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51 years of work
Platteville chamber celebrates 51 years
1B chamber charter
The event also honored the chambers charter members dating back to the chambers beginning in 1963 (front, from left) Ron Boldt of Pioneer Ford Sales; Deb McWilliams of Clare Bank; Nick Felder of Wisconsin Bank & Trust; Gary Osterholz of Eastman Cartwright; Donna Hoppenjan of Mound City Bank; Denize Tolzman and Jen Kasper of QueenB Radio; Rob Cramer of UWPlatteville; (back) Lisa Banfield and Deb Scott of the Shopping News; Tom Osterholz of Tricor Insurance; Gary Tuescher of Tuescher Photography; Mike Olds and Nate Curry of Kopp McKichan; Herb Cody, Kelly Richmond and Doug Wagen of QueenB Radio; and Steve Prestegard of The Platteville Journal. Charter members not pictured include Alliant Energy; CenturyLink; Chester K. Bell Real Estate; Chiropractic Associates; Dean Clinic; Garveys Service, LLC; Heiser Hardware; Helker Jewelry; K&K Floors; Karrmann Law Offices, LLP; Martin Schwartz Funeral Home; MelbyBendorf Funeral Home; and Weygants Appliance.

The Platteville Regional Chamber held its 51st annual Celebration and Art Virtue Awards program at UW–Platteville’s Ullsvik Hall Velzy Commons Wednesday.

Recognition was given to chamber members having five, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45 and 50 years of consecutive membership, as well as the 25 charter members of the Chamber.

The annual Virtue Awards, named for Art Virtue, the Chamber’s first president in 1963:

Junior Community Spirit Awards: The UW–Platteville Student Ambassador Corps assists in student recruitment, alumni relations, community relations, and other internal and external public relations. The Ambassadors provide tours to prospective students and special guests, assist at alumni events, and provide leadership and service to the campus and community. The Ambassadors raffle off one semester of in-state tuition, raising more than $10,000 this year that goes back into the UWP Foundation. The Ambassadors plan the Homecoming parade and assisted with maintenance for Katie’s Garden for several years.

Community Spirit Award: The Platteville Kiwanis was Platteville’s first service club when chartered in 1922. Its first year, the Kiwanis laid more than 460 loads of tailings on Main Street, providing the street’s first surface from the city limits to the bridge at the end. The Kiwanis leased the Horn pond and hired a summer recreation director; established Platteville’s first Building and Loan Association and City Park, and supported loans and scholarship programs for needy children. The Kiwanis have also supported needy children and adults, the United Way, the American Cancer Society, Platteville Dairy Days, 4th of July fireworks, Scouting programs, scholarships for students graduation from Platteville High School, the Wisconsin Badger Camp Telethon, youth baseball, Badger Boys and Girls State, the PHS Key Club, UW–Platteville Circle K Club, the Platteville Chamber and many others.  Once a month, the club sponsors “Banana Night” and visits all assisted living and nursing homes in Platteville handing out bananas and visiting with the residents. They are also involved in the highway cleanup program, sponsor the Vic Pagenkopf pancake breakfast during Hometown Festival Week, and highlight Students of the Month from PHS.

Community Service Award: Doug Wagen is the news and sports director of QueenB Radio and cohost of the morning show on WGLR (97.7 FM). He does morning news on QueenB radio stations, and covers high school sports and UW–Platteville football. He hosts the Guest Spotlight show during the WGLR noon hour and Good News segments during the WGLR morning show. He is a graduate of UW–Platteville, where he played baseball. He is a collector and dealer of sports memorabilia.

President’s Award for Outstanding Chamber Service: Bob Digman of Digman Construction is one of the major players in the success of the Hometown Festival Week Hometown Hog Roast, which attracts more than 1,000 people. He has donated a hog each year, and has contributed extra roasters and other supplies, and supports the Pig Races in the Stream and the raffle the day of the hog roast. Digman recruited riders for the Discover Wisconsin “Motorcycling in Wisconsin” episode in 2003, the filming of which began at the Hometown Hog Roast. Digman led the producers on a tour of downtown Platteville to the World’s Largest M. He has hosted several Business After Hours events through the chamber’s Ambassadors program.

Outstanding Award in the Field of Agriculture: Steve and Tammy Brogley have owned Scott Implement since 1991, 14 years after Steve started there as a mechanic. The Brogleys are active supporters of the UW–Platteville ag programs, the Grant County Fair Livestock Auction, and the Platteville High School ag on-the-job training program, and Platteville Dairy Days. They brought a truck pull event to the annual 4th of July Celebration. Steve Brogley serves on the Mound City Bank board of directors.

Business Persons of the Year: Greg and Brenda Banfield have owned Tricom–Radio Shack since 2002, nine years after Greg started working there. In 2007, Tricom moved from the McGregor Plaza to East Business 151 to expand their business. The Banfields’ long list of involvements include the 4th of July Fireworks, Platteville Food Pantry, Platteville Dairy Days, Wisconsin Badger Camp, UW–Platteville Sports Boosters. Greg, a retired member of the Army National Guard who served in the Persian Gulf War, assisted in the Vietnam Moving Wall in 2009, and the Banfields purchased a Veterans Honor Roll statue in City Park. They have been Platinum-level corporate sponsors of the chamber since the inception of program four years ago.

Lifetime Service Award: Robert Just worked at Mound City Bank from 1971 until his retirement June 30, serving as president and CEO since 1986. The bank’s assets grew from $64.5 million to $265 million in Just’s 26½ years leading Mound City. Just chaired the United Way of Platteville, the Platteville Business Incubator, Platteville Dairy Days, the 4th of July Celebration and the board of Southwest Health Center. He was president of the Platteville Jaycees and treasurer of the UW–Platteville Alumni Association. He served on the Community Bankers of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Bankers Association, and Bankers Bank of Wisconsin board of directors. He received the 1998 Business Person of the Year award from the chamber.

Outgoing chamber president Tim Boldt and outgoing board members Tom Osterholz and Jeremy Patnaude were honored. Under Boldt’s leadership, the chamber spent much of 2013 going through a rebranding and refocusing process that ended in the Platteville Area Chamber of Commerce’s name change to Platteville Regional Chamber. He will remain on the board of directors and executive committee, and chairs the Hometown Hog Roast and Golf Outing committees.

Osterholz served on the chamber board three years and serves on the chamber’s Hometown Hog Roast Committee and the Golf Outing Committee. Patnaude served on the chamber board for six years and chairs the Business Promotion Committee.