Wisconsin Department of Commerce Newsletter
February 2007
Commerce Area Development Manager Bill Winter Retires
Bill Winters
Bill Winter

During his 17 years at the Department of Commerce, Bill Winter earned the respect and appreciation of co-workers, businesses and economic development colleagues. He took pride in helping communities work with businesses to create economic opportunities for their citizens. He retired from his position as area development manager for the southwest region on January 19, 2007. In retirement, Bill plans to travel with his wife Clara, recapture his skill at golf and take up fly fishing.

During his 10 years as an area development manager, Bill worked with communities and businesses on start-up, retention and expansion projects. He generated more than 200 projects totaling more than $400 million that created over 2,000 jobs.

Bill joined Commerce as a business finance specialist in 1989. In that capacity, he underwrote grants and loans, and developed a portfolio worth more than $45 million.

Bill serves on the Kickapoo Reserve Management Finance Committee and the Wisconsin Great River Road National Scenic Byway Advisory Committee.

Prior to joining Commerce, Bill spent more than 20 years in the banking industry, serving as a loan officer for Madison Bank & Trust, Madison; as an executive vice president for the Cobb State Bank; and as assistant vice president for the First Interstate Bank of Wisconsin in Eau Claire. During the 1980s, it was often reported that Wisconsin's small businesses faced obstacles in obtaining bank loans. Bill took a special interest in helping small businesses. He grew First Interstate's small business portfolio from zero to $3 million in three years.

I worked with Bill for 16 years. Whenever I wanted help with a project in his territory, he'd respond quickly and get me what I needed. Business and communities alike appreciated his friendly, customer-oriented approach and his thorough knowledge of financing. You could count on Bill's calm demeanor in a crisis.

Bill has a quick wit, a ready smile and, always, a good story to tell. He leaves Commerce knowing that he made a substantial contribution to economic development in Wisconsin.

-- Tony Hozeny

The newsletter is issued electronically every other month.

Please send comments or questions to Barbro McGinn, editor.

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