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WEDC deputy secretary departs for J.P. Cullen

A top official at the state’s economic-development agency is leaving to take a job at J.P. Cullen.

Tricia Braun, deputy secretary and chief operating officer of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., was recently recruited as a “strategic hire” to work with J.P. Cullen’s industrial customers.  Braun is a holdover from former Gov. Scott Walker’s Administration and has been with the agency for four-and-a-half years.

“My departure from WEDC is incredibly bittersweet as I am very proud to have been part of this talented, dedicated group of professionals,” Braun said in a statement. “However, having had the chance to work with Secretary (Missy) Hughes and now with incoming Deputy Secretary Rikkers, I have great confidence the team and the future of WEDC are in good hands.”

Taking Braun’s place at the WEDC will be Sam Rikkers, the lead state official on the Foxconn project. A former Obama Administration official, Rikkers joined the Wisconsin Department of Administration after Gov. Tony Evers took office, acting as a liaison between the state and Foxconn Technology Group.
According to a WEDC news release, Rikkers has closely monitored both the expansive factory Foxconn is building in Racine County and work being carried out by the company’s subsidiaries.

It’s unclear if Rikkers will continue to oversee the Foxconn project at WEDC, or if the Department of Administration plans to hire a replacement for his position. Officials with WEDC and the Department of Administration didn’t return messages seeking comment by press time Friday.

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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