Panel session 1 — 10:15 a.m. CT
Inclusivity is essential for all citizens to have greater trust in their government. This panel will discuss how stakeholders organized and connected to be part of the policy process.
Director, Community Development Institute, UW–Madison Division of Extension
Benoy Jacob is the director of the Community Development Institute at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Division of Extension. He is also a faculty affiliate with both the La Follette School of Public Affairs and the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture. Benoy’s scholarly work has focused on the growth and governance of cities; in particular, he explores issues of public finance, state and local relationships, and social diversity and equity. Benoy’s publications have been featured in the Urban Affairs Review, the National Tax Journal, and Public Administration Review. Benoy has also served as a research fellow with the International City and County Managers Association (ICMA). He currently serves as a senior fellow with the National Civic League.
President and CEO, Urban League of Greater Madison
Dr. Ruben Anthony has been the president and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Madison since March 2015. He is leading the fight to build generational wealth for the BIPOC community through homeownership programs, and he is also co-founder of the Black Business Hub, which is currently under construction. Over the past 30 years, Ruben has been a senior manager in the public, private, and not profit sectors. He is a subject matter expert in developing job placement strategies and in minority business development. The majority (19 years) of his career has been as a manager with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation where he started as a first-line supervisor and eventually became the deputy secretary and the chief operations officer from 2003 to 2010.
Director of Environmental Sustainability, City of Milwaukee Environmental Collaboration Office
Erick Shambarger is the director of environmental sustainability for the City of Milwaukee, where he leads the Environmental Collaboration Office (ECO). He established Wisconsin’s first commercial-PACE financing program, led the development of the city’s green infrastructure plan, and is currently the project manager for the forthcoming climate and equity plan. He negotiated the city’s largest solar energy project to date, a 2.25MW solar system on a city-owned landfill, and is co-founder of the Wisconsin Local Government Climate Coalition (WLGCC.org). He holds a Master of Public Affairs degree from the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s La Follette School of Public Affairs and certificates in water technology; energy analysis and policy; and business communications.
Chairwoman, Green Bay Equal Rights Commission
Tara Yang is the first Asian American city commissioner in the City of Green Bay. She serves as the chairwoman of the Green Bay Equal Rights Commission. Tara was born and raised in Green Bay and received her bachelor of science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work is deeply rooted in racial, socioeconomic, and health equity. She is a two-time “Young Professional of the Year” award winner and was recognized by Madison365 as part of Wisconsin’s Top 34 Most Influential Asian Americans in 2021.