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2023 Wisconsin Rural Summit Speakers

Thursday,  April 27

All sessions are held in the Lodge Ballroom, including exhibitors




The Lodge at Mauston
The Story

Wendy Murphy, Controller and CFO. Brunner Manufacturing Co Inc & Business Manager, The Lodge at Mauston

Wendy grew up in the Juneau County area and have raised her family here, appreciating the small-town values and support. She was introduced to the Hospitality industry at a young age when her parents built a small motel when she was in 2nd grade. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Finance and getting married, Wendy and her husband purchased that motel and ran it while starting her family, selling it in 1999. I enjoyed volunteering at the church, eight years on the school board and eight years on the township board during that time. After going back to school to complete my Master’s in Business, I managed a larger hotel/event center property and then accepted a position in a manufacturing company and enjoyed the change of pace. That led me to Brunner Manufacturing and the Brunner family in 2016.

Personally, she has been married for 37 years, has two children and two amazing grandsons. Her daughter is a special ed teacher in Elroy and is married to a farmer, living in Monroe County. Her son graduated from the Air Force Academy in 2014, and is currently a Captain living in Alaska.


Randy Reeg, City Administrator, City of Mauston

 Randy Reeg was born and raised in Sturgis, MI. He moved to Wisconsin for college in 1989 and has been a Wisconsin resident ever since. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Fisheries Biology from UW-Superior and an Master's Degree in Public Administration from UW-Oshkosh. He got his start in local government serving as a volunteer firefighter and on multiple municipal committees in the City of Monona from 1998-2005. He has been a professional Municipal Administrator in Wisconsin since 2004 and has specialized in managing small rural communities--having served in Necedah, Thorp, and Mauston. He has been an active member of the Wisconsin City and County Managers Association and League of Wisconsin Municipalities.

Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club

Cary Winch, Club President, Juneau County Inventors & Entrepreneurs Club

Cary worked as a Mechanical Designer and an Associate Mechanical Engineer for 13 years in the curtain wall industry and the power electronics industry before starting his own company, Petenwell Industries, with partner Mechanical Engineer, Craig Edevold. In operation for 22 years, Petenwell Industries has developed camping trailers, firearms accessories, and handicap accessibility products and has used company capabilities to create new and diverse product ideas and manufacturer products for others.

Ecosystem Building
Shari Laffredi, SCORE

Shari is an experienced IT and Project Management professional with more than 50 years of leadership experience in national and international corporations. I also started my own business 20 years ago to support a variety of ventures: IT consulting, real property management, a book, a patent and an Airbnb rental. The common thread through all of these experiences has been a drive to achieve goals in the most effective way possible, while building and nurturing a collaborative environment along the way.  Read More

Melissa Meschke, EDP
Economic Development Outreach Manager UW-Institute for Business and Entrepreneurship

Melissa enjoys working with ESOs and EDOs to expand knowledge of and access to the great resources for entrepreneurs all across the state. She discusses capacity building, especially in the rural areas, in addition to marketing strategies to reach and assist entrepreneurs and work to improve Business Retention and Expansion in an area. She also has access to incredible databases and detailed reports that can speak to funders and investors. Read More


Wisconsin Rural Partners
601 Sawyer Terrace #5184
Madison, WI 53705

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