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Awards

It’s always nice to get an award for diligent efforts.  De Pere’s local government, businesses, and business owners consistently deliver excellent results and are rewarded for doing so!  Here are some of the recent awards bestowed upon our community members and local government.

2015 Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame

Joe Schinkten, 2015 Inductee

This award recognizes an individual who has made considerable contributions to their Wisconsin Main Street community. Joe Schinkten, community member and local business owner of Ryan Funeral Home has been instrumental in Downtown De Pere’s revitalization. As one of the original champions that helped bring Main Street designation to De Pere in 1990, Joe has never stopped working to improve our community. He’s been integral in projects like Celebrate De Pere, the Claude Allouez Bridge project, and the De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier, to name a few. Joe exemplifies service leadership, and is well-deserving of this honor for his lifelong contributions to our community.

2015 Wisconsin Main Street Best New Business

Waseda Farms Market

This award recognizes an outstanding new business which has opened in a Wisconsin Main Street community. Waseda Farms Market is the first organic grocery store of its kind in Northeast Wisconsin, and brings the largest selection of organically raised meats to our area. In addition to farm-raised meats, Waseda carries a wide selection of groceries and a full-service deli with freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, wraps and soups offered daily. The store has spurred further growth of healthy lifestyle oriented businesses in the immediate vicinity of the Market, and works closely with multiple other downtown business partners.

2015 Wisconsin Main Street Best New Building

Gehl-Mulva Science Center & Performa, Inc.

The Gehl-Mulva Science Center was a partnership between two downtown entities – St. Norbert College and local De Pere architectural and engineering firm, Performa, Inc. The transformation of an outdated science facility into a world-class science learning center and home to Medical College of Wisconsin’s newest satellite campus is a huge economic driver for De Pere and for the region.

2015 WI Main Street Best Interior Renovation Project

Starry Realty 

This award recognizes a property owner who has transformed an underutilized historic property into a space that not only is useful, but pays homage to its historic past. Rich Starry of Starry Realty invested heavily in 112 N. Broadway over the past year to transform a former restaurant into a modern office and community gathering space. His business model focuses on “bringing real estate back to Main Street” – the perfect fit for our downtown business community.

2014 Young Professional Entrepreneur of the Year Award

Matt Lutsey, Owner of Waseda Farms Market 

This Current Young Professionals Network award is presented to a local business owner who exemplifies and holds true a commitment to Brown County through his/her demonstrated business entrepreneurial accomplishments. Matt helped to expand his father’s Door County based organic farm and brought the first store of its kind to the greater area with their De Pere organic market. The store includes organic meats, groceries and a full-service deli serving lunch daily.

Photo courtesy of the Kress Inn

2014 Platinum Hospitality Award

St. Norbert College’s Kress Inn 

This award is presented to hotels who meet the utmost standards of excellence and offer outstanding guest service within the Choice Hotels corporation.  The Kress Inn hotel is among the top percentage of properties within the Ascend Hotel Collection brand. As one of the company’s top franchised hotels operating under the Ascend Collection flag, the hotel has demonstrated an exceptional focus on guest satisfaction and dedication to providing superior service.

Photo by Definitely De Pere

2013 Young Professional Entrepreneur of the Year

Michelle Axford, Owner of The Cupcake Couture

This Current Young Professionals Network award is presented to a local business owner who exemplifies and holds true a commitment to Brown County through his/her demonstrated business entrepreneurial accomplishments. Michelle transformed her at-home catering businesses into a successful storefront debut in May 2013 and has transformed the area as the first boutique cupcake bakery in Northeast Wisconsin. Moving into gourmet popcorn and gelato for summer of 2014, Michelle is championing foodie trends in De Pere!

Photo by Definitely De Pere

2013 Wisconsin Main Street Best Downtown Public Improvement: Built Environment

De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier

This award is given to a municipality and/or Main Street organization that has designed and implemented attractive and sympathetic improvements to improve the built environment in the downtown.  The De Pere Riverwalk and Wildlife Viewing Pier has transformed the Fox Riverfront in downtown De Pere by bringing the community “into the river” with a series of viewing decks and piers for fishing, sightseeing, and catching and up-close perspective of the rushing Fox River over the De Pere dam.  This multi-million dollar project was funded and constructed through a series of partnerships between private individual and corporate donors, public support from the City of De Pere, Fox River Navigational Authority, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Completed in 2013, the Riverwalk officially opened to the public in May.

Photo by Dennis Jensen

2013 Wisconsin Main Street Best Public-Private Partnership in Downtown Revitalization

Honorable Mention to City of De Pere & Definitely De Pere

The Wisconsin Main Street program honors a local Main Street program and government entity that have demonstrated the highest degree of cooperation in downtown revitalization efforts.  The City of De Pere has made diligent efforts to support Definitely De Pere both administratively and financially since it restructured in 2012.

Photo by Definitely De Pere

2013 Wisconsin Main Street Best New Downtown Business

Honorable Mention to Chateau De Pere & Cafe Chanson

This award recognizes an outstanding new business which has opened in a Wisconsin Main Street community. Chateau De Pere and Cafe Chanson are a part of the Harp & Eagle Ltd. brand, which owns multiple boutique hotels and restaurants across the state of Wisconsin.  In keeping with their European themes, Cafe Chanson and Chateau De Pere are the first French themed accomodations within the company.  The French theme is a perfect fit for our French community, and this beautiful hotel offers riverfront rooms with views of the recently completed De Pere Riverwalk. Cafe Chanson, the on-site restaurant has received regional acclaim for their Provençal style (French countryside) cuisine.  The hotel and restaurant were recently featured in Midwest Living.

Photo by Definitely De Pere

2013 WI Main Street Best Adaptive Reuse Project

Nell & Associates 

This award is granted to the best adaptive reuse of a building that has outlived its former use.  The De Pere Public Library was open from the 1930s through the early 2000s, but when the new branch of the Kress Family Library offered major expansion opportunities for De Pere residents, the De Pere Public Library fell into periods of vacancy and disrepair. Rick Nell of Nell & Associates has done a beautiful job of restoring and repurposing the Nationally Registered historic building to maintain the look of the former library, but serve a new purpose as professional office space for a law firm and financial planning office.