The Waukesha County Center for Growth, Waukesha County Business Alliance and Waukesha County announced the winners of the Small, Medium and Large Business of the Year awards at the Waukesha County Awards Gala on June 13. We also honored the winners of the Small and Large Nonprofit of the Year awards and the Waukesha County Advocate of the Year award.
What sets Waukesha County apart is the way businesses, government, nonprofits and educational institutions all work together to make our community stronger. The Alliance, Waukesha County and the Waukesha County Center for Growth are working together to honor top-performing businesses and nonprofits that have a significant presence in Waukesha County and are making our community a great place to live, work and play.
Congrats to our 2019 winners!
Waukesha County Advocate of the Year – Holy Hawkins, president – Milwaukee office, Tri-North Builders
Holly has been in the construction industry for nearly 20 years. Holly puts her passion for combating the skilled worker shortage in Wisconsin into action through numerous workforce development and youth outreach efforts. She is deeply involved in Waukesha County Business Alliance’s Construction Alliance, which focuses on raising the perception of career pathway opportunities and creating interest for youth in pursuing trades as viable careers. She also sits on the education policy committee and has arranged and hosted two Careers Uncovered programs at Tri-North’s Waukesha office, which brought together educators and school counselors with construction professionals. Additionally, she has participated in roundtable conversations and was instrumental in bringing Kids Building Wisconsin (an interactive construction event for youth) to Milwaukee in January 2019. She is also working with her kids’ school to bring additional STEAM programs to the classroom.
Business of the Year awards
Large Business of the Year – First Bank Financial Centre
First Bank Financial Centre (FBFC) has been serving the residents and businesses of Waukesha County since 1859. As they celebrate their 160th anniversary this year, they recognize that their success would not be possible without a commitment to living their mission statement everyday: “Make Lives Better.” They make lives better through their quality products and services, through charitable giving and their 12,500 hours of volunteerism annually, and by being an outstanding employer of choice. And while they have expanded their service area over the years, they are proud to continue to call Oconomowoc home.
Finalists: Generac Power Systems and Waukesha State Bank
Medium Business of the Year – R&R Insurance Services
As one of the largest independently owned insurance agencies in the Midwest, R&R is proud to have stability in family ownership, dedicated in-house resources for clients and a strong commitment to the community. The private ownership fosters the vision to grow and plan strategically, the agility to act quickly, and a continual investment in talent and resources. This summer, R&R will relocate to a new corporate headquarters. The 60,000 square foot facility includes incredible design features and state-of-art technology, allowing R&R to continue providing superior service to customers and assisting in the recruitment of top talent in the industry.
Finalists: Ruekert & Mielke and Vrakas CPAs + Advisors
Small Business of the Year Finalists – SWICKtech
SWICKtech believes that all companies have the potential to grow when they embrace evolving technology and an IT team who puts relationships and the future first. Their team consists of self-proclaimed, certified Rockstars. Their culture embodies a client-first maxim while having fun every day! Their ability to work with a wide variety of industries for strategic planning and documenting technical environments allows them to leverage technology to accelerate their clients’ growth. Yes, they’re nerds. Passionate nerds, who take accountability for your IT needs. Your success, that’s why.
Finalists: All Occasions/Bubb’s BBQ and Orange Hat Publishing
Nonprofit of the Year awards
Large Nonprofit of the Year Winner – The Women’s Center
The Women’s Center provides safety, shelter and support to empower all impacted by domestic abuse, sexual violence, child abuse and trafficking. The only agency of their kind in Waukesha County, all of their programs and services are offered at no cost to adults and children from throughout the region, and include a 24-hour hotline, emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, employment and life-skills, rape crisis response, AODA and mental health support, legal advocacy and free child care for anyone using their services. To get involved, get help or learn more, visit www.twcwaukesha.org or call their 24-hour hotline at 262.542.3828.
Small Nonprofit of the Year Winner – Family Promise of Waukesha County
Since 2014, Family Promise of Waukesha County has been helping homeless families with children regain and retain their independence. They partner with faith-based communities and other groups, utilizing their buildings and volunteers along with their day center to provide free room and board for up to 90 days. During this time, their case manager connects these families to other local resources to help them develop life skills, locate housing and secure sufficient income and benefits to reestablish their own home. They then follow up with these families to help them keep their homes and flourish.
Many nominations were submitted for the awards, and an independent judging panel reviewed nominees. Business nominations were reviewed based on the following six criteria: a commitment to good business practices, customer-focused commitment, community service involvement, a history of good employee relations/benefits, financial growth and consistency and education partnerships and workforce development. Nonprofit nominations were reviewed based on the following four criteria: promotes health, safety and quality of life, fulfills the mission of the organization, financial sustainability and engages in collaborations and partnerships.
Click here to nominate a business for the 2020 Small, Medium and Large Business of the Year awards and click here to nominate an organization for the 2020 Small and Large Nonprofit of the Year awards.
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