As CEO and founder of EQT By Design, LLC, my passion is ensuring inclusion, and engagement is front and center in my work. I have 25+ years of strong professional policy and analytic skills, a wide network of community, government and business relationships, and extensive networks within Madison and Dane County’s diverse populations.

I often work as a strong connector between community, business, government and nonprofits. This results in developing and implementing ideas and strategies that are inclusive, resilient and evolve into a strong community backbone.

EQT By Design believes that success is, by design, relationships and networks with connected, engaged and diverse community members. Our strength lies in connecting and bridging perspectives made up of racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse community members, as well as other intersectionalities.


EQT by Design exists to bring diverse voices into the center of decision-making. Diverse voices in decision-making builds the pathway to overall happiness, health and well-being.
Each person is inclusively welcomed in their community as they realize their own self-defined happiness and well-being, and actively participate, prosper, and reach their full potential with no limits!

Impact to community:

  • Collaborating and partnering with diverse groups to keep resources and solution-making in their hands.
  • Equity and inclusion as the means by which customers and community cultivate and curate a relationship together.

Impact to clients:

  • Co-creating solutions that are sustainable and root cause oriented.
  • Keeping diverse voices in the center of client solutions.
  • Offering advice and design that tells you what you need to know and not just “what you want to hear.”

Impact to EQT by Design:

  • Representing diverse voices without marginalization, misappropriation or perpetuating oppressive systems to make my business viable.
  • Maintaining an awareness of its own bias and unconscious actions and beliefs when working with clients, community, and constituencies.





Through 15+ years of board and committee service, as well as collaborative community partnerships, Annette has contributed to inclusive decision-making that positively impacts the economic and community well-being of Madison and Dane County.

Examples include:

  • Founder or founding member to start and grow organizations including the Madison Network of Black Professionals, Black Chamber, and Minority Business Advisory Council.
  • President and Board of Directors for the Allied Community Cooperative to assist in the feasibility study and development of a neighborhood grocery store.
  • Loaned executive, Urban League of Greater Madison, to complete the $4.1 million dollar capital campaign and 2010 CEO search.
  • Mentor, coach, and advisor for many boards and community based nonprofits on fundraising, board development, inclusive engagement, and strong strategic planning.


Annette has a 12+ year career as a private sector executive focusing on collaboration, partnerships, and engagement with customers who represent broad racial, ethnic, and linguistic identities. She worked with MGE to develop and implement their customer diversity initiative, and was the project director for the company’s community energy conversations which resulted in their new Energy 2030 Framework. This project resulted in over 100 community conversations, and inviting over 200 constituencies from the community to inform the company on its Energy 2030 Framework. This work informs EQT by Design’s strategic consulting work to identify and address gaps in relationships, networks, and perspectives representing diverse voices critical to an organization’s mission and bottom line.


Annette brings 15 years of State of Wisconsin and City of Madison governmental and municipal experience to her work with EQT by Design. For twelve years she served as a Budget and Policy Advisor for the largest state agencies (the Department of Workforce Development, the Department of Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services (now split into 2 agencies), and the Department of Workforce Development).  As Deputy Mayor for the City of Madison she oversaw areas of Community Development, Civil Rights, City Clerks and Assessor’s Office.


Annette’s lifelong work in the nonprofit sector has garnered her numerous awards that speak to her efforts and work, including recognition from the YWCA, ULGM, Centro Hispano, United Way and the City of Madison James C. Wright Human Rights Award for her efforts to call out, fight, and work against oppressive systems, and to create inclusive and equitable engagement design models that include the voice of the community in decision making both within and outside of organizations. She has served on over 10+ nonprofit boards, executive committees, and as President or Chair of a number of organizations. Annette’s expertise is in fund development, strategic planning, and board development.

Design thinking for inclusive, equitable people-centered outcomes