Wisconsin Economic Development Association Announces New President and CEO

The Wisconsin Economic Development Association (WEDA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Mary Perry as the organization’s president and chief executive officer. Perry brings years of economic development experience, expertise, and leadership to the position. She will officially join WEDA on January 18, 2021.

Perry comes to WEDA from her role as Senior Director of Business & Investment Attraction at the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC), the state authority that leads Wisconsin’s economic development efforts. Prior to her nearly 10 years at WEDC, including time as Senior and Regional Economic Development Director, she worked at WEDC’s predecessor agency, the Wisconsin Department of Commerce for almost a decade.

Perry, who is a Certified Economic Developer (CEcD) and holds a bachelor’s degree from Ottawa University, says she is excited for the opportunity to build on the past success of WEDA and lead the organization as it continues to help grow Wisconsin’s diverse economy. “As a WEDA member for many years, I have long relied on the organization to maintain valuable professional relationships and have a deep appreciation for its programming and resources,” said Perry. “I am both humbled and honored to join WEDA and continue advancing economic development in Wisconsin.”

WEDA Board Chair Bob Dennik, who worked closely with the Board to bring Perry onboard as president and CEO, says he is thrilled by the hire. “Mary is a tremendous addition to the WEDA family, and we look forward to her leadership and guidance as we continue to grow and improve as an organization.”

Perry is taking over from Brian Doudna, who served as WEDA’s executive director from September 2014 to October 2020 and is now leading the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation.