• Member Recognition


  • The Heart of Wisconsin makes an effort each year to recognize the accomplishments of its members, to thank them for participating in and supporting the Chamber. Nominations are considered for the following awards each year: Business of the Year, Innovative Business of the Year, Entrepreneur/Developer of the Year, Progress Award, Shining Star, Ambassador of the Year, Community Spirit and Citizen of the Year.


    Business of the Year is presented to the business that has demonstrated innovative economic and business growth, provides dedication to customer service, and is active in the community.

    2018-Quality Foods Hometown Markets; 2017-Domtar; 2016-Aspirus Riverview Hospital; 2015-Rubi Reds; 2014-Hotel Mead & Conference Center; 2013-ERCO Worldwide; 2012-Mariani Packing Company; 2011-Aspirus Doctors Clinic; 2010-Renaissance Learning, Inc.


    Innovative Business of the Year recognizes those who are fostering innovation and making an investment in our community.

    2018-Verso Corporation Wisconsin Rapids Mill; 2017-Sand Valley Golf Resort; 2016-Mid-State Technical College; 2015-SUP the Rapids; 2014-Town of Rome; 2013-Jacoby Custom Cues; 2012-Solarus; 2011-McCain Foods; 2010-Opportunity Development Centers, Inc


    Entrepreneur/Developer of the Year is awarded to the entrepreneur who has initiated economic growth, is active in community service and leadership, and demonstrates innovative efforts.

    2018-Lori Leggett & George Van Stedum; 2017-Dana Duncan; 2016-Blu Play Cafe; 2015-Mary Brazeau-Brown; 2014-Andy Nelson and Kevin Hanneman & Jeran Goodwin; 2013-Rubi Reds -Kelly & Kurt Heiman and Steve & Marcy Berlyn; 2012 Matt & Tim Zacher; 2011- Ryan & Amy Schiede; 2010-Zach Vruwink


    Progress Awards recognizes a Heart of Wisconsin businesses that have recently made substantial investments in their business.

    2010 -Wisconsin Rapids Rafters; Nekoosa Community Center; Paul Gross Jewelers; Jennings & Company; McMillan Memorial Library; Wood County VA Clinic; South Wood County Humane Society

    2009-The In Boutique; Party Time Cakes; Four Star Family Restaurant; Graphic Xpress; McDonalds; Rapid Rehab, LLC.

    2008-James Bruener Timber Products, Inc.; Altman Construction Company, Inc.; First Weber Group Realtors; Hotel Mead and Conference Center; North Central Real Estate Brokerage, LLC; SKS Machine, Inc.


    Regional Economic Impact recognizes a Heart of Wisconsin business that shows significant regional growth and expansion of their business/organization, show community service and leadership, and use innovative efforts to adapt to market place change.

    2018-South Wood County Airport Commission


    Shining Star/Non-Profit of the Year is presented to a service organization or public institution that provides dedication to community service and leadership and develops innovative programs to serve the community over time.

    2018-Wisconsin Rapids Elks Lodge #693; 2017-South Wood County YMCA / Boys & Girls Club; 2016-Wisconsin Rapids Aqua Skiers; 2015-ODC Project Search; 2014-McMillan Library; 2013-Wisconsin Rapids Kiwanis Club; 2011-The Silver Foxes; 2010-SCORE


    Ambassador of the Year is an award voted on by the Ambassadors. The recipient of the award is honored for going above and beyond as an Ambassador, and for attendance at events and meetings. The Ambassador must have been an active ambassador for more than one year.

    2018-Carrie Nikolai; 2017-Kim Grover; 2016-Max Daven; 2015-Jeff Sigler; 2014-Geoff Stoner; 2013-Heather Gygi; 2012- Janine Malcolm; 2011-Holly Fluno; 2010-Lynn Hansen


    Chamber Champion this new award recognizes a person or business that goes above and beyond to support the Heart of Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce.

    2018-Dade "Big Pipes" Grode; 2017-Craig Hanson; 2016-Shannon Buss


    Community Spirit Award recognizes those who have demonstrated outstanding volunteer spirit and have made a significant impact in the Heart of Wisconsin community.

    2018-Central Wisconsin Gift of Life, Jill Dillon; 2017-Coldwell Banker Siewert Realtors & Jim Newman / The Ridges; 2016-Smile from Lacey & Jigsaw Run; 2015-Teen Fireworks Committee; 2014-Wisconsin Rapids Rafters; 2013-Halloween for Cancer, Mike & Bonita Wolosek; 2013-Ward 1 Clean Up, Kathy Rash; 2011-Karl Hilke; 2010-Betty Boop Festival & Wisconsin Rapids Area Garden Clubs


    Citizen of the Year Award recognizes someone whose work, community service, and involvement demonstrates what it is to be a good citizen.

    2018-Zach Vruwink; 2017-Steve Bell; 2016-Maggie Muleski; 2015-Amy Sheide; 2014-Tom Sachs; 2013-Philip Brown; 2012-Kelly Ryan; 2011-Terry & Judy Paul; 2010-Richard Lucht; 2009-Ida Lee Siewert; 2008-Libby Rosandick; 2007-Jack Kahoun; 2006-Lynn Hansen; 2005-Dr. John Thompson; 2004-Dr. Thomas Marshall; 2003-Pat Schuetz; 2002-Gary Gilbert; 2001-Marshall Buehler; 2000-George W. Mead; 1999-Jan Suzda; 1998-Terrance & Judith Paul; 1997-Paul R. Gross; 1996-Mary Virginia Brazeau; 1995-Judy Steele; 1994-Catherine Boyce; 1993-Sue Mancl; 1992-James Shewchuk & Robert Arterburn; 1991-W.H. “Bill” McLaughlin; 1990-Groff Collett; 1989-Samuel A. Casey; 1988-Donald W. Melville; 1987-Clarence T. Teske; 1986-Phyllis L. Hunger; 1985-Marion B. Fey; 1984-Gerard E. Veneman; 1983-Arnie W. Strope; 1982-Dr. Thomas A. Marshall; 1981-Clare B. Vanatta; 1980-Frank E. Walsh; 1979-Marvin E. Love; 1978-Mrs. Viola Daly; 1977-Mrs. Emily M. Baldwin; 1976-Mrs. Fred Kester; 1975-Lewie R. Benitz; 1974-Daniel P. Meyer; 1973-Carl W. Guelcher; 1972-Mayor Donald Penza; 1971-Mrs. Dorothy Alexander; 1970- Earl M. McCourt; 1969-Ezra Maeder; 1968-Ward Johnson; 1967-Mrs. Mary McMillan Burt; 1966-Daniel Teas; 1965-William F. Huffman; 1964-Raymond W. Burchell; 1963 -Earl Odegard; 1962-Milt E. Schneider; 1961-Theodore W. Brazeau; 1960-J.J. Nimtz; 1959-Stanton W. Mead; 1958-Robert G. Suerth; 1957-John E. Alexander; 1956-Herbert L. Sering; 1955-John E. Alexander; 1954-Frank D. Abel; 1953-Lester O’Dell; 1952-Richard A. Davis; 1951-Phil Manders; 1950-George W. Mead I; 1949-Leo J. Barrette