Milwaukee-based Prism Economic Development Corp. has named Glenn Mathews, Ph.D. as its new executive director.
Mathews has worked in higher education for the past 19 years at several institutions, including Concordia University Wisconsin, University of Phoenix (Wisconsin campuses), and most recently as regional campus manager at Madison College in Watertown.
In his new role as executive director, Mathews plans to continue expanding Prism's food incubator Upstart Kitchen and its new culinary apprenticeship program, Brigade MKE, both located in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood. Mathews succeeds the organization's former leader Leo Ries.
Prism EDC was founded in 2011 by the Parklawn Assembly of God Church and aims to support economic growth and "human flourishing" within the Sherman Park community by increasing access to resources.
"I will focus on enhancing the current programs to ensure we are improving our entrepreneur members' experience and to seek out other resources for the Sherman Park community for greater self-sufficiency," said Mathews. "My goal is to see what those needs are for the community and how can Prism assist with giving them access for success."
[caption id="attachment_512604" align="alignleft" width="1280"] The UpStart Kitchen team, photo courtesy of Micaela Flores.[/caption]
Upstart Kitchen opened in September of 2020 at 4325 W. Fond du Lac Ave. The incubator provides aspiring food entrepreneurs with mentorship, training programs, community connections and shared kitchen space to help launch their businesses. Brigade MKE is a collaboration between UpStart Kitchen in Sherman Park and the Atlanta-based Shular Institute. The program launched this summer to help grow the talent pipeline for local service and hospitality employers and create career opportunities for young people of color.
In 2021, Ascension Wisconsin donated $500,000 to Prism EDC to continue the health system’s support of the COVID-19 Emergency Meals Program, UpStart Kitchen, and Brigade MKE. The $300,000 cash and $200,000 in-kind donations support new programs and the expansion of existing ones.
Prism is now partnering with Sherman Phoenix to create a series of classes and services to help its member-clients improve their business skills, knowledge of the food service industry, and provide opportunities to market their products.
"PRISM EDC has great programs for our entrepreneurs, and we’re here to help grow their business, especially in the food industry,” said Mathews.
Mathews currently serves as a board member for Outreach Community Health Centers. He’s a past international board member of the 10th District Representative for the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and an immediate past chairman of the board of trustees for Jeremiah Missionary Baptist Church in Milwaukee. He earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1990, an MBA at Cardinal Stritch University and Ph.D. in higher education administration at the University of Phoenix.