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’s primary areas of focus are: communication research, economic development, community branding, placemaking, and the development of public opinion related to controversial issues. Previously, Dr. Runge worked as a lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and held several marketing positions for non-profit organizations including the American Red Cross, American Cancer Society and Community Blood Center of Appleton. Dr. Runge’s work focuses on individual media use and personal predispositions as filters for attitudes related to controversial issues in emerging technology and economic development. Dr. Runge holds a B.A. in communication arts from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, an M.S. in marketing from The Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University and a PhD. in mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
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.
Community Food Systems 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.
Community Development Specialist
Gail Huycke is a Community Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development.
Graduate Research Analyst
Rachel Ramthun is a Graduate Research Analyst with the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development. She is a Double Master Degree candidate working toward a Master of Public Affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs, an MS in Urban and Regional Planning from the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture, and a Certificate in Entrepreneurship from the Wisconsin School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Rachel’s primary academic interests include state and local economic development, especially Tax Increment Financing (TIF), tourism in Wisconsin, and public management. She completed undergraduate degrees in Public Administration and Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.
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