MONROE – The Green County Development Corporation honored an outstanding local business, a visionary young couple and an exemplary leader at its Annual Meeting and Recognition Dinner on Wednesday, April 24.
The winner of the Outstanding Business of the Year was Monroe Powersports. The award honors existing businesses that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the county’s economic growth through innovation, job creation, new investment, and/or extraordinary long-time interest in supporting others in business.
Quality products and service that keeps customers coming back – and strategic growth to meet customers’ needs – have been the keys to Monroe Powersports’ success. More than 20 years ago, Tim Hayes and Todd Prien purchased Monroe Powersports on County N. They built their current building at 2820 County DR and have gone through numerous expansions of staff and additions for storage and a service building. They are now completing their latest building. In the every-changing business of ATVs/UTVs and snowmobiles, Monroe Powersports continues to adapt and grow. As Joe Klein of the Bank of New Glarus and Sugar River Branches said in nominating Monroe Powersports, the business has “an excellent reputation for their service department, and people come from around the area and well in to Illinois. They are exactly what the area needs and have been growing since the day they bought the business.”
Dan and Ashley Wegmueller were named recipients of the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award for The Dairy at the Wegmueller Farm, a “farmstay” destination on their 50-head Brown Swiss dairy farm just outside Monroe. The Entrepreneurial Spirit Award honors an entrepreneur with a hunger for opportunity, a growth mindset, a willingness to learn, a willingness to find solutions to challenges and problems, and a strong work ethic.
Like so many other farmers, the Wegmuellers were confronted with the growing crisis in the dairy industry. The Wegmuellers found a unique solution: After the unexpected death of Dan’s parents, they turned the family home into a farmstay destination, giving guests an opportunity to interact and take in the day-to-day activities of a working dairy farm. Opening last September, the Wegmuellers have already hosted guests from as far away as Rwanda and Great Britain. The Wegmuellers also help promote others in the community by providing their guests with a Welcome Basket of local products. In nominating the couple, Lisa Kivirist of the Inn Serendipity and Soil Sisters said the Wegmuellers “authentically demonstrate the positive, forward-thinking visionary mindset that brings not only success to their business but stimulates economic opportunity for all of Green County.”
Doug Pinnow, mayor of Brodhead, is the winner of this year’s Richard B. Schmied Leadership Award. The award commemorates Richard B. Schmied, remembered for the characteristics of leadership he exhibited. The winner of the award exemplifies the character of a true leader.
Pinnow, a life-long resident of Brodhead, has always supported and has spent countless hours devoted to helping his community. After graduating from Brodhead High School, he earned a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Wisconsin. He then owned and operated Pinnow Pharmacy, a mainstay of Brodhead’s downtown business district, for many years before retiring. He has served on the Brodhead school board for 12 years; was on the city council for seven years; and has served as mayor since 2004. In addition, he’s been a member of Brodhead’s Chamber of Commerce, BID Board, Lions and Optimist Clubs and served his church – all of which he has served in a leadership role, wrote John Bernstein of the GCDC Board of Directors in nominating Pinnow. He’s a familiar face at community events – participating and working at events and functions. Brodhead is a better community because of Pinnow.
Cara Carper, GCDC executive director, was also honored during the event. Neil Lerner, associate director of the state Small Business Development Center, presented Carper with a Friend of the Wisconsin SBDC award for her contributions to the success of SBDC services in Green County and the Prosperity Southwest region.
As part of GCDC’s annual dinner event, UW students and staff presented brief summaries of their UniverCity Year projects. The UniverCity Year program is a partnership in which UW faculty and students use research and state-of-the-art technology to help local communities solve pressing problems. In Green County, UniverCity projects covered a wide gamut, ranging from public health to sustainable energy to use of public spaces. More information about the UniverCity Year program in Green County is available online at https://univercity.wisc.edu/greencounty/.
GCDC, a multi-jurisdictional economic development corporation, was formed to bring professional economic development expertise to its member communities to create a competitive advantage to spur job creation and new investments. The organization is building the economic future of Green County communities and businesses through public-private partnerships. For more information, visit GCDC at online at www.greencountyedc.com.