Mary Gage has been named the new vice president for business and community development at WEDC. WEDC’s previous vice president of business and community development, Barb LaMue, is now the executive director of New North.
Gage has worked with WEDC, and previously with the Wisconsin Department of Commerce, since 1996, in roles including economic development consultant, senior loan officer, director of business finance and compliance, regional account manager and senior economic development director. Most recently, as senior economic development director with WEDC, Gage managed a team of seven regional economic development directors who are responsible for the delivery of WEDC programs to partners, businesses and municipalities.
She holds a bachelor of science degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master of business administration degree from DePaul University, as well as certifications from the International Economic Development Council, the National Development Council, Oklahoma University Economic Development Institute and the Wisconsin Enterprise Management Development Academy.
We spoke with Gage about her experience in local economic development and her new responsibilities at WEDC.
Q: Can you describe briefly what brought you to the Department of Commerce and WEDC?
A: I moved back to Wisconsin to raise our family and was looking for a position that would use my prior skill set to help companies and communities grow. The position open at Commerce was a great fit.
Q: What project or achievement have you been most proud of so far at WEDC?
A: I am most proud of being part of such a dedicated group of people, both at Commerce and at WEDC, who truly are committed to the mission of economic development. Through this dedication, there have been many community and development projects that have improved the communities where we live in Wisconsin.
Q: How do you view your new role in the Division of Business and Community Development (BCD)? What do you hope to accomplish?
A: I view my role as leading a team of talented individuals and assisting them in fulfilling their responsibilities with projects throughout the state. I hope to work collaboratively with WEDC’s various divisions on continuous process improvement so we can deliver our resources and assistance to companies and communities in a seamless matter. I also hope to continue to develop the invaluable relationships already in place with our partners at the regional and local levels.
Q: Why is your division’s work so important to Wisconsin communities?
A: BCD is only a part of the overall WEDC team that makes technical and financial incentives available. This assistance can help grow the tax base in a community, which in turn improves the quality of life in those communities.
Q: Many of our community partners have already worked with you over the years. Is there anything you want them to know as you take on these new responsibilities?
A: Thanks for all the support they have provided me up to this point. I am hopeful these relationships will continue to grow.
Q: Anything else you’d care to add?
A: I am very grateful for having been given this opportunity to lead such a wonderful group of people in BCD and work with such a talented staff throughout WEDC and our network of economic development partners.