Steven C. Deller
Steven Deller is a Professor of Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Community Economic Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. He is serving as Interim Director of the Center. Steve’s work focuses on regional economics and local public finance with an eye toward economic development strategies at both the state and local level. He is a co-author, with the Center founding director Ron Shaffer and Dave Marcouiler, of the text book Community Economics: Linking Theory and Practice, along as a co-editor of four additional books. His last book, with John Halstead of the University of New Hampshire, is entitled Social Capital at the Community Level: An Applied Interdisciplinary Perspective. He serves on the editorial boards of several academic journals including Economic Development Quarterly, Journal of Regional Science, Community Development, and Papers in Regional Science, among others. His current work focuses on entrepreneurship and small business development within the framework of social capital.
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. Working in partnership with Extension’s statewide network of Community Resource Development (CRD) educators, he carries out the Wisconsin Idea by assisting communities and organizations in the areas of regional economic analysis, labor force research, socio-economic impact analysis and industry sector competitiveness. Matt’s current research emphases include industrial cluster policy, labor mobility, and changes to regional commuting patterns. Matt has worked in the Center since 2001. During this time he has authored numerous studies on Wisconsin’s economy and has made over 100 presentations to local, regional and national audiences. Matt was a regular contributor to the Capitol Region Business Journal and his work is featured in numerous other business and economic development publications. Matt was named to “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. In 2016, he received the Outstanding Specialist Award from UW-Extension’s Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development program. Matt is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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 served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia and worked on global development policy 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.
Social Media Strategy Intern
Caroline Davidson is a Social Media Strategy Intern with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Caroline is a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is planning on majoring in Marketing and Finance with a certificate in Spanish. During her free time, Caroline enjoys exercising, participating in many extra-curricular clubs on campus and spending time with friends and family.
Rachel Ramthun is a Graduate Research Analyst with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She is a Dual Master Degree candidate earning both a Master of Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs and an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rachel’s primary academic interests include state and local government administration, economic development, and public management. She completed undergraduate degrees in Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
Ryan Thompto is a Graduate Research Analyst with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. Ryan is a second-year urban and regional planning graduate student at the UW-Madison Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture. In addition, Ryan is also a Community Planning Intern at the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission (CARPC) and the Professional Development Coordinator for the Wisconsin Student Planners Association (WSPA). Prior to moving to Madison to attend graduate school, Ryan worked as a transportation planner for a regional transportation planning agency in Northern Califonia. Ryan earned a bachelor’s degree in geography and a minor in political science from the University of Iowa. In his free time, Ryan enjoys reading, bicycling, kayaking, watching movies and spending time with friends and family.
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