Milwaukee 7 goes public with $6 million fundraising campaign

Gale Klappa, M7 co-chair and executive chairman of WEC Energy Group.

Last updated on April 20th, 2022 at 02:38 pm

The Milwaukee 7 Partnership for Economic Development is seeking to raise $6 million by 2025 to support its economic development efforts in southeastern Wisconsin.

The campaign, which is being chaired by WEC Energy Group executive chairman Gale Klappa and Haribo of America chief operating officer Rick LaBerge, has already raised $3 million.

“When M7 was founded, it was a statement that a united group of private sector leaders and government organizations could do far more together than any one of us could do alone,” Klappa said. “I’m proud to serve as a campaign co-chair as we refresh our strategy and continue to execute, bringing jobs and capital investment to the region.”

M7 is managed by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, which was also a founder of the organization.

“This campaign will help carry forward the success of M7’s corporate expansion and attraction efforts, but it will also build our capacity to serve existing companies in the region,” said Cathy Jacobson, president and CEO of Froedtert Health and MMAC chair. “Current and new-to-market employers all need best-in-practice resources to grow, upskill and attract talent. We also want to improve as a region of choice for diverse talent. Bottom line: This is an investment in a strategy to drive a globally competitive region that benefits our economy and our quality of life.”

M7’s objectives include sharpening strategies for regional economic development, aggressively marketing the region to those making investments and helping current and new-to-market employers with their talent needs.

“Like it has with so many businesses, M7 played a crucial role in helping us find a location and plug into the talent needed for Haribo’s first-ever North American manufacturing facility. We’re thrilled to be part of the community in southeastern Wisconsin,” LaBerge said. “I’m proud to be an M7 advocate and co-chair not only for the critical economic growth the organization enables, but for the people bringing that to life. The M7 team is best-in-class, and it will continue to help the region thrive through its authentic relationships and collaborative spirit.”

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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