WEDC salutes volunteers and staff at 25th annual event in Marshfield

Marshfield, WI. April 11, 2016 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) Friday recognized the best downtown revitalization projects of 2015 at the 25th Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony at the Holiday Inn and Conference Center.

Mark Hogan, secretary and CEO of WEDC, was 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.

“In Wisconsin, we know the state’s economic success relies not only on thriving urban centers, but also on economic development in small and midsize communities in every region of the state,” Hogan said. “We work in partnership with communities to help them thrive and seize opportunities, and the Wisconsin Main Street Program is a prime example of this.”

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 Wisconsin communities to revitalize their business districts based on historic preservation developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Wisconsin has 34 Main Street communities. Since 1987, the Wisconsin Main Street Program has worked with more than 60 communities, and has been responsible for the creation of an estimated 12,000 jobs and 2,300 new businesses.

During fiscal year 2015, the Wisconsin Main Street Program was responsible for the creation of an estimated 586 jobs and 115 new businesses in the state. The program generated $6.3 million in public investment, which was leveraged to draw $91 million in private investment. The program also renovated or reconstructed 350 buildings and held 526 events to get people to these revitalized districts, with a total attendance of more than 1.2 million people.

Entering its fourth year, the Connect Communities Program provides support and networking to more than 50 communities across the state pursuing downtown revitalization initiatives.

The awards presented Friday night were:

Best Volunteer Engagement
Winner: Rivertown Trails Coalition, Osceola

Best Upper Floor Rehabilitation Project
Winner: The Court Above Main, La Crosse

Best Storefront Display
Honorable Mention: Marilyn’s, Darlington
Winner: My Oh My Boutique, Marshfield

Best Special Event
Winner: Beloit International Film Festival 10th Anniversary Celebration

Best Retail Event
Winner: First Thursdays, Wausau River District

Best Public/Private Partnership in Downtown Revitalization
Winner: Coulee CoStarters Program, La Crosse County

Best Historic Restoration
Winner: Masonic Temple Restoration Project, Omro

Best Public Improvement
Winner: Downtown Mural Project, Kenosha

Best New Business
Winner: Cedar Street Market, Tigerton

Best Façade Rehabilitation
Winner: Theo’s 24 Restaurant, Fond du Lac

Best Business Development Program
Winner: Holiday Pop Up Shop Program, Marshfield

Best Cooperative Business Marketing Campaign
Honorable Mention: Business Decal and Token Program, Viroqua
Winner: Business Cluster Marketing Program, Ladysmith

Connect Communities Award: Best Downtown Development Success Story – Under 5,500 Population
Winner: Promoting Princeton Program, Princeton

Connect Communities Award: Best Downtown Development Success Story – Over 5,500 Population
Winner: Levitt AMP Sheboygan Concert Music Series, Sheboygan

Best New Building
Winner: Lake Wind Building, Pewaukee

Best Creative Fundraising Effort
Honorable Mention: 2015 Walk Down Main, Platteville
Winner: Masonic Brick Art Gala, Omro

Best Interior Renovation Project – Under $50,000
Co-Winner: The Essence Authentic Living Boutique, Tomahawk
Co-Winner: 314: Ripon College Project Space, Ripon

Best Interior Renovation Project – Over $50,000
Winner: The Blodgett Haus, Marshfield

Best Image Item/Campaign/Event
Winner: Restaurant Week 2015, Kenosha

Best Adaptive Reuse Project
Winner: The Charmant Hotel, La Crosse

Milestone Main Street Anniversaries

10 Years

  • Monroe Main Street

15 Years

  • Community Improvement of Algoma
  • Watertown Main Street

20 Years

  • On Broadway, Inc., Green Bay

25 Years

  • Main Street Marshfield
  • Definitely De Pere

Executive Director Years of Service Awards

Five Years: Teri Ouimette, Chippewa Falls

10 Years:Suzi Osterday, Darlington

13 Years: Elaine Kroening, Pewaukee

15 Years: Michael Glime, Algoma

17 Years: Virginia Kauffman, Tigerton

20 Years: Kathy Wellsandt, Rice Lake

24 Years: Craig Tebon, Ripon

2015 Volunteers of the Year

Meghan Moss, Beloit
Taylor Gabel, Darlington
Leo Metivier, Fond du Lac
Matt Bero, On Broadway – Green Bay
Bob Lichter, Kenosha
Will Kratt, La Crosse
Phil Ruege, Ladysmith
Hope Oostdik, Lake Mills
Rodney Feltz, Marshfield
Mike Jerge, Monroe
John & Melanie Steen, Omro
Ashley Rutledge, Osceola
Robin Kaufmann, Pewaukee
Julie Loeffelholz, Platteville
Pete Kolpack, Rice Lake
Melissa Geisthardt, Sheboygan Falls
Beverly Wudstrack, Tigerton
Jeanne Polanin, Tomahawk
Nathan Kronforst, Two Rivers
Howard Bryant, Waterford
Paula Voss, Wausau
Jacob Hoppe, West Allis
Blake Scharine, Whitewater

2015 Honorary Board Members

Betsy Schmiechen, Beloit
Carrie Shippy, Darlington
Byron Pegram, Fond du Lac
Mike Hall, On Broadway – Green Bay
Kevin Ervin, Kenosha
Scott Von Haden, Ladysmith
Pam Streich, Lake Mills
Lois TeStrake, Marshfield
Noreen Ruckert, Monroe
Nancy Beck, Osceola
Judge Missy Murray, Pewaukee
Mary Huck, Platteville
Sandy Robarge, Rice Lake
Dick Fotsch, Sheboygan Falls
Marv Moore, Two Rivers
Mary Beth Mikrut, Waterford
Dave Saalsaa, Whitewater

Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame Inductees

Debbie Bayee, Pewaukee
Phil Valitchka, Wausau



About the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) leads economic development efforts for the state by advancing and maximizing opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people to thrive in a globally competitive economy. Working with more than 600 regional and local partners, WEDC develops and delivers solutions representative of a highly responsive and coordinated economic development network. Visit or follow WEDC on Twitter @_InWisconsin to learn more.