James first began working with the Interactivity Foundation in May, 2009 when he started as a contract facilitator. In April, 2010 he became the Facilitators Manager for the Wisconsin program, a position he held through December 2016, when he left to take a full-time position with the University of Wisconsin-Extension. In 2017, James is continuing his association with IF as a contract facilitator.
The Wisconsin group (IF-WI) currently consists of seven individuals working as independent contractors. The IF-WI public discussions test both existing discussion guides and new topics in development, in addition to providing feedback for future updates. To date James has personally facilitated over 45 IF discussions involving a wide variety of participants and IF-WI has over 250 discussions to their credit.
James worked with the Wisconsin facilitators to develop ongoing partnerships with other organizations that can use the IF approach to discussion in different ways. The IF-WI group is also pursuing opportunities to provide coaching to groups and individuals that want to facilitate discussions using the IF approach and materials. We have provided demonstrations for county leadership programs and educational conferences for both professional and youth related audiences.
Mr. Schneider is a past professional in the field of economic development where he coordinated community and county-wide efforts to increase business expansion and retention. During that time he co-developed a program called “First Impressions: A tool for community assessment,” which has been used successfully by over 1,000 communities throughout the United States, Canada & New Zealand.
His varied career has included stints as marketing director for a full-service medical facility with a staff of 240 and a similar position with a regional construction company with $40 million in annual revenue. His work at the medical facility included serving as Foundation Director where he was a leader in the successful efforts to raise over $1 million for the construction of a new emergency room and related facilities.
In addition to his work with IF and now the University of Wisconsin-Extension, James has another career as a business trainer and motivational speaker with a focus on customer service and community development. He is a certified facilitator with “Real Colors”, a personality assessment program. (He’s a chronic Orange.)
Private time includes tennis, bicycling and testing Wisconsin’s many fine craft beverages. The latter being a tough job, but one in which he is determined to excel. A lifelong Wisconsin native, he resides in Gotham, just two blocks from the Bat Cave.