Mid-America Board Member Spotlight: Tina Chitwood
Thursday, June 16, 2022
Meet Tina Chitwood, Wisconsin Director
Tell us about yourself! How long have you been on the Mid-America EDC board?
I’ve been on the Board of MAEDC for 1 ½ years. I’m a collaborator. I find the most joy in my life and work when I’m able to connect the dots to make the most complex economic development deals come to life, as well as when I’m able to manage the busy social and sports calendars of my three children, husband, dog and myself!
Tell us about the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and your role as Senior Economic Development Director.
WEDC is a nimble, creative, smart and dedicated team that is focused on advancing the success of the communities, organizations and businesses we touch each day. Our goals are to build up strong businesses, support communities to thrive, advance a skilled and fulfilled workforce, and advance the high quality of life that exists in the state. I get the pleasure of working with a team of 23 individuals who live in all parts of the state and work directly with growing businesses and communities. My team and I work alongside our economic development partners to qualify businesses for refundable tax credits, and we work with communities to access grants and programming to fill the gaps in funding their redevelopment and infill projects. Especially those communities with a focus on historic preservation, central business district enhancements, brownfields redevelopment, and diverse business development focus.
What are your economic development specialties?
I’m great at collaborating with partners to leverage a projects capital stack alongside of WEDC’s financial resources. I enjoy working with local and regional economic development teams, site selectors and incentive consultants, as well as with other state agencies to make projects come to fruition. I’ve managed revolving loan funds, large and small tax credit deals, a Main Street community, and many deals with complex financial stacks. The knowledge I bring to any project due to my extensive economic and community development experience to build up the economy of our state is among my strengths.
What are your favorite places and things to do in Milwaukee and Wisconsin?
I’ve lived in all parts of the state for my entire life, from the driftless region untouched by the glacier during the Ice Age to the rolling farm fields. I’m now raising my family in the most populated area of the state, the metro-Milwaukee region in southeastern Wisconsin. Being married to a high school football coach and raising a son who plays both football and wrestles, some of our favorite things to do are to attend UW-Wisconsin Badger football games. We’ll park the car about a mile away from the stadium, jump on our bikes and take the bike trail to the stadium, stopping at our favorite eateries along the way. I’m also a mother of two daughters who are aspiring golfers. Wisconsin is a great state for golf and we recently hosted the Ryder Cup in 2021. We have a rustic cabin located on Wisconsin’s oldest golf course, and when we aren’t hiking in the woods or playing in the lake at the cabin, our family is golfing.
What's one thing everyone should know about Wisconsin?
Wisconsin is a great place all around. The state’s comprehensive approach to economic development is rooted in the economic well-being of all our citizens. That economic well-being depends on the work we do at WEDC to promote financial stability, access to education, available health care, a sound environment and a strong infrastructure to those living and working in Wisconsin. Wisconsin ranks first among states for the share of pandemic funds allocated to businesses, and second among states for the share of funds allocated to economic development.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m now addicted to working out at a Burn Boot Camp gym and since joining in January, I’ll average about 3-5 days a week of some really killer workouts. I balance the workouts by drinking plenty of Wisconsin-based craft brews and eating plenty of Wisconsin-made cheese at the many music festivals and concerts held throughout the year. Of course, I eat cheese, a lot of cheese, I do live in Wisconsin!