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June 2018

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Cara Carper, executive director of the Green County Development Corporation, presents the award for Outstanding Business of the Year to owners of Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion Co. Pictured from left are Ken Friedrich, Shirley Knox, Jim Natzke and Carper. Not pictured is William Knox.
Luke Buholzer accepts the Richard B. Schmied Leadership Award on behalf of his father, Ron Buholzer, of Klondike Cheese. Presenting the award is Cara Carper, executive director of the Green County Development Corporation.

The Green County Development Corporation honored an outstanding local business and exemplary leader at its Annual Dinner on Tuesday, May 8.


The winner of the Outstanding Business of the Year is Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion Co. of Monroe. The Outstanding Business of the Year Award honors existing businesses that have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to the county’s economic growth through innovation, job creation, new investment, and/or extraordinary long-time interest in supporting others in business. Owners of Alpine Slicing and Cheese Conversion are Shirley Knox, Ken Friedrichs, Jim Natzke and William Knox.

Alpine transforms bulk cheese and creates retail, food service and specialty packaging in a variety of formats based on their customers’ needs. In 2017, the company converted 18.2 million pounds of cheese.

Alpine Slicing employs 116 individuals and offers competitive wages and benefits. The owners are all long-time Green County residents and active in their community.

Ron Buholzer, president of Klondike Cheese, is the winner of this year’s Richard B. Schmied Leadership Award. The award commemorates Richard B. Schmied, remembered for the characteristics of leadership he exhibited. 


Ron has been in leadership roles within the cheese industry in Green County and at the state and national level as well. He has served many years on the Wisconsin Cheese Makers Association Board of Directors and was honored with a Life Member Award. He also recently received the group’s Vanguard Award, given to those who have helped blaze new trails in the dairy industry.

Ron is well known throughout the community, having served on numerous civic committees in Monroe as an advocate for his Swiss heritage, the art of cheesemaking and community improvement.

The awards are presented each year as part of the Annual Dinner event. This year’s Annual Dinner included a talk by keynote speaker Jason Tyszko on “Building the Talent Pipeline.” Tyszko is vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he is involved in working to enhance the career readiness of youth and  adult learners. 

Youth Apprenticeships
Youth Apprenticeship (YA) is a school-to-work program designed to help employers identify and employ young workers interested in their field. In turn, those high school juniors and seniors continue toward graduation, gain valuable work experience and specific job skills, and earn a wage. Upon completion, they are awarded a Certificate of Occupational Proficiency by the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

Youth Apprenticeships are possible in a wide range of occupations, from Marketing, Construction and IT to Health Sciences and Manufacturing. Between 75 and 85 percent of YA employers offer their youth apprentices permanent positions at the program's completion, the best testimonial possible of the program's value.

To find out more about Youth Apprenticeship, check out this fact sheet. Contact YA staff at the Department of Workforce Development with any questions by calling (608) 267-6705 or emailing ya@dwd.wisconsin.gov.

Deadline to Apply for SBA Working Capital Disaster Loans Is June 15
Businesses in Green and Lafayette counties that were affected by severe storms and flooding on July 19-31, 2017 are eligible for working capital disaster loans through the Small Business Administration. Small businesses, small agricultural coooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations can apply. Low-interest loans up to $2 million are available in select Illinois counties, in addition to Green and Lafayette counties. 
Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Meeting
The City of Monroe is hosting a Zoning Ordinance Rewrite Open House from 5:30 to 7 p.m. June 14 at Behring Senior Center. Representatives of the planning consultant team will be there. Learn about land use and development issues addressed in the new zoning ordinance, and ask questions. 
PAC at MHS Is Available to Rent 
Need a large auditorium for a special event? The Performing Arts Center at Monroe High School is available for rent to groups. At 700 seats, it's the largest auditorium in the area. Contact Jenny Bochar, PAC director, at 608.214.8582.

In Her Boots Event Set for June 21
Improve your farm or achieve your farm dream! Attend the In Her Boots workshop from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21 at Wylymar Farms, N5224 County J, Monroe, and get advice from women farmers and others. Register here.

Green County Development is a 501c3 non-profit organization building the economic future of Green County Wisconsin's communities and businesses through public-private partnerships.
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