MADISON – Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) – the combined state chamber, manufacturers’ association and safety council – was recognized by its peers on Wednesday as the State Chamber of the Year.
“WMC has always strived to best serve its members, and 2020 was no exception,” said WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer. “Facing a litany of daunting challenges, WMC’s talented staff showed resiliency, a hunger for innovation and a tireless will to provide value to the business community.”
The purpose of the annual State Chamber of the Year award is to bring attention to innovative initiatives and best practices that advance state chambers’ mission and work. The award also provides recognition to state chambers and their leaders who have distinguished themselves by providing exceptional services and results for their members.
“When Wisconsin needed help, the business community responded. They switched over to producing PPE. They increased access to testing. And they gave back in countless ways to the people in their backyards,” added Bauer. “That is why I am proud to say when the business community needed help, WMC responded.”
In 2020, WMC quickly cemented itself as an industry leader. During the year, the state’s chamber of commerce was a leading advocate to safely reopen the economy; provided members and the public with crucial and factual information via email communications, live webinars and virtual events; and filed a lawsuit against Gov. Tony Evers to stop the release of businesses names with employees who tested positive for COVID-19 – regardless of where they contracted the virus.
WMC also provided members with safety consultations to help keep employees safe in the workplace; published an employer toolkit that broke down the various federal and state programs generated in response to the pandemic; and co-chaired the “Stop the COVID Spread!” coalition to educate Wisconsinites about how they can minimize the spread of the virus by taking simple steps like wearing a mask, social distancing and frequent hand washing.
The State Chamber of the Year Award is presented by the Council of State Chambers (COSC), a national organization whose purpose is to promote and strengthen state chambers.
“It is an honor to receive this national award,” concluded Bauer. “It would not have been possible without the hard work and support from our Board of Directors, members and staff.”
COSC announced WMC was a State Chamber of the Year Finalist in October along with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the California Chamber of Commerce. WMC was also named runner-up for the award in 2019.