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Matthew Wagner, Ph. D
Matthew Wagner, Ph. DVice President of Revitalization Programs and the National Main Street Center, Inc.
In this role, Dr. Wagner is responsible for driving the Center’s field service initiatives including the development and delivery of technical services for Main Street America and Urban Main programs, directing the Center’s new research agenda, as well as professional development programming through the Main Street America Institute.

Dr. Wagner’s professional background involves nearly 30 years of non-profit management and teaching experience in the area of downtown revitalization, entrepreneurship and economic development. At the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, he focused on aligning students in helping to find business solutions with partner businesses, serving as a lecturer in Entrepreneurship and Director of both the Small Business Development Center and Solutions for Economic Growth Center.

Dr. Wagner has served a leader in the area of community revitalization, directly guiding two nationally recognized downtown revitalization efforts. In Sheboygan Falls, WI, he led downtown redevelopment activities resulting in the community being named one of the first five Great American Main Street Award winners. As Executive Director of the Downtown Racine Corporation (Racine, WI), Dr. Wagner led a downtown planning and implementation initiative that resulted in more than $100 million in new private investment earning honors from the International Downtown Association, Sierra Club, and the American Institute of Architects for downtown planning. In addition, he has served as a Senior Program Associate at the National Main Street Center providing direct technical assistance to numerous downtowns and commercial corridor districts, with a specialization in economic restructuring activities, including market analysis, real estate development, downtown planning, and business recruitment and retention activities.

Aside from his professional experiences, academically Dr. Wagner has completed his Ph.D. with a focus on economic development and entrepreneurship. He is a Fulbright Specialist Scholar, completing a teaching assignment on social entrepreneurship at the University of Hyderabad, India. He has also presented internationally on topics of economic development and community revitalization in Japan, India, Canada, and Australia. Dr. Wagner also served as part of the U.S. State Department’s Speakers Bureau program, working with the US Embassy in Lithuania as part of a five-region tour on entrepreneurship and community development.

We at DKI are grateful for the opportunity to host Dr. Wagner!

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