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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

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Young professionals from the lakeshore

January 2011


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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

About the Future 15 and additional awards

The Future 15 was created to recognize 15 area young professionals that are presently growing and excelling in their respective fields, and will continue to positively influence the growth, prosperity and quality of life in Manitowoc County well into the future. In addition to the 15 honorees, three award winners will also be honored with the Young Professional Advocacy Award, the Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Young Professional of the Year Award. The Young Professionals Advocacy Award is an annual recognition of an individual or organization that champions a cause that benefits the quality of life for young professionals. Sail’s Steering Committee, a group of volunteers who gather monthly to retain young professionals in Manitowoc County through social networking

opportunities and professional development programs, chose this year’s recipient from among those individuals who have championed not just Sail, but all young professionals. The Entrepreneur of the Year Award is an annual recognition of a business owner who has already influenced Manitowoc County economically and has contributed even more to his or her community and his or her industry through volunteer efforts. The Young Professional of the Year Award honors a role model in career, community and future impact. Not only does the professional excel in his or her career, but the person also has left and will continue to leave a lasting footprint within the community through volunteer work. The honoree of this award is certainly one the most promising professionals Manitowoc County has to offer.

Events help foster career development, social networking Looking for a great way to make new business connections, and sharpen your networking skills while being in the company of your peers? Then Sail is the one organization you need to join. Six years and still growing, this organization and this dynamic group have of young professionals have accomplished a lot.

A recipient of a Bronze Quality Award from the American Health Care Association Recovery Isn’t Simply a Goal, It’s Our Mission. ���� ������ ����� ��� ��������� ���� ����� ���� ��������� ���� �� ����� �� ������� ����������� ������ ����� �� ���� ��� ��� ������� ��� �������������� ������ �������� ���������� ���������� ����������� ���� ��� ������������� ��������� ���� ���� ����������� �� ��� ����� �� �������� ��� ����������� ����� �� ������ ��� �� ��� �� � ����� ��� ��� ��� �������� ���� ����������� ���������� �� ��� ������ ����� ���� ����� ��� ������������� ���� �� www.nrmrc.com

The Steering Committee in collaboration with The Chamber staff has spent countless hours planning and organizing events and programs that benefit their members and ultimately the Manitowoc County community. They offer Lunch and Learn educational workshops featuring speakers that cover topics that are relative to the opportunities and challenges young professionals face in their career development. The committee also recognizes the need to foster events that give their members a chance to network in a casual welcoming environment. They have hosted monthly “Sail After Hours”, a Roller-Skating Party, Wii Tournament, Brewer game, Lakeside Foods Company Tour, and a Summer Picnic. All of their events also incorporate through different avenues, ways to give back to the community.

Dedicated to Hope, Healing and Recovery © 2011 Kindred Healthcare Operating, Inc. CSR 125833-01

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To those of you not involved, if you are looking for a high energy, dynamic organization that can assist in your career development, look no further, Sail is the organization for you. Once again, congratulations to Sail and to the Sail Future 15!

Karen Szyman Executive Director The Chamber of Manitowoc County

Sail offers opportunities for community involvement Congratulations to the Sail 2010 Future 15 winners and to Sail committees and members for making 2010 such a wonderful year! It is a pleasure to recognize these 15 individuals and the numerous young professionals considered for this prestigious award. To these winners I say, let’s move forward and continue to be a productive and vital part of Manitowoc County businesses! To those considering a progressive group such as Sail, I say come join us, let’s move into 2011 together! We have many unique opportunities awaiting us in the coming year; now’s the time to sign up and become an active member!

1445 North 7th Street, Manitowoc, WI 54220 ������������ � ������������ ���� �������������

This impressive lineup is a compliment to our businesses and to the community at large. The Chamber is proud to work with Sail while assisting in the development of our future workforce. These young professionals are the future leaders of Manitowoc County. On behalf of our members, board and staff of The Chamber of Manitowoc County we congratulate you on your success and look forward to working with you in the future.

Sail, in collaboration with The Chamber of Manitowoc County, has so many things that we offer! The bigger our group, the more dynamic

our events become! Whether you are looking for more professional development or social networking, we have it all! Become a member now to present a Lunch and Learn or a professional growth opportunity. We offer social networking events that get people interacting with each other. We are looking for young professionals from all walks of life to get involved and help Manitowoc County continue to be a vibrant and exciting place to be! Once again, congratulations to our 2010 Future 15 Winners! See you in 2011!

Jacque Bartow Sail Chairwoman

Future 15 Staff General Manager: Lowell Johnson, (920) 686-2143 or ljohnson@htrnews.com Editor: Amy Hanson, (920) 686-2152 or ahanson@htrnews.com Advertising Sales: James Maurer, (920) 686-2124 or jmaurer2@htrnews.com Distribution: BruceTischer, (920) 686-2156 or btischer@Sheboygan-press.com Graphic Artist: Heather Nohr, (920) 431-8208 or hnohr@gannett.com Contributing Writer: Debra Horn, dhorn@milwpc.com Photography: Sue Pischke, (920) 686-2976 or spischke@htrnews.com; Doug Sundin, (920) 686-2157 or dsundin@htrnews.com

No part of Future 15 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 Herald Times Reporter. Mailed correspondence may be sent to Amy Hanson, Future 15 editor, at 902 Franklin St., Manitowoc, WI 54220.


www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

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Amy Albers

Amy Albers is a 1993 graduate of Mishicot High School. During her time at the school, she was captain of the volleyball team. She went on to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and graduated with a Bachelor of Letters and Science in Radio/TV/Film.

Amy always has a tube of Chapstick with her wherever she goes.

Amy Albers’ strong work ethic and dedication to excellence is serving her well as the marketing director for Shipbuilders Credit Union, having gained valuable experience first working for the Dramm Corporation. “My time as marketing specialist for the long-standing, family-owned Dramm Corporation from 1999-2002 inspired a method of doing business with sincerity and sound values,” she said. In her current role at Shipbuilders Credit Union, she has created an interactive website, introduced a kids’ savings club and a teen club, and writes and produces all credit union advertising, including cable television commercials. In 2005, the Wisconsin Credit Union League honored Albers with the Marketer’s Choice Award in the class of Smallest Budget/Best Results for a door hanger/loan promotion targeting Mishicot residents for the credit union’s newly opened branch. As public relations chair for Shipbuilders Credit Union Presents Lakeshore Weekend for the past 2 years, Albers has been involved in eight months of planning and promoting the three-day annual August event which benefits Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin. Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in the state dedicated to the care and treatment of newborns to teenagers. Last year, more than 2,000 visits were made to Children’s Hospital by Manitowoc County families.

So, what might you catch Albers watching on TV? “‘Modern Family.’ I love the family dynamics, great comedic timing, accurate representation  of many of today’s family relationships,” she noted.

“I cherish the time I spend with my daughter, watching her learn and develop into a bright, sensitive little lady. I love making memories with my fiancé, Kevin, as well as my extended family and friends.”

Albers also is the current chair for the Chamber’s Ambassador Committee. “As chair, I am responsible for producing the monthly meeting agenda, manage those meetings, and reinforce the goals and responsibilities of the committees as a group of networking professionals ready to welcome new members, engage current members and support local business,” she said. Other organizations she is involved with include The Chamber of Manitowoc County Membership Committee and the YMCA Marketing Committee. Albers is a graduate of the Leadership Manitowoc program as well. Since 2003, Albers has been promoting and educating the community on the unique benefits of credit union membership at SCU with the creation and coordination of the annual Ship to Shore Savings Card program.This program offers exclusive discounts to members on dining, shopping and everyday essentials at local establishments.

“I would love to go to Disney World again and I am this March.”

“It’s a win-win for the masses; our 7,300-plus members are given a reminder and incentive to ‘shop local’ and in the end, the businesses see return business time and time again, strengthening everyone’s bottom line,” she noted.

Albers enjoys exercising and cooking. “Good thing I do the first to make up for the second,” she joked.

Albers sees herself continuing to support as many community efforts as she can in the future, as well as “to continue my zest for life, give 100 percent in whatever I tackle, and in the end, make my family, myself and the business I represent proud.” She has a daughter, Eden, and is engaged to be married to Kevin Beeman, her fiancé.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011 Brandon Bartow is a 1993 graduate of Belmont High School in Belmont. During his high school days, Bartow was a defensive end and guard on the Braves football team.

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Brandon Bartow Brandon Bartow started Bartow Builders in the summer of 1999 with the desire to be in control of his own destiny and to run a home building and remodeling business that places emphasis on quality construction and customer satisfaction. And he has done exactly that, providing top-notch homes for local families. In both 2003 and 2008, he was named Builder of the Year by the Manitowoc County Home Builders Association. He received the Wisconsin Builders Association Rising Star Award in 2007, which is only given to one person among the 8,500 members who exemplify the service and skill to be a future leader of the WBA.

Bartow would like to be able to trace his family history through his travels. “I would love to go to Europe to see where my ancestors came from and for all the sites there are to visit,” he said.

Bartow has earned his Certified Aging in Place designation through accredited coursework from the National Association of Home Builders. “This designation allows me to professionally assess the situations of clients’ needs to live and function in their home, whether the need is gradual aging, a progressive need through illness or disease, or immediate need because of traumatic injury.” Bartow has been involved with The Chamber of Manitowoc County since 2005 and with Sail Young Professionals of Manitowoc County.  He is an active member of both MCHBA and WBA, as well as the National Association of Home Builders.

“My favorite TV show is ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ because I am usually enjoying it with my entire family and because I love to laugh!”

He has used his skills to help build the Community Built Playground at Schuette Park, the outdoor training and storage facility for the Manitowoc Police Department, and remodeling both the Boy Scout Shack on Menasha Avenue and the concession stand at Newton Park. In the spirit of giving back to the community, Bartow has also volunteered and participated in many local activities such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, HeartA-Rama, Paint the Town Pink, Healthiest Manitowoc County 2010, and Children’s Hospital Bowl-a-thon. He also has helped develop youth skills with the following organizations: Newton Youth Sports, Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA, Future Lady Ships Basketball, Manitowoc Lincoln Ships Gymnastics, Junior Ships Basketball, and St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church Building Committee.

You’re apt to find Bartow with his Blackberry.

Bartow states his success will depend on reaching 5-year goals he has set for his business and for himself personally. “It is my goal to become a certified graduate builder through coursework from the NAHB, to build-out my subdivision with new homes, and to make Bartow Builders the most desired place to work for our current and future employees. Personally, I have set out to spend more time with my family, increase my education, exercise on a daily basis and involve myself in at least one major community service project each year.”

“My wife and kids are the most important ‘thing’ in my life. The decisions I make — both personal and business — are influenced by them.”

He is married to Jacque, and they have 3 children — Keegan, Morgan and Tatum.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Michelle Birschbach

Michelle Birschbach is a 1991 graduate of Kiel High School. She went on to complete her associate degree in Political Science at the University of Wisconsin-Sheboygan and her Bachelor of Science in Behavioral Science and Law from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

The last two years has marked a great professional achievement for Michelle Birschbach as she and her partner, Andrew Steimle, have formed their own law firm, Steimle Birschbach, LLC. Their practice is focused in the areas of business, trusts and estates, and real estate. Birschbach states her business model focuses on three relatively simple keys to ultimate success: (1.) provide good quality and cost-effective legal services; (2.) be a responsible employer who supports her employees, allowing them to prosper and encouraging their professional growth; and (3.) provide respect to and be considerate of her partner.

“I watch NBC’s ‘The Biggest Loser.’ The stories are inspiring, the game play is interesting, and I certainly can identify with the struggles that the contestants face. Most of us can get a little healthier”

She thinks of it as applying the Golden Rule to her business model, that one should treat others as one would like others to treat oneself. “I define success as so much more than just profits. Success to me includes practicing my profession responsibly and working each day in a quality environment,” said Birschbach. Having graduated from Kiel High School in 1991 and practicing as an attorney in the community for 12 years, she knows firsthand “the exceptional young men and women who work hard to make Manitowoc County prosper and grow.”

Birschbach confesses: “I’m a pack-a-day gum addict.”

Giving back to the community is very important to Birschbach. She is currently an officer and director of both the Wisconsin Maritime Museum and the Manitowoc/Two Rivers Area Women’s Alliance boards. She is on the board of Healthy Teeth/Healthy Communities Manitowoc County, Scenic Shores Red Cross, and the Thrivent West Shore Community Board.

Birschbach is happy to have her husband in her life. “He is wonderful and I am grateful every day that he is a part of my life. He’s definitely a keeper,” she said. 

She also is a participating member of the Manitowoc Women in Management, Manitowoc Bar Association, Manitowoc County Elder Abuse/Adults-At-Risk Interdisciplinary Team, and most recently the Felician Village Donor Development Committee. In addition to this, she participates in probono legal clinics and works with clients on a pro-bono basis for the formation of tax-exempt entities that better the community.

“Australia is at the top of my ‘bucket’ list. The country is so vast and so diverse — I think it would be amazing to explore!  I’m also partial to kangaroos and koalas.”

“My organization participation and community work are important to me not just for the networking and professional/personal growth opportunities they provide, but also because I strongly believe in paying it forward,” said Birschbach. “I am very thankful to be able to say that my future here in Manitowoc County is bright,” she noted. “I intend to continue and in five to 10 years potentially expand Steimle Birschbach, LLC, focusing on my Golden Rule business model. I will continue paying it forward through my organizational and community work.”

There’s no doubt in Birschbach’s mind what tickles her tastebuds. It’s “chocolate, chocolate, chocolate!” she responded.

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Birschbach has been married to her husband, Mark (also a Kiel High School graduate), for 13 years. The couple lives in the Cleveland area with their two cats.

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Jessica Brault

Jessica Brault is a 1998 graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School. During her time at the school, she was on the Ships’ gymnastics team. She went on to complete an associate degree in early education and an associate degree in accounting at Lakeshore Technical College.

After 9 1/ 2 years serving in the military, Jessica Brault uses her Army values to guide her when making tough decisions. These seven values are the steppingstones as well as the foundation to who she has become today. The values are: Loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity and personal courage.  “All of these values assisted me in believing that anything is possible even at the most trying of times,” said Brault.

If you’re wondering what Brault carries with her, it’s usually gift cards or coupons.

She served a year-long tour in Kuwait as a Platoon Sgt. in Operation Enduring Freedom and was responsible for 33 other soldiers. “It was my job as a leader to make sure my team not only safely completed all the tasks that we were assigned, but that their well-being was looked after as well,” said Brault.

There are two shows that Brault can’t miss — “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”

“I took this challenge head-on and have returned a much stronger and driven person,” she noted. “Before leaving for Kuwait, I had felt like I was already active in the community through various organizations, but when I returned, my leadership had only amplified,” said Brault. Soon after her return, she became the family readiness group leader for the Army Reserve unit located in Manitowoc. Even though the headquarters was based in Manitowoc, the unit had members located all over Wisconsin, Illinois and Michigan.

Brault believes in making a difference. “Being a good role model for kids and young adults, and spending time with family and friends is also very important,” she said.

Brault then returned back to college and became active in many school organizations including Business Professionals of America and lead Lakeshore Technical College’s Volunteer Income Tax Assistance team, which was joined with a team from Lakeland to help lower income families prepare and file their tax returns. Through LTC, an internship at The Manitowoc Company landed Brault a full-time job in the finance department.

Brault opts for a healthy snack during the cold months. “I would say that in the winter I crave fresh fruits,” she said.

In addition, she also manages her own gymnastics program. Coaching is a passion of hers.  “My philosophy in the gym extends past the fundamentals of the sport, but focuses more on the life lessons that children need to become great members of society in the future,” said Brault. She also is a foster parent, helping children to learn how to make responsible decisions “while keeping them safe and providing them with opportunities to have a better life in the future.”

“I would like to go and relax somewhere warm or hot, but not the desert.”

Brault also supports local organizations such as Big Brothers Big Sisters, United Way, Relay for Life, Military Families, and the Domestic Violence Center. “As a young professional, I will continue to inspire and be a role model for many young children who will someday be our next generation of Future 15 Young Professionals,” said Brault.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Lisa Callsen is a 1990 graduate of Livonia Churchill High School in Livonia, Mich. During her time at the school, she was on the Chargers’ basketball team. She went on to complete her paralegal degree at Madonna University, also in Livonia.

“I finally decided I wanted to do the things I loved, instead of relying on making time for them,” said Callsen. In 2009, she started speaking about her background of having Deaf parents, hoping to be inspirational while sharing Deaf culture and heightening awareness. This led to her receiving the Outstanding Young Wisconsinite Award from the Manitowoc Jaycees.

“My hobby is speaking. I love to tell the story of having Deaf parents and some of the things I’ve experienced. I also love traveling and my favorite place is Chicago.”

“I read magazines mostly because I can whizz through them.”

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Working in nonprofit has been rewarding for her. She started out as president of the Illinois chapter of Children of Deaf Adults, generating funds to send kids to camp with their peers. From there, she volunteered locally with the Manitowoc County Youth Hockey Association’s Blade Bash event, sharpening her skills for business and event planning. Callsen has worked with the Mainly Manitowoc promotions committee team since its inception, assisting in executing events such as the Decades of Distinctions tours and Santa Saturdays.

She is employed with Holy Family Memorial as the fund development coordinator. Callsen is responsible for coordinating all the details for the larger fundraising events such as, the Love Light Tree Celebration, Spaghetti Italiano and Samaritan Day golf outing. “I love to network and socialize so the position allows me to be innovative and incorporate local people and businesses,” said Callsen. She is also the mother to three children — Randall 18, Mackenzie 9, and Delanie, 7 — and is married to Carl. The Callsens also have two dogs.

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This year, she went on to host the stand-up comedy competition, Lakeshore’s Top Comic. “Providing comedy is healthy for our community,” said Callsen.

“Volunteering at Touched Twice has also been a rewarding experience, having the ability to serve those with physical and spiritual needs,” said Callsen.

Callsen claims she always has her phone with her after disconnecting her landline more than two years ago.

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While following another passion, she attended Second City for improv training in Chicago. Immediately after that, she started an improv group and tested her dream of owning a black box theater. The Bubbler Theatre opened in November of 2009. She developed a business plan and submitted it to the Wisconsin New North Business Plan competition, and was a top 10 finalist.

In February 2010, she initiated a charter to start a local Toastmasters group where she served as president until recently.

“I’ve been to the one place I’d dreamt of going —Australia,” said Callsen. “I would love to go to an allinclusive resort that has everything tropical about it including sleeping in those little hutches over the ocean. Sun, beaches and pampering are for me.”

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Callsen said she enjoys soup and salsa.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

9

Crystal Casavant

Crystal Casavant is a 1995 graduate of Washington High School in Two Rivers. During her time at the school, she was a member of the Raiders’ swim team. Casavant also attended Lakeland College.

The past year was full of leadership opportunities for Crystal Casavant. She was promoted to a new position as call center process manager at Americollect, Inc. in Manitowoc. “I oversee the processes of our organization, help encourage and lead others, monitor compliance and security, and assist with newsletter articles and arranging for speakers and presenters,” she said.

Casavant values her faith. “Without the grace, mercy and love of God, I would have nothing,” she said.

Working at Americollect also allows Casavant to help with various community projects. The organization does monthly fundraisers and raffles to support local charities such as The Domestic Violence Center, March of Dimes and Alzheimer’s Foundation. The company recently had a month-long fundraiser for breast cancer research, which included a bake sale and silent auction.

“I love French fries covered in gravy (though I don’t eat them often). They were something introduced to me by my father and they are yummy, but also bring back some good childhood memories.”

“I enjoy leading and participating in these events. It’s important to give back to the community,” said Casavant. Although she notes she does not have as much time as she would like to improve the quality of life for the residents of Manitowoc County, she still believes it is important “to do small things in a large way. I work with 74 individuals on a daily basis. By recognizing the good things they do, I feel I help them reach their full potential.” Casavant’s key professional achievements over the past year have been heading up the SAS70 efforts within Americollect, joining Women in Management International, becoming more active in Sail and joining the Programming Committee, as well as helping two of her co-workers grow into leadership positions at Americollect.

“I would love to go to France with my family to see where my grandmother grew up and learn more about the French culture.”

She is involved in the Association of Credit and Collection Professionals and attended their national convention in Washington, D.C. earlier this year; the SHE/Spirit Health and Enrichment organization through Holy Family; and the Wisconsin Collectors Association.

“My favorite movie is ‘Serendipity’ because I do believe in happily ever after, love at first sight, and that all things happen for a reason.”

In her personal life, Casavant is involved in her church as a member of the choir and church organist. “It’s hard to see what you aren’t looking for, and I make a point to look for the good in others, which helps them look for the good in their friends and family. The leadership skills I have learned professionally have helped me be a better mother and hopefully I can also pass that along to my colleagues and friends,” said Casavant. She has 2 children, Carmen and Andre, and they live in Manitowoc.

“My favorite hobby is playing the piano while my children sing and dance around the living room. Their laughter and happiness brings me the greatest joy.”

Her goal is to continue to grow professionally while finding the balance between her family and her career. She noted, “There is so much to be thankful for in our great community, and it’s important to get the word out that Manitowoc County really is the place to be if you are young and successful.”

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682-6054


10

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Erdmann

Sara

Sara Erdmann is a 1994 graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School. During her time at the school, she was on the Ships’ softball team. She attended the University of WisconsinWhitewater for one year.

Sara Erdmann is an administrative assistant at Associated Trust Company, which is an affiliate of Associated Bank. She just celebrated her 15th anniversary with Associated Bank.

Erdmann enjoys the combination of chocolate and mint.

She is a lifelong resident of Manitowoc and has been married to her husband, Chad, for 14 years. They have 2 children — Mackenzie, 10, and Bryce, 6. “Because of my wonderful family, boss and co-workers, I am lucky to be able to give back to the Manitowoc community in so many ways,” said Erdmann. One of the ways she has been able to give back is by being a campaign volunteer for the United Way for more than six years. She also volunteers at many of United Way’s community events, along with making her own monetary contributions to the organization every year. In 2009, Erdmann helped coordinate the 125 Days of Caring food drive campaign to benefit Peter’s Pantry in celebration of Associated Bank’s 125th anniversary in Manitowoc. She also volunteered several hours helping Peter’s Pantry stock shelves and distribute food.

“My husband, Chad; daughter, Mackenzie; and son, Bryce, are the most important people in my life. A close second is all of my extended family.”

Erdmann often works to recruit co-workers to volunteer their time for area organizations. During the past several years, she has coordinated a group of colleagues to ring bells for the Salvation Army. She also collects items at Christmas from co-workers and customers to benefit the local Domestic Violence Center.

“I always have Chapstick with me.”

Over the past several years, Associated Bank has sponsored a corporate United Way’s Day of Caring initiative that lets colleagues use two hours of normal work time to volunteer at a local United Way organization. “It is a wonderful way to learn more about the organization and how our donations are helping people in the community,” said Erdmann.

“I like to watch ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’ because it is interesting how they recreate the crime.”

Another event she strongly supports is the American Cancer Society’s local Relay for Life. Associated Bank has had a team in the relay for 15 out of 16 years. Erdmann has been captain of the team for five years. They had a team record of more than $6,000 in donations for the July 2010 event. “I also love to spend time volunteering to benefit my children and other children of the community,” said Erdmann. She is in her fourth year as secretary of the Parent Teacher Organization at Jackson Elementary School where her daughter is in the fifth grade. She has been a Sunday school teacher for several years and a volunteer in the nursery during services at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Erdmann has fun with her family attending sporting events or watching sports on TV with them.

“Hopefully by my actions, I can show my children how important it is to give back to your community,” said Erdmann.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011 Sandra Hardrath is a 1973 graduate of Roncalli High School in Manitowoc. During her time at the school, she was involved with the student newspaper.

11

Sandra Hardrath Sandra Hardrath’s service to the community started back in grade school. “My first volunteering position was a candy striper at Park Lawn Home,” she said.

“Nothing could be better than watching a Brewers vs. Cubs baseball game with my daughter, the Cubs fan.”

“I have donated many volunteer hours back to our community, my church and various schools in the area in the past 40 years,” she added. The Service League of Manitowoc County has awarded Hardrath their highest award, the Myrna Fuhs award. She has served as that organization’s president, vice president, and membership chair. She also serves on the scholarship committees (high school and continuing education) through Service League that have helped many students pursue higher education. Service League has sponsored many Done in Day projects, which Hardrath has participated in the past 12 years. These include helping with Crime Prevention Day, being a hostess at the Rahr-West Art Museum for the Tablesettings exhibit and Christmas in the Mansion, and decorating the Rockwood Fire Station at Pinecrest Historical Village for Christmas at Pinecrest.

“I enjoy Door County cherries, the sweet dark cherries are the best!”

As a Curriculum Committee member and day coordinator for Leadership Manitowoc County and Junior Leadership, Hardrath “helps support and empower the future leaders of Manitowoc and beyond,” she said. Hardrath is the operations manager for the Manitowoc office of Ansay & Associates, LLC. She is also the director of human resources for their offices based in Manitowoc, Green Bay, Little Chute and Wausau. She serves on the Leadership Committee of Ansay & Associates, LLC, and is “a mentor as new people join the organization.” She was instrumental in “hiring three disabled workers at our office and supporting them so they feel needed and have a purpose in their lives.” Other organizations she belongs to include: The Chamber of Manitowoc County, Women in Management, and Lakeshore Area Human Resources.

“My family is the most important thing in my life. My husband, best friend, Dave is a wonderful, loving, supportive hero in my life. Our daughter, Sheila, is the joy of our life and we are proud of all that she has accomplished. I am very blessed to have special parents; my mother especially has taught me so many life lessons. Without her I would not be the person I am today. My sisters and brother are always there for me along with my special nieces and nephews.”

Hardrath also has served on the Community Donations Committee that has donated several thousands of dollars back to various community organizations so they can serve their clients such as Peter’s Pantry, Salvation Army and Holiday House. She has participated in various projects at the Domestic Violence Center and The Crossing, such as providing babysitting so that moms can attend support group meetings, and decorating for the holidays. Hardrath has helped with the nursery at St. Francis of Assisi so parents can celebrate Mass without the distraction of their little ones, and has made cards on several occasions for the Meals on Wheels recipients.

Hardrath enjoys playing tennis and golf. “I am not very good at either, but enjoy the social aspect of both sports. I have made many special friends through these sports,” she added.

“I want to continue to give back to the community through the organizations I am involved in and seek out additional opportunities to serve where needed,” said Hardrath. She and her husband, Dave, have been married for 33 years. They have one daughter, Sheila.

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“I have lots love in my heart with me at all times to share with the people around me.”


12

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Stephanie Henschel

Stephanie Henschel is a 1994 graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School. During her time at the school, she played on the Ships’ tennis team. She went on to the University of WisconsinOshkosh and graduated with a bachelor degree in Secondary Math and continued her education at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay where she earned her master’s degree in Applied Teaching and Learning.

Stephanie Henschel believes leading our youth is the best kind of leadership she can give, both through teaching and coaching sports. She has taught math at Manitowoc Lincoln High School for the past 11 years. During that time, she has also coached girl’s basketball and girl’s and boy’s tennis. Henschel first served as the varsity girl’s assistant basketball coach for three years, then decided to pursue a master’s degree. After obtaining that degree in 2005, she was the interim head varsity girl’s basketball coach and also started coaching girl’s tennis as the assistant coach. She held the basketball position for one year and then decided to focus on coaching tennis.

Henschel has always wanted to go to Durham, N.C., to see the Duke University Campus. “I’ve been a Duke Blue Devils basketball fan since the age of 13 and have always wanted to travel there,” she said.

She has been the assistant girl’s tennis coach for six seasons, all of which have had at least one flight go to the state tournament in Madison. She also has been the assistant coach for the boy’s tennis team since March of 2009, again having at least one flight go to the state tournament. Henschel is the class of 2013 adviser and for Homecoming this school year, she helped the sophomores build their float, decorate the hallway and is currently fundraising.

“There are times when I crave any kind of pasta.”

“Giving kids good role models is very important in creating responsible adults,” said Henschel. She is the math department’s building representative and also belongs to the Manitowoc Education Association and National Education Association. She was chosen to lead the math department in becoming educated in the Common Core National Standards. “I will learn them and educate those in my department. This way, all teachers will be able to implement them in the curriculum and daily lessons,” said Henschel.

“The most important thing in my life would have to be my family and friends. It’s very difficult to be happy and successful without a good support system.”

Her goals are to continue working with the MEA to support the local teachers union. She would like to work toward National Board certification and/or become math department head, as well as becoming head girl’s tennis coach.

“I have two iPods, one of which is always with me.”

Although Henschel is busy with teaching and coaching, she also has time for family. She enjoys spending time with her parents, brother and sister, and spends as much time as she can with her nieces and nephews. “It’s important kids have many adults in their life so they have people they can gain support from later,” she said.

“I enjoy walking my dog. We take a short walk in the morning and another when I get home from work.  It’s our daily time together.”

Henschel is an animal lover and enjoys spending time with her dog. She would like to breed dogs but for now, she tries to donate to the local Humane Society. She also is a homeowner and makes outside improvements to her home to benefit the neighborhood.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

13

Eric Isselmann Eric Isselmann worked in an unfulfilling blue-collar job for more than 10 years before deciding to change careers and become a firefighter/paramedic. The 36-year-old credits the birth of his daughter, Courtney, as the catalyst for his career change and his supportive wife, Carla, and two sons, Ethan and Matthew, for helping him want to make a difference in the community.

Eric Isselmann is a 1992 graduate of Valders High School. During his time at the school, Isselmann played second base on the Vikings’ baseball team. He went on to complete an associate degree in Individualized Technical Studies focused on Public Safety at Lakeshore Technical College.

“I always have my phone with me. That doesn’t mean that I will always have it on or that I will always answer it.  It just means that  I  always have it with me.”

“I am passionate about life and making a difference for those in my lifetime and beyond. I refuse to sit on the sidelines complaining, and I feel I have the tools to make a difference,” he said. Isselmann finished second in his class of paramedics and was hired by the City of Two Rivers Fire Department after interning there. He is a member of the TRFD Public Education Committee, organizing and delivering fire prevention and safety messages to the public. Isselmann schedules all annual physicals and wellness presentations for department personnel. He is a strong supporter of Citizens Academy, which teaches community members about the fire department’s jobs.

Isselmann would love to go to Bora Bora if he ever got the chance.

He has volunteered to be responsible for several projects including a geographic information systems mapping project for the county dispatching and information system as well as being responsible for the exporting of all EMS run data to the state reporting system.

“My family is by far the most important thing in my life. My wife, Carla, is everything to me.  Her unwavering love and support  provides me a safe, strong base of operations and a soft place to fall when I need it. My  children are Courtney, 8, Ethan, 7, and Matthew, 5. They are the twinkle in my eye and I can’t imagine life without them.”

“I feel my largest leadership role within the department has been my positive attitude and work ethic toward all aspects of the job, every day in every way,” said Isselmann. He has held the position of secretary/treasurer for the Local 423 since the first year of his employment. He has coordinated and run the Ethnic Fest booth for the Local 423, which is their primary fundraiser, and also the annual MDA bowling tournament, which is ranked in the top 3 in the state for money donated per member 13 times in the last 20 years. Isselmann also participates in the local Meals on Wheels program and the Breakfast with Santa event.

“Fresh baked chocolate chip cookies are simply the best,” Isselmann said. “Compliment those delicious bad boys with a tall glass of ice cold milk and I probably receive a checkmark in the shares well with others column.”

He is a member of the Two Rivers Optimist Club, organizing their local Punt, Pass and Kick competition, participating in the Tri-Star soccer and baseball contests, and the club’s fundraising events such as the Packers concession stand, Kites Over Lake Michigan concessions, and the school supplies drive for Two Rivers Mishicot Ecumenical Pantry.

Isselmann’s favorite TV show might surprise you — it’s “Dr. Phil.” “It isn’t always the show’s topic that is of interest to me, but much more so the messages Dr. Phil conveys,” he said.

“I feel that the organizations and programs that I currently support all clearly benefit the community at large and improve the quality of life for residents of Manitowoc County,” said Isselmann. “And I do expect and plan on increasing my participation in programs (and) events that I feel will benefit the community,” he added.

WELCOME TO THE

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1520 17th Street 920-793-5592 www.two-rivers.org


14

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Melissa Kracht

Melissa Kracht is a 1996 graduate of Lutheran High School. During her time at the school, she was on the Lancers’ track team. She went on to complete her administrative assistant degree from Madison Area Technical College.

Melissa Kracht says working at Americollect has given her many opportunities to lead and to grow within the organization. She has been employed there for almost six years and is currently the administrative assistant.

Kracht is known to enjoy a seasonal snack. “A food I crave is caramel apples,” she said. “I usually only get them in the fall so when I do, it’s a treat I look forward to all year round!”

She has headed up several projects including reconciliation projects with several of their clients, reconciling the operating and trust account, leading the State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions audits, and serving as a liaison between Americollect and their software company, Roydan Enterprises of Manitowoc. Kracht notes she has achieved both personal and professional goals during the past year. In January, she was presented with the first Patty Check Employee of the Year Award given by Americollect. This is an award given for honesty, fairness, ownership, openness to change and positive outlook.

If Kracht had her choice, she’d love to travel to Montana again. “I went once when I was younger and loved being outdoors, seeing the mountains and hiking,” she said.

In April, she and her husband, Brad, opened their home to three relatives so they would be kept together, adding three more children to the six they already had — Bradley, 13, Robert, 11, Justin, 9, Kimberly, 8, Alissa, 6, Jonathon, 4. “Caring for these children has been a blessing for my husband and I and even more of a blessing for our six children who have created life-long relationships. Every day is both a blessing and a challenge,” said Kracht.

“I don’t get to watch much TV besides ‘Sponge Bob’ and ‘I-Carly,’ but when I do, I would have to say my favorite TV show is ‘Grey’s Anatomy.’ Do you think Cristina Yang will be a surgeon again?”

In September, she and her husband became licensed as one of Manitowoc County’s foster care parents. “This was something my husband and I had always known we would do again,” she said. Also in September, Kracht became a member of Sail and started networking with other professionals in Manitowoc County. Her goal is to join other organizations that will enhance her professional career.

“I always have my cell phone with me. I don’t know what I would do without it!”

“Being a member of Sail has been a great networking experience for me and has helped me personally by increasing my confidence in my social and networking abilities,” said Kracht. In her free time, she enjoys advocating healthy lifestyles by being a fitness instructor at the Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA, by being a yearly participant in the I Walk/Run for Wishes in honor of her sister, which benefits the Make A Wish Foundation, and by raising breast cancer awareness. “I am a strong supporter of making awareness for healthier lifestyles and will continue to support each of these causes,” said Kracht. Her goals for the next five to 10 years include, continuing to grow with Americollect by heading their financial department, to be more involved in community events such as the Make A Wish Foundation by being a volunteer at events, continuing her education in accounting, and “to be the best mom I can be while still continuing my career.”

“The most important thing in my life is my family.”

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Pilot Ground School Starts March 29, 2011 Lakeshore Aviation • Manitowoc County Airport 1815 Freedom Way • Manitowoc, WI • 920-682-0043 www.lakeshoreaviation.com WI-5001241119


www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Melissa Lake is a 1992 graduate of Hustisford High School in Hustisford. She went on to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Biology. She was active in the residence halls as an academic adviser and participated in the Wildlife Society, Women in Natural Resources and wildlife firefighting.

Melissa Lake

Melissa Lake and her family moved to Manitowoc in May of 2009 when her husband, Joe, was hired by Comcast. After unpacking and settling their two little girls — Rose, 5, and Carmen, 3 — into their new house, Melissa was introduced to the Send Out Cards Company. Her love of cards and the ability to earn an income with a flexible schedule made the business a good fit for her and her family. “The online greeting card system has allowed me to help people connect with the important people in their lives through the use of this program,” she said. In order to meet more people and learn about Manitowoc, Lake has become actively involved with various community organizations including Service League of Manitowoc County, The Chamber of Manitowoc County, Women in Management, Inc. and Business Networking International. She organized the start-up of the latter group, working toward its charter by the end of 2010.

“I am a good Italian girl! I love spaghetti, lasagna and pizza. And of course, chocolate.”

She also is involved in groups with other moms of young children in the community such as Tuesday Tots, Thursday Tots, and helps out at Riverview School in the classroom and library.

Lake’s hobby and job go hand in hand. “That is why my business is perfect for me. I also like to read, spend time with my family, enjoy the outdoors and take pictures,” she added. Lake would like to travel throughout the United States. “I have been to 13, but want to see the Redwood trees, the Everglades, the Rockies, etc.,” she said. “I also want to get to Europe and see Italy and Germany where my family is originally from. I also want to travel back to Australia and take my time exploring.”

“I feel that by actively contributing to the efforts of my organizations and my business, I serve as a positive example,” said Lake. “I have met many wonderful people through my work with these organizations and events,” she added. Lake likes to actively collaborate and make plans that positively impact the community. All through her high school and college days, she took on leadership roles and now that she lives in Manitowoc, she is also stepping up to take several committee roles and chair positions with the organizations and projects she is involved in. “The challenges of leadership have given me a better understanding of each groups’ mission and their impact on the community,” said Lake. “I naturally network with people no matter where I go. I am interested in learning different aspects and viewpoints. I am constantly looking for new opportunities and ways to connect and assist individuals and the community.” Lake’s future goals include starting a youth business mentoring program to actively assist others in reaching their personal and professional goals, to sponsor a scholarship, and to sit on the board of the Chamber.

Lake always has her purse with her. “It has everything I need or a ‘way’ to get what I need. It is my survival pack — a modern adaption of my field pack when I did wildlife work,” she said.

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She has earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Stevens Point in Wildlife and Biology and has lived and worked in several states including Alaska, Michigan, Minnesota and Mississippi. She also has enjoyed traveling to Mexico and Australia.

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15

102 North 8th St. Manitowoc • 684-3351 www.theflowergallery.org & Gallery Interior Design

Manitowoc Milk Producers Cooperative 428 S. 29th, Manitowoc, WI 684-5555


16

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

Sarah Peterson Sarah Peterson, born and raised in Manitowoc along with her husband, Travis, decided to return in 2000 after completing her college education to work, live and raise their children here. “We both have been fortunate to have been raised in such a great community and hold fond memories of our adolescent years,” said Peterson. She believes it is important to stay active in the community to instill a sense of pride in their children for the city they grew up in. Seven years ago, Peterson was introduced to an organization called Rebuilding Together the Manitowoc Chapter, which helps preserve and revitalize houses and communities. It assures that low-income homeowners, particularly the elderly and disabled families with children, live in warmth, safety and independence. “Each year, this organization completes a number of projects for deserving individuals making home modifications and repairs from light to heavy,” said Peterson.

Sarah Peterson is a 1995 graduate of Manitowoc Lincoln High School. During her time at the school, she was on the Ships’ girl’s basketball team. She went on to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting.

“My favorite TV show is ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit’ which  hooked me about five years ago. Unfortunately, the content of the show is not always the most pleasant, but it reports on the realities of life,  always with a twist at the end!”

“Not necessarily a food, but I crave daily — in the morning, it’s a necessity! — a nonfat mocha latte.”

She has recently joined the board of directors as vice president. In this role, she leads her own project, obtaining volunteers including co-workers and family members to assist in the completion of a project. Such projects have included work on the Manitowoc Domestic Violence Center and building a ramp and path to the street for a disabled child. The group has recently partnered with local construction companies to better assist needy individuals.

Peterson’s favorite hobby is attending sporting events, particularly Badger football games and Brewers games.

“Until you get involved, you will never know the impact that you can have on just one person,” said Peterson. “The appreciation of the homeowners is overwhelming and I believe each of us needs to give back to our community as you just never know when you may be in need of a hand,” she added.

“I would love to go somewhere warm especially during this time of the year! And, maybe in the company of Mickey Mouse for my kids, as this is something that I never experienced as a child.”

Although she is very proud of her community involvement, she is most proud of being a full-time working mother with three children — Kendra, 7, Brock, 5, and Taylor, 2. Peterson stays active and involved in her children’s education and extracurricular activities, attending field trips and Parent Teacher Association events. Peterson says she is fortunate to work for a local employer who is family oriented, Bank First National. She holds the position of lead credit analyst there. Although she is content in that role, she would like to eventually branch out in a lender role, with the desire to work more closely one-on-one with individuals and businesses in the community to assist them with their financial needs.

Peterson said the most important people in her life are members of her family.

“As a community, we need to strive to continue to improve the quality of life for each resident, through our community activities, as well as the involvement of our youth,” said Peterson.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

17

Stacie Schneider Stacie Schneider’s interest lies in educating youth, which she believes is truly the foundation of maintaining and improving Manitowoc County. As the human resources manager for Aurora Health Care, she has focused her community efforts in working closely with high school students to reinforce that health care offers many opportunities regardless of educational background. Through Schneider’s participation with Lakeshore Health Care Alliance, Aurora has been involved in several beneficial programs. LSHCA is a collaboration of health care facilities, community organizations and educational institutions that work closely to address work force issues in Manitowoc and Sheboygan counties. Aurora serves as a host site for Career Camp, providing hands-on activities for students selected to attend the one-week camp. In addition, LSHCA has developed a new program, Health Care Career Academy, which is an effort to generate interest in a health career as early as ninth grade.

Also under her direction, Aurora provides job-shadowing experiences for more than 150 students annually and sponsors a program called, Career Explorers. This is a 6-month program where high school students interested in health care learn about different career options from food service to nursing to physical therapy.

“I love mystery novels and am always amazed at the problem solving and analyzing that takes place to solve a crime. This is probably why I love all the ‘CSI’ shows, too.”

To further enhance educational opportunities in Manitowoc County, Schneider is a member of the Junior Achievement Advisory Committee. Ten classes have been initiated in the Manitowoc School District in the spring of 2010 in order to benefit from the excellent curriculum that Junior Achievement offers. “Assisting high school students in preparing them for the future is very rewarding and benefits our community by creating a better educated and skilled workforce,” said Schneider. “Since Manitowoc County has an elderly population, preparing a workforce to care for our citizens as the demand continues to increase will be a necessity.”

Sweets tempt Schneider, she said. “Especially when I drink coffee,” she added.

Schneider’s most recent community involvement included participating in Leadership Manitowoc County 2010-2011. She was asked to join the Employer of Choice Committee in partnership with Felician Village. “This is a great opportunity for me to utilize my human resources and health care experience to benefit the Felician Village,” said Schneider. “From a career perspective, I believe health care is one of the most important and rewarding industries today.”

“I prefer recreational activities such as camping with my family and enjoying the outdoors.”

WI-5001238848

Schneider has been married to Jason for 10 years and they have a 14-month-old daughter, Allie, and a Springer Spaniel, Sadie. They live in Kewaunee.

WI-5001238845

Schneider cherishes her 14-month-old daughter, husband, and the family’s Springer Spaniel.  Schneider would welcome the chance to take an Alaskan cruise. “I love the outdoors and love wildlife,” she said. 

“Through online college-credit courses, volunteering, research projects and actual hands-on work experiences, these students will be better prepared for the future,” said Schneider.

www.jagemann.com

Stacie Schneider is a 1992 graduate of Kewaunee High School. She went on to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business.

2915 Calumet Ave., Manitowoc (920) 683-5980

“The Authentic Sausage Makers” www.cher-make.com


18

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

David & Bridget VanGinkel

The VanGinkels are always prepared for new opportunities with “a business mind and a smart phone,” they said.

B&D Embroidery & Screen Printing is owned by David and Bridget VanGinkel, located at 1609 Washington Street in Two Rivers. It began in the summer of 2001 as a home-based business in Manitowoc as a way for Bridget to stay home and raise the couple’s two children, Shaughn and Cheryl.

The VanGinkels said they value “a strong family and vibrant business.”

Over the years, B&D has expanded into a full line of professional embroidery, silk screening, direct to garment printing, digitally printed and cut vinyl, signs, banners, vehicle graphics, etc. B&D also offers professional logo design and website development. In addition to the traditional apparel business, Bridget has used their equipment to develop a diverse line of dollhouse miniatures, which the VanGinkels wholesale to Hobby Builders Supply and www.miniatures.com, which is the largest distributor of dollhouse miniatures worldwide.

In their free time, you’re likely to find Bridget working on a crafting project, while David might be out fishing.

They talked about, but never acted upon the thought to take the business to the commercial level because of the time commitment David made to his full-time job at The Kohler Company. However, in the spring of 2009, David was laid off from his job after 11 years of service. Since there was no indication that David might be called back quickly and no other comparable manufacturing jobs in David’s field available, the couple decided to do what they always dreamed of, and took their home-based business to the commercial level. Now after 11/2 years in their commercial location, B&D Embroidery has quickly grown to be a diverse custom apparel business in Two Rivers.  In addition, they have added a full retail apparel and gift shop. They also produce handmade soy candles and custom glass etching.

“We really don’t go on vacation, as we love Two Rivers, and have made our home our oasis,” the VanGinkels said. “We have contemplated taking a family cruise, but to date that has never happened. When our business was home-based, we were just getting ready to take that cruise, and then David was laid off from his job at Kohler. At that point the savings we had went into taking our business to the commercial level. Now that we are fairly established, we are again trying to save money for that trip.”

B&D has developed a strong relationship with Carron Net of Two Rivers over the last year. Together, the two businesses have teamed up to offer volleyball nets with digitally printed bindings and basketball nets with digitally printed inserts, which are pressed right into the nets. These nets were featured at the 2010 NBA All Star game and will again be featured at the 2011 game in February. David and Bridget are members of The Chamber and are very active within the Two Rivers Business Association. They work closely with numerous nonprofit groups.  They are also involved with and volunteer their time to Kites Over Lake Michigan, Heart-ARama, Sundae Thursday, Cool City Classic Car Show, Ethnic Fest, and help organize the annual Two Rivers Fantasy Parade/Cool City Christmas.

While Bridget craves cake, David would rather opt for a pizza.

David and Bridget have plans to expand the business and eventually move to a larger facility and hire more people as the economy improves.

“If we are reading, it is usually trade magazines, and literature pertaining to our business,” said the VanGinkels.

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www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

19

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20

www.heraldtimesreporter.com | January 2011

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