April 20, 2015, De Pere, WI: The 24th Annual Wisconsin Main Street Awards dinner, hosted by the Wisconsin Main Street program, was held at St. Norbert College in De Pere this past Friday. With over 300 in attendance, 21 awards were given to Main Street projects, events, campaigns and construction efforts (both new and rehabilitation).
Volunteers and board members from communities across the state were recognized, including some of our local members of Definitely De Pere. The annual event rotates locations throughout Main Street communities, but it was a timely year to host in De Pere as we are celebrating our 25th anniversary of being a part of the Wisconsin Main Street program. The final award recipients from De Pere included:
Board Member of the Year: Scott Hemauer, Hemauer & Zurawski (Ameriprise Financial)
One award recipient per Main Street community - Received for extensive contributions to Definitely De Pere board of directors. Scott is currently Board President.
Volunteer of the Year: Amy Sorenson, St. Norbert College
One award recipient per Main Street community - Received for extensive contributions to Definitely De Pere as a volunteer.
Best Digital Media Campaign: Burnham Richards Advertising & Definitely De Pere
One award recipient statewide
- Received for the launch of definitelydepere.org
and rebrand of De Pere Main Street program.
Best Interior Renovation: Starry Realty
Two award recipients statewide - Received for restoration work on the Historic Steckart and Falk Building on North Broadway in 2014.
Best New Building: Gehl Mulva Science Center (St. Norbert College, Miron Construction and Performa Inc.)
One award recipient statewide - Received for design, construction and use of Gehl Mulva Science Center on St. Norbert College campus.
Best New Business: Waseda Farms Market
One award recipient statewide - Received for creativity, economic impact and generation of downtown traffic in a Wisconsin Main Street community.
A distinctive honor and end to the program, longtime business owner and downtown advocate Joe Schinkten of Ryan Funeral Home was inducted into the Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame for his lifetime contributions to De Pere's successes.
De Pere is celebrating its quasquicentennial (125th) anniversary in 2015, as well as 25 years of being a part of the Wisconsin Main Street program. As one of the first five communities in the Wisconsin Main Street program, De Pere has achieved great success since the program's beginnings in 1990. Patterns of downtown vacancy have been reversed, business recruitment and retention has stayed strong, and dozens of buildings have rehabilitated and restored their historic characteristics. Many new events and downtown improvements are scheduled for 2015 to highlight the 125th anniversary, including events taking place every Friday of the summer, new downtown banners, hanging flower baskets and more.