Local businesses recognized for community involvement at county awards gala

Freeman Staff

June 18, 2019

WAUKESHA — Several Waukesha County businesses were recognized for their success and community involvement during a Waukesha County Awards Gala Thursday, the Waukesha County Business Alliance announced Friday.

Holly Hawkins, president of Tri-North Builders’ Milwaukee office, won Waukesha County Advocate of the Year based on her youth outreach efforts and her passion for combating the skilled worker shortage in Wisconsin, according to a press release.

Hawkins is involved in Waukesha County Business Alliance’s Construction Alliance, which focuses on raising the perception of career pathway opportunities and creating interest for youth in pursuing trades.

She also sits on the education policy committee and has arranged and hosted multiple Careers Uncovered programs at Tri-North’s Waukesha office, which brought together educators and school counselors with construction professionals.

First Bank Financial Centre received the Large Business of the Year award for their commitment towards living up to their mission statement, “Make Lives Better.” The company has made lives better through charitable giving and for racking up 12,500 in volunteer hours each year. The company, which celebrated its 160th anniversary this year, was also recognized for being an outstanding employer of choice.

Generac Power Systems and Waukesha State Bank were finalists for the Large Business of the Year award.

R& R Insurance Services won the Medium Business of the Year award for their family ownership, dedicated in-house resources for clients and a strong commitment to the community. This summer, the company will relocate to a new 60,000 square-foot corporate headquarters.

Ruekert & Mielke and Vrakas CPAs + Advisors were finalists for the Medium Business of the Year award.

SWICKtech, a New Berlin IT company, won the Small Business of The Year award. The company’s motto is that all businesses have the potential to grow when they embrace evolving technology. SWICKtech is also known for putting relationships and the future first.

All Occasions/Bubb’s BBQ and Orange Hat Publishing were Small Business of The Year award finalists.

The Women’s Center won the Large Nonprofit of the Year award. The Women’s Center provides safety, shelter and support to empower all impacted by domestic abuse, sexual violence, child abuse and trafficking. The organization’s model is unique to Waukesha County as they are the only agency that provides all their programs and services at no cost to adults and children throughout the region.

Family Promise of Waukesha County won the small nonprofit of the year award. Since 2014, Family Promise has been helping homeless families with children regain and retain their independence. They partner with faithbased communities and other groups, utilizing their buildings and volunteers along with their day center to provide free room and board for up to 90 days.

An independent judging panel reviewed nominees based on their commitment to good business practices, customer-focused commitment, community service involvement, history of employee relations, financial growth and consistency, education partnerships and workforce development.

Nonprofit nominations were reviewed based on the following criteria: promotes health, safety and quality of life, fulfills the mission of the organization, financial sustainability and engages in collaborations and partnerships.

Holly Hawkins, president – Milwaukee office, Tri-North Builders; Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO, Waukesha County Business Alliance.
Submitted photos


Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO, Waukesha County Business Alliance; Mark Mohr, president and CEO of First Bank Financial Centre; Tim Casey, director, economic development, Waukesha County Center for Growth.

Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO, Waukesha County Business Alliance; Ken Riesch, president and CEO of R& R Insurance; Tim Casey, director, economic development, Waukesha County Center for Growth.

Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO, Waukesha County Business Alliance; Nicole Rosenberg, director of service delivery, SWICKTech; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Tim Casey, director, economic development, Waukesha County Center for Growth.

Mike Ward, senior vice president and regional manager for US Bank; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; David Tennyck, executive director of Family Promise of Waukesha County; Tim Casey, director of economic development, Waukesha County Center for Growth.

Suzanne Kelley, president and CEO, Waukesha County Business Alliance; Mike Ward, senior vice president and regional manager for US Bank; Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow; Angela Mancuso, executive director of The Women’s Center; Tim Casey, director, economic development, Waukesha County Center for Growth.