Gina Palazzari, Director
Gina has been the Associate Director for the Institute since 1997. She oversees the administrative and financial operations of IWF, co-directs fund development and planning activities, and assists with research projects.
Gina has worked in the non-profit sector throughout her 24 year career. She has worked on a variety of issues, including hunger, poverty, housing and community development, youth intervention and grassroots organizing. Gina has designed systems for improved emergency food delivery at pantries in southeast Wisconsin and carried out a study of the extent of hunger in the Milwaukee area. Gina secured funding for a pilot program to establish medical and dental clinics and social services in three inner city Milwaukee schools.
An active volunteer on the state and local level, Gina chaired a local referendum committee and has been President of her community’s PTA. She was elected to serve on the School District of Menomonee Falls Board of Directors in 2008.
Gina received her degree in Criminal Justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and worked as a research associate in the School of Social Welfare.
Jack Norman, Ph.D., Research Director
Dr. Jack Norman has been Research Director at the Institute for Wisconsin's Future since 2000. He oversees policy research and development, especially in the areas of school finance and taxes. Jack is a frequent speaker at events statewide, and is the author of several major reports, including Wisconsin's Revenue Gap: An analysis of corporate tax avoidance (2007), Exposing the Wisconsin ‘Tax Hell’ Hoax (2005), Funding Our Future: An Adequacy Model for Wisconsin School Finance (2002) and Wisconsin Atlas of School Finance (2004). Through his writing and speaking, he has developed a reputation as one of the most recognized experts on Wisconsin school finance.
Before joining IWF, Jack was a business and local news reporter at Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Milwaukee Journal. His news reporting won local and national journalism awards, including a Gerald Loeb award for the best business journalism in the U.S. for coverage of Wisconsin-based maquiladora factories in Mexico. Jack also organized a newsroom union and served seven terms as president of the Milwaukee Newspaper Guild and four terms as an international vice president of the Newspaper Guild-Communications Workers of America AFL-CIO. He has also been a public school teacher in Pennsylvania and a university professor in Wisconsin.
Jack has a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Pittsburgh, a B.A. from Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania, and was a post-doctoral fellow in philosophy at Princeton University. He lives in Milwaukee.
Dennis Collier, Research Consultant
Dennis Collier joined IWF as a research consultant in 2008. He worked for the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s Division of Research and Policy for 19 years, 6 as an economist analyzing income, sales and other taxes and 13 as director of the Bureau of Tax and Fiscal Policy. He retired from Revenue in 2005. He has also conducted policy analysis for the Wisconsin Council on Children and Families and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, and was a newspaper reporter and editor in Hartford, Beloit and Beaver Dam.
Dennis has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and English from Marquette University, a master’s in public policy and administration from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s in religious studies from Edgewood College. He lives in Madison.
Vickie Strattner, Database & Technical
Database and technology specialist Vickie Strattner started at the Institute for Wisconsin's Future in September 1996. Although Vickie received her undergraduate degree in nursing from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, her continuing education training has been in Microsoft Access databases and web design and maintenance. She maintains the database with over 10,000 contacts and manages two websites for IWF.
During her transition from nursing to computer technology, Vickie sat on the advisory committee for a video project with the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, was the Commissioner of the Lake Park Little League, helped out with installations at both the Milwaukee Art Museum and the Milwaukee Public Museum, served on the board of a local food co-op, was a regular volunteer at Riveredge Nature Center and the Urban Ecology Center, and served on the Riverside University High School’s governance council.
Tom Beebe, Project Director, Opportunity to Learn - Wisconsin
Tom Beebe is the project director of the Wisconsin Opportunity to Learn Campaign. He is a 1967 graduate of Fort Atkinson High School and a 1971 journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1974 to 1986 he was the owner and publisher of the Fennimore Times and, in 1986, Tom was named managing editor of the Daily Jefferson County Union. In 1991, Tom went to the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) as an assistant to Superintendent Bert Grover. He also served as coordinator of Wisconsin’s “School Performance Report” and a speechwriter to Superintendent John Benson. After leaving DPI, he became the outreach coordinator for the school-funding project of the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future (IWF). This position led to the formation of the Wisconsin Alliance for Excellent Schools (WAES). In January 2008, WAES became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with Tom as the executive director. Back with IWF, Tom is currently heading up the OTL-WI campaign. Additionally, Tom served six years as a member of the Fort Atkinson School District Board.