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2019 Community Awards Presented at Annual Meeting

Envision Greater Fond du Lac recently presented its 2019 Community Award recipients. Below are the recipients and their many accomplishments.

Business Excellence Awards: Hierl Insurance & LaClare Family Creamery

Hierl Insurance is a legacy company within the Fond du Lac community and has celebrated 100 years of business excellence. Mike Hierl is third generation owner and current president of the company that began with his grandfather, Harry T. Hierl. In January 2020, Hierl Insurance entered into a strategic partnership with M3 to offer a broader range of insurance offerings and resources while maintaining their strong commitment to individual attention and personal relationships with their clients.

Mike Hierl of Hierl Insurance accepts the Business Excellence Award alongside his father, Tom.

LaClare Family Creamery was founded in 1978 and has gone through many changes in its business since that have continued to allow the company to grow and be a leader in the farming industry. The artisan goat milk creamery began with two goats inherited by Larry and Clara Hedrich and has since grown into a large-scale production of cheeses, milks, and other goat milk products in Malone, Wisconsin. Showing the true strength of their product, the company’s Evalon and Chandoka cheeses are U.S. Cheese Championship award winners. LaClare Family Creamery includes a café, provides school tours, and will host the 2020 Fond du Lac County Breakfast on the Farm event later this year.

Clara and Larry Hedrich accept their Business Excellence Award for LaClare Family Creamery.

Eden-Schneider Award: Treffert Way for the Exceptional Mind

The Eden-Schneider Award recognizes an organization’s collaborative spirit to have a positive impact on employees, their industry, or the community. The award was founded in recognition of the collaborative spirits of former board chairs Tom Schneider, President of Silica For Your Home, and Dr. James Eden, Vice President of Academic Affairs at Moraine Park Technical College, to bring together the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce and Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation. This resulted in the creation of Envision Greater Fond du Lac as it is known today.

The Treffert Way for the Exceptional Mind will be presented with the Eden-Schneider Award. The Treffert Way is a school inclusive of diverse learners with appropriately matched educational resources that invite all students to explore and recognize their potential for life success. Located in the North Fond du Lac School District, the Treffert Way came into being out of a strong collaboration and intentional desire to nurture the potential within all students. The school, while supported by many passionate individuals, came to be through the efforts of Dr. Darold Treffert, the Treffert Center; Dr. Matthew Doll, Director of Behavioral Health Autism Services, the Treffert Center; and Aaron Sadoff, Superintendent of the North Fond du Lac School District.

The Eden-Schneider Award was presented to the Treffert Way for the Exceptional Mind for their collaboration between the Treffert Center and the North Fond du Lac School District. Accepting the award (middle) is Dr. Matthew Doll and Dr. Darold Treffert of the Treffert Center alongside award namesakes Dr. Jim Eden of Moraine Park Technical College (far left) and Tom Schneider of Silica For Your Home (far right).

Lifetime Achievement Award: John E. Ahern, Jr.

Recognizing the many accomplishments of his legacy, the Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented in honor of John E. Ahern, Jr. to his family. Ahern Jr. held many roles within the J.F. Ahern Company, including as Chairman Emeritus. He held many public volunteerism roles, including within the Mechnical Contractors Association of America and of Wisconsin, Fond du Lac Festivals, South Hills Golf & Country Club, Fond du Lac Area United Way, Fond du Lac Rotary Club, Fond du Lac YMCA, and countless others. He was a proud supporter of Holy Family Church and St. Mary’s Springs Academy and also helped support many others in the community through small acts of kindness. His work through J.F. Ahern Company and the many other efforts he supported will be honored with this award.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to the Ahern family on behalf of the legacy of John E. Ahern, Jr. Accepting the award are his sons Tripp and Tony Ahern. Crystal Dekker (middle) of Van Horn Automotive Group presented the family with a $1,000 donation to the charity of the family’s choice in Ahern Jr.’s honor.

Volunteer of the Year: Jamie Cleland, Manowske Welding Corp.

Jamie Cleland, Director of Project Management at Manowske Welding Corporation, has had a long-standing drive to support the future leaders of the community. Cleland has been an instrumental volunteer in a number of educational programs, including as committee chair for Project GRILL where he has been involved with the program for the past 12 years. He continues to work with student teams as they create their prototypes and work on all aspects of business ideation that ultimately becomes part of the Project GRILL unveiling event each year.

Jamie Cleland (middle) of Manowske Welding accepted the Volunteer of the Year award. In addition to the award, a $1,000 donation was made to the charity of his choice by the Fond du Lac Area Foundation, represented by Molly Jaster and Joe Braun.