Nahid Afsari is the Facilities Group Manager for Milwaukee-based The Sigma Group, one of the top civil and environmental engineering firms in Wisconsin. In her role, she works with senior leaders to identify and execute strategic goals; assists in business development; and leads the Facilities Group, one of the company’s four major service focuses.
Previously, Nahid worked for Cotter Consulting as leader of the Wisconsin office, managing all aspects of Wisconsin operations for the Chicago-based company. Nahid also has experience in construction and design, working for Mortenson Construction and CH2M Hill (now Jacobs), respectively.
She is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Wisconsin and a LEED Accredited Professional. Nahid is a Milwaukee native; born and raised in Whitefish Bay. She has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in Civil and Environmental Engineering and a master’s degree from Purdue University in Structural Engineering. While at UW-Madison, Nahid was a member of the Badger soccer team and American Society of Civil Engineers. While at Purdue, she was a volunteer assistant coach for the women’s soccer team and a math tutor for athletes on campus.
Nahid has served on numerous boards (both professional and community-based) including the YWCA, America Scores, CMAA, STEM Forward, and others. In her free time, she enjoys knitting, watching and playing soccer, and spending time with her family.
JoAnne Anton Director of Charitable Giving for Herb Kohl Philanthropies works to advance Herb Kohl’s philanthropic goals and community involvement. With a bachelor’s degree from Marquette University and a master’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s School of Social Welfare, Anton began her career in public service at City Hall as an assistant to former Milwaukee Mayor John Norquist. She has since spent more than two decades working in key positions for (retired) U.S. Senator Herb Kohl.
As Kohl’s State Director, Anton served in a variety of roles from managing the Wisconsin staff in five state offices to regularly traveling and staffing the Senator throughout Wisconsin. She was also responsible for Senator Kohl’s re-election campaigns in 2000 and 2006.
When Kohl retired from the Senate in 2012 and returned as President to run his NBA basketball franchise, the Milwaukee Bucks, Anton joined him as Project Coordinator. There she assisted in the effort to plan for a new sports arena and ultimately, in the sale of the team.
Today, Anton focuses her efforts on helping Herb Kohl continue his legacy of service through philanthropy.
JoAnne Anton currently serves on the boards of Safe and Sound Inc, the Milwaukee Public Library, Professional Dimensions, the Nature Conservancy of Wisconsin and is President of the Rotary Club of Milwaukee. She is also an active board member of Harbor District Inc. She has been recognized by the Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 List and as a Woman of Influence.
Gary Ballesteros is Vice President, Law, Chief Compliance Officer and Ombudsman. He leads the team of compliance professionals who oversee Rockwell Automation’s compliance with regulatory requirements around the globe. Under his leadership, Rockwell has been named one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies by Ethisphere Magazine.
As the Company’s Ombudsman, Gary serves a critical role in the Company’s culture of ethics and integrity. The Ombudsman has a direct reporting authority to the Board of Directors and is empowered to investigate any claims or allegations of misconduct within the Company. The Ombudsman maintains a variety of hotline reporting mechanisms that can be accessed anonymously by any employee worldwide; and he also manages a staff of investigative personnel and counsel who investigate any reported violations of our Code of Conduct.
Prior to taking this current role, he was the Vice President of Commercial law overseeing all of Rockwell’s regional legal teams around the globe. He also served three years as the general counsel for Latin America. He has previously served as the company’s chief litigation counsel and had also served as the first director of our Global Compliance Office. Before joining Rockwell Automation in 1997, he was a partner with the law firm of Jenner & Block in Chicago, and also served as an officer in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the U.S. Army Reserve.
Gary is involved in a number of civic activities where he serves as pro bono counsel; and he has served as an adjunct professor of law at both Marquette University Law School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Gary received his B.S., cum laude, from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois and his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Kathryn Berger is Business Development Manager for Milwaukee-based CG Schmidt, Inc., one of the top construction managers and general contractors in the Midwest. In that role, she adds value to future development efforts in the region and identifies potential business opportunities for the firm. Previously, Kathryn served as a Regional Economic Development Director with Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, delivering financial and technical assistance to communities in Southeastern Wisconsin to help spur local economic development and facilitating state financial participation with the private sector in 120 Southeastern Wisconsin business expansion and real estate projects. She also spent ten years at Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in Milwaukee, providing financing and technical assistance to community development and affordable housing projects throughout the City of Milwaukee. Kathryn has a BA in English from Hamline University in St. Paul, MN, and a JD from UW Madison Law School. She has worked in economic and community development in Southeastern Wisconsin for more than 20 years.
MARVIN BYNUM II
Marvin is a member of the Real Estate Practice Group and is based in the Firm’s Milwaukee office. Marvin tackles challenges with a pragmatic, level-headed approach, partnering with clients engaged in a gamut of commercial real estate transactions, including development, financing, leasing, acquisition, disposition, tax assessment appeals and low-income housing tax credit-financed development. He is experienced in representing local, regional, national and multinational companies, and understands issues from multiple vantage points, including those of lenders and borrowers, landlords and tenants, manufacturers and startup entrepreneurs, and nonprofit organizations and tribal entities.
At Godfrey & Kahn, Marvin serves as co-chair of the Firm’s recruiting committee, is a member of the law school fellowship committee, and has assisted with several special projects and initiatives, including design and planning efforts for the 833 East building project.
While in law school, Marvin served as Editor in Chief of the Marquette Law Review and authored “Testing the Waters: Assessing Wisconsin’s Regulatory Climate for Offshore Wind Projects” (93 Marq. L. Rev. 1533 (2010)), which won the Golden Quill Award for the outstanding student-written article published in the Marquette Law Review.
Prior to law school, Marvin worked for six years as a journalist, both as an editor for a Madison-based sports business magazine and as a freelance reporter for daily newspapers in Michigan and Wisconsin.
PAULINA ESPERANZA GUTIERREZ
Paulina is the Legislative Advisor for the Wisconsin State Department of Corrections (DOC). In her role, she is the liaison for the DOC to all of the members of the Wisconsin State Legislature. As the largest state agency, the DOC employs nearly 10,000 people, operates 37 secured facilities, and is responsible for the care of nearly 23,000 persons who are incarcerated and 66,000 people under supervision. With over a decade in public service focused on public safety, she also served the City of Milwaukee in various roles supporting the efforts of first responders. Encompassing a diverse array of experience, Paulina has worked as a community organizer, mediator, and restorative justice and gun policy specialist. She is a graduate of Alverno College and Marquette University. She is a lifelong resident of Milwaukee and keeps herself busy with her four children, husband, and dog.
Eric Dick is the President of Elementis LTP for the past 4 years. Prior work with Elementis, starting in 2002 Eric held the position of Global Vice President – Construction Pigments for Elementis for seven years until the division was sold to Rockwood Specialties. After the sale, he transitioned to the General Manager of Southern Color.
Eric is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison where he received a Bachelor’s degrees in Food Science and Chemical Engineering. After graduating Eric worked for Campbell Soup Co., Kraft Foods, Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream/Nestle’s, and Sensient Flavors. He held positions in Operations, Quality Assurance, Purchasing, Sales and Marketing, and Product Line Management within these organizations.
Dan Druml has been the President at Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling since 2002. He started in 1991 as an Associate. Nationally recognized in sales he was promoted in 1994 to Vice President at which time his efforts were directed toward operations management and the continued development of the commercial services division. In 1997, Druml received the award for Salesman of the Year for Paul Davis Systems International, an honor chosen from over 1000 candidates from over 250 offices internationally.
Deputy Secretary Ed Eberle was originally appointed by Governor Scott Walker as Assistant Deputy Secretary in October of 2015. Ed brings 20 years of knowledge and experience with state service in both the legislature and executive branch. Prior to this appointment, Ed was the Division Administrator of Intergovernmental Relations at the Department of Administration where he was active with local and state agencies as well as working on behalf of the Governor’s Office with Wisconsin’s eleven tribal governments.
Carolyn Esswein is an urban designer, planner and educator who has worked with over 30 communities in the Midwest. Her work with communities and developers has helped to change the character of cities from Oak Creek’s Drexel Square, New Berlin’s City Center, to Milwaukee’s Lindsay’s Heights home ownership initiative. Her primary role for 20 years was in consulting, Carolyn now brings her experience to academia as Professor of Practice at the School of Architecture & Urban Planning and Director of Community Design Solutions at UWM. Carolyn’s UWM urban design studios and graduate urban planning courses have focused their projects on the Harbor District and large impact Milwaukee sites. Student work has provided innovative redevelopment design concepts, sustainable energy strategies, implementation policies, and influenced City decisions and recommendations.
Carolyn continues to practice as owner of Ce Planning Studio, LLC, a firm that adds value through design visioning, public engagement, and community investment. She has received numerous state and regional awards for her work including the WCREW SPIRE Award for her impact on real estate and development in Wisconsin and Community Based Faculty of the Year from UWM. Carolyn has a Bachelor of Science degree from UW-Madison, Master of Architecture and Master of Urban Planning degrees from UW-Milwaukee. She serves on the Executive Board for Congress for New Urbanism-WI, and previously served 11 years on the Exec Board for the WI American Planning Association.
Ivan Gamboa is a Senior Vice President of Tri City National Bank. Mr. Gamboa is a native of Illinois where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Geography (Urban Studies) from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. For more than nine years Mr. Gamboa has worked for Tri City National Bank in various roles before his current position of business development in commercial lending. Mr. Gamboa’s passion is neighborhoods and his volunteer work reflects it. In June of 2016 Mr. Gamboa was appointed as Chairman of the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA), In addition to his duties at the Harbor District and WHEDA, Mr. Gamboa also serves on the boards Carmen High School of Science and Technology a non-instrumentality Milwaukee Public Schools Charter, and St Augustine Prep a new K-12 school created by the Ramirez family.
PATRICIA HOBEN, PH.D.
Patricia Hoben is co-founder and CEO/Head of Schools for Carmen Schools of Science and Technology, a growing network of college and career preparatory charter schools including three high schools and a middle school. She has been involved in science and technology policy and education reform initiatives at the national, state, and local levels. Over the course of her career, she served as an advisor on public health and science and technology policy issues at the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Hoben also served as the K-12 Education Grants Program Officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, and as the Associate Director, Education and Exhibits of the Bakken Library and Museum in Minneapolis. She earned a doctoral degree in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University in 1984.
Dr. Hoben also serves on the boards of the Milwaukee Public Museum, Schools that Can Milwaukee, and Teach for America – Milwaukee. She is currently a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow and received the Milwaukee Business Journal’s Woman of Influence award for Innovation in 2009. Dr. Hoben also is the recipient of awards from Alverno College, the United Community Center, and Casa Romero Renewal Center for her work in founding and leading Carmen Schools of Science and Technology.
Tim Hoelter is president of the Board of Harbor Commissioners for the Port of Milwaukee. He previously had a thirty-year career with Harley-Davidson Motor Company as General Counsel and later as Vice President, Government Affairs. In his roles at Harley-Davidson, Tim served three terms as President of the International Motorcycle Association and also chaired the Consumer Goods Trade Advisory Committee at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Since retiring from Harley, Tim has been a keynote speaker and is a guest lecturer at Georgetown Law. Tim graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Harvard Law School and is the proud father of four daughters.
John Koetz is president and chief executive of the surface mining division for Komatsu Mining Corp., a worldwide leader in high-productivity solutions for both underground and above-ground mining industries. A member of the executive leadership team for Komatsu Mining Corp. and a global officer of Komatsu Ltd., John joined Komatsu in 2010 and has over 25 years of marketing, product, service, and leadership experience in mining, construction, agriculture, and defense equipment industries.
Before joining Komatsu Mining Corp., he was senior director of marketing for CNH Industrial’s Case IH agricultural equipment business. Prior to that, he was Vice President, product marketing for Komatsu America and held a variety of progressive positions in their global mining and North America construction equipment businesses. Koetz began his career as a U.S. Army officer, is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and held numerous assignments across the U.S. and in the Republic of Korea.
Koetz also serves on the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) board, the Milwaukee 7 Regional Economic Development Council (M7), the Menomonee Valley Partners CEO Roundtable, the board of Racine/Kenosha Vocational Ministries, and volunteers with Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity and other community organizations. Kotez holds an MBA from Loyola University Chicago, a master’s degree in engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a bachelor’s degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Wisconsin.
Rosamaria Martinez holds a master’s degree in Business Administration and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics. Rosamaria has served in different capacities in her tenure at Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers (SSCHC. Prior to her current role as Vice President of Community Health Initiatives (CHI), she served as Women Infants and Children (WIC) Director. As Vice President, she provides strategic guidance, direction and ongoing support to all programs within CHI (Environmental Health, Healthy Choices, HIV, Parenting Resource Center, Social Services, AmeriCorps and WIC). She also serves on the Board of Visitors for UW- Extension. Rosamaria is fluent in Spanish and grew up in the community served by SSCHC.
Dave Misky is the Assistant Executive Director of the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee, an independent corporation of City government which has a mission to eliminate blighting conditions that inhibit neighborhood reinvestment, to foster and promote business expansion and job creation, and to facilitate new business and housing development. He has 25 years of diversified experience in real estate and economic development with a strong focus on creative financing and environmental issues. He currently oversees many of the City of Milwaukee’s Real Estate programs including residential and commercial foreclosures, City-developed industrial developments, and Brownfield redevelopment. Dave and his team manage all sizes of developments from small vacant residential lots to vast economic drivers that address development plans, zoning changes, gap financing, stormwater management, and environmental aspects of remediation and sustainability. These projects include major developments along each of the three rivers of the City of Milwaukee and the lakefront including the Harbor District.
Dave holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Master of Science degree in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
José Pérez, who grew up on the near south side of Milwaukee, began his community work in Milwaukee in 1991, and early work experience ranged from investigating welfare fraud to developing gang prevention and youth development programs for non-profit organizations. José obtained a B.A. in political science from Cardinal Stritch in May 1999. He soon became MICAH’s executive director and led the organization to create the Good Jobs and Livable Neighborhoods Coalition, consisting of labor and community organizations to ensure the Park East Land Corridor development would benefit the entire city.
In February 2004, José joined the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrialized Organizations (AFL-CIO) as a National Field Representative, and joined the City of Milwaukee, Department of City Development (DCD) in January 2006. He served DCD as an Economic Development Specialist working on business development, real estate development, planning, permitting and public housing until September 2009. Jose then became a Program Officer for the City of Milwaukee, Community Development Grants Administration, where he managed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects.
In 2012, he was elected to his first term on the Milwaukee Common Council. José and his wife Rosaura have been married almost ten years and are proud parents of two young children.
David is the Chief Legal Officer and Vice President of Business Administration for Michels Corporation and also serves as the President of the Harbor District Business Improvement District (BID #51).
Michels has a Harbor District presence at 218 E. Becher Street. Michels is a diversified utility and specialty construction company that conducts business throughout the United States and internationally. David is responsible for all aspects of the company’s legal representation. In his capacity as Vice President of Business Administration, David’s additional responsibilities include: strategic acquisitions and partnerships; risk management; labor relations; real estate; DOT compliance; and safety and environmental stewardship.
David is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Marquette University Law School. He has a Master’s Degree in International Trade in Business Law from the American University-Washington College of Law. As a child, David learned to sail on Milwaukee’s inner harbor. As a result, he appreciates the importance of this unique resource to the quality of life in our community. David and his wife, Diane, reside in Mequon and have three children.
With an energy and enthusiasm for building the strength of the nonprofit sector, Anne brings 25 years of nonprofit leadership, fundraising, strategy development, board development, and grant making expertise to her clients. She is skilled at leveraging the power of planning, relationships and data to design solutions and deliver results that strengthen organizations.
Known for her personalized approach with nonprofit clients, Anne is a fundraising consultant with Ter Molen Watkins & Brandt, a nationally recognized firm that offers a broad range of services helping clients improve fundraising capacity that builds stronger relationships with donors and improves the bottom line.
Anne is also the owner of One/A Group, where she bundles her experiences, relationships, and expertise helping transform community opportunities into action. Through strategy development or project planning, Anne is flexible and adaptable pairing strategy with a straightforward approach, supporting and nurturing leaders and organizations toward greater accomplishment. She previously led the Wisconsin-based Brico Fund, bringing a unique donor/foundation perspective to her consulting work.
An active volunteer, Anne serves on the Boards of Directors for Love Wisconsin, Harbor District Inc, and the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and is an active member of Professional Dimensions, where she also serves on their Charitable Fund Board.
Anne has an MBA from Cardinal Stritch University and a BA in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She and her husband Gary live in Glendale, Wisconsin near the Milwaukee River.