“We want to accelerate change. We want to make an impact in this community.”
InitiativeOne Founder and CEO Fred Johnson
Soon after moving into the newly transformed building in downtown Green Bay, InitiativeOne entered into a strategic alliance with University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Both have expressed a desire to affect the downtown business community in a positive way. InitiativeOne founder and CEO Fred Johnson has repeatedly emphasized the importance of creating a vibrant presence on the corner of Adams and Walnut in the heart of the city. Likewise, when Chancellor Miller was installed at UW-Green Bay last November, he announced that the university was committed to “extending our physical presence in some way to a vibrant and growing downtown Green Bay.” The shared vision brought InitiativeOne and UW-Green Bay together at a press conference on Friday, April 24th at InitiativeOne’s new headquarters.
The partnership was formalized through a memorandum of understanding signed by InitiativeOne founder and CEO Fred Johnson and UW-Green Bay Chancellor Gary L. Miller. The intent of the strategic alliance between InitiativeOne and UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin School of Business faculty is to explore and develop a series of projects and programs that will positively influence the greater Green Bay business community. The partnership has already yielded opportunities for internship at InitiativeOne.
Chancellor Gary Miller spoke of the value of internship experiences in the business community. Miller said that “to work in that business, to understand the real problem, to try the skills they have, that is absolutely the best thing that you can do to give them the opportunity for a great job.”
Miller and Johnson addressed specifics and answered questions about the partnership at Friday’s gathering. Joining them to share brief remarks was local business leader Jim Wochinske, president of Pomp’s Tire Service, Inc. Wochinske is an alumnus and advocate for UW-Green Bay who has long been supportive of local economic development efforts.
Others in attendance included Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach, Downtown Green Bay Executive Director Jeff Mirkes, UW-Green Bay faculty and staff, and business and civic leaders who serve as members of the University’s Council of Trustees and various local business associations.