Sad news from Madison College. Lorin Toepper , Director of Economic and Workforce Development at the West Campus, died Friday after a heart attack.

Toepper, 53 , has worked for Madison College since 2001. Below is a statement from Madison College on Toepper's passing:

It is with profound sadness that we share with you that Lorin Toepper,
director of workforce and economic development at Madison College’s
West Campus, suffered a heart attack and passed away Friday, January 3,
at his home.

Lorin came to the college in 2001. He has served as an Associate Dean,
a regional campus manager, and most recently a Director of Workforce
and Economic Development. His legacy to the college includes his support
of our culinary programs and other business programming, his advocacy and
professional expertise in tourism and economic development, and his work in
promoting entrepreneurship. He was the chairperson of “Startup Weekend Madison,”
a multi-partner program that brings together entrepreneurial minds from Southern
Wisconsin to encourage collaboration on innovative projects and form new startup
companies. He also co-founded the Wisconsin Grilled Cheese Championship and
was active in numerous organizations that promote civic enrichment and economic
development.

Lorin was an accomplished chef and often assisted with preparing and serving food
at campus functions that were catered by Madison College’s Culinary Arts program.
He found a way to combine his affinity for economic development, entrepreneurship
and cooking by creating the Madison College “Street Food Academy.” Launched last
fall, this series of courses helps food entrepreneurs learn the steps to create a food
cart in Dane County.

We are making arrangements with our EAP provider, Heitzinger and Associates, for
grief counseling group session at the West Campus. Of course, any Madison College
employee may also schedule a visit with a counselor as part of your EAP benefits
package by calling 608.255.4419. We hope you’ll take advantage of this service if you
need it.

Funeral arrangements are pending, and we’ll be sure to share details as we receive them.
In the meantime, please take a quiet moment today to reflect on your memories of Lorin –
then share a kind word and a laugh with someone who’s important to you in his memory.
He would appreciate that.