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Memorial dedication honors Free Enterprise Award recipients

By Kevin Boneske
Staff Writer

GREEN BAY – The snow and cold weather Thursday, Oct. 31, didn’t stop the unveiling of a granite memorial in Admiral Flatley Park along the Fox River Trail to honor the Rotary Club of Green Bay’s Free Enterprise Award recipients.

Rotary Club of Green Bay President Steve Mastalir, along with this year’s award recipient, Craig Dickman, managing director of Titletown Tech, and past recipients Susan Finco of Leonard & Finco Public Relations and Rick Chernick of Camera Corner Connecting Point unveiled the six-sided monument.

It lists the 38 civic leaders who have receive the award over the past 37 years and will add future recipients as they are chosen.

The first award recipient in 1983 was George Kress of Green Bay Packaging. The late father of Press Times Publisher Patrick Wood, Frank Wood, received the award in 2004.

The memorial is a community project of the Rotary Club of Green Bay, which is now in its 103rd year, and also recognizes the club’s first century of service.

“We’d like to thank all the Rotarians that helped in the planning and the execution of making this happen,” Mastalir said.

He also thanked Van Gemert Memorials of De Pere for providing the memorial’s block of granite at cost and donating the installation and engraving costs.

Due to the inclement weather, those who attended the unveiling ceremony then headed over to Fox Harbor to hear the speeches of Mastalir, Dickman, Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach and Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.

“This memorial should serve as a lasting monument of the day Rotary came to Green Bay, and it will also serve as a reminder that the ideals of Rotary are timeless,” Mastalir said.

He said the Free Enterprise Award recipients are leaders of the community who encourage their employees to give back to the community.

Genrich said the contributions of the award recipients and the Rotary Club of Green Bay have been “hugely impactful.”

“I think the role of government is important – I wouldn’t be the mayor of Green Bay if I didn’t believe in that – but obviously there’s a lot that we can’t do, that we shouldn’t do,’ he said. “So, it’s really essential for you all being engaged in the work that you continue to be engaged in outside of your busy lives. It says a lot about you as Rotarians to be involved in this work.”

Streckenbach said having the monument along the Fox River Trail will remind people of the importance of community service.

“As employers, we need to make sure that we’re encouraging our staff to actually give back,” he said.

Dickman said being recognized as a businessperson by the Rotary Club of Green Bay with the Free Enterprise Award is “really as good as it gets.”

“I think it really represents the free enterprise and entrepreneurial spirit in action,” he said.

Dickman also recognized two previous award recipients who passed away this year, James Kress of Green Bay Packaging and Bob Bush of Schreiber Foods.

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