Information Technology Association of Wisconsin: Adds Government Affairs, Marketing Communications Expertise to its Roster

CONTACT: Jim Rice, President and CEO
Information Technology Association of Wisconsin
(608) 250-1904 x 1 (office)
(608) 215-9885 (cell)
[email protected]

As One-Year Anniversary of Association Approaches, ITAWi Steps Up its Agenda and its Team of Key Resources

Madison, WI – June 9, 2006 – Founded almost a year ago, the Information Technology Association of Wisconsin recently quadrupled its own workforce and bolstered its mission by adding a marketing component and a government affairs team.

ITAWi has retained The Capitol Group, LLC to lead the association in its legislative agenda. Also retained by ITAWi is Madison Marketing Communications, which will provide marketing and communication services for the association.

With the addition of these new partners, ITAWi will more effectively be able to focus on its current initiatives: workforce development; public policy; new company creation, company growth, and capital formation; and communication with its circle of stakeholders.

The Capitol Group, led by Brandon Scholz and Michelle Kussow, is an experienced and well-known legislative and regulatory affairs firm with more than 20 years of active and energetic involvement in Wisconsin’s governmental and political landscape. Scholz and Kussow will work directly with ITAWi President Jim Rice and the members of the association to guide them through the legislative process ultimately working to achieve specific legislative goals for the association.

“The IT sector was visibly absent last session as the Legislature worked through issues that had a direct effect on their industry. Our goal is to ensure that the IT sector has a seat at the table on issues relating to information technology,” said Scholz, Partner in The Capitol Group.

Madison Marketing Communications (MMC) was founded by Laurel Cavalluzzo and will provide strategic marketing planning and communication services for ITAWi. Specifically, MMC will assist the association with its on on-line marketing strategies, including the development and re-launch of the ITAWi website this summer and the introduction of e-communication materials. MMC will also provide more traditional marketing communication services such as public relations and the development of membership collateral and direct mail.

“Clear, effective communication to all stakeholders is key and will be my main area of focus,” explained Cavalluzzo, who brings more than 12 years of communication expertise to ITAWi’s efforts. “And as ITAWi is such a new entity, this is an exciting and especially critical time to develop communication plans to support the association’s mission.”

Jim Rice, President and CEO of ITAWi, has led the newly-formed ITAWi since January 2006. “I am pleased to announce and the addition of two experienced organizations to the ITAWi bench, The Capitol Group and Madison Marketing Communications. As we approach the one-year anniversary of ITAWi, we needed expertise and support to usher in a new phase of growth for the Wisconsin Information Technology sector in the coming year. These two organizations have the experience and capabilities to assist us in reaching our goals.”

ITAWi, founded in June of 2005, is the first statewide association dedicated to building the strength and competitiveness of the state’s IT sector. ITAWi aims to bring stakeholders in the Wisconsin information technology sector together to create a thriving environment for firms who depend on or produce IT solutions, to start, grow, and succeed in the worldwide marketplace.

Sponsors of ITAWi include Manpower, Metavante Corporation, Madison Gas and Electric Company, Sonic Foundry, Foley & Lardner LLP, IMS, RVE Consulting, and WE Energies.

Major contributors and founding supporters of ITAWi include the Helen Bader Foundation, e-Innovate, Accelerate Madison, Spectracom, Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., Wisconsin IT Leadership Association (WITLA), and the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation.

ITAWi’s Board of Directors include Marc Blazich of Greenbrier & Russel, Inc., Brian Brylow of Robert W. Baird, Rick Davidson of Manpower, Sean Fallon on CUNA Mutual Group, Carl Helle of Cisco, James Jackson of Cisco, Brain Hurdis of Metavante, Bill Mortimore of Merge Heathcare, Terrie Pohjola of Secura Insurance, Corky Seeber of Small Tree Communications, Kelley Starr of Thin Air Software, LLC, and Peter Zaballos of Frazier Technology Ventures.