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Chilton Stockbridge 2019 Progress Edition

T h u r s d a y


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Zoned suppleMenT To Tri-counTy news

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Big year for Thiel

100th anniversary, Chilton Citizen honor kick off 2019 By Mark Sherry The first few months of 2019 have been pretty amazing for Jerry Thiel as he has received a couple recognitions which could be viewed as icing on the cake of a long, successful career. It is important to point out, however, that although he is 73 Thiel has no plans to call it quits on serving area communities through his Thiel Real Estate and Thiel & Thiel Auctions businesses. Thiel said he was “shocked” when he was recently informed that he has been named Chilton’s Citizen of the Year by the Chilton Chamber of Commerce. “I couldn’t believe it,” he said. Thiel will be honored on Wednesday, March 27 with a social gathering and presentation at the Chilton Eagles Club. He has been extremely active in organizations relating to his professions, but also has been a big contributor to local communities. Over the years at his church, Thiel has served as the congregation president, a Church Council member, a board member, usher, server, and chaired many committees. Community activities In the community, he was on the Board of Directors of the Manitowoc/ Calumet Chapter of the American Red Cross from 2001 to 2007; a member of the Hilbert Lions for 25 years and served on its Board of Directors; a Knights of Columbus member; on the Board of Di-

rectors of the Boy Scouts; a life member of Whitetails Unlimited since 1992 and co-chair of the Chilton chapter; and a Turkey Federation charter member and member for 25 years. He also volunteers his time helping many churches, schools, and other organizations with their yearly fundraising auctions. His designation as Citizen of the Year comes less than two months after the Thiel family was honored by the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association for being a family-owned business working continuously in the auction business for 100 years. Natalie Pratt, membership manager of the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association Inc., said the Thiel family is the first family in the association to hit the century mark and—as far as they know—the first in the state. A surprise celebration was held for the Thiel family in late January at the association’s conference in Stevens Point. Inclement weather kept Governor Tony Evers from attending but he sent a certificate honoring the Thiel family, and they also are scheduled to be recognized on April 17 at the State Capitol. The fifth generation of the Thiel family is now working for the family business, but it all started with Andrew “Colonel A. J.” Thiel who conducted his first auction in 1919 at a box lunch so-

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Turn to THIEL/page 4

Kendall (left) and father Jerry Thiel congratulate one another after the Thiel family was honored by the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association for being a family-owned business working continuously in the auction business for 100 years. The honor came in January at a conference held in Stevens Point.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Career, Job Hub planned for April 10

On April 10, parts of Chilton High School will be transformed into a Career and Job Hub, linking local businesses with students and adults. Cost for a booth is $250, and registration information can be found at www. calumetbusiness.com. Booth space is booking fast, and businesses are en-

couraged to make reservations soon so they do not miss the opportunity to participate. During the school day, nearly 650 students from local high schools will attend workshops and the Career Fair to learn about possible careers, help prepare for academic or employment after high

school graduation, and meet with local businesses at the Career Fair. With the frequency of local businesses seeking employees, this event is an opportunity for business representatives to meet students and share information about all the possible career choices available close to home.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thiel cial. Jerry recalls seeing his grandfather in action in the auction box and did not hesitate to name him the best auctioneer the Thiel family has had. Quite the character Col. A. J. apparently was quite the character. He had his own airplane and sometimes flew to auctions, landing in fields or on roads. At the family farm between Hilbert and Chilton, he also had an old Soo Line train coach in the yard which was called the Railroad Coach Bar. It later was converted to a rental unit. They also had a filling station with a building shaped like an airplane, and a brat stand. On perhaps more than one occasion Col. A. J. would fly his airplane above a gathering of people and drop a dummy out of the plane, leaving some people thinking for a moment that something terrible had happened. Randolph “R. A.” Thiel, born in 1923, followed in his father’s footsteps in 1946 after being released from the Merchant Marines. He worked in the business until 2004 when he retired at the age of 81. The Thiel Auctioneers of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘60s conducted auctions on personal property and real estate, sometimes 20 days a month. At the time Jerry was going to school and working the auctions with his father and grandfather in set up and as a ringman. After graduating high school in 1964, Jerry attended St. Norbert College and Manitowoc Technical Institute. Moving back to Chilton In the early 1970s when Andy be-

continued from page 2 came ill, Jerry completed his auctioneer schooling at Mason City, Iowa and moved from the La Crosse area to Chilton to become the third generation of the family business. Jerry was inspirational in promoting and growing the auction, real estate, and appraisal business and soon joined the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Calumet County Board of Realtors, where he served as president and as a board member for many years. In 1982 he was named Calumet County Realtor of the Year, and in 2012 was inducted into the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association Hall of Fame. In 2011 Jerry was appointed by then Governor Scott Walker to the Auctioneers Examining Board and currently serves as chairman of the board. Since the mid 1970s, Jerry has incorporated his four children into the family business, along with many of his grandchildren. Jerry’s oldest daughter Dori has worked as a cashier since graduating college 20 years ago. Brad, Jerry’s oldest son, helps with auction set up and with the online auctions that were started in 2011. Jerry’s youngest son, Kendall, joined the firm in 1992 as an auctioneer, appraiser, and real estate agent. Tamara, Jerry’s youngest daughter, currently cashiers for auctions and is the office manager for Thiel Real Estate. His grandchildren help out all season long. Kendall’s son McKenzie has his real estate license as the fifth generation of the Thiel family contributes to the business. Kendall has been married to Cindy for over 25 years and they have three children. Kendall grew up listening to his father and grandfather call machin-

ery, cattle, and antique auctions weekly in northeastern Wisconsin. As a young man he was first taught to stage and cashier the auctions, leading into becoming a ringman for the family business. Calling auctions for charity events then led Kendall to attend The World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa and become a full-time auctioneer with Thiel and Thiel Auctions.

Likes all aspects of businesses Asked if he has a favorite aspect of the business—real estate or auctions—Jerry said, “I like it all. Every day is a different adventure.” He said he most enjoys “meeting all the different people. You see a lot of different things.” Jerry said he has seen all sorts of trends in both the real estate and auction businesses. He said they did a lot of farm auctions years ago but there are fewer farms now, so often their auctions these days are real estate sales. In his career “We’re fortunate we’re in the area he said he has seen land prices go from we’re in,” Jerry said, adding, “We try $400 per acre to $2,000, then dip back to accommodate everyone if possible.” down to $600, then back up to $2,000 or $3,000, and now to today’s prices of $8,000 to $10,000. He recalls a time when he had 31 homes for sale just in the city of Chilton, compared to today’s market with very few houses Mel Ecker - Jeffrey Ecker - Scott Ecker Make it last available and those which are selling very quickly. Septics • Mounds • Porta Potties Years ago they would Holding Tank Inspections sometimes find valuable coins or paintings to aucN3360 Lake Shore Dr. • Chilton • 920-439-1566 tion off at estates, but

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today there is a more unusual hot item. “Everyone wants to bid on an outhouse,” Jerry said. He also recalls the largest auction he ever led. It was at a farm in the St. John area owned by three brothers who had never wed. It took months to prepare for auction day. Through a nonstop rain the Thiels sold from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with about 1,000 people present. Jerry said good auctioneers need to know people and like people. They need to develop their own “chant.” They also need to know the value of items and keep up with those constantly changing values. Values on homes, real estate, and the thousands of items the Thiel family has sold or auctioned off may change, but the Thiel family has been a constant in those sales in northeast Wisconsin for the past century.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Exciting changes seen at Stockbridge campground By Faye Burg With new owners and many improvements and amenities added, exciting changes await campers and visitors to Lakeview RV Park and Cabins. Purchased by Mike and Carol Letner in 2018, the property has undergone renovations to the bar and restaurant, pool, arcade and menu. Located on the Niagara Escarpment just two miles from Stockbridge and boat launches for Lake Winnebago, Lakeview RV Park and Cabins features a 52-acre full campground with extra large sites to best accommodate seasonal and overnighter stays. Four newly constructed cabins have been a popular addition to the property. The roomy lodge features a heated in ground pool, bar and restaurant and beautiful views of Lake Winnebago. “Being on the eastern side of the lake is wonderful, because we could see how the roads around the lake offer a one to two hour ride for cars, bikes, or hikes. Basically anything you like to enjoy can be done on the eastern shores of Lake Winnebago,” Carol said. The couple was looking for a change in career as they entered their third chapter of life. “We searched the country for four years and really wanted the right sized campground that wasn’t too big or too small that we could love and take care of,” Carol explained. Originally from Austin, Texas, both are retired and believe they have now found their home away from home in Wisconsin. “We met folks from Wisconsin often as they trav-

eled in Texas and found them to be very friendly. Now we can enjoy that friendliness and have a few hundred friends visiting our campground ever year.” The owner’s take great pride in providing outstanding customer service to provide the best experience for their visitors, answering phone calls and catering to customer needs. They admit it is hard when a customer calls and they have to tell them the sites are full.” With visitors coming to the campground each year from across the country, they encourage booking your sites early. “Enjoy the wonderful sunset views and quiet country nights.” Year round special events are featured in the park including an Easter egg hunt in April. “You are welcome to come and participate, meet us and see the park,” Carol said. The restaurant now known as Lakeview Sunset Café, is open to all visitors Wednesday through Sunday and offers breakfast all day long as well as many popular weekly specials. “Mike brought a BBQ pit with him because we were just going to miss the Texas Style BBQ,” Carol said. “We offer fresh BBQ on Saturdays along with fish frys every Fridays.” Additional amenities available in the lodge and restaurant include Ice cream, kitties, coloring, arts and crafts, and occasional live music. “We like to use the phrase, “Easy to find, hard to leave” to describe our park,” Carol said. “People are often in the area and did not even know this beautiful campground was here.”

Mike and Carol Letner are the new owners of Lakeview RV and Cabins located in the town of Stockbridge.

Lakeview RV Park and Cabins is located at 4475 Ledge Road in the town of Stockbridge. Mike and Carol can be

reached by calling (920) 439-1495. More information can be found by visiting www.lakeviewrvparkandcabins.com.

Chilton Progress briefs 2019

Sohrweide part of city for 74 years

Sohrweide Insurance Agency, Inc. has been part of Chilton for 74 years. Owner Deb Bohn has 37 years of experience working in the insurance industry. Lynda Karls is an agent and office manager and has been working with

the agency since 1989. Sharon Allen is a part-time secretary and has been with the agency since 2003. Sohrweide Insurance Agency, Inc. is an independent agency offering auto, home, farm, business owners, commercial, life, health, disability, and bonding. It is located at 17 E. Main St. For more information call 849-4541 or toll-free at 1-888-317-7075, or e-mail info@sohrweideins.com.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

FVTC program helps CHS student excel By Mark Sherry Macey Pingel is a go-getter, and Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) is helping her get to where she wants to go. The Chilton High School senior said she would someday like to work in human resources for a family-owned business. Thanks to FVTC and its Chilton Regional Center, that someday is likely to be here a lot sooner than it might have been otherwise. As a matter of fact, Pingel is on pace to graduate twice this year—from Chilton High School in June, and then from FVTC in December with her Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degree. She is able to accomplish that feat— at least a year and a half ahead of what the “normal” pace might be—thanks to FVTC’s Start College Now program. The program is designed to introduce high school students to the world of higher education, but at the same time offer them the opportunity to simultaneously earn both high school and college credits. Taking it a big step further Virtually all CHS students have the opportunity to take a dual credit class as early as their freshman or sophomore years. Pingel did that, taking Microsoft Office and Accounting as a sophomore along with Written and Oral Communications as a senior. “It’s not like the AP (Advanced Placement) classes where you have to take a test” to earn the credits, she said. But Pingel said even through most of her sophomore year she did not envision herself doing much more right away via FVTC. Then when it came time to

With the help of Fox Valley Technical College’s Start College Now program, Chilton High School student Macey Pingel will be graduating from CHS in June and from FVTC in December. Mark Sherry photo

register for junior year classes and a program she wanted was not being offered at CHS, a guidance counselor suggested she check out the Start College Now program. By the fall semester of her current

senior year, Pingel was not taking any CHS classes (she is fulfilling graduation requirements through her FVTC classes) but was taking 15 credits at FVTC. She took a winterim class there, and this semester is taking 22 credits to put her

on a path to earn her AAS degree in December. “Now I look back and I’m so glad I took the tech classes,” she said. Pingel gives a lot of credit for her Turn to fvtc/page 7

Chilton Public Library


Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


continued from page 6

accelerated education and career path to Candy Chaussee and Rachel Lau of FVTC’s Chilton Regional Center. “Candy and Rachel have simply been amazing,” she said, adding that she also has enjoyed all her FVTC instructors along the way. As an example she mentioned marketing instructor Teri Stark. “I didn’t think marketing was up my alley, but she totally made the class,” Pingel said, adding that CHS Business Education teacher Kelly Moehn has been a big help as well. Advantages to the program There are a couple significant advantages to what Pingel has done through the Start College Now program. For starters, a number of her credits have been paid for by the Chilton School District, although she has had to fund 13 credits this semester on her own by working as a residential coach for a New Hope Center residential facility in Chilton. Secondly, the credits Pingel is earning at FVTC apply not only to earning a degree there but will transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where Pingel plans to earn her bachelor’s—as soon as December 2021—and possibly go on for her master’s degree. Students who earn an associate degree in Business Management from FVTC and then transfer to the Business Administration program at UW-Green Bay could transfer as many as 60 credits and save nearly $11,000 based on an analysis of each institution’s per-credit cost. The daughter of Randy Pingel and Tanya Pingel said she has been leaning toward a career in human resources for about six years, ever since she job shad-

owed April Dowland at Buechel Stone through a school program. Pingel said she is interested in “just being a voice for employees—I think that often gets forgotten.” While she said she would consider working for a larger company, she added, “I do like small towns. I would prefer to stay around here.” Additional advantages to the Start College Now program include the fact that Pingel has been able to take many of her classes online while sitting in the CHS library or even at home on inclement weather days. She said FVTC instructors have been good about providing feedback and instead of being intimidated by working with older students on group projects she appreciates the interaction. “I have a lot of adult learners in my classes,” Pingel said. “They have a lot of life experiences. I enjoy the classes I’m taking. I feel I excel more in them.” She also has been able to remain active in CHS extracurricular activities, being on the school’s golf team, involved in AFS, and a member of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) for the past four years. To take part in the Start College Now program, students need to have approval of a parent/guardian, be enrolled in a public school and have completed 10th grade, be in good academic standing and meet course entry requirements, and have an acceptable disciplinary record and do not meet the statutory definition of a “child at risk.” There is an application process in which the student’s high school has to approve taking the classes through Start College Now, and there are specific deadlines to meet. Typically the deadlines are the prior semester. To learn more about Start College Now or the many other programs offered, contact FVTC’s Chilton Regional Center at 849-4416.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Customers tell Chilton Furniture’s story Customer comments speak louder than anything to consumers these days. Whether you are looking to stay at a hotel, or dine at a restaurant, it’s easy to find reviews that help guide your decisions. How many of you have connected to Trip Advisor, Google Reviews or Yelp to see what others have to say before making a decision? Where do you turn for advice when you are looking for furniture or interior design assistance? At Chilton Furniture, we are grateful not only for the many positive reviews our service has received on line, but we are also thankful for the many positive comments we have received the oldfashioned way through hand written cards and thank you notes. So, instead of asking you to take our word for the positive nature of the Chilton Furniture shopping experience, we thought you might like to hear first hand from our customers about their experiences. We invite you to browse their comments, gleaned from both modern technology and old-school sources. And, when you are done, we hope you, too, will embrace the laid back shopping experience that we provide at Chilton Furniture. Here’s what our customers have to say...... Dear Jerry and Rhonda, Just a little note to let you know how much I appreciate your helpfulness, guidance and suggestions in our recent project. The colors came together beautifully, and I couldn’t be happier with the quality of the products we purchased from you. I truly appreciate having the opportunity to browse without being bothered. I appreciate the professionalism and courtesy extended to me in our interactions and especially all of your time, talent and energy in helping me coordinate my styles and colors. I absolutely love my new living room, and the kitchen floor is amazing! —Jennifer H Thank you for all of your help. Gary did a wonderful job with the installation. It’s beautiful and QUIET! —Guy and Kay We want to thank you all for the help you gave us in picking out tile, etc. We have had so many compliments on everything. I can’t begin to tell you. I will highly recommend you to other people —Sue We want to thank you for all your help with our new mattress. It was the best night sleep in a long time. Thanks to Jerry and all the staff, that is why we keep coming back to your store. —Linda and Terry Steve and I want to thank you for your great customer service. You replaced our mattress with such ease. We really appreciated it. The new one sleeps wonderful! We will definitely be back. —Mary Thank you for exchanging the box spring. It was an excellent example of why we should buy local. Your customer service and product quality rates 100%. Thank you. —Betty Dear Jerry, I just wanted to thank you for all you did for me with regards to my carpeting.

You went far beyond my expectations, and I’ve been telling everyone I know about the service you gave us. Please tell Gail and Kathy how much I appreciated their help as well. It’s wonderful to have your business as part of our community. —Shirley Dear Chilton Furniture folks, Thanks goes out to your fine staff for the wonderful service offered us while picking out furniture for our recent remodeling project. A special thank you goes out to Rhonda for her kindness in finding coupons to use for us. Best wishes for continued success in your business. —Deanna Thank you again for the wonderful service and quality product your store has offered. My furniture is so beautiful! Rhonda was so helpful in helping me choose fabrics and styles. Also your delivery staff were friendly and careful with my new furniture. I will certainly recommend your store. Thanks again. —Barbara I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate your efforts to make my new bed comfortable for me. Your service is awesome! Thanks again. —Jayne Thank you for your generous donation. We appreciate your support of our brat fry . Your support allowed all of our qualifiers to attend nationals. —Chilton FBLA We had the opportunity to buy some new furniture and carpet at your facility and had the occasion to work with Gail. We just want to tell you what an excellent employee she is. She was so helpful, knowledgeable and always pleasant to be around. It is always important to tell someone when they do a good job, so I am happy to write this note and tell you “Gail goes the extra mile..” Thanks a lot. —Karen and Roger We can’t thank you enough for fixing the problem with our beautiful new chairs. They’re perfectly wonderful now, work properly, and we’ll be enjoying them for years to come. Next time we need new furniture, Chilton will be at the top of our list. Thank you, thank you! All the best, —Linda and Tom I just want to personally thank you for your donation of the recliner for the Winterfest fund raiser which was held in February at St. Mary’s/St. Michael’s in Clark Mills. I was the lucky recipient of the recliner and all the items that went with it. I have been a member of St. Mary’s for about 46 years and going into my 20th year of being the hot lunch lady, so I sure do appreciate people like you who are so generous with giving to help keep our school going. —Carol W We were very pleased with everything (including help with the selection) from start to finish! Thank you. —Mary Thank you for your kindness in letting us use your truck to deliver Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes. Your generosity made delivering and loading the cartons into the Samaritan’s Purse semi so much easier. May God abundantly bless you! —Judy—Faith Alliance Relay Center Coordinator

Don’t just take our word for it! Chilton Furniture offers a great shopping experience, and a wealth of professional support for all our customers. Whether you are looking to buy one of our more than 90 recliners, a new sleep system, or redesign a room or two, we are ready to help. We could talk until we are blue in the face, or until we run out of TV commercial time, but you might consider listening to what our customers have to say. We are so thankful for their kind words and for the positive impressions they share from connecting with our business. Thanks folks! We are proud to serve you!

Sales staff very knowledgeable and friendly. Nice selection and displayed well. Free delivery and very reasonable rate for removal and disposal of old furniture. —Douglas Great staff, prices AND locally owned. Buy local! —Marsha Friendly helpful service, great prices and large selection. They also have a wonderful and reasonable delivery service. Always happy with my purchases. —Madelynn Five star service and support from our home town furniture experts!!! —Russell Great saleswoman, great store, great experience, great protection plan, will keep coming back for all my furniture. Awesome service! Thank you to the delivery/service man Dave, for the house

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call. Outstanding customer service! Jerry and the entire staff are always a pleasure to deal with. Thank you for going above and beyond time and time again! —Jason Nice staff and reasonable prices on quality furniture. A very good selection of products and they carry multiple brands. —Andrew Excellent selection, very reasonable value, friendly staff. —Gabe The people who work there are friendly and very helpful about answering questions. The store is always clean and neat. —Matthew We invite you to stop in and experience the Chilton Furniture difference for yourself. Our store, located in the Southside Shopping in Chilton. Visit our website at www.chiltonfurniture.net, or give us a call at 920-849-9023. We look forward to seeing you!

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Friendly service, great food at Schumacher’s By Faye Burg Focusing on friendly customer service and fresh homemade food, Schumacher’s Shanty in Stockbridge is fast becoming a popular destination for food and fun. The business opened in April of 2012 and is the creation of months of hard work by owners Jim and Jodi Schumacher. “This was basically an empty building when we purchased it,” Jim said, adding they designed and built the bar and had custom bar stools made by a friend. Other friends helped out with installing the plumbing and kitchen. The couple purchased the building and began to build their dream business after Jodi decided she wanted to do something different with her career. “Jodi was working as a third shift dispatcher with the Sheriff’s Department and starting looking around for something different. We found this,” Jim said. Jim continued to work full time at MB Company in New Holstein by day and at the business nights until 2017 when he joined the business full time. A true family venture, as the couple’s oldest child left for college, the two younger kids worked in the kitchen for the first five years. With Jim from Brothertown and Jodi from Kiel, they are thrilled to have found what they consider a great building and location for their business. Although it was challenging to start their own business and doing most of the work themselves, they say they are happy with the

success they are having. “We get to spend more time together as a couple,” Jim said, adding he really enjoys meeting so many new people from not only the immediate area, but also from around the United States and even from other countries. “We actually had two gentlemen stop in from London, England. They were in the United States fulfilling items from their bucket list, noticed the building and stopped in.” Jim said the gentlemen were able to attend not only a Green Bay Packer game, but also a Wisconsin Badgers football game. Jodi serves as head cook and handles most of the daily operations for the business with Jim serving as bartender and managing the bait shop that was added in 2014. Bait, ammo, archery, guns and more are offered in the bait shop located in the back of the building. “There is also a 24 hour live bait self-service area that has been very successful the last few years,” Jim said. Most known for their homemade pizza made from fresh local ingredients and baked in stone ovens, Schumacher’s Shanty is also a destination for those enjoying muddled Old Fashions made from scratch, homemade Bloody Mary’s and a good selection of craft beers. “We offer a full menu with everything made to order,” Jodi said. “I hand pick vegetables from area markets.” Sandwiches, wraps and a full line of appetizers please customer’s hungry appetites daily.

Jim and Jodi Schumacher enjoy their work at Schumacher’s Shanty in Stockbridge providing friendly service and homemade food. Faye Burg photo

A side room is available for private parties and live music is offered several times each month. Outside seating is popular in the summer and fall with campers and cottage residents flocking to enjoy the warm atmosphere and great food provided at Schumacher’s. Special events are offered through out the year with happy hour specials offered daily. “We will hold a first ever pizza and beer pairing event on April 25.” “People tell us it feels like home when

they are here,” Jodi said. “I really enjoy the people. They become friends. I enjoy making people happy and doing a good job for them. Schumacher’s Shanty is open Wednesday and Thursday from 3 p.m. to close and Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to close. The business is located at 101 S. Military Road in Stockbridge and can be reached by calling (920) 439-1232.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Vern’s Cheese family run for 55 years

By Mark Sherry Vern’s Cheese is observing its 55th anniversary this year of supplying cheese and a whole lot more to customers in five different Midwestern states. While 55 years might not be one of those benchmark anniversaries like its 50th was just a few years ago, the Vern’s Cheese family looks at every year as another opportunity to thank their customers and employees. “We couldn’t have done it without loyal employees and our loyal customers,” said Kelly Kress, one of four children of founders Vern and Edith Knoespel who help operate the business to this day. “Pretty much we were born into it,” Kress said with a smile when asked about her earliest recollections of working for Vern’s Cheese. Her answer is not far from the truth as in the late 1960s the whole family—including her siblings Kurt, Kari, and Kristi—would pile into the family car to deliver orders to customers and all work together to pack gift boxes during the holidays. Started in 1964 Vern and Edith started the business in 1964 with one truck and rented cooler space. In 1967 they purchased a warehouse in rural Chilton and operated that way until 1984, when they bought land in Chilton for an office and warehouse. That was the first time both facilities were in the same location. Growth continued and in 1992 an addition was built for a production area and cheese cutting room. Other additions followed, including a key one in 2010 when the retail store and expanded office space were added. As a company, Vern’s Cheese is a successful blend of the stability of samefamily ownership with the knowledge that markets are ever changing and Vern’s must change with them. “We try to keep up to what the latest demands are,” Kress said. “We listen to what our customers want.” She said she recalls a time when customers needed only a few different types of cheese, but today Vern’s Cheese distributes numerous types of both Wisconsin-made and imported cheeses to stores, restaurants, and other destinations.

Delivering to multiple states By now most longtime area residents know that Vern’s Cheese does not produce its own cheese but it distributes and often cuts and packages/labels cheese produced elsewhere. People may be surprised to learn, however, that Vern’s Cheese delivery vehicles take products to Upper Michigan, northern Illinois, and parts of Minnesota and Iowa, not to mention about three-fourths of Wisconsin. Wholesale is the primary aspect of Vern’s Cheese, and that includes a lot more than cheese. Customers also purchase meats, candy, specialty foods, gift boxes, and more from Vern’s Cheese. There are a couple good ways to get a much better feel for the scope of products offered by Vern’s Cheese. One is to check out the website (www.vernscheese.com) which was just revamped in December to make it more user friendly, Kress said. On the website shoppers will find six pages of products from which to choose—everything from two dozen different types of cheese to muffin, bread, and pancake mixes—with shipping available throughout the U.S. Another way to experience Vern’s Cheese is to visit the spacious, attractive store at 312 W. Main St. in Chilton. Open Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., shoppers may be surprised to

The Vern’s Cheese family gathered for a photo recently outside their retail store and office facility in Chilton which is just as attractive inside as it is outside.

find a large selection of Wisconsin craft beers and wines. More than a dozen companies are represented in each area (beer and wine) with expert advice offered on how to pair the multiple varieties of wine from each company with the many varieties of cheese available for purchase. Open houses popular Various open houses are held in the store throughout the year, including a wine and cheese event recently held which Kress said was expanded in recognition of the 55th anniversary. Its biggest open house each year comes at Christmastime, with fall and summer open houses held as well. For people who have not visited the Vern’s Cheese retail store in a while, Kress encourages them to do so. “We’re constantly changing products around,” she said, adding that they also continue to expand gift lines—especially Wisconsin-focused products which seem to be a hit among the many tourists who stop at the store. Input on what products to offer and how Vern’s Cheese is operated is currently coming from three generations of family members. As previously mentioned, Vern and Edith and their children all continue to play a role in the company, as do sons-in-law Wayne and Randy and two of Vern’s and Edith’s grandchildren, Tiffany and Jordan. The other three grandchildren help out as needed. “We can back each other up,” Kress said of one of the advantages of operating a family-owned business. “We all have different directions here. Some of us double up on certain things.” She added that the family feel carries over to their customers. She said, “We try to keep that family atmosphere. We’re well known in the community. We try to keep that community connection.” Kress said they welcome applications to join the team at Vern’s Cheese and are especially looking for additional CDL drivers to help deliver the high quality products distributed by Vern’s Cheese throughout the Midwest.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Village has much to offer both residents, visitors By Faye Burg The Village of Stockbridge is located along the east shore of Lake Winnebago, approximately 20 miles north of Fond du Lac and 15 miles south of Appleton, making it a quick and easy place to visit and enjoy its many attractions and amenities. With less than 700 residents residing in the community, the small Village is well known as the Sturgeon Center of the World. “The Village has a lot to offer,” Village clerk and treasurer Lisa Averkamp said, adding numerous parks and recreation areas are nearby as well as newly renovated marina facilities located at Stockbridge Harbor providing direct access to Lake Winnebago for fishing, boating and other water related activities. A variety of restaurants and several clothing and specialty stores are located in the Village as well as bait, tackle, ammo and archery outlets for the outdoor enthusiasts. A small public school system serves students in grades 4K through 12. “We also have a first rate Fire Department and a First Responders Unit,” Averkamp said. More than 2.5 miles of the Village is vacant land ready and waiting for development. “The Village recently completed a long range land use plan and zoning ordinance to accommodate new residential, commercial, and industrial development, all readily served with public sanitary sewerage and water supply facilities,” she added. “We also feature a yearly large item drop off for our residents.”

Many yearly events offered Village officials promote numerous fun events throughout the year that not only entertain local residents, but also draw thousands of visitors to the Village each year including the community rummage sales in May. A large plant sale featuring a variety of garden plants and flowers and sponsored by the school district is also held during the rummage sale event. Also in May the annual Memorial Day parade and dedication is held to honor the United States military with the parade beginning at 10 a.m. In June the annual Stockbridge Lions Walleye tournament is held to help kick off the start of summer that includes food and entertainment at Fireman Legion Park after the fishing is completed. The long running Stockbridge picnic and parade in July sponsored by the firemen and legion has been a popular event for decades. A Saturday kickball tournament, outdoors mass, games, food and beverages and a band start off the fun with the parade and famous chicken dinner on Sunday. German American heritage is celebrated at the Fireman Legion Park each August with food and entertainment drawing crowds to visit the annual event each year. Averkamp said the Village Board included improvements to the Village Park system in their recent budget, including adding playground equipment at Recreation Park and other improvements to Sunset Beach Park. “Recent audits with

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Stockbridge’s uniquely painted tower proclaims the community to be the “Sturgeon Center of the World.”

the Stockbridge Schools highlighted areas of potential improvement to our “Safe Routes to School” and enhancements will be made with parking lane and cross walk striping,” she explained. “A street improvement project will be engineered for work to commence in 2020.” “Ongoing meetings with the Calumet County Economic Development Specialist will continue as the Village is looking to prepare and promote Economic Development,” she continued. “The Vil-

lage has been in support of a large scale, cultural and historical mural to be placed within the Village.” Challenging for Village officials in the near future includes State of Wisconsin imposed tax levy limits, which will continue to be a budgeting constraint on all municipalities and the Village is not exempt from those same concerns Averkamp said. “Wisconsin DNR will be enforcing many waste water treatment Turn to village/page 12


Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Multi-faceted Briess continues to grow The growth of the American craft brewing industry is slowing, but it is indeed still growing—and Briess Malt & Ingredients Co. of Chilton is growing along with it. Ryan O’Toole, president and chief operating officer of Briess, said it also important to note that Briess serves much more than just the brewing industry. “Briess is a complex operation, and it’s understandable that many people don’t know just what it is we do,” O’Toole said. “I tell people that, as they walk through grocery and convenience stores, it’s likely several of the foods and beverages they see are made with one or several Briess ingredients. Many of the craft beers in liquor department coolers likely contain one or more Briess specialty malt or malt extract. “You won’t see ‘Briess’ on any list of ingredients, but you may see ‘malt,’ ‘malt extract,’ ‘malted barley flour,’ ‘tapioca syrup,’ ‘brown rice flour,’ and other easily understood ingredients that could have been supplied by Briess,” he added. Finding its way into products In a nutshell, Briess makes ingredients for craft beer, food, pet food, and nonalcoholic beverage products. O’Toole said, “Everything we make is natural, and we produce non-GMO and organic ingredient options. We’ve set ourselves apart from competitors by focusing on the production of natural, specialty ingredients that are typically used in smaller quantities than commodity ingredients for better flavor, color, aroma and function. For example, just a small percentage of our caramel malted barley flour in pizza crust dough adds flavor and improves proofing and color of the finished, baked crust. “Malting is our core capability, and our line of flavorful, colorful specialty malts for American craft beer is unrivaled by any single malting company in the world,” he added. “We further convert our malt into malt extracts, malted milk powder, and whole grain flours. We also operate two heat treating facilities where we precook raw grains and starches, making them easier to incorporate into products likes granola bars, cereal, bread, and cookies.” Briess malts are used by a majority of the 7,000 craft breweries in the U.S., and breweries in more than 25 foreign countries. Briess malts are used by artisan

Briess President/COO Ryan O’Toole meets with Stacey Schneider (Inventory) and John Friedman (Distribution) in the Irish Road Distribution Center.

distillers to produce authentic American whiskey. Some of the largest and most innovative food, beverage, and animal nutrition manufacturers in the world are supplied with standard and custom ingredients from Briess. O’Toole said, “Many people I meet associate Briess with American craft beer, which is fitting because we were the first malting company to offer specialty malts to craft brewers in the 1980s. And our commitment to American craft beer hasn’t changed. “But many people don’t know that we are the largest manufacturer of malted milk powder in North America, thus our reputation for using Briess Malted Milk Balls as our signature calling card. We don’t make them, but our malted milk powder is inside the crunchy center. That’s why they’re so flavorful.” Craft beer still important Despite the slowing in craft beer growth it “remains a key target audience for Briess and our growth plans,” O’Toole said. “Artisan distilleries and homebrewers are also supplied by our Beer Ingredients Division.”


facilities to optimize their wastewater treatment plant to increase the removal of total phosphorus. This optimization is part of a comprehensive program to achieve water quality standard based limits for phosphorus. While details of how this will affect the Village of Stockbridge are still being worked out, we do know that it will be a significant cost.” According to Averkamp, the Village of Stockbridge is very fiscally responsible but also looks towards the future for growth, adding services, and garnering resident and business retention. “The current Board puts forth a lot of time, not only in the board room but also out in the community doing physical work on small jobs to reduce costs. Many of their long hours are unrecognized by most.” “The Village of Stockbridge is debt free due to many past and continued future years of detailed budgeting analysis,” Averkamp added. Village officials include President

continued from page 11

Amy Zahringer, Village Trustees Dean Bornemann, Tammy Mackai, Greg Zickuhr, Marilyn Behnke and Tim Lemke. “The Village of Stockbridge is really a hidden treasure nestled on the east side of Lake Winnebago,” Averkamp stated. “This quaint community has so much to offer and experience through its unique array of dining, recreation and shopping opportunities.” “So if you are looking for a friendly, safe and affordable community to raise your family or start a new business venture, take the scenic drive to Stockbridge. You won’t be disappointed.” The Village of Stockbridge office is located at 116 S. Military Rd., Stockbridge. Averkamp is in the office Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. until 12 p.m. (noon) and 1 p.m. until 3:30 p.m. and can be reached by calling (920) 4391700. More information can be found by visiting www.Villageofstockbridge.org.

The Briess Food Ingredients Division—which started in the 1980s with two product lines—has been growing as consumer demand for healthier, betterfor-you foods and beverages increases. O’Toole said, “Since everything we make is natural, our ingredients make it possible for food manufacturers to improve their labels with claims like ‘natural,’ ‘whole grain,’ ‘gluten free,’ and other statements perceived as healthier by consumers. That’s our best fit, and our tagline ‘Put a Better Label on the Table’ appropriately describes why more and more food manufacturers are using Briess ingredients.” Briess initiated an environmental program several years ago which continues to decrease energy usage and emissions annually. “In the past several years, we have greatly expanded our green initiatives, implementing a comprehensive Seed to Specialty™ sustainability program that encompasses our environment, our communities, and our people,” O’Toole said. “Our efforts were recognized last year when Briess was named a Business Friend of the Environment by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce.” In the past five years Briess staffing has increased by more than 100. “Today, our staff of 260 are committed to meeting customer demand and developing innovative ingredients for future growth,” the president/CEO added. “Spurring growth has been increasing consumer demand for better-for-you foods and beverages. Our portfolio of natural, healthy ingredients is the perfect ft the expanding health and wellness platform, and we are focusing efforts on innovative solutions and services to expand the industry and grow as a company.” Growth seen in Manitowoc In recent years Briess has expanded its facilities locations to include Manitowoc. “We acquired the Manitowoc facility just one year after purchasing a large barley elevator and processing operation in Wyoming,” O’Toole said. “Manitowoc completed the Seed to Specialty™ cycle that we needed to grow. It receives the barley grown for Briess in Wyoming and Montana, and has the capability to properly clean, grade, and store it. This gives Briess complete control over our barley supply chain. “In addition, recommissioning a large

malthouse on the property a year after we purchased the facility more than doubled our capacity,” he added. “Manitowoc has been key to our growth and expansion. And it continues to offer opportunity. Currently, an expansion project will add roasting and packaging capabilities at Manitowoc. This provides redundancy for consistent supply of ingredients to our customers, and additional capacity for growth.” Asked about how Briess is handling the challenge many businesses are facing in finding qualified workers, O’Toole said, “Briess is feeling the same recruiting challenges as other businesses in Wisconsin, as the state is basically in a state of full employment. To attract qualified candidates, we continue to review our total compensation program which already includes a generous vacation package, 401k matching and profit sharing, training opportunities, and a premium health insurance plan with low deductibles and low employee contribution. “As a family-operated business, we also strive to maintain a culture that’s conducive to family life and offers rewarding employment, educational opportunities, and growth potential.” Asked what sets Briess apart from its competitors, O’Toole said, “Besides being focused solely on the production of natural, specialty ingredients, Briess sets itself apart with our portfolio of capabilities. It is unmatched by any ingredient manufacturer in North America and includes growing, sprouting, malting, roasting, pregelatinizing, extraction, starch conversion, drying, milling, blending, and packaging. “Briess is also the only totally vertically integrated malting company in North America with the capability to produce malt extract from its own barley. Using our own specialty malts, we produce malt extracts with a range of flavor and color for application in beer and many food and products.” O’Toole added, “Further setting us apart is our commitment to customers. We are recognized as a partner by many customers by the relationships we have built with them, and the superb quality of service and products we offer. The Briess family malting tradition was founded on quality and service, and we remain dedicated to those values today.”

Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Chilton Wireless Plus keeps upgrading By Mark Sherry Has any industry changed more dramatically in terms of technology over the past decade than wireless communications—cellphones, tablets, connected devices, etc.? Given that fact, it probably should not come as a big surprise that a business like Chilton Wireless Plus which works in that industry has seen its fair share of changes as well in recent years. That includes the name of the business. Manager Nathan See said he hears customers refer to the Chilton store as RadioShack, U.S. Cellular, or Farm & Home and, to some degree, they are correct on all counts. RadioShack continues to be a supplier of many products which can be found in the store; Chilton Wireless Plus continues to set up U.S. Cellular service for customers; and the store is indeed located inside Farm & Home as it has been for many years. Several years ago, Kim McKeen bought out longtime partner Dwight Bloohm on the Farm & Home hardware side of the store, but both men continue to own Chilton Wireless Plus. “We’re still locally owned,” See said. “We’re still the same company we were since ‘99.” Store remodeled Late last year the store received an extensive remodeling. See said it provides a better layout, including more consultation stations for employees to work with customers and a small seating area for customers who might have to wait for the next available consultant. “So far it’s working really well,” See added. “Customers seem to like it.”

The staff at Chilton Wireless Plus in Chilton includes (front, from left) Zech Bennin, Nathan See, and Dave Buda; and (back) Jai Preston to Jennifer Bartel.

Those consultation stations stay very busy as a large part of Chilton Wireless Plus’ business is helping people with new cellphones and data plans. The store carries all the major makes and models of cellphones including iPhone, Samsung,

Motorola, and LG, as well as iPads and other connected tablets and devices. People who have not shopped for a new cellphone in a while might have a little sticker shock when they note the price of some of the newest iconic devices,

but See pointed out, “The biggest thing is how you pay for your phone now. It’s definitely changed.” People now pay for their phone over a series of monthly Turn to WIRELESS/page 14

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Offering foundation for health care CACHF plays major role in supporting Calumet County area health care options By Mike Mathes When it comes to assuring quality health care for Calumet County and the surrounding area, a vital organization plays a quiet, but key role. CACHF is the acronym for Calumet Area Community Health Foundation, an organization supported by local donations. Governed by a Board of Directors, CACHF has taken direct aim at upgrading health care capabilities in Calumet County in various ways including: n renovation and modernization of Ascension Calumet Hospital; n upgrading the outpatient operating room; n revamping the administrative area, public entrances and community room; n acquiring new equipment for the hospital; n recruiting doctors, nurses and other staff members to serve community needs; n staff enhancement and professional growth opportunities; and n expanding the community’s access to medical personnel and care options. Making the area attractive Dr. Gene Tipler, medical director for Ascension Calumet Hospital said one of the key roles of the foundation is to help attract health care providers—doctors, specialists, nursing staff and others to the greater Calumet County area. “We are at a bit of a disadvantage here in Chilton. Providers don’t like to come to smaller communities. That’s where its so great to have the resources provided by the foundation. Contributions from CACHF help level the playing field, and in some cases tips in our favor,” he said. “Let’s face it. Without the health care professionals, nothing happens,” Tipler said. Jenny Derks, chief administrative officer for the hospital, said, “Our partnership with the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation affords us the ability to attract and retain key medical personnel such as registered nurses, physician assistants, nurse practitioners and even physicians. “It is difficult at times to recruit and retain qualified providers in our rural area.  But, the foundation’s support allows us to garner a critical advantage during the recruitment process.  We are blessed to be able to collaborate in this way.  “Our community is fortunate to have the foundation rooted in the Calumet County area because it means we can provide comprehensive healthcare close to home. Attracting specialists “For a small community, we are truly blessed with a nice facility, and we have access to a wide range of specialists. Almost every kind of specialist comes here. Specialists are willing to come here. And, it’s all because we have a great facility and a good working environment. The support of CACHF helps us build partnerships with these professionals, giving the community more access to health care locally.” Tipler said the support of CACHF also helps Ascension Calumet Hospital in providing quality care, keeping its equipment, facilities and staff as current

Dr. Ben Dellaria finds joy in meeting with a young patient.

as possible. Tipler said that the community served by Ascension Calumet Hospital can be proud of the facilities and services offered. Dr. Peter Janu, head of surgery, pointed to the continuing value of the modernization at Ascension Calumet Hospital. “With the upgrades to the operating rooms, we’ve been able to offer more technically advanced surgical procedures with outcomes that rival or exceed those of the best institutions across the country.”

Janu said the upgrades have also offered improved surgical options to patients at Calumet Ascension Hospital “Because of the upgrades, we’ve enhanced our surgical technology with more minimally invasive options that are not only more effective but are safer, offer less pain, and an earlier return to full activity.” All of this has been accomplished through the support of CACHF for the recent renovations. Jenny Watts, Marketing Manager and


payments. Data plans have become more streamlined, less confusing, and less costly, thus balancing out some of the increased cost of phones. Also helping to reduce the financial impact of being connected is U.S. Cellular’s Total Unlimited Plans with Payback. See explained that the program provides a credit back to customers if they do not use all their data during the month. The amount of data a person needs can be an unknown for new users and can vary from month to month, and Unlimited with Payback takes the guesswork out of trying to figure out how much data is right for an individual.

Capabilities greatly increased The higher cost of phones is certainly understandable when a person considers their increased capabilities these days and the huge role they play in many people’s lives. They are not just telephones but also serve the role of being a portable computer, TV, gaming console and, of course, a nonstop mode of connection to family, friends, coworkers, and clients. Cellphones also connect people to today’s growing movement of “smart homes.” With products from companies such as Amazon and Google, people can use their cellphones to remotely control and monitor everything from furnace settings to lights to security systems and more—even trail cameras connected to U.S. Cellular’s data network so you

can control the trail camera settings and receive the pictures right on your smartphone without needing to go to the woods. These devices also work great for security at a home or business. Chilton Wireless Plus also sells and assists customers with smart home products. Last November the store also added a new service called Fix-It-Here Mobile Device Repair. They service Samsung, iPhone, and iPad devices. Get broken screens repaired, batteries replaced, or many other repairs in-store by trained technicians, most the same day in approximately one hour. Not ready to upgrade that broken phone to a new device yet? Fix-It-Here at Chilton Wireless Plus. Another service now provided by U.S. Cellular and Chilton Wireless Plus is inhome high-speed internet plans in both rural and urban areas. The plans are not presently available in every area because of data capacity limitations, but See encourages people interested in the service to check at the store or at uscellular.com for more information. Lots of other items in store Stopping at the Chilton store also allows people to see the vast array of other items available from Chilton Wireless Plus. From headphones, charging stations, electronic games and novelties to diodes, cables, build-it-yourself kits and so much more, Chilton Wireless Plus has what people interested in technology and

Regional Community Health Improvement Leader, points to communitybehavioral health access continues to be one of the key community health care needs. Again, CACHF funding has helped with the delivery of programs to address those needs. Watts said, “Here at Ascension Calumet Hospital we are doing our best to educate our staff and community about Turn to CACHF/page 15

continued from page 13 electronics are seeking. Some people are more technology savvy than others, and Chilton Wireless Plus offers a couple great advantages for those people who might be on the “less savvy” end of the spectrum. For starters, See and the other five employees of the store—four of whom are full time—will take the time to answer any questions a customer might have and will set up the new device and transfer all data from a previous device as necessary. When customers walk out of Chilton Wireless Plus they have a fully functional device. It might take a little while to get comfortable with the nuances of a new and upgraded device but, again, the employees of Chilton Wireless Plus are always a phone call or a stop away. It is not just the fact that employees take the time with customers, but it also is important to note that those employees have a lot of longevity and experience with the business. See has been at the store for 20 years, and full-time employees Dave Buda and Jennifer Bartel each have more than 10 years of experience at Chilton Wireless Plus. Full-timer Jai Preston and part-timer Zach Bennin also serve customers at the store. “That’s huge,” See said of the experience level at the store. “It is a lot of stuff to learn. Every person has built great relationships with many of our customers over the years.”

Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

CACHF mental health resources and initiatives we are a part of in the tri-county area (Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago Counties). ACH partners with the N.E.W. Mental Health Connection, NAMI, Catalpa Health and Samaritan Counseling. ACH utilizes best practices such as QPR (Question, Persuade and Refer) training and the Zero Suicide Initiative for healthcare professionals, educators, law enforcement, and the general public. The hospital was also behind getting the school-based mental health program HOST-Chilton into the Chilton Schools and financially supports Challenge Day.” Two-way street Health care, and the community’s support for those options is a two-way street. The same can be said for Calumet Area Community Health Foundation and its connection to community. While the Foundation supports the hospital, it’s also important for the community to understand it has a role as stakeholders in CACHF. The foundation depends on the community’s generosity to keep positive things happening in local health care. Anyone in the community can contribute to support the life-sustaining work of the foundation by offering their donations, whether they be individuals, businesses or organizations. CACHF is totally funded by donations, which are in turn earmarked for projects.


continued from page 14

The organization has no paid staff, thus all donations are used for the promotion and support of health care.Gifts of all sizes are welcome. CACHF President/CEO Glen Calnin said, “We are very fortunate to have Ascension Calumet Hospital within our community. It does a great job of serving Calumet County, but as with any organization the hospitals funds are not unlimited.  The Calumet Health Foundation can help by supplying funding for services we see a need for and help to make that service available. “To that end, financial support from individual donations, estates and corporate contributions are critical in allowing us to continue to fill these needs and guarantee quality health care now and for future generations.  We are neighbors helping neighbors.” Dr. Tipler added, “It is important for everyone to understand that contributing to CACHF is another way to insure that our hospital will continue to be a great asset to the community. We all have that responsibility assuring a quality of health care.” Those interested in supporting the Calumet Area Community Health Foundation can contact the organization by calling Calnin at 849-8700 or e-mailing cachfinc@yahoo.com. The mailing address for CACHF is CACHF, Suite 6, 451 E. Brooklyn St., Chilton, WI 53014.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

L&B keeps businesses looking their best By Mark Sherry Sue Achter already had decades of cleaning experience when she decided to apply for a job with L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service 22 years ago. Whether it was cleaning her own residence or the tavern she owned at the time on Main Street in Chilton, Achter had the skills which brothers Larry and Bruce Schroeder were looking for at their business. After Achter decided to sell her tavern and was looking for her next career, she saw an ad for L&B, decided to apply, and 22 years later is still cleaning local businesses for L&B. Achter reports every weeknight at 5 p.m. to American Finishing Resources in Chilton to do her cleaning, which includes sweeping floors, taking out garbage, and cleaning the bathrooms. She also cleans at Vern’s Cheese for L&B. Achter said she takes pride in leaving those workplaces looking neat and clean. Similarly, the Schroeders said they are pleased with the job Achter and their other employees do and are especially pleased with the longevity with which Achter has done her job. They recently presented her with a nice bonus check as a way of saying “thank you” for all her years of service. Someone has to do it Achter said she “doesn’t mind” cleaning up for other people and added a somewhat surprising admission: “I like cleaning bathrooms more than the dusting.” The Schroeders have a total of two full-time and seven part-time employees but—like many businesses these days— they said they are very much in need of additional employees. If the people were available they said they would hire two more full-timers or four or five parttimers right now. L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service seems like a great place to work either full time or part time because of the flexibility offered by the Schroeders. Their employees work almost always only on weeknights, leaving weekends open. Bruce and Larry said they try to fit the work load to the wishes of each individual employee, making it an ideal location for people looking for a parttime job, a second job, a high school student looking to make some money, or someone in search of a full-time position. L&B has had employees in a wide age

Sue Achter recently received a $500 bonus check from Bruce (left) and Larry Schroeder of L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service in recognition of her 22 years of service to the company. Mark Sherry photo

range over the years. Larry said they started their business 33 years ago. It was the mid-1980s and the economy was not great. Larry was working off-and-on in between being laid off by his employer, and Bruce was working on a farm. They talked about starting their own business, saw that the cleaning business might be a low-cost, low-risk investment, and started L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service from scratch. Still working full time in the business, both men said they are happy with the decisions they made all those years ago. Staying on an even keel Unlike a lot of businesses, L&B has not changed much over the past three decades—neither by technology nor

the decisions of its owners. Larry and Bruce handle the carpet cleaning and tile waxing, often working together late at night or on weekends to do that specialty work which also requires drying time. Churches, schools, and post offices have been just some of the locations at which the Schroeders have done carpet cleaning and/or tile waxing along with residential carpet work. Their employees handle the general cleaning which is exclusively at commercial locations. Larry said they leave residential cleaning to other businesses which specialize in that work. “We don’t want to stretch ourselves too thin,” he said. L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service serves an area roughly from the Calumet County side of Appleton east to Brillion,

and south to the Kiel/St. Anna area. Bruce said they aim to be the trusted, local source for commercial cleaning. Background checks are done on prospective employees. “We have to trust these people with keys (to customers’ businesses),” Larry said. When new commercial customers request cleaning services from L&B, either Bruce or Larry will do the job first to gauge how much time it will take and whether or not there are any special needs. They then will accompany the employee to the site at least the first time to provide training. “Our customers, that (business) is like their second home,” Larry said. “We can’t be skimping. We have to be Turn to L&B/page 17

Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019



continued from page 16

thorough. I always tell new employees, ‘My phone rings for business, not for complaints.’ And more business makes better wages.” Full-time employees can receive insurance, holiday pay, and paid time off. Employees can drive their own vehicles to the cleaning destination(s) and do not have to carry in any cleaning equipment as L&B puts those items on site at the

start of their business relationship. Anyone interested in learning more about working for L&B Carpet Care & Janitorial Service is encouraged to call 849-2223. That is the same number for businesses to call if they would like a free estimate from L&B. Leave a message if Bruce or Larry do not answer as they handle the calls in between keeping Calumet County area businesses looking their best.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Nina Bowe (left) and Wendy Sohrweide are owners and founders of Kazzmo’s Kitchen and Spirits in Stockbridge.

Wendy Sohrweide poses with her daughters Katelyn and Morgan and dogs Zada and Zoey in front of Kazzmo’s in Stockbridge.

Kazzmo’s popular addition to Stockbridge scene By Faye Burg Brimming with small town spirit and home cooked meals from the heart, Kazzmo’s Kitchen and Spirits burst onto the food scene in Stockbridge to the delight of its customers. Located at 105 N. Military Road, the business opened on Dec. 11, 2018 after a four-month remodeling project was complete.

The restaurant was the dream of owners Wendy Sohrweide and partner and co-founder Nina Bowe, who said they wanted to provide a family friendly environment where everyone would feel welcome. “We have that small town friendly feel complete with home cooking and we will maintain that as long as we are in business,” Bowe said. In sticking with the family theme, the

business name Kazzmo’s was created from letters taken from Sohrweide’s children and dog names including oldest daughter Katelyn, dogs Zoey and Zada and youngest daughter Morgan. Three employees currently assist Sohrweide at the restaurant that is open daily except Sundays. “We hope to expand hours in the near future,” she said. Homemade specials are offered daily at

Kazzmo’s including homemade soups, which are always available. “Call ahead orders and private parties are welcome,” Sohrweide said. Visitors are enjoying the wide range of options on the menu at Kazzmo’s including fresh half pound hamburgers, wraps, sandwiches, salads, a huge Turn to KAZZMO’S/page 19

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Kazzmo’s appetizer menu, homemade soups and freshly made pizzas. The large portions of homemade food offered by Kazzmo’s have customers leaving with smiles of satisfaction. Customer traffic has been brisk with Sohrweide stating staffing can be a challenge along with the learning curve with business sustainability. “We try to meet scheduling needs to make sure to avoid burn out. As our business continues to grow we will add more staff and hours.” Sohrweide said the environment of the restaurant sets her business apart from the rest. “Our biggest goal since we opened has been to add to our com-


continued from page 18

munity, not take away. Coming from a small town we strive to support small businesses in our community and surrounding areas.” Kazzmo’s can be reached by calling (920) 981-4028. More information can be found by visiting their Facebook page. “We had a vision and a dream and it became a reality,” Sohrweide said. “Opening the doors with all of our hard work along with some great friends and family was bittersweet.” Sohrweide said it is rewarding to see customers with satisfied faces, hear compliments and see five star reviews. “It keeps us striving to do better and more.”

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Customer needs top priority at Chilton bank By Faye Burg Family-owned and headquartered in Wisconsin, National Exchange Bank & Trust team members strive to get to know their customers and provide the best financial products for their needs. “We understand our customers and want to take the time to learn about their needs and how we can serve them financially,” Operations Officer Tami Goeser said. National Exchange Bank & Trust is new to the Chilton area after recently purchasing the banking center from Wisconsin Bank & Trust. Goeser has been with the bank for more than 20 years when it was known as Community Bank & Trust and then Wisconsin Bank & Trust. Proud to be a family owned, Wisconsin-based bank, staff members are in a unique position in the market to offer their customers innovative and convenient banking products with local, friendly, familiar customer service. “With National Exchange Bank & Trust, you don’t have to sacrifice service for innovative banking. We are a community bank with all the products of a big bank and none of the hassle,” Goeser explained. “We offer our customers 24-hour ATMs, free online and mobile

banking with mobile deposits, a personal financial management tool online and in the mobile app, locally-serviced home loans, online loan applications, private banking, customized business loans and business banking solutions, trust and wealth management services and fullservice deposit products.” Customer satisfaction and community investment is something all staff members find rewarding in their service to customers. “Our staff prides itself of exceeding customer expectations whenever possible, and we are excited to be a part of a bank with a long history of investing in its communities.” Seven staff members are ready to serve customers daily in the Chilton office, with more than 375 additional team members located through out Southeast Wisconsin. “National Exchange Bank & Trust is excited to be here in Chilton, and we look forward to partnering with the Chilton community to serve the financial needs of our neighbors and friends.” National Exchange Bank & Trust is located at 1265 E. Chestnut Street in Chilton and can be reached by calling (920) 849-8888. Additional information can be found by visiting their website at www.nebat.com.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Weekend breakfast starts at Harbor Bar By Mark Sherry Harbor Bar & Grill along the east shore of Lake Winnebago has long been known as a great place for lunch, dinner, and/or drinks well into the night. Starting this Saturday, March 30, Harbor Bar begins a new tradition for which it may become well known—breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays. Kimberly Halbach of Harbor Bar said she believes the breakfast service will fill a void as there are few places along the east shore which offer breakfast both Saturdays and Sundays. Located just west of the village of Stockbridge at 1919 W. Lake St., Chilton, Harbor Bar used to open at 11 a.m. on weekends but will dial that back to 7 a.m. starting Saturday. Halbach said the breakfast menu will include some pretty standard offerings such as omelets and skillets but also items such as breakfast tacos, breakfast burritos, a Mexican Skillet, and a Cowboy Skillet which will include slices of prime rib. With Stockbridge Harbor located adjacent to Harbor Bar & Grill, Halbach said she expects fishermen to help spread the news about the new weekend breakfast option along the lake—but, of course, everyone is welcome. Weekend breakfast will not be the only new food feature at Harbor Bar this year as Halbach said she is looking to freshen up the menu for summer. While all the old favorites will remain—including a full steak menu—she said diners should look for additions such as more salads, tacos, and healthier, gluten-free options. But area diners need not worry—Harbor Bar’s popular Friday fish fry is not

Kimberly Halbach stands beneath the new sturgeon rack her father Dan helped construct outside Harbor Bar & Grill near Stockbridge. Harbor Bar is now serving breakfast starting at 7 a.m. on weekends. Mark Sherry photo

going away. After being closed for the last 10 days to allow employees a chance to catch their breath in between a busy sturgeon season and the coming busy

summer season on the lake, Harbor Bar & Grill reopens this Friday, March 29 at 4 p.m. with its offerings of perch, haddock, walleye, and shrimp.

There are plenty of other favorites to enjoy at Harbor Bar, including burgers, Turn to harbor/page 22

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


fish tacos, and Philly, Cuban, and Reuben sandwiches. The dining room seats up to 80 people and parties of that size can be hosted there as well. With beautiful views of Lake Winnebago from the main bar area, the dining room, and a large deck, Halbach said she would like Harbor Bar to become known as a destination for events. That could include rehearsal dinners, showers, and other parties of all sorts. Harbor Bar has buffet tables to assist with that growing aspect of the business. Anyone planning an event may call her at the business, (920) 439-1450. Halbach has worked to steadily make improvements to the establishment over the past year and plans to continue doing so. One example of that is the recent installation of a new high-quality camera mounted on the building and overlooking the lake, providing a nonstop live view of lake conditions which people can access via Harbor Bar’s website (https:// www.stockbridgeharborbar.com), Facebook page, or YouTube. There previously had been a camera on the building which was used by people from near and far, and Halbach said she heard many requests to bring it back. The new camera

continued from page 21

dler, thus releasing the flavors of the fresh ingredients so that they bind with the alcohol better. Spring/summer hours will be Tues-

is much higher quality and allows viewers the opportunity to zoom in and out. Also stay tuned to the website, Facebook, and other local sources for news of live music on the deck again this summer on many weekend afternoons. Visitors to Harbor Bar continue to comment on the new painting by famed aquatic life artist Wyland which recently was unveiled on a wall at Harbor Bar, along with a number of historic photographs from the Stockbridge area. Another recent addition to Harbor Bar was the installation of a rack near the front door on which sturgeon spearers can hang their catches. Kimberly’s father Dan was instrumental in the addition of the new feature which may not seem all that important to some people—but definitely was to the people who had sturgeon hanging from the hooks last month. Halbach said she also continues to work toward future plans to make their own pizzas and offer delivery in the local area. Patrons also continue to comment positively about the muddled old fashioneds still served there. To muddle a drink means to press the ingredients against the side of the glass with a mud-

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Chilton Progress briefs 2019

J & E Construction receives award

J & E Construction Co. Inc. was awarded the Stockbridge Area Business Association (SABA ) Award recently. J & E Construction has been in business for over 60 years. It is a family run construction company and has thirdgeneration members working side by side. They have limestone quarries, deliver their own product with many Mack

dump trucks, and own many pieces of heavy equipment including a long stick back hoe to clean out manure pits and other projects that need a very long reach. They are one of the top three employers in Stockbridge and provide many services to the community. Their generosity has been appreciated by many. Jim and Eunice Ecker started the company together many years ago and the family is now carrying on their legacy. For more information call (920) 4391555 or e-mail jandeconstructionco@ gmail.com.


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Library continues to meet needs of users By Faye Burg Chilton Public Library provides access to an ever-expanding world of information to help meet the information, educational, and recreational needs of its users. Director Glenny Whitcomb said her goal is to provide access to materials and resources of all kinds as well as a variety of programming for all ages. Working side by side with Director Assistant Rebbecca Barry and a forward thinking dedicated Board of Directors, Whitcomb is excited for all the library offers its users as it continues to evolve with the changing times. The library has grown by leaps and bounds since it first got its start by Ella Groezinger in 1915 and was originally housed in the D.V. Jones Telephone and Candy store on Main Street. Women’s Club members donated books to fill the library. Today Whitcomb explains the library is more than just books. “There is art, cooking, financial sessions, fitness and more,” she said. “Libraries are increasingly growing and evolving to meet the needs of communities.” More than books “We try to be reflective of the community and offer what they are looking for,” Barry added. “Use of the library has changed. It’s more of a living building. We run a ton of programs and are focusing on caring for the building as well to adequately serve the community.” Barry cited an upcoming ceiling proj-

ect they are hoping to pay for with fundraising that will include maintenance and updating to damper some of the noise to create better acoustics. “We hope to start this year after a lot of planning,” she added, stating the amount of foot traffic has taken a toll on the building’s carpeting and outlets need to be updated to better serve user electronic devices. Continually engaging the community through a variety of programming and outreach programs is all part of the library staff’s goal to serve the community’s needs. “It’s always a new experience here,” Barry shared. “I love watching the children’s department and youth areas. It’s a fun and exciting place to go.” Barry said library staff is available to serve everyone and they enjoy hearing suggestions on what patrons would like to be able to see and do at the library. “It is a team effort with the staff and we do a lot on a tight budget. Youth programs include Babygarten, Toddler Story Time, Suppertime Storytime, Minecraft, and Tween Night as well as numerous other special child and teen offerings. “Our dedicated space for teens where they can go to enjoys novels, gaming systems, do homework and more grew so popular that we created a tween area as well. It gives them a place to go that is theirs,” Barry said. Homeschool gatherings, Crafter Circle, Friday Night Magic, Mahjongg, a variety of book clubs and other programs are always part of the library’s program-

Chilton Public Library Director Assistant Rebbecca Barry and Director Glenny Whitcomb work hard to keep up with an ever-expanding world of information. Faye Burg photo

ming in addition to bus trips, speakers and musical entertainers offered through out the year. Everyone is welcome “We strive to make everyone feel welcome,” Whitcomb added. “A true democracy.” Digital resources give library users access to many online interfaces such as Creativebug which offers unlimited access to over 1000 online art and craft classes. Watch classes anytime, anywhere. Since classes never expire, you can start and stop projects at your own pace. The Wisconsin Digital Library offers users the ability to download free e-books, e-audiobooks and e-videos to their computer or mobile device by simply using their library card and a

PIN number. Using WISCAT, a combined union catalog for Wisconsin libraries, users can find and request materials they are looking for. Wisconsin’s Online Library BadgerLink, provides Wisconsin residents with licensed content not available through regular search engines. Additional online resources including RBdigital magazine, Reference USA, Mango Languages, Ancestry, as well as access to test preparation sites for a wide range of academic exams are all available by just stopping in at the library. Whitcomb said the library works with the Fox Valley Literacy Center and currently has five ELL (English language learners) students that staff and volunTurn to library/page 24

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Stepping it up

Farm & Home increases focus on top quality products By Mark Sherry Farm & Home is stepping it up in 2019. Kim McKeen, who owns the Chilton hardware and much more store with wife Nancy, said it did not require getting hit on the head with a hammer to see the need to do so—but in a way it did. Kim told the true story which occurred in the past year in which two men who work for contractors came into the store at separate times, each looking to buy a new hammer. Farm & Home has 32 different hammers displayed in the store. Both men left without buying a hammer. “If he goes out empty handed, we failed,” McKeen said. The incidents bothered him so much that he e-mailed both men to find out why they left the store without buying a hammer. Both men graciously replied with very detailed specifications as to what they want in a hammer, with one of them even sending a photo of their preferred hammer. Price did not matter to them—when a person swings a hammer a lot and every day for their job, they want the best. Today Farm & Home has 37 hammers displayed in the store. One of the men came back and found and bought the hammer he had been seeking. Giving customers what they want That is just one example of what McKeen calls “stepping it up” in 2019. “In order to better meet our customers’ expectations, Farm & Home is looking to enhance many of our product lines by adding in some recognized premium brand names and also expanding on current product lines with additional choices,” he said. McKeen added, “We all fall in the trap of putting dollars and cents first. My goal is to not eliminate anything in the store but to bring in some premium products.” Another example of how Farm & Home is stepping it up is in the area of grills. The store has long carried lines of gas and charcoal grills, but Wisconsinites who love their grilling know that Weber is the name for quality. “We are adding in both Weber and Traeger grills along with a full line of accessories for

Kim McKeen of Farm & Home in Chilton stands among some of the Weber and Traeger grills and grilling accessories which the store has added in the past year. Mark Sherry photo

both lines,” McKeen said. “Traeger has a complete line of flavored wood pellets to spice up your cooking. We also fill propane tanks so we can keep your Weber grill hot.” McKeen added that Traeger makes pellet-fed grills which can even be synced to a cellphone to feed in pellets upon command so that grillers do not need to turn their attention away from watching the big game or whatever else they are doing at the time. Toro zero-turn riding mowers are another example of how McKeen’s vision for Farm & Home has changed in recent years. He said a couple years ago he finally bought in to bringing one of these top-of-the-line mowers to the store—and it sold right away. Since that time other Farm & Home customers have walked away as new owners of Toro zero-turn mowers, and McKeen said all of them have been thrilled. “We are bringing


teers are working with, assisting anyone who wants to improve their literacy skills. “14 percent of Wisconsin adults read at the lowest levels,” Whitcomb stated. “We are going to need flexible, creative learners by 2025 as 80 percent of jobs that will exist then do not exist now. The library is committed to empowering individuals by offering resources to build a variety of literacy skills.” The library also fills a very important niche with the only Memory Café program in all of Calumet County. Memory Cafes are for those experiencing early stage dementia, mild memory loss or cognitive impairment, and for family and friends of those affected. Barry said the cost savings users are seeing by using the library is astounding, stating, “The 2018 savings to the community for using items at the library instead of purchasing them themselves was $787,000,” She said. “That money saved by users can be re-invested back into the community.” After adding community room use for

continued from page 23

meetings and gatherings and programs offered, that savings rises to $829,000 according to Barry. “Browse our collections, borrow materials, use our meeting rooms, investigate our MakerSpace, access our Internet, sign up for a class, attend our monthly documentary series or bring your wee folk to our weekly Babygarten program or to our weekly Toddler Story Time. Join us for a monthly Book Club discussion and potluck. Our dedicated, resourceful, helpful and friendly staff is eager to assist you and make your visit an enjoyable and rewarding experience,” Whitcomb said. “There is no cost to use the library,” Whitcomb added. “The library strives to make everyone welcome. Our doors are always open and we enjoy collaborating with the community.” Chilton Public Library is located at 221 Park Street and can be reached by calling (920) 849-4414. More information can be found by visiting www.chiltonlibrary.com.

in new models with extra features this year,” he said. “If we don’t stock the model you need, we can get it.” Husqvarna riders added McKeen added, “We have done the same thing for our Husqvarna riding mower selection. The trend the past few years has been for larger riders with more options. This spring we will have them.” Yet another example of stepping it up is in Farm & Home’s expansive Pet Department. The store is adding some very recognized, top-end brand name pet foods such as Blue Buffalo. They are not low-cost options, but pet owners want the best when it comes to their littlest family members. It is not just the products in the store that sets Farm & Home apart but also the many services it provides. “As always, we service the mowers we sell and all equipment is set up and running when it leaves the store,” McKeen said. “We will even take care of the warranty registration for you.” Farm & Home’s connections with Do it Best Corp. also allows customers to shop from the convenience of their

homes. “Just go to doitbest.com and you can have your order shipped directly to your home or have it delivered freightfree here to Farm & Home,” McKeen said. Farm & Home also does fun promotions for its customers such as its Shopping Spree Give Away. Each spring and fall it runs the $500 Give Away where two customers will each win the big prize. In the past, catalogs were passed out in the store informing customers of the promotion but this year—in order to include more customers—Farm & Home will be distributing over 10,000 catalogs with the help of the Tempo shopper. Watch the Tempo for more information and for the catalog announcing the promotion. The catalog provides just a sampling of the more than 67,000 items Do it Best has to offer. “Every single item is available to our customers,” McKeen said. And if customers cannot find what they want at Farm & Home, McKeen urges them to let any employee know before leaving the store. That will go a long way toward helping Farm & Home along its path of stepping it up in 2019.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Fuhrmann a service giant for over 39 years By Faye Burg After providing the area with heating and cooling services for the past 39-plus years, Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. is extending its quality service to include all plumbing needs as well. Jarred Ellman joined the partnership in June of 2015 to allow Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. to begin serving the area’s plumbing needs. Plumbing services offered include new construction, remodels, sales, repairs, water heaters, and water softeners. Due to the demand for plumbing services continuing to grow, Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, Inc. has added Master Plumber Greg Van Lanen, Journeyman Wayne Hoerth and a plumbing helper. These employees are all from the local service area with 20+ years combined experience. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. also continues to be available 24/7 to provide residential and business heating and cooling needs. Residential and commercial From new home and business needs to existing homeowners and owners of small commercial buildings who would like to replace, upgrade or repair their heating and cooling equipment, Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. thrives on their busy schedule of providing quality service to their clients. Service tune-ups have been strong through fall and winter with additions and remodeling work keeping the firm busy along with new commercial construction projects, such as Brillion City Center. While they service most heating and

cooling products, Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. is primarily a Carrier dealership receiving numerous awards over the years from Carrier acknowledging their quality workmanship. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. specializes in commercial and residential heating, air conditioning, boiler systems, radiant in-floor heating, forced air heating and cooling, wood, and oil. Fuhrmann does a lot of work in new construction and existing homes, performing a nice mix of retrofits and remodeling work. Approximately 80 percent of its business is forced air heating and cooling. With the expansion of natural gas into more rural areas, system conversions have also kept the employees busy to ready their customers for spring hook-ups to the natural gas lines. Ductless AC systems installed Central air is now standard in nearly every new home and also can be added to existing homes. Homes that have hot water heat and are without duct work can be a bit tricky to air condition and can be costly. The ductless split system air conditioners work well—and is very affordable—in those situations if duct work is not feasible. Popular in today’s homes is radiant or in-floor heat, which is often called for in basements of new home construction projects even if the owners do not plan on using it. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. does a large number of in-floor retrofits in cold floor areas and warms the area with radiant tubing either under the sub floor or in a concrete slab. It is most efficient if tubing is installed in concrete or some type of conductor of heat, as opposed to wood which is a

Jarred Ellman, left, owner of Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating and Cooling stands along with plumber Greg Van Lanen.

non-conductor source. With today’s new home construction built tight and insulated well, indoor air needs to be exchanged with outside air to prevent health problems and other issues such as excess moisture and mold. Air exchange units are very common today and highly recommended. Fuhrmann installs many units along with performing duct cleaning and appliance and bath fan venting to improve indoor air quality. Annual check-ups done Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. offers residential customers the opportunity to join an annual computerized list where annual check-ups are performed and they also offer free estimates for customer projects. While offering quality products and services is important, Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. practices good community relations as

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well. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. actively supports and helps fund local causes and trades educational development programs with generous contributions. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. holds professional memberships in the Brillion Chamber of Commerce, the Mid-Shores Home Builders Association, Inc., and the Manitowoc County Home Builders Association and employees are trained on a regular basis. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. participates yearly in the MidShores Home Builders annual Home Show each March in Chilton. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. is also associated with Focus on Energy and WPS program with money back rewards. Service at Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. is available 24/7, 365 Turn to fuhrmann/page 27

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

2 locations help serve Thrivent customer needs By Faye Burg Paul Yancy, Barb Van Grinsven and their team at Thrivent Financial enjoy serving the Christian communities by helping members make wise choices with their money and also by living generously. With offices conveniently located at 428 W. Ryan Street in Brillion and 14 West Main Street in Chilton and more than 60 years of combined experience in the industry, Yancy and Van Grinsven provide a vast array of products and services to Calumet County and the surrounding areas to help members meet their lifestyle goals. Retirement income strategies, financial needs analysis, asset allocation, accumulation strategies, and estate protection are part of the financial services the team provides for members. Educational funding options are also a part of the offerings as well as mutual funds, annuities, insurance and charitable giving options. Office Manager Lisa Geiger has worked with the Thrivent offices for over twelve years and is licensed in life and health insurance. Geiger splits her time between the two office locations and works side by side with office staff member Kate Feider who is based in the Chilton office. Proud to be a part of Thrivent, which is a membership organization of Christians with members as owners, Yancy said Thrivent’s purpose is to serve its members and society by guiding both to be wise with money and live generously. “We believe that all that we have is a gift from God and that generosity is an expression of faith,” Yancy said. “We succeed when our members and their communities thrive. We value our relationships.” Thrivent Action Teams is a volunteer project opportunity that makes it easy for members to support a cause in their community. Adult Thrivent Benefit members are eligible to lead up to two action teams per year. Thrivent provides those that lead with invitation cards for volunteers, a “Live Generously” t-shirt for each volunteer, promotional banners for the event, a $250 gift card to use for expenses, and thank you cards. Since the program’s inception in 2015, more than $700,000 has been raised in Calumet County alone. Thrivent Builds with Habitat for Humanity connects members with opportunities to share their time and talents on construction and building repair projects in area communities and other states and countries. Yancy traveled to Portugal to participate in another Thrivent build last October and along with his wife Deborah will work on a build team in the United States later this year. The Thrivent Choice program gives members the opportunity to recommend where Thrivent distributes some of its charitable outreach funds each year. More than $600,000 has been distributed in Calumet County since the program’s inception in 2010. “The Thrivent difference is to show our members a new relationship with money,” Yancy said. Both Yancy and Van Grinsven agree that money is a tool, not a goal and the need for retirement income planning has never been greater. “If people are comfortable where they are at, it’s easier for them to be generous.” “We call it the Thrivent Way. We help people create a financial strategy that reflects their goals and values that carries them from the present and throughout

their retirement years,” Van Grinsven said. “Our business is continually growing,” she said. “Referrals from existing clients are a very big part of Thrivent. Our territory isn’t limited to Brillion and Chilton as we have many clients throughout Calumet, Outagamie, Manitowoc and Fond du Lac counties.” Thrivent once again was named one of the “World’s Most Ethical Companies” in 2018 by Ethisphere Institute. “We earned this distinction as a result of our leadership in promoting ethical business standards and for introducing innovative ideas to benefit the public,” Van Grinsven said. Ethisphere Institute is a leading international think tank dedicated to the creation, advancement, and sharing of best practices in business ethics, corporate social responsibility, anticorruption, and sustainability. Thrivent has been recognized with this honor since 2011 and is one of 128 honorees worldwide this year and only five honorees in the financial services category. Both Yancy and Van Grinsven are passionate about what they do and excited to come to work at Thrivent each day. “I love my career. It’s actually more like a calling to me. There’s so much reward and satisfaction that comes my way every day,” Van Grinsven added. Yancy said he loves coming to work every day and working with people to create a plan to help them to make wise choices with their money. “I work with really nice people and I really enjoy it,” he said. “I love helping people with their finances which helps their families and their Christian communities.” Yancy can be reached at (920) 7562078 or by email at paul.yancy@thrivent. com. Van Grinsven can be reached by calling (920) 849-7161 or by email at barb.vangrinsven@thrivent.com.

Paul Yancy works out of the Thrivent office located in Brillion. Faye Burg photo

Member programs are fraternal activities of Thrivent and its Thrivent Member Networks and are not contractual or guaranteed. Participation is subject to applicable Terms and Conditions, which are interpreted, along with other rules governing these benefits and programs, Turn to THRIVENT/page 27

Barb Van Grinsven serves Thrivent customer’s in the Chilton office. Faye Burg photo


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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


at Thrivent’s sole discretion. Benefits and programs are evaluated regularly, and Thrivent may change, modify, discontinue, or refuse to provide any of them at any time. Products should never be purchased or kept merely to be eligible to participate in membership benefits and programs. The Thrivent Choice charitable grant program engages Thrivent members and Thrivent Member Networks in providing grants that support charitable activities,

continued from page 26

furthering Thrivent’s mission and its purposes under state law. All grant decisions, including grant recipients and amounts, are made at the sole discretion of Thrivent. Directing Choice Dollars® is subject to the program’s terms and conditions available at Thrivent.com/ thriventchoice. “World’s Most Ethical Companies” and “Ethisphere” names and marks are registered trademarks of Ethisphere LLC.

Fuhrmann days of the year with an employee always available to take customer calls. When customers call Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc.’s regular number outside of business hours, emergency calls are transferred to the employee who is on duty overnight and on weekends. The company will mark 39 years in business with 17 full-time employees along with many part-time employees who work together to provide top-notch

continued from page 25 customer service and products to Manitowoc, Calumet, Brown, Sheboygan and Outagamie counties. Fuhrmann Plumbing, Heating & Cooling Inc. is located at 304 E. Water St., Brillion. More information can be found on their Web site at www.fuhrmannheating.com. The firm also may be reached by calling (920) 756-3277 or e-mailing fuhrmannhtg@fhtgc.com.

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Lakeshore Septic Service is starting its 25th year in business this year. The business pumps out septic tanks, mounds, and holding tanks. They also do septic inspections and offer portable toilets for parties, construction sites, or any other purpose. “We started out with one truck,” Melvin Ecker said. “Now we have three trucks plus a truck equipped to haul and pump out portable toilets.” He added, “Our amazing and sometimes patient customers are the reason we are still in business. They are not just jobs, but friends also. Our sons have been instrumental in upgrading our business in the past many years. We are also blessed with conscientious and hard working employees. They are the ones that keep us going from day to day.” To learn more about the Stockbridge area business, call (920) 439-1566 or e-mail lakeshoresepticservice@gmail.com.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Providing eye care...from here to Haiti By Mark Sherry Dr. Cheryl Roers provides eye care to people of all ages—whether they live within driving distance of the eye care centers in New Holstein, Chilton, Sheboygan, and Grafton, or if they live on the island of Ile-a-Vache off the coast of Haiti. The unusually long distance between places Dr. Roers practices dates back to the spring of 2012 when—upon the invitation of another eye doctor/friend—she volunteered her time and skills for the first time providing eye care to residents of the Caribbean island of Haiti who did not otherwise have access to it. At that time they provided care to people in the community of Thiotte in the mountains of southeast Haiti. Dr. Roers said by the second day there she knew this would be more than a one-time trip for her. “It’s very gratifying to help people,” she said. “I think I get so much in return.” After five visits to Thiotte over the ensuing years, Dr. Roers said she felt it was time to see another part of Haiti. In 2017 she was part of a team which went to Ile-a-Vache, home to between 15,000 and 17,000 people. There are no cars or roads on the island, let alone any eye care. Dr. Roers’ team saw 150 patients in a day and a half and knew they would have to come back. Taking a “boat” to the island Ile-a-Vache is accessed by boat from the mainland, but Dr. Roers said with a laugh that the boat is little more than a “glorified canoe.” It is a five-hour car ride from the airport to get to the boat, then another 45 minutes in the boat to the island. In 2018 Dr. Roers and her team saw 400 patients in five days, making three trips to the island. She was back again for two weeks in January of this year and brought a surgical team with her. That team performed 54 eye surgeries during their stay. There is a small medical clinic on the island run by a foundation from New York. “We just take over the clinic pretty much,” Dr. Roers said. Ile-a-Vache residents go from village to village using a bullhorn to announce that the eye doctors have arrived. The doctors charge about 35 cents for a visit, with the money going back to the clinic. The average income of an Ile-a-Vache native is about $2 per day. The doctors and manufacturers of eye care equipment and supplies donate needed materials. Dr. Roers also is a member of the New Holstein Lions Club, and she said that club and a number of other area Lions clubs have been great supporters of her volunteer work in Haiti. Some equipment has been shipped to Haiti via the Salvatorian Mission Warehouse in New Holstein. “I couldn’t do it without my supporters,” she said, adding that the entire area has backed her efforts. She said she is willing to speak to local organizations about her experiences in Haiti. Same eye issues there The Haitian people have all the same eye-related issues as Americans do but without the access to eye care. As a matter of fact, Dr. Roers said about 20 percent of the Haitian people have glaucoma, a condition where the eye’s optic never is damaged by increased pressure in the eye. “You slowly lose your vision and you don’t know why,” Dr. Roers said, adding that some Haitian people with the condition believe they are suffering from a voodoo curse. Last September she was on Ile-a-Vache

with a team from Ireland. They saw an 8-year-old boy who had cataracts and was essentially blind. The doctors were able to get him to the mainland to do surgery on him. When Dr. Roers returned in January she saw the boy again, and now he can see well because of what she called the “life changing” care. Dr. Roers has now formed a nonprofit organization known as International Vision so that any donations of equipment, supplies or money to the cause can be tax deductible. Her plan is to continue to serve Ile-a-Vache although she said she might someday expand her scope as requests are being received from other parts of Haiti. Her plan is to visit Haiti three or four times per year and eventually get an eye care clinic established on Ile-a-Vache which can run itself, perhaps with the help of doctors being trained at a school of optometry in the country’s capital of Port-au-Prince.

Accepting new patients In the meantime, Dr. Roers continues to keep very busy seeing patients at New Holstein Family Eye Care, 1405 Milwaukee Dr. The New Holstein location is now open an extra day of the week and is welcoming new patients. Dr. Roers’ staff will assist new patients in getting their charts and records from previous doctors transferred to New Holstein Family Eye Care. Customers of the business can take advantage of a new program which offers a $100 rebate on a second pair of frames or lenses. As Dr. Roers pointed out, one pair of eyeglasses is not necessarily supposed to serve every purpose. Hunters, athletes, and other people involved in special pursuits may find a second pair of glasses to be beneficial. Other people may want a second pair just for style purposes. New Holstein Family Eye Care also now has EyezenTM lenses available which provide an adaptive boost especially for looking at things up close—such as cellphones. There are different lenses recommended for different age ranges starting with late teens, but all of them work by helping to relax eye muscles. This is important because of eye strain/ fatigue and increased exposure to harmful blue light from the hours and hours people spend looking at devices up close. Dr. Roers also said the lenses should help with the growing number of people with myopia (nearsightedness), something she said she is even seeing in Haiti—and will help to treat on her next trip back.

Dr. Cheryl Roers gives a hug to her favorite Haitian patient.

Dr. Cheryl Roers conducts vision screening at an orphanage in Port au Prince with a “spot screener” borrowed from a local Lions club.

All these Haitian people had cataract surgery with Dr. Nicolini, a Danish ophthalmologist who works with Dr. Roers at International Vision.

Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Quality furnishings offered at Meiselwitz By Faye Burg In business since 1898, family owned Meiselwitz Furniture continues to offer new and exciting quality fine home furnishings to their customers. Operated for the last 40 years by Mike and Bill Curry, great-grandsons of Carl Meiselwitz, Meiselwitz Furniture is located at 328 Fremont St. in Kiel, the same location the business began in when founded by C.J. Meiselwitz in 1898. This year the brothers plan to remodel the original European-style apartment on the upper floor of the building to display new Flexsteel living room and dining room introductions. “My brother and I are proud to be a part of the Kiel community,” Bill said. “It’s a great retail town and always has a lot of new and exciting things happening. We are excited about the Kiel Mill restoration project headed by Markus Ladd of Kiel.” Fourth generation owners Bill and Mike are also excited to be celebrating their 121st year offering fine products to their customers. “We feature Restonic mattresses, the best two-sided mattress construction in the U.S.A. and one of the top bedding manufacturers. They have won many awards recently including the Women’s Choice Award and Consumer Digest Best Buy Award.” Restonic was founded in 1938 when a group of independent mattress manufacturers developed a better method of building a quality mattress. Only the highest-grade materials are used in the

expertly tailored mattresses and box springs to ensure the highest degree of comfort, support, and durability. “All Restonic beds are made with components from Wisconsin. Only two sided beds have the marvelous middle support system to prevent sinking and sagging. The mattresses last longer and provide a better night’s sleep.” Many brands of furnishings offered Meiselwitz Furniture offers many significant brands of home furnishings including a fine selection of options of beautiful and quality built products from Flexsteel. Meiselwitz Furniture has been an authorized deal of Flexsteel for more than 80 years. Flexsteel products include sofas, sectionals, accent chairs, occasional, motion, reclining, bedroom, dining, and home office furniture. The furniture is beautifully tailored and crafted using lifetime-guaranteed, blue steel seat spring construction. Custom orders on over 1,200 styles with thousands of fabrics and hundreds of leathers are available. The Blue Steel Spring is the core of Flexsteel upholstered seating. Flexible and sturdy, the spring is designed for lifetime-guaranteed durability. “The benefits of Flexsteel is how it is constructed. The Flexsteel spring makes the difference. They offer a lifetime warranty on the seat, frame, and seat cushion core.” The staff at Meiselwitz Furniture en-

Meiselwitz Furniture offers new and exciting quality fine home furnishings to their customers while treating everyone who walks in the door like family. Faye Burg photo

joys spending time with their customers, treating them like family. “We look forward to assisting you with all your home furnishing needs. From bedding to dining room to living room selections, Meiselwitz proudly offers the finest brands and the most intriguing design selections.” Meiselwitz Furniture Leather and

Mattress is located on the corner of Fourth and Fremont streets and can be reached at (920) 894-2250. Open seven days a week, the welcoming staff invites you to visit their showroom. Free delivery and interior design services are available. More information can be found on meiselwitzfurniture. com.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Rehab efforts help cancer patients By Mike Mathes Cancer patients often face an uphill struggle in fighting their illness. An innovative approach to healing and health seeks to give them a fighting chance at maintaining their quality of life through the process. Ascension Calumet Hospital, in cooperation with Green Bay Oncology has turned its focus to a broad spectrum of services grouped under the heading of oncology rehabilitation. “We are fortunate to be able to take advantage of this partnership arrangement to be intentional about providing these rehabilitation services for oncology patients,” Patrick McGinnis, Manager of Rehabilitation Services for Ascension Calumet Hospital said. The attention to oncology rehabilitation is relatively new, with members of the Ascension Calumet rehabilitation staff undergoing training in the past few years. “We are excited to be in the forefront of this effort,” McGinnis said. “We are trying to help our patients maintain their quality of life through this. It’s a relatively new direction for rehabilitation services.” Oncology rehabilitation efforts for each individual patient are tailored to their specific needs, and carried out in partnership with doctors that specialize in oncology and hematology. Cancer fighting expertise Green Bay Oncology, brings cancer fighting expertise to the partnership, as the region’s largest group of cancer specialists—bringing the world’s best new treatments to our patients in connection with Ascension Calumet Hospital. Dr. Anthony Jaslowski and Dr. Brad Heraly are both Green Bay Oncology providers who see patients through Ascension Calumet Hospital. Dr. Jaslowski, a fan of the new approach to oncology rehabilitation, said that great strides have been made in the past five years toward understanding the need for specific rehabilitation programs for cancer patients. “We are very fortunate that Ascension Calumet Hospital has gotten on board and made a significant investment in this kind of care earlier than most regional hospitals.” Dr. Jaslowski said that cancer often causes weakness, fatigue, weight loss and muscle wasting even before diagnosis. “This can make cancer treatment, which is often difficult, even harder for patients,” he said. “We have learned the hard way over the years that once people weaken beyond a certain point, cancer treatments can be more harmful than helpful. That’s why it’s critical that patients begin therapy to preserve and improve their strength sooner rather than later.” Quality of life objective At Ascension Calumet Hospital rehabilitation specialists work with cancer patients through all stages of treatment helping them improve their quality of life and overall health. McGinnis said the focus of oncology rehabilitation is function. In addition to the challenges for cancer patients noted above, McGinnis also cited challenges of balance, gait, bed mobility, eating/swallowing and activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and self-care. Each of these issues are identified as needs to be addressed through rehabilitation programs. “The effort is more of a marathon than a sprint. Patients can expect a lot

A member of the Ascension Calumet Hospital rehabilitation staff works with an oncology patient to aid body function and strength through weight training.

of education, motivation and coaching. They are active participants in the whole process,” McGinnis said. Evaluation and goal setting Patients can enter into oncology rehabilitation efforts in many ways, either via referral, or their own choice. In either case, oncology rehabilitation starts with an evaluation process. “We try to set appropriate goals to limit or eliminate acquired challenges. Most often this involves education for energy conservation, strengthening, dynamic and static balance activities, decreasing pain, increasing tolerance for activity and improving the quality of life,” McGinnis said. Sometimes the evaluations begin with a standard questionnaire. Nurses are able to refer patients through this method or casual observation. In some cases, the patient’s doctor will recognize the patient’s challenges, prompting a referral to rehabilitation efforts. Multiple services Rehabilitation services for oncology patients can cross into many types of treatments. Among the most common are occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech and language pathology, lymphedema treatments, swallow studies, BIG and LOUD training, dry needling and cognitive assessments. Staff members at Ascension Calumet Hospital include those trained in many disciplines of therapy—four physical therapists, one occupational therapist an occupational assistant and a physical therapy assistant. “Everyone except our newest physical therapist has been through the oncology classes. We have a great staff and they are committed to these services for our patients,” McGinnis said. Getting the word out Ascension Calumet Hospital and its rehabilitation department work with patients from a large geographical area. “People live here and work/doctor outside the area, so we get referrals from a

Dr. Brad Heraly

Dr. Anthony Jaslowski

wide range of providers from outside our area,” McGinnis said. Rehabilitation services both conveniently located and readily available.

The rehabilitation hours are Monday through Friday, beginning at 6:30 a.m. through 8 p.m. Evening times are flexible depending on patient needs.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


Familiar name, face joins Vogel team By Mark Sherry Familiar names and faces staff the sales offices adjacent to the showroom at Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel—which means Kevin Gutschow should fit in well. The 1997 graduate of Kiel High School began working at Lulloff Hardware in Kiel while he was still a high schooler and continued on there until seven years ago when he went to work for Sargento in Kiel as a line operator. Living and working in Kiel his entire life, Gutschow now brings that familiarity with the community and its people to Vogel Chevrolet as its newest salesperson. Kelly Johnson has been a fixture in sales at Vogel for several decades, and Ed Hartmann is a veteran of the sales team as well. Gutschow is currently occupying Johnson’s office while Johnson is on leave. “We’re eager to have him,” Tara Vogel said of the addition of Gutschow to the staff. “I’m glad he knows people.” Gutschow agreed that his familiarity with Kiel area residents is a great starting point for his new career in automotive sales. “A lot of people know me,” he said, referring back to his years of helping customers at Lulloff Hardware. He said he also enjoyed his years of working at Sargento, but when he saw the help wanted ad published by Vogel Chevrolet he decided to have a talk with Mike Vogel—and that led to his new career. “Instead of washers and dryers it’s cars and trucks,” Gutschow said with a smile. Gutschow has really been involved in sales since he first began working at Lulloff as part of the School-to-Work



Kevin Gutschow stands next to a new Chevrolet Silverado in the showroom of Vogel Chevrolet in Kiel. Gutschow has joined the sales team at Vogel Chevrolet. Mark Sherry photo

program. “I like sales,” he said. “I like talking to people.” The son of Bob and the late June Gutschow also said he considers himself a

rather handy guy—having learned a lot at Lulloff—and a bit of a car guy, although not necessarily in terms of fixing things which are wrong under the hood. “I’ve

had enough of them,” he said about his familiarity with vehicles, but prefers to Turn to vogel/page 32

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019


continued from page 31

let the experts like those in Vogel Chevrolet’s service and body shop departments handle repairs and maintenance. Gutschow recalls his first vehicle being a 1988 Chevrolet Beretta, which Chevrolet produced from 1987 to 1996. These days he says he is a “truck guy,” and added, “I think Chevrolet is the highest quality.” Even though he had only been with Vogel Chevrolet for a few days at the time of this interview, a chat with Gutschow showed that he already had extensive knowledge about Chevrolet’s different makes and models. But he also admitted, “I’ve got a lot to learn.” The cold, snowy days of February were allowing him time to do that before people emerge from their winter cocoons to shop for a new or used vehicle. Part of what Gutschow is working to be well versed in is all the technological changes and options available in new vehicles these days. That includes the infotainment systems on new and newer used vehicles. Gutschow is studying to learn the systems inside and out so that he can help set them up and train new users in them. “Everything your phone will do your car will do,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing in new vehicles—the

technology.” Gutschow is learning about all the aspects of Vogel Chevrolet and the automotive business. That includes a service department which is able to do all types of service work on all makes and models of vehicles, not just Chevrolet. The body shop also works on all makes and models, fixing everything from small scratches to major collision damage. Tara said both departments are presently looking for additional technicians and anyone interested is encouraged to contact the Kiel dealership. Gutschow’s wife Gina (Rumpff) is also a Kiel High School graduate. The couple has two children, Madyson, 11, and Kaylee, 8. In their free time the family enjoys camping and following the children in their various sports activities. Kevin said he also is enjoying his first impressions of working for Vogel Chevrolet. “That’s the way it was at Lulloff’s, it’s just a family, fun atmosphere, low pressure. This is my kind of thing, more laid back.” He encourages people to stop in at Vogel Chevrolet and say “hi”—those people who already know him, and those whom he would like to meet for the first time.

Chilton Progress briefs 2019

Brave Girl offers unique boutique

Brave Girl Boutique is a unique, ontrend, inclusive women’s boutique providing an array of “really cool items,” owner Amy Schmitz said. “We work with 100-plus vendors so that we can always provide something for everyone,” she added. “Our size range available is small to 3X. Our selection includes dresses, tops, denim, shoes, accessories, and more. We capitalize on providing great customer service and really listening to our customer needs/ wants along with providing an honest opinion. I’m often told that they love how we help them put clothing suggestions together for them. We love our customers and are so grateful for all the support.”

Brave Girl Boutique started in 2017 and is located at 106 S. Military Rd. in Stockbridge. “We have recently been invited to partake in two spring fashion shows,” Schmitz said. “This is a great opportunity for us to continue to network in other communities. These opportunities came about after folks from other communities saw what Brave Girl has to offer. Stockbridge has become a little destination town and it’s so rewarding seeing this.” Stockbridge is Schmitz’s hometown and she said watching it come alive makes her extremely happy. “Shop small, shop local, and keep your dollars where your heart is,” she said. Stop in at Brave Girl Boutique or contact the shop on Facebook, Instagram, or via e-mail at Bravegirlboutique1@ gmail.com.

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AG seeks consumer protection Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul recently urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to take immediate action to protect consumers from abuses in payday lending, vehicle title lending, and other types of high-cost exploitative consumer lending. Attorney General Kaul is part of a coalition of 25 states—led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein— taking the action. “We should have strong protections in place for borrowers,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Delaying the date by which lenders must comply with rules that protect consumers is unwarranted and would mean that more consumers will be harmed by abusive lending practices.”

In 2017, CFPB announced a new rule that would help protect borrowers and ensure they would have the ability to repay loans while also prohibiting lenders from using abusive tactics when seeking repayment. The rule went into effect in early 2018, but compliance was delayed to Aug. 19, 2019 to give lenders time to develop systems and policies. CFPB has now proposed to further delay compliance to Nov. 19, 2020, more than three years after the regulation was finalized. At the same time, CFPB is reviewing another rule that would altogether rescind this one. Together, these actions would put at risk borrower protections, the attorney generals said.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Flood victims should check insurance coverage

The Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance is urging residents impacted by flooding across the state to review their insurance coverage and to take steps that may help their recovery. Flood damage is typically not covered by traditional homeowner’s insurance policies, but residents with flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program or those who carry special endorsements on home or property

insurance may have limited coverage for sump pump or sewer backup-related damage. “It’s difficult to think about recovering from flood waters while we’re still in the midst of watching rivers crest and communities experience impacts,” said Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable. “But now is the time to start preparing so that the recovery process can go as quickly as possible. Make sure to

document the damage to your home or business and to contact your insurance company to get your claims started. “Our team at the Insurance Commission is here for folks who have questions or need to file a complaint.” Governor Tony Evers declared a statewide state of emergency recently following rapid flooding in Columbia County, Green Bay, and in other parts of Wisconsin.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

PFCU ready for smooth 2020 transition By Mark Sherry Early next year a significant transition will take place at Premier Financial Credit Union, but the pieces are already in place to make it a smooth one. President/Chief Executive Officer Steve Nothem will be retiring early in 2020, but already in September 2018 the next president/CEO of the credit union was on board. Brad Grant is currently the executive vice president of Premier Financial and is learning the ropes this year under the tutelage of Nothem. “We welcome him,” Nothem said. “Brad’s going to do a great job. We’re thankful that we were able to find him.” Grant said he is equally happy to be at Premier Financial. “It’s a good organization,” he said. “I like the fact that we’re community driven.”

Rhinelander native Born and raised in Rhinelander, Grant is a graduate of Nicolet College and has years of experience working in financial institutions. He said he enjoys small communities and he and wife Kelly are looking to relocate to the area. They have an adult son and three grandchildren, all under the age of 5. Grant said his outlook toward credit unions is much the same as that of Nothem, who has talked in the past about how he came to know and love the credit union difference only after joining Premier Financial. Grant said he comes to PFCU already understanding the advantages of a member-owned financial institution. “I always thought credit unions filled a niche that banks don’t,” he said. “What I see confirms what I thought.” Grant indicated he appreciates how Premier Financial is consumer led yet also does business loans, even if PFCU’s loans tend to be to small and medium size businesses. He added that he is continuing to pick up the nuances of the credit union. “There’s a learning curve,” he said. “The learning curve is the member-driven aspect,” adding that he likes the fact that membership at PFCU is open charter to everyone in the community. Grant is learning that there are a lot of benefits to being a member of Premier Financial, and a new benefit will be launched soon as PFCU will start providing instant issue of debit cards at all three of its offices—New Holstein, Kiel, and Chilton. Coming soon: new card, no waiting Members who lose their debit card, have a damaged card, or who have had their account compromised will be able to go into any of the three offices and get a replacement card on the spot. They no longer will have to go days or longer without a card as they wait for the replacement to arrive in the mail. New members will be able to get their first PFCU debit card immediately handed to them. There is no additional fee for this service. Taking a trip abroad? Premier Financial also can order foreign currencies and have them delivered to the office in most cases the next day. This members-only service arose from member demand as people wanted to have a little spending money in their pocket before arriving at their foreign destination, saving the potential hassles of doing currency exchange in a foreign country. If the member has unused foreign currency when they return they can resell it to PFCU at the same exchange rate at which the currency was acquired. The credit union exchanges most foreign currency (but not coins) for a nominal fee.

Staffing the Chilton office of Premier Financial Credit Union are (from left) Alysha Bernhardt, Renee Schmid, Tami Schroeder, and Katie Schneider, and (not pictured) Sue Berres, Diana Soriano, and Maleny Capetillo. Mark Sherry photo

also is planning to do some redecorating of its New Holstein office—including new carpeting—to better match the motif being established between all three offices.

Brad Grant

Also new to Premier Financial is an e-newsletter which has now made its debut. People can provide their e-mail address to PFCU to receive the free monthly newsletter which will include news about the credit union, upcoming events, financial literacy articles, lifestyle content, etc. Expansion possible in Kiel It is possible that one of those e-newsletters might someday soon include confirmation of some potentially exciting news for PFCU’s Kiel office—a physical expansion of the office. Nothem said PFCU is currently doing a feasibility study for the expansion and remodeling of the Kiel office. PFCU officials are working with an architect to determine the projected costs of doubling the size of the office, with the projected expansion coming to the east of the existing building. If undertaken, the expansion would provide for two additional offices, a conference room, an employee lounge, and the addition of safe deposit boxes which that office does not currently have. Nothem said the expansion of the Kiel office is being considered because of the growth of the credit union and to better serve its Kiel area members. He said he is hoping to have a decision by the end of March on whether or not the project will proceed at this time. Along those lines, Nothem said PFCU

Good corporate citizen Premier Financial Credit Union continues to be a good corporate citizen in all the communities it serves. As an example, the credit union sponsors the Banzai financial literacy program for students of Chilton and Hilbert high schools. Banzai is designed to help students learn financial literacy in a handson way, and over 30,000 teachers in the U.S. are using the program with the help of sponsoring institutions such as Premier Financial Credit Union. Banzai allows students to play an online game which includes real-life financial scenarios, including those unexpected expenses which seem to pop up all too often. Premier Financial also has played a role in financial literacy in other local

schools, including the longtime sponsorship of its branch inside New Holstein High School. State law now requires financial literacy education in schools. Premier Financial was ahead of its time and remains prepared to lend assistance to local schools to help them meet their requirements. Premier Financial also created “free little libraries” outside all its offices last October in celebration of Credit Union Week. PFCU placed financial literacy books in the free little libraries but welcomes the exchange of all types of books from the libraries which are located just outside the main doors and which are indeed being used by the public. PFCU also works to be a good citizen to the environment by continuing to move toward paperless offices. In 2018 it implemented signature pads for members to sign electronically for receipts—just one more way in which Premier Financial serves the communities in which their members live, work, and play.

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When we all work together, amazing things happen in our Community! The United of Fund of Chilton would like to extend a sincere “Thank you” to all the generous donors that have made our 2018 Campaign a tremendous success. Due to their amazing generosity, we have been able to raise over $22,000 that will be used for various worthwhile projects and events to help those in need. The United Fund of Chilton, Inc. has been serving our community for many years, bringing us together to support participating agencies and institutions with our Annual Grants Program. We are proud of the outstanding services and programs these organizations provide for our Community and its people.

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This year we are pleased to support local agencies which provide emergency services, child care, safety education, youth programs, Veterans support, and services to individuals with disabilities. We encourage you to look at the list of these generous sponsors. We encourage you to patronize their businesses or, at the very least, we ask you to stop and say “Thank You” the next time you see them.

2018 Contributions will Benefit:

• American Legion Auxiliary Unit 125 • Ascension Calumet Medical Center • Association for the Handicapable • Calumet County Dive Team • Chilton Aquatics Club • Chilton Boy Scouts Troop 810 • Chilton Cub Scouts Pack 3810 • Chilton Public Library • Chilton Youth Club • Happy Hour Nursery School • Harbor House Domestic Abuse Program • Lutheran Counseling & Family Services of WI • New Hope Center, Inc. • Salvation Army of Calumet County

2018 Board of Directors: Patrick McGinnis, James Miller, Pat Miller, Judy Zarnoth, Glen Calnin, Greg Garton, Jerry Mallmann, Derek McDermott, Kim McKeen, Kari Meyers, Gerald Pagel, Kathy Schmitzer The United Fund of Chilton, Inc. is entirely a locally based, volunteer fundraising program and pays no dues to any other regional or national organization. This page is sponsored by private supporters of the United Fund of Chilton. No campaign funds have been used.


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Pheasant Hill Animal Hospital Roehrig Trucking, Inc. Roll Inn LLC Stanley Schmitz Appliance & Dairy Center Twohig, Rietbrock, Schneider & Halbach, S.C. Vande Hey Brantmeier Automotive, Inc. Vande Hey Brantmeier Chevrolet - Buick Vern’s Cheese, Inc. Zarnoth Brush Works, Inc.

Also, we extend a sincere “Thank You” to Chilton Monument Works, Chilton Upholstery Shop, Sohrweide Insurance Agency, Weber Oil, and the many other private donors that have given so generously to our 2018 Campaign.

Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Thank You!


Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Three out of four workplaces in America have been impacted by opioid usage, according to a new survey from the National Safety Council (NSC). During National Poison Prevention Week—March 17-23—the Wisconsin Safety Council worked with NSC to bring attention to the opioid epidemic, which kills someone every 12 minutes. The nationwide survey found 38 percent of employers have experienced absenteeism or impaired worker performance because of opioids and 31 percent have experienced a near miss/injury, overdose or an arrest. While such a large percentage of employers have experienced the effects of opioid usage, only 17 percent feel confident in dealing with the issue. “Nearly every person in Wisconsin and across the country has been impacted by opioids, and this new data shows our workplaces are no different,” said Katie Yeutter, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) president of Insurance & Safety Services. “We will continue to educate employers on how to best deal with this wide-spread ailment while working with employees to ensure they can spot the warning signs of opioid misuse.” In an effort to fight back against the rise in opioid use, Wisconsin Safety Council—a program of WMC—will feature an educational session at its upcoming Annual Conference about the impact of opioids in the workplace. Additionally, the conference will focus on numerous other ways to keep workers safe on the job. “The number of deaths directly resulting from opioids is on the rise, and we need to educate each other on the impacts it is having on families, workplaces, friends and our loved ones,” Yeutter said. “We will continue to share ways for everyone to address this epidemic and reduce the use of opioids.” During Poison Prevention Week specifically, Wisconsin Safety Council will be focusing on actionable items for individuals to implement at home, work, and on the go throughout the week. Employers who want more information about managing prescription drug use in the workplace can receive a free employer kit.

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Chilton Progress briefs 2019


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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

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The non-profit Étude Group of Sheboygan is planning to conduct a six-month study to determine the viability of a makerspace in Sheboygan’s FreshTech Innovation District. In coordination with the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation (SCEDC) and the City of Sheboygan which are funding the study, Étude will introduce the concept of a makerspace and collect data through a series of focus groups, interviews, and experiential making events hosted throughout the county. A makerspace is a place in which people with shared interests and diverse skills can gather to work on projects while sharing ideas, equipment, and knowledge. Joseph Sheehan, executive director of the SCEDC, said he likes the comparison of a makerspace to a gym membership, relating that the membership offers access to instructional classes, recreational use of the facility and tools, and layers of social structures that are accessible to people of all ages and skill sets. Instead of physical fitness, a makerspace membership would be an investment in creative or technical fitness. In cities like Milwaukee and Madison and others across the country, people are joining makerspaces for access to tools and classes, and they are maintaining their membership because of the community. Working near others, instead of at home in a basement or garage, means that members can quickly get feedback, learn a new skill, problem-solve, and connect. A 2016 study by Popular Science found that the overall number of makerspaces in the U.S. grew by 140 percent in 10 years. The initial proposal for the FreshTech Makerspace study will be based off NextFab-Wilmington, a makerspace in downtown Wilmington, Delaware, a city of 70,000 people with a rich manufacturing history. NextFab Wilmington is one example of the growing maker movement building engaging and creative spaces in urban centers. Existing spaces that fall into what has become known as the “maker movement” include Mead Public Library’s makerspace, the Imaginarium, which offers equipment for library visitors to 3D print, sew, digitize and edit media, and create jewelry. The John Michael Kohler Arts Center’s ARTery offer maker kits that can be checked out. There are also makerspaces embedded in schools’ technical education departments, classrooms, libraries, and extra-curricular programming. In 2014 Étude launched Maker Break programs for children and young adults during breaks in the school year. Without a physical makerspace and with generous grants from the Black Springs Foundation, the program brings the ethos and experience of making to events like JMKAC Levitt Amp, SCIO Farmers Market, and the Boys and Girls Club. Through this endeavor and the development of arts-infused schools a decade earlier, Étude has participated in initiatives by Maker Ed; Maker Faire Milwaukee; Play. Make. Learn. at UW-Madison; Innovative Schools Network; and Sheboygan’s first Mini Maker Faire held in 2018. Étude will conduct the FreshTech Makerspace study in coordination with ongoing efforts to create Sheboygan County’s Innovation District, FreshTech. The study will build off the FreshTech Summit held in September with leaders in the private and public sector in Sheboygan County. The FreshTech Summit found that Sheboygan is ripe for both multigenerational social opportunities as well as increased technical and creative skill development. With an aging workforce in Sheboygan County, the study will explore how the expertise and energy of retiring individuals might intersect with young professionals’ desire for more flexible professional development and increased opportunities for social bonding in an urban setting. The FreshTech Makerspace Study will help determine the kinds of classes, tools, and member participation which will be right for Sheboygan “makers.” Those interested in being a part of the study should contact the Etude Group at sheboyganmakerspace@ gmail.com.



Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Financial Literacy Day slated Financial Literacy Free Day at the Building for Kids Children’s Museum (BFKCM) will teach families how to save and spend wisely, and have fun doing it. This free admission day on Sunday, March 31 from noon to 5 p.m. is sponsored by Money Smart Week Fox Cities and will offer math and financial programming, as well as the chance to explore the BFKCM. “Through different games, we use real-life examples to teach math and finances in a fun and interactive way,” said Jarrad Bittner, executive director at the BFKCM. “Besides spending and saving, we also learn about sharing. We talk about what the kids would like to

share with others, teaching them about generosity and empathy.” When kids enter the BFKCM, they will receive a check they can cash for BFK bucks. Throughout the BFKCM there will be different stations where they will learn about spending, saving and sharing. Each station will teach different elements of financial literacy. Kids can play games for the cost of their water bill which teaches about budgeting skills and investment games to learn about saving. They will get the opportunity to purchase healthy snacks and other items, do fun activities, and learn about sharing with others in our community. Plus, The Big Read story time will be held at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4:15 p.m.

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Tri-County news • Chilton/Stockbridge Progress 2019 • Thursday, March 28, 2019

Chilton Progress briefs 2019

Scott’s rescues stranded drivers

“You stall ‘em, we haul ‘em.” That is the motto for Scott’s Towing and Recovery of Chilton, offering a full line of 24-hour towing and recovery services. In business since 1993, Scott’s Towing and Recovery is located on East

Breed Street in Chilton. Scott’s Towing is an insurance-approved towing company which also assists at scenes of vehicular breakdowns, lockouts, and other issues. Providing quality service with modern, well-kept equipment, Scott’s Towing is just a phone call away. For a tow or more information call 849-TOWS (8697) or check out www. scottstowingservice.com.

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YOuR TO A ChOiCE jusT…

YOuR ChOiCE jusT…

YOuR ChOiCE jusT…

YOuR ChOiCE jusT…



Hwys. 151 & 57 S • Chilton • 920-849-9023 Hours: Mon. & Tues. 9-5; Wed., Thurs. & Fri. 9-8; sat. 9-3; Closed on sundays to allow our staff time to spend with Faith and Family.

www.chiltonfurniture.net *24 months financing pending credit approval. Financing offer requires 24 equal monthly payments. Interest charges will apply if scheduled monthly payments are not made. Min. purchase of $2499 of Tempur-pedic or sealy products to qualify. **When Purchasing a complete Tempur-pedic Mattress and Foundation set.

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Chilton Progress 2019  

Enjoy reading Chilton Progress 2019

Chilton Progress 2019  

Enjoy reading Chilton Progress 2019