Close this search box.


Meet the Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association staff.

Tamas Houlihan, WPVGA Executive Director

Tamas Houlihan, Executive Director

On December 4, 2014 the WPVGA Board of Directors announced that Tamas Houlihan had been named the Executive Director of the WPVGA. For the previous 27 years, Houlihan served as the Managing Editor of The Badger Common’Tater magazine, the official voice of the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. During that time, he also held the title of Communications Director. In the fall of 2014, Houlihan was in his third stint as Interim Executive Director, having filled the role in 2000 and 2008. With his appointment in 2014, Houlihan became the 13th Executive Director of the state’s potato association, which was founded in 1948.

A 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Houlihan has a Bachelor’s Degree with a double-major in Communication and German. He received the Chancellor’s Leadership Award and the Albertson Medallion at UWSP. He worked as the Sports Editor and News Editor at the Rhinelander Daily News before joining the WPVGA in 1987.

At the WPVGA, Houlihan received a Distinguished Service Award in 1997; the President’s Award in 2001; the Agri-Communicator Award in 2008; and the Wisconsin Seed Potato Industry Leadership Award in 2011. He also received the WPVGA President’s Award in 2015. In 2020, Tamas received the National Potato Council President’s Award.

Houlihan lives in Stevens Point with his wife, Paula. They have seven children and eight grandchildren. Tamas enjoys biking, playing softball, traveling and reading. He is an avid sports fan who loves football (especially the Green Bay Packers), basketball and baseball.

Joe Kertzman

Joe Kertzman, Managing Editor

As Managing Editor of the Badger Common’Tater, Joe Kertzman brings an unbridled enthusiasm for writing, editing and publishing to the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association. His background includes 20 years as the Managing Editor of BLADE Magazine, a Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin, title, and the world’s largest knife publication targeted toward enthusiasts, users, collectors, makers and manufacturers. For five years prior, Joe was an editorial assistant for Reminisce Magazine of Reiman Publications based in Greendale, Wisconsin, a suburb of Milwaukee.

Joe prides himself on asking the right questions and learning from experts in the field in order to provide comprehensive content to magazine readers. His hobbies include not only reading and writing, but also traveling, camping, skiing and other outdoor pursuits, watching Green Bay Packers and Milwaukee Bucks and Brewers games, and spending time with his family. Joe is married with two children and lives in Rosholt, Wisconsin. He and his wife, Tricia, own two horses, a dog and usually a barn cat or two.

Dana Rady, Director of Promotions, Communication and Consumer Education

Dana Rady joined the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) team as the Director of Promotions, Communication and Consumer Education in September 2012. Dana’s main duties include promotional program and communication activities, as well as serving as the committee liaison for the Vegetable and Chip Divisions.

Along with Dana’s role at WPVGA, she also serves as the Director of the United Potato Growers Cooperative of Wisconsin (UPGCW), a sister organization to WPVGA that collects and distributes data to its members based on market supply and demand.

Dana has a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, with majors in Radio/TV/Film and Spanish, and minors in Journalism and Political Science.

After graduating in May 2007, she ventured to the Lone Star State where she taught English and Spanish classes to adults. Upon moving back to Packer country, Dana served as an anchor and general assignment reporter at WJFW in Rhinelander for two years. Then she branched out to forestry as the sales and marketing coordinator for the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA).

Karen Rasmussen, Financial Officer

Karen’s responsibilities are to perform all accounts payable, payroll, and accounts receivable functions for the WPVGA and related entities. She also manages the assessment and collections for the Wisconsin Potato Industry Board. Karen received an Associate Degree in Accounting from Northcentral Technical College in 2005 and has been employed with the WPVGA since September 1993. Karen lives in Antigo with her husband, Andy, and enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and going for walks.

Julie Braun, Executive Assistant

As the WPVGA’s Executive Assistant, Julie Braun coordinates Association meetings and conferences with great efficiency and ease. Julie also serves as the staff liaison for all WPVGA Boards and Committees within the organization. She has been employed by WPVGA since February 1998.

Julie is also the Administrator for the Wisconsin Mint and Muck Boards. Julie lives in Polar with her husband Brian and sons Emmett and Ezra. She enjoys spending time with her family, getting together with friends, going for walks and reading.

Jane Guillen

Jane Guillen, Program Assistant

Jane Guillen serves as the part-time WPVGA program assistant, working in the Antigo office. Jane brings with her a wide range of experience in office procedures.

Born and raised in a small Ohio town, Stryker, until she was 20 years old, Jane’s adult life has been spent in the Atlanta area. While in Atlanta, she has worked in several corporate offices and has learned from each.

Moving to Antigo from Atlanta in 2017 was a huge change. She came to be with her daughter, son-in-law and three granddaughters. Although it was hard to leave friends, family and church, her three granddaughters are her heart.

Gardening, reading, walking and church choir take up any spare time from working and grandkids. A new venture, pickleball, may come into play in Antigo—a fun, low-impact paddle sport!

George Neuber, Spudmobile Education & Outreach Administrator

George Neuber, Spudmobile Education & Outreach Administrator

George Neuber joined the WPVGA team in April 2023 to take Wisconsin’s traveling billboard to events across the state and Midwest.

Neuber was born in Rhinelander but spent a good share of his childhood in Appleton after his parents moved there from the Northwoods.

He has fond memories of his grandfather’s 35-acre farm in the Chilton area that began as a dairy operation and later expanded to raise pigs.

After marriage, Neuber and his wife, Jessie, eventually moved back to this farm and raised their kids in a home built on a portion of the land. They lived there for 26 years before heading back North to Rhinelander where they currently reside.

Neuber is a former truck driver and cheese maker having worked for Foremost Farms for a decade. After returning to Rhinelander, he began working at the Lelah Starks Elite Foundation Seed Potato Farm as an equipment operator where he was responsible for maintenance, repairs and helping out as needed.

He retired from the farm in 2020, but went back during the busy seasons of planting and harvest.

Neuber looks forward to meeting you when out and about with the Spudmobile and is looking forward to sharing his love of agriculture with you.