Polk County EDC Award Winners Recognized
Friday, May 31, 2019
The Polk County Economic Development Corporation’s Annual Awards Banquet was held Tuesday, May 21st, at BrowTine Restaurant and Event Center in Amery. The banquet is held each year to recognize the economic and community contributions of local businesses. This year, the event included Technical Education students from the high schools of Luck, Frederic, Osceola and Webster.
Approximately 120 people attended the program where awards were presented by State Senator Patty Schachtner, Assembly Person Gae Magnafici and Assembly Person Rob Stafsholt. In addition, letters of congratulations were delivered from U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and Congressman Sean Duffy. Also, in attendance were several representatives from various economic development organizations, the West Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, County Tourism, Workforce Resource and CESA 11.
Prior to the award presentations, Vince Netherland, Executive Director of the Polk County EDC, highlighted the economic progress made in Polk County over the past year. Specifically, he mentioned the new WITC Outreach Center in Balsam Lake, continued expansion of Broadband service, a county-wide housing study that is getting underway this June, and various business expansions and relocations to Polk County.
Another aspect of this program was the emphasis on the County’s young people and their success in developing much-needed technical and trade skills. Students and teachers from local schools displayed the skills and products developed in their school’s technical classes. Roy Ward, Technical Education Teacher and leader of Tiger Tech Manufacturing (a business run by Webster Students) was the featured speaker. His message to the attendees was to support our local schools in training students in important technical, trade, and business skills. The result will be the creation of a vital pipeline of future workers and business owners.
Agriculture Award: Recognizing the impact of agriculture in Polk County and its importance to the local economy and job opportunities.
Winner: Crystal Bell Farms Dairy
Family-owned and operated by Troy and Barb DeRosier, Crystal Ball Farms Dairy produces the freshest and highest quality products available. Milk, Cheese, hamburger and eggs are sold on-site and at near-by stores. They control all aspects of their products from growing the crops that the cows eat to processing the milk right on their farm.
The DeRosiers provide leadership in their community by directing attention and resources toward individuals with special needs. They employ special needs workers and host an annual ‘Special Kids’ event on their farm near Osceola. Their business is also a learning adventure for school children and families by offering tours that teach visitors about the many facets of operating a farm.
In March 2018, their cow barn and creamery were destroyed by fire, but they have been rebuilt and are fully operational in 2019.
Receiving the ‘Agriculture Award’ is Barb DeRosier and Lisa Erickson of Crystal Ball Farms.
Business Service Award: Recognizing excellent business performance along with providing significant contributions toward the betterment of the community and others.
Winner: 300 Club Bowling Alley and Event Center
Formerly known as Hacker’s Lanes, a group of business people led by Tim Vasatka, purchased the deteriorating bowling alley and event center and began remodeling and enhancing it to make it a center of activity in Frederic. By bringing new life to the 300 Club, this ownership group is providing a place for families and friends to gather for socializing and sport.
The newly renovated 300 Club’s Event Center, located upstairs, is a valuable resource for fundraising and community involvement including events that have raised money for the local library, youth sports, and numerous other charitable causes. The owners, Tim Vasatka, Randy Carey, Beau Carey, and Dave Carey invested their time and money to create a vibrant place for youths and adults to socialize and support the citizens and organizations of Frederic.
The ‘Business Service Award’ was presented to Beau Carey, Tim Vasatka, and Dane Carey of Frederic’s 300 Club Bowling Alley and Event Center.
Public Partnership Award (Two given): Recognizing a public/government entity that partners with private enterprise and generates significant benefits to Polk County.
Winner 1: Dennis and Jeannette Frandsen and the Frandsen Family Foundation
In addition to achieving incredible business success through the Frandsen Corporation’s entrepreneurial holding company, Dennis and Jeanette Frandsen are leaders in giving back to their communities. They consistently demonstrate a strong commitment to Polk County through their charitable giving and enterprises, including Frandsen Bank & Trust located in Luck.
In an incredible gesture, Mr. and Mrs. Frandsen announced last year that the Foundation would offer full two-year scholarships plus an allowance for books to any 2019 Luck High School graduate who attends technical college. This gift allows young people, who may not otherwise have the opportunity, to pursue higher education and develop much-needed skills. This gift contributes not only to the well-being of Polk County’s youth, but also to the Polk County business community and their growing need for skilled workers and leaders.
Winner 2: Wisconsin Indianhead Technical College (WITC)
WITC is a top-ranked college serving the northwest region of Wisconsin with multiple locations, including their new Outreach Center in Balsam Lake. They offer a variety of certificates available to earn in many different fields that are valued in Polk County and throughout the country.
The school is committed to bringing programs to Polk County, with a focus on providing technical training needed by local companies. The new WITC location in Balsam Lake enables citizens throughout the county to start their advanced education close to home and have access to WITC services without the commute to campus.
Dennis and Jeannette Frandsen receive a ‘Public Partnership Award’ from Assembly Person Rob Stafsholt.
Steve Dus and Liz Pizzi of WITC receive a ‘Pubic Partnership Award’ from Assembly Person Gae Magnafici.
Business of the Year: Recognizing excellence in business performance along with its contribution to Polk County and its citizens.
Winner: AFP Advanced Food Products
AFP advanced food products, located in Clear Lake, produces and packages food in today’s competitive and health-conscious environment. The company has a reputation as a manufacturer that is reliable, responsive, friendly and accessible. It is also known as a terrific employer with 160 employees and the company experiences very little turnover.
AFP advanced food products is recognized as an excellent corporate citizen due in part to its contributions to local organizations, youth, and community infrastructure. It also actively engages the local schools and colleges to promote manufacturing careers that enable people to support their families and their future in the Clear Lake area. In addition, the company is currently expanding with a new warehouse being built in Clear Lake.
Chuckie DeSmith of AFP advanced food products is awarded ‘Business of the year’ by State Senator Patty Schachtner.
Congratulations to all of the award winners and to all businesses in Polk County.