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Gala Nominees Announced, Farewell to Board President Martha VandeLeest and BEP Update from Anne Troka of sargento foods


A Letter From the President Hello 2021! Bring out the noisemakers!



Virtual Happy Hour

We know you’re excited to enter a new year, fresh with opportunity and possibility. We also know this past year has been a tough one. Quarantine and social distancing guidelines have largely moved the business Martha VandeLeest world entirely online, and pivots have been necessary to navigate unprecedented circumstances. Likely, your business started and ended the year with very different sets of goals, challenges, and experiences. So, as you look forward to 2021 pat yourself on the back for making it this far. While running a business during a pandemic (and through the resulting economic and societal challenges) has not been ideal, you’ve endured to the end of the year. You’ve likely come away with several business survival skills that have made your business stronger. But now, letting bygones be bygones, we’re ready to ring in 2021 with a bang, starting with some smart business goals. What are you resolving to do in the New Year? Time to set those goals to build a stronger, more prosperous business in 2021. Always remember the Chamber is here to help you! On a personal note, I want to thank our members and the Board of Directors for letting me serve as Board President for the past two years. It is a privilege for me to be associated with the Chamber, the members, volunteers, and the great work the Chamber does for our businesses and community. Our annual Membership meeting will be held on January 28, 2021 to vote on the board of directors and officer lineup for the upcoming year. This annual meeting will be held prior to the start of the scheduled Annual Economic Outlook meeting.


Covid-19 Update with Dr. Rai Prevea Health


New Date! 2021 Economic Outlook & Annual Breakfast


First Friday Forum: Brian Doudna, the new Executive Director of the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation

This will be my last article as your Chamber Board of Directors President. I enjoyed sharing my personal thoughts and celebrating the many Chamber accomplishments together. I wish you all a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!



from the desk of the executive director “You’ll never get bored when you try something new. There’s really no limit to what you can do.” -Dr. Seuss Phew…we made it and we are so excited for the hope of the New Year. The Chamber team is back in full effect and we will begin to host small, socially distanced meetings at the Chamber office later this month. We are so excited to see all of you again, please stop in and say “hello”! This past year as you know was grueling, but in looking back I realized I did a lot of fun things that I otherwise would not have probably done. We were forced to be nimble, Deidre Martinez which encouraged creativity and thinking outside the box. I renovated a kitchen, learned how to make ravioli’s from scratch – yummm, smoked a lot of meat on our new smoker, began walking five miles a day, stopped coloring my hair (yes it’s all gray now) and attempted to ski (that was not a pretty sight). My goals for 2021 include losing the ‘Covid 19 pounds’ I put on. It’s not a New Year’s resolution unless weight loss is included. But also to continue to try new things and have new experiences. What new things will you try this year?

This month we are preparing for our Economic Outlook Breakfast and Annual Meeting on Thursday, January 28th. We will say thank you to some board members that have served the Chamber for many years and we will also welcome new board members to the organization. We are thrilled to invite our partners from throughout the County to participate in the discussion, give us updates on their respective communities and share with us what we can expect in 2021. We hope you can join us. And of course, the Chamber Champions Gala, the event of the year will be Thursday, February 18th. We’ve got some exciting things in store and are thrilled to celebrate so many successes. Save the Date, more info coming soon! So this January, let’s say goodbye and good riddance and look forward to the promise of tomorrow and the excitement new opportunities can bring. The Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce is committed to providing value to our members, increasing economic vitality and the well-being of the business climate in Sheboygan County through, providing opportunities in Professional Development, Relationship Building, Governmental Affairs, Workforce Development and Young Professional Development. We are truly Better Together!


Molly, Coastal YPN Liaison Happy New Year Coastal YPN Nation! I hope the holidays gave everyone some time to decompress from the crazy year we just had! I know that it was a much-needed break for everyone here at the Chamber office. As this New Year rolls out we are very excited to get back into the swing of things by having events in person again. Last year we held 21 events, only having a couple in person and the rest virtually. The feedback we have received has been overwhelmingly positive and we are very grateful that the events we put on were what the network wanted. Thank you to everyone who participated and helped make the transition into virtual activities so easy, our success would not be possible without your support and continued participation.

Molly Talaska

We are ready to kick off the year and are hosting our first virtual event on Thursday, January 7th from 5:30-6:30 PM. A Virtual Happy Hour will kick off the New Year on a positive note by playing games and mingling with others in the network. We enjoyed ourselves so much at the last one that everyone wanted to have another to celebrate the ending of a crazy year, and to kick off the exciting year ahead. Keep an eye out for the fun stuff we are planning and the new things we will be introducing throughout the year. Here’s to a fresh start and a wonderful year! ~Stay Wavy~


News from THE DIRECTOR OF MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT I wish everyone a very healthy, prosperous, and Happy New Year! With 2021 in mind, our new Sponsorship Opportunities Guide is now available! We are a member-centric organization that relies exclusively on memberships and sponsorships. These two avenues allow us to “do what we do”, which includes multiple signature events, over 180 other annual events, provide networking and professional development, and workforce development, just to name a few! Please send me an email at scott@sheboygan.org or give me a call to get involved today! Planning ahead for 2021… • If you have not joined a Deep Dive yet, there are still openings for all groups. Start 2021 by engaging with other members of the Chamber from various business sectors. Health care, real estate, banking, insurance, painting and staining, attorneys, and many others are represented by exceptional people living in your county. Join a family of Deep Divers today!

Scott Kuehn

• Roundtables are a terrific way to meet others within your business sector. Whether it’s Human Resources, Sales & Marketing, Not for Profit, and others, you’re sure to learn something from your peers. These peer-to-peer networking groups can help any one of your employees, or yourself, accelerate your learning curve and minimize potential setbacks within your organization. Our own John Rogers does an outstanding job keeping each group on task, and always shares his own wealth of knowledge. Contact john@sheboygan.org and join a Roundtable today! Dates for Business After Hours are being requested now, so do not wait, give Carol Pringle a call at (920) 395-8706 to schedule your BAH today! There are only (4) months left in all of 2021 so call today! We are starting an exciting new year so please give me a call to become a member of the Chamber, discuss ribbon cuttings, join a committee, or schedule a meet and greet with me and get a personal member orientation! We have turned the page and let us make 2021 the best year ever! Remember, shop local, love thy neighbor, and stay healthy, because we are so much #BETTERTOGETHER! Cheers to 2021!


Business Education Partnership Update by Anne Troka, Sargento Foods Community Engagement Manager Sargento Foods On behalf of the Business Education Partnership (BEP) we would like to share our goals for 2021. Please feel free to let the Chamber know if you would like to become involved or learn more about any of these five focus areas. We look forward to continuing to help connect current as well as future talent with careers and employers in Sheboygan County. MISSION: The mission of the Business Education Partnership committee is to facilitate business, education, and community partnerships to advance workforce development. VISION: Future talent will demonstrate career readiness, contribute economically, and work towards financial independence. 18-24-year-olds • Senior Workforce Pathway – Inspire • Gap Year Experience – Lakeland University • GOAL: Overcome employer barriers in Technology, Transportation and Childcare – Libraries, School Districts, Chamber, and United Way Living/Family Wage, Healthcare Benefits and Tuition Reimbursement Programs • ALICE –United Way • Reality Day – Junior Achievement • Job Seekers Program – Consumer Credit Counseling • SHRM –SHRM • GOAL: Help talent understand the real value of job offers, living wages, beyond compensation to keep people out of ALICE population Diversity & Inclusion • MentorU – Big Brothers Big Sisters • BRGs – Company/Business Employee Resource Groups Community Impact Projects • GOAL: Connect students to employees who look like them and/or have similar backgrounds to support student success 16-17-year-olds • Explore Your Future – Sheboygan County Chamber/BEP • GOAL: Support students to connect personality type, strengths and interests to careers in Sheboygan County Community • Workforce Development Symposium – Sheboygan County Chamber/BEP • GOAL: Seek community input from business, education and community leaders to support development of future talent for Sheboygan County employers


Chamber Champions Gala Nominees Announced The Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce is ecstatic to announce the Chamber Champions Gala Nominees for the February 18th, 2021 event. Please see the nominees below and help us congratulate them on their 2020 nomination. Culinary Star of the Year – The Blind Horse, Harry’s Pizza Market, Local Press, Lino’s Italian Restaurant, Seeboth Deli, Field to Fork, Destination Kohler, Paddock Club. Manufacturer of the Year – Old Wisconsin Sausage, Torke Coffee, Curt G. Joa Inc., Plenco, Sargento Foods, Plymouth Industries, Sohn manufacturing, Millipore Sigma, Tactik Lighting, Bemis. Non—Profit Charity of the Year – Great Marriages, Habitat for HumanityLakeside, Sheboygan County Food Bank, RCS Empowers, Boys & Girls Club of Sheboygan County, Humane Society of Sheboygan County, Making Spirits Bright, Above & Beyond Children’s Museum, Rebuilding Together Sheboygan County. Resilient Business Award – Big Brothers Big Sisters of Sheboygan County, The Game Board, Lakeland University, Road America, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, Yoga on the Lake, Parm’s Landscape Management, Inc., Acuity. Retailer of the Year – Bluebird Sheboygan, Aventuron, Dulmes Carpet One Floor & Home, Sweet Potato’s Boutique. Safety Leader of the Year – Masters Gallery Foods, Sheboygan Senior Community, Plenco, Fortress Floors, Meijer, RCS Empowers, Sheboygan County and County Employees, Sheboygan Senior Center, Van Horn Automotive, Vintage Elkhart Lake, Fehr Graham. Services Organization of the Year – Jacobs Financial Solutions - Thrivent, Boys & Girls Club of Sheboygan County, Fortress Floors, Kohler Credit Union, Prevea Health, Rockline Industries, Steimle Birschbach, LLC, Wisconsin Recovery Community Organization, Parm’s Landscape Management Inc., Badger Restoration, Sheboygan County Division of Public Health, Timothy Saeger - Thrivent Financial, Dynamic Inc., Working Together Award – Inspire Sheboygan, Community Activity Packages, Plenco, Sheboygan County Division of Public Health, Evergreen Park Bike Trail, Firefest, SASD Full Day Support, Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice/ Engaged Marketing Co., Sheboygan Well County Project, HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital, LTC/Kohler, LTC/SASD, Vintage Elkhart Lake, Sheboygan County COVID19 Relief Fund.


$1,400 Stayed In Sheboygan County! Thank you to all those who helped keep our dollars local this holiday season! Our shop local gift box sets made great Christmas gifts and supported various small businesses in the community. In total, nearly $1,400 dollars stayed in Sheboygan County. Thank you for choosing to make a difference.


County Chamber

Raising Money for Sheboygan County Small Businesses When you choose your gift set, you’ll have the option to add a gift card. The past events sales of every gift card goes directly to your business of choice. Your support is appreciated now more than ever! Shop Local Bundle



Destination Bundle

$25 Gift Card Available

Ribbon Cutting: Sheboygan Luthern Highschool Expansion


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County Chamber

Newsletter sponsorship opportunities now available! Please contact Scott Kuehn at 920-918-1315 or scott@sheboygan.org for more information.


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January 2021 Better Together Newsletter  

IN THIS ISSUE: Gala Nominees Announced, Farewell to Board President Martha VandeLeest and BEP Update from Anne Troka of Sargento Foods

January 2021 Better Together Newsletter  

IN THIS ISSUE: Gala Nominees Announced, Farewell to Board President Martha VandeLeest and BEP Update from Anne Troka of Sargento Foods

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