GREEN BAY, WI — Rep. Mike Gallagher (WI-08) today announced additional recipients of the Northeast Wisconsin Service (NEWS) Award, an initiative he launched in June to honor individuals who went above and beyond to help keep Wisconsin moving during the shutdown. These unsung heroes come from a variety of backgrounds, including truck drivers, nursing home employees, and grocery store workers.
“In the face of the unprecedented challenges posed by the Coronavirus, men and women across Northeast Wisconsin stepped up to help our community get through the worst of this crisis” said Rep. Gallagher. “It’s an honor to recognize these unsung heroes, and as we head into Labor Day weekend, I can’t think of a more appropriate time to show our appreciation to those who helped keep our state moving.”
Recent recipients of the NEWS Award come from every county in Wisconsin’s Eighth Congressional District. Descriptions of the work they did to receive the recognition can be found below.
Photos and videos for publication and/or broadcast are available upon request.
Janet Jakubek for Nueske’s Applewood Smoked Meats (Shawano County)
When faced with the challenges of the pandemic, Janet, who manages the Mail Order Division, led her division and made adjustments to handle the increased demand from customers. While making the adjustments, her team was able to maintain a 99% on-time, in-full customer service experience with limited staff. Janet exemplifies the ability to adapt to the challenges thrown at her.
Marion Body Works (Waupaca County)
At the beginning of the pandemic, Marion Body Works was deemed an essential business as a manufacturer of fire and emergency apparatus, commercial truck bodies and defense vehicles. With the health and safety of their community at the forefront of their priorities, Marion Body Works partnered with food pantries in Marion, Clintonville and Manawa to help keep their shelves stocked during the pandemic.
Devon Erdmann, Menominee Nation News (Menominee County)
At the outbreak of the Coronavirus, the Menominee Indian Tribe declared a State of Emergency, and the Menominee Nation News was called upon to disseminate vital news to the community about the virus. As News Director, Devan stepped up and released updates on the pandemic daily through their e-news outlet. Devan’s actions made it possible to reach more members of her community in a timely matter, and her leadership in community news is appreciated by many.
Austin Straubel International Airport (Brown County)
The travel industry was hit especially hard when the novel Coronavirus pandemic hit. Austin Straubel Airport, however, was not only able to stay open, they incorporated new daily sanitation practices and installed innovative air filters to keep travelers and employees safe and healthy.
Team Industries (Outagamie County)
Team Industries has been and continues to be essential throughout this pandemic, providing steel piping for the oil and pipeline industry to support the Department of Homeland Security. In these unprecedented times, this company stepped up to safely continue to provide much needed infrastructure assistance to the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Defense, working day and night to get the job done.
Appleton International Airport (Outagamie County)
To overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Appleton International Airport took many steps to ensure a clean environment for their passengers. By focusing on deep-cleaning practices, air sanitation, installing sneeze guards and hand sanitizers, and adding restroom stalls for social distancing, ATW went above and beyond to keep connecting people in a safe way.
Proto-1 Manufacturing, LLC (Winnebago County)
Maintaining Proto-1’s manufacturing and delivery of tube end forming equipment was vital to many huge industries such as Automotive, Aerospace, Infrastructure and more. Their ability to adapt and keep up on time deliveries during the Coronavirus have helped keep the economy moving in many areas that would struggle without them, all while keeping themselves and their customers safe.
Hilde Bennin, Hilde’s Deli and Bakery (Calumet County)
Despite the challenges posed by this pandemic, Hilde Bennin did more than just keep her small business afloat,” said Rep. Gallagher. “By buying and selling an overwhelming amount of products from Wisconsin, she helped support other hardworking Wisconsinites as well. She’s a shining example of how our community came together to help each other get through the worst of this crisis.
Pagel’s Ponderosa (Kewaunee County)
Pagel’s Ponderosa is a family farm whose values are felt by their employees and community, especially during this pandemic. As a dairy and food processor, animal care and product were as important as ever, and Pagel’s Ponderosa was able to keep their employees working in a safe and productive way to get communities the food products they needed.
NEWCAP (Oconto County)
During this unprecedented time, NEWCAP has assisted over 20 homeless families obtain housing, delivered food to individuals and families, and offered an opportunity to defer car payments for families’ whose income was affected by the pandemic. As a Community Action Agency, they have worked with over 600 households that needed assistance with job loss, food insecurity, transportation, budget counseling, housing, health and so much more. NEWCAP is a true community leader and their efforts during the pandemic have been heroic.
City of Peshtigo Fire Department (Marinette County)
During the spread of COVID-19, the volunteer-based Peshtigo Fire Department played an active role in keeping the public updated on what individuals can do and what precautions to take. The Department went above and beyond to foster community morale by partnering with the Peshtigo Police to celebrate a local 5 year old’s birthday, and bring some light-hearted and safe fun during an uncertain time.
Howard-Suamico School District’s Strategic Leadership Team (Brown County)
Mike Juech, Jennie Garceau, Brian Nicol, Becky Walker, Mark Smith, and Damian LaCroix, members of Howard-Suamico School District’s Strategic Leadership Team (HSSD), stepped up immensely to ensure the safety and health of their students, their families, and employees when reopening the school. Understanding that the health of the student body is the first priority, the HSSD team met throughout the summer to address physical spaces, transportation, healthy environments, and emotional and mental support.
Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding (Door County)
Despite the many challenges posed by the pandemic, the hardworking men and women at Bay Shipbuilding didn’t miss a beat. Their efforts helped ensure that the company’s operations, including time-sensitive repairs to the Great Lakes Winter Fleet, not only continued, but expanded during the worst of the crisis.
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