The University of Wisconsin–Madison continues to strengthen its partnership with industry, from tech to manufacturing and everything in between, with the hiring of two industry veterans, Dean Welch and Sara Braas.
Welch will join the Office of Business Engagement (OBE) and the School of Computer, Data & Information Sciences (CDIS) as Business Engagement Manager, where he will help companies make the most of UW–Madison’s extensive high-tech research, talent, outreach and philanthropic solutions.
“With world-class research and thousands of students in high demand fields UW–Madison is positioned to partner with industries in Wisconsin and beyond to inspire innovation and increase competitiveness,” said CDIS founding director Tom Erickson. “As our team grows, so does the collaboration that takes place between the university and industry partners enhancing a key dimension of the Wisconsin Idea 2.0.”
Braas, also a Business Engagement Manager, will work exclusively within OBE to build new and expand existing relationships between UW–Madison’s schools and colleges and private-sector companies, particularly those in the high technology, advanced manufacturing, and automotive sectors.
“Together, Dean and Sara bring a wealth of knowledge to the university that will benefit our existing campus partnerships as well as foster new relationships in some of the fastest growing industries,” said Christopher Kozina, assistant vice chancellor, industry engagement. “Their combined experience in sales, marketing and business development will be a major asset to OBE, CDIS and UW–Madison.”
Prior to joining UW–Madison Welch served as Executive Vice President at IT Convergence, a global leader in cloud services. Serving in various executive roles with the company, Welch spearheaded the company’s global expansion into Argentina, Mexico, India and Costa Rica, and championed gender equity on the executive team. He earned his bachelor’s degree in German Literature and Integrated Liberal Studies at UW–Madison.
Braas comes to the university after more than a decade in the automotive industry, working in management roles for MINI Cooper and the BMW Group where she focused on sales and marketing strategy and developing new retail concepts for the brand. Most recently, Braas worked in marketing for the Sub-Zero Group. She received her bachelor’s in Business Administration from the Wisconsin School of Business at UW–Madison and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Southern California.