Who We Are


Bayfield County Economic Development Corporation (BCEDC), a 501(c)6 non-profit, is a regional economic development and business support organization comprised of supporting businesses concentrated in Bayfield County and enhanced by collaborative organizations across the surrounding counties of the Northwest region of Wisconsin.


Corporation Purposes


As set forth in its articles of incorporation, filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions in July of 1999, the purposes of BCEDC are:


  1. To encourage and assist economic development and capital investment.
  2. To enhance tax base.
  3. To create jobs.
  4. To assist business expansion, retention, and/or location within the economic development area.



Leadership Team - Board of Directors and Staff


The BCEDC has a board of directors comprised of 15 members of which four (4) members are public sector representatives of Bayfield County comprised of one (1) administrator and three (3) elected county board supervisors. BCEDC is managed by a full-time independent contractor serving in the Executive Director role. The organization has an annual operating budget of $99,900 in 2023.

Our Mission

Our mission is to support and advocate for new and existing businesses in Bayfield County.

Our Vision

BCEDC has a vision for Bayfield County where people of all ages can find fulfillment in their lives through a balanced environment of economic opportunity, outdoor activities, and natural resources while maintaining a small-town atmosphere.

Core Values

In our interactions with each other and the stakeholders we represent and serve, we commit to:

Respect for individuals and their opinions.

Asking and Listening






In our day-to-day work of economic development, we commit to support and advocate for:

Local Businesses

Chambers of Commerce

Workforce Development

Infrastructure Development

Government Regulation Favorable to Businesses

Natural Resources


2023 Strategic Core Function Initiatives

Listed below are 2023 initiatives for each of our six (6) core functions and our continued development of organizational excellence. Core Function Initiatives were developed by the BCEDC Board of Directors during a strategic planning workshop facilitated by Amy Hubbell, founder, Boreal Leadership LLC October 11, 2022.

1) Organizational Excellence and Board Development Initiatives

  1. Develop and publish organizational core values to guide strategic initiatives and actions, public policy advocacy, and organizational decision-making.
  2. Develop overall vision (direction) of the organization.
  3. Build awareness of BCEDC in the communities we serve through educational presentations, small mixers, and listening sessions.


  1. Recruit a broader representation of Bayfield County stakeholder groups to be represented on the BCEDC board of directors while taking into consideration skills, knowledge, and experience needed to grow the organization.
  2. Clarify relationship with and expectations Bayfield County government.
  3. Improve BCEDC’s Communication of Mission, Vision, Values, and Goals with Circles of Influences.
  4. Identify and develop tools and resources to support Strategic Plan Implementation and Evaluation.
  5. Review organizational structure and staff needed to continue growth and expansion of BCEDC.


2) Business Support and Advocacy Initiatives

  1. Create a plan for prospective and existing businesses thrive in Bayfield County.
  2. Identify specific professional services and economic resources needed (and desired) by businesses in Bayfield County and make those service connections directly accessible (links to resources) on BCEDC website.
  3. Encourage business to business collaborations in Bayfield County.
  4. Advocate for Bayfield County businesses and become a trusted liaison representing their needs and interests for Local and State level policy making. (i.e., rules, regulations, taxes, permitting, and infrastructure development)

3) Economic Development Initiatives

  1. Connect businesses in Bayfield County and regional developers to financial incentive resources.
  2. Provide economic development education opportunities for business owners and organizational and community leadership in Bayfield County.
  3. Continue to support and market Broadband availability and expansion.
  4. Continue to support organizations focusing on tourism industry.
  5. Begin tracking economic trends via established state and local economic data resources, business and stakeholder surveys, and local economic data collection activities.
  6. Collaborate and align BCEDC economic development activities with Bayfield County government economic development plan, and other existing regional organizational economic development plans for jobs, housing, projects, development projects, transportation, and capital investment.

4) Workforce Solutions Initiatives

  1. Collaborate with and engage consistently with existing regional organizations for housing, diversity, and immigrant populations.
  2. Align Executive Director workforce solutions activities with existing Bayfield County government workforce development initiatives and existing regional and state workforce development organizations.

5) Community Development Initiatives

  1. Identify, support, and attend community development activities and events occurring in Bayfield County (local and regional) that align with BCEDC mission.
  2. Promote and assist with core community housing issues and needs, including additional aging and retired population needs.

6) Public Policy Initiatives

  1. Identify and support existing regional organizations involved with policy making for childcare, housing (workforce and aging population) and broadband solutions that are mitigating workforce shortages.
  2. Advocate for local projects, organizations, and policies that protect our natural resources.

Our Commitment to Progress

The Executive Director, Board President, and Executive Committee will review work plan progress monthly, starting in May of 2023 and will adjust and adapt work plan actions and the strategic initiatives as needed. The initiatives and actions outlined in this strategic plan are fluid and will continue to evolve with specific measurable outcomes for core function initiatives to be developed by the Executive Committee and the Executive Director by the end of April 2023.




Appendix A

2023 Board of Directors

Colleen O’Shaughnessy, President

Marty Milanowski, Vice President

Charly Ray, Secretary

Melissa Martinez, Treasurer

Chad Young, Past President

Mark Abeles-Allison

Vickey Ackley

Annalisa Bermel

Jake Hipsher

Mike Mikula

Bambi Pattermann

Taylor Pearson

Julie Poepping

Melissa Rabska

Jeff Silbert



Cole Rabska, Executive Director