Page 1

WHERE: Sheboygan Town & Country, W1945 County Road J, Sheboygan WHEN: Tuesday, May 14, 2013, 5:30 - 7:30 WHO: Open to the public HOW: RSVP online at or call Lisa at 920-457-9491 Coastal Connections, a committee of the Sheboygan County Chamber, provides diverse opportunities for young professionals age 21 and over to build relationships, both professionally and personally, develop their leadership skills and explore all that Sheboygan County has to offer. We invite you to connect and socialize with other members at fun events like Coastal Socials, Java Jabbers, Power Lunches and L.E.A.D. (Leadership through Education And Development) which is our professional development program. In addition to these programs, we offer Professional Perks, Distinguished Dinners with Sheboygan County Executives, and other special events. See our upcoming events at We are excited to introduce this year’s Top 10 Young Professionals who are Making Their Mark in Sheboygan County. Of the Top 10, we will name the Top Young Professional of the Year, presented by Mark J. Miller, CPA and the Entrepreneur of the Year, presented by Lakeshore Technical College. There were more than 40 young professionals who were nominated by their peers this year. We are privileged to be surrounded by so many young people who are dedicated to this community. In addition, we will also name the Advocate of the Year, presented by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. The Advocate of the Year is a business that has supported Coastal Connections throughout the past several years. Congratulations to all who were nominated and especially to the Top 10! Join us again at one of our upcoming events: May 21: In-SPA-ration at Kohler Waters Spa June: Family event at Kohler Andrae State Park Evening Java Jabber Power Dinner with 3 Sheeps Brewing

July: LEAD with Diane Roundy, Schenck, SC Coastal Social August: Power Lunch at John Michael Kohler Arts Center Jaycees/Coastal Social

Congratulations to all those nominated for the Making Their Mark Awards Dr. Mary Elizabeth Anderson Jose Araujo Andrew Bagnall Elizabeth Bauer Shikara Beaudoin Dane Checolinski

Roberto Frias Brian Gensch James Grunewald Jason Gudex Lisa Hartman Michelle Hayward Hilary Hawley

Jason Irish Mike Kertscher Nikki Kiss Lily Klauber Jason Krepline Naomi Konen Robert Krazt

Bill Marklein Chris Merklein James Michel Josh Neeb Angelia Neumann Lindsay Pelletier Jackie Quasius

Wendy Rainer Dr. Laura Rammer Heather Saunders Sarah Schwefel Laura Stanley Dustin Stielow Adam Stoll

Walter Taylor Cassy Tully Fieck Jacob Werner Mandy Werner Greg Whitson Brian Yerges Ryan Zinkel


Coastal Connections is published by The Sheboygan Press. Contents of the section are for Sheboygan Press. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior consent of The Sheboygan Press. For information, contact Dave Liebelt at 920-453-5120 or email General Manager & Executive Editor / Nhia Yang



Advertising Manager / Dave Liebelt


Photo / Sheboygan Press Photo Staff


Graphic Artist / Marie Rayome-Gill

The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

Dr. Laura Rammer Owner at Laura J. Rammer DDS, LLC

What accomplishments have you achieved throughout your career and specifically in the last year? I am honored to share that I was named the Wisconsin Dental Association’s 2011 New Dentist Leadership Award recipient. The New Dentist Leadership Award recognizes the efforts of a WDA member dentist for significant involvement in organized dentistry at the local, state and/or national levels. Nominees must be dentists who have been out of dental school for 10 years or less who have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities as they relate to new dentist issues. In 2012, I was named UW-Green Bay’s Outstanding There aren’t Alumni Award Recipient. Selection is enough hours in based on professional the day! accomplishments and potential in the Dr. Laura Rammer future selected field of study and contributions to community through civic and humanitarian involvement. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? Being able to use my skills as a dentist and helping people each day is my most rewarding accomplishment; it brings me a sense of satisfaction and gratitude. While attending Marquette University School of Dentistry, I was fortunate to be paired with Sheboygan dentist Dr. Paul Gruber through MUSoD and the Wisconsin Dental Association’s Mentorship Program. I had the opportunity to work as his associate for 3 years before purchasing his long-standing dental practice.

The WDA allows me to be connected with dentists who are dedicated to our profession and whom I respect; these dental colleagues exhibit leadership, charitable care, political activeness and continuous professional educational development. I strive to follow in their footsteps. As a group, we aim for personal and professional growth and excellence. What is your biggest obstacle? There aren’t enough hours in the day! How will you continue to make a difference in the community over the next 5 to 10 years? I will continue to be guided in a positive direction because of my core values and the educational and professional foundation on which I am building. I envision my dental practice as one that will grow and be respected as a source of oral health and whole body wellness. My passion for dentistry and quest for knowledge will keep me current with topics and concepts in dentistry as I continue to interact with dentists, not only in Sheboygan County but statewide. I will continue to share my time and talent with the annual Give Kids a Smile Day, community mentoring and outreach programs. I will also maintain my involvement with the Young Professionals, Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce and the Sheboygan Jaycees, expanding my leadership roles. How do you define success? I believe that success is achieving and embracing a personal or professional goal, and at the same time, remembering the foundation on which that success is formed and built.

What was your first piece of technology? Tape recorder. I’d record songs from the radio and make “mix tapes.” How do you stay connected? Email, Phone, Facebook, and belonging to several organizations. What do you like best about Sheboygan County? The people, the opportunities, the County Fair and more.


The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013


Brian GENSCH Senior Staff Accountant at Acuity

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? This is a three way tie for what I find most rewarding so far. First is earning my CPA License in 2006. It was the most intense study period of my lifetime. Earning the license was a process that took 1.5 years of pure dedication to intense study. Passing the exam was truly rewarding – I amazed myself upon realizing I had what it takes to pass one of the most challenging professional exams in existence. Second is being elected to serving as the 2013 Coastal Connections President. I very much care about providing avenues to our younger professionals in the Sheboygan County area for education, professional development, social, and recreational Learn from opportunities. As your falls to Coastal Connections become a stronger, President, I can encourage the Core better person and Team (board members) to apply their efforts to performer. foster an environment that caters to our Brian Gensch purpose. Lastly is being elected to serve as the 2013 Sheboygan Jaycees Chapter President. I also care very much about our community at large. As Sheboygan Jaycees President, I can encourage our members to focus not only on individual growth, but also to embrace opportunities for community service projects. Serving in two presidency roles in two organizations I greatly care for is an honor itself. Prior to considering accepting dual presidency roles, I did receive expressions of concern as to whether that would be wise. I knew though that I had plenty of support within both organizations to proceed with taking on both presidency roles. It’s a great

What was your first piece of technology? I remember it distinctly – it was a Tandy 64K Color Computer II, back in my middle school days. It was just a keyboard you hooked up to the back of a television – voilà, an instant computer. I taught myself the BASIC computer language on the Tandy and created some pretty cool programs and games as a result. What is your favorite app? Words With Friends is quite the vocabulary builder! What do you like best about Sheboygan County? I like that it is a haven for business and residential growth, yet there is an unchanging sense of close knit community. There are so many opportunities to connect with people in the area to get to know who all is in the county, especially those who are active in service and business. You can truly gain a sense of who and what makes our county tick just by making the effort to find your way out and about.

opportunity to gain a higher level of leadership experience from two organizations with different primary focuses. How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? My community involvement opened doors for me to further develop leadership skills – ones I didn’t know I had. I made connections with people I never would have had I not pursued community involvement, plus I gained friends I never would have if I had instead embraced complacency. Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself continuing to be involved in community service to an extent. I plan to eventually pursue opportunities to teach night time accounting classes. I have been approached on a number of occasions by people who tell me they think I would make for a great accounting instructor. I had not considered pursuing an instruction path prior to being encouraged to do so. Now that I have given it reasonable thought, pursuing a night time instruction role is certainly on my radar after I fulfill major roles in the community organizations I currently serve in. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Never, never give up. You are going to stumble. You are going to fall. Failure is a far greater teacher than constant success. The key is to learn from your falls to become a stronger, better person and performer. Success is sweeter when you overcome obstacles and pitfalls. There is no greater feeling than the elation that comes from knowing you earned the reward you pursued.

Con Congratulations to the Making Their Mark Topp 10

Real Cheese, Real Family, Real Difference



The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

James Grunewald CEO, Dynamic, Inc.

What accomplishments have you achieved throughout your career and specifically in the last year? Starting my Career at Kohler as a graphic designer many years ago I was able to learn the intricacies of the advertising business. During my time I was promoted through the ranks all the while learning new processes and new disciplines. Using the experience gained from my career at Kohler, I teamed up with a colleague a little over three years ago to begin our own company that assists other businesses with their marketing needs. We began in our basements, upgraded to an office space, rented more offices, and most recently renovated The best a and created a much larger space on our person can do is own in Heritage Square. not worry… During this time James Grunewald we have hired 13 additional team members and numerous interns. We were also recently nominated for the 2012 Services Company of the Year through the Sheboygan Chamber of Commerce. How are you involved in the community? I have been an active Sheboygan County Chamber member speaking at different venues on topics ranging from digital strategy to social media. Continuing the education theme, I have been an active board member for the digital curriculum at LTC: offering suggestions on software, ideas on topics, and offering ways to bring the design students and the programing students together on projects. I have also been an active

participate with our pro-bono account, The Sheboygan Children’s Book Festival. We are proud sponsors of their event and all they do to inspire young people to read and to learn the crafts of writing and illustration.

What was your first piece of technology? Original Atari game console Are you a Texter or Talker? Talker - My team complains when I don’t answer them through email. Best piece of technology invented and why? The iPod. The ability to have 1,000+ songs in your pocket…amazing.

What has been your biggest obstacle to your success? The unknown. There are certain aspects of business that are out of your control, and as a business owner you have to come to grips with this fact. Politics, the economy, and the amount of time in a day can play a factor in your business. The best a person can do is not worry about these things and focus on items that are within their control such as, meeting new people, continuing to build a positive perception in the community and having fun through the journey. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Continue to learn and grow. Use Coastal Connections and other networking channels to reach out to other individuals willing to share their work experiences and knowledge base. Many of these people have interesting stories on how they got to their positions and what they could have done differently. Were you mentored along the way? By whom? My Uncle Joe Reilly and Steve Skoronski both owned and sold businesses and now mentor young entrepreneurs. I also met with a team of advisors through SCORE. They were John Rogers who helped set everything up, David Maaske, Bob Bradley and Howard Halaska.

Congratulations, Shikara! We’re proud of you as a Lakeland College graduate and our colleague. WI-5001649285

The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013


Jason Irish Founder/CTO at Dynamic, Inc.

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? Starting Dynamic has been my most rewarding accomplishment. Not only do I get to do what I love, but having a great team of creative problem solvers allows us to do great work that is diverse in its breadth and always interesting. I’m also proud that we’ve been able to build a company that provides our employees with careers and benefits. What has been your biggest obstacle to your success? Find When I finally decided something to quit my day job and pursue Dynamic full time, you’re many people questioned passionate the sanity of the decision in a historically bad economy about and (2009). And they weren’t wrong. But, we’ve been dive in head able to grow considerably first. and consistently despite the business climate, and Jason Irish we feel we’ll be in a great position to continue our growth as the economy continues to improve. How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? I feel that I benefited greatly by growing up in Sheboygan, and I’ve always looked at community involvement as a way to pay some of that debt back. I had great neighborhoods, great schools and great after school activities, and I’d like to help make

What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? The greatest invention of all time is the World Wide Web. The Web already has changed our lives in profound ways, and, being just over 20 years old, is still in its infancy. Personally, my fascination with the web is the reason I chose this career, and ultimately why I started Dynamic. How do you stay connected? I have my iPhone and usually my iPad with me at all times. What do you like best about Sheboygan County? There’s a lot to love, but my favorite thing about Sheboygan County is Lake Michigan and our coastline. We live near the beach and get to enjoy the scenic views year round, and every summer my wife Jennifer and I spend as much time as possible on our boat.

sure that others get all the opportunities I enjoyed. How do you define success? Success, to me, is spending your days doing what you love to do. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Find something you’re passionate about and dive in head first. Pay your dues, learn as much as you can and work hard to become great at it. Your passion will show through your work, and that is what will lead to success in your career. Were you mentored along the way? I come from a very entrepreneurial family on the Irish side, as my father, uncle, cousin, grandfather and great-grandfather all own/owned businesses. I’ve also been fortunate to have worked for many outstanding mentors over the years, including John Enberg, David Gallianetti and Stephen Neils. How will you continue to make a difference in the community over the next 5 to 10 years? Our goal is to continue to grow Dynamic into one of the Midwest’s largest and most effective digital advertising agencies. We’ll continue to create local jobs by cultivating local talent, as well as importing talented employees from outside the area. By increasing our capabilities while staying on the cuttingedge of the latest technologies and marketing techniques, we hope to make Sheboygan a destination for businesses, both locally and otherwise, to seek cutting edge, industryleading solutions for their marketing needs.



Brian yerges

2013 Top Young Professional

Brian Yerges

The Cultural Heart of Plymouth WI-5001652107


Making Their Mark Winner


The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

Brian Yerges City Administrator at the City of Plymouth

How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? As City Administrator, I cannot be successful without community involvement. The media highlights all of the bad things people do. I think knowing that every step I take as a government professional is an open book helps me keep my focus on living my values and doing the right thing even when you are criticized for it. Community involvement has also helped me identify community issues and opportunities and begin to problem solve. I’ve been able to work with others to develop approaches to these challenges and make decisions that are best for the long-term. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? Develop In Plymouth, I would passion have to say solidifying the City Administrator around your position in the organizational structure. organizational The City Administrator roadmap which position was discussed at points in the last starts with values, various 20 years. This summer mission, and I will have served three years as Plymouth’s first vision. City Administrator. In 2012, the International Brian Yerges City County Management Association (ICMA) recognized Plymouth as having a general management form of government. We have accomplished many things in a short time (GTS, Masters Gallery, and Sargento expansion projects, Plymouth Intergenerational Coalition/Senior Center partnership, building up our general fund reserves, new utilities operations center etc.). Because of the success the City has had over

What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? A proton accelerator. Particle therapy uses a proton accelerator to create external beam radiotherapy using beams of protons for cancer treatment. It melds medicine and physics together. In the early 2000s, I had the opportunity to visit Bloomington, IN and the Indiana University Proton Therapy Institute. The technology and science behind proton therapy is amazing and it saves lives. If I could, I would bring this technology to Wisconsin. What is your favorite app? I love the eBay app! What do you like best about Sheboygan County? The people. Sheboygan County is a great place to work, live, and raise a family. It is the people that make it successful and give us hope for continued progress.

the last few years, I know the City Administrator position will continue to exist after my tenure. Prior to Plymouth, I served as City Administrator of Mauston, WI. In a two-year period, we secured $10 million in state and federal funding for important community infrastructure projects. Many of those projects were on the table for years and were not funded. It was a lot of fun getting those projects going and seeing the backlog of infrastructure projects go away. How do you define success? Too often the focus on local government is whether the tax levy (or utility rates) goes up or down by $1. Money alone does not define or mean success. To me, success is defined as growing and supporting a long-lasting culture that drives high-performance and organizational sustainability (financially, human capital, environmentally). To be successful you need to develop passion around your organizational roadmap which starts with values, mission, and vision. Success will come when you start doing the work of executive leadership. Sometimes that success is beyond any initial definition. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Get experience. My first job in government was as an unpaid intern for the Village of Menomonee Falls. At the time, most of my classmates had paid internships. I was going to school full-time, working 25 hours as an intern for nothing, and held another job at a grocery store. Initially, I just wanted three extra class credits and some experience. I’ve been able to build on that experience year after year. The best advice I would give is work hard and to get as much experience as you can even if that means working for free.

We Congratulate City Administrator, Brian Yerges Being named one of the Top 10 Making Their Mark Young Professionals WI-5001652111

The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013



Community Services Program Director at Partners for Community Development How do you define success? “Ser más para servir mejor” (Be more to serve better). The Jesuit philosophy instilled in me during my education invites us all to be the best we can and use our talents to serve others. Success for me is to be able to use my talents and serve the community I live in. The more people I can help achieve success, the more successful I feel. What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? Spearheading the creation and establishment of the Volunteer Center of Sheboygan County. During this process I have been extremely fortunate to work alongside The more a wonderful group people I can of committed professionals who help achieve share the same vision. success, the more Without their hard work and constant successful support this effort I feel. would not have been possible. After almost José L. Araujo four years, we are able to proudly state that Sheboygan County has a fully functional Volunteer Center recruiting over 1,700 volunteers in 2012 alone. How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? Without community involvement I would not have been able to be as successful. The relationships formed and collaborations started because of my involvement with different committees, boards, events, etc. have

“ ”

been and will continue being the key to gaining support and achieving goals. The same involvement has enabled me to have experiences that I would not have ever had otherwise, allowed me to get to know great people, and given me the ability to see the world from many different perspectives.

What was your first piece of technology? An Atari gaming system my parents bought for my brother and I when we were kids. What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? GPS systems. It still amazes me how we are able to travel to new places and move around like we know exactly where we are going! What do you like best about Sheboygan County? Having most of the amenities of a big city and yet the sense of community of a small town.

Advice to young people just mapping their careers? “Do not judge yourselves on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you have addressed the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treated people a world away who have nothing in common with you but your humanity.” -Bill GatesWere you mentored along the way? Throughout the different stages of my life I have had wonderful people who have supported me and provided insight when I most needed it most. Both of my parents have been always present to guide and support me along my life and career. My maternal grandfather, who managed to break the poverty cycle and become a successful business man and a leader in our community, has always been a source of inspiration for me. What has been your biggest obstacle to your success? Learning how to delegate and not trying to do everything by myself. Understanding that people may take different routes to get to the same goal.

Developing Innovative Solutions for Healing Environments Learn more at WI-5001652323


The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

Dane Checolinski Director at Sheboygan Economic Development Corp. What accomplishments have you achieved throughout your career and specifically in the last year? I am a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom by serving as a carpentry/masonry specialist in Afghanistan in 2004-05. Shortly after returning, I was promoted to Sargent and eventually honorably discharged from the Army Reserves. I graduated Magna Cum Laude from UW-Whitewater in 3 ½ years after serving as the UW-Whitewater Speaker of the Senate (Student Government) and a founding member of the UW-Whitewater Veterans Club. During this time I managed a bar in Whitewater, served as an intern for the City of Whitewater and I expect Walworth County. to be making a After graduating, earned a Masters of bigger and bigger IPublic Administration difference every (MPA) from Northern Illinois University year. (NIU), the third ranked school in the Dane Checolinski nation for this degree. During this time, I served as the Coordinator for the Marengo Economic Development Commission where I was involved in helping to secure over 50 jobs and $14,000 in investment in a small community (pop. 7,500) during the heart of the recession. In the last year, I have been abruptly promoted from a Community Development & Research Specialist to the Director of the SCEDC, a public/private non-profit an entity created to grow the local economy, drive job creation and retention, and expand capital investment in Sheboygan County.

607 N. 8th St. US Bank Building 7th Floor Sheboygan, WI 920 458-5501

Despite the turnover in leadership, as the senior employee I had taken the lead to assist 13 companies that plan to hire or retain 1,487 jobs and $62 million in investment. I continue to work on several projects and be the lead on most business retention and expansion projects.

What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? The wheel. It makes the world go around. What is your favorite app? E-mail. How do you stay connected? Meetings & E-mail

How will you continue to make a difference in the community over the next 5 to 10 years? As the SCEDC matures, I expect to be making a bigger and bigger difference every year. As head of a large, business focused organization we have the networks to make Sheboygan County a great place to do business. I suspect in the next years we will refine our business services, create a more centralized place for businesses to find information, and continue to serve as the single point of contact for business looking to expand or relocate in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin. We are simply going to get better at what we do; which is allowing companies to spend more time doing what they do best. I’m lucky to hold a job where my expectation IS to make a difference in Sheboygan County. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? You don’t need to map. If you work hard, learn quickly, apply what you know… opportunities will open. How do you define success? Exceeding your own expectations, especially when those expectations are extremely high.

Congratulations to the Making Their Mark Top 10


The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013


James Michel Co-owner and Sales Team Leader at Mountain Promotions Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Stay late. Investing extra time is the best way to get noticed. It increases your odds of running into opportunities to prove yourself. Always keep in mind that you don’t get paid for your capabilities or your talent. You get paid for what you deliver. Smile. If you are unhappy at work, do not hesitate to redraw your career map. What accomplishments have you achieved throughout your career and specifically in the last year? Since taking over day-to-day management of Mountain Promotions nearly 5 years ago the company has grown from 6.5 full-time equivalent employees to 10 Everyone full-time equivalent employees. We can teach you aim to add more something. employees before the end of the year. James Michel I’ve implemented Green Initiatives at Mountain Promotions with stopping the use of an aerosol adhesive spray and installed energy efficient lighting throughout the entire building improving the quality of light in employee workspaces and improving energy efficiency. To enhance our company’s online presence, I contracted and oversaw the complete remake of company website. This allowed customers to view nearly 700,000 products online which were previously only available in hard copy catalogs, which greatly enhanced visual experience and user friendliness. Along with the website, I initiated our social media presence by maintaining our Facebook pages for Mountain Promotions (company) and WiscoTees

(product line) in addition to maintaining our Twitter and Flickr accounts. In the past year, I’ve increased gross sales to over $1 million dollars for the first time in the history of the company and we continue to increase productivity company-wide. Were you mentored along the way? By whom? There are hundreds of people who have mentored me without even consciously trying. Everyone can teach you something. I try to make sure I always have my ears open. How have you distinguished yourself as a community leader in the last year? I currently serve as President of the Oostburg Area Chamber of Commerce as of April 16, 2013 (third year of service on the Board of Directors), working with fellow members of the Board of Directors to grow and promote the Chamber and the Oostburg Area business community. I continue to monitor legislative affairs on behalf of the Chamber and coordinate with local elected officials. I also serve on the Heritage Day planning committee, a biennial community-wide event which serves as a fundraiser for the Chamber, local community groups, and area youth athletic programs. How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? Volunteering and activism both call for using creative thinking and hard work to generate positive change. It causes you to reject the notion that the status quo is the best-case scenario. Instead of seeing today’s improvements as the finish line, you realize they are the starting blocks for tomorrow.

What is your favorite app? Dropbox How do you stay connected? Staying connected might be my greatest weakness. What do you like best about Sheboygan County? Lake Michigan and our rivers never get old, and I’m still learning new ways to enjoy them.



The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013



Pre-vocational Instructor at RCS Empowers

What has been your most rewarding accomplishment so far? I am incredibly proud of the curriculum I developed for the Pre-vocation classes at RCS but in all honesty, the smiles, handshakes, and conversations with the participants are most rewarding to me. When we take the time to appreciate them, the little things in life are actually so big. How has your community involvement enhanced your career and/or your life? Being proud of whom I am and by not being afraid to show it to not only my community but the whole world, has enhanced my life by more ways than I When we am able to describe. Selfawareness, which happens take the time to be the focus of the curriculum I developed, to appreciate in my opinion helps us to them, the little accept who we are which in turn allows us to shine things in life as the bright stars we were are actually so meant to be. How do you define success? big. My connotation of Laura Stanley what success means would simply be described by the word “happiness.” While in my opinion happiness is found through contentment, in turn, success isn’t bigger, better, and more, but rather acceptance and appreciation of the “now.” Where do you see yourself in five years? In five years, I hope to have made an impact on the importance of community integration by getting out in the community more and showing the world how

wonderful it is to be open-minded and give people a chance before judging them. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? Although perhaps a bit unconventional, I would suggest NOT to map out your career. Hopes, dreams, goals, etc., are very important motivators, but in all actuality it isn’t up to us what happens in life. Rather than planning and re-planning continuously when things don’t go as expected, I feel the best thing we can do is guide our desires, hopes, and dreams by making good choices in life and what is meant to happen will eventually happen.

How do you stay connected? LinkedIn is a great networking site and has helped me make some wonderful contacts throughout the world. What do you like best about Sheboygan County? Everything! What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? The iPad, kindle, etc. is the best piece of technology I believe to have been invented thus far. The amazing applications that can aid in learning are an asset to us all.

Were you mentored along the way? My mentors in life are the strong Norwegian women in my family: my grandmother Lucille Paukert and my mother Beth Stanley. While unrecognized throughout my youth for being such remarkable and tough women, they were and will be forever my inspiration and my most impacting mentors. Through their own actions and reactions to life’s various pitfalls and highlights, these two amazing women taught me that going that extra mile without any expectation or acknowledgment from anyone else is the only gratification and recognition a true tender-hearted Christian woman needs. What has been your biggest obstacle to your success? My own self-doubts show to be my biggest obstacle to my own success. I can and will do anything I put my mind to… sometimes it’s just a little hard to take that leap of faith.


The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

Sheboygan County’s Making Their Mark Top Young Professionals


Mike Kertscher Programs Manager at Elkhart Lake’s Road America How do you define success? I define success as a journey. It has multiple peaks and not necessarily one ultimate happening. I feel one success builds on another. How have you distinguished yourself as a community leader in the last year? I strive to bring new folks to the Sheboygan County area and I’m always quick to introduce them to all the wonderful offerings we have right in our back yards. In the past year I’ve been very active assisting local charities in raising money through a variety of unique RA based activities (Karting, Driving Olympics, etc.). In Don’t let 2012, charities that I others tell you directly had a hand in the planning process can’t achieve raised over $30,000 for their causes (RA’s something… total charity reach in Mike Kertscher 2012 was well over $100k). I assisted in developing a Formula High School event, which increases awareness of engineering and technical careers with HS students. I’ve also developed a Community Outreach Program in 2012 with West DePere HS technical education department and assisting in developing an internship program with LTC. Through my current position I’ve been able to work with and learn from many local and surrounding area business leaders. I’ve also been featured in national racing publications for my racing successes and accomplishments, Sprint Car and Midget Magazine, and for my racing successes on and off track in Flat Out Magazine.

What has been your biggest obstacle to your success? I think the biggest obstacle thus far would be just defining what success is. For some it’s strictly monetary, for others its career or family. For me it’s a balance of everything so managing my life accordingly to try and achieve my future success is a top priority at this point in my life. Advice to young people just mapping their careers? I think the best piece of advice is to find something you are truly passionate about and go for it. For me that passion is racing. Don’t let others tell you can’t achieve something, with true drive and determination you can achieve anything. Were you mentored along the way? By whom? If I were to have to pick mentors it would have to be my parents. They were and continue to always be there for me through good and bad. They are never afraid to lend a hand or an opinion. Certainly there are many other mentors that continue to help me along my journey including my co-workers who I learn from each and every day. How will you continue to make a difference in the community over the next 5 to 10 years? I plan to make a difference by continuing to promote the community whenever the chance is presented. I’ve already invested in my own future by becoming a permanent Sheboygan county resident and I continually jump at the chance to showcase our community to others. My long range goals are to continue to grow as a person and within the company and to strive to achieve excellence by working with members of my own organization and within the community to achieve future successes.

Are you a Texter or Talker? Talker What do you think is the best piece of technology invented and why? I would have to say turn by turn navigation. With a GPS, who needs a map. What is your favorite app? Voxer. It’s like texting , but talking.



The Sheboygon Press | Monday, May 13, 2013

Coastal Connections  

sheboygan costal connections