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Future 15 awards virtual ceremony a success

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – Even though the Future 15 in-person awards celebration was a no-go due to COVID-19, its virtual counterpart went off without a hitch Thursday, July 23.

“While we may have been physically distant, we made efforts to feel as if we were all together,” said Mallory Nash, Current Young Professionals program manager.

Each year, Current, a program of the Greater Green Bay Chamber, recognizes the accomplishments of talented young professionals (ages 21-40) making an impact in the Greater Green Bay community.

This year, instead of gathering together at the traditional formal event, finalists gathered with family and friends at their own watch parties, awaiting the winners to be announced via a virtual ceremony.

A short video presentation was shown highlighting each finalist’s accomplishments leading up to each award announcement.

To add to the evening’s anticipation and excitement, the audience followed Nash as she surprised the winners at their watch parties to present the awards.

This year’s Young Professional of the Year was awarded to Heather Milbach, the community relations manager at Schreiber Foods.

“I didn’t think I’d be emotional about this,” said a visually shocked Milbach. “I honestly don’t know what to say. I’m humbled and honored to be even part of this amazing group of people tonight. I’m shocked.”

Milbach was recognized for her numerous contributions to the community – both professional and personal.

In her role as community relations director, Milbach has the opportunity to shape community engagement across the Schreiber company, both domestically and internationally.

Milbach’s involvement extends into her personal life, serving on numerous community boards and committees.

“I truly think that it’s all in doing what you love, those little things that add up to be the big things,” she said. “That’s really what it’s all about. That’s what makes our community better.”

Milbach was chosen from this year’s pool of Future 15 recipients.

The remaining recipients include: Kassie Batchelor, Joe Faulds, Mario Gonzalez, Claudia Guzman, Beth Hudak, Ben Joniaux, Sarah Krier, Kathryn Kroll, Samantha Maass, Ken Mika, Briana Peters, Kristina Shelton, Madeline Szymanski and Tynisha Willingham.

Two other awards were handed out during the event.

Taylor Pierce, owner of The Cupcake Couture in De Pere, was selected as Young Entrepreneur of the Year.

Pierce was selected for her commitment and dedication to building and leading a successful area business.

In four years, Pierce expanded her storefront, and earned a spot on the best of the best list from The Knot and Wedding Wire.

The other nominees for the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award include DJ Kast and Mark Moran with Shift Visuals and Tyler Arkens with Green Bay Floral and Greenhouse.

Nicolet National Bank was recognized as the Next Generation Best Place to Work.

Nicolet was chosen for its commitment to the development of young professionals especially through its mentorship and internship programs.

The other finalists for the Next Generation Best Place to Work award were Associated Bank, Howard-Suamico School District, Orthopedic & Sports Medicine (OSMS) and ISG.

“Current is proud to have such a tremendous representation of young professionals and business leaders within the area,” Nash said.

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