Waukesha County Center for Growth expands Board of Directors

The Waukesha County Center for Growth, Inc. has added three new members to its board of directors: Tom Fotsch, chief operating officer and owner of EmbedTek LLC; Patti Kneiser, vice president of employer services for Froedtert Health; and Jennifer Zierer, manager of local affairs for We Energies.

Tom Fotsch is chief operating officer and owner of EmbedTek, LLC. EmbedTek designs and manufactures embedded computers and integrated displays and provides software development services for the military, medical, manufacturing, video surveillance and other industries. Prior to working with EmbedTek, Fotsch was chief operating officer of Dedicated Computing LLC. Fotsch has his accounting degree and MBA from Marquette University. Fotsch has been involved with several business and nonprofit organizations, including the Waukesha County Business Alliance, The Salvation Army, Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts, Wisconsin Air Force Academy Parents Association and several other organizations. Fotsch is also involved at the Board or advisory level in several other businesses.

Patti Kneiser serves as vice president of employer services for Froedtert Health, a Wisconsin-based regional health system. In this role, Kneiser is responsible for providing strategic direction and leadership for Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s employer services, including workplace clinics, occupational medicine and health and wellness programs offered through Workforce Health. She also is responsible for related business and strategic development initiatives to advance health system growth and effectiveness, including the development of retail clinics and other growth strategies. Kneiser has served in numerous leadership and consulting roles for Froedtert Health since 1993, having gained prior experience at Horizon Healthcare and Aurora Health Care (Wisconsin), Fletcher Allen Health Care (Vermont) and Altru Health System (North Dakota). Kneiser holds a Master of Hospital and Health Care Administration degree from the University of Minnesota and a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology from the University of North Dakota. She is board-certified in health care administration as a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. Kneiser is an active community leader, serving on the Boards of Directors of Fisher House Wisconsin, Washington and Waukesha County economic development organizations and OCD-Wisconsin.

Jennifer Zierer was named manager of local affairs for We Energies in 2017. In this role, Zierer oversees the work of the local affairs team for We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service. Zierer joined We Energies in 1998, serving as principal representative working on state governmental affairs initiatives, including Power the Future legislation. Prior to joining We Energies, Zierer worked as a policy analyst/advisor at the Wisconsin State Capitol, policy advisor to Speaker David Prosser on Miller Park legislation, and staff member for the Thompson for Wisconsin campaign. Zierer holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, with an emphasis in public relations and journalism. Zierer is a current member of the Menomonee Valley Partners board of directors, member of the Corporate Advisory Council of La Casa de Esperanza and governance committee chair of the Landmark Credit Union board. She also serves on the Waukesha County Business Alliance infrastructure committee and is a 2002 Leadership Waukesha graduate.

“Our new board members are strong business leaders in southeast Wisconsin,” said Tim Casey, director of economic development for the Waukesha County Center for Growth. “We look forward to working with each of them and our entire board to build Waukesha County’s economic development capabilities to enhance our vibrant economy.”

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