Champions of Change

 Recognizing the everyday people doing extraordinary things in Washington County.

Who inspires you?

We’d love to hear their story. We’re currently accepting nominations for 2018 in nine award categories. Winners are chosen by an independent committee and announced at an incredible celebration dinner on June 13, 2018.

Nomination Guidelines

  1. Nominations are due before midnight on Fri., April 20, 2018.
  2. This program recognizes local volunteer achievements; your nominee’s volunteer work must impact Washington County.
  3. Nominations by an immediate family member must be accompanied by a non-family nomination.

Not sure what to say? Here’s an example of a winning nomination to help get you started.

Read a Sample Nomination

Feeling ready to write?

Submit a Nomination

Award Categories

The Power of One – An individual who has single-handedly created change for the better in our community through their volunteer efforts.

Dynamic Duo – Two people working together to make a difference through volunteerism. This is a duo where you never see one without the other.

Ziegler Team Spirit – 
There is no “I” in “team.” This is a group who demonstrate leadership, teamwork, and a commitment to volunteerism.

Community Partner – This award recognizes a business that champions volunteerism and shows an incredible commitment to our local community.

Emerging Leader – A leader in the making, this person has displayed exciting growth and is inspiring by example through their volunteer efforts.

Rising Star – A champion, 21 or younger, whose discovery of volunteerism and passion for the community has stood out and inspired others.

SOAR 55 – An inspiring individual, age 55 or better, whose volunteer achievements have contributed significantly to others’ quality of life in our community.

Real Hero – This is a true hero whose caring actions and outstanding acts of humanitarianism have made our community safer.

Beyond the Board – A member of a local nonprofit board who goes above and beyond in their service to the organization.

Also proudly presented at the Champions of Change Celebration Dinner — the Judges’ Choice Award.


Submit a Nomination

Meet our 2017 Champions of Change

Jillian Clark, Power of One

Jillian is the founder of Chix 4 a Cause, a local nonprofit that provides cancer patients with “gifts of love.” Jillian has given countless hours to brightening the day of those battling cancer while growing her organization. Chix 4 a Cause currently serves southeastern Wisconsin, and because of Jillian’s passionate leadership, it is looking to grow nationally.

Award sponsored by the Prescott Family Foundation

Wendy Smith & Jason Wix, Dynamic Duo

Wendy and Jason are the owners of Faith and Giggles in downtown Hartford. Since opening day in 2011, they’ve led the charge to help people in need and have made a positive difference at every level. From supporting someone who needed an organ transplant, to coordinating a fundraiser to purchase a therapy dog for a child in need, to organizing a coalition to fight the human trafficking battle… they always place service before self. The list of causes they support and advocate for as a business is long, but personally the list is even longer as they serve on practically every board in Hartford. Their compassion, teamwork and positive impact is inspirational for all!

Award sponsored by River Shores Chiropractic

Spotlight Productions, Ziegler Team Spirit

For more than 35 years, this family-oriented organization has been completely volunteer-based. With its annual shows, summer children’s theatre and education, outreach efforts and more, it’s evident Spotlight Productions believes in the power of what people can do collectively. From the actors and musicians, set designers to lighting engineers — even the directors — each and every person involved with Spotlight volunteers their time to share the magic of live theater with our community.

Award Sponsored by Sharon Ziegler

Nicole Pretre, Emerging Leader

Nicole is the Director of Business Development at Cedar Community, a busy mom of two and an active volunteer. She is a positive role model and assists with the United Way, TEMPO Washington County, Alzheimer’s Association, Interfaith Caregivers, Dementia-Friendly Washington County, the UW-Madison Alumni Club, the West Bend Chamber of Commerce and so many more. Nicole’s kind spirit and can-do attitude is contagious. Whether she’s serving a meal for seniors, sewing costumes for local theatre groups or serving in a leadership role for a community non-profit, Nicole always puts in 100%. She’s lived in the area that past 12 years, but since then has sure made her mark and is only continuing to grow and serve even more! Thanks for sharing your time, talents and commitment to the community through her volunteerism.

Award Sponsored by Pick Heaters, Inc.

Gil Sheridan, SOAR 55

As the head usher at Fifth Avenue Methodist Church and a faithful volunteer of Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County, Gil Sheridan has a servant’s heart. He is the first to assist people with special needs and help to provide a supportive and caring environment wherever he is. Gil’s passion for caring for others and giving back to his community is in response to the critical needs in Washington County for transportation for seniors and adults. His call to volunteer enables others to remain independent and active members of our society. His leadership and service has earned him the respect and gratitude of those for whom and with whom he serve, his church family, his peers and Interfaith Caregivers and his community.

Award Sponsored by Cedar Community

Jacob Amidon, Rising Star

Since 2014, this Slinger High School student has volunteered as a teen leader in the Volunteer Center’s Camp Super Hero. Jacob’s there every summer, setting a wonderful example for the middle schoolers in the program. He consistently jumps in wherever he’s needed whether he’s building retaining walls at Habitat for Humanity or hosting a carnival for memory care residents at Cedar Community. Jacob has grown into a mentor and key leader for the service learning camp. He is friendly, patient and an outstanding role model… truly one special young man.

Sponsored by the Kewaskum, Slinger & West Bend School Districts

The Norbert, Community Partner

Spearheaded by entrepreneur Tony Koebel, The Norbert leads by example through action. Their efforts with Habitat for Humanity might be known, but there are countless behind the scenes actions that are never known. The Norbert hosts an annual Community Thanksgiving with a “pay what you can” format. So far they served nearly 300 people, all while raising money for local non-profits. The Norbert inspires our community because they serve and lift up people in unique and different ways. It’s a ripple effect – the restaurant team is better as whole because they’re part of these actions for good. Guests at the restaurant hear about these projects and think about how they can give back. In a world of ROI and profit and “likes” on social media, The Norbert is a business leading by example and that is a true Community Partner.

Award Sponsored by Aurora Health Care

Ron Naab, Real Hero

Ron gives 100% of his heart and soul to the Washington County Heroin Task Force. He is an educator and storyteller when he shares with schools, parent organizations, churches and workplaces about the dangers of opiate use and the progression of pills to heroin. He provides heartfelt personal experience having family whose battles have left one in prison and one, tragically, deceased. Ron raises his grandson because of this and the terrible impact of heroin. In addition to his support of Elevate, Ron has served in the Allenton Volunteer Fire Department for more than 50 years. He is also instrumental in redistributing used fire equipment to developing countries without access to necessary gear. His travels help educate, train and put in service used gear so communities can be safer, smarter and better prepared for the next emergency.

Award Sponsored by West Bend Mutual Insurance

Joan Adler, Beyond the Board

When Joan moved to West Bend in 2009 to be closer to family after retirement, she started extensive volunteer work and was determined to move from “personal success to significance” (in her own words). Joan and her dog Smitty are read together at Kewaskum Elementary School, and she is also the coordinator for Family Promise at Peace United Church of Christ. As a strong advocate for Cedar Community, Joan has chaired and led the CEO search and transition, was instrumental with board strategic planning and execution, is a Cedar Chaplain where she visits one-on-one with residents and more. The significance she’s made in many people’s lives is undeniable. When others could have relaxed, checked out and gone on vacation endlessly, Joan has become an invaluable volunteer who has truly gone beyond the board.

Award Sponsored by Schreiber Foods

Kewaskum Remembers 9/11, Judges’ Choice

The Kewaskum Remembers committee is a group working to build a memorial to not only honor those that were lost on September 11, 2001 but to also teach the community about the events of that fateful day. Over the year, they have worked to inform and gain community support for this memorial which will be a space of reflection. With a 2,200 pound steel beam recovered from the North Tower of the World Trade Center as its center piece, the memorial will also serve to honor both those who responded to the atrocity and those who perished including a Kewaskum graduate – Andrea Lyn Haberman. The memorial is not yet built, but this group’s efforts will ensure we will never forget this day in history and will respect and honor those that were lost on 9/11.

Award Sponsored by Hon. Annette & JJ Ziegler

Anthony Anderson, Changemaker Award

Anthony Anderson is a local father, husband, manager at Delta Defense and Iraq War veteran. You may have heard his name as part of the documentary film “Almost Sunrise” that’s been on PBS and at film festivals across the country.

Anthony along with a fellow Iraq veteran Tom Voss, decided to walk from Milwaukee to Los Angeles – over 2,700 miles, taking 155 days – to help them heal from the combat experiences that haunt them. Along the way, the two men raised awareness of the unrelenting pain of moral injury many vets face and encouraged them to seek treatment. Their trek has raised over $100,000 for the Dryhootch Organization in Milwaukee.

With suicide rates among veterans at near-epidemic levels (a veteran commits suicide nearly every hour), Anthony is passionate about veterans mental health. Through his efforts to lead by example and to truly be the change, we are honored to present Anthony with the first-ever Changemaker Award.

Award Presented by the Volunteer Center

Tom Hostad, Clifford A. & Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award

presented by the United Way of Washington County