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The Wisconsin Family Business Forum (WFBF) hosted its 15th Annual Dinner on Monday, May 2, 2011. More than 130 guests attended and reflected on the Forum’s previous 15 years, recognized distinguished members and sponsors and awarded two student scholarships.

During the event, Tim and Vicky Wuest of Badger Mining Corporation were named this year’s Forum Fellows. The Forum Fellow award was established in 2004 and is given each year to an individual(s) who has made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Forum.

Scholarship awards were given to College of Business students, Kyle Ackeret, a senior studying human resources management, and Hilary Bauer,a  junior studying marketing. Scholarship recipients are full-time undergraduate students at UW Oshkosh who have achieved junior or senior status with at least a 3.0 grade point average. They also show leadership and involvement in extracurricular activities and have a connection to, or interest in, family business.

The WFBF’s chairperson, Tony Renning, of Davis & Kuelthau, announced incoming chairperson Philip J. Janes, of Janesco, Inc of Oshkosh. Janes will lead WFBF for the upcoming year. Renning also surprised retiring Executive Director Susan Schierstedt, with recognition of her 15 years of service to the Forum. Schierstedt was hired to develop and build the Forum, which began at UW Oshkosh in 1996. Since that time, the Forum has directly assisted more than 100 family businesses and indirectly assisted hundreds more.

The evening culminated with the story of Bush Brothers & Company as told by Jay Bush, a fourth generation family Senate member and face of Bush’s Baked Beans. Jay talked about some of the family history in the growth of the business and shared some video clips of Duke, the company’s nationally-recognized public relations dog.

WFBF is the oldest family business organization in Wisconsin. As part of the College of Business at UW Oshkosh, WFBF fosters healthy family businesses by offering assistance with succession planning, leadership development, communication techniques and conflict resolution. WFBF creates effective solutions regarding the critical issues and problems confronting family businesses today and help the individuals and their businesses succeed.

The WFBF sponsoring organizations include: 1st National Bank, Associated Bank NA, Davis & Kuelthau, S.C., Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., Pathmakers Inc., Schenck S.C., Sustainable Continuous Improvement LLC, The Business Bank, The Business News, UW Oshkosh College of Business and WIPFLI LLP.

For more information about Forum membership, sponsorship and programs, contact Donna Nelson at or (920) 424-1451 or visit the website at .

Janice Stark, a staff member with the College of Education and Human Services, submitted this announcement. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to contribute calendar items, campus announcements and other good news to UW Oshkosh Today.