Kapco will be repeat winner; McKelveys share ‘Business Person’ honor
It will be a landmark occasion when the Grafton Area Chamber of Commerce issues its outstanding business awards during its annual meeting on Thursday, May 20.
The award banquet will be held at the Paramount Grille & Bakehouse.
Kapco, Inc. will become the Chamber’s first repeat winner when it receives the 2010 Outstanding Business Award.
The Grafton manufacturing firm also won the award in 2001.
From a business perspective, the award may be warranted based solely on the company’s recent performance.
It has logged 25% growth in employment during a down economy while nurturing a reputation for having excellent employment practices and
policies and sound financial performance.
Still, several nominations also cited Kapco’s stellar reputation for community involvement.
Acknowledging that the Chamber has already honored the company with a past award, one nomination form said, “Since that time, Kapco has done so much for the business climate and community as a whole, that we feel another honor is well-deserved.”
The company received national exposure on Dateline NBC for its involvement with the Hometown Heroes program. The hour-long news show segment is expected to be rebroadcast this summer.
The commitment of Kapco President Jim Kacmarcik also raised the visibility of many non-profit community groups and causes through the sponsorship of events, performances, community gatherings and scholarships, the Chamber noted.
The company is closely linked with the annual Kids 2 Kids toy drive, a holiday campaign that has prompted hundreds of local families to collect 10,000 toys for children in need.
“There are countless examples of how Jim Kacmarcik and Kapco stepped in to help address the needs of our community,” one nomination form said.
While discussing the company’s support of the Community Challenge program, which was won by Concordia University earlier this year,
Kacmarcik said he remains committed to projects that enhance the community.
“The reason we get involved in these programs is because we believe there is real strength in numbers, that two is stronger than one and 10 is stronger than two,” he told Ozaukee Press.
“It is never about what Kapco or Jim Kacmarcik can accomplish, but what we can all accomplish when we work together.”
The husband-and-wife team of Dan and Sharon McKelvey also broke new ground, sharing the Chamber’s Outstanding Business Person Award.
For almost two decades, the couple has run the Investment Center of Grafton, but they earned the recognition as much for what they do away from the office as for what they do on the job.
Dan McKelvey often spends time coaching Little League before heading to a meeting of the Grafton School Board or the Village of Grafton’s Community Development Association.
He also serves on the Grafton Chamber board and is a member of the Grafton Lions Club.
Sharon McKelvey spends her so-called free time managing the activities of their four children while offering her leadership skills to the Grafton Girl Scouts, Grafton Soccer Club Board and Grafton Community Scholarship Foundation.
The letter nominating the couple for the award cited their tireless commitment to the community.
“Dan and Sharon McKelvey possess the people skills, energy and integrity that make them a valuable asset to our business community,” the nomination said.
The couple said they are honored and embarrassed by the recognition.
“When you have a successful business for almost 20 years in a small community like Grafton, I guess you develop a sense of responsibility to give back to your community. I think that’s only natural,” said Dan McKelvey.
“Our philosophy on life in general is best reflected in a quote by John Wesley. ‘Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.’”
McKelvey said his children frequently ask why he and his wife are so involved in community activities.
“We explain to them that this is our way of saying thank you to the community of Grafton. I’m happy to say that it’s rubbing off on them, too. They all volunteer their time when the opportunity presents itself,” he said.
McKelvey said it is an honor to be recognized by the Chamber as a team.
“That’s the way we function at the office and at home. Our family all looks after each other and helps each other whenever necessary. As a result of us being so busy, our kids have learned some very valuable life lessons, such as self-sufficiency and how to rely on others instead of always mom and dad. We really think it has brought our family closer together,” he said.
A final Chamber honor, the Distinguished Service Award, will be presented to Andrew Struck.
The director of planning and parks for Ozaukee County, Struck is being recognized for overseeing the Ozaukee Interurban Trail Improvement Project, which culminated last fall with construction of a 415-foot bridge across I-43 and Highway W in the Town of Grafton.
“The Chamber is proud to recognize this Grafton resident for all the personal time that was dedicated to this great improvement to the trail,” said Chamber President Mike Cibulka.
“A project of this size and scope required tireless time and attention which went beyond the realm of Andrew’s workday hours.”
Struck is president of the Interurban Trail Advisory Council. He guided the proposed improvements through a series of engineering and financing obstacles.
Tickets to the awards dinner are $35 per person, including entrees of sauteed shrimp or tenderloin filet. Reservations are due Friday, May 14.
For details, contact the Chamber office at 377-1650 or fax reservations to 375-7087.
THE GRAFTON AREA CHAMBER of Commerce will salute community involvement with its outstanding business awards on Thursday, May 20. Above, the Outstanding Business Person Award will be shared by Sharon and Dan McKelvey of the Grafton Investment Center. At lower left, Kapco, Inc. is the repeat winner of the Outstanding Business Award. At lower right, Andrew Struck will be presented with the Distinguished Service Award for his efforts on the Ozaukee Interurban Trail Improvement Project, which included the construction of a bike bridge over I-43 in the Town of Grafton.