Governor’s Conference on Diverse Business Development

December 7-9, 2021
The Wisconsin Center | Milwaukee, WI


MARKETPLACE is committed to taking every step possible to allow us to assemble safely and enjoyably, virtually on December 7 and in person at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee on December 8-9.

We can assemble face-to-face by agreeing to take reasonable precautions to protect and preserve each other’s health and well-being. Prudent health precautions include:

  • Get vaccinated
  • Wear a mask
  • Respect physical distance
  • Wash hands often

Face masks will be required at MARKETPLACE 2021 regardless of vaccination status.

MARKETPLACE will operate according to the prevailing laws, regulations, and guidelines issued by the United States (federal), the State of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, and the City of Milwaukee. These include the U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommendations. You can access the CDC’s most recent guidance here.

With the constantly changing coronavirus environment, these laws, regulations, and guidelines can change at any time. Decisions on the actual protocols and requirements necessary in December will likely not be made until we are closer to the MARKETPLACE dates. We will continue to monitor official guidance and will regularly update the overall status of MARKETPLACE and specific MARKETPLACE health protocols.

2021 Program

MARKETPLACE Guest Speakers

  • Coming soon

2021 Buyers Listings

  • Coming soon

2021 Program book

  • Coming soon


The Hilton Milwaukee City Center is offering discounted room rates along with covered parking for conference attendees. The Hilton is connected to the Wisconsin Center and offers easy access to the Marketplace conference through the skywalk.


Hilton Milwaukee City Center
509 W. Wisconsin Ave.
Milwaukee, WI 53203

Room Rate: $109.00 per night

Please call 414-935-5940 and mention “WEDC Marketplace Conference”

Reservations may also be made online here.

The cut-off date for the room block is Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Check-In/Check Out:

  • Check-in time is 3:00 pm
  • Check-out time is 12:00 pm.

Discounted parking at the Hilton:

  • Event-only covered parking – $10/vehicle per day
  • Overnight covered parking – $18/vehicle per day


Exhibitor Move-In:

Dec. 8, 1 to 5 p.m.

Dec. 9, 6 to 7 a.m.

Exhibitors should unload at 501 W. Wells Street, which is under the tunnel near Ballroom D. Exhibitors must bring their own carts/dollies for unloading exhibit materials. The maximum time allowed for unloading is 20 minutes. Please move your vehicle after unloading.

Please note that the Wisconsin Center does not have a shipping and receiving department, so shipping your exhibiting materials ahead of time is not an option.

Exhibitor Move-Out:

Dec. 9, 4 p.m.

Exhibitors must be moved out not later than 5 p.m.

Exhibitor Check-In and Registration:

Exhibitors will have their own dedicated registration table located near the exhibit hall. Please check in at this location when you arrive, and you will receive an exhibitor badge.

Exhibiting Hours:

Dec. 9, 9:30 a.m. to noon and 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Booth Information:

The booth size is 8’ x 8’ and includes a skirted table (2’x6’x30”), two chairs and a sign pre-printed with the name of your company as provided upon registration.

The exhibit hall is carpeted. If you need to order electrical service to your booth, please indicate this during your registration.

Wisconsin Expo has provided an online portal for additional booth services, that you can access here.

For questions, please contact Steve Makovec of the Wisconsin Procurement Institute at or 414.688.6638.


Tuesday, December 7 – Virtual

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Expanding Wisconsin’s Diverse Supply Chain Panel

  • Moderator: Heather Olson, North Central Minority Supplier Development Coalition (NCMSDC)
  • Panelist: Danielle Bly, WEC Energy Group
  • Panelist : Jenny Alexander, Marquette University
  • Panelist: Anisha Jackson, American Family Insurance
  • Panelist: Chris Bilton, Kohler Company

9:45-10:45 a.m. – Current Conversation Topics – Supply Chain Security – Advice from the Experts

  • Moderator: Aina Vilumsons, Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI)
  • Panelist: Andy Fiumefreddo, American Family Insurance
  • Panelist: Tom Lutz, U.S. Bank
  • Panelist: Sean Ketter, Oshkosh Corporation

11:00-12:00 p.m. – Current Conversation Topics – Small Business Risk Management – Advice from the Experts

  • Moderator: Aina Vilumsons, Wisconsin Procurement Institute (WPI)
  • Panelist: Michelle Weber, U.S. Bank
  • Panelist: Rashi Khosla, Mars Solutions Group
  • Panelist: Tim Poehnelt, NuGen Companies, LLC
  • Panelist: Andy Fiumefreddo, American Family Insurance

1:00-5:00 p.m.  The Contracting Academy (TCA) – Multiple Tracks

1:00 PM

  • Track 1 – Subcontracting Best Practices for Diverse Small Businesses and Federal Contractors
  • Track 2 – Exporting / International Sales – Readiness and First Steps

2:00 PM

  • Track 1 – Update from Wisconsin’s Military Organizations
  • Track 2 – Working with WisDOT

3:00 PM

  • Track 1 – Selling to Federal Prime Contractors – A Panel Discussion
  • Track 2 – Selling to Local Government Agencies

4:00 PM

  • Track 1 – Selling to the Federal Government – A Discussion with Federal Agency Representatives
  • Track 2 – Successful Proposals = Winning Contracts

Wednesday, December 8 – In-person

1:00 p.m. – Onsite Registration and Networking

2:00 p.m. – Economic Opportunities

  • A series of presentations and panels on upcoming major public and private projects as well as topics relevant to small businesses
5:30-8:00 p.m. – Networking Reception 

Thursday, December 9 – In-person

7:00 a.m. – Registration

7:30 a.m. – MARKETPLACE Governor’s Awards Breakfast

  • Governor Tony Evers (invited)
  • Remarks by sponsors
  • Business Excellence Awards
  • Minority-Owned Business Awards
  • Woman-Owned Business Awards
  • Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Awards

9:00 a.m. – Expo Hall Opens for Exhibitors and Buyer Meetings

  • Buyer meetings – one-on-one matchmaking meetings with federal, state, local and corporate buyers
  • Exhibitors – including corporate, small businesses, lenders, business resources, professional services and government agencies
  • Business networking lounge – centrally located within the expo hall

Noon – 40th Anniversary Luncheon

  • Tribute to Daryl Hodnett, AAH; Ed Bryant, Town Bank; Cheryl Mitchell
  • Fireside Chat
1:30-4:00 p.m. – Expo Hall Reopens for Exhibitors and Buyers Meetings
4:00 p.m. – End of Program