Policy Victories, Record Fundraising Under His Leadership
MILWAUKEE – Today, Daniel T. Ariens’ term as WMC chairman expired, concluding two years leading the state’s largest business association to new heights of public policy advocacy and strategic planning for our state. Ariens is Chairman and CEO of Ariens Company, of Brillion.
The WMC Board elected Mayville Engineering CEO Robert D. Kamphuis to serve as WMC chairman to replace Ariens. Kamphuis pledged to continue Ariens’ strong leadership on public policy and business advocacy.
“Dan has provided steadfast leadership for WMC and he even served double duty as vice chairman and then chairman of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) at the same time he chaired WMC,” said Kurt R. Bauer, WMC President/CEO. “Dan provided farsighted and unwavering leadership to both organizations with equal emphasis on improving Wisconsin’s economy now and in the future.”
Under Ariens’ watch, WMC began The Future Wisconsin Project, a 20-year economic planning initiative. The goal of Future Wisconsin is to work with other important stakeholders from business, academia and government to identify the state’s long-term economic threats and devise strategies to address them. Ariens insisted Future Wisconsin focus on the workforce shortage and improving the business climate because both are foundational to the state’s economy.
Other highlights of Ariens’ chairmanship include the enactment of landmark Right to Work legislation and WMC’s support of pro-business candidates during the 2014 elections. WMC’s Issues Mobilization Council also raised and spent a record $9.6 million last year to educate the public on issues that impact Wisconsin’s economic competitiveness.
“Few people understand just how much time and energy Dan has committed to make Wisconsin a great state for business,” Bauer said. “Wisconsin’s national and global reputation for being an attractive place for business investment has improved dramatically in recent years. Many people and entities deserve credit, but Dan should be near the top of the list.”
Ariens says the business community needs to have a continuing role in public policy development and that can only happen through an organization like WMC. “I’ve learned we have an immense amount of expertise, talent and resources within the business community across Wisconsin,” he said. “We have some challenges to overcome in order to remain competitive, but if we can tap into these resources and work together for the benefit of the state we’re a very powerful resource for change.”
Finding the right talent to fill key staff roles is critical, according to Ariens. “I can attest from first-hand experience WMC has the right talent working tirelessly on behalf of business day in and day out. The WMC board members and staff have made my tenure as Chair run very smoothly.”