Economics Advisory Board

The Department of Economics Advisory Board was formed in 2007, in the midst of a very active effort to re-engage economics alumni with the department.  The Board’s members are alumni who have excelled in a wide variety of careers and pursuits and have a clear understanding of how instrumental the UW-Madison Department of Economics has been in their individual successes. 

The Board’s mission is to:
  • support a dynamic Career Services program and increase career internship and other opportunities for current students
  • tap into vital alumni resources for the Department
  • act as goodwill ambassadors for the Department

thereby enhancing the Economics Department’s stature and standing.

Advisory Board Members

Matt Astrachan Linda Borucki Laurits Christensen
Richard A. Davies* Susan Fancher Susan Feigenbaum
Wade Fetzer III Geraldine M. Fitzpatrick Jeff Geygan
Scott Happ Jason A. Hartig Brian Hazen
Joseph L. Liegl Stephanie McAree Mirrow Stuart W. McCroskey
Richard A. Meese Richard D. Patterson James Rauh
Lowell Robinson Craig R. Roach Stephen S. Roach
Eric S. Rosengren Elliott Ross Stuart Rossmiller
Michael J. Skatrud Richard A. Strait Charles Walbrandt
Willard Walker Todd E. Warnock Ronald D. Weil
Barbara Widder-Lowry  

*Chairman of the Advisory Board

Matt Astrachan

Matthew R. Astrachan is Vice Chairman of Jones Lang LaSalle, a commercial real estate services and investment management firm. A real estate professional for more than 20 years, he focuses on leasing and sales activities in the New York metropolitan area and throughout the country.

Before joining Jones Lang LaSalle, he was Executive Vice President with Cushman & Wakefield, Inc., where he was among the firm’s Top 100 real estate professionals for 15 years; he ranked among the Top 10 in 2001, 2008 and 2009. Prior to that Mr. Astrachan was a Managing Director at The Galbreath Company.

Mr. Astrachan holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is a member of the Real Estate Board of New York and involved with many philanthropic foundations, such as Sanctuary for Families, The Jeffrey Model Foundation, and The Intrepid Foundation.

Linda Borucki:

Linda Borucki is currently a financial economist at the Brattle Group providing advice and developing expert testimony on the application of corporate finance and economics in both litigation and strategic engagements. Her projects have included the development and critique of damage claims, the valuation of assets, businesses and securities, cost of capital/discount rate estimation, evaluation of structured finance transactions, and the economic analysis of contractual arrangements and regulations.  She has been a consulting expert to clients named in securities litigation matters and has led large teams supporting multiple academics in high profile fraud cases. She has been an expert witness on various finance matters relating to liability issues and damages.
She is a speaker at the Law Seminars International Conference on “Estimating Damages in Securities Litigation,” and has collaborated with financial expert Professor Stewart C. Myers to co-author a leading graduate textbook on corporate finance. Previously she was an associate with Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett, Inc. She received her Bachelors of Science degree in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Masters in Managerial Economics from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University. She currently resides in Boston.

Laurits Christensen

Professor of Economics at UW 1967-1987.  Co-founder of Laurits R. Christensen Associates, Inc. (currently chairman), a Madison-based economic and engineering research and consulting firm with 55 employees.

Richard A. Davies

Senior Managing Director
Global Head of Defined Contribution and Multi-Asset Business Development
AllianceBernstein L.P.
New York, New York

Richard A. Davies is Senior Managing Director responsible for the overall leadership and strategic direction of AB’s global defined contribution and multi-asset businesses. He previously served as Co-Head of Institutions for the firm’s North America Client Group while leading U.S. defined contribution activities. Davies rejoined AllianceBernstein in 2013 after spending several years leading Russell Investments’ institutional defined contribution business. During his earlier, 16-year career with AllianceBernstein, he led the firm’s institutional defined contribution, sub-advisory, and retail retirement and college savings businesses. Davies also served as head of global marketing and product management and led several business lines and distribution channels for the mutual funds group.

He joined Alliance Capital in 1995 from First Chicago Corporation, where he served as president of retail investment services and as a managing director of First Chicago Investment Management Company. Prior to joining First Chicago in 1989, Davies was a strategy consultant and manager with The Boston Consulting Group. He worked in brand management for Procter & Gamble before attending graduate school. Davies holds a BA in economics, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He chairs the Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin’s Economics Department. Davies is a Trustee of the Employee Benefit Research Institute and was a founder of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association.

Susan Fancher:

Susan Fancher is Senior Vice President of Marketing for Connections Education, a division of Pearson and a leader in online learning for students in grades K-12.  Ms. Fancher is responsible for branding and advertising, direct and online marketing, grassroots outreach, public relations, and marketing research and analytics.  Earlier she served as director of marketing at Barnes & Noble, LLC, where she launched and managed the company’s loyalty program, Barnes & Noble Membership.  She also led marketing programs integrating the in-store and online customer experience. Prior to Barnes & Noble, Ms. Fancher held marketing and analytical positions in the financial services industry at American Express, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS).  While at HDFS she was a member of the team that launched the Harley-Davidson Chrome Card credit card. She began her professional career at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where she served in the domestic research, bank services, and public information departments.

Ms. Fancher earned a B.S. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. from New York University’s Stern School of Business.  Ms. Fancher has served as member and president of the Washington County (MD) Humane Society board of directors.

Susan Feigenbaum

Dr. Susan Feigenbaum is Professor and former Chair of the Department of Economics at the University of Missouri in St. Louis. Prior to joining the department in 1988, Professor Feigenbaum was Associate Professor at Claremont McKenna College and Graduate School. She has also held the position of Chief of Methodology Development, Maryland Health Services Cost Review Commission; Robert Wood Johnson Faculty Fellow in Health Care Finance at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health; Scholar-in-Residence at the Center for Study of Public Choice, George Mason University; and Visiting Scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Professor Feigenbaum, who received her Ph. D. in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin--Madison, is an applied econometrician interested in the areas of health economics, public choice, and the economics of science. Dr. Feigenbaum was the recipient of a competitive five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to support her research on scientific integrity in economic analysis; served as Senior Investigator on an NSF Laboratory Grant to create the UMSL Laboratory for Quantitative Economic Analysis; and served as Senior Investigator on an NSF curriculum innovation grant to improve the teaching of introductory microeconomics. This latter grant led to the publication of a widely-respected two-volume textbook (co-authored with Dr. Rik Hafer) entitled Principles of Microeconomics: The Way We Live and Principles of Macroeconomics: The Way We Live (Freeman-Worth, 2012).

Dr. Feigenbaum has served as Vice-President of the Midwest Economics Association and as an Executive Board member for the Western Economics Association. She has also served as a Trustee for the Missouri Consolidated Health Plan, the agency charged with providing health insurance for state and municipal employees. She has received both the Governor's and Chancellor's Awards for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service. Feigenbaum is the mother of four children, including a set of 20 year old triplets.

Wade Fetzer III

Mr. Fetzer is a retired partner with Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Corporate Directorship: Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan Inc; Sinofert Holdings Ltd.; and Northern Star Broadcasting.

Voluntary Boards:  Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center; University of Wisconsin Foundation; Kellogg Alumni Advisory Board; and The Posse Foundation

Clubs:  Commercial Club of Chicago

Education:  BS, University of Wisconsin, 1959; MBA, Northwestern University, 1961

Personal:  Wade and his wife, Beverly Below Fetzer, reside in Glencoe, Illinois.  Children, Laurie Fetzer Shults, Linda Fetzer

Geraldine M. Fitzpatrick

Ms. Fitzpatrick graduated from the University of Wisconsin—Madison in 1940 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Jeff Geygan

Jeffrey R. Geygan is President & CEO, Milwaukee Private Wealth Management, Inc. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 with a BA in economics, and has worked in the financial services industry for more than twenty seven years. His main focus is investment research and advisory, managing capital for individuals, families and non-profit organizations around the world. His firm specializes in equity and debt investments in out-of-favor companies, and frequently interacts with senior management and company directors to impact changes in corporate governance. Prior to founding Milwaukee Private Wealth Management he was Senior Vice President – Investments and Senior Portfolio Manager with both Smith Barney and UBS Financial.

Jeff met his wife, Kathy, while studying for Professor Donald Hester’s Money & Banking class. Their two children are UW-Madison graduates.

Adjunct Professor at IE University Graduate School, Madrid Spain, course: Value Investing
Lecturer at UWM, Milwaukee, WI, course: International Investing

Board Affiliation:
Advisory Board Member, Service Heat Treat Corporation, Milwaukee WI
Advisory Board Member, UWM Investment Management Certificate Program, Milwaukee WI

Scott Happ

Scott Happ graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1983 with a degree in economics.  Scott’s senior thesis, written under the guidance of Professor Donald Hester, won the Frank W. Taussig Award and was published in The American Economist.  After graduation, Scott became an independent floor trader on the Chicago Board of Trade and ultimately joined the investment division of the M&I Bank in Milwaukee.  While at M&I, Scott developed a lending technology platform that was spun off in 2001 as an independent company known as Mortgagebot.  Under Scott’s guidance, Mortgagebot became a leading provider of cloud-based mortgage technology solutions, serving well over one thousand financial institutions.  After selling the company to a financial technology conglomerate, Scott left Mortgagebot in 2012.  Scott is an EY Entrepreneur of the Year award winner, and currently serves on several corporate and philanthropic boards.

Scott lives in Mequon, Wisconsin with his wife, Kathy, and their three children

Jason A. Hartig

Mr. Hartig is Managing Principal of Vista Capital LLC, a New York based options trading firm founded in 1999.  The firm engages in option volatility arbitrage in addition to providing liquidity to the listed equity, ETF, and index option marketplace.  Employing proprietary quantitative modeling with a focus on relative value strategies, Vista utilizes internally developed systems to quickly identify profitable opportunities and implement the firm’s strategies.

Brian Hazen

Brian Hazen is Vice President and Broker Associate with Mason Morse, an affiliate of Coldwell Banker real estate in Aspen, Colorado. Prior to Mason Morse he was at Coates, Reid, and Waldron (CRW) for 32 years, most of that time as partner of the real estate and property management firm. He has been recognized with the Top Producer Award 13 times and has produced more than one billion dollars in sales during his career. For 17 consecutive years Mr. Hazen led CRW to the highest dollar volume in sales activity in the Aspen and Snowmass marketplace.

Mr. Hazen is a member of the Aspen Board of Realtors, the Luxury Real’s Board of Regents, and the National Executive Committee’s Board of Regents, and a fellow at The Aspen Institute. He also is an active volunteer and fundraiser for many Aspen organizations, including the Aspen Education Foundation, Aspen Youth Experience, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen Art Museum, and the Wheeler Opera House.

Mr. Hazen earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He and his wife, Brigid, have a son and a daughter.

Joseph L. Liegl

Mr. Liegl entered the University of Wisconsin in the fall of 1966, spending one semester at the Appleton campus, and transferring to Madison in the second semester of 1966-67.  Joe graduated as an economics major in the spring of 1970, earning the rank of Graduation with Distinction and membership in other undergraduate academic honorary societies.

Joe entered the UW Law School in the fall of 1970.  He earned his law degree in the spring of 1973, graduating cum laude and becoming a member of the Order of the Coif.

Joe moved to Manitowoc, Wisconsin, where he joined a law firm of four lawyers.  He joined the Appellate Section of the Tax Division in mid-1974,.  He did appellate tax litigation there for the next four years, with the IRS as his client.  In 1978, Joe left the Justice Department to become a tax associate in the large corporate law firm, Jones, Day, Reavis & Pogue, in Cleveland, Ohio. Joe became a tax partner at Jones, Day in 1984.

In 1996, Joe joined Coopers & Lybrand, in its Detroit office, as an international tax partner.  In 1998, Joe moved to New York, where he became a tax counsel for the major management consulting firm, McKinsey & Company. Joe has been at McKinsey in the nine years since.  His work is almost exclusively international, involving the affairs of McKinsey and its owners in countries in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

After years devoted to developing career and family, Joe has also developed a strong sense of the need to give back to UW-Madison.

Stephanie McAree Mirrow

Ms. Mirrow is a Vice President at Economists Incorporated. Her consulting expertise includes antitrust analysis in health care, banking, pharmaceuticals, intellectual property, and patent issues. Stephanie previously served as an economist at the U.S. Department of Justice Antitrust Division. She also served as a long-term advisor for the Division to the competition agencies of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia in 1994.

Stephanie received her A.B. from the University of Michigan in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1991. She has been married to Art since 1998 and has one daughter, Sarah, who is seven.

Stuart W. McCroskey

1987-1992: TRW Information Networks Division, International Marketing Manager (now part of Northrop Grumman)
1992-1997:  Cisco Systems, Inc., Federal Sales Manager, established Federal Sales in Western US and Pacific Rim.  Revenue went from zero to $50M in that time frame.
1997-1998: Funded wiring and hardware for Mac Lab at Andersen Elementary School, Netwport Beach, CA
1998-Present:  Network Appliance Inc, Federal Sales Manager, established Federal Sales in Western US and Pacific Rim.  Revenue went for zero to $40M+ in this timeframe.

Married to wife Brenda and father of Shannon, age 16 who loves shopping for Badger gear on State Street

Lifetime Member of the University of Wisconsin Alumni Association
Member of Orange Co. CA. Alumni Association
Member, Bascom Hill Society, University of Wisconsin Foundation Member
University of Wisconsin Medical School 'Middleton Society'
Supporter of Stem Cell Research Program at UW.

Richard A. Meese

Mr.  Meese is a Managing Director at Barclays Global Investors (BGI) in San Francisco.  He works in the Global Market Strategies Group, which is responsible for BGI's active currency and global macro hedge fund strategies.   Prior to joining BGI, Richard was a Chaired Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy in the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley.  Richard taught at the Haas School for 16 years.  Prior to his academic career, Richard served as a research economist in the International Finance Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.  He received his BS in mathematics and economics from the University of Michigan, and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Richard lives in Napa California with Liz Christensen, his spouse for the past 25 years.  They grow grapes, make their own wine, and look after a passel of surrogate children: 2 dogs, 1 cat, and 19 Japanese Koi.

Richard D. Patterson

Dick Patterson was a Senior VP in investments with Lehman Brothers for 25 years prior to retiring a few years ago.

Dick has numerous affiliations with the University of Wisconsin. He is involved with the Bascom Hill Society, is a life member of the W Club and WAA, and a member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. He is also involved with the Chancellor’s Scholarship fund, providing scholarships for minority students. In addition, Dick also participates on two non-for-profit boards and one foundation.

Dick received his BA in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and his MBA in finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School Of Business.  Dick is married with twins that are juniors in college—one attending the UW and majoring in Economics.

James Rauh

James Rauh is a Senior Vice President of The Northern Trust Company, Chicago. He is a Senior Wealth Strategist in the Personal Financial Services division, working with high net worth individuals and families. Jim develops investment management, fiduciary, retirement and estate planning solutions to meet clients’ unique needs.Prior to joining the Wealth Strategies Group, Jim formed and led the Advisory Services group of Northern'sPersonal Financial Services division, with responsibility for business development, marketing, securities brokerage services, wealth advisory services, and advisory services on clients’ privately held businesses, real estate, and minerals, oil & gas holdings.

Jim joined Northern Trust in December 1997 and opened the Milwaukee office in the first quarter of 1998. He was regional chief investment officer –Midwestern States in 2005, president of the Midwestern States region in 2006 and 2007, national director of business development in 2007, and director of advisory services from 2008 to 2010.

Before joining Northern Trust, Jim was a member of the Management Committee of Johnson International, a bank holding company owned by the Samuel C. Johnson family, and President of Johnson Asset Management and Johnson Trust Company. Prior to that, Jim was Senior Vice President and Director of Robert W. Baird & Co., where he was a member of the Management Committee and the Investment Policy Committee.
Jim is a director of the Lincoln Park Zoo, the Brady Education Foundation and City Year Milwaukee. He is a member of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Sustaining Fellows, and a former director of Northern Trust Bank fsb, Northern Trust Global Advisors, Northern Trust Securities, Inc. and Robert W. Baird & Co. Incorporated. He earned a BA degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin –Madison.

Craig R. Roach

Mr. Roach is the founder and President of Boston Pacific Company, Inc., a consulting and investment services firm in Washington, DC.  He has thirty-two years of experience with investments in, policies for, and litigation concerning the electricity and natural gas businesses.  Currently, Boston Pacific’s primary line of business is designing and monitoring electricity markets and auctions.  Craig also has extensive experience as an expert witness across North America, and as a financial advisor on power project investments around the world.  Craig’s previous positions include service as an Economist at the Congressional Budget Office.  Craig earned his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin in 1983.

Stephen S. Roach

Stephen S. Roach is Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia, serving as the Firm’s senior representative to clients, governments, and regulators across the region.  Prior to his appointment as Asia Chairman, Mr. Roach was Morgan Stanley’s Chief Economist, heading up the Firm’s highly-regarded global team of economists located in New York, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

During his 25-year career as an economist at Morgan Stanley, Mr. Roach was widely recognized as one of Wall Street’s most influential thought leaders.  His recent research focused on globalization, the emergence of China and India, and the capital market implications of global imbalances.  He is widely quoted in the financial press and other media, and has been a leading contributor on the op-ed pages of the world’s leading newspapers.  He has long advised governments and policy makers around the world and frequently presents expert testimony to the US Congress.

Before joining Morgan Stanley in 1982, Mr. Roach was Vice President for Economic Analysis for the Morgan Guaranty Trust Company.  He also served in a senior capacity on the research staff of the Federal Reserve Board in Washington, D.C. from 1972-79.  Prior to that, he was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Roach holds a Ph.D. in economics from New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin.

Lowell Robinson

Lowell Robinson is a highly regarded financial and operating executive with thirty years of senior global strategic, financial, restructuring, M&A, operational and governance experience at Fortune 100 consumer  products  (Kraft ) and diversified financial services (Citigroup) companies, as well as mid-cap companies  He has been CFO and COO of several NYSE and Nasdaq companies (Advo and HotJobs) and has also been on five public boards including Edison Schools, Intl. Wire Group, and The Jones Group

Currently he is Chairman of the Board of American Consolidated Media Holdings; is on the board of The Jones Group ($5 billion), where he is on their compensation and audit committees, the latter of which he chaired from 2006-2010; on the board of; and is on the Board of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Mr. Robinson received an MBA in Finance from Harvard Business School and a BA in Economics from The University of Wisconsin, where he was on the board of their business school (2006-2010) and leads their highly acclaimed Directors Summit.   He is also a member of The Economic Club of  NY and on the board of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Eric S. Rosengren

Eric S. Rosengren became President and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston on July 23, 2007. Previously, Rosengren was executive vice president and head of the Bank’s department of supervision, regulation, and credit. An economist by training, he joined the Bank in 1985 as a member of the research department. In his
research, Rosengren has made significant contributions in the fields of banking and monetary policy, and he has written extensively on macroeconomics, international banking, bank supervision, and risk management. He has been an author on a variety of papers on macroeconomics, banking, and risk management, including articles in many of the top economics and finance journals. He has served as an advisor on Japanese banking issues, and a focus of his research has been how financial problems can impact the real economy. While in the bank supervision function, he obtained significant domestic and international regulatory experience related to the Basel II Capital Accord. Rosengren holds a B.A. from Colby College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Rosengren holds a B.A. from Colby College and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Elliott Ross

Elliott Ross is Managing Director of RMC Ross Realty. He was the founding president and CEO of The Ross Realty Group prior to its merger with RMC Property Group in 2013. The Ross Realty Group was a full-service real estate company that leased or managed nearly three million square feet of commercial properties in the Tampa Bay area. Throughout his career, Mr. Ross has represented financial institutions, owners associations, and individual owners in a variety of commercial transactions and management. He specializes in commercial investment sales, marketing of office and industrial parks, asset and portfolio management, and lender REO representation and receivership.

Mr. Ross received the Henry Blanton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Florida Gulfcoast Association of Realtors (FGCAR) and the National Award for Outstanding Professional Achievements in the Commercial Real Estate Industry from the Realtors Commercial Alliance of the National Association of Realtors. A past president of FGCAR, Ross was honored with the association’s Pinnacle Award for Regional Top Producer for Investment Properties and named its Retail Top Producer and Industrial Top Producer. He also was honored with the 2014 “Humanitarian of the Year” Award for the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation.

Ross earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) designation. He is a member of FGCAR, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC), Real Estate Investment Council (REIC) and Westshore Alliance. He is a board member for the Commercial Real Estate Development Association within the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP), Synovus Bank and the Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation. He also is a participating member and pilot for Angel Flight Southeast and CAIR Flight.

Stuart Rossmiller

Mr. Rossmiller, Director, Fixed Income Research, is responsible for High Grade and High Yield Media, Cable and Telecom on the Fixed Income Team for MEMBERS Capital Advisors. 

Stuart has over 17 years of experience in the fixed income investment business.  Most recently, he served as Managing Director in the Fixed Income Research Department at Merrill Lynch, where he coordinated the High Grade and High Yield Telecom, Media and Technology research effort.   He was an Institutional Investor ranked Media and Telecom analyst for a number of years.  Prior to assuming coverage of the Telecommunications sector in 2002, Stuart was an Institutional Investor ranked Retail Sector analyst.

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, Stuart was a Vice President in the Corporate Bond Research Department at Deutsche Bank Securities.  Earlier, Stuart was a Senior Associate at Barclays de Zoete Wedd, in the Corporate Finance Department, from December of 1989 to Feb of 1992,   From February 1992 to April 1996, Stuart was a Senior Director at Fitch Ratings.
Stuart earned an MBA in finance 1989, a BA in economics 1987, and a BS in education 1984, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stuart also spent three semesters at the University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo Brazil.   Stuart has earned the Chartered Financial Analyst designation, and also holds Series 7, 63 and 24 licenses

Michael J. Skatrud

Michael Skatrud is an Investment Officer on the fixed income team at MFS Investment Management in Boston.  Prior to joining MFS, Mr. Skatrud served in various senior credit research roles at Columbia Management, OFI Institutional Management, and Putnam Investments. 

Mr. Skatrud earned a B.S. in Economics with Math Emphasis from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and an M.B.A. in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.  He began his career as an Investment Banking Associate at Firstar Bank Milwaukee and then worked as a fixed income Research Assistant at Miller Anderson & Sherrerd, an institutional investment management firm in Philadelphia. Mr. Skatrud holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the Boston Security Analysts Society.

Richard A. Strait

Richard A. Strait is a Managing Director and Portfolio Manager of Northwestern Mutual Capital, which oversees the private equity, mezzanine debt, and private fixed income portfolios of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.  Rick has 30+ years of experience with Northwestern Mutual, investing in private debt and equity of US and European companies.  He currently leads Northwestern’s $4 billion private equity fund portfolio.  Rick is a member of Northwestern Mutual Capital’s internal investment committee, serves on private equity fund advisory boards, and has also represented Northwestern as a director or observer on private company boards.  He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and an MBA in finance and accounting from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Rick also serves on the board of COA Youth & Family Centers and the board and investment committee of the Jewish Home and Care Center Foundation, both in Milwaukee.

Rick and his wife, Susan (also a UW-Madison graduate), reside in Bayside, Wisconsin.  They are proud parents of two daughters, both BIG 10 graduates including one Badger.

Charles Walbrandt

From 1974 through 1994, when he founded FAMCO, Mr. Walbrandt served in various capacities with General Dynamics Corporation, including Corporate Vice President, Trust Investment and Treasurer. He created the internal investment department at General Dynamics in 1983, designed the portfolio management processes, and managed both equity and fixed income portfolios. For fourteen years, from 1994 to 2009, Mr. Walbrandt guided FAMCO as Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer.  Currently, Mr. Walbrandt serves as FAMCO’s chairman and as a portfolio manager for our Flex Equity products.   Mr. Walbrandt holds a B.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, an M.B.A. in finance from St. Louis University and attended John Marshall Law School. A Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder, he is a member of the St. Louis Society of Financial Analysts and a former member of its Board of Governors. Mr. Walbrandt is also a former trustee of the American Red Cross Retirement System.

Willard Walker

Willard Walker, Jr. is President and CEO of WT Walker Group, Inc., currently comprised of two operating companies, Walker Forge, Inc. and Precision Thermal Processing, Inc.  Walker Forge is a leading manufacturer of carbon and alloy steel forgings for a variety of different markets including energy, transportation, agriculture, and off-highway.  Precision Thermal Processing is a provider of commercial heat treating services in Northeast Wisconsin.  Prior to joining WT Walker group, Bill practiced corporate law with Foley and Lardner in Milwaukee, WI.

Bill received his B.A. in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and his J.D. from Northwestern University School of Law.  Bill and his wife Deb live in River Hills, WI, where Bill was elected as a member of the Board of Trustees in 2011.  Bill and Deb have three sons, one of whom recently became the fourth generation of Walkers to graduate from UW –Madison.

Todd E. Warnock

Todd Warnock

1983, BA, ECONOMICS, Letters & Science, UW-MADISON
1988, MBA, University of Chicago

Preferred Phone:  (847) 739-3240
Preferred Email:

Home: Winnetka, IL


Todd Warnock is a Founding Partner of RoundTable and now serves as a Senior Advisor. Prior to founding RoundTable, Mr. Warnock was a Managing Director with Credit Suisse First Boston, where he served as the Head of the U.S. Healthcare Investment Banking practice.

Mr. Warnock earned his Master’s degree in Business Administration and Finance (M.B.A.) from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business and his Bachelor’s degree in Economics from The University of Wisconsin – Madison.

He has served as Board member and  Board Chair of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Board Chair of the Ox-Bow School of Art (Saugatuck, Michigan), Founding Board Chair of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Economics Advisory Board, a Board member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation,  a Trustee of Eaglebrook School (Deerfield, MA), a Trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago, a Governor of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, a Member of The Counsel of The Booth School of Business (University of Chicago), and an Advisory Board Member of Illiso Care Society (Cape Town, South Africa).

Ronald D. Weil

Mr. Weil is the retired Vice Chairman of Swiss-American, Inc. a national importer, processor and distributor of cheese to retailers and wholesalers.  He has been involved with his family business since graduating from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.  He is also a joint owner of a cheese plant in Arena, Wisconsin as well as Director of a food sales and marketing firm.  Mr. Weil is past president of the St. Louis Culinary Society and currently serves on the Board of The First Tee of St. Louis.  He was named Chevalier and a Friend of Brie de Meaux by the French Government for his knowledge of French cheese and for working with the French cheese industry.

Ronald married Virginia Broomall Weil (B.A. Russian 1968, UW-M; MSW ’97 Washington U.) and they have three grown children.  They currently reside in St. Louis, MO.      

Barbara Widder-Lowry:

Ms. Widder-Lowry retired in 2006 after a 35 year career in the apparel and retailing industries.
Upon graduation from UW-Madison, Barbara moved to Chicago to join the Executive Training Program of Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co.  She held several product management positions and discovered a love of retailing and the evolving science of supply chain management. 
A management position with Chesebrough Ponds & Co. took her to New York City in 1976.  She served as the Sr. Brand Manager for Health-tex, Inc., the largest American childrenswear company and the newly acquired division of the multi-national consumer product company.
Focusing on design, product development and international sourcing, she founded her own apparel company, Genuine Kids, in 1980.   The company designed, developed and manufactured a complete line children’s clothing and accessories.  An expansion into retailing, led to the opening of over 150 Genuine Kids stores throughout the United States and Canada.

After 14 years as a successful entrepreneur, she sold her business to Oshkosh B’Gosh, Inc. and moved to Wisconsin to lead a global expansion of the company.  She served as Sr. V.P. of Product Development, Design and Sourcing for Oshkosh B’Gosh from 1994-2006.  
Barbara and her husband, Paul moved to Madison, Wi in 2009.  Since retiring, she has taught several courses on international sourcing and supply chain management at UW-Stout.  Ms. Widder-Lowry enjoys working in the community and is the past president of The Paine Art Center, The Regional Domestic Abuse Center, and The Mercy Health Foundation.

2008 PhD Reunion

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