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Business & Person of the Year: Record Nominees!

A record five businesses and seven area residents/couples have been nominated as part of the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Person Of The Year and Business Of The Year Awards. Ballots have been sent to all Chamber members. The final three nominees in each category will be recognized and the winner announced at the Chamber’s annual Holiday Celebration & Dinner to be held Jan. 11, 2014, at the Iola Old Car Show activity center.

Business Nominations:

Firkus Lumber – Iola has benefitted from having a lumber yard in the community again. It has aided our local families and contractors having this type of business in town to acquire items for repair or building – saving time and travel costs.

Iola Historical Society has been preserving the heritage and history of our area with events such as Strawberry Fest and Taste of Norway and the restoration of Iola’s original train depot, just one of its historic buildings on Depot Street.

Just Rusty's has proven to be a vital addition to the Iola area.  This is a tough business to sustain, but it looks like they have found a winning combination.  They are now open year round which helps bring customers from around the area and even out of town to sample their tasty, yet reasonably priced meals.   Glacier Woods Golf Course benefits from having a good restaurant attached to it and other businesses will also see an increase in business as more golfers are attracted to a great golf course serving good food. 

Good for Glacier, Good for Iola and Good for Just Rusty's. How about their $5 Specials!!!!

Lessons From The Art – It’s all about the kids. There are over 100 kids taking lessons of some kind; from dance to piano, guitar and more. This is a business that was built from Tammie Jo’s love of the arts and watching kids learn and grow. Moreover, the business has hired numerous teachers that helps keep people working. Tammie Jo has opened her business to Thursday Night on Main when there has been inclement weather. Lessons From the Art is a unique cultural enterprise and it brings a quality of life not often found in a village like ours.  

Silver Lake Lanes - Besides serving the community by offering a great place to eat, bowl and visit with friends, has hosted several fundraising events with all of the profits going to the designated charity. For instance, they recently hosted a fundraising event for Jeff Mork, and numerous other people. In the past, Silver Lake Lanes hosted a fundraising event for the people left homeless by the 1999 Father’s Day Fire in downtown Iola. The money raised (about $250 each) they were not required to pay back, unlike some of the other “charity” funds the fire victims received.

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Outstanding Citizen Nominations:

John Bertelson Jr. is new to the area, having moved to Iola just 2 years ago. Since moving here, he has jumped into serving the community by joining the Historical Society and serving as their Secretary. He has been active in the Iola Lake District and this year he was nominated and elected President of the Lake District. He has been heling Tom Fucik with refurbishing the Iola Old Mill. John is the type of person, if he is able to assist you in amy manner, he will.

Tom Fucik has been instrumental in our area preserving the history at the Iola Historical Society and The Iola Mill. Tom is active in the Iola-Scandinavia Chamber and is concerned with our towns and the future. He volunteers for events taking place in our communities and for the Iola Lake District he has helped with the drawdown of the lake.

Jim Jenson is always helping others, whether it be the Iola Historical Society, Iola American Legion, Iola Old Car Show & Military Show, a family member OR simply someone who needs help. He never says no and every day you will find him out in the community doing something good for someone. If he sees a problem he will consider how to fix it and implement that plan.

Toya and Bill Lund do so much for the Iola-Scandinavia community, from volunteering at the Iola Car Show, Iola Vintage Military SHow and other area events, to inspiring children and volunteering at the I-S Schools. In taking his teaching job one step futher, every summer Bill has taken students to volunteer at Kid Venture at EAA in Oshkosh. Among other projects, Toya volunteers her time to help organize the annual Share-A-Tea, which raises funds for area children in need.

Brenda Mazemke is a backbone and engine for the community. She is secretary of the I-S Chamber of Commerce. She works with the US Marine Corps Reserve on the Toys for Tots program through Central Wisconsin Electric Coop. Last year 780 children received a gift.Her concern and involvement in our area has evolved with the businesses being more aware of progression and involved in our area growth. She is prompt, detailed and always present in Chamber activities. She is always promoting our communities, how beneficial to raise a family in our rural setting, what you can gain with goals you set and can attain if you desire – very supportive in her faith and commitment to Iola-Scandinavia.

Tom Opperman served as a member of the Iola-Scandinavia School Board for 30 years with the last 26 years as school board president. Through Tom’s guidance Iola-Scandinavia Schools have become the envy of other school districts both financially and academically. In addition to serving on the school board Tom and his wife have quietly and generously supported countless school and community fundraising efforts. Tom can be seen at most Iola-Scandinavia sporting events cheering for the Thunderbirds.

Mark Sether grew up in Marion and has a strong background in sports. He is an inspiration to the I-S basketball program and is currently coaching Boys 8th grade basketball. He has made friendships with many youth and encourages them in whatever they do. Mark is a huge supporter of the Band and Choir program by fund raising or as a chaperone for trips to perform. He was instrumental for getting the Badger Band to play in Iola a few years ago. With Mark’s finance background, he has accepted being on the I-S School District Finance Committee and is on numerous Boards of Directors including: Dupont Mutual Insurance, Iola Living Assistance, Iola Old Car Show and I-S Chamber of Commerce. Mark belongs to Iola Lions, has been a long time hill marker during the Iola Winter Carnival, and has been Chairman of the July 4th Fireworks for more than five years.