First National Community Bank family grew to 4 branches with the acquisition of the Frandsen Bank in Dresser

November 26th, 2014 - By admin

 For nearly 100 years, First National Community Bank has been a common name and a pillar in the New Richmond area. With each year that has passed, the bank has continued to grow under the leadership and commitment of the Soderberg family. This past summer, John Soderberg celebrated 50 years with the bank and continues his family’s legacy of leadership and dedication to the greater New Richmond area with bank branches throughout St. Croix County including Hudson and Somerset.

In October of 2014, the First National Community Bank family grew to 4 branches with the acquisition of the Frandsen Bank in Dresser, Wisconsin, just 4 miles north of Osceola. This acquisition grew the Community minded bank to approximately 70 employees overall. Thomas Mews, President of First National Community Bank stated, “We are excited to be able to expand our community bank presence.

The Dresser location brings added convenience to our customer base which is primarily St. Croix, Polk and Pierce Counties. In addition, bank customers will continue to be served by the existing staff they have come to trust, along with the addition of Jennifer Suit as the Branch Manager in Dresser. Jennifer has been a valued employee of First National Community Bank for nearly ten years and will continue to offer the service and commitment that our customers are accustomed to and deserve.”

In closing, Mews shared, “This is the first acquisition the bank has undergone and is a testament to the commitment to grow and sustain our community owned and operated bank…while we are increasing the asset base for the bank, our greatest assets are our employees. Without a strong team, we would not have been able to even consider this!”

Over the years, the bank has worked with hundreds of organizations raising awareness for a variety of causes. Currently, FNCB is collecting new hats, mittens and scarves for its’ annual “Mitten Drive“, along with an annual food drive to benefit St. Croix and Polk Counties. Donations for both the food drive and the mitten drive can be delivered to any of the four FNCB locations.

We are also thrilled to be working hand-in-hand with the New Richmond Area Centre this holiday season for Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, December 20th, 2014. The event is sponsored by FNCB in partnership with the Centre as another opportunity to bring the New Richmond community together. Children will be able to have their picture taken with Santa and a FREE pancake breakfast can be enjoyed by the whole family!

First National Community Bank and their staff also looks forward to being a sponsor for the Christmas Tour of Homes in Hudson, the Light Up Osceola holiday event, the annual Holiday Business After 5 on December 18th, New Richmond Chamber Coffee on December 12th, and more!

YOU’RE INVITED! Polk County Advisory Group Meeting

November 26th, 2014 - By admin

As a follow up to an initial meeting held at the June 2014 Facilitating the Future Preconference, we are piloting the first County-wide Advisory group in Polk County! Polk County high schools and manufacturers are invited to come together to identify needs, partnership opportunities and begin to identify manufacturing-related career pathways for our local students. We hope you can join us!

Hosts: WITC, CESA 11 and Polk County Economic Development Corporation

State Launches Ad Campaign to Promote Wisconsin’s Business Climate and Innovation Advances

November 26th, 2014 - By admin

In Wisconsin Logo

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has launched an aggressive marketing campaign that features radio ads in the Chicago and Minneapolis markets aimed at showcasing Wisconsin as the ideal place for businesses to grow and succeed.

The multifaceted marketing plan also includes print and online elements that promote the state’s positive business climate and workforce, and position Wisconsin as a premier location for business leaders considering starting, expanding or relocating their companies.

In addition, the $1.58 million plan includes an online campaign promoting the state’s innovation strengths to entrepreneurs and investors.
“This campaign is strategically designed to reach different audiences in different ways with the same theme: Wisconsin is a great place for companies to do business,” said Reed Hall, secretary and CEO of WEDC, the state’s lead economic development organization. “Whether it is online, on the air or in print, we are getting the word out about Wisconsin’s strong business climate, skilled workforce and dependable business infrastructure.

The new WEDC ads can be viewed online at

River Falls Career Services Spring Career Fair.

November 26th, 2014 - By admin

 The University of Wisconsin – River Falls Career Services cordially invites you to the inaugural Spring Career Fair.

Event Benefits:

  • Market your company
  • Network with faculty and students from 48 majors of study
  • Recruit highly-qualified students for internships and full-time positions

Thursday, February 26, 2015 at 10am – 3pm

At the University Center

Register Here

Registration Now for the 8th Annual Governor’s Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit

November 26th, 2014 - By admin

Registration is now open for the eighth annual Governor’s Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit, December 4-5 in Minocqua.

The annual summit provides an opportunity to address the unique challenges and opportunities of Northern Wisconsin’s economy through a forum with the Governor’s cabinet, keynote speakers and a series of workshops. This year’s agenda includes information on workforce development, technology, and regulatory reform.

This event will be at The Waters of Minocqua. Registration for the two-day event is $75 through December 13 and $85 for on-site registration. Agenda and detailed information can be found at

WEDC – Idle Sites Grant Application Deadline: November 21, 2014

November 3rd, 2014 - By admin

The Idle Sites Program is accepting applications through a competitive process with an application deadline of Friday, November 21, 2014.

Grant up to $500,000 or $1,000,000 –  with a 70% Match

  • $1,000,000 for sites 10 acres or greater
  •  $500,000 for sites between 5 and 10 acres

The Idle Sites Program is intended to stimulate investment and job creation in idle, abandoned and underutilized sites which have been abandoned for at least 5 years and due to scale and complexity cannot be redeveloped solely by the private sector. A local unit of government or tribal entity must be the applicant and awards are limited to 30% of eligible project costs.

For more information click here.

Unemployment Fund Reaches Solvency, Reducing Employment Taxes

November 3rd, 2014 - By admin

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recently reported that the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit has been eliminated after reaching a $1.4 billion deficit in January of 2011. The elimination of this debt is due to reforms enacted to the state’s unemployment insurance program and an increase in statewide economic output that has seen a reduction in unemployment.

The elimination of the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund deficit will result in a reduction in taxes for small business owners and employers throughout Wisconsin. The positive balance of the fund is expected to reduce Unemployment Insurance Tax from 1.5% to 0.6% of wages up to $7,000, saving a typical small business more than $2,500 in taxes for 2014. For more information on this and other news from the Department of Workforce Development, please visit their website or visit them on Facebook.

7th Annual Manufacturing Advantage

September 30th, 2014 - By admin


October 1 – 2, 2014

You can’t afford to miss this year’s conference highlighting hot topics & burning issues for manufacturers including:

  • NASA Glenn Research Display, Presentations and 1-on-1 Opportunities
  • Keynote Speakers, Presentations and Panel Discussions Exploring Alternative Strategies for cost Effective Healthcare for your Business
  • Workforce Challenges including Engagement, Empowerment, Skills Gap and more!

Energy Conservation Incentives and Best Practices

Polk County EDC Leadership Updates

September 30th, 2014 - By admin

The purpose of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation is to encourage and promote Economic Development and capital investment in Polk County in order to create and retain attractive jobs, enhance our community’s tax base, and facilitate positive sustainable economic Growth.

The following values articulate the principles and values held by the PCEDC’s Board of Directors and Staff:

  • Building Relationships
  • Collaboration
  • Promotion
  • Support
  • Integrity
  • Organizational Stability

At the September 23rd, 2014 board meeting of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation, the annual election of officers was held. The following pictures and captions depict the changes.

The board members on behalf of the respective organizations volunteer their time and talents, without any compensation or expense reimbursement,  to the support of economic development in Polk County and the Greater St, Croix Valley Region.


Polk County Economic Development Corporation Board of Directors and Staff.

Front row (L-R): Matt Johnson, Chet Johnson Drugs; Kelly Hibbs, Sterling Bank; Danette Olson, Danette Olson Consulting; Tom Braml, Century Link; Josh Hallberg, DN Campground and Polk County Board of Supervisors representative.  Back Row (L-R): Trudy Popenhagen, Xcel Energy; Bruce Noll, Eagle Valley Bank; Dave Rasmussen, MSA Engineering; Eric Duelholm, Colliers International; John Richards, Northwestern Wisconsin Electric Company; Pete Kling, Bremer Bank; Steve Healy, Executive Director. Missing from the photo are Adam Jarchow, Bakke Norman; and Bill Schmidt, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative.

Leadership Change

Pictured (L-R): Eric Dueholm, the new Polk County Economic Development Board President and Trudy Popenhagen, outgoing Board President who will move info the Past President position.

Executive Committee

Pictured (L-R): Bruce Noll, Secretary; Eric Dueholm, President; Trudy Popenhagen, Past President; and Tom Braml, newly elected Vice-President. Missing from the photo is Adam Jarchow, Secretary.

Featured Board Member – Josh Hallberg

August 26th, 2014 - By admin

Josh Hallberg was appointed to the board in May of 2014 as the representative from the Polk County Board of Supervisors. Josh was elected to his first term in April of this year, representing the villages of Balsam Lake and Milltown, in addition to the township of Milltown. Josh is also serving his second term as a trustee for the Village of Balsam Lake.

Josh brings good hands-on experience from his work as a trustee for the Village of Balsam Lake. He has been very active in their pursuit of bringing manufacturing to Balsam Lake’s industrial park.

With the communities effort and his leadership, Balsam Lake has been very close to securing a new manufacturer to Polk County. Josh has seen the value of having a strong Economic Development Corporation at the local level, with the limited resources each municipality and townships have. “Some boards are very active and some may not be as active which is not a sustainable model.

Aligning the right resources with the help of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation to develop a strategic action plan is what I recommend to all communities. We have a lot of the same needs, however, each community is unique.  I am honored to be appointed to this board, and look forward to watching Polk County grow and prosper in the future.”

Josh has a Logistics Management and Marketing degree from UW-Superior.  His prior experience includes Logistics Management, Project Management, and Consulting work. He currently owns and operates the DN Campground in Balsam Lake. In Josh’s free time, he enjoys hunting, fishing, and anything else associated with the outdoors.