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Forward Janesville Staff

Meet the Forward Janesville Staff and get to know us better!

Angela Pakes
Angela Pakes
President and CEO

Angela Pakes, P.E. is the President and CEO for Forward Janesville, Inc. where she leads private sector economic and community development efforts to ensure the continued health and prosperity of business and industry in Janesville and Rock County. Angela grew up in Rock County, and her family is very happy to have her back home.

Prior to joining Forward Janesville, Angela spent 16 years at UW-Madison where she led the planning, design and construction of several large campus revitalization projects, was a founding member of the UW Office of Sustainability, led two engineering research centers and helped faculty with their large-scale grant proposals and outreach efforts with industry. Early in her career, Angela quickly became an expert in environmental due diligence practices and large facility and infrastructure decommissioning. Later as an engineer at Ford Motor Company, Angela led facility construction and engineering projects across North America, including brownfield developments and the construction of Fairlane Green, the largest US retail center constructed on a former landfill site. Angela used Lean engineering, Six-sigma and LEED design principles and practices, and led a revitalized branding and marketing design initiative for Ford’s retail facilities worldwide.

Connect with Angela on LinkedIn

Jenny Tschudy
Megan Matuszeski
Director of Events & Member Services

Megan Matuszeski has spent her 20-year career in the corporate wellness and benefits field as a strategic, innovative, and data focused well-being professional who builds relationships by creating trust and empowering others to thrive and be at their best. She has a bachelor's degree in Health Promotion & Wellness and a master's degree in Health Education. Megan’s professional experiences include program management (including creation, implementation, and evaluation), vendor management, community/business relationship development, event planning, and one-on-one coaching/advising. Before joining Forward Janesville, Megan was the Director of Wellness at the Fiserv corporate headquarters in Brookfield where she was viewed as a collaborative partner focused on improving the well-being of others.  

In 2004, Megan and her husband, Jesse, decided to call Janesville their home. After three years of living in Janesville, they relocated due to a career shift. Thankfully, another career opportunity brought them back to Janesville in 2015!

Megan spends her time with her husband, friends, family, and their two dogs, Roxy and Punky - she loves to hike and be outdoors as much as possible. She also is an avid reader, a beginner photographer, and considers herself a mocha connoisseur. She is excited to work at Forward Janesville and is looking forward to helping the community she calls "home" to grow and prosper.

Lindsay Cole
Lindsay Cole
Director of Operations

In her role as Director of Operations at Forward Janesville, Lindsay performs a wide variety of duties including bookkeeping for Forward Janesville and Forward Foundation and providing administrative support for ARISENow and the JOIN Janesville Young Professionals group.

She loves being a member of JOIN Janesville and enjoys the opportunity to meet and connect with new people and learn about what's going on in and around Janesville.

Claire Gray

Claire Gray
Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives

Claire Gray is Director of Policy & Strategic Initiatives at Foward Janesville, Inc (FJI). She supports the organization's policy objectives and buttresses FJI's key projects, many of which focus on education and economic development. Claire is a driven professional with workplace experience in sourcing and category management for a regional supermarket retailer and non-profit fundraising and program management for an international education non-profit.  Her professional background shifted from the non-profit industry to corporate sourcing and category management due to her interest in, and passion for, local, responsible and sustainable supply chains. She received her MBA from the Grainger Center for Supply Chain Management at UW-Madison in 2013 and her undergraduate degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Studies from Macalester College (St. Paul, MN) in 2006.

In 2015, Claire stepped away from formal employment to raise her children. She remained active in the community through volunteer board positions on the Children's Museum of Rock County (CMRC), the Business Improvement District (BID) in Downtown Janesville, and the MOMS Club of Rock County. She joined the FJI team in Fall 2022 and supported the organization's process improvements and execution on events and communications prior to becoming the Directory of Policy & Strategic Initiatives. 

Eric Schmoldt

Eric Schmoldt
Director of Business Development & Marketing

Eric Schmoldt is Director of Business Development & Marketing at Forward Janesville. He works to build relationships with and support our members through FJI's mission, and he also coordinates content for our various channels of communication. Prior to assuming this role, he spent the past several years as a Forward Janesville Ambassador, including serving as vice chair in 2023. 

Eric is a lifelong storyteller with extensive experience in journalism and communications, as well as digital and content marketing, social media and public relations. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is currently serving as an Adjunct Instructor, teaching a journalism course in the fall semester of 2023. Born and raised in Janesville, Eric spent a handful of years out-of-state before returning to Janesville, where he currently resides with his wife and two daughters, in 2013. 

Connect with Eric on LinkedIn.

Claire Olsen
Latinx Business Outreach Coordinator

Claire Olsen is thrilled to be working with Forward Janesville as the Latinx Business Outreach Coordinator. With an undergraduate degree in Spanish, a Master's in Business, and a Master Life Coach certification from Elementum Life Coaching Institute, she is passionate about empowering both individuals and businesses. As a Janesville native, she is excited to see the eagerness of her local community to embrace diversity, inclusion and heart-centered leadership. ¡Adelante, Janesville!

Claire Olsen está encantada de trabajar con Forward Janesville como coordinadora del Consejo Empresarial Latinx. Con una licenciatura en Español, una Maestría en Negocios y una certificación de Master Life Coach de Elementum Life Coaching Institute, le apasiona empoderar tanto a individuos como a empresas. Como nativa de Janesville, le emociona ver el entusiasmo de su comunidad local por adoptar la diversidad, la inclusión y el liderazgo centrado en el corazón. ¡Adelante, Janesville!