Citizen of the year: Dale Lutz honored by chamber
JEFFERSON -- The Jefferson Chamber of Commerce recently recognized outstanding businessmen, citizens and organizations for their positive impact on the community.
Mayor Dale Oppermann presented the 2018 “Ray O. Fischer Outstanding Citizen Award” to Capt. Dale Lutz of the Jefferson Police Department. The honor was given during the chamber’s annual dinner at Neighbor’s Grill and Pizza/13 East.
Lutz was recognized for the many ways he has touched the local community, both through his job and as a volunteer.
The mayor noted that Lutz has served the city in countless ways. He has been with the Jefferson Police Department since 1997, rising through the ranks through hard work and dedication.
Oppermann said Lutz created a countywide forum for police officers to help them handle domestic abuse cases. He also organizes community events to inform parents of preventive measures they can take to help their children stay away from drugs.
When Jefferson High School was remodeled, Lutz worked with school officials to make sure the design took into account the latest “best practices” in school safety, the mayor noted.
Lutz also serves on the county’s Community Justice Coalition, educating offenders going through treatment programs, and also serves as a resource for juveniles navigating the court system.
He has taught hunter safety for the past two decades, has served on the board of directors for People Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse, volunteered in numerous capacities for the Randy Schopen “Give Someone a Chance” Foundation and for the Tomorrow’s Hope health-care charity, and has assisted at numerous parades, 5k runs and other public events to keep people safe and keep traffic flowing.
Oppermann said that throughout all of these roles, Lutz has been a dedicated advocate for the health, safety and happiness of all of those in the Jefferson community.
“He truly makes a positive impact on everyone he encounters,” the mayor said. “He’s always willing to help friends, neighbors or strangers. It is said, when Dale enters a room, he makes everyone happy.”
Also Thursday, the chamber presented Kyle Tully of Fidelity Land Title with the 2018 “Businessman of the Year” award, recognizing a chamber member who gives back to the community and is very supportive of the chamber.
“This person readily makes himself available to the businesspeople he serves and exemplifies the true meaning of commitment in the ways he serves the community as a whole,” said Jen Pinnow.
Pinnow called Tully a “person of character” who puts the people he serves -- both personally and professionally -- before his own interests.
She cited his passion for the Jefferson Live Music Foundation, which was recognized Thursday with the first-ever Jefferson Award. Tully is involved with booking the bands and signing contracts each week.
“Both community organizations and businesses look to this individual for input and guidance for help with their events, and this person is always quick to help when needed,” she said before revealing the recipient as Tully. “This year, we are recognizing an individual who grew up right here in Jefferson, and whose hometown pride shows in everything he does.”
Malicki’s Piggly Wiggly was named “Business of the Year” by the chamber.
The award recognizes a chamber member business that has been a pillar of the community.
Pinnow noted that Piggly Wiggly had changed ownership in 2017, and under new owner Alex Malicki, it has played a key role in boosting so many aspects of the community.
Beautification Awards were presented to chamber businesses that enhanced the exterior of their places of business in 2018.
Recipients were: Indeco, Muse Studio, DDR Insurance Service, Main Street Station, Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home and Theisen’s.
The chamber also recognized members who served two consecutive terms on the chamber’s board of directors: Danielle Thompson and David Zarwell, and the chamber’s outgoing president, Julia Chady.
Recognized as new chamber members in 2018 were: McDermott Top Shop, Andy Didion, Muse Studio, Area Dental Clinic, Theisen’s Home/Farm/Auto, Jones Market, the Department of Workforce Development/Job Service, FOCUS Coworking, Generac Power Systems, Stehling’s Taxidermy, Wisconsin Indoor Advertising, the Randy Schopen Foundation and DogsInVests.
The chamber also recognized anniversary milestones.
Topping the list at 180 years was the city of Jefferson.
Next came PremierBank, with 155 years in business. The Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home was recognized for being in continuous business for 130 years.
Recognized for 110 years serving the community was the Jefferson Public Library.
Marking its 65th year in business was Abendroth Water Conditioning, followed by 60-year business Lawton and Cates S.C.
Two businesses marked their 55th year: John’s Fire Protection and the County-City Credit Union.
Reaching its 50th year was Lou’s Riverview.
Feted for 45 years serving customers were the Pine Cone Restaurant in Johnson Creek and the Robin’s Nest II Styling Salon downtown.
Reaching their 40th year were: DJC CPAs and Advisors, Madison Classics, PADA (People against Domestic and Sexual Abuse), Town and Country Homes and Stehling’s Taxidermy.
Recognized for 30 years in business were Thompson and Company S.C. and Rainbow Hospice Care Inc.
Honored for a quarter-century were U.S. Cellular Authorized Agent M.K. Cellular, Duntley Water Works and goJefferson.com.
Feted for two decades in business were the River’s Edge Farm Market, Diversified Personnel Services and the Tomorrow’s Hope health-care charity.
Marking a decade in business were ACT4HIM, a nonprofit bringing Christian music to the area; TLS Insurance Services LLC; and Jefferson Cruise Nights.
Honored for five years in business was the Jefferson Kwik Trip.