BACC is the leading organization in engaging community leaders in
understanding and shaping the future of the greater Green Bay area.
President's Letter, Fr. Paul Demuth

Dear Friends of BACC,

A year ago as I began my time as President of BACC, we described the year as one of transition. After a number of conversations with our three sponsoring groups (The Chamber, United Way of Brown County, and Greater Green Bay Community Foundation) we all agreed that it was time for BACC to become a totally independent organization. Despite some early logistical challenges, this has been a blessing for us! It became the stimulus for us to affirm our leadership role in the community as a “deep thinker” group of citizens that could help the greater Green Bay area to continue to advance as a progressive community. The recently published 2017 Community Summit Report gave us a direction to help the community be “future oriented” instead of just “problem solvers,”

Over the past year, we have made significant moves that are enabling us to advance our vision and mission with enthusiasm and vigor. Our core vision to be a thought leader has led us to become part of a movement to provide the community with “foresight analysis” as a means of growth in northeast Wisconsin.

As a Board we are in the midst of hearing local experts on the future of work, education, the environment, religion and faith, health care, transportation, government, and demographics. Wow, our minds have been blown away at the breadth and depth of the talent in these areas! Our presenters have a wide variety of insights into the future of each of their areas of expertise.

Our Futuring Committee has just completed a four month pilot program, lead by futurist, Garry Golden, for 11 leaders in the community representing government, education, not-for-profit and business leaders. They are helping their own organizations use foresight analysis to plan for the future as well as provide valuable feedback to us as to how we can help the greater Green Bay community leaders use this valuable tool.

Our Communications and Resource Development Committees are working diligently to develop the tools needed to communicate with you through varied digital and print formats and to seek the necessary funds to accomplish our work.

As I complete my first year as President and move into 2019 in the same role, I am honored to be working with a team of volunteers who give their heart and their the talent for the good of our community. It would be wonderful if I could say that this time of transition is complete. While we have accomplished much, the coming months are still needed to further refine our role and develop programs and actions that will directly help you, our supporters, to join in our exciting journey to infuse futuring and foresight analysis into our community.

I wish to formally welcome four new members to our BACC Board: Jamie Lynch (St. Norbert College), Morgan Fuller and John Katers (University of Wisconsin Green Bay), and Randy Van Straten (Bellin Health). They will be valuable additions to our board.

In the meantime, I hope that you find time to refresh yourselves during the coming holidays. May you and your families have a Blessed and Merry Christmas!
Know your BACC Director: Tom Schumacher

Tell us a little bit about yourself—where you were raised, past and current professions and careers, how long you have lived in Brown County, and some of your favorite pass times

I’m a Northeast Wisconsin baby boomeranger, returning in 1987 following a 15 year absence to start a family and build a career in the corporate world. After growing up in the Fox Valley, and attending college in Milwaukee and Madison, a passion for accounting and systems took me to New Hampshire, married with four children before I was 30. I’ve always loved computers and business, which translated to two stints of self-employment, one while in college and again after returning to Wisconsin. My corporate years provided an opportunity to run with some of the best and brightest as we developed new and exciting computer systems. That technical foundation was applied at Services Plus, where I spent 20 years partnering with my brother and growing our own business here in Green Bay. 

Unfortunately, our eight years in New England saw our four children evolve into aliens, speaking about pahking cahs and a holiday visit from Santer Claus, but more importantly developing values that were more self-centered than those I grew up with. It also didn’t help that they were becoming Patriot and Red Sox fans. So, thirty years ago, we moved back to Wisconsin.

It wasn’t long before I got involved in the community, serving as a member of the De Pere Kiwanis and our local parish council. I also learned the finer points of fireworks as a member of the Pyrotechnic Guild International and crew member for live fireworks displays. I’ve volunteered at the Green Bay Catholic Diocese and been on the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation board since 2013. My wife Lois and I are happily retired and love to travel. Our most recent trips have been to the Mediterranean, Asia and an upcoming trip to South America.

Describe your relationship to the BACC—when did you start on the BACC, what are your hopes for the BACC, what personal gifts do you bring to the BACC mission? 

I’ve been involved with the Bay Area Community Council (BACC) since 2007. My first experience was as part of a team that produced a report on poverty. I’m very excited about the direction BACC is currently going. There is a lot of energy around applying the futuring technique of foresight analysis to understand and deal with changes in the world around us. We’re engaging community leaders to use this approach to make better choices for a successful future greater Green Bay. Our initiative is on the forefront of applying foresight analysis at the community level, with only a few similar efforts occurring around the world.

We’ve engaged the community in a number of ways, like our 2017 Envisioning the Future conference and report, as well as a recently concluded workshop on “The Future of Work.” The objective is to help us move from constantly playing catch up, as we deal with change after the fact, to proactively anticipate changes and their impact. My hope is that ten years from now, we’ll be able to point to 2018 as the time when a lot of good things got started because we turned our sights to the future.

What do you like most about life in Brown County?

What I like about Brown County and greater Green Bay are the same things that brought our family back to Wisconsin. It’s a place where families can thrive. As the LIFE Study points out, we’re living in a safe, affordable area with good education and ample job and business opportunities. After living in Milwaukee and just north of Boston, the ability to get anywhere in the area in less than 20 minutes is also a welcome blessing. And as someone who grew up in the glory years of Lombardi, it doesn’t get any better than going to Lambeau to watch the Packers with my children and grandchildren.
DECEMBER 13 BACC Board meeting
The BACC held its monthly Board meeting in the Bemis Center, St. Norbert College, on December 13. We acknowledge the Schneider School of Business and Economics, St. Norbert College, for its hospitality toward our Board and guests.

Phil Hauck was approved for President Elect, Nominee (that is, he would serve as BACC President in 2021). The Board bad farewell to Jennifer Hill-Kelley. The Board decided to continue its very successful "future of X trends in Brown County" education series by tapping into local experts on transportation, government affairs, and demographics for the first three months of 2019. The Board also discussed the fruits of the fall 2018 futuring workshop with 11 leaders from local business, nonprofit, educational, and government entities.

Looking ahead to 2019, several members mentioned exciting challenges ahead as the BACC continues to evolve as the leading area organization in training for forecast analysis and that transition and disruption can indeed be opportunities for continued growth.
BACC Board member Lee Bouche opines on the application of the BACC Summit report to life in Brown County

(Seventh in a series of BACC director and staff responses to the BACC’s community summit report, Greater Green Bay: Envisioning the Future Report to the Community . )

It is hard to believe it is over a year since the BACC hosted the Greater Green Bay: Envisioning the Future summit, September 29-30, 2017. Nearly 200 leaders representing a diverse cross section of our community gathered to generate recommendations to achieve a greater future for the Green Bay area. The results of the Summit were shaped into four subject areas: Community of Choice, Pathways to Success, Diversity, and Civic Participation and Leadership; see Greater Green Bay: Envisioning the Future Report to the Community .

How about this for a new year’s resolution? Review the report and recommendations once again. As you review them, I challenge you to do two things:

1. Identify community examples that demonstrate progress in moving the needle forward on the recommendations. There are many and we need to keep the momentum going. There is also a lot that still needs to be accomplished.

2. Ask yourself how you have contributed to the progress of any of the recommendations. One of my examples is that I recently accepted the opportunity to join the Board of Directors of Foundations Health and Wholeness. This is a great organization that offers counseling and foster care services in innovative ways to reach populations that would otherwise not have access to services. In today’s world of escalating mental health and addiction issues, I couldn’t think of a better way to share my time, energy and talents than supporting an organization that makes a difference in our community. Where might you – or do you - share your time, energy and talents to help make a difference?

In 2019, BACC will continue to push the Summit recommendations forward through activities focusing on envisioning the future of a greater Green Bay and what needs to be done today to get us there.   

Recent news stories, articles, books, videos, Websites or venues of interest to BACC supporters and newsletter readers, recommend by BACC staff and directors. Also community events of interest to BACC supporters

Bernstein, Larry. " U.S. life expectancy declines again, a dismal trend not seen since World War I," Washington Post, November 29, 2018.

Diamond, Jared. " The Global Peril Of Inequality," National Geographic, December 2018, 234:6, pp. 17-18.

Giridharadas, Anand. Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World. 2018.

Hubbuch, Chris. " Census: Wisconsin incomes up, poverty down; digital divide yawns," Wisconsin State Journal, December 6, 2018.

Judis, John. " It's the Economies, Stupid," Washington Post, November 29, 2018.