WEDC salutes volunteers, staff at event in Wisconsin Rapids

Madison, WI. April 10, 2017 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2016 at the 26th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held Friday at Hotel Mead in Wisconsin Rapids.

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.

“A vibrant downtown is critical to a community’s overall economic development as well as the quality of life of its residents,” Hogan said. “Main Street staff and volunteers throughout the state have spent countless hours developing innovative ways to invigorate their respective downtowns and they deserve to be recognized for their efforts.”

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 34 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 13,000 net new jobs. In addition, more than $1.6 billion in public and private investment has occurred in Wisconsin Main Street communities.

In fiscal year 2016, the program resulted in the creation of an estimated 744 jobs and 138 new businesses. The program also generated $175 million in public and private investment, renovated or reconstructed nearly 300 buildings and held nearly 600 events with a total attendance of 1.6 million.

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 2016, the 48 participating communities added 60 net new businesses, more than 300 net new jobs and more than $45 million in public and private investment.

The awards presented Friday night were:

Best Volunteer Engagement

Winner: Whitewater City Market, Whitewater

Best Upper Floor Rehabilitation Project

Winner: Clark Dietz Inc., Kenosha

Best Storefront Display

Winner: Monet Floral, La Crosse

Best Special Event

Co-Winner: Campfire Nights—Ladysmith Main Street, Ladysmith

Co-Winner: Artspire, La Crosse

Best Retail Event

Winner: 2016 Shop Small Raffle, Fond du Lac

Best Public/Private Partnership in Downtown Revitalization

Winner: Umbrella Art Over Third Street, Wausau

Best Historic Restoration

Winner: Connie Weigert, K.L.C. Properties; The Artisan Preservation Company; Short-Elliott-Hendrickson, La Crosse

Best Public Improvement

Winner: Second Avenue Reconstruction Project, Wausau

Honorable Mention: Free Downtown WiFi, Platteville

Best New Business

Winner: The Homesteader’s Pantry, Marshfield

Honorable Mention: Café on Main, Tomahawk

Best Façade Rehabilitation under $10,000

Winner: Simple Living & Sodie’s Cigar Shop, Osceola

Best Façade Rehabilitation over $10,000

Winner: Rogers & Rogers, LLC (123 Watson), Ripon

Best Business Development/Retention Program

Winner: 2016 Downtown Morning Marketing Meetups, Fond du Lac

Best Cooperative Business Marketing Campaign

Winner: The Twelve Days of Pewaukee, Pewaukee

Connect Communities Award: Best Revitalization Initiative – Community under 5,500

Winner: City of Cuba City, Cuba City

Connect Communities Award: Best Revitalization Initiative – Community over 5,500

Co-Winner: Reedsburg ArtsLink, Reedsburg

Co-Winner: Village of Little Chute, Little Chute

Best New Building

Winner: Renew Port Holdings/Harbour Lights, Port Washington

Best Creative Fundraising Effort

Honorable Mention: Snowflake and Banner Project, Tigerton

Winner: Watertown Santa House, Watertown

Best Interior Renovation under $50,000

Honorable Mention: Broadway Theater, De Pere

Winner: Heather Haller-White Stag, Rice Lake

Best Interior Renovation over $50,000

Co-Winner: RiverGroup Financial Advisors, Osceola

Co-Winner: The Spa Boutique at Barbershop Rock, Platteville

Best Image Item/Campaign/Event

Honorable Mention: Downtown Whitewater, Inc.-Design Committee Butts to Benches Campaign, Whitewater

Winner: 2016 Downtown Fond du Lac Farmers Market Poster Series, Fond du Lac

Best Adaptive Reuse Project

Winner: Chippewa River Distillery/Brewster Bros. Brewing Co., Chippewa Falls

Executive Director Years of Service Awards

Five Years:
Shauna El-Amin, Beloit
Shirl Breunig, Sheboygan Falls

10 Years:
Amy Hansen, Fond du Lac

14 Years:
Elaine Kroening, Pewaukee

21 Years:
Kathy Wellsandt, Rice Lake

25 Years:
Craig Tebon, Ripon

2016 Wisconsin Main Street Volunteers of the Year

Tim Taylor, Beloit
Sue Cashman, Darlington
Rose Smits, De Pere
Katie Sperbeck, Fond du Lac
Erik Bedore, Kenosha
Kelly Schotzko, Ladysmith
Kristin Cramer, Lake Mills
Kelsey Williams, La Crosse
Danielle Krohn, Marshfield
Brad Grebner, Monroe
Shirley Johnson, Osceola
Tammy LaBorde, Pewaukee
Gary Munson, Platteville
David Wellsandt, Rice Lake
Kim Bahr, Ripon
Stefanie Trakel, Sheboygan Falls
Joshua Suehring, Tigerton
Roger Glocke, Tomahawk
Madison and Samantha Kronforst, Two Rivers
Robert Gariepy, Waterford
Wanda Fredrick, Watertown
Sarah Lentz, Wausau
Sarah Linn, Whitewater

2016 Honorary Board Members

Elaine Ribarich, Beloit
Judy Boll, Darlington
MaryAlexis Pfutzenreuter, De Pere
Tom Deitte, Fond du Lac
Paul McDonough, Kenosha
Don Rubow, Ladysmith
Tom Boycks, Lake Mills
Cindy Cole, Marshfield
Tom Miller, Monroe
Alice Rekstad, Platteville
Melanie Burdick, Rice Lake
Steve Sorenson, Ripon
David Horner, Sheboygan Falls
Elaine Erickson, Tigerton
Jim Wise, Tomahawk
Rusty Walesh, Two Rivers
Lori Hemmersbach, Viroqua
Michele Jones, Waterford
Brian Konz, Watertown
Kristine Zaballos, Whitewater

2016 Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame Inductees

Nancy Beck, Osceola
Sandra Budewitz, Watertown
Debra Abt, Viroqua