Marian University hosted a virtual presentation of the 2021 Business & Industry awards at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 27, with former Green Bay Packers player and Senior Vice President for University Relations Dr. George Koonce serving as Master of Ceremonies.

Established in 1981, the Business & Industry awards honor area businesses with Marian University’s awards for entrepreneurship, economic development, special achievement, and commitment to community.

David Noe was presented the George Becker Business Spirit Award posthumously. Named after George Becker, former president of Giddings & Lewis and a member of Marian University’s Board of Trustees, the 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.

Noe’s entrepreneurial spirit originated in the early 1970s when he opened his first business, a successful bar, known as The Loading Zone.  During that decade, Noe would open three additional businesses:  The Moon, The Entertainer and Valley Bar Supply.

In 1980, he opened Friar Tuck’s, his first restaurant in Fond du Lac. Noe successfully opened four more businesses in Fond du Lac:  Salty’s Seafood & Spirits, Sebastian’s Steak House, Gino’s Italian and Baker’s Pride Bakery.  With unequivocal determination and persistent hard work, he expanded Friar Tuck’s into three additional locations in Appleton, Oshkosh and Manitowoc.

David also served on the Association of Commerce Ambassador’s Club.  He frequently donated gift cards and coupons to charitable organizations and fundraising events to assist organizations within the Fond du Lac community.  He was present and aware of struggles in his community, and devoted 40 years to giving back to the community he loved.  His wife, Shelley Noe, accepted the award in honor of her late husband.

Other awards presented were:

  • Business of the Year: National Exchange Bank & Trust
  • Community Collaboration Award: United for Diversity, Ebony Vision, and Latino Unidos
  • Economic Development Award: Mercury Marine
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (Individual): Jeff Korneli
  • Entrepreneur of the Year (Service): Peebles Play & Stay Kennel
  • Special Achievement Award: Young Professionals of Fond du Lac

Money raised from the event goes directly to scholarships for students at Marian University. Traditionally, more than 200 individuals from area business communities have celebrated the awards.