Judging Panel for Local Spark Grant Program

Judging Panel

Jerry Deschane

Executive Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities

One of Jerry’s mains goals is to support vibrant Wisconsin communities. When WEA Trust approached him and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities with the idea for an award to invigorate local cities and villages, Jerry wholeheartedly supported its mission, exclaiming, “Make it awesome!”

Jerry Deschane, CAE, IOM, is the Executive Director of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities and the Urban Alliance. He also serves as the Secretary of the League of Wisconsin Municipalities Mutual Insurance board of directors and is an ex officio member of the board of the Local Government Institute. Working with the League board and seven-person staff, Jerry is responsible for engaging the League’s membership in the state legislative process and for motivating state policymakers to support Wisconsin communities. He is the fifth League Executive Director in 116 years.

Deschane spent 20 years with the Wisconsin Builders Association and also has experience in state government and the news media.

Fran Duncanson

City Clerk-Treasurer, Office Manager
WMCA District II Co-Director
City of Amery, Polk County

Frances Duncanson joined the City of Amery in August 2011 as City Clerk-Treasurer. Duncanson brings a broad range of municipal experience and education to Amery having served for over 22 years in local government. Fran graduated with honors from WITC-Rice Lake in computer accounting and began her career as a bank vault teller. Having an interest in public service Duncanson began municipal involvement in her hometown of Turtle Lake in 1995 as Deputy Clerk-Treasurer, later serving as Village Administrator and Village Clerk-Treasurer. In addition prior to coming to Amery Fran served two years as Clerk-Treasurer for the Village of Clayton where she also served as Secretary of the Clayton Area Non-Profit Development Organization.

Duncanson is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Clerk and Treasurer’s Institute and obtained the prestigious Wisconsin Certified Professional Clerk designation from the Wisconsin Municipal Clerks Association in 2012. Fran is also a Certified Municipal Treasurer of Wisconsin by the Municipal Treasurer’s Association of Wisconsin and served on the organizations Manual’s Committee from 2010-2012. In the fall of 2013 Duncanson completed the process to attain the professional designation as a Master Municipal Clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks. Fran currently serves as Co-Director of WMCA District II, Co-Chairs the Professional Education Committee and is on the WMCA Board of Directors. In addition Fran enjoys working with the Amery Woman’s Club and received the organizations Ambassador Award in 2013 and was honored by the Amery Community Club with the Municipal Employee of the Year Award in 2015.  Fran also serves on the Board of Directors of the Amery Area Community Foundation.

Fran and her husband Shayne live in the City of Amery. Fran’s outside interests include music, genealogy, and purebred cats. 

Dan Hill

Former Local Government Specialist at the UW-Extension

From a relatively early age, Dan knew he wanted to serve the public through teaching. Be it tutoring math to members of the United Steelworkers of America in Gary, Indiana, demonstrating soil conservation techniques to subsistence farmers as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Paraguay, or designing and delivering community development programs as a UW-Extension CRD educator in Southwest Wisconsin, Dan has cherished the challenges and rewards intrinsic to the teaching/learning process.

As a local government specialist, Dan continues that work with his colleagues at the Local Government Center. Together, they design and deliver educational programs for the thousands of appointed and elected officials who manage and govern Wisconsin's local units of government. Dan earned Master’s Degrees in Adult Education and Agricultural Economics at UW-Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Indiana University.


How do I enter?

  1. Download and fill out the proposal form.
  2. Submit your proposal to WEA Trust using our online entry form.
Download Local Spark Proposal Form  Submit My Proposal