From “Tech Council adds seven to its board of directors” — Seven leaders from Wisconsin’s tech and engineering industries, private equity and political sectors have been elected to the Wisconsin Technology Council Board of Directors.

The Tech Council is an independent, non-profit organization that serves as the science and technology advisor to the Governor and Legislature. It is a catalyst for the creation of tech-based based business in Wisconsin. Elected at recent board meetings were:

· James Antczak, biomedical technology licensing manager, Medical College of Wisconsin
· Lisa Johnson, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
· Brian Lindstrom, controller, Epic Systems
· Jeanne McCabe, president and CEO, JZB Solutions
· Jim Pavlik, partner, Baird Venture Partners
· John Wiley, former chancellor, UW-Madison
· James Zylstra, vice president of finance, Wisconsin Technical College System

The seven join a statewide council that includes more than 45 representatives from tech companies, venture capital firms, all levels of education, research institutions, government and law with the mission of growing Wisconsin’s technology-based economy.

“The addition of these seven board members helps strengthen our already diverse and respected board,” Tech Council Chairman Mark Bugher said of the new board members. “Their knowledge and expertise will contribute greatly to the organization’s mission of best positioning Wisconsin in the Knowledge Economy.”

Formally organized in 2001, the Tech Council has focused its efforts in three key areas: policy guidance, economic development and networking. Its major publications include “Vision 2020: A Model Wisconsin Economy” and “Wisconsin Portfolio” as well as periodic white papers. Its programs include the Wisconsin Innovation Network, the Wisconsin Angel Network, the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference, the Wisconsin Early Stage Symposium, the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest and the Wisconsin YES!

Following is additional information about the seven new board members:

James Antczak, Ph.D.
Prior to joining the Office of Technology Development at the Medical College of Wisconsin in 2012, Antczak spent more than 25 years working in public and private-sector biomedical research and development. He earned a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Duke University as well as a postdoctoral fellowship in virus research at Duke University.

Lisa Johnson, vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation, Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Prior to joining the WEDC in 2011, Johnson was chief business officer for Semba Biosciences; vice president of corporate development with EMD Biosciences Inc.; and vice president of corporate development for Novagen. Johnson earned a finance degree at the UW-Madison.

Brian Lindstrom, controller, Epic Systems
Lindstrom is the financial leader for Epic Systems, a $1-billion developer of inpatient and ambulatory enterprise healthcare management software. Prior to joining Epic Systems, Lindstrom was director of finance for ThermoFisher Scientific, Schneider National and Intel Corporation.

Jeanne McCabe, president and CEO of JZB Solutions
McCabe is an expert in research administration and working with small companies to develop necessary infrastructure. Prior to forming JZB Solutions, McCabe was with the Morgridge Institute for Research, BloodCenter of Wisconsin and the University of Iowa.

Jim Pavlik, partner, Baird Venture Partners
Pavlik is a partner with Baird Venture Partners and focuses on early and expansion stage venture capital investments in the business services and software sectors. Prior to joining Baird Venture Partners in 2003, Pavlik was with Madison Dearborn Partners and Solomon Smith Barney. Pavlik has a MBA from Northwestern University.

John Wiley, former chancellor, UW-Madison
Wiley received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Indiana University and a masters and doctoral degrees in Physics from the UW-Madison. Prior to becoming chancellor of UW-Madison, Wiley served as a professor and administrator for more than 30 years.

James Zylstra, vice president of finance, Wisconsin Technical College System
Zylstra has responsibility for the Tech College System’s internal operations, including accounting, budgeting, procurement, payroll, human resources, facility and information technology. Prior to joining the Tech College System, Zylstra spent nine years with the Wisconsin Legislative Audit Bureau. He holds a Bachelors of Business Administration in Accounting from UW-Milwaukee and a law degree from UW-Madison.

From “Group hammers out plan to invigorate technology education – and Wisconsin’s economy” — A group of business and education leaders from across Wisconsin has hammered out a plan to spur educational growth in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), which include concepts such as removing barriers to related career exploration and forging more public-private partnerships in this tech-driven area.

The group, Wisconsin STEM, recently released its report, “Navigators to the future,” a sweeping look at the current condition of STEM education in the state today and as well as efforts needed to overcome a drop in the number of youth choosing STEM education and careers in related areas.

Five success markers were established in the report. They are:

  • Eliminate barriers that prevent learners from exploring STEM careers
  • Increase emphasis on acquiring STEM knowledge and skills for all learners
  • Increase public/private partnerships with a focus on STEM skills
  • Establish a statewide awareness campaign for STEM careers
  • Invest in pre- and post-professional developmental for educators to fully understand and integrate STEM throughout the curriculum.

The report was spurred by the critical need for highly educated and skilled workforce to invigorate Wisconsin’s economy.  Skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics drive innovation and opportunity for Wisconsin workers and employers.

“The number and diversity of organizations represented in the development of this report clearly shows that Wisconsin is ready for a statewide strategy to improve STEM education and training,” said Bryan Albrecht, president of Gateway Technical College. “STEM careers provide some of our state’s best and highest paying jobs and we need to embrace the opportunity to build a STEM talent pipeline from kindergarten through college.”

More than 700 Wisconsin business and education leaders from the public and private sector worked the past six months to forge an agenda outlining the changes and practices needed to build stronger support systems for STEM education and prepare students for in STEM-related career fields.

“Employers increasingly say they are searching for soft skills as much as technical knowledge, meaning they want workers who can pull together as a team, communicate internally and externally adjust to changing conditions and function as lifelong learners,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

As outlined by the Wisconsin Technology Council, STEM talent underscores the necessity of competing in the global economy. It implies high-technology, problem-solving teaching and learning, and creates an opportunity to bring the classrooms of our state to life through business and industry partnerships.

“STEM education is an imperative to secure our state’s viability in global economy,” said Mark Tyler, president, OEM Fabricators Inc., located in the Wisconsin communities of Neillsville and Woodville.

For further media inquiries, please contact Bryan Albrecht at (262) 564-3610.

What is STEM?

STEM is an acronym for science, technology, engineering and math. STEM teaching and learning is an innovative approach to unlock creativity and problem solving in learners of all ages. Through discovery, modeling and contextual learning students realize their potential and excel in active learning environments. STEM partnerships throughout the state have demonstrated the potential to unlock growth in education and workforce training by integrating the knowledge and skills of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in ways that expand college and career choices for students.

Where can I find this report?

The complete STEM Navigators to the Future report can be found at

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