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Secretary Burke Announces Executive Appointment

For Immediate Release: September 28, 2007
Contact: Tony Hozeny, Department of Commerce, 608/267-9661

MADISON - Department of Commerce (Commerce) Secretary Mary P. Burke today announced the appointment of Mickey Judkins as administrator of the Division of Export and Investment, formerly the Division of International and Export Services.

"Mickey Judkins is a successful business owner with a strong sales and marketing background," said Secretary Burke. "She will be a real asset to export development and in selling Wisconsin around the nation and around the world as a prime location for business development."

Secretary Burke noted that the Governor's budget proposes $1.8 million over the biennium to help Forward Wisconsin and the Export and Investment Division promote Wisconsin as an optimum site for business development. "We need the budget passed to move ahead with our new business attraction initiatives and Commerce's economic development priorities," she said.

As administrator, Judkins will be responsible for helping Wisconsin companies export to international markets and for encouraging overseas companies to locate facilities in Wisconsin. She will also direct the activities of Forward Wisconsin staff with oversight from Forward's board of directors

From 1987-present, Judkins has been owner/president of Details, Inc., Eau Claire, a fine apparel retail store, and since 1995 owner/president of Details Direct, an e-commerce site. She has been a partner since 1990 in Rochon Land Investments, also of Eau Claire. She has an extensive background in community service. In 2006, Governor Jim Doyle appointed her to the Healthy Wisconsin Task Force. Since 2004, she has served on the Wisconsin Development Finance Board, which oversees Commerce's Wisconsin Development Fund for business development. In 2003, she was president of the Eau Claire Economic Development Corporation (ECDC) (2003), and served on the ECDC board of directors from 2001-04. She has been a member since 2003 of the Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce Good Government Council. Judkins has a BA in Sociology from UW-Eau Claire.

Secretary Burke noted that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) recently adopted by the Forward Wisconsin board of directors will result in better coordination of Wisconsin's business attraction efforts, improved strategic marketing efforts, and more effective use of existing resources.

"It is important to mobilize all of our development resources in the effort to attract new businesses to Wisconsin," Secretary Burke said. "Forward staff, Commerce staff, and local development professionals will work together as an effective team to encourage more businesses to locate facilities and headquarters in Wisconsin."

Under the MOU as adopted, Forward Wisconsin will retain its status as a nonprofit corporation, but it will no longer have a president, freeing up additional funding for business attraction. A Commerce division administrator will direct the activities of Forward staff with oversight by the Forward board