Operations Partner

joy hannemann merge urban development group


  • 2020 Master of Business Administration (MBA) – University of Wisconsin – Wisconsin School of Business
  • 2010 BA Mass Communications & Journalism – Public Relations, Marketing – University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire

Joy Hannemann co-founded Merge Urban Development in 2018 alongside Brent Dahlstrom. Joy leveraged her professional network of economic development contacts to launch Merge’s real estate development presence in Wisconsin. Within the first two years, she secured nearly $5M in tax credit and grant funding by managing and guiding project applications in both Wisconsin & Iowa. By the beginning of 2021, these tax credits and grants led to groundbreaking on five new Opportunity Zone projects in Iowa and Wisconsin, with many more to come.

Deeply involved in day-to-day operations across the development platform, Joy not only runs the Wisconsin Merge office, but she is also intimately involved in investor relations, negotiations, financial planning, community relations, and property management. She has leveraged her experience in economic development, construction, and real estate investing in the years preceding Merge, to ensure all projects are efficiently and successfully executed from start to finish.

When Joy is not working on real estate, she is spending time with her husband, Jason, and her adorable and playful dog, Basil. She loves to explore new places and has traveled around the world to different countries and cities including Peru, France, Thailand, Africa, Australia, and within the US. Traveling to different urban areas has informed her perspective on cities for people and smart growth for cities.

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