1. What is the number one challenge facing Wisconsin today and why?
If demography is destiny, Wisconsin may be headed toward economic stagnation. Our population is aging, growth is less than half the national average, and net in-migration is weak. In the next decade, states will compete for labor the way they once contended for job creators. Wisconsin needs to make itself as attractive as possible to workers. Addressing our ludicrously high income tax is a good place to start.
2. Best Wisconsin vacation destination?
The driftless area. If I have to get specific, I’ll go with Sauk County. Within an hour or two of Wisconsin’s major urban centers lies something close to wilderness in the western Baraboo Bluffs. Driving into Devil’s Lake State Park is like stepping out of Wisconsin and onto the shores of an Alpine lake. Couple its natural features with two of Wisconsin’s top 5 supper clubs, Ishnala and the Del-Bar, multiple breweries, wineries, distilleries, artsy stuff in Spring Green, and the Wisconsin River and you have everything you need for an outstanding getaway.
3. Best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Clarity is the antidote to anxiety. This should be obvious but it wasn’t to me until I heard it. Application of this advice has helped me better lead large teams through the stress and pressures of high risk policy battles and uphill election fights. Anxiety can be a peak driver of poor performance but can be addressed by casting a clear vision for a better future state, connecting team members to the why behind their efforts, and building confidence in their tools and tactics.