OED’s annual awards honor three in county

By Kathleen Cady Schilling

Oct. 7, 2014

 Vince Cameranesi, left, president of Partnership Bank, presents the OED’s large Business of the Year award to Mike Ansay of Ansay & Associates.    
Photo supplied

What makes a business good or the best? Stockholders may tell you, companies with the biggest profits. Customers may tell you, lowest prices or good customer service. Community leaders may tell you, good employers or strong community support. Ozaukee Economic Development says that a good business should have all of those elements.

In 2013, OED decided to begin a program to recognize “good businesses.” The program looks at the businesses’ growth in profits or sales, growth in employment and community service or support. In 2013, we recognized two businesses as our Businesses of the Year, Kapco Inc. as our Large Business of the Year and From Scratch Catering as our Small Business of the Year.

In 2014, we received a strong pool of applicants. The committee struggled, looking at the many excellent businesses we have in the county, before selecting our 2014 winners.

On Sept. 24, OED honored three businesses as our Businesses of the Year; Ansay & Associates won in our Large Business Sector, Johnson Level won in our Mid-Size Business Sector and Shully’s Cuisine & Events won in our Small Business Sector. All three businesses personified good businesses showing growth in their business, employees and strong community support.

Ansay & Associates, headquartered in Port Washington, was founded in 1946 by Adolph Ansay and continues to remain a family-run business. Since 1995, the company has been in a growth-and-expansion mode, opening in new markets as well as growing its employees from 85 to 200 currently. As a company that focuses on a relationship of trust and integrity with their clients, community support is vital to the company and they are contributors to Port industries, the Luxembourg American Cultural Center and the Port Washington Historical Society and others.

Johnson Level, located in Mequon, was founded in 1947 and is a leading manufacturer of professional-quality tools.  It is a third-generation family-owned business that has focused on improving workforce optimization and international sales to see both business growth and workforce growth over the past five years.

 Mequon Mayor Dan Abendroth, right, joins Paul Buzzell, chief financial officer of Johnson Level, recognized as the medium Business of the Year.    
Photo supplied

The company also gives back to the community, through its service with the WOW Workforce Development Board, Mequon-Thiensville Board of Education, Junior Achievement and the Boy Scouts of America.

Shully’s Cuisine & Events is located in Thiensville, where it has been since 1984.

 Scott and Beth Shully, holding plaques, accept the Ozaukee Economic Development award to Shully’s Cuisine & Events for the small Business of the Year in Ozaukee County. They were joined, from left, by Karl Hertz, a county supervisor representing Thiensville; Van Mobley, Thiensville village president; and Dianne Robertson, Thiensville village administrator. Scott and Beth Shully, holding plaques, accept the Ozaukee Economic Development award to Shully’s Cuisine & Events for the small Business of the Year in Ozaukee County. They were joined, from left, by Karl Hertz, a county supervisor representing Thiensville; Van Mobley, Thiensville village president; and Dianne Robertson, Thiensville village administrator.   
Photo supplied

The company, which was founded by Scott and Beth Shully, has seen significant growth in its revenue stream and an ever-expanding base of clients. Shully’s added a new permanent event space, The Watermark, in Thiensville in 2012 and has been cultivating relations with other event venue spaces as well. Shully’s has always been a strong community partner, working with nonprofits and community organizations by providing reduced room fees and food costs.

All three of these businesses exemplify what a quality business should be. At our breakfast on Sept. 24, more than 200 attendees came to recognize these businesses. 

Henry Ford once said, “A business that makes only money, makes a poor business.”

All three of these businesses show that a good business can both make money, as well as be strong employers and good community citizens. OED is happy to have three such strong businesses in our community.

Kathleen Cady Schilling is executive director of Ozaukee Economic Development.