It's no question that 2020 has been a year like no other, but we can still choose to celebrate the good that came out of the past year!
Join us in this annual event, sponsored by Claerbout Furniture & Flooring and Kyotes Bar & Grill.
Wednesday, November 11th, 2020
Doors open 5:30 pm
Dinner at 6:30 pm
Awards and Entertainment to follow
at Memories Ballroom, 1077 Lake Drive, Port Washington
Tickets are just $25 and include buffet dinner, dessert, and comedy by Mike Mercury. Tickets can be purchased at Kyotes Bar & Grill, The Village of Belgium Village Hall, Port Washington State Bank, and Plus Group Wealth Advisors. Tickets must be reserved by November 4th.
COVID Notes: Attendees will be allowed to seat themselves, and there will be plenty of tables set up to allow for social distancing. Sanitizer and masks will be provided at the door. Please, if you are not feeling well, or if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please do your part to keep our community safe by staying home.
Roasted Pork Loin and Baked Apples
California Blend Vegetables
Creamy Cole Slaw
Our 2019 Award Winners
Business of the Year
Kyotes Bar & Grill
It is a rare business owner who can purchase an already well established and successful business who can elevate that business. Kyle Simpson – owner and proprietor of Kyotes Bar & Grill is one of those rare people.
Originally from Rockwood – as small-town South of Detroit – Kyle came to Milwaukee on a whim. Kyle earned a degree in Marketing at Northern Michigan University where he was active in club hockey. At school many of Kyle’s fellow students were from Wisconsin. It was on a visit to one of his friends after graduation that Kyle thought Wisconsin might be a place for him. 10 days later, he moved to Milwaukee. Within two weeks he had a job as a teller at Park Bank and picked-up a bartending gig at the Brat House on old world 3rd Street within his first two months.
While bartending, the idea of Kyote’s was born. Kyle knew what he was capable of and he kept himself open to the possibility of opening his own establishment. Researching markets, developing plans and connecting with people all came into focus with the opportunity to purchase Bic’s place.
Kyle was able to find investors and develop a plan for his business that would take advantage of the space available at the bar, the Volleyball and outdoor elements of the property in combination with a less saturated market. These elements along with his understanding of the local market and his entertainment savvy have combined to create an entertainment destination in Belgium Wisconsin.
With an exceptional menu and an openness to trying new things (including a catering job that required him to make Treipen Puffs) Belgium has been proud to welcome Kyle. He described his first year as filled with people who were so welcoming and so nice that he Is proud to call many of them friends.
In recognition of the many more successful years ahead, the Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce would like to present the 2019 Business of the Year award to Kyle Simpson and Kyote’s Bar and Grill.
Ambassador of the Year
The past few years, the Chamber, along with the newly formed Belgium Tourism Committee, has been working towards the goal of revitalizing our community and promoting tourism. The start of new community events, including Belgium Summer Nights Live, Splash Pad Sundays, and the CGB Job and Career Fair, in addition to the existing events, such as the Easter Egg Hunt, European Christmas, Brew and Chew, and Luxembourg Fest, created a need for a deeper pool of volunteers.
The need for event help, paired with the need to spread the word on all the wonderful tourism assets that Belgium has to offer, brought forth the idea of Belgium Ambassadors.
In our first year, we had five businesses and 22 individuals sign up for the program, and, we should mention, new ambassadors are welcome to join at any time. These ambassadors help us with event promotion, setup, execution and take-down but even more importantly, they exhibit the friendly, helpful, can-do disposition that best represents Belgium. Our ambassadors range from 7 years old through adults, with 16 of our ambassadors being youth under the age of 18. Our business Ambassadors this year are the LACS, PWSB, Kyotes Bar and Grill, Plus Group Wealth Advisors, and Peggy Wester, Realty Executives Integrity.
We love the excitement and passion that our ambassadors bring to Belgium and look forward to many more years of this program.
Tonight we would like to honor our first annual Ambassador of the Year, Chanel Schmidt. Chanel has helped out with every single event since the start of the Ambassador: all three Summer Nights Live, both Splash Pad Sundays, and Luxembourg Fest, She came early to help set up, and was still there at the end with a smile and a helpful hand. “What can I do to help” are always the first words out of her mouth, and she goes above and beyond the call of duty as a volunteer. When we were looking for ideas to keep Splash Pad Sunday fresh, she organized a dunk tank to be delivered, and donated all proceeds to the Cedar Grove and Belgium Fire Departments.
We are very blessed to have Ambassadors like Chanel, and are proud like to honor her with this award. A plaque listing the Ambassador of the Year will be on display in the Village Hall, and we hope to add ambassadors to it every year.
Business Improvement Award
When Buechler Farms was selected as Business of the Year two years ago, we as a community knew they were destined to bring great things to Belgium.
Realizing the unique and popular potential for Brian’s family dairy farm as an event venue, Buechlers hosted a circus in 2016, and then a rodeo, and groups began contacting them for private events.
In 2019 the Buechlers family has put in an enormous amount of hard work and dedication and made amazing advances in their business. The magical look of the renovated barn, along with its second floor private bridal preparation area, indoor bathrooms, and the bar, makes for an ideal venue for rustic farm weddings.
They dug a pond, complete with a peninsula designed for hosting scenic outdoor wedding ceremonies. A spacious deck was added on to the barn- some may recognize the Deano’s Steakhouse bull as the deck’s mascot. Below the deck, a brick patio sprawls from the ground level where board swings swayA large bar, sheltered by the top of a grain bin, stakes its place as the patio’s focal point.
Buechler Farms is totally booked up for the 2020 wedding season and already booking into 2021. In addition to weddings, it has opened its doors for the community, hosting everything from proms for Ozaukee High School, and one just for adults, to the Home Run Club’s annual Packer tailgate party, to craft nights and everything in-between. They even teamed up with the Belgium Fire Department to host its Fire Prevention Day and the farm’s Family Fall Festival as a joint venture. Just announced, they have purchased two driving horses named Bill and George, who will be used for sleigh and buggy rides this winter.
Guests at Buechler Farms always feel welcome. you’re guaranteed to be greeted with a friendly smile and an atmosphere that makes you feel right at home. The family has invested and impressive amount of hard work, improvements, and passion into their business this year. They continue to bring exciting opportunities to Belgium, and for that, we are pleased to award them with the Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Business Improvement Award.
Citizen of the Year
A community is a group of people who shares a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. A community needs champions - identifiable inspiration from within their group to help others feel this fellowship and achieve these goals. For that reason, the BACC created the Citizen of the Year Award.
Because of her employment with the Chamber of Commerce and the Luxembourg American Cultural Society, people may attribute Tara Williams’ consistent presence in Belgium as “part of her job”. Those who know Tara, understand that her passion for Belgium extends far beyond the hours for which she is paid.
Tara’s optimism and joyful spirit put her in the middle of activities and events that move Belgium to be inclusive of all and respectful to everyone. She accomplishes all of this with warmth, kindness and a sense of responsibility.
Tara brings with her an extraordinary work ethic and a strong sense of personal responsibility. She is collaborative, gracious, creative, dynamic and always asserts her opinions and suggestions with diplomacy, tact and a sense of humor. It is through her example that Tara encourages other to volunteer.
For her outstanding contributions to the chamber and community, we present 2019 Citizen of the Year awards to Tara Williams.
Distinguished Service Award
Our next award, Distinguished Service, is one that takes years to achieve. It represents dedication and service to the Village and/or Town of Belgium. Our recipient for 2019 is Clem Gottsacker.
In 1992 Clem started his business Clem’s Locksmith Service in Port Washington, Wisconsin. In 1996 he moved both his family and his business to their current home on Main Street in Belgium, WI.
Clem has made a name for himself in Ozaukee County with his hard work and dedication to helping people. As a part of his business he installs and repairs locks, cuts keys, and – maybe most importantly – preforms emergency openings for cars, homes and semi-trucks. It is that work ethic that helped to begin his 25year relationship with AAA as one of their preferred vendors. On a -20° day AAA called his business number. A AAA member was locked out of their car and all the local AAA vendors refused to respond to the call for help. Clem put on a snow suit and drove to the old How-Dea Mini Mart to help. A week later, AAA asked him to be a vendor.
Clem served 2 years in the US Army. He is an active member of The Melvin Wester-Belgium Memorial Post 412. For 16 years Clem has served on the Village of Board where he participates on the committee for Parks & Recreation, the Public Utilities Committee and the Planning Commission.
Clem Married Joan in 1989 and they have two sons – David who works at Green Industrial and Daniel who works at Applied Biotech.
Clem is not just a business owner and a parent – he serves this community every day. It is because of this, and so much more, that we present our 2019 Distinguished Service award for continued service to the Community of Belgium, Wisconsin to Clem Gottsacker.
About Mike Marvell, Comedian
Mike Marvell has been doing comedy professionally for over 15 years, although he's been making people laugh his whole life. He told his guidance counselor in high school he wanted to be an engineer and she told him, "With your grades? That's hilarious, you should be a comedian!" His comedy is based on growing up in Wisconsin... football, hunting, fishing, his family, and his wife and kids. He's performed at everything from churches to swinger clubs, grade schools to colleges, country clubs to biker clubs, nursing homes to casinos (same thing). Instant likability, he reminds you of your crazy cousin, the guy next door, your brother-in-law.
Congratulations to our 2018 Chamber Award Winners!
Business Improvement-Belgium Community Church
Over the last 20 years, Belgium Community Church has had quite a journey. When the Christian and Missionary Alliance church opened, the population of Belgium, WI was about 700 people. As Belgium grew, so did the Church. As the economy declined, so did congregation size. At a time when the church had changed its name several times and the congregation had dropped to 17 people, they took a chance – closing for 18 months in order to evaluate the church’s future.
This risk paid off. The State District of the Christian and Missionary Alliance made an investment along with the congregation that returned. They fully renovation of the Church building and sought a Pastor – Joe Radosevich. On an average Sunday, they now welcome between 50 and 60 worshipers.
Belgium Community Church was nominated for the Business Improvement Award because through their renovation they have significantly improved the aesthetic of the building on Lakeview Drive that is home to their congregation.
While that is admirable, as a chamber we want to recognize their commitment to a future with the Village of Belgium and small-town life. Pastor Joe and his family live in Belgium and he sees his church as not just being “in Belgium” but as a church for Belgium.
For outstanding improvements to their business, enhancing our entire community, we present the 2018 Business Improvement Award to Belgium Community Church.
Business of the Year- Port Washington State Bank
Clarence Hill and George Henry opened the doors to their new bank at 206 N. Franklin St in Port Washington WI on September 11, 1899-less than a year after the Great Wisconsin Chair Factory Fire destroyed the town’s business district.
As a fifth-generation, family owned business, PWSB’s mission is to help others achieve their financial goals with a broad array of sound, proven financial management tools and personalized, friendly service. With locations in Port Washington, Belgium, Fredonia, Saukville, Grafton, Cedarburg and Thiensville, the bank employs 118 people in Ozaukee County.
The Schowalter family has demonstrated their commitment to Belgium by being the only bank to serve the Village of Belgium from a location in Belgium.
PWSB supports many local charities and organizations including the Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce, the Belgium Fire Department, Buechler Farms’ Rodeo, the Belgium Legion, the Belgium Lions, the Luxembourg American Cultural Society, and they support the Fireworks for Village of Belgium.
Port State Bank also sponsors a financial literacy course that is a part of the required curricula at Belgium Cedar Grove High School. Further, the allowances that they make for the employees to volunteer in the community are significant. For example, Annie Noster serves on the LACS Finance Committee and all of those meetings occur during business hours.
PWSB has $579 million in total assets and ranks in the top 15% of Wisconsin banks in size. They are able to leverage their assets to make it possible for Business to grow and expand in the Belgium area. PWSB is one of Ozaukee County’s premier lenders for citizens and businesses. PWSB offers a full range of locally serviced loans with competitive rates.
For Outstanding Achievement and Community Impact we present the 2018 Business of the year award to Port Washington State Bank.
Community Beautification- Village of Belgium
The Village of Belgium is served by a dedicated group of elected and appointed residents who offer their time and talents to the community. The Belgium Village Board members must have the vision to create a future for Belgium. Often that means being able to weigh cost and imposition against possibility and opportunity.
In 2014 the Village of Belgium took a risk. After being chosen by the State of Wisconsin to partner on the re-construction of Main Street they could have taken the opportunity as offered and moved forward. They could have backed down and simply shouldered the lower cost of a basic road work and recreate exactly the road conditions of 15 years prior. Certainly, other communities did just that.
The Village of Belgium Board instead chose to move forward with the State partnered project and added to that the burying of the power lines and upgrading of the Village street lamps.
The results are clear. Not only is buried power more consistent and safe power, the foundation of smart growth is to foster distinctive, attractive communities with a strong sense of place that reflect the values, culture and vision the Village of Belgium Board and Village Staff has created – through their leadership and education – a community that is poised for the type of growth and success that is meaningful and thoughtful.
For outstanding improvements enhancing our entire community, The Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce is proud to present the 2018 Community Beautification Award to the Village of Belgium.
Distinguished Service Award- Richard Uselding
Our next award is one that takes decades to achieve. It represents years of dedication and service to our area.
Richard Uselding was born in the Town of Belgium. He served in the US Army and after his return he met and married Pat Wundrock. Richard and Pat raised three wonderful girls – Kathleen, Ann and Mary in Belgium.
In 1978 Richard had the opportunity to buy the Hardware Store in Belgium. Until that point, Richard had worked for Krier Implement as a mechanic for 17 years – a job he loved. But he remembered his father talking about a once in a lifetime chance that he had taken and felt that this opportunity may be his – a chance to have his own business and work for himself and his family. With his wife’s support, he took that chance. Although his wife and all his children helped at Belgium Hardware and Beverage at some point, his daughter Ann worked for him for 32 years and was a true and valued partner in the success of the business.
When looking back at the best part of running the hardware store, Richard thought it was helping people find the thing that would meet their needs and he looked forward to Friday nights. For 25 years, the busiest time for the shop was Friday night and he would have the opportunity to see almost everyone in town. The business community has certainly changed during the 40years he ran the store.
Richard wasn’t just a business owner and a parent, service to others didn’t stop when he left the store and he and his family continue to serve this community still.
The Melvin Wester-Belgium Memorial Post 412
The Belgium Lions Club
Catholic Order of Forester
Belgium’s Volunteer Firefighter
Lake Church Choir since 1955
Caretaker St. Mary’s Chapel- Lake Church
Belgium Area Chamber of Commerce
These are just some of the recipients of Richard’s service.
Richard is a Luxembourg Fest Co-Founder and Committee member and without Luxembourg Fest to foster an atmosphere that allowed continued cultural collaboration, there would be no Luxembourg American Cultural Society today. Richard Uselding is an LACS Founder Member and Organizational Ambassador.
It is because of this, and so much more, that we present our 2018 Distinguished Service award for continued service to the Community of Belgium to Richard Uselding.
Citizen of the Year-
A community is a group of people who shares a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals. A community needs champions - identifiable inspiration from within their group to help others feel this fellowship and achieve these goals.
Pat Wester is an Assistant Troop Master for his son’s Boy Scout troop, a coach for his son’s baseball team and is the Vice President of the CGB Athletic Association. He serves on the St. Mary’s Catholic Church Cemetery Board, and is a member of the Catholic order of Foresters. Pat has been a member of Belgium’s Volunteer Fire Department since 1990 and how serves as the Department’s 1st assistant chief.
Born and raised in the Belgium, Pat worked for the Village of Belgium from 1991-1995 and again from 1999 until today.
A perfect example of Pat’s commitment to the community is the youth Baseball tournament held in Belgium this summer. Pat participated in the tournament as a coach and a player parent, he prepared for the fireworks that followed as a member of the Village staff and supervised the fireworks as a member of the Fire Department. Finally he cleaned up after the event as a member of the Village Staff. That is just one example of Patrick’s level of community participation. Patrick is everywhere for everyone.
Pat Wester sets and example to the greater Belgium area through his actions and service and it is with deep gratitude that recognize Patrick Wester for his outstanding contributions to the community by presenting him with the 2018 Citizen of the Year Award.
Congratulations to the 2020 Chamber Award Winners who will be honored at this year's Celebrate Begium Event:
Business of the Year: Plus Group Wealth Advisors
Business Improvement Award: Lanser Garage & Towing, Inc
Citizen of the Year: Julie Lesar
Distinguished Service Award: Belgium Rescue Squad
Ambassador of the Year: Jonah Heisler
Citizen of the Year: Annie Noster
Business Improvement: Bertram Wireless
Distinguished Service: Bill May
Business of the Year: RMR Spindle