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Laura Bray Named MATC's Vice President of College Advancement and External Communications
Feb. 27, 2017
Milwaukee Area Technical College recently named Laura Bray to the newly created position of vice president of college advancement and external communications. She directs the MATC Foundation and leads the college’s Communications and Events Department. Beginning in July, she also will oversee MATC’s Office of Workforce Solutions, which provides customized training for area businesses; and Office of Grants Development.
Bray has spent most of her career building public-private collaborative teams to deliver results in community and economic development. She most recently served as principal of Rise Consulting, LLC, providing strategic planning, talent recruitment and fund development consulting services.
“MATC is redefining the future of higher education by creating affordable, accessible pathways to family-sustaining employment,” said Dr. Vicki Martin, MATC president. “We welcome Laura Bray and her expertise in economic development and fundraising to our executive team."
As executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners, Inc., from 2004-2014, she led the non-profit agency coordinating the Menomonee Valley’s revitalization. During her tenure, the valley experienced $1 billion worth of new investments and the creation of more than 5,000 new family-supporting jobs. She also co-led a successful $25 million fundraising campaign to complete the complete the Hank Aaron State Trail, Three Bridge Park and a branch of the Urban Ecology Center.
Bray said, "With new initiatives like the MATC Promise, it is an exciting time to join MATC. The college is a driving force for the region to prepare students for some of the fastest-growing and most in-demand jobs in our region. I am looking forward to engaging industry partners and civic leaders to prepare students today for the jobs and workplaces of tomorrow."
Her background is deep and varied. She has served in leadership roles at BioForward, Inc.; the City of Milwaukee’s Department of City Development; and Local Initiative Support Corporation in Milwaukee and Bridgeport, Conn.; as well as project management positions at Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and Consensus Organizing Institute.
Bray began her career as a community organizer through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Bridgeport, Conn. A Milwaukee native, Bray holds an executive MBA and a bachelor’s degree in public relations and political science from Marquette University.
Among the many awards and honors she received are the Daniel Burnham Visionary Award, Milwaukee Riverwalk District (2014); the MANDI Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award, Three Bridges Park (2014); and the Frank Kirkpatrick Award from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation (2012).