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Rural Development

Initiatives & Successes

Kelly Matthews
WI Early Childhood Association

Co-Director Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN)


Kelly has over 20 years’ experience in early care and education, specializing in family child care business practices and professional development. She brings compassionate, provider-focused leadership to this program.  

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Paula Drew
WI Early Childhood Association

Co-Director Wisconsin Early Education Shared Services Network (WEESSN)

Paula brings to this role a strong academic and experiential background in center-based care and education. For two decades Paula has worked in the early care and education sector in Wisconsin as both an educator and a program director and is committed to giving back to her community through her dedicated work.

Mariah Goode
Town of Baileys Harbor - Community Vitality

Mariah has been the Director of the Door County Land Use Services Department since 2006, and has worked in community, organizational, and land use planning in Door County since 1996.  Mariah participated in the 2015 UW-Extension Community Vitality and Placemaking (“Design Team”) as both a county planner and a resident when the Design Team visited Baileys Harbor in 2015.  Since then, she has worked to implement many of the Design Team’s recommendations for Baileys Harbor, the Door County town she has called home since 1997.  Mariah has also participated as a Design Team member for four other communities in Wisconsin. 

Door County Land Use Services & Door County Housing Partnership

Phone: 920-495-6639

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Nicki Peterson
Grantsburg Revitalization Operation

Nicki & Ben Peterson purchased the former Lion’s Club building in downtown Grantsburg in the fall of 2017. The building was originally a creamery and built in 1919. The reason for the purchase was to have an office space for Nicki’s marketing business, Spry Content. However, the location, being set across from Memory Lake, and the character and history of the building led them to consider doing more with it. Nicki formed an organization called the Grantsburg Revitalization Operation (GRO) in 2014 which has been discussing ways to bring more people to town to enjoy the amazing assets we have in Grantsburg.

Once they realized the building could actually be theirs, Ben and Nicki started talking about what type of business could bring people to town, give residents a different option for gathering and could succeed in a rural community with a large tourism base. A micro-brewery was the obvious answer. So it began…

Nicki Peterson
Spry Content | Social Media Marketing, Photography, Videography

Cell 715-828-2381

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Jaron McCallum
Director of Broadband - PSC of Wisconsin

The mission of the Wisconsin Broadband Office (WBO) is to make high performance broadband more accessible, resilient, competitive and affordable in Wisconsin. Since 2009, the WBO has been collecting and mapping broadband coverage information for improved planning purposes. As part of the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, the WBO serves as the leader and coordinator of broadband goals, data and strategies across the state. Our vision is that all Wisconsinites have the information technology capacity needed to fully participate in society. ​

State Rep. Nancy Vander Meer
70th District

Nancy continues to work with fellow legislators from rural areas across the State on the Rural Wisconsin Initiative.  This is an ongoing effort, and we will be incorporating suggestions from people across the State.  The Initiative continues to focus on improving education, workforce development, technology and health care in our rural areas.

Prior to the creation of the Initiative, Nancy had focused on a wide range of legislation aimed at helping our rural schools and communities. 

Office of Rep. Nancy VanderMeer - 70th Assembly District

1 West - PO Box 8953 - Madison, WI 53708-8952
(608) 266-8366 - Toll Free (888) 534-0070- FAX (608) 282-3670

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Marcy West
Office of Rural Prosperity Director

Marcy is from La Farge and is a veteran conservationist and manager of public land in Wisconsin.  In 2020 she was appointed to the Dept. of Natural Resources Board.  

From 1990-95 she was executive director of the Wisconsin Land Conservation Association, Inc., where she advocated for legislation related to conservation program policy and funding.


For the past 23 years, she has been executive director of the Kickapoo Reserve Management Board, the body that oversees management of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve, a 8,600-acre public property in southwestern Wisconsin.

Marcy West, Director

Office of Rural Prosperity/WEDC


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