10/10/2019- inVenture North is one of the leading contenders to provide economic development and marketing services for Marinette County, but what exactly can they bring to the table and how are they setting themselves apart from the defunct Marinette County Association for Business and Industry? Robert Pontius, Executive Director of inVenture North, spoke to the Development Committee Tuesday on these topics. He says while the relationship between MCABI and the County ended on a somewhat sour note, inVenture North- with their new board of directors, new bylaws, and new objectives- is poised to be Marinette County’s driving force in economic, and perhaps more importantly, community development.
“We’re looking to attract people from outside the area and become a talent pool- a resource- in the area. How do you do that? You create distinctive assets. You celebrate the distinctive assets that already exist, you market them, and the idea is that you make the place, the people come to the place to live, and jobs come to the area because the talent is there.”
Marinette County is known for its tourism draw, and Roberta Davis, Director of Marketing and Community with inVenture North says it’s important to recognize and take advantage of that to continue to bring in not only visitors, but potential workers.
“With the businesses that we’ve talked to, especially in the rural areas, their business depends on tourism. So, you really need to marry what’s happening with tourism with community and economic development- telling stories of things happening in our community…It isn’t good enough now to just throw a picture on Facebook and say ‘Hey, come visit Marinette County.’ You have to tell the story. You  have to be engaging.” 
Several residents and business owners have already voiced their support of a new contract between inVenture North and Marinette County, but a decision from the county isn’t expected for at least a couple of months.