May yer Thao: Selected as WHEDA’s assistant deputy director

MADISON – The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) has announced that May yer (pronounced “mine-za”) Thao has been selected by Governor Tony Evers to serve as WHEDA’s Assistant Deputy Director. In this leadership role, May yer will utilize her business development experience and strategic relationships to expand WHEDA’s mission in underserved communities. She will also represent WHEDA on the Governor’s Council on Mental Health.

“Diversity and inclusivity are top priorities for my administration,” said Governor Evers. “By expanding our leadership circle, we are gaining multiple perspectives to help address critical needs in our state. May yer is heavily engaged in local, state and national communities. Her tremendous work at the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce will be invaluable for WHEDA’s housing and economic development mission.”

“May yer has extensive experience working with Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that provide financing and technical assistance for economic development, which is a great asset for us,” said WHEDA Executive Director Joaquin Altoro. “We will utilize her leadership to expand diversity and inclusion throughout all aspects of our organization so that we can improve our reach to the areas of the state that need our resources.”

“I am very excited to utilize my experience to lead WHEDA’s efforts to reach more underserved populations,” said May yer. “I look forward to working with WHEDA’s dedicated employees and partners to help strengthen areas that are very much in need of new economic investment.”

Under May yer’s leadership of five years, the Hmong Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce has deployed the most business loans in its history and has increased its revenues three-fold. For these efforts, May yer has been awarded the 2019 Professional Dimensions Sacagawea Award, a prestigious honor recognizing exceptional leadership by “Women who Inspire.” May yer graduated from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities with a Bachelor’s in American Studies with a focus on Asian American Studies. Her role as WHEDA’s Assistant Deputy Director is effective immediately.

WHEDA is an independent state authority that works with lenders to provide low-cost financing for housing and small business development in Wisconsin. For more information on WHEDA programs, visit or call 1-800-334-6873.