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WHEDA Adds New Leaders

May 20, 2024

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) today announced three new members of its leadership team including Keene Marin, Director of Information Technology; T.J. Cobb, Director of Research and Data; and the promotion of Jon Searles to Director of Community and Economic Development.  

Marin brings over 25 years of experience managing and leading diverse and effective teams delivering critical infrastructure and projects to various environments to his new role. He most recently served as Senior Manager of Systems Management for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

“I will work to establish business partnerships within technology to deliver tools that add value not only to WHEDA, and, by extension, all customers around the state,” said Marin.

Cobb, who will create WHEDA’s new Research and Data department, will bring her experience from various organizations including Milwaukee County, the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the City of Milwaukee where she held key roles addressing complex social issues and environmental challenges. With over a decade of public health experience, Cobb's success in fostering partnerships and cultivating data-driven strategies has contributed to national and local health outcomes. Cobb’s expertise lies in impact measurement, systems analysis, community engagement, and data strategy.

“My vision for housing in Wisconsin is grounded in public health principles. By recognizing housing as a crucial determinant of health and using research and data to our advantage, I believe we can foster healthier communities and enhance the overall quality of life for all Wisconsinites,” said Cobb.

Searles, a WHEDA Community and Economic Development Officer in the Northeast region of Wisconsin since 2021, will assume the role of Director, overseeing a statewide team. The team encompasses community and economic development activities that spur housing, advance tribal relations, and support emerging businesses.  Searles previously served as VP of Marketing at Enterprise Community Partners, a national affordable housing and community development nonprofit. He led marketing strategies for complex businesses, advocacy efforts, and programs that drove growth. Before that, he held multiple positions at Fannie Mae in Los Angeles and Washington, DC. Searles now resides in Appleton and travels throughout the state.

“I look forward to building on my experience living and working in disinvested communities on the East and West Coasts to support inclusive, thriving communities in Wisconsin,” said Searles. “I want to build on the collaboration we see in Wisconsin to drive additional investment for new homes that are affordable for all.” 


The Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority is a self-supporting public agency whose mission is to help Wisconsin thrive by expanding access to affordable housing choices. Since its creation in 1972, the Authority has financed the development of more than 87,300 affordable rental units, helped more than 138,300 families purchase a home, and provided more than 29,200 small business and agricultural loan guarantees. To learn more about the Agency and its programs, visit wheda.com or call 800-334-6873.