The Department of Economics Advisory Board was formed in 2007 to increase engagement between the department and its alumni. The Board’s members are alumni who have excelled in a range of careers and pursuits and have a clear understanding of how instrumental UW—Madison’s Department of Economics has been in their success.
The Board’s mission is to enhance the department’s stature and standing by:
- Supporting a dynamic career services program and increasing internship and other professional opportunities for current students
- Tapping into vital alumni resources on behalf of the department
- Acting as goodwill ambassadors for the department
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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.
Mr. Troy Barnett, CFA is currently a Partner at the Chicago private equity firm Adams Street Partners. He specializes in the sourcing and execution of secondary investments. He also actively participates in all fund investment decisions at Adams Street. Prior to joining Adams Street Partners in 2004, Mr. Barnett worked at NIMCO and William Blair & Company. Mr. Barnett received his B.S. from University of Wisconsin and his MBA from University of Chicago.
Lynda Borucki is a financial economist at the Brattle Group in Boston, Massachusetts. She provides advice and develops expert testimony on the application of corporate finance and economics for 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. Ms. Borucki 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 also has presented a Law Seminars International session on estimating damages in securities litigation and has co-authored a leading graduate textbook on corporate finance with Professor Stewart C. Myers. Prior to joining the Brattle Group, she was an associate with Putnam, Hayes and Bartlett, Inc.
Ms. Borucki received a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a Master of Managerial Economics from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University.
Collin Brinkman is a Managing Director in the Cloud Consulting Practice of Deloitte. He also is the Lead Client Service Partner for two global clients headquartered in Minnesota. In addition to his client service roles, Mr. Brinkman is Deloitte’s Lead University Partner responsible for the firm’s overall relationship with the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Prior to joining Deloitte, Mr. Brinkman held leadership roles at Gartner, PepsiCo and was a principal in a start-up in the derivatives industry.
Collin Brinkman began his undergraduate education at UW in the fall of 1981 intending to become an engineer. In the spring of his freshman year he took an elective, General Economics 101 with Professor Robert Haveman, that changed the course of his education. Mr. Brinkman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of St. Thomas.
Mr. Brinkman has been married for 32 years to Suky Ragatz Brinkman (BBA 1984), who he met and fell in love with in his sophomore year at UW. Collin and Suky have three daughters who are all Badgers: Emily (BSE 2015), Lauren (BBA 2018, MAcc 2019), Holly (freshman – undecided). The Brinkmans reside in Edina Minnesota.
Dr. Douglas W Caves was co-founder and co-owner of the Madison-based economic consulting firm of Christensen Associates, where he continues to serve as Vice-Chairman and member of the Board. He holds Ph. D in economics from the University of Wisconsin, and has published a number of papers on the theoretical and practical measurement of efficiency in overall resource utilization. Before coming to Madison he served, along with his wife Sherry, for two years as Peace Corps teachers in Malawi, Africa. In 1997 they spent a year living in Costa Rica, and doing volunteer work with a small rural school. They have 4 children and 5 grandchildren. Doug currently serves on several non-profit boards, including the Cloud Forest School Foundation, the Driftless Area Land Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin, and The American Players Theater.
Laurits (Lau) Christensen is Chairman of Christensen Associates. He founded the company in 1976 together with Dianne Christensen and Doug Caves. In addition to his work with the energy, postal, telecommunications, and transportation industries, Dr. Christensen led the company’s legal practice for over two decades. In this work, he testified in landmark cases such as DOJ v. AT&T, MCI v. AT&T, and Polaroid v. Kodak. He currently serves as chairman of the board, providing leadership and advice to the board as well as overseeing broad policies and objectives.
From 1967 to 1987 Dr. Christensen was Professor of Economics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. During that time, he published 65 articles in leading economic journals and established himself as an authority on applied microeconomics, economic evaluation, and econometric modeling.
Dr. Christensen earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.
Mr. Sean Cleary is the President of Cleary Holdings Inc., Cleary Building Corp., Cleary Real Estate, and Cleary Transport LLC. Cleary Building Corp. is a manufacturing and construction company of pre-engineered structures with 82 office locations and 3 manufacturing plant locations in the United States.
Sean also owns and manages four real estate limited liability companies, along with a consulting company. Sean is also an investor and on the Boards of Aqua Innovations, LLC, a technology company, and RevCycle Partners, which provides revenue cycle management services for hundreds of eye care practices. Sean is on Capitol Bank Holding Co. Board, and is currently Chairman of St. Mary’s (SSM) Hospital Foundation Board, chair of the executive committee, and chair of the finance committee as well.
Sean is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1985, and serves on the UW Business School Dean’s Advisory Board. Sean is married to Carla, and has two children; Brendan age 24, and Sheenagh, age 22. He enjoys family, reading, and sports.
Richard A. Davies
Dick Davies currently serves as an independent strategy consultant to asset managers and investors in the investment management industry. Until yearend 2016, Davies was a Senior Managing Director with AllianceBernstein, 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 its US 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 and Political Science, with honors, from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He currently serves on the Northeast Region Executive Board and the Greater New York Councils Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America. Davies chairs the Advisory Board of the University of Wisconsin’s Economics Department. He is a past Trustee of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, and was a founder and served on the Executive Committee of the Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association. Davies was named one of “Forty Under 40” business leaders by Crain’s Chicago Business and “Fund Marketer of the Year” by Institutional Investor newsletters.
Mr. DeWahl is President and Chief Executive Officer of Ischemix, Inc., a privately-held drug development company which he joined in 2013. He was previously Vice President of Corporate Development for Helix Therapeutics, Inc., a private company utilizing DNA repair technology licensed from Yale University to treat patients with genetically-based diseases. Mr. DeWahl is also a co-founder of Life Science Pharmaceuticals, Inc., which is developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses based on IP licensed from The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Memorial Sloan Kettering, Dana Farber and other major academic research institutions.
Prior to his experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, Mr. DeWahl was an investment banker focused on the health care and life sciences industry for over 25 years, including positions as a Managing Director at Prudential Securities, Oppenheimer and Co., Vector Securities and Life Science Group. Mr. DeWahl has successfully raised capital and/or advised on corporate partnerships for numerous companies with biopharmaceutical and other life science products currently on the market, including Tarceva® (Roche/Genentech), Byetta® (Bristol-Myers/Amylin), Synvisc® (Sanofi/Genzyme), Adagen® (Enzon) and WinRho® (Cangene).
Mr. DeWahl received his BA in economics from the University of Wisconsin and his MBA in finance from Columbia University.
Susan Fancher most recently served as 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 directed branding and advertising, direct and online marketing, grassroots outreach, public relations, and marketing research and analytics. During her tenure the company grew from serving approximately 2,500 to approximately 60,000 full-time students. Prior to Connections Education she served as director of marketing at Barnes & Noble, where she launched and managed the company’s loyalty program. Earlier, Ms. Fancher held marketing and analytics positions in the retail financial services industry. She was director of marketing at Harley-Davidson Financial Services, database marketing director in the card services division of J.P. Morgan Chase, and credit risk management analyst at American Express. 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 Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. from New York University Stern School of Business. Ms. Fancher has served as member and president of the Washington County (Maryland) Humane Society board of directors.
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, Dr. 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.
Dr. Feigenbaum is an applied econometrician interested in the areas of health economics, public choice, and the economics of science. She received 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 was 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 earned a Ph.D. in Economics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She 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. She has received both the Governor’s and Chancellor’s Awards for Teaching Excellence, as well as the Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service. Dr. Feigenbaum is the mother of four children, including a set of triplets.
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 Estate.com’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.
Stephen E. Kravit
Stephen E. Kravit, JD is the founder and lead trial lawyer of Kravit, Hovel & Krawczyk s.c., a boutique Milwaukee trial law firm specializing in aggravated litigation™. The firm commonly represents clients in cases involving economic issues, such as securities fraud, white collar criminal defense, antitrust/business regulation, contracts, and class actions, among many others. He received his B.A. (Honors) from UW, where he majored in economics/industrial organization. While an undergraduate, he was the recipient of the Theodore Herefurth Award for Initiative and Efficiency. He earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School.
He is an elected Fellow, Wisconsin Law Foundation, and Fellow, American Bar Foundation.
He began his career as a federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, where he achieved national recognition for obtaining the conviction of Jos. Schlitz Brewing Company, one of the nation’s first domestic kickback fraud cases. For this work he won the United States Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in 1979. In private practice, he continues to represent clients in important cases, where the stakes – bet the company, critical law changes, large damages, and sometimes freedom – are high. He has been selected as a SuperLawyer since the designation started, and has been named one of the Top 50 attorneys in Wisconsin (Top 25 in Milwaukee) multiple times, in addition to being named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in 2014.
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.
Stephanie received an A.B. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She and her husband, Art, have one daughter, Sarah.
Stuart W. McCroskey
Stuart McCroskey is Federal Sales Manager at NetApp, a technology services firm in Sunnyvale, California. He grew NetApp’s sales to the U.S. public sector in the western U.S. and Pacific Rim from zero to $40 million dollars. Prior to NetApp, Mr. McCroskey was Federal Sales Manager at Cisco Systems, where he grew his division’s revenue from zero to $50 million in five years. He also worked in the Information Networks Division of TRW, now a part of Northrop Grumman, as international marketing manager.
Mr. McCroskey earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He is a member and supporter of many groups affiliated with the university, including the Wisconsin Alumni Association, University of Wisconsin Foundation, and the University of Wisconsin Medical School. Mr. McCroskey and his wife, Brenda, have a daughter, Shannon.
Richard A. Meese
Richard Meese is a former Managing Director in the Global Market Strategies Group at Barclays Global Investors (BGI) in San Francisco. He was responsible for BGI’s active currency and global macro hedge fund strategies. Prior to BGI, Dr. Meese was Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy in the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley for 16 years. Prior to his academic career, he served as a research economist in the International Finance Division of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve.
Dr. Meese received his Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Economics from the University of Michigan, and his Master of Arts and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He lives in Napa, California with his wife, Liz Christensen, where they grow grapes, make wine, and look after a passel of surrogate children, including dogs, a cat, and Japanese Koi fish.
Richard D. Patterson
Richard (Dick) Patterson is retired after 25 years at Lehman Brothers, where he most recently served as Senior Vice President of Investments.
Mr. Patterson received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. He is affiliated with many University of Wisconsin groups, including the Wisconsin Alumni Association, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, and the National W Club. He also serves on the boards of two not-for-profit organizations and one foundation. Mr. Patterson is married with two children, one of whom is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Ann Phipps is proud to be a daughter and granddaughter of UW-Madison alumni. She currently serves as Chair of the Charles Phipps Family Foundation, having previously worked in marketing and product development for Texas Instruments. As a community volunteer, most of her work has focused on supporting schools. As a substitute teacher and volunteer teacher in several domains, Ms. Phipps enjoys empowering students to improve their skills and understanding.
Ms. Phipps holds a Master of Arts in English Literature from the University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science is English and Computer Science from Vanderbilt University. She lives with her husband in Austin, Texas, where she enjoys swimming with the Longhorn Masters swim, and snowboarding in New Mexico when the snow is good.
Craig R. Roach
Craig R. Roach, Ph.D. is the author of a comprehensive, narrative history of electricity titled Simply Electrifying: The Technology That Transformed the World from Benjamin Franklin to Elon Musk. J.P. Morgan selected it as one of only eight “compelling reads” for its prestigious #NextList2018 (see www.craigroach.com).
Craig is a nationally recognized expert on the electricity business and other energy businesses. He was the founder and president of Boston Pacific Company, Inc. an economic consultancy in Washington, D.C. After thirty years he consolidated his firm with a larger firm in late 2016. In his early career, he was an economist at the U.S. Congressional Budget Office. He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin – Madison.
Craig’s current research breathes fresh air into the debate on American democratic capitalism by reviving the economic philosophy of Joseph A. Schumpeter, the economist who identified the essence of capitalism as “creative destruction” – entrepreneurs continually disrupting markets with new technologies that lower costs, solve problems, and push society forward. Creative destruction and entrepreneurs have been vital during the pandemic: biotech saved lives with vaccines and infotech saved jobs with platforms for remote working and e-commerce. Craig’s long-term view of economics is reflected in his published letters to the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post as well as his book reviews for the New York Journal of Books.
Stephen S. Roach
Stephen Roach is a Senior Fellow at Yale University’s Jackson Institute of Global Affairs and a Senior Lecturer at Yale’s School of Management. He was formerly Chairman of Morgan Stanley Asia and the firm’s Chief Economist for most of his 30-year career at Morgan Stanley, heading up a highly regarded team of economists around the world. Mr. Roach’s current teaching and research program focuses on the impacts of Asia on the broader global economy. His writing and research also addresses globalization, trade policy, the post-crisis policy architecture, and the capital markets implications of global imbalances. His work has appeared in academic journals, books, congressional testimony and has been disseminated widely in the domestic and international media. Roach’s opinions on the global economy have been known to shape the policy debate from Beijing to Washington. Prior to joining Morgan Stanley, Mr. Roach served on the research staff of the Federal Reserve Board and was also a research fellow at the Brookings Institution.
Mr. Roach holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and a Ph.D. in Economics from New York University. Mr. Roach is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Investment Committee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the China Advisory Board of the Environmental Defense Fund.
Lowell Robinson is a financial and operating executive with more than thirty years of senior global strategic, financial, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, operational and governance experience at Kraft, Citigroup, and a number of mid-cap companies. He was chief financial officer and chief operating officer at several companies, including Valassis/Advo, HotJobs, and MIVA.
Currently Mr. Robinson serves as a corporate board member for Higher One, provider of financial related services to higher education institutions, and EVINE Live / Shop HQ, an online retailer. He also is a board member at The Smithsonian Libraries and The Metropolitan Opera Guild. Previously he served as board chairman of American Consolidated Media Holdings and Endurance Business Media, and as board member for International Wire Group, Diversified Investment Advisors, The Jones Group, Independent Wireless One, and Edison Schools. He also is a member of The Economic Club of New York.
Mr. Robinson received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. in Finance from Harvard Business School.
Thomas A. Rosenbloom is a business executive and attorney with significant operational, board, and business development experience that includes helping grow CYS Investments, Inc., a $100M private mortgage-REIT, into a $2.7B NYSE-listed company. As the Executive Vice President of Business Development, General Counsel, and Secretary of CYS, Mr. Rosenbloom was a key member of a four-person executive management team that developed business strategy, determined fund-raising plans, and managed and oversaw day-to-day operations. In addition, Mr. Rosenbloom collaborated with and was a trusted advisor to the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and the Board to review and analyze new business ideas and developments and discuss the Company’s strategic outlook and potential investment opportunities.
Currently, Mr. Rosenbloom serves as a director of Fremon Scientific, Inc., a privately-held early stage medical device company, and LeaderJam, LLC, a privately-held early stage leadership application company. Mr. Rosenbloom also serves on the Board of Philanthropic Advisors at Boston Children’s Hospital, and is a member of the Economics Advisory Board at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In addition, Mr. Rosenbloom has served as a member of the Board of Directors or as an advisor for several of his former clients.
At CYS, Mr. Rosenbloom managed, prepared materials for, and directed communications relating to 20+ meetings per year with the Board of Directors and Committees; he established governance matrices to oversee and review on an ongoing basis the Company’s corporate governance matters and how they related to governance policies of institutional investors and proxy advisory firms; he enhanced communication with the Board and established the use of a board portal; he was primarily responsible for transitioning new members onto the Board; and he smoothly and effectively transitioned Lead Independent Director and Committee Chair positions. Mr. Rosenbloom also implemented and managed stockholder outreach and engagement, including corresponding and communicating with institutional investors and proxy advisory firms, established engagement strategy, and participated on stockholder calls with members of the Board.
Prior to joining CYS in May 2007, from February 2005 through May 2007, Mr. Rosenbloom was a partner with Foley & Lardner, LLP, and a member of the firm’s Private Equity & Venture Capital and Transactional & Securities Practices. Mr. Rosenbloom was also a member of the firm’s Emerging Technologies, Life Sciences, and Nanotechnology Industry Teams. From 1996 through January 2005, Mr. Rosenbloom was a partner with Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C. (in 2005, Foley & Lardner acquired the office of Epstein, Becker & Green in which Mr. Rosenbloom worked). During Mr. Rosenbloom’s tenure at Foley & Lardner and Epstein, Becker & Green, both national law firms, he represented middle-market public companies, entrepreneurs, founders, emerging businesses, startup corporations, and partnerships in diverse industries. Mr. Rosenbloom managed and negotiated mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture capital financings, and private placements.
While in private practice, Mr. Rosenbloom served as a defacto Board member/advisor to his clients, analyzing and evaluating IPOs, financing, acquisition, and divestiture opportunities, writing and developing business plans, and providing other planning and financial advice, including with respect to intellectual property protection, labor and employment, immigration, and real estate matters.
Mr. Rosenbloom received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and his JD from the Boston University School of Law.
Eric S. Rosengren
Eric Rosengren is Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. Previously, he was executive vice president and head of the Bank’s department of supervision, regulation, and credit. He started with the Bank in 1985 as a member of the research department. In his research, Dr. Rosengren has made significant contributions to the fields of banking and monetary policy, and he has written extensively on macroeconomics, international banking, bank supervision, and risk management. He has authored many papers on macroeconomics, banking, and risk management, including articles in many of the top economics and finance journals. While in the bank supervision function, he obtained significant domestic and international regulatory experience related to the Basel II Capital Accord.
Dr. Rosengren holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Colby College and Master of Science and Ph.D. in Economics degrees from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Stuart Rossmiller is Director of Fixed Income Research at MEMBERS Capital Advisors, the investment advisor affiliate of CUNA Mutual Group. He is responsible for high grade and high yield media, cable and telecom on the fixed income team. Previously, he served as managing director in the fixed income research department at Merrill Lynch. Prior to covering telecommunications, Mr. Rossmiller was a retail sector analyst. He was an Institutional Investor-ranked analyst in both media / telecom and retail for many years. Before joining Merrill Lynch, he was a vice president in the corporate bond research department at Deutsche Bank Securities. He also served as a senior director at Fitch Ratings and senior associate in corporate finance at Barclays de Zoete Wedd.
Mr. Rossmiller earned Bachelor of Science in Education, Bachelor of Arts in Economics, and M.B.A. degrees from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. He also earned Chartered Financial Analyst designation and Series 7, 63, and 24 licenses.
Richard A. Strait
Richard Strait is a retired managing director of Northwestern Mutual Capital (NMC), a division of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company. During his 37-year career, he led portfolios investing in private debt and equity of U.S. and European companies and in U.S. and European private equity funds.
Mr. Strait is an Investment Committee Partner for Avante Capital Partners, a Los Angeles-based private credit and structured equity fund manager that invests in lower middle market companies. He also serves as a director of G&L Holdings, Inc. a privately-owned food ingredients company. G&L owns Grain Craft, the third largest flour miller in the U.S., and Southeastern Mills which offers a wide range of ingredient solutions for food manufacturers, restaurants, foodservice distributors, and retail consumers. Mr. Strait contributes his time as a director and investment committee chair of the Jewish Home & Care Center Foundation (Milwaukee) and is a former board member and officer of COA Youth and Family Centers (Milwaukee).
Mr. Strait 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. He lives in suburban Milwaukee with his wife Sue, also a UW-Madison graduate. They have two daughters who are proud Big 10 alumni (one Badger, one Wildcat).
Willard Walker, Jr.
Willard Walker, Jr. is President and Chief Executive Officer 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 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, he practiced corporate law with Foley and Lardner in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Mr. Walker received a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a J.D. degree from Northwestern University School of Law. He and his wife, Deb, live in River Hills, Wisconsin, where Mr. Walker serves on the Board of Trustees. They have three sons, one of whom represents the fourth generation of Walkers to graduate from UW-Madison.
Barton J. Warner
Barton has over 30 years of experience in many of the world’s most respected corporations. He started his brand management career at Procter & Gamble and led international marketing teams at Johnson & Johnson and Boots. Barton then joined Bayer, leading its largest global business unit and its $3 Billion US marketing function. In his final role at Bayer, he led Strategy and Portfolio Management and the Rx Dermatology business.
Most recently, he founded a consumer products start-up that now sells through Target, Amazon, and direct to consumers. His breadth of experience gives him a deep insight into optimal performance in both large and small organizations.
Barton enjoys running, tennis, and gardening. He loves learning and enjoys taking College-level Social Science courses.
Education, Qualifications, Professional Memberships
• BS – Economics, University of Wisconsin
• Diploma Program – International Economics, The Graduate Institute – Geneva
• MBA – Marketing and International Business, Columbia University
• External Coaching Intensive (CCP), Columbia University
• Certified Practitioner: Hogan Assessments and Neethling Brain Instrument
• Volunteer: StartOut LGBT Entrepreneurship Accelerator
Todd E. Warnock
Todd Warnock is a founding partner of RoundTable Healthcare Partners, a private equity firm specializing in the healthcare industry, where he currently serves as senior advisor. Prior to his current role, he was responsible for leading RoundTable’s transaction team. Before RoundTable, Mr. Warnock held a number of positions at Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB), including managing director and head of the U.S. healthcare investment banking practice. Prior to CSFB, he worked at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Mr. Warnock and his wife, Liz, are proprietors of the five-star boutique hotel, Links House at Royal Dornoch, in Scotland.
Mr. Warnock has served as board chairman and member of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, board chairman of the OxBow School of Art, board member of the University of Wisconsin Foundation, trustee of Eaglebrook School, trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago, governor of The School of The Art Institute of Chicago, member of The Counsel of University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, and an advisory board member of Iliso Care Society, in Cape Town, South Africa. Mr. Warnock is the founder and past chairman of the University of Wisconsin—Madison Economics Advisory Board.
Mr. Warnock earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business.
Ronald D. Weil
Mr. Weil is principal of R&J Sales and Marketing, Inc., a food sales and marketing firm. Previously, he was vice president and joint owner of Arena Cheese and vice chairman of Swiss-American, Inc., a national importer, processor and distributor of cheese to wholesalers and retailers. 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.
Mr. Weil earned a bachelor’s degree in economics at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. Mr. Weil and his wife, Virginia Broomall Weil, live in St. Louis, Missouri, and have three grown children.
Barbara Widder-Lowry is a retired apparel and retailing executive. Most recently she served as Senior Vice President of Product Development, Design, and Sourcing at Oshkosh B’Gosh. She joined Oshkosh B’Gosh in 1994, when the children’s apparel company she founded, Genuine Kids, was acquired by the firm. Genuine Kids designed, developed, and manufactured a complete line of children’s clothing and accessories. The company also operated more than 150 retail stores throughout the U.S. and Canada. Prior to Genuine Kids, Ms. Widder-Lowry served as a senior brand manager for Healthtex, Inc., then a division of the Chesebrough-Ponds consumer products company. She began her professional career in the executive training program at Carson, Pirie, Scott & Co. in Chicago. She also has taught several courses on international sourcing and supply chain management at the University of Wisconsin—Stout.
Ms. Widder-Lowry earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison. She has served as past president of The Paine Art Center, The Regional Domestic Abuse Center, and The Mercy Health Foundation. She and her husband, Paul, live in Madison, Wisconsin.