Meet the VGR Board of Directors
Mario Martinez, Board President
Mario comes from very humble beginnings. His family moved from San Antonio Texas to follow opportunities as migrant workers. At a very early age, Mario learned the importance of hard work and humility.
He now has more than 30 yrs as a Insurance Broker and entrepreneur. Despite all his business success, Mario understands life is more than just a great reputation. Life is about leaving a lasting legacy
which lead him to become a pillar in the Hispanic and Racine community. Mario currently serves as a City of Racine Commissioner on the “Planning, Heritage, and Design Commission”. He is also
Chairman of “The Amigos de Cesar Chavez Community Center”. Mario will continue to focus on creating partnerships in all communities in Racine. Building long lasting relationships with hard working, humble
and empathetic folks in Racine is what Mario aspires to do.
Arlene Martin, Board Vice President
Arlene has been in the financial industry since 1988, ranging from Business Banking/Commercial Lending to Commercial Real Estate. As an SBA Lender with Huntington Bank, she has determined that there is a great need for business owners to gain access to capital. It is most often a critical component to the success of businesses during start up and growth periods.
She enjoys working with a range of businesses with gross revenues and is very well versed in federal loan programs (SBA Lending) and the state lending programs that are very advantageous for business owners. In addition, she has a strong background in commercial real estate. She firmly believes in supporting the entrepreneurial business owners that have emerged and now become the backbone of our country.
Specialties areas include small to mid-size businesses, and a focus on a variety of industries including manufacturers, service industries, franchise operations, as well as contractors.
Arlene is the VGR Board Vice President and serves on the Tech-Prize leadership Committee as well. She is passionate about the impacts that may be made in Racine.
Arlene is married to Greg, has two daughters and two granddaughters.
Angelika Coghlan, Board Member
As a Business Performance Advisor with Insperity, Angelika partners with business owners and executives of small and mid-sized companies to support their growth strategies by utilizing proven human capital strategies and business services. She is a strong believer in Insperity’s mission to help businesses succeed so communities prosper. Prior to Insperity she worked with business owners helping them to transform selling strategies, tactics and culture so that they would meet expectations and growth goals. She successfully founded and ran Catwalk Consulting, a technology consulting firm for over 20 years.
Angelika believes part of growing an expertise and building a business is helping others - and in her case, especially women entrepreneurs around the world. She currently serves on the advisory board for The Institute for the Economic Empowerment of Women. She also served on the board of directors for the National Association of Women Business Owners(NAWBO), Chicago Area Chapter, OMNI Youth Services and the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce. She is the recipient of the Enterprising Women Award from Enterprising Women Magazine and the and the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Women’s Business Champion Award.
Nathan Thompkins, Board Member
Nathan was born and raised in Racine, Wisconsin. Nathan has been a pioneer most of his life. He started his professional career developing health and wellness programs for youth in under-resourced communities. Nathan used soccer as the medium to introduce youth to an alternative sport and explore new pathways to a healthy lifestyle. The sport of soccer opened up doors to a whole new world for Nathan. He used sports as a tool to make a significant impact in his communities. He has spearheaded some incredible community projects. His work is visible at the Real School Field House, is 7000 square foot indoor multi-sports and health facility. While with the Milwaukee Wave, he spearheaded the wave of kindness not for profit where the focus was creating a new path for young student-athletes. He continued his community-impacting ways by founding The Milwaukee Urban Collaborative, which consisted of like-minded organizations coming together to expand the Wave of Kindness work. Developed through collaboration, he took the message to Washington D.C. and worked with the U.S. Soccer Foundation. During his time in Washington, he became a lobbyist for the Soccer Caucus. From there, Nathan was introduced to a national stage speak for social change. Went into city schools presents the opportunities soccer gives urban communities. Nathan is taking that same collaborative mindset to Vision Of Greater Racine.
Barry Uhlenhake, Board Member
Barry brings to Visioning a Greater Racine (VGR) 55 years of teaching, training, management, and business start-up experience. Before retiring in 2018 he designed and conducted teaching and training classes for children, adolescents, and adults in formal education, military, non-profit, and correctional settings; managed government, for-profit, and non-profit operations in Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin; and launched several retail, publishing, real estate, and service businesses over a 40-year period. In retirement he has found time to devote his energies to improving the quality of life in Racine – a community he finds most desirable in which to live, and most marketable to others.
Rod French, Board Member
Rod French to Racine in 1981 as a reporter for the Racine Journal Times. In 1984, Rod opened a Racine branch of Sales Promotion Ideas a promotional agency started by his father, Russ. Rod currently works for QRG in New Berlin helping clients create Raving Fans by empowering their brand and engaging their people.