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More than 140 guests attended the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh-headquartered Family Business Forum (WFBF) annual dinner May 6.

During the event, the Family Business First Award winners were announced. Many of the business awarded have a proven track record of success in terms of sales, innovation, economic impact, profits and employment. Due to the nature of being a family business, many believe strongly in giving back to the communities in which they live. Family Business First Awards have been designed to give proper recognition to these important businesses; the awards were cosponsored by First Business Bank. This year’s winners were: McClone, Boldt and Wisconsin Spice.

Also at the event:

  • A scholarship was awarded to Jenna Bilz, of Baraboo, for her leadership and involvement in extracurricular activities as related to family business. Bilz is a sophomore studying human resource management and Spanish at UW Oshkosh.
  • The Fellows Award was presented to retired CEO Vinson (Bud) Simpson, Jim Simpson (posthumous) and President/CEO Curt Ignacio,  all of Marion Body Works, Inc. The award is given annually to individual(s) who made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the WFBF.

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, First Business Bank, Schenck S.C., Troi Consulting, UW Oshkosh College of Business and UTECH Customized Organizational Development.

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