Fox Cities Chamber Announces 2016 The EVENT: Celebrating Business Award Winners

Published Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Fox Cities Chamber and presenting sponsor, Baker Tilly, are excited to announce the winners of the The EVENT: Celebrating Business Awards 2016. The EVENT awards program recognizes individuals who embrace principled leadership, strategic thinking, balanced workplace values and an unrelenting pursuit of excellence. Individuals have a unique blend of vision, energy, perseverance and skill and have demonstrated outstanding achievements in operating businesses as well as leadership in the community.

Shannon Full, Fox Cities Chamber CEO shared, “The Fox Cities Chamber is proud to recognize these individuals for their many outstanding accomplishments and enduring service to our community. They join an esteemed group of past recipients who have dedicated themselves as professionals and volunteers to the well-being of the Fox Cities.”     


Business Hall of Fame Inductees

  • Ester “Cody” Splitt – Attorney (Retired)
  • Walt Rugland – Executive Vice President, Thrivent Financial (Retired)

The Business Hall of Fame is awarded to individuals who have demonstrated personal and business success, business leaders who have gained recognition and honor for outstanding achievement in their industry, who have been dedicated to the economic vitality in our community and are role models for future generations.


The Gus A. Zuehlke Distinguished Service Award

  • Richard Batley – President, R.B. Hospitality

This award is named in honor of Gus A. Zuehlke, a past Chairman of the Board of the Fox Cities Chamber. In the spirit of Gus’ passion for serving his community, this award honors an individual who has made outstanding contributions through leadership in business and service during his/her years as a Chamber member. This business leader has been a job creator through business endeavors, and has made significant contributions as a driver of economic growth in the Fox Cities. The recipient of this award will have a $5,000 award/grant donated in his/her name to the charitable organization of his/her choice.


Joyce Bytof Exceptional Mentor Award

  • Tom Wiltzius – President, Wiltzius Associates

Awarded to an individual who is proactive in the advancement of others by sharing time, talent and business experience for the purposes of promoting growth and opportunity in the Fox Cities community. 


ATHENA Leadership Award®

  • Jean Long Manteufel – Owner, A-1 Moving & Storage

Awarded to a woman who has achieved the highest level of professional excellence. This individual contributes time and energy to improve the quality of life for others in the Fox Cities community and actively assists others, particularly women, in realizing their full leadership potential.


Entrepreneur of the Year Award

  • Dave Willems – CEO and Principal, Willems Marketing and Events

Awarded to an individual who, through his/her own risk and initiative, has established a thriving and successful business.


The Champion of the Chamber Award 

  • Patrick Minskey – Advisor, Edward Jones

Awarded to an individual who, through his/her on-going volunteer efforts within the Fox Cities Chamber, helps strengthen the local economy through innovative leadership, workforce development, and community and business development. This individual influences both members and non-members to become more involved in the Chamber.


Young Professional of the Year Award

  • Alison Mayer – Corporate Communications Specialist, US Venture

The Young Professional of the Year award is first presented at the annual Future 15 Awards (an event celebrating young professionals in the Fox Cities) and selected from a highly accomplished group of Future 15 alumni. The winner is chosen based on their professional achievements, volunteer involvement, community impact, leadership and character. They must also demonstrate significant personal growth and an enhanced commitment to community since their initial recognition as a Future 15 winner. What sets this young person apart is a strong sense of vision for the Fox Cities, the unique ability to find their place within it and the ambition to make it greater than the sum of its parts.


These individuals will be honored and recognized for their achievements on Thursday, November 10th. General admission is $75, tables of 10 are available for $1,000 as well as additional sponsorships. Visit to register and for more information.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Radisson Paper Valley Hotel

333 W. College Avenue

Appleton, WI 54911

5:30 P.M. – 10:30 P.M

Premier Members

Miller Electric WE Energies Thrivent Financial BMO Harris