Waukesha County Award Winners Announced

The Waukesha County Business Alliance, Waukesha County Center for Growth and Waukesha County are proud to announce the winners of this year’s Small and Large Nonprofit of the Year awards and the Waukesha County Advocate of the Year award.

What sets Waukesha County apart is the way businesses, government, nonprofits and educational institutions all work together to make our community stronger. The Alliance, Waukesha County and the Waukesha County Center for Growth are working together to honor those that have a significant presence in Waukesha County and are making our community a great place to live, work and play.

Congrats to our 2020 winners!

Advocate of the Year: Neal Glaeser, President & CEO, Denali Ingredients

The Waukesha County Advocate of the Year Award celebrates an individual who has demonstrated incredible dedication to making Waukesha County a vibrant community. The award was created to honor and remember the late Bart Adams, who passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Bart was a consistent voice for business and embodied the characteristics of a dedicated leader. We’re excited to honor another behind-the-scenes leader who has played a key role in ensuring that Waukesha is a great place to live, work and play.

Like many manufacturers in Waukesha County over the last decade, Denali Ingredients faced a worker shortage that threatened to limit the company’s expansion.  Neal’s Christian values and belief in the power of employment to change lives led him to The Joseph Project. Run through Greater Praise Church of God in Christ on Milwaukee’s North Side, The Joseph Project provides job training and transportation to work for low-income Milwaukee residents. 

Initially, when Neal heard the project was helping Sheboygan County companies meet their workforce needs, he asked, “Why not Waukesha County?”  Neal convened a group of local employers to meet with Pastor Smith and learn about his program. Impressed, the group purchased and donated a van to The Joseph Project, and soon Milwaukee job seekers participating in the program were hired and transported to growing Waukesha County companies.  Thanks to Neal’s vision, hundreds of open positions in Waukesha County have been filled by Joseph Project participants. 

Today Neal serves as Board President of The Joseph Project.  He is also a board member of the Waukesha County Business Alliance and MRA, a non-profit HR resource organization.  We are grateful for his service.

Large Non Profit of the Year: Catholic Memorial High School

Catholic Memorial High School demonstrates strong business practices, excellent customer service, a legacy of serving the community, a commitment to its employees, and positive financial performance.

In addition, CMH is a nationally recognized leader in STEM education – one of only 144 schools in the country to be named a School of Distinction by Project Lead The Way. The school is immensely proud of the way the CMH community met the challenge of the pandemic and sudden school closings in the spring. The students did not lose momentum. In fact, they continued to thrive!

Small Non Profit of the Year: Blessings in a Backpack

The mission of Blessings in a Backpack is to provide food to hungry children on weekends throughout the school year.

Blessings directly impacts the health and quality of life for children in the program by supplementing their nutrition on weekends when they are not receiving food from the federal free or reduced lunch program. Studies show that students achieve better grades, behave better, and have increased attendance when their nutritional needs are met. This year, due to the pandemic, the organization worked diligently to feed children throughout the summer.

Blessings is a volunteer driven organization that relies on grants and donations to fund the program.