• WisBusiness


Thrive: Hires Michael Gay as senior vice president of economic development
4/3/2013

Contact: Betsy Lundgren
blundgren@thrivehere.org | 608.443.1961

Thrive, the economic development partnership for the eight-county Madison Region, announces Michael Gay as its Senior Vice President of Economic Development. Gay comes to this position with significant experience and a proven track record in economic development, having served most recently as Director of the Center for New Ventures at UW-Platteville and previously in the City of Madison’s Office of Business Resources.

As Senior Vice President of Economic Development, Gay will lead regional initiatives related to entrepreneurship and innovation, business attraction, small business development, and target cluster advancement. He will oversee the creation of an international business development program for the eight-county region, working closely with efforts already in place through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation. Gay will also play a key role in the implementation of the five-year Advance Now Strategy for economic growth.

“Michael brings a diverse and relevant set of economic development skills to this role,” notes Thrive president Paul Jadin. “He is deeply connected within this region and has a visionary understanding of the important roles that public- and private-sector partners play in expanding, attracting, and starting businesses within these eight counties. He has a proven ability to plan and execute economic and business development initiatives, and will certainly provide tremendous value to the growth of this region.”

In addition to Gay’s previous leadership positions with UW-Platteville and the City of Madison, he has worked for MSA Professional Services and the former Wisconsin Department of Commerce (now Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation). He has also worked internationally in Bogotá, Colombia, and holds a number of professional affiliations and certifications, including the internationally-recognized Certified Economic Developer classification. Gay has a Bachelor’s degree in Public and Environmental Administration from UW-Green Bay and a Master’s degree in Urban and Regional Planning from UW-Madison.

“I look forward to returning to the Madison Region and working with my peers in the eight counties that Thrive serves,” comments Gay. “I am eager to implement priority items from the Advance Now Strategy and am committed to collaborating with our partners as we pursue the economic growth of our region.”

Gay will begin his post at Thrive in May 2013.

ABOUT MICHAEL GAY

Prior to joining Thrive, Michael P. Gay, CEcD, served as the Director of the Center for New Ventures (CNV) at UW-Platteville from 2011-2013. The CNV was created in May 2011 to help the university and its expansive educational resources become more entrepreneurial, promote research, and increase grant relationships. Before his tenure at UW-Platteville, Michael worked for the City of Madison for over a decade as the Business Development Coordinator, serving as the official liaison between city government and the Madison business community. Michael’s time and resources were focused on technology transfer, innovation, and the creation of new economy employment centers and business incubators. Other various functions of his City position include brownfield redevelopment, marketing real estate, providing technical and financial assistance to small business start-ups, business retention and expansion, major employer attraction, and business district planning. Prior to working for the City of Madison, Michael directed an office of a private Midwest architectural/engineering/planning consulting firm (MSA Professional Services, 1993-2000) as well as administered business development programs for the State of Wisconsin Department of Development (now Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation).

Michael is a Certified Economic Development Professional (CEcD) by the International Economic Development Council. He has a B.S. in Public and Environmental Administration (UW-Green Bay) and an M.S. in Urban and Regional Planning (UW-Madison). During his undergraduate and graduate studies, Michael spent several years in Latin America volunteering for various non-profits involved in low-income housing and human rights, micro-enterprises and microlending, and performing his thesis research on non-governmental organizations. Michael still speaks Spanish.

ABOUT THRIVE

Thrive is the economic development partnership for the eight-county Madison Region with a vision to create a dynamic environment where people and businesses prosper. Thrive’s mission is a five-plank platform, which includes: 1) Advance economic competitiveness; 2) Advance innovation and entrepreneurship; 3) Advance human capital; 4) Advance the Madison Region's story; and 5) Advance regional cooperation, leadership, and diversity. Through these five goal areas, Thrive and its partners aim to proactively and strategically position the region to take advantage of economic opportunities while preserving and enhancing quality of life. The Madison Region includes Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock, and Sauk counties.
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