Through the creation of Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp., first and foremost taking care of the existing businesses is what needs to be done, Jason White new CEO of GO-EDC said.
As CEO, White said he plans to get a team in place, work hard for the greater Oshkosh community and focus on putting the needs of Oshkosh first as GO-EDC looks to grow the community.
White said one thing he brings to the table is that he has done a campaign and lead organizations with public and private sector investors, and he knows how to connect and deliver the kind of value and return on investments that they expect.
“For me, I’ve spent a good part of my professional life in central Iowa,” White said. “I’ve built three organizations in Iowa and they’re all successful.”
White said organizations in the community had to be on same page to achieve unity and purpose and he believes Oshkosh has also done that.
A big part of his job will be continuing to lay the infrastructure in order for the organization to succeed, not just for a few years but long term, White said.
“A lot of that will have to deal with evaluating our financial base…determining who the key stakeholders are with each aspect of our strategic plan,” White said.
White said he thinks there are a lot of things that are different in Oshkosh that he hasn’t experienced before and he needs to get to know the greater Oshkosh region.
“Transportation and having a business that can deliver their product is so important in this business, but also people that can give mobility around the region,” White said.
White said the trains, planes and automobiles Oshkosh has are all aspects that GO-EDC can continue to build on.
“Greater Oshkosh is well-branded with Event City and Experimental Aircraft Association; the Fox Cities region has a great reputation and great recreational aspects, so it’s a lot to build on,” White said.
White said in addition to some great academic institutions, he intends to help Oshkosh keep move in the same direction.
“The sky is really the limit in terms of this organization and what this greater Oshkosh region can achieve,” White said.
Tom Sonnleitner, UW Oshkosh’s official representative on the group, said one main goal they have is to get activity really moving.
“Lots of good things have happened in Oshkosh…it’s about job creation and how do we bring all of the forces together,” Sonnleitner said.
Sonnleitner said other various organizations have tried to do that, but there hasn’t been a coordinated group like GO-EDC.
Sonnleitner said GO-EDC has to prove they have value because over $1 million has been raised, so if activity is not delivered, such as jobs, then people won’t be interested in investing.
“We wanted to make sure it’s driven by the private sector and that the public sector has minority representation,” Sonnleitner said.
Sonnleitner said they’re trying to attract private sector companies in Oshkosh to expand or to build new companies.
“That’s the number one thing and making this a more attractive community, a more attractive area,” Sonnleitner said. “It’s providing the resources, the opportunities for people to really make this a really vibrant community.”
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com
Photo courtesy of Erin Sutton