News & Events

Past Board Member Jason Gilman shares 40th Anniversary Memories

Continuing the celebration of our 40th Anniversary, we’d like to share the thoughts of past Board Member, Jason Gilman, AICP, RLA :
The value of WDAC to Wisconsin is indisputable; our downtowns are the most sustainable, socially impactful, environmentally sensitive and culturally rich human environments in the state.

It was an incredible privilege to serve WDAC to help our cities, business and property owners, citizen organizations and other stakeholders with such an important endeavor. My fondest memories of the great work of this organization include our community visits to places like The Tomah Cash Store, a 100+ year old department store whose owners have weathered  recessions, construction projects, superstores and online shopping through incredible product lines and unparalleled customer service.
Or to the Mayor of Marshfield whose city offers $30K grants to downtown businesses improving their storefronts. When asked how he justifies the use of public funding, he simply replied: “It is easy, the buildings stay with us”.
Or reading incredible stories like these into an old Gateway computer in the 90’’s through an early version of a computer microphone to try to deliver podcasts to WDAC’s audience…

The incredible passion of the great people with WDAC makes for a rich and engaged experience, from members hosting meetings at their homes and cities to visiting Milwaukee’s BID district landscape to the collective problem solving at meetings with people who have an incredible focus on Wisconsin’s great downtowns and the legislative days spent at the Capitol. I am so very thankful to have been offered the opportunity to serve the organization both as a board member and the President and will always be at the disposal of the great people of WDAC.

Remember you have the opportunity to learn, share resources, network and develop partnerships with other communities and organizations working to improve our Downtowns at the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council 2022 Downtown Summit presented by AARP WI  on May 9 and 10 in Appleton.  Visit for agenda, hotel details, exhibitor info and more.  Registration includes all meals and conference materials and is only $150. 

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