Celia Benton has accepted the role of Economic Development Director within the Department of Administrative Services at Milwaukee County. Celia officially fills the roll after having served as the interim director over the last five months. Celia has over 14 years of experience driving equitable economic growth through strategic partnerships and catalytic opportunities. Her drive will help ensure the County provides high quality real estate services and clearly connects economic development goals to the County's vision that by achieving racial equity, Milwaukee County is the healthiest county in Wisconsin.
Her career highlights include renewing the Brew City Match Collaboration under a shared mission to support small business growth in target neighborhoods, reactivating commercial corridor growth along National Avenue in Silver City, co-developing an award-winning pilot program supporting BIPOC restaurant owners while addressing food security and accessibility among seniors, and supporting the creation of more than 150 jobs and more than $2.6 million in small business and commercial real estate investments.
Her career path in economic development started in Peace Corps El Salvador, where she focused on fueling local entrepreneurship and wealth-building. She then went on to receive her master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Cornell University where she also completed a fellowship with the Ministry of Tourism in Belize.
Celia and her team have a vision that “Milwaukee County will become the most diverse, inclusive, and economically vibrant county in Wisconsin through excellence in real estate development, leasing, and sales and building partnerships that drive economic opportunities.”
In her personal time, Celia enjoys outdoor adventures with her family and friends, winning cribbage games, and rescuing cats.
Director of Economic Development