Board of Visitors

The BOV was established in 1996 to provide perspective and important linkages with the general public, business community, and public policy makers; to assist the Waisman Center in strengthening partnerships with the private sector; to provide an advocacy network; and most importantly, to guide major fundraising efforts.

Phil Blake

Phil Blake was born in Evanston, Illinois. He received a BA in international relations from Brown University and an MBA in finance from Northwestern University. He was involved in publishing throughout much of his career, serving as president of Madison Newspapers and publisher of the Wisconsin State Journal from 1993–2000. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1966-1970. He has worked on behalf of many community causes, including the Madison Chamber of Commerce (former director and chair) and United Way of Dane County (former treasurer and director). Currently his civic board activities include Edgewood College (trustee and former chair). He also is a member of Town & Gown and the Downtown Rotary. He and his wife Kit have three sons and live in Madison.

Walter E. Dewey

Walter E. Dewey was born in Pasadena, California. He received a BBA in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds the chartered financial analyst designation and is a member of the CFA Institute. He is a vice president and portfolio manager with Madison Investment Advisors where he specializes in customized portfolio management for Madison’s high net worth client relationships. He has extensive investment experience, which includes previous positions with US Bancorp and Reinhart Partners, Inc. He is a board member of Broadjam, Inc., Platypus Technologies, Quintessence Biosciences, and Gliacure, Inc. He is an advisory board member of the UW Carbone Cancer Center. He and his wife Londa have a son and a daughter.

Sheri Edison

Sheri Edison is executive vice president and general counsel of Amcor plc, a global leader in the development and production of responsible packaging for food, beverage, pharmaceutical, medical, home and personal care and other products. At Amcor, Edison’s responsibilities include corporate governance, global compliance and legal operations for 250 sites across more than 40 countries. Prior to Amcor, Edison served as senior vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Bemis Company, Inc., until it was acquired by Amcor in 2019. Prior to joining Bemis, Edison held senior management and general counsel positions at Hill-Rom, Inc., Hillenbrand Industries and LTV Steel. Edison currently serves on the boards of American Family Insurance and Cardinal Health and on the board of visitors of the University of Wisconsin Waisman Center. She is a member and Fellow of the National Association of Corporate Directors, and an alumnae of the DirectWomen Board Institute.

Timothy Erdman

Timothy Erdman received a BA in natural energy systems from Colorado University-Boulder. He attended Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM) Program. Currently, he is chairman and CEO of Erdman Holdings, Inc. He is part of the Telluride Society for Jazz and serves on the Chazen Museum of Art (LVM) Council. He and his wife Mary Phillips live in Madison.

George Kamperschroer

George Kamperschroer is an (almost) lifelong resident of Madison, Wisconsin, having moved here from LaCrosse, Wisconsin in first grade. George has both a BA degree (political science) and law degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. George is also a CPA, having received the Sells Gold Medal for having scored the highest score in the country among 72,000 individuals taking the CPA Exam when he did. He practiced business law in Madison for 30 years, with stints at the Boardman Law Firm and at Neider & Boucher. In between, he worked in executive positions at CUNA Mutual Group; as CEO of Great Wolf Lodges; and as vice president- corporate affairs for Nelson Industries, a global manufacturer.

George has always been active in both professional and community organizations, believing that he could best help his community be a better place by using his skills and talents to help organizations engaged in those efforts. Professional organizations include the Wisconsin Institute of CPAs, the American Institute of CPAs, including service on its Board of Examiners; the American, Wisconsin and Dane Co Bar Associations. Community organizations include the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra (including serving on the board when the orchestra started the still popular Concerts on the Square), service on the Madison Police & Fire Commission and the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission, and service on the boards of the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Madison Visitors Bureau, Meriter Hospital, UnityPoint Health, Habitat for Humanity of Dane County, and various UW Health entities. George lives in Fitchburg with his wife Julie. They have three adult children and five grandchildren, all within driving distance.

Scott Kelly

Scott was born and raised in Madison.  He joined his father in the insurance business following graduation from the University of Montana, with a finance degree in 1981.  In 1994 Scott purchased a local retirement service practice and formed Kelly Financial Inc. He owned and operated Kelly Financial, an insurance and corporate retirement plans business until it was sold in 2017 to Arthur J Gallagher & Co., a fortune 500 insurance firm domiciled in Chicago. Scott and his brother also own Avante Properties, a real estate development and property management company, actively building office and multifamily projects in Dane county. He and his wife Gigi live in Monona and are involved in their local community and participate in most outdoor sports.

Harold F. Mayer

Harold F. Mayer was born in Madison, Wisconsin and grew up in Evanston, Illinois. He received an undergraduate degree in economics from Beloit College and an MBA in marketing from Northwestern University’s J.L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management. He spent his 30-year business career with Oscar Mayer and Company, which later became Oscar Mayer/Kraft Foods, retiring in March 1996 as vice president of operations. His community activities have included United Way (chaired fund drive, board of directors) and non-profit organizations, such as the Salvation Army, Meriter Foundation, Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, YMCA, Boys and Girls Clubs, and Madison Community Foundation. Current and previous board service includes MCAST (Madison Cultural Arts Support Trust), Bank of Shorewood Hills, Community Bank, Valley Bank, and M & I Bank. He and his wife Christy have a son, daughter and three granddaughters and live in Madison.

Steven B. Mixtacki

Steven B. Mixtacki received his BBA in accounting from UW-Madison and is a CPA. He began his career in public accounting, spent 29 years as SVP of Finance and Human Resources for a Midwest retailer, followed by seven years as CFO/COO of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. He has served as board chair or president of the Rotary Club of Madison, Madison Rotary Foundation, Madison Community Foundation, Edgewood College, YMCA of Metropolitan Madison, Friends of WHA-TV, and the Monona Jaycees, and as a director of First Business Bank, Kids Forward, the Evjue Foundation, CTM Madison Family Theater, Madison Cultural Arts Support Trust, State of Wisconsin Council on Unemployment Compensation, Institute of Management Accountants, Madison CFO Roundtable, Wisconsin Business Alumni, Four Lakes Council Boy Scouts of America, United Way of Dane County Campaign Cabinet and the Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin Advisory Board. He lives in the Town of Middleton with his wife Meryl. They have two children and two grandchildren.

Carmen Skilton

Carmen Skilton was born in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. She received a BS in retailing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. Currently, Skilton serves on the Friends of the Waisman Center Board of Directors, several Attic Angel Association committees, and is a Junior League of Madison sustainer. She has served on the Madison Community Foundation Board, Evjue Foundation Board of Directors, the United Way Vision Council, is a founding member of the Junior League of Madison and served on the league’s board of directors, has served on the Attic Angel Association, Prairie Point Boards of Directors, the YWCA Board, the Madison Children’s Museum Board, the South Madison Health and Family Center-Harambe Board, and was a University of Wisconsin Women’s Council member. Skilton is a recipient of the 2006 YWCA Women of Distinction Award. She and her husband John live in Madison. They have two daughters, a son, and five grandchildren.

Jay Smith

Jay Smith was born in Madison, Wisconsin, and has lived part time in England. He received a BS in economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 1999 he has been chairman of Teel Plastics, Inc. and since 1992 has been chairman of JLS Investment Group. Previously he was president of DRG Packaging, an international packing conglomerate based in Bristol, England, president of DRG Medical Packaging, and president of the Fordem Company. He has been involved in various community and university activities, including the UW System Board of Regents (president from 2000-2002), the Governor’s K-12 Education Task Force and campaign chair of United Way of Dane County. Currently, he serves on a number of boards, including the Sub Zero Corporation, Marshfield Clinic, Wisconsin Manufacturing and Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce. He and his wife Patricia have a son and a daughter and live in Madison.

Thomas E. Terry

Thomas E. Terry was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was raised in Madison, then lived in California for more than 30 years.He received his BBA and law degree (1964) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has worked in investment management in a number of capacities: as a senior executive of mutual funds in the American Fund Group, as a senior executive of Capital Research and Management Company as well as in real estate development in Utah and Arizona; and since 1994 as a private investor focusing on start-up companies. He serves on the boards of directors of several small companies in the Madison area. Currently, he participates on the council (formerly chair) of the Chazen Museum of Art, UW-Madison, serves on the boards of Madison Opera, Overture Center Foundation, and on the boards of a number of other national and local non-profit organizations. He has one daughter.

Daniel van der Weide

Dan van der Weide was born in Brookings, SD, but soon moved to Sonoma, CA before his folks returned to their roots in Orange City, IA. He received a BS in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa and a PhD in EE from Stanford University, then did postdoctoral research in Stuttgart, Germany. He became assistant and associate professor of EE at the University of Delaware before moving to UW-Madison in 1999, where he has been full professor since 2004. Dan has extensive industry experience; Optametra was acquired by Tektronix in 2011 and Neuwave Medical by J&J in 2016. He serves on the board of Elucent Medical and co-founded AntenneX, B.V. in Eindhoven, The Netherlands. He has received the NSF PECASE award as well as other recognition and is a Fellow of the IEEE.


Dan grew up with a foster family member, Jacob Van Eizenga, who, despite or because of Down syndrome, was a profound influence on all he met. Dan has three children who all live in the Madison area and is married to Elizabeth, who is also a strong believer in David Egan’s sentiment that we are more alike than different.

John Walsh

John Walsh is a Madison native and Partner at Axley Brynelson, LLP. Walsh assists clients with business and corporate law transactions, estate planning, trademarks, and real estate matters. He brings to his practice a strong history of involvement in the Madison legal community. Prior to joining Axley, Walsh served as staff counsel for the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and was a member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court’s Planning and Policy Advisory Committee. He currently serves on the board of directors for Madison Festivals, Inc. and recently served on the board of trustees for the National MS Society. Walsh received the Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year Award from the State Bar of Wisconsin in 2017. Walsh is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and Wisconsin Law School. Aside from his legal career, Walsh is a frequent performer at The Comedy Club on State, past winner of Madison’s Funniest Comic, and briefly appeared on America’s Got Talent as a standup comic. He also enjoys training for marathons and completed the Boston Marathon in 2021.

Judith B. Ward

Judith B. Ward, emerita executive associate director of the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is currently a senior consultant with AGB Search, a national executive search firm serving higher education. Prior to joining the Waisman Center in 1994, Judith served the University of Wisconsin System as associate vice president for State Government Relations and acting vice president for University Relations. From 1974-84, she was employed by the Wisconsin Legislative Fiscal Bureau. An alumna of the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS in history and education, Judith later received an MA in political science from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. During her long residence in Madison, Judith was an active university and community volunteer. She was the honorary chair of the Waisman Center’s 40th Anniversary celebration and helped establish the Grandparents’ Network at the Waisman Center. Judith serves on the National Guardian Life Insurance Company Board of Directors in Madison and on non-profit boards in Washington, D.C. Judith and her husband David have two sons and six grandchildren.

Paul M. Weiss

Paul M. Weiss was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and grew up in Ames, Iowa, Madison, Wisconsin, and Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He received a BSc in biochemistry from Carleton University in Ottawa, a PhD in biochemistry and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Since 2006 he has been a managing director at Venture Investors, LLC. Paul has more than 20 years of operating experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. He is currently a member of the boards of directors for Akebia, Mithridion, Neurovance, ProCertus, and a board observer for Tissue Regeneration Systems and Inviragen, all portfolio companies of Venture Investors. He also serves on the board of directors for Tamir Biotechnology (formerly Alfacell Corporation). He and his wife Kristin, a pharmacist at UW Hospital, live in Middleton, Wisconsin, with their two daughters and two dogs.

Sally Wilmeth

Sally Wilmeth was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She received her undergrad BA from the University of Colorado, in distributed studies in biology, chemistry and physics. She earned her MD degree at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine, and completed a residency in Occupational Medicine from the UW as well. Her career as an occupational medicine physician has focused on hazardous exposures in the workplace, with work in both the private and public sectors. She currently continues to work part-time as the UW campus occupational medicine physician with her work focused on the UW research community along with exposure concerns to other campus staff and students.

Sally and her husband Terry were a Waisman Center family back in the early 1980s, as their first two children both had a progressive neurologic disorder. Their commitment to improving the life experience of individuals with disabilities, to assisting the agencies that helped them and continue to provide services to others, and to improving access to community resources, comes from their experience as a family including children who had a disability. In addition to these efforts, Sally also works on behalf of natural environment preservation, access to nature for all, and educating the next generation on the joys of the out of doors.