WEDA announces 2022 Community and Economic Development Award nominees

MADISON – Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery and Tattersall Distilling are among the nominees for the 2022 Community and Economic Development Awards (CEDA), announced Monday by the Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA). The CEDA Awards were established by WEDA to recognize and celebrate businesses, projects, and organizations that are making significant contribu tions to Wisconsin’s economy.

“The WEDA Community and Economic Development Awards is Wisconsin’s premier awards program for the economic development community and was established to recognize outstanding and innovative projects that are driving economic growth and prosperity across the state,” said WEDA President and CEO Mary Perry. “This year, WEDA is excited to partner with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to present the CEDA Awards and celebrate the tremendous euorts of each nominated project.”

Three outstanding economic development projects were nominated in each of the four following CEDA categories: Business Retention and Expansion; Economic Development Initiative; Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse; and Talent Attraction, Development, and Retention. The winners in each category will be announced at the live awards ceremony luncheon, which will be held on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022, as part of WEDA’s Fall Best Practices Conference in La Crosse. Please find below an overview of the recently announced 2022 CEDA Award nominees: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery is nominated for the Business Retention and Expansion award, which honors innovative economic development projects where communities have successfully mobilized to help retain and potentially expand the operations of an existing business critical to the economic vitality of the community.

The Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery has a long history in the heart of Wisconsin’s Dairyland. Today, the company has 250 dairy farmer members and three production facilities. Their success and growth led to the need for expansion, and their aging facility in Comstock needed to be replaced. With assistance from the Greater Menomonie Development Corporation, Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery found a site to construct a new $26 million, 60,000 square foot cheese making facility and retail store in the Menomonie Industrial Park. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation supported the project with $500,000 in tax credits, and the City of Menomonie provided Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funding and road expansion to aid the project.

Also nominated for this award are the Henry Repeating Arms Company in Rice Lake and Mason Companies in Chippewa Falls.

Tattersall Distilling in River Falls has been nominated for the Real Estate Redevelopment and Reuse award, which honors innovative real estate redevelopment or reuse projects that have had a positive impact on a community’s economy, including job growth and increased tax base.

What was once an empty, 75,000 square foot former Shopko building is now a bustling social destination in River Falls. When Minnesota liquor production laws prevented further growth in the Twin Cities, Tattersall Distilling, a Minnesota- based distiller, looked across the border to River Falls for a larger production facility and event space. In 2020, Tattersall approached the City of River Falls with an exciting proposal for a $17 million redevelopment of the 7.59-acre parcel into a food and drink destination with a full-service restaurant, distillery, event space, retail store, and amphitheater. This Tattersall project, which was made possible by Tax Increment Finance incentives and other economic development incentives, has demonstrated a clear commitment to community and today employs 21 full-time employees and 98 part-time employees.

Also nominated for this award are Trane Plant 6 and 5th Ward Residences in La Crosse and the Waterfront Hotel in Prairie du Chien.

2022 CEDA nominated projects were screened and selected by an impartial panel of judges comprised of WEDA members and partners. The independent panel reviewed many projects that were submitted for consid- eration, but the 12 finalists were ultimately selected based on the significant eco nomic impact each project has on its respective community or region.

Submitted by WEDA

September 20, 2022