Create Config
Edit Name Description Configiration Type Type

Janesville Native Shar Hermanson Named President And CEO Of Forward Janesville

JANESVILLE, Wis. (May 17, 2024) – Derek Greene, chairperson of Forward Janesville's Board of Directors, is proud to announce that Shar Hermanson will return to work in her hometown as the new President and CEO of Janesville's Chamber of Commerce and economic development leader. Hermanson replaces Oakleigh Ryan, who has served as interim CEO since February following the departure of former CEO Angela Pakes.

Hermanson most recently served as executive vice president of Mid-West Family Madison, managing eight radio stations and a digital marketing agency. Previously, Hermanson served in multiple executive-level sales and management capacities at WCLO-WJVL and The Gazette. 

"Shar's experience, demonstrated leadership capability and unique knowledge of Janesville's business community and culture positions her well to guide our organization and diverse membership; her enthusiasm and collaborative approach were apparent during the selection process," said Craig DeGarmo, chair of the Forward Janesville CEO selection committee. Forward Janesville conducted an extensive recruitment and selection process and screened over 170 applicants, including multiple rounds of interviews with key stakeholders.

Hermanson has previously served as a Forward Janesville Ambassador, as a leader in the fundraising group Girls Night Out of Rock County and on the Board of Directors of the YWCA.  

"You can't help but get excited about Shar's passion for the community," said Greene, who noted that despite being a savvy digital marketer, Shar has never had an Amazon account and exclusively supports local sports teams.

"I'm thrilled to be back in Janesville; I look forward to rolling up my sleeves and continuing the foundational work in economic development and community engagement Forward Janesville is known for," Hermanson said. “Most importantly I am excited to work with the phenomenal team that Forward Janesville has in place and the amazing network of Forward Janesville volunteers.” 

The Board of Directors voted unanimously to extend the position to Hermanson, who will start her new role by June 10 with overlap with Ryan to ensure a smooth handoff.

Greene expressed deep appreciation to Ryan, who willingly stepped in as CEO, and DeGarmo, who led the selection committee. Both are former board chairs of Forward Janesville.