Portage County Farmers Market

Regional Talent Summit Returns

By Portage County Business Council

The Regional Talent Summit returns to Central Wisconsin, Thursday, May 24. The 2018 Summit will bring together employers from throughout Central Wisconsin to address continuing labor shortage challenges.

Centergy, the regional economic development organization for central Wisconsin, has partnered with the chambers of commerce in Marshfield, Merrill, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, and Wausau to host the Talent Summit. The Central Wisconsin Society for Human Resources Management (CWSHRM) and the Stevens Point Area Human Resources Association (SPAHRA) are assisting Centergy with organizing the 2018 summit.

“The Summit will bring together business and industry sector representatives, and community partners from throughout the region to engage in important discussions specific to labor shortage challenges,” Gordon Crow, Centergy executive director said.

For 2018, the Summit has been lengthened from a half-day event to an all-day event that will include two break-out sessions – one in the morning and one in the afternoon. Both sessions will have a “workshop feel.”

In one session, best-selling author and executive coach, Alonzo Kelly, will address goal achievement and the ability to clearly articulate and execute appropriate strategies at the appropriate time.  Kelly’s dynamic and interactive session will highlight the importance of understanding the difference between strategic thinking, strategic planning, and strategic acting, and allow participants to start carefully crafting communication that achieves their goals of recruiting and retaining talent.

The companion session, facilitated by graphic designer and brand champion, Ben Bauer, will focus on employer branding and messaging to attract and retain talent in Central Wisconsin. Bauer will answer several important questions such as, how can a company develop a brand specific to their organization that attracts talent and entices them to know more about their organization?

“Alonzo and Ben will send participants back to their businesses with action items they can implement right away to improve their recruiting and talent retention,” Crow said.

Both sessions are designed to assure participants that they are not alone in addressing labor shortage issues. Many throughout the region share these challenges.

The other significant part of the Talent Summit will be the expo. Exhibitors will have an opportunity to engage with attendees and provide attendees with ideas on how to attract and retain talent in Central Wisconsin.

“At the expo, attendees will find many resources for assistance and guidance,” Crow said. “They will know who they can collaborate and work with locally and regionally.”

Exhibitors include University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Mid-State Technical College, Northcentral Technical College, Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs, Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, North Central Wisconsin Workforce Development Board, professional staffing and job service agencies, and many more.

Cost to attend is $99. To register, visit the Centergy website at or websites of any of the five partner chambers of commerce: Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce, the Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, the Merrill Area Chamber of Commerce & Information Center, the Portage County Business Council, or the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce.

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Centergy, Inc. is a 501(c)4 nonprofit regional marketing and economic development organization. Its purpose is to foster collaboration among private and public-sector leaders throughout the five counties of central Wisconsin that make up the Centergy Region: Adams, Lincoln, Marathon, Portage, and Wood Counties.

The Centergy brand provides an effective way to leverage the collective economic power of the region’s five counties. It allows Centergy to unite the region’s efforts in talent attraction and development, regional brand development, business development, and promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within the business community.

For more information on Centergy, visit us online at or call 715-551-6650