Oct 2, 2020

New Speakers Announced for Upcoming Summit

The Madison Region Economic Partnership (MadREP) and the Urban League of Greater Madison (ULGM) have announced additional speakers for the 7th Annual Madison Region Economic Development & Diversity Summit. The event, being held virtually October 22 and 23, will feature renowned national and regional speakers, programming and networking opportunities with a focus on why embracing diversity and inclusion is integral to equitable economic development in the Madison Region. Reserve your spot today! 

Rob Franklin, Media Projects Bubblerarian, Madison Public Library

Rob Franklin is a Kennedy Center certified teaching artist for the Making Justice program, his primary focus is on creating workshops on Hip Hop, Spoken Word and Personal Branding as positive forms of self-expression. As a teaching artist Rob has held residencies with Madison youth at Huegel and Schenk Elementary Schools, Blackhawk and Toki Middle Schools, and all four high schools as well as Capital High. He has worked at several community centers, the Dane County Juvenile Detention Center, Juvenile Shelter Home, Neighborhood Intervention Program, Grow Academy, Madison Jazz Consortium and with The Black Star Drum Line. In 2016 he was named Madison Public Library’s community recipient of the Medal Of Honor for Museum and Library Services. He served as the primary teaching artist with the initial Hip Hop Architecture Camp as well as serving as a consulting social practice artist for downtown Madison’s Mifflandia Neighborhood project and currently is working with city planning as a resident artist for the Law Park Project. As a musician, he has performed with the likes of Nas, Eminem, Common, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez and others. In 2017, he was inducted to the American Folklife Center at the Library Of Congress and The National Museum of African American History and Culture as a member of The Story Corps program.

Matt Kures, Distinguished Community Development Specialist with the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Division of Extension

Matt Kures carries out the Wisconsin Idea by assisting communities and organizations through economic development policy analysis, labor force research and regional competitive analysis. Matt has worked at the University of Wisconsin since 2001. During this time he has authored numerous studies on Wisconsin’s economy and has made hundreds of presentations to local, regional and national audiences. Matt was a regular contributor to the Capitol Region Business Journal and his work is featured in numerous other business and economic development publications. Matt was named to “Madison’s 40 Under 40” by In Business magazine. In 2016, he received the Outstanding Specialist Award from UW-Extension’s Community, Natural Resource and Economic Development program. Matt has a B.S. and an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Sandra Medrano, Senior Consultant, FSG

Sandra has experience and interest in microfinance and environmentalism in cities across the U.S. She is a firm believer in the importance in uniting stakeholders and mobilizing communities to generate real solutions to social problems. Since joining FSG in the fall 2015, Sandra has supported research, analysis, and insight generation on several engagements. Her work has covered areas such as strategy development for the Nebraska Department of Education; secondary and primary research of the veteran and military family community to develop place-based engagement strategies; research and analysis to drive strategy development for a multinational corporation’s social responsibility and sustainability portfolio; and support for corporate philanthropic efforts to increase the pipeline of STEM teachers of color in the U.S. More recently, Sandra has contributed to research efforts that highlight best practices for gender equity in retail and to research and analysis that informs community-based philanthropy in San Antonio, Texas.

Karen Reece, President & Co-Founder of Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN)

Karen Reece, Ph.D., is the President and co-founder of Urban Community Arts Network (UCAN), a Madison, WI non-profit focused on professional development for urban artists and building equity in the local music and entertainment scene. Karen develops programming, writes grants and curriculum, and facilitates community organizing in the Hip-Hop community. Karen also provides program evaluation, research, and strategic support for a local nonprofit in Madison WI focused on reducing racial disparities at the systems-level.