Microsoft’s Michelle Schuler was announced as the incoming co-chair of New North, Inc. She takes over for Vicki Updike, co-chair since 2016, who will remain a member of the organization’s board of directors and executive committee.
Schuler will lead the New North board of directors with her co-chair, Tim Schneider of Investors Community Bank. She joined the New North board of directors in August 2018 and was named secretary in August 2020. She becomes only the sixth co-chair in the 16-year history of the regional marketing and economic development corporation, which serves the 18 counties of Northeast Wisconsin. She joins past co-chairs Kathi Seifert (2005-16), Bob DeKoch (2005-17), Updike (2016-21), Bill Bohn (2017-19) and Schneider, who became co-chair in 2019.
Schuler has served as manager of TechSpark Wisconsin at Microsoft since July 2017. In that role, she spearheads technology-related initiatives focused on job creation and skills development within the New North region. Among those are gener8tor Upskilling, which is a free accelerator curriculum for individuals to learn digital skills needed for in-demand jobs; Microsoft TEALS (Technology Education and Literacy in Schools), which connects high school classroom teachers with tech-industry volunteers to create sustainable computer science programs; CS Talent Ecosystem Youth; and TitletownTech, a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, which builds and funds early-stage, high-growth businesses.
She also has been immersed in regional efforts to expand broadband access, particularly in rural areas. In addition, Schuler collaborates with the NEW Digital Alliance, a New North-associated organization whose mission is to help develop the next-generation digital workforce in Northeast Wisconsin. In 2014, she co-founded Women in Technology Wisconsin, a nonprofit group with the goal to attract, grow and retain women and girls in technology, and today serves as its state president.