Madison, WI – The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) today announced their selection of Kathy Collins to serve as the organization’s vice president of economic development.
Collins brings a wealth of experience collaborating with the Madison Region’s business community and workforce development partners. Her primary focus will be promoting and growing investment in the eight-county regional economy. She will oversee site selection and attraction activities as well as play a key role in completing Advance Now 2.0, the Madison Region’s comprehensive economic development strategy. Most recently, she spent six years as a director in UW-Madison’s Office of Business Engagement where she served as a key connector for university-industry partnership engaging corporate interests in research, talent, professional education and tech transfer supporting the Wisconsin Idea.
“I have appreciated my warm welcome from the Madison Region these last few months,” said MadREP President & CEO Jason M. Fields. “It’s especially exciting to be announcing my first hire. Kathy Collins is a longtime member of the Madison Region community. She has the knowledge, relationships and acumen to round out our already-capable team and position our Region for a strong rebound out of this recovery.”
“I’m thrilled to be joining Jason and the team at MadREP,” said Collins. “This new role connects my work in biotech and innovation with my experience in commerce and rural business development. I am especially excited about the organization’s commitment to strategic regional growth, ensuring all of our partners benefit from innovations in our cities and vice versa.”
Collins started her career in banking, where she worked as a personal and business banker, branch and market business development manager. She then took the opportunity to work at the WI Department of Commerce working across a broad range of economic and community development programs from Minority to Rural Business Development and served as Technology Finance Manager in the development and implementation of several innovative initiatives including Act 255 grants, loans and investment tax credits, CAPCO management and the WI Entrepreneurs Network- resulting in key business start-up, job retention, company expansions, recruitment of businesses and investment across the state.
After years of state service, Collins went on to promote and advocate for the biotech industry sector with BioForward, the WI trade association for biohealth before her role with UW-Madison.
Kathy holds a BA in Finance from UW-Whitewater, WBA Graduate School of Banking certificate, Economic Development Finance Professional certification through the National Development Council and UW-Madison Masters Certificate in project management.