New award program recognizes growth, community involvement
A diverse Grafton manufacturing firm and a Cedarburg catering business have been named the inaugural winners of the Business of the Year awards being presented by Ozaukee Economic Development.
Grafton-based Kapco Inc. is the recipient of the Large Business of the Year Award. The company is headquartered at 1000 Badger Cir.
From Scratch Catering in Cedarburg is the Small Business of the Year.
According to the award program organizers, the intent is to recognize businesses that have seen significant business and job growth during the past five years.
“The criteria was growth in employment, revenue and community service,” OED Executive Director Kathleen Schilling said.
“The two businesses selected were both noted for their growth during some difficult economic years. Additionally, both businesses gave back to the community in both large and small ways.”
Kapco, which was founded by Tom Kacmarcik Sr. in 1972, has continued to grow despite the nation’s recent recession.
It has been named one of the region’s “Fastest Growing Companies” for the past two years by the Milwaukee Business Journal.
Originally a metal stamping and fabricating business now owned by Jim Kacmarcik, Kapco has nearly 400 employees.
Over the years, the company has diversified its business interests, expanding into music recording and ownership of the Lakeshore Chinooks wooden-bat baseball team.
The field the company erected on the campus of Concordia University Wisconsin in Mequon is called Kapco Park.
Community support has long been a cornerstone of the owners, leading to an umbrella phrase — “Kapco Blue.”
Among the company’s many charitable interests are helping children and families in need, encouraging arts and education for low-income children and promoting job readiness.
Past campaigns the company has sponsored have included Troop to Troops, which sent Girl Scout cookies to troops stationed overseas, and Hometown Heroes, a recognition of those who serve their community.
From Scratch Catering opened three years ago at N56 W6287 Center St., and has grown to 39 employees. It was founded by Roger and Donna Erickson.
The business is known for its use of quality ingredients and excellence in preparation.
It has made donating to community causes a priority, supporting the Cedarburg Education Foundation, Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce, Mel’s Run/Walk and Advocates of Ozaukee County. The company has also backed the restoration of the Rivoli Theatre in Cedarburg.
Schilling said the award program is a way to share accomplishments of the business community.
“Promoting these businesses helps show both county residents and outside businesses some of our successes,” she said.
The companies will be presented their awards during the OED’s Economic Forecast and Business of the Year Breakfast. The event will be Wednesday, Oct. 9, at the Ozaukee County Pavilion at the fairgrounds in Cedarburg.
The cost is $20 a ticket or $150 for a table of eight.
For more information, contact Schilling at 238-7730 or