WEDC salutes volunteers, staff for their efforts at event in Ripon

Madison, WI. April 30, 2018 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2017 at the 27th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held Friday at Ripon College.

Mark R. Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, and other WEDC leaders were on hand to recognize the efforts by Main Street volunteers and staff for the historic preservation and downtown economic development efforts of communities in Wisconsin.

“All across the state, those involved in the Wisconsin Main Street Program are making a real difference in improving their downtowns by developing new and innovative ways to attract visitors and support local businesses,” Hogan said. “These awards recognize the organizations and dedicated individuals whose efforts not only benefit their communities, but also set the standard for other Main Street communities statewide.”

Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 33 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community projects have resulted in the creation of more than 2,600 new businesses and more than 14,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $1.7 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.

During fiscal year 2017, Wisconsin Main Street communities were responsible for the creation of an estimated 373 net new jobs and 65 net new businesses in the state. More than 47,000 volunteer hours were worked in those communities.

Also on hand at Friday’s event were members of WEDC’s Connect Communities Program, a companion program to Wisconsin Main Street created in 2013 to provide access to resources and training to help communities pursue revitalization and redevelopment efforts. In fiscal year 2017, the 68 participating communities added 46 net new businesses, more than 500 net new jobs and $54 million in public and private investment.

This year’s winners are:

Best Adaptive Reuse Project

Co-Winner: City Service Brewing – Darlington
Co-Winner: Kickapoo Coffee – Viroqua

Best Business Recruitment & Retention Initiative

Winner: Downtown Kenosha Retail Strategy Team & Façade Grant Program -Kenosha

Best Business Success Story

Winner: Los Amigos Restaurant & Market-Carlos & Carolina Vasquez – Platteville

Best Cooperative Business Marketing

Winner: Whiskey Tasting Event – Osceola

Best Creative Fundraising

Winner: Viroqua Chamber Main Street Membership Drive – Viroqua

Best Façade Rehab Over $10,000

Winner: Mally Building of Kitchen & Floor Décor – Rice Lake
Honorable Mention: Thomas Rogers/APO-231-33 Watson Rear Facade – Ripon

Best Façade Rehab Under $10,000

Winner: Sandra D’s Bridal Boutique – Watertown

Best Image Campaign/Item/Event

Winner: Wausome River District Video – Wausau
Honorable Mention: Omro Historic Walking Tour & Open House – Omro

Best Interior Renovation Over $50,000

Winner: Sepia Chapel – Two Rivers

Best Interior Renovation Under $50,000

Winner: Jewelry by Christopher – Beloit

Best New Building

Co-Winner: The 102 on Broadway – De Pere
Co-Winner: Belle Square – La Crosse

Best New Business

​Winner: Atlas Gaming–Brian Krueger and Morgan Crouch​ – Fond du Lac

Best Public-Private Partnership

Winner: Library Block Redevelopment – Platteville
Honorable Mention: Hendricks Commercial Properties & City of Beloit – Beloit

Best Retail Event

Co-Winner: Winter Magic – Ladysmith
Co-Winner: De Pere Style – De Pere

Best Special Event

Winner: igNight Market – On Broadway-Green Bay
Honorable Mention: Downtown Kenosha Pop-Up Beer Garden – Kenosha

Best Storefront Display

Winner: Drift Mercantile Co. – La Crosse

Best Upper Floor Development-Commercial

Winner: Backyard Dream Studios/The O Co-Working Space – Kenosha

Best Upper Floor Development-Residential

Winner: Thomas Rogers/APO-123 Watson – Ripon

Connect Communities Award: Over 5,500 Population

Downtown Facades & Streetscape – New Richmond
Visitor Center – Tomah

Connect Communities Award: Under 5,500 Population

Historic Walking Tour – Princeton

Corporate or Municipal Supporter

Steve Eldred, President & CEO, First National Bank & Trust Co. – Beloit

Staff Choice Award

Jack Luedtke – Platteville

Hall of Fame

Mark Ihm – Platteville
Randy Meyer – Sheboygan Falls

Executive Directors Years of Service Awards

Diane Eineichner, West Allis (10 years)
Amy Hansen, Fond du Lac (11 years)
Elaine Kroening, Pewaukee (15 years)
Kathy Wellsandt, Rice Lake (22 years)
Craig Tebon, Ripon (26 years)

Volunteers of the Year

Kathy Hayden – Beloit
Heidi Brenum – Darlington
Sara Cujak – Fond du Lac
Garritt Bader – On Broadway-Green Bay
Bob Lichter – Kenosha
Julie Henline – La Crosse
Nancy Christianson – Ladysmith
Kip Engsberg – Lake Mills
Kareesa Wilson – Monroe
Jill Pernaski – Omro
Ruth Hinzmann – Platteville
Bridget Cocciante – Rice Lake
Dean Rogers – Ripon
Jessica Haefke – Sheboygan Falls
David Baierl – Two Rivers
Peter Ruud – Viroqua
Susanne Bradow – Watertown
Alyssa Hoppe – West Allis