Janet Bewley

Biographical Sketch


Janet was elected to the Senate in the fall of 2014 after serving two terms in the Wisconsin State Assembly.  She is a member of the Senate’s Committee on Universities and Technical Colleges, Committee on Education, Committee on Insurance, Housing, and Trade and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. 


Janet serves on the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority Board and is also a member of the Special Committee on State-Tribal Relations, the State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse and the Governor’s Council on Tourism.  Prior to her first election in the fall of 2010, she served on the Ashland City Council for two years.


Janet was born in 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio, the second of four children in a hard-working family.  Her father was a truck driver, and her mom ran the house.  She attended Catholic school for nine years and graduated from public high school, James Ford Rhodes, in 1969.  Janet got her first job at fifteen, and has held a job ever since.  In 1973 she became the first member of her family to graduate from college, Case Western Reserve.  After a few years working in the ocean freight business, Janet went on to graduate school and earned a Master's in Academic Administration from the University of Maine in 1977.   And then she moved to Ashland......and found her home.


Janet’s professional career in northern Wisconsin includes more than 30 years:


•     WHEDA - Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority:  Senior Community Development Officer/ State Tribal Liaison/ Business Development Officer

•     Family Administrator, HRK Group, Bayfield

•     Mary H. Rice Foundation, Executive Director

•     Northland College, Dean of Students


Janet’s work for WHEDA included travel to every corner of northern Wisconsin.  She is proud of the quality housing, the new business opportunities and the many jobs she helped create.  As Tribal Liaison, she helped create many units of affordable housing for seniors and families, at five of Wisconsin’s eleven tribal nations.  Janet is motivated by her desire to preserve and protect the neighborhoods, villages and towns that give northern Wisconsin its character.


Janet was one of the original cast members at Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua and continues to perform as part of the Rittenhouse Chamber Singers.  She is married to David Saetre, Professor of Religion and Campus Minister, Northland College.  She and David have five grown children and four fantastic grandchildren.