Biography of James Schneider


James was born in Green Bay, WI on July 30, 1948 and is a lifelong Wisconsin resident. He was raised on a dairy farm near Rock Springs, WI and graduated from Webb High School (Reedsburg) in 1966.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with a BA in political science. As an undergraduate he attended Whitewater State University (now UW-Whitewater) and was then a charter student at UWC-Baraboo Sauk County when the campus opened in 1968. He completed his degree requirements at UW-Madison.

Today James lives in Gotham, WI with his daughter, Julia, who is now attending UW-Platteville as she pursues a degree in engineering physics.


James first became involved in local issues when he and a friend worked with Nature Conservancy to preserve a portion of Ableman’s Gorge in the late 60′s. He joined the Sauk County Democratic party about that time and served as an officer for several years. In 1975 he was the youngest county chairman in Wisconsin. James was the Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 80th district in 1974. He ran again in the primary during a special election held in 1975. This run for Lieutenant Governor is his first partisan campaign since that time.


While serving as an alderman on the Lodi City Council (1979-82), James became involved in economic development issues as he negotiated the purchase of land for the community’s first industrial/business park. Economic development became his profession in 1984 when he was named the Executive Director of the Greater Mauston Area Development Corporation in Juneau County. Two and a half years later James was selected to be the first director of the newly formed Richland County Economic Development Corporation and later went on to be director of the Grant County Economic Development Corporation from 1988 – 2000.

James then entered private business as the marketing director for Prism Corporation, a construction firm located near Kieler, WI. Following that he became Community Relations Coordinator and Foundation Director for Boscobel Area Health Care. While at BAHC he was part of the leadership team that raised over $1,000,000 to be used for construction of a $4.2 million dollar renovation of the emergency facilities.

Today James is self-employed as a business trainer and motivational speaker. He specializes in customer service and community planning issues.

Civic & Professional Involvement

Over the years James has been active in numerous civic organizations including the Jaycees, Lions, Kiwanis and Rotary. While in the Jaycees he served at every level of the organization and in 1982 he was elected Wisconsin’s first Individual Development (training) Vice-President. In 1983 he was a candidate for state president. He remains active in support of the Jaycees as JCI Senator #34954. He is currently a member of the Muscoda Lions.

As an economic development professional, James was actively involved as a member of the Wisconsin Economic Development Association. He served three terms as a member of the state board of directors and was president in 2002-03.

Special Note

First Impressions: A program for community improvement was co-developed by Andy Lewis and James Schneider. This free program has been successfully used by nearly 1,000 communities throughout the United States and Canada.

And finally, the question that everyone asks, Living in Gotham, does James get to see Batman? The answer is no, as Batman seems to be a bit of a recluse but James does live just two blocks from the Bat Cave.