FOND DU LAC, Wis.
– Marian University will hold its 33rd annual Business & Industry awards dinner at Marian’s Stayer Center for Technology & Executive Learning on Tuesday, October 28. Presentation of six awards will follow a reception at 5:45 p.m. and dinner.
The Business of the Year award will be presented to Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC, of Ripon. Established in 1908, Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC, is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of commercial laundry equipment used in laundromats, multi-housing laundries and on-premise laundries. The company has more than 1,800 employees working in more than 1.4 million square feet of global facility space. They were awarded their second Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year award in the special award category for “Investing Locally, Growing Globally.”
The Entrepreneur of the Year award will be presented to Wisnet.com of Fond du Lac. Established in 1996, Wisnet.com is a national branding, application, development and Internet hosting company. Wisnet.com assists clients with website development, branding, applications, email hosting, search engine optimization, logo design, print marketing and social media.
The Economic Development award will be presented to Con-way Freight of Fond du Lac. Founded in 1983, Con-way Freight offers quality, on-time less-than-truckload (LTL) experience with more than 425 operating locations, and serves more than 1,500 businesses in the Fond du Lac area. In July 2014, Con-way Freight opened a new state-of-the-art 47,000 square-foot service center in the Fond du Lac Fox Ridge Business Park, consolidating operations from Sheboygan to Neenah, and since then has created 60 new jobs.
Special Achievement awards will be presented to two organizations: Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac and the THELMA Sadoff Center for the Arts.
The Children’s Museum of Fond du Lac began in 2002 as a project of the Leadership Fond du Lac program through the Fond du Lac Association of Commerce. In 2013, the Children’s Museum opened their expanded facility in Fond du Lac’s Waterfront District located on Scott Street, where they serve more than 45,000 visitors and work to create hands-on learning experiences through interactive exhibits and educational programs.
THELMA Sadoff Center for the Arts, formerly the Windhover Center for the Arts, began in 2000 and is located on Sheboygan Street in Fond du Lac. THELMA serves to stimulate interest in, educate and be an advocate for both the visual and performance arts. In 2012, THELMA’s facility was expanded and now serves the region as a major arts destination, offering space for art, entertainment, private parties and corporate events.
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 the George Becker Business Spirit award is being presented posthumously to Gary M. Smith. Smith is the third generation of the Smith family to lead C.D. Smith Construction and has served in a variety of positions with the company, including project manager, vice president, executive vice president, president and CEO. C.D. Smith thrived during Smith’s leadership, where he secured some of the largest scale projects in Wisconsin and grew the company’s business throughout the United States. Smith was also a philanthropist and helped to fund projects locally as well as internationally in the Philippines, Haiti, Nicaragua and more.
The Business & Industry awards dinner helps raise money for scholarships for business students in the Marian University School of Business & Public Safety.
For more information about the 2014 Business and Industry Awards, contact Kathy Gellings, director Advancement Services, at (920) 923-7613 or at