University of Wisconsin-River Falls

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Aug. 13, 2004

Synergy Conference Keynote Speakers Set

National and regional experts are among the keynote speakers for the West Central Wisconsin Synergy 2004 Conference on Sept.15-16. The conference is a project of the Greater Chippewa and St. Croix Valley Regional PK-16 Consortium and supported by a grant from the University of Wisconsin-Extension.

Lorna Michael Butler, Ph.D., will present the keynote address "Regional Rural/Urban Transitions." She is a professor in the departments of sociology and anthropology at Iowa State University, endowed chair for sustainable agriculture, and co-author of Sustainability: Links Between Agriculture, Community and the Ecosystem.

David P. McClure, president and CEO of the U.S. Internet Industry Association, which is the primary trade association for Internet commerce, content and connectivity, will present the keynote for the session on the Regional Digital Divide. McClure has written and lectured extensively on management and technology issues and is considered an authority on strategic business planning and technology integration for businesses.

Daniel McLaughlin, M.H.A., will be the keynote lecturer for the Health Care Issues and Our Region session. McLaughlin is the associate director of the Center for Health and Medical Affairs and was the executive director of the National Institute of Health Policy at the University of St. Thomas.

In addition to these noted speakers, professionals and experts in all three areas will participate in panel discussions at the breakout sessions of the conference. Moderator for the regional event will be Steve Gunderson, a former Wisconsin state legislator and congressman and currently a senior consultant and managing director of the Greystone Group, Inc., a strategic management and communications consulting firm.

The conference will be held at The Phipps Center for the Arts in Hudson and is sponsored by Xcel Energy. In addition to the conference discussions and working groups, participants will have access to exhibits from regional vendors and organizations and a reception, "Tastes of the Valleys," where local restaurants, agricultural producers and hospitality providers from the St. Croix and Chippewa Valleys will share their regional cuisine favorites.

The cost is $95 for admission, refreshments, lunch and conference materials. Participants who register online at before Sept. 10 qualify for a discounted fee. To encourage group to attend, teams of three individuals will pay for only two registrations.

Visit the Synergy 2004 Web site at for more information or contact the conference coordinator, Sharon Sabatke, UW-RF Outreach and Graduate Studies, at or call 715/425-3256 or 800/228-5607.

The Greater Chippewa and St. Croix Valley Regional PK-16 Consortium, also known as the Regional PK-16 Council, is designed to leverage the strengths of the regionŐs educational institutions and business partnerships to deliver fast, competent and seamless access to education, training and research for youth, teachers and employees of businesses and industries in west central Wisconsin. The PK-16 Council provides a structure for ongoing economic development and workforce planning initiatives that respects individual autonomy and leads to long-term rewards for participating entities. For more information on the council, contact Tara Bergeson at 715/232-5270 or email:


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