. Most cities currently lack a unifying strategy for supporting clusters and small businesses,” said Kim Zeuli, ICIC’s Senior Vice President and Director of Research.

Supportive of regional, industry-specific clusters, the SBA applauded JPMorgan Chase for developing the Small Business Forward initiative.

“America’s forward-looking companies are investing in clustered communities, because they see the return on investment,” said SBA Administrator Contreras-Sweet. “Clusters speed commercially viable ideas from the drawing board to the marketplace. These are communities with buy-in at every level and a proven support structure that nurtures success.”

Inaugural investments of Small Business Forward’s five year, $30million commitment will touch the following ten cities across the country and then expand to additional markets in the US and abroad:

  • Chicago: Manufacturing Renaissance’s Austin Manufacturing Innovation Park is developing a facility for advanced manufacturing companies on Chicago’s West Side.
  • Detroit: Eastern Market’s new community kitchen gives small business owners access to professional kitchens and connections, and Bizdom is strengthening the environment for e-commerce businesses in Detroit.
  • Kansas City: The University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center will provide growing businesses access to high tech equipment including 3D printing to help them develop new products.
  • Los Angeles: LA Cleantech has brought together business, government, and academia in LA to grow the city’s cleantech sector and is now developing satellites throughout California and internationally.
  • Milwaukee: The Water Council connects freshwater research, innovation, education, and business development to make Milwaukee a hub of water technology.
  • Newark: The New Jersey Innovation Institute applies the intellectual and technological resources of the New Jersey Institute of Technology to challenges identified by industry partners.
  • New Orleans: New Orleans BioInnovation Center is a health sciences incubator that supports promising, high growth companies.
  • San Francisco: QB3 is a lead partner of BioSF, a collaboration between academia and government to develop a biotech industry cluster in San Francisco.
  • Seattle: Washington Interactive Network is growing interactive media and technology companies that are generating high-quality jobs in across Puget Sound.
  • St. Louis: BioSTL is building the regional infrastructure in the bioscience sectors of health and healthcare IT.

Small business advocates in Congress and mayors of leading American cities reaffirmed the importance of the Small Business Forward initiative and clusters as economic development tools to accentuate their regional economic strengths and sow the seeds of innovation. 

For more information about the grants and research, visit and follow #SmallBizForward on Twitter.

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Delta Sky Magazine Features Milwaukee Water

WaterCoverMilwaukee’s water cluster and The Water Council are currently featured in Delta Sky Magazine, the on-board publication found on all Delta Airline flights. The article, entitled “Conserving Water with Blue Tech” describes the plight of the California drought that has plagued the west coast since 2012. Depending on whom you ask, it goes on to say, it is the worst “since the gold rush, the worst in 500 years, or possibly ever.” It details how that state’s drinking water supply has become threatened, and how farmers in hard hit region Central Valley have been forced to shut down.

Enter The Water Council, and our growing water cluster, the leading solution provider for freshwater challenges in North America. As many of our Members are aware, Milwaukee has a long history with water as the city was built on brewing, tanning and meatpacking, all water-intensive industries. While many of those operations have decreased their presence, the suppliers that provided the pumps, meters, heaters, etc remain, and have shifted their focus on addressing global freshwater issues.

The article describes how are startups in The BREW at the Global Water Center are providing answers, and disruptive, innovative technologies to address the growing water crisis. It also mentions Imagine H2O’s efforts in California to help address the state’s water disparity by holding business plan contests, and other programming for “blue tech” entrepreneurs looking to bring new products to market. The point of the article is to create awareness of the growing water scarcity crisis, and the need for organizations like The Water Council and Imagine H2O, which are working to help solve these problems, with new, innovative technologies that ensure the future of our most precious resource.

Read the full article.

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Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Survey

WSBCEvery summer for the last 5 years, the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council, with the support of Cool Choices, Focus on Energy, and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WMEP), has surveyed the Wisconsin business community. The information gained from this survey regarding business beliefs and practices in sustainability is used to impact program development, financial incentive development, funding allocation, and training opportunities.

The survey should take only 5 minutes, and we want to thank you in advance for completing it. As with all surveys, the results are anonymous and we will only be reporting summary statistics and the relationship of this year’s results to past years, or to results from national surveys. For information on previous surveys, CLICK HERE.

As an incentive, the WSBC is offering each person that completes the survey by July 23rd the opportunity to enter a drawing to win free admission to the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Annual Conference, to be held on December 3, 2014 at the Harley Davidson Museum in Milwaukee.

Take the Survey Now!

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The Water Council featured in USGLC’s 2014 Innovations in Smart Power Initiative

USGSLCThe Water Council is pleased to announce that we have been selected as one of 30 leading American innovators for the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s (USGLC) 2014 Innovations in Smart Power Initiative. The Innovations in Smart Power is an initiative spotlighting American businesses and non-governmental  organizations (NGOs) partnering with the government to take on the world’s toughest global development problems.

Through our work with the United Nation’s Global Compact Cities Programme, which recognized Milwaukee as an urban center of excellence in water in 2009, has helped us establish Milwaukee as a global hub of freshwater technology, education and economic development. Furthermore, as a result of our recognition by the UN, national and international companies have come to The Water Council’s Global Water Center in Milwaukee in search of solutions to their freshwater issues, and to share in our knowledge, expertise, and innovations in water technology.

Read the Full Report

About the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition

The U.S. Global Leadership Coalition is a broad-based influential network of 400 businesses and NGOs, national security and foreign policy experts; and businesses, faith-based, academic, and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating development and diplomacy alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world.

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Fund for Lake Michigan Economic Impact Study Released

boys_in_the_riverWater Council Member, Fund for Lake Michigan, recently released Measuring the Economic Impact of Water Quality Initiatives: A study of the Fund for Lake Michigan an economic impact study by the Fiscal and Economic Research Center and the Institute for Water Business at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. At a time when the costs to improve and restore Wisconsin waterways is estimated to be $4 billion over the next 20 years, organizations like the Fund for Lake Michigan are providing much-needed funding to nonprofit and government organizations that are conducting projects specifically aimed at improving the quality and health of the Lake Michigan watershed.

This study utilized IMPLAN, an input-output method of analysis, considering both primary impacts caused directly by the Fund and secondary impacts indirectly caused by the Fund’s investment projects. Initial findings of the study show that the Fund’s efforts have paid dividends, creating jobs, raising property values, and raising awareness and demand for locally produced products.

Established in 2008 as part of an agreement over a dispute involving multiple power plants in Southeastern Wisconsin, the Fund for Lake Michigan receives annual payments of $4 million from 2011 through 2035 to fund projects that improve water quality in Lake Michigan, subject to the approval by the Public Service Commission. These payments are a small fraction of a cost, to taxpayers, of the hundreds of millions of dollars it would have cost to continue litigation had a resolution not been agreed upon.

In the three years analyzed, 2011 to 2013, the Fund for Lake Michigan has awarded 71 grants, out of 225 requests, totaling $7.5 million, from $38.3 million requested. The grants are solicited twice a year and tend to be highly competitive due to the limited financial resources and enormous interest.

The Results

Grants distributed by the Fund have restored over 70 miles of degraded waterways, restored 100 acres of wetland, improved 25 public parks, revitalized waterfronts and transformed polluted and neglected land for recreation and development, and utilized locally developed technologies that reduce flooding, and polluted runoff from entering local waterways.

Furthermore, the Fund for Lake Michigan is responsible for creating 480 family supporting jobs, providing employees over $13 million in labor income; increasing property values in Southeastern Wisconsin by over $45.5 million; leveraged an additional $12 million in additional federal funds; and stimulated an additional $35 million of economic output in local economies.

As noted in the report, Fund for Lake Michigan is poised to continue to see the same amount of economic impact for years to come as they continue to make investments in improving the Lake Michigan watershed. If you would like to read the full report CLICK HERE. For additional press coverage, CLICK HERE.


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The Water Council to Launch Water Collaborative Innovation Platform

Milwaukee –The Water Council, the School of Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the innovationExchange and inno360 have formed a partnership to rapidly expand Milwaukee’s global presence in water innovation and leadership. By harnessing the power of today’s most advanced collaborative innovation technologies, together they will dramatically increase and improve public-private sector water-related collaborative research. This expert system links the knowledge economy with the innovation economy by providing an interface for academics, industry, investors and manufacturers.

The Water Collaborative Innovation Platform, showcased during The Water Council’s Water Summit 2014 in Milwaukee, is a web-based search, innovation management and analytics tool that will enable water industry and academic researchers worldwide to conduct the most complete mining of water research information that has ever existed. The platform will access data from the largest landscape of resources and greatly increase the speed of information transfer – from weeks to hours – leading to increased research productivity.

“Quite simply, the Water Collaborative Innovation Platform supercharges any web search engine with advanced search algorithms, content categorization and visualization technologies to put Water Council members at a significant advantage when seeking global solutions and global leaders,” said Dean Amhaus, president & CEO, of The Water Council. Amhaus added, “The water challenges that the world is facing are diverse and addressing these challenges is a daunting task. We believe that organizations such as The Water Council, enabled through this Platform, can pull the best minds from around the world in diverse disciplines to successfully address them.”

The Platform will be managed by The Water Council and powered by inno360, which is utilized by over 20 of the world’s largest and most innovative global companies to address their most significant innovation challenges and opportunities. Incorporating the best practices of its founders and augmented by its initial collaborators, Procter & Gamble (P&G), General Mills and the U.S. Air Force; inno360’s innovation management technology will enable The Water Council’s members to rapidly expand their reach and collaborative research with leading public and private organizations, foundations and academics around the globe. With the objective to solve the most pressing problems and needs facing water today and in the future, the Platform will be the first inno360 innovation exchange to access Elsevier’s Research Intelligence platform of extensive water-related content and unique analytics.

David EJ Garman, Dean, School of Freshwater Sciences, UW-Milwaukee and Past-President and Former Chairman of the International Water Association touted the breadth of information and analytical capabilities of the Platform: “The Water Collaborative Innovation Platform will provide our researchers with a unique tool that will enable them to obtain vital research and connect with the most knowledgeable people and organizations in the world in a fraction of time. Not only will we be able to get information but, the Platform will encourage Milwaukee researchers, both in academia and industry, to get our knowledge and information out across the world.”

“For decades, the UW-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and its predecessors have been at the forefront of applied research with leading corporations, nonprofit organizations and other universities around the world,” said UWM Interim Chancellor Mark Mone. “We look forward to using the inno360 technology to quickly expand the depth and breadth of research and innovation with our diverse partners.”

“Underpinning collaborative exchanges has been a core part of our technology from the beginning,” said Douglas Schaedler, inno360’s CEO. “Since inno360’s inception, we have been working with the world’s most innovative companies to solve the most pressing commercial problems of product, market and policy. Our clients have asked us to find ways to establish more effective research coordination and collaboration with academia. With the Water Collaborative Innovation Platform, we can now literally connect these dots on your computer screen.”

“Participating within the platform’s ecosystem will provide the Council’s members and the School’s faculty and graduate students with the advantage of accessing billions of pieces of relevant content for many years into the future,” stated Michael J Turillo Jr, chairman and cofounder of inno360. In particular, Turillo pointed to the unparalleled water related content and analytics of Elsevier as well as the opportunity to connect and collaborate with tens of thousands of subject matter experts globally. Turillo added, “This water centric ecosystem, coupled with the added power of cognitive intelligence approaches that inno360 are currently experimenting and developing, will result in new and exciting ways for water professionals to innovate.”

# # #

About the School of Freshwater Sciences The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences is the first graduate school in the United States dedicated solely to the study of freshwater. It is located in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, along the shores of the largest freshwater system on the Earth’s surface: the Great Lakes. Established in 2009, SFS expands a tradition of freshwater studies at UWM that began in 1966 with the Center for Great Lakes Studies and continued as the Great Lakes WATER Institute starting in 1973. The school’s research and education programs are integrated across four major areas: freshwater system dynamics; human and ecosystem health; freshwater technology; and freshwater economics, policy, and management. Visit us at

About inno360 inno360′s proprietary award-winning Enterprise Innovation Management solution is currently deployed in a cloud-based SaaS environment to many of the world’s largest and most successful companies. Innovation drives continuous relevance and connection, and inno360 drives innovation to markets, products and business models that ensures a sustainable future. inno360 enables its’ clients to more effectively manage and expand their own innovation ecosystems enhanced with inno360′s connections to relevant global content, advanced analytics and networks of innovators, researchers, trusted suppliers and partners. This enhanced innovation ecosystem results in an unparalleled foundation for a richer and deeper array of innovation options, increased speed to discovery, search, evaluation, decision making and execution; all focused on innovative yet practical solutions in the areas of highest impact. Visit us at 

About Elsevier Elsevier is a world-leading provider of information solutions that enhance the performance of science, health, and technology professionals, empowering them to make better decisions, deliver better care, and sometimes make ground-breaking discoveries, that advance the boundaries of knowledge and human progress. Elsevier provides web-based, digital solutions — among them ScienceDirect, Scopus, Elsevier Research Intelligence, and ClinicalKey — and publishes nearly 2,200 journals, including The Lancet and Cell, and over 25,000 book titles, including a number of iconic reference works. The company is part of Reed Elsevier Group PLC, a world leading provider of professional information solutions in the Science, Medical, Legal and Risk and Business sectors. 

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Water Summit 2014 – Presentations, Videos, and Images

Thank you to all that joined us for and helped make Water Summit 2014: Thriving in the Global Water Economy a huge success this past week in Milwaukee! We were honored to host the International Water Association Board of Directors for their annual meeting in conjunction with the Summit. A huge thank you also to our diverse, high-caliber speakers that participated as well, allowing us to offer a mixture of unique, informative programming.

We understand that our attendees may not have been able to sit in on all of the Breakout Sessions, so we have compiled all of the presentations and organized them according to tracks and keynotes listed below. Please click the desired presentation and do share with any of your constituents that were not able to join us at the Summit.

Keynote Presentations:
Addressing the Subject of Global Water: Enormous Challenges, Dynamic Solutions – Dr. Glen T. Daigger
Maximizing Opportunities: Understanding the Financial Challenges of the Global Marketplace – Dr. Lawrence Spinelli (No Presentation Used)
Water Security and the Role of the Army Reserve in Public Private Partnerships – BG Daniel R. Ammerman (No Presentation Used)
Reed Street Yards: A Global Water Technology Showcase and City of the Future – Paul Reiter 
Summit 2014 Overview: Observations, Hypotheses and Conclusions – David EJ Garman 

Water Innovation & Sustainability:
The Role of Regulators Promoting Innovation & Sustainability – Jaime Melo Baptista
No Water, No Beer – Kim Marotta
Attacking Water Loss: Georgia’s New Water Mindset – Will Jernigan P.E., Jason Bodwell, M. Steve Cavanaugh Jr. P.E.
Driving Global Utility Performance: An Introduction to AquaRating – Lisa Downes, Peter A. Vanrolleghem

Financing & Investment:
A Water Utility CEO’s Guide for Business Growth Through Maximizing ROI – Tim Waldron (Available Soon)
Border Economics: PPPs in an Era of Leveraging Creative Resources – Tara Mackay, Ann Rosen, Jussi Jaakkola
Investing in The Water Council’s Future: Building a Bright Blue Future for Innovation Exchange – Dean Amhaus, David EJ Garman, Douglas Schaedler, Michael J. Turillo Jr. (No Presentation Used)

Operating in the Global Water Market:
Human Capacity Development in SE-Europe – Professor Helmut Kroiss
Navigating the Waters of Legal and Operational Concerns for Multinational Companies – William Sarni, Yves Dudal, Michael L. Bohn, Michael E. Dahm

Featured Videos:
Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin Addresses Water Summit 2014
Water Technology Makes Global Waves in Wisconsin

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Water Summit 2014 Makes a Media Splash

Water Summit 2014 was a great success, thanks in part to our wonderful Membership, World-Class Speaker line-up, amazing Volunteers and Water Council Staff, and attendees from across the United States, and world. Even though the Summit is long-since over, the connections fostered over those two days will most certainly lead to new partnerships, collaborations and new ventures that will hopefully be highlighted in future summits.

As The Water Council welcomed hundreds of water professionals to Water Summit 2014 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in Downtown Milwaukee, it was hard not to take notice, as represented by the press coverage over the last few days. Several exciting announcements were coordinated in conjunction with the Summit, and we are elated to finally be able to share these with attendees, our membership and the public at large.

Watertech of America enters business partnership with Badger Meter:  On day 1 of the Summit, Water Council members Badger Meter and Watertech of America announced they have entered into a partnership that will see Watertech promote Badger Meter’s flow instrumentation products. Rich Meeusen, President & CEO, Badger Meter, had this to say, “This channel partner agreement is significant…because it demonstrates the power of Water Council companies working together and supporting one another.”

Water Council to add water stewardship role: Also announced on day 1 was the new role The Water Council will take on as the North American office of the Alliance for Water Stewardship. Lisa Downes, North American Coordinator, Alliance for Water Stewardship/The Nature Conservancy, will join The Water Council staff, and will recruit companies in North America to adopt the voluntary standard.

The BREW Batch II winners announcedOne of the most anticipated announcements of the Summit was the announcement of Batch II of our BREW accelerator, housed in the Global Water Center. WI Governor Scott Walker was on hand to graduate Batch I winners, and announce and recognize Batch II winners, who will begin the accelerator program later this year. The Winners: phinding Solutions, Wellintel, Pellucid Water, Cadens, Water Hub, and Hydrolight. Due to intense competition, three runners-up were also recognized, they were, Ijinus, Chemtronix, and DSA Technologies.

Below are links to additional coverage on Water Summit 2014, and several of the announcements made public during the two day conference.

Additional Links:

Milwaukee must prepare itself to be a water city – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Water Council announces Batch II winners of BREW accelerator – WaterWorld

2014 Water Summit has everyone rethinking water – Milwaukee Business Journal

Wisconsin Accelerator Enrolls Second Class of Water Tech Startups – Xconomy

Water Council’s new stewardship role expected to attract talent – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

New “batch” of water center incubator startups unveiled – Milwaukee Business Journal 

Top experts call for new water management policies – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Badger Meter and Watertech form partnership ahead of Water Summit – Biztimes



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Water Summit 2014: Financing Investment, Operating in the Global Water Market

Summit2014_Main_GraphicWater Summit 2014: Thriving in the Global Water Economy is quickly approaching, in less than two weeks Milwaukee will be host to some of the world’s most esteemed water professionals, researchers, scientists, and policy makers June 18-19. We will be highlighting details of Summit tracks and other special announcements in the days leading up to Water Summit 2014. Be sure to stay up to date with all the latest Summit details at the website, and don’t forget to Register, as there is limited capacity and we are certain to sell all remaining tickets.

Financing & Investment

Water Summit 2014 is all about thriving and expanding your business beyond local and regional borders, either by setting up new operations or acquiring foreign businesses. Key to expansion is funding your business strategies, we will have several opportunities for you to learn of what types of obstacle to expect and prepare for in your global strategy.

During Breakout Session 1, Tim Waldron, Chairman of the IWA Water Loss Specialist Group will outline which key performance indicators are critical for capital investments that return multiple benefits for a water corporation or utility during his presentation “A Water Utility CEO’s Guide for Business Growth Through Maximizing ROI.” He will examine the financial, operational, political and customer service impacts related to the responsibilities of investment management for water businesses, utilizing international examples for real-world references.

Investing in The Water Council’s overall competitiveness is also highly important at this Summit, therefore “Building a Bright Blue Future for Innovation Exchange” panel discussion has been created to outline the partnership between The Council and innovationExchange LLC, formed to rapidly expand Milwaukee’s presence both in water innovation and leadership in public/private sector collaboration. Also to be discussed is the potential international collaborative opportunities that exist in industry, government and academia, to solve the most pressing water challenges.

Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) are becoming increasingly more attractive as cities, regions, and businesses look for alternative ways to fund projects and get deals done. “Border Economics: PPPs in an Era of Leveraging Creative Resources” will convene perspectives from members of the Canadian Consulate General in Chicago to discuss alternative ways to finance water/wastewater projects using Canada’s successful PPP model. Canada is a leader in PPPs and has undertaken over 200 in the last 20 years. In an era of sparse governmental resources and deteriorating infrastructure, this panel will provide visibility and educate the audience through real-life examples of best practices, obstacles, and strategic framework.

Operating in the Global Market

As The Water Council repositions itself as a global organization, headquartered in MIlwaukee, it is important to understand the unique challenges that are associated with expanding your business operations into new markets. Therefore we have arranged a few panels to discuss just what The Council and our members should expect when expanding abroad.

During Breakout Session 2 on June 18 a panel of experts from the International Water Association will “Human Capacity in SE Europe” moderated by Geoff Morgan of Michael BEst & Friedrich LLP. This panel will discuss how the development of the global water market is dependent on human capacity and the ability and willingness to work together to advance the idea of a trans-disciplinary language. They will utilize SE-Europe as a case study, and determine how national waterworks associations can help overcome the obstacles faced by the region 20 years after significant political changes in the area.

“Navigating the Waters of Legal & Operational Concerns for Multinational Companies” will provide an overview of legal, operational, and practical considerations for operating a multi-national company. Attendees will gain first-hand knowledge from key stakeholders that have experience working globally . Those currently operating or considering operating a multi-national company should not miss this insightful panel!

Just Announced! The Role of Regulators Promoting Innovation & Sustainability – Water Innovation & Sustainability Track

In an era where access to drinking water is becoming a challenge around the world, regulators must clearly define quality targets of service goals, improve operational and structural efficiency and identify financial resources to implement proper strategies to meet these goals. Jaime Melo Baptista, President, ERSAR, Portuguese Water & Waste Services Regulation Authority, will describe the role of the regulators and how they should shape and implement coherent and integrated public policies for water services.

Water Summit 2014 is shaping up to be our largest summit ever! We are especially excited to welcome the International Water Association’s Board of Directors, as they convene their annual board meeting in Milwaukee and participate in several of the Breakout Sessions on both days of the Summit. be sure to Register today if you haven’t already, as we are sure to sell all available tickets! Also, thank you to all of our wonderful Sponsors for helping us make waves!


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May 2014 Q2 Member Meeting Recap

IMG_2251Thursday, May 29 marked our 2nd Quarterly Member Meeting of 2014! Thank you to Marquette University for hosting us in the beautiful Eckstein Hall – Marquette Law School. As always, it was a pleasure to see so many familiar faces, as well as many new members attending for the first time. For those that were unable to attend, here is a brief recap.

Fr. Robert Wild, Interim President, Marquette University

Fr. Robert Wild, Interim President, Marquette University

Fr. Robert Wild, Interim President, Marquette University, welcomed The Water Council and Members to the recently completed Eckstein Hall, new home to Marquette University’s Law School, which offers breathtaking views of Downtown Milwaukee from it’s expansive multi-story glass wall. Marquette University is also a proud sponsor of Water Summit 2014: Thriving in the Global Water Economy, June 18-19.

Featured Panel: The Alliance for Regional Development (ARD), which included panelists Dr. Carmel Ruffolo, Director of Corporate Engagement & Regional Development, UW-Milwaukee/UW-Parkside; Kelly O’Brien, President & CEO, Alliance for Regional Development; and Dave Terrel, Director of Economic Development Policy, Ball State University, representing Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, respectively, spoke to the group about preliminary plans to create a multi-state alliance to improve the competitiveness of the Great Lakes region globally, focused on several different industries. The Water Council was identified as a major asset/partner due to our expertise in economic development surrounding the freshwater industry.

IMG_2254The ARD noted that by working together to promote the capabilities of the regional workforce, assets, and strengths, all three States will prosper, and the model created can be transferred to other areas in the United States. Some of the items noted in an OECD Report identified: Matching Skills to Jobs in the Tri-State Region; Innovation & Entrepreneurship in the Tri-State Region; Increasing the Region’s Competitiveness Through Green Growth; Transportation & Logistics; and Effective Institutional Arrangements in the Tri-State Region, as areas of concern that would certainly benefit if such an alliance was formed.

Marketing Update: Meghan Jensen, Director of Marketing & Membership, The Water Council, gave a brief overview of some of the exciting activities that have occurred since our last quarterly meeting, including the visit from French Ambassador Delattre, Milwaukee’s Hardware Hackathon at the Global Water Center, the Hong Kong Trade Development panel discussion, 1-on-1 meetings with Korean Delegations, and the addition of 10 new Water Council Members.

The main focus was on Water Summit 2014, which is quickly approaching. She talked briefly about the exciting events and tracks that we have assembled for this year’s Summit that promises to be the largest to date as we welcome the International Water Association’s Board of Directors.

Members that were added since our last quarterly meeting inlude: MikroFlot Technologies, Milwaukee World Festival, Inc., Watersurplus, J.H. Findorff & Son Inc., Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association, Mequon Nature Preserve, MacLean Fogg Component Solutions, J.F. Ahern Co., Hughes Equipment Company, LLC, and GZA GeoEnvironmental, Inc. Benefits of becoming a Member of The Water Council include, use of Member Logo, attendance at various Water Council events, discounts to events hosted by The Water Council, including Water Summit 2014, reduced event-space rental rates at the Global Water Center, and countless opportunities to connect with other world-class water professionals. Become a Member Today!

Talent/Education Committee: Heather Koehn, Committee Co-Chair & Marketing Manager, Pentair, and Joe Russell, Committee Co-Chair & President, Watertech America,  gave a call to action for those in attendance and all Members to increase their engagement through the Pay It Forward Campaign. Examples of ways this can be accomplished is by offering tours at your respective facility, making yourself available to be a featured speaker or panelist at industry events,  or connect over coffee with future water leaders. If you are unsure of how you can become engaged, Heather will be happy to assist you in identifying engagement opportunities that fit your schedule, contact her at,

The BREW: Elizabeth Thelen, Director of Entrepreneurship & Talent, The Water Council, provided a brief update about the judging process for Batch 2 of The BREW accelerator. Pitch sessions to the judges were recently completed, and final discussions are underway. Decisions will be made in the next few weeks in time to announce the Batch 2 winners at Water Summit 2014. The inaugural class will also be graduated during a special ceremony, hosted by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.

Guest Presenters:

IMG_2270Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board (MAWIB): Jeff Hopton, Project Specialist – Water Sector, and Toni White, Adult Services Manager, described who MAWIB is and how our membership and the public at large can benefit from the programs they offer. In brief, MAWIB is the Administrative and Fiscal Entitiy of federal funds available under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) for MIlwaukee County. They administer, coordinate, and collaborate workforce development programs for the youth, adults, and dislocated workers of Milwaukee County.

MAWIB accomplishes this by offering services to businesses, funding services for job seekers, overseeing WIA Training funds, and creating collaborative partnerships amongst various partner entities. Projects that it is currently tackling in the water sector are: Milwaukee’s Regional Water Accelerator Grant, Water Industry Training in Manufacturing, and the Water Technician Certificate through MATC. They are currently looking for a partners for the Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant, which is $15 million in grants for employer-led worker training programs intended to provide essential assistance that cannot be met through existing programs. For more information please download the 2014 Q2 Member Meeting Presentation below.

IMG_2258Fund for Lake Michigan: Vicki Elkin, Executive Director, Fund for Lake Michigan, addressed attendees to describe some of the projects that the Fund for Lake Michigan has been involved with. Established in 2008, the Fund receives payments of $4 million annually for 25 years to support projects that address, reduce and mitigate water quality impacts. The Fund has awarded 71 grants totaling roughly $7.5 million between 2011-2013, and has helped secure over $12 million in federal funding for Wisconsin.

Fund grants have created over 485 jobs, added $35 million to the economy and increased property values by $45 million. Additionally, grantees have revitalized waterfronts, transformed polluted and neglected land, restored over 70 miles of degraded waterways to locations for fishing and recreation, and also restored 100 acres of wetland, creating high-quality habitat and reducing downstream flooding.

Recently awarded grants have helped fund the Great Lakes Genomics Center at UWM’s School of Freshwater Sciences, the green roof installation at the Global Water Center, PaveDrain pavers at Reed Street Yards, and Spancrete porous concrete to be installed this summer along Freshwater Way, between 2nd and 3rd streets. To learn more about Fund for Lake Michigan grants, contact Vicki Elkin, at

To download the 2014 Q2 Member Meeting Presentation CLICK HERE

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