The Imagination Network Award for Entrepreneurship is an annual award from the peer group of the IGNITE! Business Success entrepreneurial ecosystem that recognizes the extraordinary efforts of one area entrepreneur or small business owner. On November 8, 2018, Hiram’s Auto Repair received the award due to the small business’s success in the Fond du Lac community after reinvigorating the business after a fire caused it to be a total loss in 2015, working with a variety of IGNITE! partners to best capitalize on the business’s strengths, and also being founding members of the Latinos Unidos educational group.

In her nomination of Hiram Rabadán Torres and Rosi Gaytán Morales of Hiram’s Auto Repair, Diana Hammer with the University of Wisconsin – Extension in Fond du Lac celebrated the many accomplishments Hiram’s has had in its years of business, and in particular as immigrant business owners in the community. In her nomination, Hammer stated “as Mexican immigrants, Hiram & Rosi have had to learn everything about American business culture in a short time and a second language. They have taken on this challenge with grace and humility, courageously sharing the complexity of their situation with white American audiences. Hiram and Rosi greatly value the opportunity they have had in the United States and encourage their peers, directly and by modeling, to value themselves and make positive contributions to their home community.” The business itself is flourishing and its owners are continuously looking for opportunities to utilize area resources, such as working with INCubatorEDU students with the North Fond du Lac School District on developing a website, being founding members of Latinos Unidos, and “having frank talks about life as Mexican immigrants” through meetings held with Rotary, The Humanity Project, and others.

Additional nominees for the award included: Ubuntu Art Space, Baked: Cakes by Design, La Paloma, Matt’s DJ Service, and The Sweet and Salty Pig. The award was sponsored by Alliance Manufacturing, Inc. and given in conjunction with Imagination Network’s year-end entrepreneurial showcase. The event was also held as part of Startup Wisconsin Week, a statewide initiative aiming to highlight the importance of startups to the growth of Wisconsin’s economy.

Imagination Network is the inventors and entrepreneurs group of IGNITE! Business Success, the umbrella, go-to resource network supporting area entrepreneurs. Imagination Network socials and events are free and open to everyone. Events range from casual socials to business showcases and everything in between and are held the second Tuesday of the month. For more information about Imagination Network, check out the website at www.ignitefdlc.com/connect. Imagination Network will return in 2019 with an enhanced and refreshed focused, so stay tuned.