Norman Walzer is Senior Research Scholar in the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University and has held the post of Director Emeritus, Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University for the last 15 years. Walzer is past President of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association and the Community Development Society. He has published extensively on rural public policy issues, local economic development, public finance, governmental structure, and transportation. His most recent book is Entrepreneurship and Local Development published by Lexington Books in 2007. His current research is on the Midwest economy with special interest in factors affecting entrepreneurship, business starts, and expansions in rural areas. Walzer recently co-edited (with Gisele F. Hamm) a special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS on successful community visioning practices and is currently co-editing (with Sam Cordes) a special issue on innovative community change programs.
Gisele F. Hamm is a Research Associate in the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs, Western Illinois University, where she directs the Management and Planning Programs Involving Non-metropolitan Governments (MAPPING) program. MAPPING has been recognized nationally for its work on community visioning initiatives. She is past President of the Mid-Continent Regional Science Association, served on the board of the Community Development Society, and recently co-edited (with Norman Walzer) a special issue of Community Development: Journal of the CDS on successful community visioning practices. She has published on innovative approaches to brownfields, local economic development strategies, and other issues related to community and economic development.