Home Blueprint365 “I’m rolling up my sleeves.” Dr. Jay Balachandran looks for long term...

“I’m rolling up my sleeves.” Dr. Jay Balachandran looks for long term economic development in Whitefish Bay


From Blueprint365

Dr. Jay Balachandran grew up as a small-town kid, the son of an engineering professor at UW-Platteville. Even with fewer than 10,000 people in the 1980s and 90s when he was growing up there, Platteville is one of the largest cities in very rural southwest Wisconsin.

“In a lot of ways – and this is true of a lot of my friends of color in Wisconsin who grew up as immigrant kids – I have more of an affinity with small town Wisconsin than I do with India, which is where my family’s from,” Balachandra said in a recent interview. “Definitely growing up in the grade school system, you had your kids who were third and fourth generation Plattevillians, farmers’ kids who are just decidedly blue collar, who are some of my best friends to this day. And then you had kids of immigrants who were there to be professors … I’ve reflected on this a lot. I think it’s actually remarkable how harmonious it was. People really got along pretty well. There was surprisingly little tension that way.”

Balachandran – known more widely as “Dr. Jay” – was recognized as one of Madison365’s Most Influential Asian American Leaders in 2022.

Read the whole story at Blueprint365.org.