Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation
Press Release

Wisconsin Main Street success stories celebrated at 33rd annual awards event

At Green Bay awards ceremony, WEDC salutes top 2023 revitalization projects

By - Apr 19th, 2024 09:00 am

GREEN BAY, WI. April 19, 2024 – The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) celebrated the best downtown revitalization projects of 2023 at the 33rd Wisconsin Main Street Awards ceremony held at Gather on Broadway in Green Bay.

“As Main Street goes, so goes Wisconsin’s economy, its well-being, our way of life in the Badger State,” said Missy Hughes, WEDC Secretary and CEO. “And these awards prove once again Wisconsin communities are thriving. Congratulations to the winners. We salute and celebrate you, our partners in creating an economy and improving the quality of life for the betterment and benefit of all.”

On behalf of Secretary Hughes, Sam Rikkers, WEDC Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer, recognized the winners at the awards ceremony.

“With many of these Main Street projects, we are preserving history and making history, leading by example in maintaining what sets Wisconsin apart,” Rikkers said. “While these projects in the heart of your communities are vital to local commerce and cultural activities today, they are part of our Badger State legacy we must preserve for future generations to enjoy.”

Other WEDC leaders also joined in the celebration of successful projects and initiatives executed by Main Street and Connect Communities programs around the state. Recognized projects included business and community development initiatives, building renovations, community celebrations, and revitalization success stories from across Wisconsin.

“Showcasing the variety of success stories from communities large and small is always inspirational,” said Mike Ward, WEDC vice president of business and community development. “The Main Street Awards ceremony celebrates the hard work, vision and dedication of those who are working tirelessly behind the scenes each day to preserve and promote their downtowns.”

Wisconsin Main Street is a community development program administered by WEDC that targets Wisconsin’s historic commercial districts. WEDC provides technical support and training to the 34 Main Street communities to help them revitalize their business districts based on guidelines developed by the National Main Street Center.

Since the program’s inception in 1987, Wisconsin Main Street community efforts have resulted in the creation of more than 3,300 new businesses and nearly 17,000 net new jobs, and over $2.6 billion in public and private investment has occurred in these districts. During fiscal year 2023 alone, Wisconsin Main Street communities added 112 new businesses and 287 net new jobs. None of this activity would be possible without the nearly 30,000 volunteer hours that were dedicated to the Main Street effort by passionate individuals from each community.

Also represented at today’s event were members of WEDC’s Connect Communities Program, a companion program to Wisconsin Main Street created in 2013 to provide access to resources and training to help communities pursue revitalization and redevelopment efforts. Over the past decade, 138 participating communities have added more than 870 net new businesses and attracted nearly $4.6 billion in public and private investment.

The 2023 competitive award winners include:

Best Façade Rehab Under $25,000

20 E. Main Street – Driftless Fitness and Yoga – Platteville

Best New Business

Sugar ‘N Spice Cheesecake & Coffee – Wausau

Best Retail Event

First Friday – Racine

Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging (Organization)

Diversity Through Design – Wausau

Diversity, Inclusion, & Belonging (Individual)

Royal Palmer – Platteville

Best Business Visual Merchandising Display (Interior)

Coming Home – Osceola

Best Business Visual Merchandising Display (Storefront)

Pear & Simple – Port Washington

Best Upper Floor Development

The Fharmacy Public House – Lake Mills

Best Placemaking Improvement Project

Honorable Mention – First National Bank Clock – Tigerton

Vital Essentials Dog Park – On Broadway, Inc. – Green Bay

Connect Communities Award-Under 5,000 Population

RevIV Aesthetics & Wellness, LLC, Owner: Marcy Davies, APNP, FNP-BC – Three Lakes

Gundersen St. Joseph’s Hospital and Clinics & City of Elroy

Connect Communities Award-Over 5,000 Population

Bucyrus Commons – City of South Milwaukee

Best Promotional Marketing Campaign

Honorable Mention – North for the 4th Sale – Tomahawk

Love Racine – Racine

Best Public-Private Partnership in Revitalization

Central Park 365 – Two Rivers

Best Business Development or Retention Program

Welcome to Downtown Business Toolkit & Grant Program – Fond du Lac

Best Volunteer Recruitment/Recognition/Activity

Dana Preibusch – Platteville

Best Business Success Story

Pete’s Garage – On Broadway, Inc. – Green Bay

Best Cooperative Business Marketing

Legendary Lake Mills “Love, Lake Mills Newsletter” – Lake Mills

Best Interior Renovation Project Under $50,000

Object Homewares – Wausau

Best Special Event

Honorable Mention – New Year’s Eve Cheese Drop – Monroe

Port Festival of the Arts – Port Washington

Best Digital Marketing Campaign

Pwr Forward Media, Twenty Fifth Hour & King Drive BID

Best Façade Rehab Over $25,000

Saks Holdings – De Pere

Best Interior Project Over $50,000

Cool City Brewing Company – Two Rivers

Best Historic Restoration Project

Honorable Mention – Bradley Mural – Tomahawk

Wausau Area Chamber of Commerce – Wausau

Best Adaptive Reuse Project

Hotel Verdant – Racine

2023 Wisconsin Main Street Hall of Fame Inductees

Tracy Hamilton – Monroe

Eileen Nickels – Platteville

Paul Jadin – Green Bay

Individuals recognized for exemplary service included:

Executive Director Years of Service Awards

Shauna El-Amin – Beloit (12 years)

Teri Ouimette – Chippewa Falls (13 years)

Dianne Eineichner – West Allis (16 years)

Amy Hansen – Fond du Lac (17 years)

Craig Tebon – Ripon (32 years)

2022 Community Champions

Tim Taylor – Beloit

Jim Holperin – Eagle River

Mike Leb – Fond du Lac

Kurt Carpenter – Green Bay

Dennis Keffer – Marshfield

Brittany Hurd – Monroe

Brandon Koehler – Osceola

Deanna Hinderman – Platteville

Judy Cotter – Port Washington

Cynthia (Cindy) Mueller – Tigerton

Joan Laabs – Tomahawk

Justin Miller – Viroqua

NOTE: This press release was submitted to Urban Milwaukee and was not written by an Urban Milwaukee writer. While it is believed to be reliable, Urban Milwaukee does not guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

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At Green Bay awards ceremony, WEDC salutes top 2023 revitalization projects

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