The LADCO / Coulee Bank Industry Appreciation drew a crowd of over 210 local business, education, economic, and public leaders to the Radisson Center on July 12th. The event says “thank you” to industry by recognizing economically imperative collaborative efforts, successful business achievements, and emerging entrepreneurial initiatives!

The Triangle of Achievement Award was the first award presented. It was awarded to the La Crosse Conventions and Visitors Bureau, Wisconsin Department of Tourism, and the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for their diligent work on the renovation of the La Crosse Area Travel Welcome Center off Interstate 90. A major project like this could not have been completed without the support from our elected state officials, Senator Jennifer Shilling and Representative Jill Billings. Next, the manufacturer of the year was recognized with the Diamond Recognition Award. This year’s winner was Dynamic Recycling, an electronic refurbishing, recycling, and scrapping company in Onalaska, WI. Dynamic Recycling’s exciting success and rapid growth has led them to the point of yet another expansion. They have plans to increase their footprint and workforce a by adding a 128,000 sf building and 75-100 employees. The final awards were presented to those entrepreneurs who submitted impressive summaries of their start-up to the LADCO / CenturyLink Business Plan Competition. Christos Taverna & Gift Shop was awarded first place. Robbi Wolff accepted the award for the Mediterranean restaurant and gift shop newly open in downtown La Crosse. Second place was given to Flight Training Technologies, Any Labus-Olson. Third Place was presented to Independent Cycle’s Aaron Nicks. Congrats to all of this year’s well-deserved award winners! See the News & Events page for more details on this year’s award winners.

Then, a keynote address was given by Craig Culver: Co-founder and Chairman of Culver’s. He told the guests about his entrepreneurial journey in the restaurant industry and the start to the beloved butter burger and frozen custard chain – Culver’s. He openly shared with us the trials he faced as he began his career – searching for his passion. Then he shared with us a few business secrets he’s discovered throughout his career – stating that it takes hard work and heart to run a successful business. Hard work and determination are what made his dream to run his own business a reality. It took three years of dutiful work before he made a single dollar of profit on his business. Also, it takes heart. He noted that we are all in the hospitality business. It is extremely important to be gracious and say “please” and “thank you” and really mean it.

With a few closing remarks – genuinely thanking the businesses and organizations that make La Crosse such a great place to live, work, and play – the 21st Annual Industry Appreciation Breakfast adjourned.