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Executive Committee

Legacy Communities

The Green Tier Legacy Communities are fortunate to have the expertise of the Executive Committee to help guide member's efforts. The Executive Committee is comprised of NGO representatives from 1000 Friends of Wisconsin, The League of Wisconsin Municipalities, The Wisconsin Counties Association, Slipstream and the Center on Wisconsin Strategy. Municipal and county representatives also serve on the Executive Committee. Executive Committee representatives meet once a month and seek to leverage the network to provide ample opportunities and resources to all members.

Bayfield County
Mark Abeles-Allison

Mark Abeles-Allison is a native of Michigan. He attended Kalamazoo College and Michigan State University for his degree in Political Science and Masters in Agricultural Economics. After college he served in the US Peace Corps in Mali West Africa. Mark has held positions in City Management in Kansas and Michigan before moving to Wisconsin. He currently holds the position of county administrator for Bayfield County. Mark is a board member for the Chequamegon Food Cooperative, the Northwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Fund loan committee and the Bayfield County, Emergency Food and Shelter Program Board. Mark also serves on the Chequamegon Bay Area Community Fund and as a member of several county committees. Mark has a passion for alternate and renewable energies. Mark and wife Lisa live in Washburn and have three children, Elle, Bria and Tianse.

City of Eau Claire
Ned Noel

The city of Eau Claire has been a Green Tier Legacy Community since 2012. Eau Claire County also joined the Legacy Communities Charter in 2015.

Ned Noel, city of Eau Claire, associate planner, has been a city planner for over 15 years. He has worked in both Twin Cities and Eau Claire markets as a municipal planner. He specializes in sustainability for the city of Eau Claire, working on clean energy and climate change for the community and city operations.

He graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a degree in geography/urban planning.

City of Sheboygan

Chad Pelishek, city of Sheboygan, director of planning & development

Chad Pelishek

Mr. Pelishek has been with the city of Sheboygan for the past 11 years of which eight of those years have been as the director of planning and development. Mr. Pelishek oversees all aspects of planning, development and building inspection services with an emphasis in economic development and sustainability. He graduated from University of Wisconsin - Green Bay with an environmental and policy degree. The city of Sheboygan has been involved in Green Tier for the past three years.

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities
Curt Witynski

The League of Wisconsin Municipalities was created on December 14, 1898 to help Wisconsin cities and villages share ideas and learn from one another, to train and provide information to the people elected and appointed to govern those cities and villages, and to advocate on their behalf with the Wisconsin Legislature, Governor and state agencies.

Curt Witynski is the deputy executive director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities. His primary responsibility is to represent the interests of Wisconsin cities and villages in the state capitol. Before becoming deputy executive director, Curt served as the League’s Legal Counsel for eight years. Mr. Witynski writes the Legislative Bulletin and Capitol Buzz for municipal officials. He has given presentations and written numerous articles on many aspects of municipal law. He is the co-author of several guidebooks for local officials published by the League. Mr. Witynski served on the Board of Directors of Creative Community Living Services, Inc., for six years and is a former member of the City of Madison Zoning Board of Appeals. He is a graduate of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School where he graduated with honors.

Wisconsin Counties Association

Keith Langenhahn has been involved in local, state and national government for over 30 years. As a Field Service Representative for Wisconsin Counties Association Keith’s job duties include supporting all Association initiatives, giving actionable feedback, sharing best practices and serving as an advocate and information source for the association. He attends County Planners, Code Administrators, Land Conversation, Regional Planning Commission and any other county-related meetings.

Keith Landenhahn

Prior to joining WCA as a Field Service Representative, Keith served on the Marathon County Board from 1988-2012; including serving as chairman from 1998-2012. In his role at Marathon County Board Chair, Keith served on the WCA Board of Directors, including one year as president of the Association. He was also active with the National Association of Counties (NACo) Board of Directors, serving from 2007-2012. Keith also served as the Chairman for the NACo Committee on Agriculture and Rural Affairs; was the NACo Rural Action Caucus Chair and served on the NACo Executive Committee, representing 11 states in the Central Region. Keith continues to serve his community and is the Town of Marathon Chairman, a position he’s held since 1979. He also holds several other local and state positions

When he is not busy with government issues, he spends time with his wife, Paula and their three sons and grandson.

Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS)
Katya Spear

Center on Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) COWS based at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, COWS is a national think-and-do tank that promotes “high road” solutions to social problems. These treat shared growth and opportunity, environmental sustainability, and resilient democratic institutions as necessary and achievable complements in human development. COWS is nonpartisan but values-based. We seek a world of equal opportunity and security for all.

Katya Spear works primarily on energy, climate, transportation, data literacy, health, and land use policy as a Senior Associate at COWS and its flagship program for US mayors, the Mayors Innovation Project. Her work is focused on local policy levers to make systematic changes towards more sustainable, equitable, and resilient cities. Katya has prior experience in reporting, public policy, public engagement, and local government.


Slipstream creates, tests, delivers and scales the next generation of energy efficiency and renewable energy programs that move us farther, faster toward a clean energy economy. Slipstream partners with utilities, local and state governments, regulatory agencies and other organizations to inspire new solutions to big energy challenges. With 39 years of experience demonstrating “what’s next” in programs and technologies, Slipstream is an established and trusted trailblazer in the industry.

Tom Meyers

Tom Myers, client services director, is a forward-thinking, goal-driven business professional with a MBA from the University of WI Madison and more than 20 years of experience leading business development efforts in the public and private sectors. He is a strong team leader well-versed in energy and financial management, municipal utilities and government, budgeting, operations, sales, environmental and social responsibility, and sustainability.

Tom is responsible for achieving overall client satisfaction through operational excellence, contract management, profitability and revenue attainment goals for assigned accounts. Other responsibilities include identifying and securing new business opportunities, capital sourcing, and strategic planning and development among internal and external partners.

1000 Friends of Wisconsin
Deborah Nemeth

Deborah Nemeth has worked in both the public and private sector. She was a small business owner for many years. After finishing her graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she worked for Congressman Les Aspin and then went on to work in the Wisconsin state senate as a policy adviser. She served as director of development and communications for The Nature Conservancy – Wisconsin Chapter before a short retirement spent traveling. Deb was a founding board member of 1000 Friends and has served on a number of other non-profit boards. She joined the staff of 1000 Friends as the development director and in 2017 she took over the reins as executive director.

1000 Friends of Wisconsin
City of Sheboygan
League of WI Municipalities
City of Eau CLaire
WI Counties Association
Bayfield County
DNR Contact
Jennifer Feyerherm
Environmental Assistance Coordinator
Additional resources