The Wisconsin Policy Research Institute Inc., established in 1987, is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit Institute working to engage and energize Wisconsinites and others in discussions and timely action on key public policy issues critical to the State’s future, its growth and prosperity. The Institute’s research and public education activities are directed to identify and promote public policies in Wisconsin which are fair, accountable and cost effective.
Through original research and analysis and through public opinion polling, the Institute’s work will focus on such issue arenas as state and local government tax policy and spending and related program accountability, consequences and effectiveness. It will also focus on health care policy and service delivery; education; transportation and economic development; welfare and social services; and other issues currently or likely to significantly impact the quality of life and future of the State.
The Institute is guided by a belief that competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative, and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life.
The WPRI Board:
James R. Klauser, Chairman
James R. Klauser was senior vice president at Wisconsin Energy Corp., retiring in April 2007. Prior to joining Wisconsin Energy corp., he was senior partner with the law firm of Dewitt Ross and Stevens. Jim served as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration from 1986-1996 under Governor Tommy Thompson. He was special counsel to the Governor from 1994 to 1996.
Jim served on numerous boards, commissions and committees. He was a consultant from 1992 to 1996 for the republican national Committee and republican Governors Association. He served as general chairman of the Thompson for Governor Committee. He also served as co-chairman of the Bush for president-Wisconsin committee in 2000 and as Chairman in 2004.Jim is a member of the board of regents of the Milwaukee school of Engineering and a member of the board of trustees at Carthage College. Jim received a B.S. in 1961, a J.D. in 1964 and a M.A. in public law in 1968, all from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Among his many awards for achievement and service, Jim was presented the Bundesverdienstkreuz (the German Service Cross, 1st Class or knight’s Cross) in April 2001, recognizing his personal service in relation to the reconstruction of Germany. It is the highest recognition that the Federal Republic of Germany confers.
David Baumgarten serves as the President of Bank Mutual. David has held the position of Executive Vice President for Associated Banc-Corp overseeing Associated’s eight banking regions within Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, President of Southeast Wisconsin Associated Bank, President and CEO of US Bank, Wisconsin, President and CEO of US Bank, Colorado, and Senior Vice president of First Bank Minneapolis, Minnesota. David Baumgarten graduated with a MBA and a BBA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He serves on the boards of the Metro Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Milwaukee Redevelopment Corporation, Wisconsin Procurement institute, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee and Athletes for Youth.
Catherine C. Dellin
Catherine Dellin is the president of the Camp 5 Museum Foundation, Laona, Wisconsin. The Foundation operates the Laona & Northern Railroad, the "Lumberjack Steam Train," which runs to the Wisconsin Forestry Museum and attractions on the site of an old logging camp and lumber company farm. The complex is on the Register of National Historic Places.
Mrs. Dellin started a game farm at Heritage Acres Farm in Laona, which is open to the public. In 1985, Mrs. Dellin open Knightsbridge Antiques in Winnetka, Illinois, specializing in 18th Century and early 19th Century furniture, porcelain and engravings. Knightsbridge antiques is still in operation.
Early volunteer work includes the United Way of Glencoe, Illinois, where Mrs. Dellin served as s chairman of fundraising and as president, and as founding member and president of Willow-Wood Pre-School in Winnetka, Illinois.
Thomas J. Howatt
Tom Howatt is Chairman of the Board of Directors of Wausau Paper Corp. and was previously its President and Chief Executive Officer from 2000 to 2011.
Mr. Howatt graduated from Purdue University in 1972 with a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Management and received a master’s degree from the Krannert School of Management in 1973.
Mr. Howatt is past chairman of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce and the Wisconsin Paper Council. He currently serves on the Purdue University Krannert School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council and the Board of Directors of the Woodson YMCA Foundation and Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum Foundation.
Michael T. Jones
Mike earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981 and a Jurisprudence Doctorate from Marquette University in 1984.
While attending Marquette University Law School Mike began working for Miller Brewing Company in 1982 as an intern and then joined the company full time as an attorney after graduating from law school in 1984. Over the years he rotated through a number of positions of increasing responsibility in the Legal Department. From 2002-2008 he was Senior Vice President - General Counsel and Secretary of Miller Brewing Company. After the merger of Miller Brewing Company and Coors Brewing Company in 2008, Mike was appointed as Vice President-Corporate Affairs for MillerCoors based in Milwaukee.
After a 30 year career, Mike Jones retired from MillerCoors in August of 2012. Mike continues to be involved in a number of community and civic organizations including St. Charles Youth and Family Services, Inc. (Chairman), Milwaukee Academy of Science (Chairman), the Milwaukee Public Museum (Chairman), and the Creative Alliance of Milwaukee (Co-Chair). Mike is also on the Board of Directors of North Shore Bank, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, and the Board of Advisors for Marquette Law School and the University of Wisconsin College of Letters and Science.
Mike has three grown children and lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
David J. Lubar
David Lubar is president of Lubar & Co., a private investment firm founded in 1977 whose investment activities include acquisitions of middle market operating companies as well as growth financings for emerging businesses.
Mr. Lubar serves on the Boards of Directors of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Marshall & Ilsley Corporation (NYSE: MI), the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team, as well as many private companies. Mr. Lubar is also on the Board of several not-for-profit organizations, including University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Foundation, University School of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Froedtert & Community Health System, Milwaukee Jewish Federation, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, and United Way of Greater Milwaukee.
Previously, Mr. Lubar spent five years with Norwest Bank N.A. in Minneapolis in the commercial and correspondent banking departments. Mr. Lubar received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and an MBA from the University of Minnesota. He resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his wife and three children.
Mrs. Oster is one of the female pioneers in the industry, having spent over 35 years managing a diverse range of funds and fund managers. As the President of a small family of funds in a period of explosive industry growth, she kept her funds competitive in terms of both investment performance and shareholder communications. As a manager and later trustee for one of America's largest public pension funds, she chaired the committee of the board that instituted incentive compensation System. She also chaired the board committee that brought international holdings into the portfolio for the first time, far ahead of other public pension funds.
When she and Lipper Advisory Services, Inc. founded MBO Advisors, LLC, Mrs. Oster envisioned a firm that would deliver financial services to its clients regardless of who provided them and how they were packaged. The merger with Cleary Gull Inc. in 2003 brought depth of infrastructure to MBO Advisors and investment experience to Cleary Gull. Mrs. Oster also serves on Cleary Gull Holdings' Board of Directors and as an officer of Lipper Advisory Services where MBO Cleary Advisors serves as sub-advisor. In addition, she leads the team as advisor to L&S Partners I, LLC.
Mrs. Oster has served as President and Director of Heritage Investment Advisors, Inc., the Newton Funds (acquired by Marshall & Ilsley Corp. in 1985), Director and member of the Executive Committee of the No Load Mutual Fund Association, a Trustee of the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (one of America’s largest public pension funds), Director of Milwaukee Insurance (now part of Unitrin), President and Director of Johnson Asset Management, Director of Johnson International, Inc., and President and Founder of MBO Advisors, LLC.
Mrs. Oster holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and is a member of the CFA Institute, trustee of Cardinal Stritch University, member of the Marquette University Business Advisory Council, member and past President and Director of the Milwaukee Investment Analysts Society. She has served on various foundation boards, CFA Institute committees and has experience as a director and fiduciary of both not-for-profit and for-profit organizations.
Mrs. Oster writes about investment issues for the Journal of Pension Benefits several times a year. She has spoken on numerous occasions as part of Continuing Education Seminars at CFA Institute Conferences and to clients and memberships of numerous companies and associations.
Tim currently serves as President for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, a 148-year-old organization whose mission is to support its business membership through strategies that develop the region as a world-class place to invest capital, develop business, and create jobs.
The Association membership is representative of the broad range of businesses in the region employing more than 300,000 people and responsible for exporting more than a $1.5 billion in goods and services.
The Association delivers value to its investor members and the community by serving as the lead business advocate on public policy issues, by driving regional economic development, and by delivering high quality business networking programs.
Tim is in his 16th year as President of MMAC. He joined the Association as Director of Governmental Affairs in 1983, and has also served as Vice-President for Economic Development, and as Executive Vice President. Prior to joining MMAC, he was Legislative Assistant to U.S. Congressman F. James Sensenbrenner Jr., (former Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee) in Washington D.C.
Tim is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a B.S. in political science; he was also a recipient of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Congressional Internship, and a member of the UW’s baseball team. He is a graduate of the Institute for Organizational Management, and recently served as a Ford Foundation Fellow on Regional Sustainable Development.
He serves on numerous boards in the community including as Chairman of the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation (it has provided over $1 billion in second mortgage business financing), Summerfest (the world’s largest music festival), Milwaukee College Preparatory School (central city charter school), the United Way, and School Choice Wisconsin. He is married and has three children.
Gerald Whitburn is the Chairman, President and CEO of Church Mutual Insurance Company. He currently serves on the board and is Past Chairman of the Property Casualty Insurers Association of American (PCI) and a member of the board of Trustees of the American Institute for Charter Property Casualty Underwriters (AICPCU).
Gerald Whitburn served as Secretary of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services and held two cabinet positions in Wisconsin. From 1991 to 1995 he served as the Secretary of Health and Human Services and from July 1989 to January 1991 he served as Labor Secretary in Wisconsin. Whitburn also served for three years on the staff of the Secretary of the Navy at the Pentagon.
Gerald Whitburn received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He earned his Master of Arts degree in Political Science from the university of Wisconsin-Madison. He has studied management at the Kennedy School, the Business School at Harvard and the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
Gerald Whitburn serves on the board of the North Central Technical College Foundation. He is also the director of the Wisconsin Center for the Academically talented youth and the Natural Resources foundation.
Edward J. Zore is the retired Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Zore serves on the board of directors of Northwestern Mutual, Manpower Inc., RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. of Pembroke, Bermuda, and Frank Russell Company, Seattle, Washington. In the insurance industry, Zore served as chairman of The American Council of Life Insurers and was a member of the Financial Services Roundtable.
Zore has served as chairman of board for the Medical College of Wisconsin, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, the Greater Milwaukee Committee, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Inc., and the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee. He is a past board member of Aurora Health Care, Froedtert Hospital, Competitive Wisconsin, Indian Community School Investment Advisory Group, Lutheran Social Services, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, Puelicher Center for Banking Education, Safe & Sound, United Performing Arts Fund, UWM Foundation, and the Wisconsin Council on Economic Education.
Zore received his B.S. and M.S. in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Ave M. Bie is a partner in the public utilities and corporate practice groups of Quarles & Brady Madison, WI. Ave works on state and federal issues for clients at the firms’ six offices nationwide. She is the former Chairwoman of the Public Service Commission (PSC) of Wisconsin and has a wide range of government experience coupled with an extensive knowledge of the inner workings or government regulation and licensing. Prior to becoming the Chairwoman of the PSC, Ave served as Deputy Secretary for the Department of Corrections, the Deputy Secretary of the Department of Regulation and Licensing and the Director of Appointments for the Office of the Governor.
Ave Bie currently serves as the President of the Board of Trustees of Edgewood Campus School. Ave is a member of the board and executive committee of United Way of Dane County, a member of the St. Mary’s Foundation board and a member of the board of directors of the Green Bay Packers.
Ave graduated from the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire and received her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Jon Hammes is the Managing Partner of Hammes Company, a private investment and real estate development firm. Headquartered in Brookfield, Wisconsin, with 15 regional offices, Hammes Company provides strategic planning, facility development, project management, and real estate acquisition and advisory services to its clients in the healthcare and sport-facilities sectors.
Hammes Company was included as one of the top healthcare facility developers in the country for the tenth consecutive year by Modern Healthcare magazine. Hammes Company Healthcare serves major hospitals, healthcare systems and physician groups across the country. In addition, Hammes Company Sports Development was responsible for the development of numerous stadiums including Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin; Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan; and is currently engaged in The Meadowlands stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Mr. Hammes has been an active participant and leader in Milwaukee’s community. He is a Director of the Medical College of Wisconsin, the University of Wisconsin Foundation, the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Junior Achievement. He also serves on boards for the Greater Milwaukee Committee and WiCab, Inc.
Mr. Hammes received his BBA degree and MS degree in Real Estate and Investment Analysis from the University of Wisconsin.
George Lightbourn, President
George Lightbourn is the President of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. Prior to his current appointment, he was the Executive Vice-President of the Institute. During his career Mr. Lightbourn served two governors as Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration. He has also served on numerous boards including the Wisconsin Investment Board, the UW Hospital and Clinics Authority Board and the Board of Directors of CMC Heartland Partners based in Chicago. He currently chairs the Monona Community Development Authority and sits on the board of WCA Services, Inc. Mr. Lightbourn received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is married and has three grown children.
Christian Schneider is a fellow at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. Schneider spent eight years working for the Wisconsin State Legislature. He holds a Master's degree from Marquette University and a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Utah, both in political science. Schneider was the recipient of the 2005 Wisopinion.com "Blog of the Year" award and appears regularly on various political television programs. His columns have been featured in the New York Times and on the National Review Online. (E-mail Christian)
Sammis White, Ph.D.
David Dodenhoff, Ph.D.
David Dodenhoff received his undergraduate degree in international relations from Stanford University in 1988, and his doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan in 1996. He spent two years as a full-time fellow with the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute between 1996 and 1998, and then left for a position in the office of Arizona Governor Jane Dee Hull. Today he makes his home in Austin, Texas and serves as an editor, writer, and consultant for clients in Arizona and Wisconsin.
Ben Artz has been a research fellow at WPRI since July of 2006. After graduating from high school in Appleton in 1999, Ben studied Business-Economics at Wisconsin Lutheran College in Milwaukee and graduated with a B.S. in 2003. He later went on to school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and earned a Masters of Arts in Economics. (E-mail Ben)