Friday, September 09, 2011

Congratuations Dr. Duane Ford and Southwest Wisconsin!

Dr. Duane Ford recently became President of Southwest Wisconsin Technical College in Fennimore, WI.

This is great news for all of Southwest Wisconsin. Dr. Ford was just at the Innovation Kitchen and posted about it in his blog (quoted below).

Dr. Ford will be a great leader for SW Tech and for our region. A quote I liked in a recent newspaper interview sums up what I've seen in my work with Dr. Ford: "'Community interaction has been an ongoing theme of my career', he said. 'Southwest Tech has a good outreach in the district and that is one of the things that appeals the most to me. Technical colleges are deeply in touch with their communities.'"

I've had the opportunity to work with Dr. Ford, and he walks the walk. He and Derek Dachelet from SW Tech just stopped in the Innovation Kitchen in Iowa County for a great visit. Dr. Ford's blog post accurately describes the opportunities for job creation and business development that the Innovation Kitchen represents:

"Our next stop was across town at the aptly named Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen. This operation is an innovative, fully-staffed commercial kitchen that supports innovation in the production of local food products. Rick Terrien, Executive Director of the Iowa County Economic Development Corporation, and Wally Orzechowski, Executive Director of the Southwest Community Action Program, informed us that there are many kitchen incubators around the country where entrepreneurs are invited in to prepare their own food products for public sale. But there are no others that are fully-staffed and able to take an entrepreneur’s ingredients and/or recipe and make “prototype” or production batches of the entrepreneur’s dream food product."

"The Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen’s production staff can efficiently produce non-meat or dairy products ready for sale nationwide. By letting the staff take care of production, compliance, and related issues, the entrepreneur can focus his or her energy on product development, marketing, and sales. If you have some time, I strongly encourage you to look at their website or stop by and visit. This is a remarkable operation that Rick, Wally, and others hope to replicate across our region. And by the way, they are looking for investors to help them make this happen."

Dr. Ford got this exactly right. Thank you.

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College has a great new leader. Congratulations and welcome Dr. Duane Ford!

Dr. Ford's blog: Southwest Tech District Tour – Mineral Point and Blanchardville. Posted September 1, 2011

Wisconsin Innovation Kitchen in beautiful, Iowa County, Wisconsin

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College

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