Biz Awards: Why You Should Apply Today!

We’re lucky in this region to have two impressive business awards opportunities: the Dane County Small Business Awards (DCSBA) and the Wisconsin Family Business Awards (WFBA) programs. To win either one of these awards, three things must be true: A company, by industry standards, is successful; it is actively involved in community stewardship; and it provides an employee-enriched workplace. 

Rebecca Kerns of United Vaccines said this of winning an award: “What I found most surprising … was that we had people recognize our business and mention this honor for more than a year after. I would be talking to people at various networking or community functions and mention United and they would say, ‘Oh, didn’t you win the Dane County Small Business Award?’ We are a niche-market company, so it is rare that we are known to people outside of our very close circle of customers, associates, and colleagues in the industry. The winning of the award put our name out there and made it recognizable within the community in a very positive way.”  

The DCSBA has been an area offering for more than 30 years. This year, 10 or more business entities will be honored at a breakfast awards program mid-June at the Sheraton Hotel. I will again emcee. Sponsors, in addition to IB, include UW’s Small Business Development Center, Madison Gas and Electric Company, Midwest Family Broadcasting, Chase Bank, and Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp. 

WFBA is celebrating its 10th year of honoring family businesses located in the state of Wisconsin. More than 10 winners will be revealed at an evening dinner on May 9 at the Madison Marriott West hotel. Neil Fauerbach of Smith & Gesteland, LLC will be the master of ceremonies. Awards sponsors, in addition to S&G, include First Business Bank and Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.

It is a privilege to work alongside the other sponsors of these awards. These programs are of the highest caliber, with outside, third-party judging. Sponsors really enjoy uncovering these stories and celebrating them in a public arena.

Winning is a boost for marketing but also for an HR program. The application process highlights the contributions and achievements of employees. Having that kind of attention on your workforce is one way for management to say a meaningful, public thank-you.

Past winner Christie Menzel, Prairie Land Towing, noted, “The person that nominated Prairie Land Towing [for an award] is someone that recognized our company for hard work and determination to succeed. What an awesome feeling to be acknowledged publicly for that! Our award is proudly displayed in the front entry for customers and employees to see.” 

Join past winners in acknowledging this year’s winners. Apply today for one or both awards (based on qualification criteria). DCSBA info is posted at and the WFBA’s is at

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