Michael brings life experience in business, theatre, and education along with academic credentials that include a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Master of Education in Communication Arts and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatrical Directing.
Michael's background falls into three broad periods of activity. From 1988 through 2000 he was the General Manager and a partner in Kapers for Kids, Inc. - a company providing educational products to home based day care centers. Kapers for Kids employed about twenty-five folks doing everything from light assembly to operating the in-house printing press to customer service and marketing. With an annual revenue stream of over $1.5 million and two challenging organizational transitions it was a place in which Michael learned a great deal about business management. Michael provided leadership that enabled the business to transform to a new operation under the name Funsteps, Inc., under which it continues to this day.
From 2001 through 2013 Michael worked for Roseville Area Schools as a teacher, staff development coordinator and the Artistic Director of the RAHS Drama program. He taught English, Speech and Theatre and was deeply involved in pedagogical studies and education reform. At the same time, Michael was increasingly involved in theatre both within the school district and with his community theatre, Eat Street Players.
In 2013, Michael returned to school to obtain his MFA in Director so that he could teach and direct at the college and professional level. Having completed that degree in May, 2016, Michael is excited to be in Manitowoc teaching at the University of Wisconsin campus here and investigating this exciting new opportunity in Tisch Mills.
For a more complete biography and CV, visit his website:
Catherine brings life experience in public relations, non-profit administration and a wide range of professional adventures. Catherine has a passion for enriching the lives of the people in her community. Her years participating actively in the business and cultural life of Manitowoc County, combined with her studies in International Relations and Journalism, make her the perfect partner for this project.
Born and raised in Manitowoc, Catherine attended Baylor University and graduated from the UW Madison with a B.A. in International Relations and a concentration in Journalism. Catherine served as the Public Relations Director for the Foreign Affairs Association at Baylor, was the Cross-Cultures Chair for the Wisconsin Union Directorate in Madison. Upon graduation Catherine spent 6 months visiting development projects throughout India and Nepal.
Catherine worked in Washington D.C. for The Nature Conservancy, and for Winrock International Institute for Agriculture and Development where she coordinated international conferences and other special events, including a luncheon for President Corazon Aquino honoring NGOs in the Philippines.
Catherine returned to her hometown to raise her family in the 1990s. She has volunteered her skills and time with the Manitowoc Historical Society, the Girl Scouts, Mainly Manitowoc, The Wisconsin Maritime Museum, The United Way, Rotary and other civic groups. She currently serves on the boards of Hope House and the Manitowoc County Board of Realtors. She began a career in Real Estate in 1995 and joined Keller Williams Realty – Green Bay in 2014. Real estate has given her the opportunity to meet many great people and introduce them to the Lakeshore area.
Catherine was a Group XVII fellow of the UW-Madison Extension's Leadership Wisconsin Signature Program, and has also recently assisted several Milwaukee-based film companies with for-profit and non-profit productions including securing investors, site location, securing extras and other logistics.
Catherine's has a passion for the arts in many forms and has personally dabbled in photography, writing, jewelry making and spending a little time on stage.