Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Join us for an evening of Food, Drinks, Laughter and an Evening of 2018's Achievements and Dedication in Belgium.
Featuring entertainment by Comedian Chris Barnes
CONGRATULATIONS TO OUR 2017 AWARD RECIPIENTS

Citizen of the Year: Annie Noster

Business Improvement: Bertram Wireless

Distinguished Service: Bill May

Business of the Year: RMR Spindle

We appreciate and are indebted to you for your contributions to the Belgium community. Read on for more details about these recipients.

2017 Business of the Year- RMR Spindle

November 08, 2017

Randy Rosbeck married his high-school sweetheart in time to take her with to his first Navy Station in Italy.  As a Navy Machine Repairman, Locksmith and Firefighting instructor on submarine class naval vessels, Randy and his wife spent the next 17 years in in South Carolina, Washington DC, San Diego and Illinois.  Randy retired out of the Great Lakes Naval Base and moved to Belgium, Wisconsin where he quickly became friends with Dean Wester. 

 

At Dean’s encouragement and eventually Dean’s partnership, Randy began his own business of spindle repair – RMR Spindle – in 2005.  For those who don’t know, a spindle is rod serving as an axis that revolves or on which something else revolves.  This is significant because every lathe, grinder or milling machine has a spindle and without that rotation, the machine is an expensive pile of junk.  Just like you can’t run your 1965 Corvette without a cam shaft, you can’t run your rotary die cutter without a spindle.

 

Randy spent Easter Sunday of 2006 fixing a spindle for his first customer B&C Diecast and he hasn’t slowed down since.  Expansions in 2008 and 2010 prompted a switch in ownership of the building that houses RMR.  Instead of leasing space from Dean Wester and Wester Electric, Randy purchased the building with help from PWSB and instead leased space to Wester Electric.  In 2012 an additional expansion was needed to move and enlarge their clean room.  Finally, they took over all the area at 650 Park Street. 

 

Today there are no more than 8-10 reputable spindle repair companies in the U.S.  Many of Randy’s customers are based overseas but have US divisions that need to be serviced in the US.  Randy and his staff has also developed relationships with equipment manufactures who list him as a preferred vendor for repair.  RMR’s largest customer is WalMart Vision – whose grinding machines for eyeglasses all contain spindles.

 

RMR invests heavily in equipment that gives them an edge with their customers.  Diagnostic equipment that is able to analyze vibrations, bearing signatures and alignment is identified using machinery that regularly runs $40,000.  RMR works within 5decimal tolerances.  In terms of context that’s like splitting a human hair 100x.

 

Recognizing the importance of equipment maintenance to his own company, he began a program for spindle storage and maintenance for his customers.    In addition to creating a new revenue source, this capitalizes on RMRs commitment to customer service – the main reason that their first customer remains a customer today.

 

RMR spindle is a family company.  Randy’s two daughters Tammy and Sandy work in the shop repairing spindles and his sister Carol is his CFO.  Randy, recognizing who really runs the word, has chosen to surround himself with women.

 

For their outstanding achievements and community impact, we present our 2017 Business of the Year award to RMR Spindle.  

2017 Citizen of the Year- Annie Noster

November 08, 2017

The truth is that nonprofit organizations would not exist if it were not for volunteers.  Communities have needs that cannot be achieved during an employee’s 40-hour work week.

 

Accordingly, it is with deep gratitude that recognize Annie Noster as our 2017 Citizen of the Year.  Annie has distinguished herself as a committed Chamber Board Member and volunteer.  Annie served as the BACC secretary and now serves as the BACC President.    We have seen her work tirelessly with other local businesses in encouraging them to not only become members of the Chamber but also to get involved in the various events held throughout the year. She has consistently offered to call or personally visit with these business owners in an effort to welcome them to the community and to get to know them personally. 

 

Annie herself is continuously involved in not only the planning of our Chamber events but also helping out at as many as she is able to.

Her calm demeanor and welcoming smile reflect the passion she feels about whatever project she may be involved in at any given time.

 

She speaks with pride and excitement about her years as a mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ozaukee County program, sharing stories of her current little brother and past individuals she has helped and guided through the years.

 

Walk into the Belgium branch of PWSB any time, and you will instantly witness the camaraderie that exists between her and her entire staff. It seems she has created a working environment for each of them that encourages daily team work and support.

 

Despite her intense level of community involvement, she has also shown commitment to making and taking time to be with her family, as you will hear when she talks proudly of her husband, and her sons and their families.

 

Annie personifies what it means to have a good heart. Her enthusiasm is infectious and motivates one to give thought to how they can perhaps help better not only the community they live and work in, but also the people around them. She reminds you of the importance of simply being kind, helpful and gracious, and of the value of giving back.

It is through her example that Annie encourages other to volunteer.

 

For outstanding contributions to the chamber and community, we present 2017 Citizen of the Year award to Annie Noster.

2017 Business Improvement Award- Bertram Wireless

November 08, 2017

Many people hear the company name Bertram Wireless and assume it is a small cellphone company.  They couldn’t be more wrong.  Instead they are a wireless internet provider and a software development firm.

 

In 2003 Jimmy Bertram identified a gap in the market that surrounds him.  The gap:  rural internet customers with no access to high-speed internet.  For example – If you live on Jay Road in Belgium Wisconsin, there is no access to cabled internet and there will not be for a LONG time, if ever.  And many of us know that DSL is not a real high-speed solution.  Instead of shrugging his shoulders as many did (me), Jimmy taught himself how to created his own high-speed infrastructure.  He built towers and connected rural business and residents to true raw internet.  Not the paired down version that you got with Time Warner.

 

For several years he ran Bertram Wireless as a side business from his cell phone using crowd-sourcing (or customer-sourcing) to help him improve the reliability of his service.  Ultimately, the wireless business became his full-time gig. 

 

By 2007, Bertram was increasingly aware that reoccurring credit cards payments were going to replace the monthly check based payment systems even with rural customers – and he had no way for his company to manage the move.  At the same time he was realizing the limitations of his network monitoring strategy.  Again, instead of ignoring the problem or trying to find a canned solution that could maybe be partially adapted to fit his needs, he built his own all-inclusive management software from the ground up.  This time with some help from his new partner, Bertram Wirelesses CTO, Sajan Parikh. 

 

By 2008 Bertram and Parikh has a software system that tracked and processed payments and it monitored network reliability and performance.  Additionally, every piece of operations from tracking the inventory needed to build towers and the work tickets to contact and direct field agents to build the towers to the orders for new customer installations and missed payment reminders is integrated into this software. 

 

Today, Bertram’s Wireless signal covers 53,000 square miles in Wisconsin and Michigan and they are THE largest independent wireless internet service provider in the United States.  The software they created is being used by independent isp(s) across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia.  They have 40 employees and 30+ independent contractors.

 

Bertram Wireless was nominated for the Business Improvement Award because they had significantly improved the aesthetic of the abandoned building that they purchased on Hwy LL in Belgium.  While that is admirable, as a chamber we want to recognize that – thanks to them – the Belgium area is home to this vibrant and growing business staffed by entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, software developers, engineers and construction workers.  We can clearly see that the essence a startup like this has more to do with innovation, scalability, growth, progressive thinking, identification and cooperation than technology.  Not bad for a cat with a Random Lake High School Diploma.

 

For outstanding improvements to their business, enhancing our entire community, we present the 2017 Business Improvement Award to Bertram Wireless.

2017 Distinguished Service Award- Bill May

November 08, 2017

This award is one that takes decades to achieve. It represents years of dedication and service to our area. 

 

Bill May grew up in Belgium, living on Main Street across from Doc. Doerr’s House.  He was one of five children born to Francis May & Regina Ries and one of 3 boys.  Bill traces part of his Luxembourgish ancestry back to J.B. Krier – on of Belgium’s founders.  As a matter of fact, Bill recently applied to reclaim J.B’s citizenship.  Luxembourg is lucky to have him!

 

Bill worked at Wisconsin Energies/We Energies at the power plant in Port Washington for 29yrs. as an electrician and lead electrician.  He spent his last 8 years of work downtown.

 

Over a lifetime of service to his country and his community Bill served in Vietnam, has been a member of the American Legion since 1971 and has volunteered at Luxembourg Fest for most of its 32 years.  Bill is a valued volunteer at the LACS and a member of the Luxembourg Fest Committee

 

Bill May is more active that most people half his age and is always willing to lend a hand.  He likes to hike out West, drive fast cars and is devoted to his family.   Bill is a humble and gracious collaborator and a community leader whose opinion is widely valued.   Because of this, we present our 2017 Distinguished Service award to Bill May.

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Annual Awards Banquet

Mail us: 

P. O. Box 215, Belgium, WI  53004

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