New commerce secretary brings international experience
Jack L. Fischer, 54, a Fox Valley architect with 30 years of experience in construction and development – both in this country and abroad – is the state’s new commerce secretary.
“At this point in my career, I’m ready to give something back to the state that has done so much for me and my family,” said Fischer, introduced today by Gov. Jim Doyle.
He is past president of JP-Marathon, Inc. and Interglobia Inc., a development company. He retired from Marathon after 22 years as an officer when he and his partners sold their ownership interest to the International JP Group companies.
He has worked and traveled extensively for project activities with JP/Marathon group in Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, Brazil, western Europe, Poland, Finland, Sweden, Russia, Norway, South Africa, Zimbabwe, the Caribbean and North America. In addition, he has served on many boards.
Fischer replaces Mary Burke, who left the department Nov. 1 after a two-plus year stint to devote more time to non-profit work. Fischer, who did his undergrad and graduate work at UW-Milwaukee, will be paid $117,500 annually.
Doyle said he's confident Fischer will be able to help his administration expand business in Wisconsin, “create the jobs of tomorrow and help Wisconsin companies compete in the global marketplace.”
Doyle praised Fischer’s “deep understanding of business development” and said his varied experiences will prove valuable to the Commerce Department.
Fischer said his background “will bring an added dimension to this important position.
“I will use my 30 years of private sector experience coupled with the exceptional team in the Commerce Department to energize growth and support retention and expansion of business within the state.”
Fischer praised Doyle’s economic development efforts, especially those that have streamlined the regulatory process. But he declined to say if he thought the state was doing enough to bring new businesses to the state.
The Badger State native said he has known Doyle for five years and has been a member of the Wisconsin International Trade Council.
“I’ve known in my heart that I wanted to do something like this for some time,” he said. “This is an opportunity to help Wisconsin grow and I did not want to pass it up.”