Greg Wise is a Professor and Community Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Greg also serves as the Center’s Director. He carries out the Wisconsin Idea by conducting applied research and educational programs that address community preparedness, economic development strategies and entrepreneurship. Greg has published many papers and made numerous professional presentations. He and his Center colleagues were recognized with the 2009 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement. Greg currently serves on the Board of Directors of the International Community Development Society and was recently nominated for the National Extension Leadership Development class of 2013. Greg previously served as UW-Extension’s Secretary of the Faculty where he contributed to redefining and assessing the “scholarship of outreach and engagement.” He also served as UW-Extension’s Interim Assistant Vice Chancellor for Economic Development and Business Outreach, supporting the UW System’s Economic Summits. For 11 years Greg served as a UW-Extension community development educator in both Manitowoc and Sauk counties. Greg has earned degrees in Landscape Architecture, Urban and Regional Planning, and Public Administration, all from UW-Madison. Greg resides in Baraboo where he serves as President of the Parks Commission. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their two grown children and being outdoors.
Office Operations Associate
Laurie Lindquist is the Office Operations Associate with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She serves as the office manager for the Center’s faculty and staff. Laurie previously worked for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Division of Public Health. Prior to that she worked for the UW-Madison School of Veterinary Medicine. Laurie earned her bachelor’s degree from UW-Eau Claire. She resides in Madison and enjoys spending time outdoors, biking, and traveling.
Community Development Specialist
Matt Kures is a Community Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. He carries out the Wisconsin Idea by conducting applied research and educational programs that address regional economic analysis and geospatial analysis. Matt has researched and presented regional and community-level economic studies in communities both large and small across the state of Wisconsin. He has provided cutting edge research on Wisconsin’s industrial clusters and the creative class economy. Matt was a regular contributor to the Capitol Region Business Journal and his work is featured in numerous other business and economic development publications. He has presented or authored over a dozen papers addressing regional economics and geographic information systems. Matt was named to the prestigious “Madison’s 40 Under 40” by In Business magazine. He and his Center colleagues were also recognized with the 2009 Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement. Matt earned a bachelor’s degree in Geography from UW-Madison and is currently completing a master’s degree, also in Geography, at UW-Madison. Matt has worked in the Center since 2001. He resides in Madison, Wisconsin and enjoys biking and raising his two young children.
Community Development Specialist
Kristin Runge is a Community Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She carries out the Wisconsin Idea by conducting applied research and educational programs that address community marketing and social media as a channel for citizen engagement. Kristin has presented papers on mass communication and social media research at both national and international conferences, and published several papers in peer reviewed journals. Kristin is currently finishing her PhD in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Life Sciences Communication and School of Journalism. She also holds a master of science in marketing from Georgia State University and a bachelor of arts in Communication from UW-Stevens Point. Kristin lives in Waunakee with her husband and two teenage children. She enjoys spending time kayaking and hiking.
Community Business Development Specialist
Bill Ryan is a Distinguished Lecturer and Community Business Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. He carries out the Wisconsin Idea by conducting applied research and educational programs that solve problems and improve economic conditions in downtowns and business districts throughout the state. He also serves the state as a resource for tourism business development. Bill has helped create a nationally renowned “toolbox” of proven technique for conducting a commercial district market analysis. Bill works closely with the Wisconsin Downtown Action Council and the Wisconsin Main Street program. Bill has addressed local, regional and national audiences and authored numerous publications and newsletter articles on downtown revitalization and tourism business development. Bill was recognized by the University of Wisconsin System as a Wisconsin Idea Fellow in 2005 for his public service contributions. He and his Center colleagues were recognized with the 2009 Chancellors Award for Excellence in Civic Engagement. Bill began his Extension career in 1991 as a business development specialist in the Tourism Research and Resource Center. Bill was employed for 12 years in the hospitality industry in financial management including budgeting, feasibility analysis, and operations reporting systems. Bill earned an MBA from UW-Madison School of Business and a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from Cornell University. He resides in Middleton, Wisconsin where he is a resolute bicycle commuter.
Rural Development Outreach Specialist
Erin Peot is the Rural Development Outreach Specialist with University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She carries out the Wisconsin Idea by conducting applied research and educational programs that address regional food systems and value-added agriculture. Erin provides support for the UW-Extension’s foundational community food systems team. Prior to joining UW-Extension, Erin collaborated with several community partners in Brown County, Wisconsin in an effort to clean up the Fox River and Green Bay Watershed. Erin also served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and was a Global Development Policy Intern at Woman Thrive World Wide in Washington, DC. Erin earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a master’s degree in sustainable development from SIT Graduate Institute in Vermont.
Economic Development Specialist
Tessa Conroy is an Economic Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Tessa researches community economic growth and development, small business dynamics, and women entrepreneurs. She studied at Colorado State University where she earned a PhD in economics. In addition, Tessa is also a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Department of Agriculture and Applied Economics.
Graduate Student Project Assistant
Emily Lutz is a Graduate Project Assistant with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She contributed to rooftop garden initiatives at the University of Maryland and participated in their Green Dining Program. In addition, Emily researched a future education series relating to sustainable food choices. She also helped conduct a multiplier effect for the waste industry. Emily earned a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from University of Maryland. She is currently completing a master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning at UW Madison. Emily resides in Madison, Wisconsin and has an interest in traveling and urban agriculture.
Economic Development and Educational Programming Analyst
Anna Wright is an Economic Development and Educational Programming Analyst with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She is a pursuing her Master’s in Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin with a certificate in Business, Environment, and Social Responsibility. She also attended the University of Wisconsin for her undergraduate degree and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural and Applied Economics. Anna resides in Madison and is frequently spotted biking food scraps from Madison restaurants to the student farm’s compost heap.
Social Media Strategy Intern
Amy Blossom is a Social Media Strategy Intern with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Amy is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison planning to study marketing with a certificate in digital studies. She recently studied abroad in Havana, Cuba to immerse herself in a new culture and explore different art techniques. When Amy is not focusing on schoolwork or extra-curricular involvements, she enjoys blogging, being outside, and spending time with loved ones.
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