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Announcing StartingBlock’s Next Executive Director: Nora Roughen-Schmidt

During a time of such uncertainty, it’s reassuring to welcome an innovative leader with such vision. Our world is a very different place than just a few months ago and there is a lot of change happening all around us. Even though it can be uncomfortable, disruption like this can be a good thing. It changes the status quo, makes new opportunities accessible to more people, and can ultimately lead to a better tomorrow. 

StartingBlock was founded on entrepreneurial values to help companies think big and fear less. Now is a great time for us all to embrace those principles to tackle the big economic and social challenges in front of us. Entrepreneurs thrive in disruption and uncertainty. Entrepreneurs are eternal optimists and see big problems as big opportunities. It’s time to build the future we want to see. We are excited that Nora will lead StartingBlock’s next chapter to help accomplish that.

Nora officially joins StartingBlock July 13th. She brings years of experience in economic development, teambuilding, marketing and much more.  She was most recently the Executive Director of Viroqua Chamber of Commerce – Main Street where she was responsible for creating a business climate for entrepreneurs and startups while promoting the “Driftless lifestyle”.  Nora is a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, was named a Rising Star of the Coulee Region and has assisted approximately 20 communities in launching economic development efforts.  

Nora succeeds Chandra Miller Fienen who has played a crucial role in making StartingBlock a reality since joining the project early on and becoming Executive Director in 2018. Chandra was responsible for completion of the StartingBlock building project, opening the space on day one, establishing the community, setting up operations, and so much more. 

Please join me in welcoming Nora to StartingBlock!

Forrest Woolworth

StartingBlock Madison Board Chair

Press Contact Information:

Mark Richardson 

StartingBlock Board Member, Hiring Committee Leader

Forrest Woolworth

StartingBlock Board Chair


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