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Helping the Seymour community prosper

The Seymour Business League welcomed a new business to Seymour with a ribbon cutting on May 12. Josh and Amy Woods have opened Favoryt Brand at 241 S. Main St., Seymour, offering natural hair and skin products. Rick Cohler photo

By Rick Cohler

Contributing Writer

SEYMOUR – The Seymour Business League has a mission to serve Seymour businesses, but it goes much further than that.

“Our vision is to help grow, sustain and support a strong and welcoming community in Seymour through cultivating business relationships, with a special attention to the downtown district,” the organization’s webpage said.

President Madilyn Heinke landed back in her home town after COVID-19 changed her post-college plans, taking a position in Green Bay, but continuing to work weekends at the family-owned Mel’s Coffee House in Seymour.

Heinke had a conversation with Tashia Leisgang, owner of  Ollie’s Frocks a clothing boutique in Seymour, about forming a group to succeed the Chamber of Commerce chapter which had dissolved several years earlier.

“What if we created an organization that would be like a Chamber of Commerce for Seymour, but we put our own spin on it that would best fit the Seymour community,” she said. “We are a community-focused business league that is set out to help Seymour prosper using the talent and resources we have in our backyard.”

Leisgang serves on the league’s board of directors as director of marketing and communications.

Other board members include Courtney Heagle, Performance Corporation, vice-president; licensed massage therapist Melissa Hanson, secretary; and Kayla Raether, Kailhoffer’s Greenhouse, treasurer.

“A chamber of commerce isn’t just about business,” Heinke said. “When you have a strong community that can support those businesses, you have strong businesses that can turn around and support the community.”

Each board member has their own designated concentration.

Heagle is the business growth leader, helping new business owners navigate opening a location within Seymour city requirements and coordinates educational efforts through webinars and meet and greets.

“We have ‘Coffee and Connections’ the last Thursday of the month to talk about opportunities, issues and topics in the community,” Heinke explained.

Leisgang coordinates the league’s social media presence to keep members up to date on various events.

One unique event is the holiday “Hobbie Whatty” a take-off from the Grinch story.

The event, for Seymour residents, features children’s games, crafts, cookies, Christmas trees and more.

Other events include “Rock My City,” where rocks are hidden in parks to get people outside in the spring, and the annual golf outing in the summer as the league’s main fundraiser.

Heinke, along with Lisa Rickert from Nicolet National Bank and Seymour Community School District Superintendent Kellie Bohn, lead the student engagement programs which includes a $500 business scholarship, events interacting with students to help prepare them for job opportunities mock job interviews with eighth grade students and meeting with businesses and teachers to better integrate students into the business world.

The league has also taken on some aspects of surrounding Burger Fest, Seymour’s annual celebration of being the Home of the Hamburger.

Along with coordinating the annual Burger Fest parade, a new aspect this year will be “The Battle of the Burger.”

The contest for local restaurants will kick off on May 28 — National Burger Day — and run through the month of July.

The league will utilize Seymour Community High School’s new tech education center to create trophies for the winners of the contest which will be selected on July 31.

The Seymour Business League now has 32 members and has partnered with the Fox Valley Chamber of Commerce as an added resource.

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