Dept. of Tourism: $39,550 JEM destination marketing grant awarded to Jefferson County


Danielle Johnson, Wisconsin Department of Tourism

608-266-0458; [email protected]

Dennis Heling, Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium

(920) 674-8710; [email protected]


FORT ATKINSON, Wis. (November, 8 2011) – The Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium (JCEDC) received a $39,550 Joint Effort Marketing grant presented by the Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. This Year-1 Destination Marketing grant will fund research to uncover and develop an authentic brand for the area to promote tourism. The research and project deliverable return on investment is valued over $82,000.

“Jefferson County is a great example of a Wisconsin hidden gem working hard to increase tourism in their area,” Secretary Klett said. “The Fireside Theater, Johnson Creek Outlet mall, fantastic dining, lodging, outdoor recreation and more can be found in Jefferson County. The market research made possible by this JEM grant will allow the area to position themselves in the minds of consumers and in turn increase tourism spending and tax revenues.”

In fiscal 2011, the Department funded 53 Joint Effort Marketing projects, awarding a total of nearly $1.2 million dollars. Visitor expenditures driven by the marketing from these projects will exceed $20 million.

Municipalities participating in this project include Watertown, Johnson Creek, City of Jefferson, Fort Atkinson, Lake Mills and Waterloo. The JCEDC is working with The Communication Team, LLC, who will conduct the research to identify a brand for the county and create a marketing strategy to attract travelers to the area. In addition to research and brand development for the county, Jefferson County has a number of other initiatives in place to continue to develop and promote tourism. The county is also working on two initiatives, Sanctuary Ridge and the Rock River Trail initiative, to create tourism opportunities, as well three Main Street Programs, which work to revitalize and develop healthy downtowns as a focal point for local commerce.

“We are thrilled to receive support from the Department of Tourism and the timing couldn’t be better,” said Dennis Heling, Executive Director of the JCEDC. “We have two other development initiatives in progress in Jefferson County, Sanctuary Ridge and Rock River Trail. This support will not only develop a brand and image for Jefferson County, but also reinforces our current initiatives to further promote tourism in the area.

JEM grant funds are available to non-profit organizations for the promotion of Wisconsin tourism events and destinations. The State can fund up to 75 percent of a project’s first year advertising and marketing costs and provides support for second and third year projects, but with decreasing amounts for funding each year until projects become self-sustaining. For information on the JEM Program and application materials, visit

The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the State as the Midwest’s premier travel destination by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at: