JEFFERSON — The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual banquet Thursday evening at 13 East, recognizing top businesspeople, community leaders, businesses and chamber members for their contributions to making Jefferson a better place in which to live and do business.
This year’s banquet was better attended than last year’s, with around 40 more reservations plus a waiting list.
“It warms my heart to see so many of us come together to celebrate each other’s accomplishments,” chamber Executive Director Jen Pinnow said.
As attendees headed to their meals, Pinnow highlighted a few top awards, in case anyone had missed the feature articles in the Daily Union in recent weeks announcing the recipients.
Named as 2019 Chamber Business Person of the Year is Julia Chady of Indeco.
“Julia exemplifies great leadership and community service throughout Jefferson County,” Pinnow said.
The director lauded the interior design business owner for her long service to the community in terms of connecting people and ideas.
“Her dedication and involvement with community groups and activities branching throughout her elementary, high school and adult years shows her dedication to our community,” the chamber director said.
“Julia truly inspires others with her kind words and actions,” Pinnow said. “She beautifies our spaces and lives with her smile and genuine care for details and her genuine desire to make those around her happier in their environments. She encourages people to get involved and enjoy the community we live in and all the events and activities most people overlook and take for granted.”
In addition, Pinnow said, Chady and her business constantly promote the City of Jefferson. In 2018, Julia moved her company to the city’s historic downtown, undertaking a massive remodeling project that preserved the historical aspects of the building while updating it to modern functionality.
“I had the privilege of meeting Julia when we served together on the Jefferson Branding Committee, where there I, too, saw firsthand her commitment to the city she grew up in and continues to call home,” Pinnow said.
“Julia’s passion and desire for continued growth and development is accomplished through the relationships she builds, on and off the job, including her role as vice president and then president of the Jefferson Chamber Board of Directors,” Pinnow said.
“Her positive impact sweeps through the various committees she served on both with the chamber and the City of Jefferson, including but not limited to the Home Show, Hiring Committee (twice), community events, Downtown Revitalization Group and city focus groups. Julia was also a key player in the prep leading up to the (local) taping of ‘Around the Corner with John McGivern.’”
Over the course of the past two years serving as the executive director of the chamber, Pinnow said, she has learned that Chady gives careful thought to everything she does.
Introducing the 2019 Chamber Business of the Year, County-City Credit Union, Pinnow noted that this award goes out to a chamber member who has served as a pillar in the business community.
“This year, we are recognizing a business that has been in Jefferson since 1963,” Pinnow said. “County-City Credit Union is a small business whose number-one priority is its members. This is evident in all the ways they welcome and work with their members, as well as give back to their members.
“Some examples of going the extra mile include bringing a loan current for a member facing cancer; purchasing gas gift certificates for a family requiring travel to numerous medical appointments; and providing assistance for families with children facing serious or life-threatening illness, just to name a few,” Pinnow said.
“It’s for these reasons and so many more that the members have grown to see County-City Credit Union as family,” the chamber director said.
“CCCU’s giving goes beyond its members,” she said. “The staff volunteers with a variety of chamber events including the holiday parade and fair bartending and have accepted leadership roles. The community has benefited from their time given to organizations such as Tomorrow’s Hope, Christmas Neighbors-Food Drive, sponsoring Bingo at the Jefferson Senior Center, Jefferson County Literacy Council, Unity Project and Community Partnership of Jefferson County,” she said.
Pinnow also lauded CCCU’s dedication to the development of the community’s youth She noted the credit union’s involvement in School District of Jefferson activities, including Reality Day, Junior Achievement, Adopt-a-Classroom, Mock Interviews and the pro-education community group benefiting the schools, Vote Yes for Education.
“CCCU promotes a financially savvy community by teaching a financial education course at UW-Whitewater in Spanish, providing Spanish translation services and Financial Education classes to their members,” Pinnow said. “They foster a caring community by visiting their members that are confined to their homes, sending ‘thinking of you’ cards, birthday wishes and sympathy cards to their members, and participating in Jefferson’s Random Acts of Kindness Campaign in Jefferson.”
Pinnow said that the CCCU was instrumental in bringing the Mobile Consulate to Jefferson and coordinating the program.
Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann presented two prestigious city awards, the Citizen of the Year award, which went to Jefferson EMS associate director Robert DeWolfe, and the second annual Jefferson Award for longtime service and community impact, which went to Tomorrow’s Hope founder and director for more than 20 years, Barb Endl, who recently retired.
After the dinner, Pinnow returned to the podium to thank all of those involved in putting the annual event on, including sponsors and silent auction donors, the chamber board of directors, chamber ambassadors and others.
Also, Oppermann gave a brief “State of the City” speech and chamber President Denise Wild offered “State of the Chamber” remarks (see related stories on A2).
The evening ended with a spate of additional awards.
Pinnow recognized the chamber’s incoming president, Kim Kysely.
The chamber presented the “Community Betterment” awards to businesses that have enhanced the future of Jefferson by opening their business in the community and/or those who joined the chamber for the first time in 2019.
These included: Fields Tax & Accounting LLC, Lutz Heating and Cooling, The Works Hair Salon, the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, RE/MAX Shine, Crown of Life Christian Academy, Griffin Auto, Inc D/B/A Griffin Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram, Stable Rock Winery, Friends of Goat Island, RiverStone Event Center, the Bon Ton Bakery, Playa Vallarta Mexican Grill, InSite, Community Dental Clinic Inc., Ranger Power — Badger State Solar, Riverview Wellness Counseling Center, Thrivent Financial — Michael Stade & Brian Dostalek, Feed My Starving Children, Wisconsin Farmer’s Union, The View of Johnson Creek, and A.G. Ventures Group.
Beautification awards went out to chamber member businesses which have enhanced the exterior of their buildings in the last year: Associated Bank, Century 21 Integrity Group, Edward Jones-Tom Moore, the Jefferson Police Department /Jefferson Utilities office, RE/MAX Shine, Playa Vallarta, and Stehling’s Taxidermy.
The chamber also recognized businesses celebrating anniversary milestones in the local community, from five to 160 years.
“Some of the business owners have changed, but they have continued operating since they opened,” Pinnow said.
Recognized for five years in business were: Anytime Fitness, INDECO Interior Design Co., Miller & Ansay, LLC, Sunset Ridge Memory Care, and Jefferson Memory Care.
Recognized for 10 years in business was the Stauffer-Klug Insurance Agency Inc.
Recognized for 15 years in business were: Vinnie’s Rock Bottom Express; the Jefferson County Economic Development Consortium, Crawfish Corners LLC and Ron’s Market.
Recognized for two decades in business were Cream City Marketing and Physicians Mutual.
Marking a quarter-century in business was The Heron’s Landing.
Observing three decades in business was the River Bend RV Resort.
Celebrating 35 years in business is Aurora Health Care.
Marking four decades of service to the local community was JM Carpets.
At the half-century mark was John’s Disposal Service Inc.
At 65 years were Aumann’s Service Inc. and Luedtke Plumbing.
Marking seven decades was Fidelity Land Title Ltd.
At the 75-year mark was Felton Electric.
Celebrating 115 years in business was St. Coletta of Wisconsin.
At the 135-year mark was Badger Bank.
Topping the list with 160 years in the local community was St. Francis of Assisi (formerly St. John’s the Baptist Catholic Church).