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Sen. Fitzgerald Appoints C. Thomas Sylke to Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation Board

For Immediate Release: May 16, 2011
Contact: Barbro McGinn, Department of Commerce, 608-267-9661,
Cullen Werwie, 608-267-7303

Sylke brings national and international intellectual property and business creation experience to private/public corporation board

Madison - Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau) announced today that he has appointed C. Thomas Sylke to one of eight private sector appointee positions on the 13-member Wisconsin Economic Development Corporate (WEDC) board. Sylke will serve as a member of the board of directors for the WEDC, the new private/public corporation created in February to replace the Department of Commerce's economic development functions and assist the private sector in job creation and growth.

"Mr. Sylke brings a critical voice to this board - the real-world, private-sector perspective that has been outside the conversation for too long. He will serve the state extremely well as we work to grow the economy and create jobs," Fitzgerald said.

Mr. Sylke is the principal of Sylke Law Offices, LLC, an intellectual property law firm that works with clients and other parties principally in the Midwest, Northern California and Europe. The firm's work is primarily directed to patent procurement, licensing and enforcement and to other intellectual property fields involving technologies related to applied mathematics, electrical engineering and physics. Mr. Sylke holds bachelor of science and law degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison and previously served as a public member of the Wisconsin Joint Legislative Council Special Committee on the University of Wisconsin and State Economic Development, investigating the role of the University of Wisconsin System in state economic development.

"I hope to draw on my experiences from other business, technology and economic development areas in helping the WEDC fulfill its role in Wisconsin and to grow the number of jobs in our state," Sylke said. "My work with clients, venture capital groups, universities and other institutions in Silicon Valley, the Midwest and Europe will provide WEDC with some insight into other groups' successful implementation of programs and policies that have proven valuable to those communities."