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THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
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Business of the Year Frank's Inc Chris and Eugene Frank.

Peshtigo Chamber Announces 2018 Persons of the Year

Issue Date: May 4, 2018

Peshtigo Chamber Announces 2018 Richard and Patricia Roland Persons of the Year Awards. They will be honored at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, May 9 at Little River Country Club, N2235 Shore Drive., Marinette. Cash bar opens at 5 p.m. with dinner at 6 p.m. and awards ceremony to follow.

Winners in various categories follow:

Business-Business people who have served their communities through developing employment opportunities, providing assistance to other businesses, or volunteering time and expertise.

Frank's Inc. (Chris Frank and Eugene Frank)

(pic)

Frank's Inc. is this year's Business of the Year.

The nominator of the Business of the Year award said, "TheFrank's have a great commitment to the Peshtigo community in many ways. They are always ready to give a helping hand to the city with help, expertise and equipment, most of the time at no expense. A veteran himself, Eugene helps veterans in any way that he can. He opens his fish pond for the handicapped to come and fish. A family man that will always be there for the future needs of the Peshtigo community. They are very generous with their donations when a local association is in need."

Owned by father and son, Eugene and Chris Frank, they have several businesses including Frank's Logging and Excavating, Firewood Depot, George Webb, Eagle Express, and C&E Frank, LLC. Chris is President, and Eugene is Vice President.

Eugene Frank believes he wouldn't be where he is today, in fact probably wouldn't be here at all, if it weren't for a promise he made while under heavy enemy fire in Vietnam, "Dear Lord, if I get out of here, I promise to turn my life around," He said he has kept that promise, and has prospered.

Eugene was born Feb. 22, 1950 to the late Emmett Frank and Viola Frank who is now 95 years old. He married the former Marjorie Buschman on Nov. 13, 1971. The couple has three children, son Chris, and two daughters, Jessica and Jenny. Ten grandchildren complete the family circle.

He graduated from Coleman High School in 1968, then joined the Army where he served for 8 months and 2 days in Vietnam in 1970.

Eugene worked at Badger Paper, Inc. for 23 years before starting Frank's Insulating business. In 1993 he sold the insulation business to his son, and then bought back into it in 1996 when they incorporated. Frank's Logging got started in 1996. Chris and Eugene went into that venture with a 50/50 partnership. Today Frank's Logging has approximately 50 employees. When you add up all their businesses, they employ approximately 100 people.

Eugene started logging in the early 1960's when he was 12 years old. He used a Swede saw to cut trees. He says he's had sawdust in his blood ever since. He started cutting trees on Augustine Road and at the Equity Park area.

Eugene and his family belong to Faith Church in Peshtigo. He is a member of Peshtigo VFW, Coleman American Legion and is a member of the CASA Program for Marinette County.

For hobbies he enjoys cutting trees, fishing and hunting.

Over the years he has assisted with hurricane relief and natural disasters. He helped clean up after Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Katrina. He went to Columbia, South America in 1987 to help build an airstrip so missionaries could fly in supplies.

He said this award "is very nice, and very unexpected."

Chris was born Aug. 19, 1974 to Eugene and Marjorie Frank, and graduated from Peshtigo High School in 1992. He went into the landscaping business while still in high school. After high school he started working with his dad.

He married the former Lori Haasch on March 6, 2010. He has one son, Logan, and three step-daughters, Addison, Alexa and Jesselyn. His family also belongs to Faith Church in Peshtigo.

He is a member of the Peshtigo Run Club, Peshtigo School Building Committee, and is a leader of the Youth Group at Faith Church.

For fun he enjoys traveling and fishing.

He claims the key to success is to treat employees and customers the way you'd want to be treated.

He said this award "was unexpected, and humbling." He credits the award to the success of his employees.

Adult-A person 18 years or older, who through their voluntary efforts, has made a positive impact of the lives of citizens within the community or has enhanced the community itself through efforts in any or all of the following: community service, spiritual development, and/or activity participation.

Susan Rudolph

(pic)

Susan Rudolph was selected as Adult Person of the Year.

Her nominator stated, "This is a total volunteer program and she donated a lot of her time to do this. She orders food, organizes volunteers to pick up food, manages the monetary donations provided, assists with the distribution of food to the citizens who require assistance, takes applications for those who need these services and keeps all records up to date." She is working with the board to get a service elevator installed.

The former Susan Meunier was born April 15, 1945 to Earl and Mildred (Hartwig) Meunier. She graduated from Peshtigo High School in 1963 and attended UW-Marinette and NWTC for extra schooling.

She started working at Badger Paper Inc. where she was an executive secretary in 1965 and retired in 2005. She then took over at the Peshtigo Food Pantry for the past 13 years. She credits her volunteers for all of their success.

Rudolph has two children, Gary Rudolph of Marinette, and Heidi Hoffman of Grover. The family tree also includes eight grandchildren.

She is a lifelong member of Zion Lutheran Church in Peshtigo and is treasurer of the Ladies Aid and has been in the Worship Choir since high school.

In her spare time Rudolph enjoys knitting, baking, reading, and spending time with her grandkids.

Educator-Teachers, aides, or administrators in public or private school or business people, parents, or others who have worked to improve education.

Rhonda Madsen

(pic)

Rhonda Madsen is the Educator of the Year.

According to her nominator, "Rhonda has welcomed students to her home who are in need of "horse therapy". She treats them as if they were her own children. She is a devoted mom, sister, daughter and wife. Rhonda puts 100% into everything she does."

A 1985 graduate of Marinette High School, Madsen also graduated from UW-Green Bay in 1991, and from Viterbo in 1995 with a masters degree. She began teaching 3rd grade in 1992 at Peshtigo Elementary Learning Center and has been teaching 3rd grade ever since. Out of 26 years teaching, she team taught with Jennifer Smith for 13 of them. Madsen said she really respects Smith's abilities.

She and her husband, Daniel, have three children, Anna, age 21, who attends UW-Madison, Elli, 19, who attends Bellin School of Nursing, and Jared, 17, a junior at Peshtigo High school. She loves her big family. She is one of 10 siblings, all but one live in the area, and one is deceased. Her mom is Carol Michiels of Marinette.

Madsen said she loves her job. Throughout 26 years of teaching in the Peshtigo School District, challenges have changed, but she has good support from co-workers.

She loves to ride horses, walk, and read and loves animals, especially cats, dogs and horses. She also rides a Harley, on which she put 2,000 miles last summer.

A member of Holy Family Parish in Marinette, she is also a 4-H leader (Country Reins), and is actively involved in Pony Club.

When asked what she thought about being given this honor, Madsen replied, "A lot of people I work with deserve this award. I am no better than anyone else. I LOVE what I do."

Youth-A person under age 18 who through voluntary efforts, has made a positive impact on the lives of citizens within the community or has enhanced the community itself through efforts in any or all of the following: community service, spiritual development, and/or activity participation.

Nathan Plym

(pic)

Nathan Plym is recipient of the Youth Award.

A senior at Peshtigo High School, he is the son of Ed Plym and Kris Stehle, both of Peshtigo, and resides at 480 Aubin Street. He has a brother, Travis, 16, and sister, Presley, 13. Both are students in the Peshtigo School District.

Plym will graduate in May and plans to attend UW-Stevens Point to major in secondary education and psychology.

He is actively involved in the music programs, FBLA, Student Council, National Honor Society, Rho Kappa, Healthy Youth Coalition, as well as being active in his church, St. Mary's, where is helps with choir and also cantors.

He has been participating in the Youth Awareness Program sponsored by the Moose Lodge for the past two years. Each year he chooses a topic and creates a presentation that he delivers to students in grades 2-4. Last year he created a report based on his anti-drug presentation and delivered it at a state level, then as the top individual, he moved on to the international level. At international, he presented his experience and summarized his presentation on why he selected it and the experiences he had presenting it. The congress is made up of students from all over the U.S. and they watch all of the presentations and vote on their top five. Nathan took 2nd last year and received an $8,000 scholarship for his presentation. This year's platform is using your voice against bullying. He presented it to the 3rd grade classes and did an amazing job. "He is a natural public speaker and excellent advocate for our youth," said his nominator.

Plym has also been involved with Wisconsin Leadership Board, where he has been a member for two years. In his first year he was a liaison, and second year a co-member at large. The WLB is a non-profit organization to gain leadership skills, develop a sense of volunteerism.

Nathan has managed Varsity Volleyball for two years, and was in Track as a junior. He enjoys dance choreography, photography, art and drawing.

When asked who his favorite teacher was, Nathan came up with three; Keith LeMahieu who is his AP Biology teacher; Mrs. Kalafut, who teaches pre-cal and psychology; and Cyndee Giebler, his choir teacher.

When asked about being nominated, Nathan responded, "I was humbled, and I was shocked". When he got the phone call he was giving his presentation at State for FBLA, when he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He obviously could not answer the call, so when he got back to the hotel room, he returned the call. "What a delightful surprise," he declared.

Nathan would like to thank his nominator for the consideration of the honor. He would also like to thank his parents and teachers who have supported his efforts throughout his school years.


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