By Joan Koehne
My husband, Bill Koehne’s favorite ball cap has “Live to Inspire” printed on the front. The cap originally belonged to our daughter, Janet, but Bill adopted it for himself. Bill, the owner of Packerland Websites, lives to inspire people in many ways. So, that’s why I’m happy that he is one of the Top 3 finalists in the Business Person of the Year contest. The Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce sponsors the annual contest, and the 2023 winner will be announced on June 6 in Green Bay. The judging criteria for Business Person of the Year includes four elements. I know I’m biased, but I think Bill shines in all four.
Positively Impacting the Green Bay Business Environment
With the mentality, “Your success is my success,” Bill enjoys mentoring leaders of businesses and nonprofits. He provides clients with concrete strategies to increase their exposure and grow their business. Packerland Websites belongs to seven business organizations, including the Green Bay Innovation Group and Brown County Home Builders Association. Bill places a high value on networking and supporting other small business owners like himself.
Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Developing a company from scratch comes with many obstacles. When Bill opened Packerland Websites 12 years ago, (Read the Packerland Websites’ 10th Anniversary blog.) the U.S. was experiencing an economic recession. Bill had just closed his family’s 23-year-old home construction business. Meanwhile, his wife was diagnosed with cancer. From these catastrophic circumstances, he built a thriving company with five employees and offices in Green Bay, Abrams, and Marinette. He didn’t have a model to follow or a mentor to work with. However, he had business smarts, a solid work ethic, and me to support him. He created his own innovative business model and today, the company manages over 500 websites.
Leadership in Business via Website Development
Businesses and nonprofits know that they need an effective internet presence, but many lack the marketing insight and tools to achieve their goals, like ranking higher on Google or gaining more customers. Packerland Websites develops effective websites and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies that lead to results. Today’s websites are much more than just a brochure on the internet. Instead, they are effective marketing tools powered by SEO, HTTPS security, chat bots, e-commerce stores, mobile responsiveness, and other marketing tools.
Community Development and Engagement
Bill believes in giving back to the community, so Packerland Websites gives nonprofits the VIP treatment. Packerland Websites donated over $60,000 in website services in 2022 and over a quarter of a million dollars over the past five years. The nonprofit closest to his heart is Abrams Spotlight Productions Inc., the local community theater organization. Recently, Bill was the set builder for Lustful Youth, assistant director for White Christmas and Harry the Horse in Guys and Dolls. He helped organize the Green Bay Walleyes for Tomorrow fundraiser for 20 years and serves as committee chairman for Green Bay Innovation Group and Windjammers Sailing Club. At St. Pius Catholic Church, he is a music minister, Eucharistic minister, and lector. He also volunteers at Anchor of Hope TEC (Together Encountering Christ) retreats. He’s a busy guy who’s committed to his faith, family, and community.
Greater Green Bay Chamber Award Finalist
All of us know people who inspire us. I’m married to a man who inspires me. Since 2017, Bill and I have worked together at Packerland Websites. My company, Writer to the Rescue, is the content marketing division. Bill inspired me enough that I nominated him for the Business Person of the Year Award, and I hope he wins. He’s a smart, generous, high-tech people-person who made a lasting impact on the Greater Green Bay area. I can’t wait to hear his name called as the winner of the Greater Green Bay Chamber Business Person of the Year Award.