Administrative Team

Matt Giese

Matt Giese, Village Administrator


Matt serves as the Chief Administative Officer of the Village and is responsible to the Village President and Village Board for managing the Village's day-to-day operations. Matt was appointed as Village Administrator in 2011. The Administrator also serves as the Personnel Director. 

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from UW-Madison and a Master's in Public Administration from UW-Milwaukee.
  • Experience: Village Administrator (2011 - present); City Administrator, City of Viroqua, WI (2009 - 2011); Assistant City Administrator, City of Viroqua, WI (2007 - 2009)
JJ Larson

JJ Larson, Deputy Administrator / Director of Public Works & Communications


JJ serves as the Deputy Administrator / Director of Public Works & Utilities. JJ joined the Village of Cottage Grove in 2015. As the Deputy Administrator, JJ is responsible for providing professional support to the Administration, Planning & Development, Finance, and Clerks Department. The Deputy Administrator is responsible for managing the Village's day-to-day operations in the Administrator's absence. As Director of Public Works & Utilities, JJ is responsible for directing and administering the activities of the Public Works Department, especially for the long-term strategic planning of the department.

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & History from UW-Madison and a Master's in Public Administration from Upper Iowa University. 
  • Experience: Deputy Administrator / Director of Public Works (2021 - Present); Director of Public Works (2015 - 2021); Maintenance Supervisor, City of Madison Water Utility (2013 - 2015); Operations Lead worker, City of Madison Water Utility (2012 - 2013); Equipment Operator 1, City of Madison Water Utility (2002 - 2012); Public Works Maintenance Worker 2 (2000 - 2002).
Gabe Altenbernd

Gabe Altenbernd, Communications Manager


Gabe is responsible for managing and directing internal and external communications for the Village. Gabe joined the Village in 2022. The Communications Manager creates, implements, and maintains communication and branding strategies, leads the way for a continued, strong social media presence, and serves as a key spokesperson and media contact for the Village. This position is a key member of the Village’s Leadership Team, serving as Executive Assistant to the Village Administrator and Deputy Administrator and spokesperson and media contact for the Village. In the absence of the Village Administrator and Deputy Administrator, Gabe serves as staff liaison to elected officials, regulatory agencies, committees, and commission members. 

  • Education: Bachelor of Arts in Political Science & History from Drake University and a Master's in Public Administration from the University of Kansas.
  • Experience: Communications Manager (2022 - Present); Communications and Management Intern, Waunakee, WI (2021 - 2022); Graduate Intern, WaterOne (2020 - 2021); Strategic Initiatives Intern, City of Kansas City, MO office of Management and Budget (2019); Management Intern, City of Lawrence, KS (2018); Management Intern, City of Prairie Village, KS (2017).