BizStarts names new executive director

Lundberg replaces Davidson in leadership role


The board of directors of Milwaukee entrepreneurship assistance organization BizStarts Inc. has named Elizabeth Lundberg executive director, effective Dec. 1.

Dan Steininger and Elizabeth Lundberg.

She succeeds Jacquin Davidson, who departed BizStarts at the end of 2016.

Lundberg was hired one year ago as director of operations at the nonprofit, which coaches entrepreneurs on forming and growing their startups. She previously ran the Milwaukee Real Estate Investors Association as director of operations from 2014 to 2016. Lundberg has also worked as a small business consultant and as a holistic health and lifestyle coach, as project manager at Vangard Concept Offices, and in retail logistics management at Old Navy and Steve and Barry’s University Sportswear. She has launched two startups, both now defunct: Vermont-based granola maker Tastes Like Happy, and an unnamed Milwaukee-based healthy food delivery service. Lundberg has a bachelor’s degree in marketing and Spanish from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

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“2017, working as director of operations, there’s a lot of great opportunities working specifically with Dan in leading the organization and working with the board,” Lundberg said. “We’ve established a stronger foundation and just having the opportunity to take on that leadership role to extend that. (Now) I have more direct ownership over all the operations, our budget, as well as overseeing our coaching program.”

Lundberg’s goals for the organization include continuing its outreach to low and moderate wealth households, strengthening its partnership with Launch MKE, and furthering its economic impact in Milwaukee, she said.

Lundberg also hopes to add more contracted entrepreneur coaches. There are currently two coaches, one of which is president Dan Steininger, and she has hired two interns to staff the organization.

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“Our goal is to expand up to 40 hours per week of coaching availability in 2018,” Lundberg said. “That means face-to-face coaching. We currently offer around 12 to 20 hours a week of the one-on-one coaching.”

Steininger said when he hired Lundberg as director of operations, he set out a list of benchmarks for her to meet to be appointed executive director and she has passed the test.

“She cares passionately about it and that’s important,” he said. “Part of her responsibility as executive director is fund development. That’s never been her history, she’s not done it, so I told her, ‘Here’s the benchmarks.’ She proved to me she can ask for a check and help people understand our mission.”

The board of directors has provided nothing but positive feedback on Lundberg’s work, Steininger said.

“She’s earned it the old fashioned way by proving she can do the job,” he said.

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