Marian University announces 2012 Business & Industry Awards Winners

October 11, 2012

FOND DU LAC, Wis. - Marian University will hold its 31st annual Business & Industry awards dinner at Marian's Stayer Center for Technology & Executive Learning on Tuesday, October 23. Presentation of five awards will follow a reception at 5:45 p.m., dinner, and a keynote address on "Preparation for Global Business" by Glen Tellock, president and CEO of The Manitowoc Company, Inc.

The Business of the Year award will be presented to ACUITY Insurance. ACUITY is headquartered in Sheboygan, and is a world leader in insurance sales. They offer insurance products in the commercial, auto, garage, liability, property, worker's compensation and specialty coverage. In business since 1925, ACUITY is listed in the top 75 largest insurers in the nation, with over $2 billion in assets. ACUITY was selected as the Best Mid-Sized Company to Work For in America by the Great Place to Work Institute in 2004, 2010, and 2011 - and is the only company in the nation to be ranked in the Top 5 for eight consecutive years

The Entrepreneur of the Year award will be presented to Sonex Aircraft, LLC. Sonex Aircraft is committed to providing the recreational aviation community innovative, cost-effective and efficient aircraft kits, power plants and accessories and supporting them with industry-leading customer service. In addition, Sonex provides leadership to the grass-roots homebuilt community to protect the experimental-amateur built rules and cultivates new pilots and airplane builders through educational efforts.

The Economic Development award will be presented to Commonwealth Companies. Commonwealth Companies has dramatically expanded over the last year, stimulating economic grown in the form of more than 60 jobs. The projects undertaken by the company have filled several needs in the community for affordable housing for seniors and families. Commonwealth's mission is to build or renovate housing stock that provides high-quality, affordable places for people to live. Additionally, they seek to preserve and restore the architectural legacy of the communities in which they work.

The Special Achievement award will be presented to Michael Mentzer. Mentzer is the retired Managing Editor of The Reporter (Fond du Lac, Wis.). He began at The Reporter in 1972 and retired in April 2012 after 39 years. He served as Opinion Page editor, Business Page editor and editor of the Progress Editions.

Over the years Mentzer covered numerous stories, including the G&L strike, Oakfield tornado of 1996, the June 2008 floods, the Johnson Street reconstruction project and Johnson Street bridge project, the Quad/Graphics fire, Presbyterian Church and St. Louis Church fires, school referendums, and the Mercury Marine union vote.

The George Becker Business Spirit award is given to an individual, company, charitable organization or civic group whose good business practices benefit the community, either through the ways they do business or through the recipients' contribution to the community. It is named for George Becker, former president of Giddings & Lewis and a member of Marian's Board of Trustees.

This year's recipient of the George Becker Business Spirit award is Gary Sadoff, CEO of Badger Liquor. Sadoff is a former member of the Marian Board of Trustees. With the Sadoff Family Foundation, Gary has been heavily involved in the Fond du Lac community for many years in support of education, the arts and entertainment and other things that attract people to the area. A founding member of the Cops for Kids Foundation, Sadoff has been a supporter of community projects such as the YMCA, High School Performing Arts Center and the Windhover Center for the Arts.

The Business & Industry Awards Dinner helps raise money for scholarships for students in the Marian University School of Business & Public Safety. Tickets to the event are $100.

For more information about the 2012 Business and Industry Awards Dinner, contact Kathy Gellings, director of Advancement Services, at (920) 923-7613 or at

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Did You Know?

Marian University offers eight 100% online adult undergraduate and graduate degrees in business, healthcare, and education (Source: Academic Bulletin, 2013-2014).

Campus Info

Marian University
45 S. National Ave.
Fond du Lac, WI 54935-4699


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