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Deadline today for Southwest Wisconsin Regional Awards
Those "making a difference" in regional economy to be recognized
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Nominations are being accepted through today for the 13th annual awards program honoring individuals, businesses, organizations, and communities making a difference to Southwest Wisconsin’s regional economy.

Sponsored by BEST (formerly known as the Southwest Wisconsin Regional Economic Development Coalition), the awards will be presented at the annual regional conference May 21.

Anyone may make a nomination; self-nominations are welcome. Nominations are due by today.

Nominees are being sought in a number of categories including regional collaboration, tourism Impact, regional economy builder, regional champion, ‘new’ regional entrepreneur, “established” regional entrepreneur, lifetime commitment to the Southwest Wisconsin region, and agribusiness innovation. Nomination materials are available online at

Awardees over the past five years have included:

2012: Lifetime Commitment to the Region: Linda Parrish; Regional Economy Builder: Community Development Alternatives, Dale Klemme Executive Director; Regional Established Entrepreneur: Brent and Mary Sheckler, Sheckler Enterprises; Women in Business: Sara Burks and Angie Gruetzmacher from MaCandis Boutique and Regional Champion: Eileen Nickels.

2011: Key Innovation in Education: STEM Program; Regional Collaboration: UW–Platteville’s PACCE Program; Community Builder: Paul Ohlrogge; Regional Champion: Marian Maciej-Hiner; Regional Youth Program: Marketplace for Kids.

2010: Regional New Entrepreneur: Adam Wiegmann, 4X Innovations, Platteville; Regional Established Entrepreneur: Ritch Stevenson, BAPI, Gays Mills; Woman in Business: Cheryl MacDowell, WineDown on Main, Platteville; Regional Economy Builder: Grant County Tourism Council; Regional Collaboration: Platteville Community Area Network.

2009: Agribusiness Innovation: Darlington Dairy Supply; “Cool” Community: Benton; Lifetime Commitment to the Region: Robert Hoesly (posthumous); Regional Tourism Impact: Cycle Southwest Wisconsin; Regional New Entrepreneur: The Driftless Market, Platteville; Regional Established Entrepreneur: Quest Industrial, Don Wickstrum, Founder & President; Women in Business: Jean Zweifel, Greenco Industries; Regional Economy Builder: Laura Brown; Founders Awards: Chancellor David Markee, UW–Platteville and President Karen Knox, Southwest Wisconsin Technical College.

2008: Agribusiness Innovation: Southwest Wisconsin Dairy Modernization Team; “Cool” Community: City of Darlington; Lifetime Commitment to the Region: Kathy Kopp; Regional Ambassador: Ricky Rolfsmeyer; Regional Entrepreneur: Marty Chandler, Chandler Realty/Blanchardville; Women in Business: Peggy Biddick (Rural Route 1) and Kay Helker (Helker’s Jewelry); Regional Economy Builders: R. Kubly Family Foundation and ArtsBuild.

Questions and nominations may be directed to Brian Stuart,, 778-8346.