Tamas Houlihan was named executive director of the Wisconsin Potato & Vegetable Growers Association (WPVGA) on December 4, 2014 by the WPVGA Board of Directors. For the previous 27 years, Houlihan served as the managing editor of The Badger Common’Tater magazine, the official voice of the Wisconsin potato and vegetable industry. During that time, he also held the title of communications director. In the fall of 2014, Houlihan was in his third stint as interim executive director, having filled the role in 2000 and 2008. With his appointment in 2014, Houlihan became the thirteenth executive director of the state’s potato association, which was founded in 1948. Headquartered in Antigo, Wisconsin, the WPVGA is a $1.5 million trade association with more than 350 members. The organization’s priorities include research, marketing, education and governmental affairs.
A 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Houlihan has a bachelor’s degree with a double-major in communication and German. He received the Chancellor’s Leadership Award and the Albertson Medallion at UWSP. He worked as the sports editor and news editor at the Rhinelander Daily News before joining the WPVGA in 1987. At the WPVGA, Houlihan received a Distinguished Service Award in 1997; the President’s Award in 2001; the Agri-Communicator Award in 2008; and the Wisconsin Seed Potato Industry Leadership Award in 2011. He received the WPVGA President’s Award again in 2015.
Houlihan lives in Stevens Point with his wife, Paula. They have seven children, including two teenage daughters who still live at home.
Tamas enjoys biking, playing softball, traveling and reading. He is an avid sports fan who loves football (especially the Green Bay Packers), basketball and baseball.