Welcome new Steering Committee members!

The Steering Committee of A Greater Madison Vision is pleased to welcome several new members!

What started as a 35-member body in 2016 has grown to 43, with a number of great new additions.

In July, we welcomed three new members: Chris Ehlers, Keith Reopelle, and David Stark. Now, the Steering Committee is pleased to announce five more members: Nhi Le, Phil Yang, Justice Castaneda, Godwin Amegashie, and Sabrina Madison!

Four of the new Greater Madison Vision Steering Committee members, from left to right: Sabrina Madison, Justice Castaneda, Nhi Le, Godwin Amegashie. (Not pictured: Phillip Yang, Chris Ehlers, Keith Reopelle, and David Stark.)

Meet the new Steering Committee members

Godwin Amegashie, Consultant

Godwin Amegashie holds a Master’s of Science in Business from the University Of Wisconsin School Of Business with majors in finance, investment and banking, and international business. He is also a Fellow of the Economic Development Institute of the World Bank.

Mr. Amegashie is a founding member of the African Association of Madison and has served as president and chairman of the board. He is a Melvin Jones Fellow in Lions International and has served as president of Madison West Lions Club on two occasions. He is a member and former treasurer of the 100 Black Men of Madison.  Currently, he serves on the Dane County Community Development Block Grant Commission.

He has held appointments from the mayor of the City of Madison on the Economic Development Commission, Administrative Review Board and the Community Development Authority. He also served for more than 10 years as a member of the board of the Madison Development Corporation. He is a former board member and current advisory board member of the Wisconsin Women Business Initiative Corporation. Former Governor Thompson was pleased to name him to the State of Wisconsin Minority Development Loan Fund.

Professionally, Mr. Amegashie has had two careers paths- the private and public sectors. He is a graduate of Citibank’s Executive Training Center in Beirut, Lebanon where he started his banking career. He has attended several professional development training by Citibank in Glen Cove, New York and, Nairobi Kenya. He was trained in economic development by the World Bank in Washington, D.C.

Following his graduate studies from the University of Wisconsin in 1980, he joined the Affiliated Banks, forerunners to the M&I Banks in Madison. Among several duties, he served as planning officer, international banking officer, loan officer and head of the Small Business Banking Center in the Commercial Banking Group at M&I Bank (now known as BMO Harris Bank.).

He joined state service as Director of the State of Wisconsin Minority Business Program in 1999. In 2006, he became Policy Advisor for the Division of State Facilities. He created the Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program in 2012 and retired from state service in 2017.

He works as a consultant in the areas of supplier diversity, small business development, international trade and public policy.

Justice Castaneda, MA, MCP, Common Wealth Development

Justice Castaneda currently serves as the Executive Director of Common Wealth Development, Inc. Justice is an educator and community development specialist by trade, whose praxis negotiates the intersections of housing policy, economic development and community violence, looking at the role these intersections play in educational & life outcomes for youth and communities of color. A Madison, WI native, Justice’s professional career began in the Marine Corps, where he spent 8 years before being honorably discharged. His academic career began at Red Caboose Day Care on Williamson St., and he advanced from Kindergarten and earned his 5th grade graduation at Mendota Elementary School on Madison’s North Side, earned his 8th grade graduation as part of the inaugural class at O’Keefe Middle School on Madison’s East Side, and is a proud graduate of Madison East High School.

Chris Ehlers, Ehlers Development Co.

Chris Ehlers is a developer of residential, multi-family, commercial and worship sites in Dane County. He holds a BA in Real Estate from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University. During his 12 years at a large national developer in Phoenix, AZ, Chris gained valuable experience on the development of several master plan communities, including Del Webb’s award-winning Sun City Anthem communities. In 2010, Chris accepted an offer to become president of a national homebuilder’s Wisconsin division and returned home to Dane County. Over the next five years, he turned the once-struggling division into one of the company’s most profitable divisions in the country.

Upon realizing his passion for land development, Chris set out on his own in 2016 to start Ehlers Development Company. Today he not only develops land but also lends support to local farmers and land-owners by providing advice on how their property should be developed to achieve highest and best use. Chris’s commitment to the community has resulted in excellent relationships among alders and commission members of Dane County’s municipalities, and has even inspired him to consider running for office. Chris is currently the 2018 president-elect for the Madison Area Builders Association.

Nhi Le, Gener8tor

Nhi is the Director of gBETA Madison and is completing her PhD in Materials Science at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology (BS in Materials Science and Engineering and BS in Biomedical Engineering), she moved to Madison to for her PhD. Over the past 10 years, Nhi has also worked extensively with underserved communities through nonprofit involvement with the Graduate Engineering Research Scholars, Gates Millennium Scholars Program, and AmeriCorps Jumpstart.

Sabrina Madison, Heymiss Progress

Award winning entrepreneur Sabrina Madison is affectionately known as “Heymiss Progress”. Under the Heymiss Progress brand, she’s created the Black Women’s Leadership Conference, the Conversation Mixtape, the Black Business Expo, and the Black Excellence Youth Conference. In 2016 she was recognized by In Business Magazine as one of the most influential people in the Greater Madison area and named one of the most influential African Americans in the state of WI by Madison365. She’s a BRAVA Woman to Watch and was named to Madison Magazine’s M List for 2016 on behalf of her work in creating the Black Women’s Leadership Conference.

A Grand Poetry Slam Champion, Sabrina thrives as a motivational speaker and social entrepreneur.  She has motivated students nationally including the National Conference on Student Leadership and local groups including AVID TOPS and the DELTA GEMS to live their dreams despite tough circumstances.  As a quarterly speaker for the American Family Insurance DreamBank, she’s helped countless community members leverage their strengths to live their dreams! From inspiring keynote addresses to leading workshops on personal branding success, she’s a woman who leads with purpose and does the work from a love ethic. From inspiring keynote addresses to leading workshops on personal branding success, she’s a woman who leads with purpose and does the work from a love ethic.

Sabrina will soft launch the Sabrina V. Madison Center for African-American Leadership, Entrepreneurship + Media this fall with a full launch in spring 2018.

She’s the mother to a brilliant young man, a community organizer, poet, connector and master collaborator!

She also finds you to be beautiful.

Keith Reopelle, Dane County Office of Energy and Climate Change

Keith is the Director of Dane County’s Office of Energy and Climate Change. Prior to coming to Dane County, Keith was the Senior Policy Director at Clean Wisconsin where he worked for 32 years leading clean energy campaigns at the state and regional levels. He has served on numerous energy and climate -related task forces and advisory committees. He was a member of Governor Doyle’s Task Force on Global Warming where he served on the full Task Force and co-chaired the cap and trade working group. Keith also was a member of the Midwestern Governor’s Association Greenhouse Gas Accord advisory committee and served on the group’s modeling working group for two years where he helped advise on IPM and macro-economic modeling. Keith has a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife ecology and a Masters of Science degree in environmental communications from the University of Wisconsin -Madison.

David Stark, Stark Company Realtors

David Stark is the president of Stark Company Realtors, for whom he has worked since 1978. He has held several offices in national, statewide, and local real estate organizations and associations, including the Wisconsin Realtors Association, the Greater Madison Board of Realtors, and the National Association of Realtors. David was elected to In Business Magazine’s Executive Hall of Fame in 2008. Alongside his years of work in the real estate industry, David has been very involved with the United Way of Dane County, serving on many committees and campaigns and as chairman of the board from 2001 to 2003, and with the Madison Community Foundation, where he currently serves on the board of directors. A graduate of Memorial High School and the UW-Madison, David lives in Middleton with his wife, Marcie, and has three children.

Dr. Phillip Yang, Wisconsin Hmong Association

Dr. Yang is the Executive Director for the Wisconsin Hmong Association, Inc. Dr. Yang has over 23 years of professional experiences in non-profit organizations, state agencies, K-12 and higher education settings. He has a strong background in philanthropic work, civic engagement, and community advocacy. He has been serving as Vice-president for Southern Wisconsin Hmong Association, serving as Executive Committee Member for the President at Madison College, facilitating the Hmong Parent Empowerment Group (PEG) for Madison School District, Co-Chair of the Madison Community of Color with Madison College, and initiated the Hmong Education Council and Hmong Health Council for Hmong and non-professionals who are interested in advancing the Hmong community.

See the entire Steering Committee roster here, and read about what the Steering Committee is discussing on our resource page!