Written by Dave Wegge

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives,” President John F. Kennedy 

As we approach the end of 2020, this quote from President Kennedy captures my deep gratitude for the people who have contributed to the Bay Area Community Council’s (BACC) accomplishments over the past year. 

In my January 2020 message, I suggested several goals that I felt BACC needed to address in 2020:

1) infusing foresight analysis into non-profit, business, education and government organizations through our Foresight Analysis Workshops;

2) forming a Foresight Network made up of workshop alumni;

3) implementing BACC foresight Signals Teams; 

4) enhancing BACC’s brand and external communications;  

5) creating a new strategic resource development model to provide the resources necessary to achieve our mission and vision. 

So, how did we do? COVID-19 threw a wrench into many of our activities. But, like all organizations, we adjusted and even amid this pandemic were able to make considerable progress in meeting our goals. 

BACC held our fall 2020 Foresight Workshop led virtually by Garry Golden with thirteen participants from Nsight, Skyline Technologies, Nature’s Way, Elevate 97, Oneida ESC Group, Bellin Health, University of Wisconsin Green Bay, and the Green Bay Botanical Garden. Each participant presented his or her foresight view with the four possible futures of one’s organization moving forward. It was inspiring indeed. With the high demand for our Foresight Workshop, we will be offering Foresight Workshops in both the spring and fall in 2021. BACC has now trained 60 leaders in our community in Foresight Analysis to advance their organizations. These 60 leaders now make up the BACC Foresight Network; it held its first event in April.

 Another milestone this past year was the completion of the first report from one of the Signals Teams. BACC formed four Signals Teams in 2019– Economic Transformation, Pathways for Success, Community of Choice and Health & Wellness. Signals Teams are charged with using foresight tools to monitor trends, events, and choices that may impact the future of greater Green Bay. The Economic Transformation Signals Team presented its Report to the Board in August and it was released in our September 2020 Newsletter.  Related articles of this report have appeared in the BACC Newsletter since September. Additional reports will be forthcoming from each of the Signals Teams. I am deeply grateful and proud of all that the Foresight Committee accomplished in 2020.

A major highlight for BACC this past year is receiving a Capacity Building Grant from the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation. This $7,500 grant, along with another $7,500 in matching funds raised by our Resource Development Committee, provides the foundation for the rebranding of BACC and the enhancement of our external communications. The Rebranding Task Force played a critical role in advancing this project. Watch for our new name, website and newsletter in early 2021. The rebranding and communication project could not have been completed as professionally and as effectively without the guidance of Lynn Gerlach, our communication consultant, and Steve Herro, BACC administrative assistant.  I am deeply grateful and proud of all that the Communications Committee accomplished in 2020. 

BACC cannot accomplish our goals without financial resources. As BACC increases our activities around a foresight model with a keen eye to the future, we need additional financial and human resources. In 2020 BACC had our most successful annual fundraising campaign with support from our Board of Directors and numerous community members demonstrating their confidence in our work through their generous contributions. Our next step in resource development is obtaining larger sustaining multiyear sponsorships to assist BACC in obtaining the human resources needed to advance our work. I am deeply grateful and proud of all that the Resource Development Committee accomplished in 2020.

One of the unique characteristics of the BACC Board of Directors is that it is a governing board, not an advisory board. All decisions that guide our organization are made by this Board. With a small part-time staff, much of the work of BACC is performed by Board members. BACC recruits Board members who have knowledge about our community and are also committed to devoting time to perform the work of BACC. Each member of our Board brings special perspectives and expertise. A special thanks of gratitude to the BACC Board members who are so generous with their time and talent. This year the Nomination Committee recruited three new members to join our Board: Larry Connors, Executive Director of the Jackie Nitschke Center; Jeff House, CEO of Oneida ESC Group, and Dr. Gratzia Villarroel, Chair of the Casa Alba Board.  I am deeply grateful and proud of all that the Nomination Committee accomplished in 2020.

We have so much to be grateful for at BACC and look forward to an exciting 2021!