by Free Speech on January 30, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

by Roger Severson, President L.O.D.I.

We began 2008 by honoring twenty new or expanded businesses of 2007 at our annual meeting. Receiving the Directors’ Award was Paul Dalton for his lifetime efforts with the historic society, veterans association and decades of promoting Lodi. Two recipients were awarded the Vilas Hibbard Beautification Award for transformations of their adjoining buildings: Spring Creek Tavern and Cottage House Primitives.

We welcomed Deb Fallon to our Board of Directors and thanked Dean Bloedorn for his service. This began our year with nine on our Board of Directors.

Tourism is one of the areas we continually embrace. We find that bringing in visitors can help our local economy and enhance the economic development of our area. To this end we are meeting with members from the Town of Lodi, Town of West Point, City of Lodi and Ice Age Trail to identify the attractive points of our natural landscape as well to acknowledge local events which attract visitors. Bringing in the charm of the ice age trail with this mix creates a region with considerable dimension for any tourists. The process continues as we work out how to bring it all together to benefit everyone.

We are part of another tourism endeavor, that being the Highway 60 corridor from I-90 to Prairie du Chien. As we are the first city on this route, it is important that we have a presence and assist with all the needed steps. Monthly meetings with the Highway 60 Byway Steering Committee are taking us over the required hurdles toward state approval and implementation. A comprehensive map will show Lodi as one of the great spots to visit.

We maintain a close, supportive relationship with Columbia County Economic Development Corporation, another key component of our mission statement. The executive director is Nancy Elsing and we are pleased that she attends our monthly meetings, keeping us abreast of events and programs which are available. One program in which we annually participate is the Columbia County Business, Manufacturer and Entrepreneur of the Year awards program. We have submitted many outstanding candidates, some of whom have gone on to state competition. Several have been successful at that level. This year we submitted Padley Plus of Lodi for the major resurrection at the Lodi Bowl site. Ron Padley and his wife Linda represented us well as they took home an Entrepreneur of the Year award!

In addition to our continual assistance to Lodi Reads Leopold, Lodi Farmers Market and Earth Day activities, we also investigated how to recruit new businesses, branding and strengthening effective communications in the Lodi area. Two storyboarding sessions were performed by James Schneider, Blue Chip Attitudes. L.O.D.I. remains open to any joint projects or processes with the Lodi Chamber of Commerce.

We approached the end of 2008 and began the search for new or expanded businesses which we could honor at our annual meeting on January 28th. The businesses we found are: Downtown Coffee Grounds, Flanagan Hardscapes, Manke Enterprises, Lodi Sports & Recreation Center, Lodi Veterinary Hospital and LA Woodcraft.

Receiving the Vilas Hibbard Beautification Award for erecting an outstanding building or improving a facade is Padley Plus for their Lodi Sports & Recreation complex. The Lodi Board of Directors presented the Director’s Award to Paul Fisk for his dedicated service to the community as councilman and then mayor for twelve years, helping shape Lodi for the future.

L.O.D.I. continues to search for ways in which to assist the economic development of this beautiful area. We have a terrific Board of Directors who bring in unique ideas to try. Contact any of us with your ideas. Any input is welcome as it may help with the economic development of the Lodi area.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 lyl February 3, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Many thanks to the L.O.D.I. Board and especially Rog Severson for caring about the business community especially, and the community at large by putting their money where their minds are. The Lodi Valley Farmers’ Market could not continue to serve Lodi without LODI’s support!

2 Editor February 3, 2009 at 7:56 AM

Thank you Rog and board for an exellent banquet and all you do for the community!

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