Crawford County Leadership Awards

In 2011 the Crawford County Community Fund initiated the Crawford County Leadership Awards program. The program recognizes the outstanding individuals, businesses and organizations who are committed to building a bright future for Crawford County.


Awards are given in six categories:

  1.  Community Leadership and Service Award.   This award recognizes an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to the Crawford County area through public service that enhances the economic, cultural, or social well-being of the community.
  2. Tourism Award.   This award is presented to an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated a commitment to the enhancement of Crawford County tourism development and promotion.
  3. Outstanding Youth Leadership Award.   This award is designed to recognize a young person, age 13 to 22, living in Crawford County who has demonstrated outstanding leadership with the potential for positive environmental, economic and/or social impact.
  4. Above and Beyond Award.   This award is presented to an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated “out of the box” thinking that promotes regionalism, cooperation among communities or organizations, creative strategies or innovative approaches to long term problems, or diversity awareness
  5. Business Development Award.  This award recognizes an individual, business, or organization that has demonstrated a spirit of community involvement toward the improvement of business and economic development in Crawford County.
  6. Educational Leadership Award.  This award is designed to recognize an individual including a teacher and/or administrator, business, or organization including specially designed class projects and/or educational initiatives that has demonstrated a commitment to the Crawford County area in support of furthering excellence in education or fostering strong school/community relationships.

Past awardees include:

Community Leadership and Service – Karen Sjoberg, Wauzeka-Steuben School District, Eagles Club of Prairie du Chien, Prairie du Chien Jaycees, Wauzeka American Legion and Auxiliary, Ritch Stevenson, Gays Mills, “Come for Supper” – St Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, Prairie du Chien, Chad Abram, Prairie du Chien, Lorie Floyd, Prairie du Chien, Mary and Don Stirling and the Restorative Justice Program, Gays Mills, Peggy Gallagher, Prairie du Chien, Bonnie Young, Soldiers Grove, Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter, with Bev Pozega as ‘driving force’.

Tourism – Gays Mills Orchard Ridge Association, Gays Mills, Gays Mills Village Stewards, Gays Mills, Jerry and Liz Quebe, Soldiers Grove, Sherry Quamme, Ferryville, Tom Nelson, Prairie du Chien, Ferryville Tourism Council, Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce, Driftless Wisconsin, Big River Long Rifles Inc.

Outstanding Youth Leadership – Brandi Kochera, North Crawford, Katelyn Kay Gilman, De Soto, Mattias Dworschack, Soldiers Grove, Sara Achenbach, Eastman, Mackenzie Knutson, Ferryville, Jadyn Sander, Wauzeka, Stephen Ronnfeldt, Stueben.

Above and Beyond – Bob and Diane Witt, Prairie du Chien, Pete Knapik, Soldiers Grove, Rotary Club of Prairie du Chien and members Joe Ruskey, Cheryl Mader, and Lara Czajkowski-Higgins, Bob Van Hoesen, Gays Mills, Crawford Stewardship Project, Gays Mills, Craig and Julie Bell, Eastman, Kickapoo Cultural Exchange, Gays Mills, Dr. Robert Horwich (posthumously), Gays Mills, Liz Bremmer & Tammy Otteson, Prairie du Chien, Cindy Kohles & Ron Wagner, Gays Mills.

Educational Leadership – Liz Bransky, Soldiers Grove, Russell Gilbert, Soldiers Grove, Harriet Behar, Gays Mills, Pat Connors, Seneca, Diane Yager, Seneca.

Business Development – Allison and Jim Showen and the Stump Dodger Campground & Event Center, Gays Mills, Star Valley Flowers, Soldiers Grove, Mickie Raasch, Gays Mills, Ron Leys, Prairie du Chien, Royal Bank, Gays Mills and its manager Rick Busch, Robert McDonald, Prairie du Chien, Driftless Organics, Soldiers Grove, Pam Ritchie, Opportunity Center CEO, Prairie du Chien.

2018 leadership award recipients: front row (from the left): the Bushnell Sisters (Tammy Otteson and Liz Bremmer); Seneca educator Diane Yager; Opportunity Center CEO Pam Ritchie. Back row: Ron Wagner & Cindy Kohles; reps of the Big River Long Rifles – Julie Rosauer and Butch & Norma Smith; Seneca principal Pat Connors; reps of Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter – Bev Pozega and Staci Roth.


2017 leadership award recipients: front row – left to right: Camille Smith, CCCF Leadership Awards Chair, Peggy Gallagher (Community Leadership & Service), Bonnie Young (Community Leadership & Service), Sharon Murphy, CCCF Advisory Board Chair. Back row – left to right: Stephen Ronnfeldt (Outstanding Youth Leadership), Keefe Keeley, president of Community Conservation representing Dr. Robert Horwich (deceased) (Above and Beyond), Aaron Brin, representing Harriet Behar (Educational Leadership), Eric Frydenlund and Rick Kettner representing Driftless Wisconsin (Tourism)


2016 leadership award recipients: Front row – left to right: Russell Gilbert (Educational Leadership), Robert McDonald (Business Development), Jadyn Sander (Outstanding Youth Leadership), Craig & Julie Bell and Tyler Bell (Above & Beyond) Middle row – left to right: Jane Keeley (Kickapoo Cultural Exchange (Above & Beyond), Josh Engel (Driftless Organics/Business Development), Joe Irvin & Suzy Tegge (Come for Supper/Community Leadership & Service), Ruth Fleming, Terre Van Haren, and Mary Wilson (Gays Mills Orchard Ridge Association/Tourism). Back row – left to right: Lamar Janes (Kickapoo Cultural Exchange/Above & Beyond), Mike Lind (Driftless Organics/Business Development), Marlene Meyer, Bill Meyer, Andy Meyer, Julie Meyer, and Gary Wilson (Gays Mills Orchard Ridge Association/Tourism)


2015 leadership award recipients: Front row – left to right:  Liz Bransky (Educational Leadership); Star Valley Flowers – Phil Mueller and John Zehrer (Business Development); Gays Mills Village Stewards – Ed Block, Charles Drake and Kay Smiley (Tourism). Back row – left to right: Sharon Murphy, CCCF advisory board chair; Chad Abram (Community Service and Leadership); Crawford Stewardship Program – Rob Horwich, Forest Janke, Edie Ehlert, Lamar Janes, and Kathy Byrne (Above and Beyond) and Camille Smith, CCCF advisory board leadership awards chair.


2014 leadership award recipients: Front row, from left: Don and Mary Stirling, Bob Van Hoesen, Sherry Quamme. Back row, from left: Katelyn Kay Gilman; Lorie Floyd; Allison and Jim Showen. Photo by Rebecca Eby


2013 leadership award recipients: Front row – left to right: Gary Gundlach, Cliff Kramer, Kathy Kramer, Gloria Thompson and Roni Gundlach – all with Wauzeka American Legion & Auxiliary (Community Leadership and Service); Diane and Bob Witt (Above and Beyond). Back row – left to right:
Tom Nelson (Tourism); Regina Minary, Tarah Marx, and Jamie Stram – all with Prairie du Chien Jaycees (Community Leadership and Service); Dan Pitzer and Carl Thompson – both with Wauzeka American Legion & Auxiliary (Community Leadership and Service); Jeanne Rutter, Joanne White, Kristy Fisher, Kay Campbell, and Sherry Quamme – all with Ferryville Tourism Council (Tourism); Mattias Dworschack (Outstanding Youth Leadership); Royal Bank/Gays Mills & Rick Busch (Business Development)


2012 leadership award recipients: Monty Ames representing the Eagles Club of Prairie du Chien (Community Leadership and Service;) Bob Moses and Jesse Aspenson representing the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce (Tourism); Karen Sjoberg (Community Leadership and Service); Brandi Kochera (Outstanding Youth Leadership), Cheryl Mader and Lara Czajkowski-Higgins representing the Rotary Club of Prairie du Chien (Above and Beyond); and Ron Leys (Business Development).


2011 leadership award recipients: Pete Knapik (Above & Beyond Award), Jerry & Liz Quebe (Tourism Award), Mackenzie Knutson & Sara Achenbach (Outstanding Youth Leadership), and Julie Henley accepting for Mickie Rasch (Business Development Award) and Ritch Stevenson (Community Leadership & Service Award).