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Thrive Economic Development Names New President

Thrive Economic Development (ThriveED) has named a new president. Deb Reinbold, who has been serving as the organization’s interim president since Vicki Pratt left the position to relocate in May, will lead the organization’s strategic economic and community development efforts, which are focused on Greater Jefferson County. Reinbold will also serve as Executive Director of the Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium (JCEDC), ThriveED’s public sector partner entity. The Jefferson County Board of Supervisors approved the appointment at its November 15 meeting.

Reinbold joined the organization in June of 2020 as Managing Director of Business Development. Her previous roles include Director of Business Development for American Companies, a West Bend-based construction management firm, and Business Solutions Specialist for Economic Development Washington County (EDWC). Reinbold was also a licensed real estate agent for 10 years and worked for Milwaukee Metro MLS. She has a BA from the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater.

“Deb has demonstrated that she has the experience and insight necessary to be successful in this role,” notes Ben Wehmeier, Jefferson County Administrator. “As interim president, she has made great strides in advancing the organization’s goals and we look forward to building on those efforts.”

ThriveED presented a new strategic focus at its annual meeting in October. With the new focus, the organization will continue the traditional economic development work of retaining and attracting businesses to Greater Jefferson County, but will also focus on housing and workforce, issues that have become increasingly important for both employers and municipalities.

“Deb’s work with developers has already generated significant interest in our region,” says David Schroeder, president of the ThriveED Board of Directors and owner of Thermo-Tech Mechanical Insulation in Watertown. “With her leadership, ThriveED will help cultivate smart growth and support the development of diverse housing choices for people at all stages of life.”

Collaboration and partnerships will feature heavily in ThriveED’s work going forward. The organization, which was formed in 2016, has three staff members, with plans to add a fourth early next year.

“Relationship-building is a key component of this role and Deb has already created solid partnerships that will help further the common goal of creating a prosperous Greater Jefferson County Region,” notes Fort Atkinson City Manager Rebecca Houseman LeMire. LeMire chairs the JCEDC, and along with Schroeder and other officers from both the JCEDC and ThriveED boards, was part of the executive committee tasked with hiring the new leader.

Reinbold was elected to the Wisconsin Rural Partners, Inc. (WRP) Board of Directors in June 2022. WRP serves as a network hub for organizations and government agencies working to make rural Wisconsin a better place. She has also been an active participant in several business and community organizations, including the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), NAIOP Commercial Real Estate Development Association, Commercial Association of REALTORS®Wisconsin (CARW), Bread Basket Food Pantry and Leadership Watertown.

“Economic development is an important piece of the overall health of a community, and I am thrilled to be part of the team at such an exciting and pivotal time,” says Reinbold.

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