I credit this group of men (and one woman) at the La Crosse Area Builders Association for teaching me how collaboration works. These were my volunteer presidents in the organizations, shown here celebrating my 10th year anniversary. Six of them were direct competitors, yet they united to make their profession and this community stronger. They trusted each other to do the right thing.

More importantly, leadership centers around trust.

I knew very little about building quality housing, but my natural curiosity taught me a lot about what impacts the cost of housing from land costs, materials, fees, and labor. I learned to speak up when people’s home prices would increase at the local, state and national levels. I regularly provided education, information, resources and networking opportunities to hundreds of builders, developers, contractors and suppliers.

As Mayor, I understand housing needs and costs. I understand how collaboration creates shared solutions better than going it alone.

Vicki Markussen


Founder, Engage Greater La Crosse