By Phil Hauck, Envision Board President
When U.S. News and World Report asserts that Green Bay, Wisconsin, is the best place to live in the U.S., that’s a pretty sound recommendation, right? But what if there’s even more to that story? What if we discover that young Green Bay professionals are getting a firm foundation here, then going out into the world to get a start on success – and bringing those amazing successes right back to Green Bay? Well, we have! Recently I attended the NEW North Summit at Lambeau Field, and I heard presentations by individuals from both New York and Los Angeles who have brought their cutting-edge operations right back to Green Bay!
Corey Behnke, co-founder of LiveX, is the Green Bay native who’s spent more than a decade directing a high-tech control center that broadcasts key productions around the country and around the world. LiveX is the organization that creates the Times Square celebration you and I watch each year on New Year’s Eve. LiveX brings us broadcasts of Olympic events from around the world, the Ryder Cup, and more – from Green Bay! The operation, directed by Corey, has even made a local interview with our Congressman, Mike Gallagher, seem to be taking place in the ABC network studios in New York.
A year-and-a-half ago Corey moved the LiveX operations center from New York City to Green Bay. It’s located right on North Broadway Street now, in the Urban Hope area: four control centers, a multitude of screens, control boards and staff, all in Green Bay. The cameras might be in New York or at the Ryder Cup, but the feeds come to Green Bay and then are sent around the world.
Why the move? Because Corey is from Green Bay and, when he sought an easier place to do business, with shorter commutes, lower cost of living and more simplicity, he came home!
Ben Kvalo did the same. He grew up in Green Bay, graduated from University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and got involved in video games. He’s helped create more than a hundred video games, working with major developer/distributors like Blizzard and 2K. The video game industry is bigger than film and music combined, with no major company headquartered in the Midwest (not even in Chicago). So Ben brought it home. In May, he left the employ of Netflix Games, where he created and oversaw their burgeoning games business, and moved back to Green Bay to start up a game developer/distributorship here. He thinks he has the connections to make it work big time. Let’s hope so!
Maybe U.S. News and World Report got it right.