Ron Madsen joined the UNC Charlotte faculty in 1977. He teaches econometrics, economics of the firm, business and economic forecasting, labor economics, graduate research methods and economics of business decisions. Dr. Madsen has published articles and studies dealing with economic growth, forecasting and measuring the economic impact of major projects and discrimination. He works as a consultant and expert witness in labor economics, forecasting and statistical decision-making. Dr. Madsen has also presented seminars and workshops that help organizations apply the methods and theories of economics to their business problems and decisions.
Jeff Michael is director of the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute. His professional experience includes extensive work on sustainable development and land conservation issues in North Carolina, including co-founding two nonprofit organizations - the Land Trust for Central North Carolina and Central Park, N.C. Prior to UNC Charlotte, Michael was director of the Wildacres Leadership Initiative, one of the state’s premier leadership programs focusing on human relations. He also is director of the RENCI@UNC Charlotte Engagement Center, part of a larger statewide collaborative network known as the Renaissance Computing Institute, which focuses on applied research and advanced technologies to address complex problems affecting North Carolina’s quality of life.
Mary is a lifelong newspaper journalist who, as an editorial board member and columnist at The Charlotte Observer, concentrated her writing on Charlotte regional urban and suburban growth, planning, urban design, transportation and land preservation. She joined the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute in June 2011, where she works on strategic community and university partnerships and oversees the institute’s online communications.
Dennis Rash is Executive-in-Residence with the Center for Transportation Policy Studies at UNC Charlotte. He holds the rank of Visiting Professor of Transportation Studies. Rash came to the University after he retired as Senior Vice President for Corporate Real Estate Services of the Bank of America. During his tenure at the Bank and its predecessor banks, Rash, working with other senior bank executives and the Comptroller of the Currency, initiated the first community development corporation authorized by that regulator of national banks. He subsequently became the first president of the bank’s community development subsidiary.
Heather Smith is an associate professor in the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. In addition, she is director of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences urban studies minor and a faculty member in the Latin American Studies and Public Policy Ph.D. Programs. She also is a faculty research associate in UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute, where most recently she was one of the lead investigators involved in a comprehensive needs assessment for Mecklenburg County’s diverse and growing Latino communities.
Paul Wetenhall is president and executive director of the Ben Craig Center, UNC Charlotte’s business incubator. He has most recently served as president and a director of High Tech Rochester Inc. (HTR), a non-profit organization that assists researchers with technology commercialization and provides business guidance to entrepreneurs and manufacturers. He is also a lecturer in entrepreneurship at the University of Rochester’s William E. Simon Graduate School of Business. He has assisted the business development of over 100 early-stage technology clients.