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Carole Schaeffer, JLA Architects

Carole Schaeffer Joins as VP of Business Development for the Wisconsin Market

MADISON — JLA Architects is pleased to announce the addition of Carole Schaeffer as Vice President of Business Development for the Wisconsin Market. Although based in JLA’s Madison office, her role will span both the Madison & Milwaukee offices and serve the greater Wisconsin market. Schaeffer brings more than 23 years of experience in business development, community engagement, and the municipal entitlements process.

At JLA, she will be committed to growing and developing strategic relationships with current and potential clients around the state. In addition to her business development role, she will serve as an accessible resource to clients and the firm’s internal team as they navigate projects through the municipal entitlements process.

Schaeffer is no stranger to the JLA team. She has worked alongside the team on numerous projects in various capacities throughout her career.  In her role on the Advisory Board of The Salvation Army of Dane County, Schaeffer worked with the team on the Salvation Army’s new emergency homeless shelter and The Shield apartments, the latter of which is currently under construction on E. Washington Avenue in Madison.

Joseph (Joe) Lee, founder & president of JLA, shared his excitement for Schaeffer joining the team, “We are thrilled to have Carole join our team. Her knowledge of the real estate development & construction industries, as well as her dedicated, collaborative approach aligns perfectly with JLA’s commitment to provide our clients with sound advice, great service, and quality designs.”

Schaeffer is well known for her contributions to the real estate development community, serving as the executive director for SmartGrowth Madison. In that role, she lobbied for the local real estate development industry on pivotal issues such as planning, zoning, and tax incremental financing (TIF). Later, she worked for a local engineering firm and general contractor, two of Madison’s most respected firms.

When asked what drew her to JLA, she explained, “JLA stands out as a growing and dynamic local firm, the energy is palpable. I admired the strong team collaboration with clients when I worked with JLA as a consultant, and I felt my skill set would be a natural fit as a member of that team.”

Throughout her career, Schaeffer has sought to build collaboration between the development community, municipalities, and neighborhoods. In 2012, she formed Schaeffer Consulting, acting as a consultant to assist real estate developers in navigating the municipal entitlement process and community engagement initiatives.  At JLA, she will continue to offer our clients & projects this strategic support & expertise.

Her background in real estate development also includes certificates in Construction Management for Owners and Developers and the Essentials of Real Estate Development from NAIOP, the Commercial Real Estate Development Association.

Described by In Business Madison magazine as a “Persuader”, she was recognized as one of the 25 Most Influential People in Greater Madison (2014). Her work in the community has been extensive, serving on the Boards of Directors for organizations like Downtown Madison Inc. (DMI), the Madison Symphony Orchestra League, the Salvation Army of Dane County, and NAIOP-Wisconsin. In 2018, she co-founded the Madison Downtowners, a networking group focused on supporting downtown Madison through social and educational opportunities.

Schaeffer holds a Bachelor of Arts from Concordia University (Mequon) with a concentration in history and political science, as well as a Master of Public Administration from the LaFollette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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