John Beckord has been President of Forward Janesville since 2001. John is responsible for the overall management of the organization and economic development activities. He serves as one of the five professional economic developers responsible for executing the Rock County 5.0 initiative. John also serves on the Downtown Development Alliance Board of Directors. John has worked in the association management field for 20 years including stops in Oskaloosa, Iowa, and Iowa City. He also worked for Alliant Energy for two years as an economic developer. Prior to falling into the field of economic development John spent a few years in Washington, D.C. working first for the U.S. Department of Labor and next, for the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors.
Dan Cunningham is Forward Janesville's Vice President of Government Relations and Education, where he directs the organization’s government relations and educational outreach efforts. He lobbies lawmakers at every level of government on dozens of issues important to the area business community, including economic development and transportation. Dan is the co-founder and spokesperson of the Interstate 39/90 NOW Coalition, a group of citizens and lawmakers leading the charge to complete the $1 billion Interstate expansion project.
Prior to his service in Janesville, Cunningham was the Director of Government and Business Affairs for the Dubuque (Iowa) Area Chamber of Commerce. Before arriving in Dubuque, he was a lobbyist for the National Association of Home Builders in Washington, D.C. Dan began his career as a campaign volunteer for former United States Congressman Bob Etheridge, and rose through the ranks and eventually became one of the congressman’s senior policy advisors. He holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dan lives in Janesville with his wife Jennifer and son Chase.
Ruth Armstrong is Forward Janesville’s Office Manager and resident expert on all things financial. She handles the books for Forward Janesville, the Forward Foundation, the Leadership Development Academy, and the Westgate Business Corridor group. She also keeps our place running smoothly by paying the bills and handling all of our billing. In addition to her duties at Forward Janesville, Ruth is a Registered Yoga Teacher who holds biweekly yoga classes at her studio, Integrated Yoga in Milton. Call her at 295-5177 if you are interested in finding your center! Ruth lives in Milton with her husband Tim, her children Jake and Katie, and a small army of animals.
JoLynn Burden is Forward Janesville's Vice President of Development. In her role, she oversees membership (recruitment/retention) and also works closely with a great team of volunteer Ambassadors who are advocates for community involvement, business engagement and the Forward Janesville mission. She also manages fundraisers such as the annual awards luncheon, annual dinner, golf outing and Rock Regional Business Expo. December of 2017, JoLynn also took on the role of Director of Development & Community Engagement for AriseNow, a downtown public private partnership. Prior to joining FJI in the summer of 2014, JoLynn was the Executive Director of the Milton Area Chamber of Commerce. She also has experience in the non-profit environment working for the Boys &Girls Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters in the capacity of Resource Development and Fundraising Director. JoLynn lives in Janesville with her two children, Booker & Callie, and their three golden retrievers, Kobe, Kash & Honey. She is an active volunteer with Paddy's Paws Rescue as a foster home.
Carol Engebretson has taken on the role of the Events & Membership Coordinator, where she will be responsible for membership recruitment, membership retention, event management and working closely with the volunteer Ambassador team to oversee their projects and activities.
From 1998-2016, Carol served as the Executive Officer of the South Central Wisconsin Builders Association (SCWBA), working with many local businesses involved with the building industry and planning many association meetings and events such as SCWBA's annual Parade of Homes and Home Show. Prior to that, Carol worked at the City of Janesville for 12 years as a Permit Coordinator. Carol spent the past year as a Procurement Buyer in the nuclear world of SHINE Medical Technologies.
Carol is a life-long resident of Janesville along with her husband Bruce. They have 2 children, Chad (Bridget) an electrician and Katy, software sales in Chicago. They both adore spending time with the 4-year old granddaughter Reilly.
Jenny Tschudy joined Forward Janesville as an Administrative Assistant /Receptionist in July 2015. She handles a wide variety of tasks for the organization including, but not limited to membership data management, assists in several projects and publications and provides over-all support for staff. Jenny lives in Janesville with her husband Vern. Together they have six children, Ashley (Noah) Knoble, Lindsay Zuelke, Josh Kilcoyne, Eric Tschudy, Nick Tschudy & Tanner (Rachel) Tschudy and 5 grandchildren, Chloe, Owyn, Max, Samantha and Harper.
Carol Engebretson, Events & Membership Coordinator, email@example.com