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Downtown Menomonie holds annual meeting, recognition awards given

Downtown Menomonie recently held their Annual Meeting. Recognition awards were given out in a number of categories including Friends of Main Street, Preserving our Heritage, Downtown Revitalization, Spirit of Giving and Spirit of Excellence. All information and pictures taken from the Downtown Menomonie Facebook page. Picture credit to Jenn Tack.

The Float Winner for "Best Illumination" was given to the City of Menomonie – Department of Community Services for their fully illuminated Snow Plow. Accepting the award was Dave Frank.

The Award for the Best use of the “Rock” in Holidays” Theme was given to Cedar Corporation and their very impressive Flintstone Mobile. Accepting the award was Ashley Prange.

The “Friends of Main Street” award acknowledges individuals who gave significantly of their time to help us with an event or project.

The first Friend of Main Street award of the evening was awarded to UW-Stout Professor Alex DeArmond. Ever since there was a Main Street, there was a Main Street Parking problem. Alex assisted Downtown Menomonie with parking way-finding solutions when he assigned the problem to students in his Design Course. The students came up with unique ideas to help people understand and identify parking spots more readily. Board member, Dave Beck was in attendance to accept the award on behalf of Alex and UW-Stout.

Another Friend of Main Street Award went to Jeff Gust. For many Winter

Daze Parades, Jeff Gust from Cedar Corporation. Jeff has assisted us with our sound system operation and equipment. In addition, he has assisted in live streaming the Winter Daze Parade. We appreciate your assistance over the years, Jeff, and thank you for your contribution.

Another Friend of Main Street Award was given to Chamber of Commerce CEO Ashley DeMuth. Ashley has always been a Friend of Main Street and has helped us out when needed. This past year, she served on the Executive Director Hiring Committee. Ashley provided valuable perspective and feedback. Her assistance also strengthens the partnership between the Chamber and Downtown Menomonie. We are fortunate to have a great working relationship with the

Chamber and fortunate to have Ashley as CEO.

Last but not least, is a man that needed no introduction. Stacy

Wigfield served as interim director from August through October while the Executive Director Hiring Committee searched for a new director. Stacy was outstanding in the interim role. Stacy also ended the year as the Grand Marshal of the Winter Daze Parade.

The "Preserving Our Heritage" award goes to individuals or businesses that have, in some form or fashion, preserved the character of our Historic Downtown.

The first Preserving Our Heritage Award was given to Wade Lambrigtsen, owner of Vintage Sign Company, often times called "Wade the Sign Guy". Wade has been an artistic force in creating signage for our downtown businesses that is artfully aesthetic, functional and ties us together with some common approaches. We are fortunate to have a man with Wade’s talent in our community.

Another well-deserved Preserving Our Heritage Award went to Ember + Eve Co. Ember + Eve Co continues to be a leader in our Downtown Beautification efforts. Their efforts are on display every time you enter the downtown via Highway 29. The Menomonie Mural is a beautiful piece of art that captures our history and culture. This would not have been possible without the efforts of Ember + Eve Co.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) has an affiliation with Mainstreet programs, specifically in the area of downtown revitalization. While Downtown Menomonie gives assistance with revitalization, it is the Business Owners and Property Owners that make the difference through the revitalization of their interiors and exteriors. We awarded three businesses with the "Downtown Menomonie Revitalization" award for 2022.

The first Downtown Revitalization Award of the event was given to Jeremiah Gerdin. Jeremiah came on the scene a few years ago and has been busy at improving the interiors and exteriors of numerous of his buildings. He has worked with the leadership of Downtown Menomonie and the WEDC to make significant improvements in our downtown.

The second of three Downtown Menomonie Revitalization awards went to Kayla Blue at Vintage Patina. Kayla has created an incredibility appealing storefront with fantastic interior ambiance. Kayla is also a new board member in 2023. Thank you, Kayla.

Last but not least, Maysa Maraia at Barbalynn's Vintage was awarded with a Downtown Menomonie Revitalization award. Maysa has created an eclectic interior and has filled her story with a lot of character. At only 20 years old, Maysa has pulled off a tremendous achievement owning her own store front.

The "Spirt of Giving" Award is given to individuals that have given of themselves offering random acts of kindness to the downtown Businesses.

Peter Gruetzmacher is one of those individuals who earned the Spirit of Giving award. Peter helped out in a pinch when our Winter Daze Parade had transportation issues for Santa. With very little lead time, Peter offered the use of his convertible to be utilized as Santa’s sleigh. Also, on multiple occasions this winter, Peter has assisted with snow removal. He has donated to many events and functions and the Silver Dollar is one of the four restaurants tonight who provided food at their cost. Thank you Peter and Silver Dollar.

Dale Manor was awarded the Spirit of Giving award for being the artist behind The Menomonie Mural, which is a wonderful piece of art that has brightened our downtown. The Mural would not have been possible without the generosity of time and effort by

Dale Manor and Ember + Eve Co. Dale has created a piece of art that will be enjoyed by generations. The Mural greets visitors as they enter Menomonie from Highway 29. Thank you, Dale.

Our final award of the evening was the "Spirit of Excellence". These awards are

given to people that the Board of Directors believes embody –The Spirt of Excellence.

Dave Frank with City of Menomonie Community Services, has for many years helped the Winter Daze Parade (and many other events) with the important details – such as street closures. Dave has been a part of the Winter Daze Parade Committee and has been instrumental in that event being a success. We appreciate all your work and effort Dave.

Finally, we want to recognize the contributions of Randy Eide. The impact that Randy has made to our city and to the downtown are immeasurable. For almost 20 years, Randy has been a go to problem solver in our community, in his role as the Director of Public Works. Randy was in charge of the city departments of: water and sewer, community services (including streets and parks), building inspections and projects and overall economic development and city planning. Randy has helped with downtown beautification projects and somehow would find the time to volunteer for our organization on our Winter Daze Parade or Flag Day committees. Randy has been a real friend to Downtown Menomonie and embodies the Spirit of Excellence in many ways. Thank you, Randy.

We like to recognize our retiring Board Members and acknowledge their service over the years. Lisa Anshus-Frank has provided strong leadership and service over the years. We recognized Lisa for her service to our organization and the community over the past several years. Thank you, Lisa.

The two below were unable to make it to our Annual Meeting last week but we wanted to ensure that they get the recognition they deserve. Bethany and Eric from City of Menomonie were awarded the "Spirit of Excellence" award which is given to people that the Board of Directors believes embody –The Spirit of Excellence.

While Mike did say that Bethany was the "most feared woman in Menomonie" those of you who have met her know that is not the case, it is the job title that is actually to be feared and Bethany is in fact really nice (and likes cookies). Bethany has impacted our downtown in positive directions. Bethany was a part of the UW-Stout Class project that examined parking wayfinding. Bethany assisted in the Parking App that makes parking more user friendly. Bethany also is a member of the Winter Daze committee and is/was invaluable in the logistics around float setup on Wilson Street.

Chief Eric Atkinson deserves a lot of thanks from the Downtown and from Downtown Menomonie. Known by many as “the Chief,” Eric has been extremely generous with this time and his contributions to this community. Being the Chief of Police is extremely difficult job, but it did not prevent The Chief from serving on the Downtown Menomonie Hiring Committee or in contributing his leadership and organization skills to serving as the Chair of the Winter Daze Parade Committee. Some would go so far as to say that the Chief is just too good at his job if he can balance all these obligations. Downtown owes you much gratitude, Chief. Thank you for your support.

Downtown Menomonie Inc. Board -

Pictured: Ashley Prange from Cedar Corporation, Stacy Erickson from WESTconsin Credit Union, Phil Lyons from Downtown Menomonie, Jon Krupke from Cobblestone Inn & Suites, Becca Schoenborn from Menomonie Market Food Co-op, Jeff Frawley from Estilo Salon, Mike Stewart from Silver Dollar, Amanda Kahl from Heike Wealth Management, Lisa Anshus-Frank from Anshus Jewelers, sneaky new Downtown Menomonie business owner front and center, Dave Beck from UW-Stout, Kayla Blue from Patina Vintage, John Heike from Heike Wealth Management, Barb Bauer Chen from C&J's Candy Store and Scoop Shoppe, and Jenn Tack from Menomonie Police Department.

Thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Meeting. We want to thank the Downtown Business and Property Owners for making this event possible. Thank you to Raw Deal for hosting our event. Thank you to Silver Dollar, Menomonie Market Food Co-op, Ted's Pizza Palace and Log Jam Bar and Eatery for providing food for the event. Finally, thank you to the City of Menomonie for supporting our organization through service and funding so that we can achieve our mission of enhancing the vitality of Menomonie by supporting the downtown as a community, historic and economic center.


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