Working With Others to Achieve Community Goals

Communities in Ashland County are more effective in accomplishing community goals, generating economic opportunity and advancing long term growth through strong public-private partnerships.  Economic development is most effective as a team activity, especially when you're in a small rural community where the available resources are much more limited than in urban settings.

AADC staff continuously work on issues which impact businesses and economic development, promoting growth and expansion of our local economy by serving on committees, membership in organizations and through interaction with area citizens and businesses, federal, state, and local government entities.  We're grateful for the following partners and stakeholders who work diligently with us to create jobs and promote economic vitality in our communities.  We particularly thank the stakeholders who make financial investments in AADC, helping us foster economic growth in Ashland County and increase economic opportunities for area citizens.

AADC Participation on Boards & Committees:

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce - Betsey Harries, Ad Hoc Board Member

Visions Northwest - Betsey Harries, Board Member

Wisconsin Business Innovator Support Association (WBISA) - Betsey Harries, Board Member

NorthLakes Community Clinic Advisory Committee - Betsey Harries, Member

Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment - Betsey Harries, Council Member

Technology Council Innovation Network-Lake Superior Chapter - Betsey Harries, Board Member

Lake Superior Science Center Steering Committee - Betsey Harries, Vice Chair, Board of Directors

EverGrow Learning Center - Betsey Harries, Chair, Board of Directors

Northwest Region W-2 Steering Committee - Betsey Harries, Member

Ashland County Criminal Justice Committee - Betsey Harries, Member

Local and Regional Partnerships:

Childcare Study & Development Team - If you are interested in opening a childcare business, we'd love to talk to you about the needs and opportunities in Ashland.  The Ashland Area Development Corporation recently partnered with UW-Extension in the development of a survey that identified area needs for childcare.  We are continuing conversations with community leaders about how to address these needs. 

 Ashland & Bayfield County Inventors/Entrepreneurs Organization - Their mission is to help grow local businesses that are in all stages of development by linking resources and experts. A series of quarterly meetings, called "Business on Stage", feature presentations from successful business people.  Educational and networking opportunities are available for all attendees. For more information about Business on Stage, click here! 

Ashland Bayfield Community Broadband Initiative - A group of individuals from Ashland and Bayfield Counties, including AADC's Executive Director, are working together to increase awareness and knowledge of how high speed internet can help grow local businesses as well as improve everyday lives of area citizens.  They have hosted and sponsored educational events, including a Rural E-Commerce Training Pilot, a program developed by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin and UW Extension which offered area businesses hands on customized training and individual assessments of business' online presence, website and social media presence.

Chippewa Valley Bank Breakfast Series – This is an educational series held four times per year.  AADC's Executive Director is a member of the planning committee.

City of Ashland Development Team - The City of Ashland, Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce and AADC hold monthly meetings to share information about area projects..

LinkWISCONSIN - Nine regional planning teams were formed in 2011 as multi-sector groups who provided input into development of regional broadband investment plans.  They were tasked with assessing opportunities to improve the availability and adoption of affordable broadband services.  Broadband brings multiple benefits to the region.  Better connectivity helps support new business formation, telecommuting and job development; reduces the need to travel long distances for medical care; improves local access to education and training resources; enables seniors to access information on-line; speeds response and improves coordination of emergency services; facilitates marketing of the region to visitors; and enables government to more efficiently deliver services to local residents. Click here to read more about this initiative! 

Northwoods Rail Transit Commission - The Northwoods Rail Transit Commission consists of 13 northern Wisconsin counties and 8 Michigan counties that have banded together to sustain and enhance safe, reliable and efficient rail service critical to businesses, communities, and economies in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  Issues of adequate, efficient, and affordable rail service in the northwoods have been festering for years.  A lack of maintenance and neglect over the years has taken its toll on the few remaining rail lines statewide.  The preservation and rehabilitation of existing rail lines is a necessary investment for many of Wisconsin's businesses for competitive reasons, public safety reasons, and to minimize the deterioration of Wisconsin's highway system from heavy truck traffic.  The Freight Railroad Preservation Program has been, and continues to be, a catalyst for economic development opportunities at the local level.  AADC's Executive Director serves on this commission.  

Student Career Tours: Mythbusting Manufacturing - In an effort to address the area employer needs for welders, CNC machine operators, and other skilled manufacturing trade jobs, AADC has partnered with the Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce, Bayfield County Economic Development Corp., Northwest Wisconsin CEP, WITC and World Class Manufacturing in an effort to show interested high school students that there are good paying and clean jobs available in the manufacturing sector and illustrate how they can learn a trade with a 2 year degree from a regional technical college such as WITC.

Visions Northwest - Visions Northwest is a public/private regional economic development organization which consists of 10 counties (Ashland, Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Iron, Price, Rusk, Sawyer, Taylor & Washburn) with a nineteen member board representing a variety of sectors including economic development, financial, manufacturing, education, Tribal, utilities, tourism, medical, forestry/agricultural, and workforce development. Click here to learn more about Visions Northwest initiatives!  

Wisconsin Innovation Network (WIN) Lake Superior Chapter - WIN is a community-based organization, which meets monthly, is dedicated to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship, and is the Wisconsin Technology Council's membership subsidiary.  In association with the Wisconsin Technology Council, WIN programs focus on the needs and challenges faced by new and growing technology-based business in Wisconsin. Click here to learn more! 

Wisconsin Public Service Commission (PSC) Broadband Playbook Committee - This committee grew out of the broadband planning and mapping effort begun through LinkWISCONSIN and was tasked with developing a statewide broadband plan and identifying opportunities to expand broadband investments, adoption and application statewide in order to keep Wisconsin moving forward on broadband related issues. Click here to learn more about the PSC!  

Wisconsin Technology Council - Created by a bipartisan act of the Governor and the Legislature in 2001, Wisconsin Technology Council is an independent, non-profit and non-partisan board with members from tech companies, venture capital firms, all levels of education, research institutions, government and law.  They are the science and technology advisors to the Governor and the Legislature. Click here to learn more!

Partners and Stakeholders:

Ashland Area Board of Directors and Ad Hoc Members

Ashland Area Chamber of Commerce

Ashland Business Alliance

Ashland County

Ashland School District

Associated Bank

BMO Harris Bank

Bad River Bank of Lake Superior Chippewa

Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation

Bremer Bank

C. G. Bretting Manufacturing Co.


Chippewa Valley Bank

City of Ashland

City of Mellen

Experience Works, Inc.

Fiorio Wealth Advisors

Focus on Energy

H Window Company

Impact Seven

Iron County Development Zone


Memorial Medical Center

Midland Services

Northern Clearing, Inc.

Northern State Bank

Northland College

Northwest Regional Planning Commission

Northwest Wisconsin CEP

Northwest Wisconsin Workforce Investment Board

Northwoods Rail Transit Commission

Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation

Roger Hansen and Associates

Small Business Administration

Small Business Development Center at UW Superior

State of Wisconsin

Superior Choice Credit Union

Terry Peters Logging

Town of Jacobs - Glidden

Town of La Pointe

U. S. Congressman Sean Duffy

U. S. Senator Tammy Baldwin

U. S. Senator Ron Johnson

University of Wisconsin College of Agricultural & Life Sciences

University of Wisconsin Energy Institute

University of Wisconsin Extension, Ashland County Office

University of Wisconsin - Madison

University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point

University of Wisconsin - Superior

USDA Rural Development

USGS - Great Lakes Science Center - Ashland

USGS - Reston, Virginia and Ann Arbor, Michigan

Village of Butternut

Visions Northwest Regional Economic Development Group

Waste Management

Wisconsin Alumni Association

Wisconsin Business Innovation Association

Wisconsin Dept. of Natural Resources

Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation

Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority

Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College

Wisconsin Innovation Network - Lake Superior Chapter

Wisconsin State Assembly Representative Beth Meyers

Wisconsin State Energy Office

Wisconsin State Senator Janet Bewley

Wisconsin Technology Council

Xcel Energy