A Milwaukee-based nonprofit providing cultural, academic, career, and leadership programs for clients around the world


Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to connect, support, and encourage new generations in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and the world with exchanges, experiences and education.  We strive to provide mutually beneficial relationships that deliver global value using events, conferences, seminars, short-courses, and commercial and business transactions. WAGET’s goal is to deliver customized programs for individuals, groups and businesses through goals crafted by collaborative design and shared ownership.

WAGET’s leadership includes experienced professionals from business, government and education.


WAGET is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization based out of Eleven25@Pabst in Milwaukee.

Since 2006, WAGET and its predecessors have offered cultural, academic, business and leadership opportunities to people from around the world. Starting as the Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars, the non-profit morphed into more focused opportunities such as the River Spirit Exchange, Rivers as Bridges, and finally into today’s Wisconsin Academy of Global Education and Training.

While the name has changed, the mission hasn’t: to create mutually beneficial relationships that deliver global value through cultural, educational, business and government exchanges. WAGET does that using events, conferences, seminars, short-courses, and commercial and business transactions. WAGET’s goal is to deliver customized programs for individuals, groups and businesses through goals crafted by collaborative design and shared ownership.



  • Careers: Supporting young adults and students at Eleven 25 at Pabst in Milwaukee where “your career starts here”
  • History: Supporting the cultural, civic and business history of the Pabst presence in Milwaukee and at Eleven 25 where “you are living in and learning from history”
  • Civics: Supporting the discussion of important public policy issues facing Southeast Wisconsin and the entire estate
  • Relationships: Supporting youth from Wisconsin and beyond as they learn about and from each other in a connected world
  • Skills: Supporting persons of all ages as they strive to become servant leaders, good citizens and productive employees


Programs may be customized for audiences and occasions and services may support tactical, strategic and business goals requiring training, education and marketing.


Jeff Smoller –  President

Jeff Smoller is a senior career executive in Wisconsin state government and has taken traditional and non-traditional tasks in governors’ offices, agencies and the University.  His current base is the Department of Natural Resources (DNR).  Much of his public service entrepreneurship has focused on economic growth, higher education, governance, citizenship, policy innovation, structural reform and international relationships, especially Germany and China.  His work is inspired by the Wisconsin Idea which holds that knowledge should be used for the public good and that the boundaries of the campus are the boundaries of the state.  He has been labeled an idea person who accepts the risks that come with that – especially in government where many may feel threatened by new ideas and change.

Christin Kao –  Vice President, Development

Christine Kao has been working at higher education global program in Wisconsin since 1990. She is specialized in academic program development and overseas campus establishment. Originally from Taiwan, fluent in Mandarin and many Chinese dialects. Christine is very involved in community outreach in cultural, educational, business, and friendship city connection from greater Milwaukee to Asia Pacific. Her creativeness has won her lots of awards and recognition.

Terry Shelton – Vice President, Curriculum

Terry Shelton is the Emeritus Outreach Director of the Robert M. La Follette School of Public AffairsUniversity of Wisconsin–Madison.

As outreach director of the La Follette School for 23 years, Terry Shelton was the person most responsible for implementing the Wisconsin Idea, the notion that the boundaries of the university reach to the boundaries of the state and beyond. Shelton connected legislators, local government leaders, tribal officials, businesses, non-profits and citizens with research interests of faculty and affiliates in solving governance issues. Shelton serves or has served on a variety of boards, including Applied Tech Solutions (1999- present), Wisconsin Leadership Institute (1995-present), Environment and Public Health Network of Chinese Students and Scholars (2006-present) and the Daily Cardinal (2000-2010). He has headed the Madison chapters of the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of Public Administration. He currently is an independent consultant, editor, and policy innovator.

Gary Vaughn – Treasurer

Gary Vaughan has shown a passion for helping business owners through his work in economic development and working with small to medium businesses, counseling them to sustainability and growth. His management experience is in several industries including retail, petroleum, manufacturing, and academia. Gary has been a partner in a manufacturing firm for eight years where he was responsible for financials, administration, human resources, and safety compliance.

In 2008, he started Guident Business Solutions, a management and consulting firm he continues today. He is also a lecturer of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the coordinator of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Interdisciplinary Area at Lawrence University and has taught in the MBA program at Concordia University since 2003.

He is a member of the board of directors for the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce,  for Self Employment in the Arts,  and the advisory board for the School of Business and Legal Studies at Concordia University.

Gary has a master’s in Management and Organizational Behavior from Silver Lake College and a bachelor’s from UW-Oshkosh. 

Chie Kagiki – Education Program Coordinator

Chie Kakigi is an office supervisor at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Center for International Education.  Originally from Japan, she has been in Wisconsin since 1996.  Chie earned a Bachelor of Arts in Japanese Language and Literature with Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language minor from Chikushi Jogakuen University, Japan, in 1996, and her Master of Science in Education with an emphasis in Curriculum and Instruction degree from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh in 2001.  In addition, Chie has English as a Second Language & Japanese License from the state of Wisconsin. She has 13 years of teaching experience at both the college and high school levels (UW Oshkosh and Menasha High School).  During her teaching career, she has organized multiple international exchange programs and cultural events as well as advising and giving support to students.