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Wisconsin Chapter In-Person Event | Keeping Government Nose and Fingers Out of Your Business
The University Club
924 E Wells Street
Milwaukee, WI
Wednesday, September 20, 2023, 4:00 PM - 7:00 PM CDT
Category: Wisconsin

Keeping Government Nose and Fingers Out of Your Business


Your company has business risks, capital risks, competitive risks; and surprise, you have political risk. As the government enacts laws, rules, regulations (at every level), how does it impact your industry and company. Who is defining your reality if you are not doing it?

Governments implement policies that change the social behavior in the business environment via taxes, subsidies, regulations, spending, policies and more. We have Dodd-Frank, the EPA emissions rules, DNR rules, tariffs, taxes, subsidies, required government approvals for mergers, state and federal tax policies, regulations for nearly every industry (some worse than others) etc.

The main purpose of lobbying is to influence legislation or regulation in favor of a company or industry. As a director, you may be asked to participate. How do you represent your industry and company's interest? How do you protect it? Can trade or industry associations help? What role do they play? Is it best to use a representative or to do so yourself as a practitioner?


$25 Member Registration
$30 Non-Member Registration


Thank you to our National and Gold Chapter Sponsors!

Thank you to our Chapter Sponsors!





Thank you to our Event Sponsor!




David Feldhaus
Senior Vice President, Director of External Affairs
Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago

David Feldhaus is Senior Vice President, Director of External Affairs for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago. He joined the Bank in 1997 and heads a team responsible for all government and industry relations, including working with a wide variety of external partners and stakeholders, including Members of Congress and their staffs, the Administration, state and local governments as well as state and national trade associations involved in banking and housing finance. His prior duties have included handling the Bank’s external communications and serving as its spokesman. Originally from South Dakota, Dave has an undergraduate degree from the University of South Dakota and a law degree from Kansas University. Prior to joining the Bank, he worked in Washington, DC as Republican Counsel to the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee and as Counsel and Legislative Assistant to a senior U.S. Senator.


Michael Semmann
Vice President of Government Affairs
Wisconsin Grocers Association

Michael Semmann is a government relations and trade association professional who brings experience specializing in lobbying, policy analysis, campaign finance, and message development. He is currently the Vice President of Government Affairs for the Wisconsin Grocers Association (WGA). Semmann continues to build his career by establishing trusted relationships to create meaningful policy solutions. Prior to joining WGA, Semmann worked for the North-Carolina based technology company SAS providing analytics and software solutions to state and local governments in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Non-profit management is where he spent the bulk of his career and holding the position of Executive Vice President/COO for the Wisconsin Bankers Association (WBA) where he was responsible for the oversight and implementation of the association’s advocacy, legal, and public relations objectives. Working directly with the WBA Board of Directors, he developed strategic initiatives, served as a liaison to bank CEOs throughout Wisconsin, and acted as an industry representative before all levels of Wisconsin government. He was a co-founder of and Executive Director for the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation, a public charity dedicated to promoting financial literacy by empowering consumers. His additional association experience includes advocating before state and local governments on housing, development, and growth initiatives for Wisconsin home-builders associations. Semmann’s educational background and interest in innovative technologies led him to co-found Advancing AI Wisconsin in 2017, a grassroots organization designed to increase awareness about machine learning and its impact on the Wisconsin economy. He is the past Chair for the Association of Wisconsin Lobbyists and currently sits on the board of the Hessen Wisconsin Society to develop and strengthen partnerships between the State of Hessen, Germany, and the State of Wisconsin. He holds a degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Mike lives with his wife Joleen in Verona, Wisconsin, where they endeavor to keep up with their four daughters. He enjoys traveling, live music, and volunteering for community organizations. 


Brian Taffora
Michael Best Strategies

Brian is a Principal with Michael Best Strategies who provides clients with strategic guidance on a variety of public policy, government relations, regulatory, and legislative matters to help advance their business interests. He has deep experience with start-up and emerging businesses, venture capital, and economic development projects. Prior to joining Michael Best Strategies, Brian was a managing director at CSA Partners, a venture capital firm focused on tech-enabled start-ups. Brian also was an employee of Ward4 in Milwaukee, a collaborative workspace for entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses. He recently served on the Personnel Team for Wisconsin Governor-Elect Tony Evers. Brian’s Expertise: Economic Development, Strategic Planning, Public Policy, Startups, Venture Capital Previously, Brian served as Director of Economic Development in the Office of the Milwaukee County Executive, where he worked with local government officials in 19 municipalities to devise and implement major development and redevelopment strategies and projects. Earlier in his career, he was Executive Director and Vice President of Government Affairs for the Wisconsin Business Council, an organization he helped establish. In this role, he regularly collaborated with elected officials, policymakers, lobbyists, and business leaders to enhance the business climate of Wisconsin. He monitored and analyzed legislative and regulatory developments in the state legislature and advised business executives on public policy and pending legislation.



Inge Plautz
Senior Vice President and Executive BDO
Old National Bank