Matthew Wagner Ph,D.

Vice President of Revitalization

Main Street America


Matt has more than 25 years of non-profit management experience in downtown development, entrepreneurship and tech-based economic development. Matt oversees NMSC’s direct technical services team, in addition to Main Street America Institute and the newly announced Research Program at NMSC.

Before joining the Center in 2015, Matt served as President of SC Johnson’s Redevelopment Corporation in Racine, Wis. Previous to SCJ, Matt led a tech based incubator, as well as the University of Wisconsin-Parkside’s Director for the Small Business Development Center and Director of the Solutions for Economic Growth Center focused on entrepreneurship. Prior to this, Matt served as Executive Director of the Downtown Racine Corporation. Notably, Matt worked as “Road Warrior” for the National Main Street Center between 1995 and 1998. From 1991 to 1995, he led the Sheboygan Falls Main Street as Director, during which time Sheboygan Falls was chosen as an inaugural Great American Main Street Award winner. Matt received his Ph.D. in Urban Affairs with a specialization in Urban Economic Development from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a Fulbright Scholar Specialist, completing work in the area of entrepreneurship and economic development at the University of Hyderabad, India. Matt has also presented internationally in areas of economic development and community revitalization, for the U.S. Embassy in Lithuania, the National Trust in Australia and Canada, as well as the Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation. He is an instructor of social entrepreneurship for the Mission Fuel Program at Cardinal Stritch University.

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