Another new leader for WEDC

NOW

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the state’s job creation agency, has another new leader that will try to fix its problems and public image.

Mark Hogan, a Wauwatosa resident and a former executive for M&I Bank and BMO Harris Bank, was recently named the new chief executive officer of the WEDC by Gov. Scott Walker. Hogan has served as chairman of the board for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority since March of this year.

“Mark Hogan is a proven and respected leader in finance and business, and we are honored to have him as a partner in our efforts to grow the economy, create jobs, and keep Wisconsin heading in the right direction,” Walker said.

Hogan has made $24,375 in contributions to Walker’s campaign between 2004 and 2014, according to the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign.

Reed Hall
Reed Hall

Hogan replaces Reed Hall, who announced his retirement in August. Hall was the WEDC CEO since October 2012.

“I am honored to join the team at WEDC, and look forward to putting my experience to work for the people of Wisconsin,” Hogan said.  “We will continue to work in partnership with Wisconsin business leaders, so they can grow and expand and create more good-paying, family-supporting jobs.”

Hogan is the third CEO for the WEDC, which was created by Walker in 2011 to replace the state Department of Commerce. Paul Jadin was the original CEO of the WEDC until he resigned in September 2012 to become the president of Thrive, which seeks to improve the economy of the Madison area. Hall, who had retired as executive director of the Marshfield Clinic in 2010, was named interim WEDC CEO after Jadin left, and became the permanent CEO of the WEDC in January 2013.

The WEDC has had numerous problems. A state audit this year revealed several of the companies to which the WEDC has awarded state funds have not been thoroughly vetted or tracked. Some of those companies have failed, while some others have not met job creation promises upon which the funding was contingent.

WEDC Website
WEDC Website

Assembly Democratic Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha, and state Sen. Julie Lassa, D-Stevens Point, the Democratic representatives on the WEDC board, in June called for Hall’s resignation from the WEDC.

In August, Hall announced he would retire on Sept. 25.

“A change of leadership was desperately needed at this agency but unfortunately, there are persistent problems with the structure of WEDC,” Barca said. “I am glad to see Mark Hogan has experience in the private and financial sector and I look forward to working with him.”

Earlier this year, Walker removed himself as chairman of the WEDC and Dan Ariens, president and CEO of Brillion-based Ariens Co., in July was named the new WEDC board chairman. The board at that time also hired a national consultant to review the organization’s operations.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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