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Highlights Archives

Fifth Annual Wisconsin History Makers Gala

Grand Avenue, looking east from 5th Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
WHI 53352

The Wisconsin Historical Society will salute the lifetime achievements of four distinguished individuals with Wisconsin ties at the Fifth Annual Wisconsin History Makers Gala on Wednesday, May 26, at Milwaukee's historic Pfister Hotel beginning at 5:30 pm. The event is open to the public and includes a reception, dinner and awards ceremony. Mary Buestrin of Mequon and Murph Burke of Fox Point will once again co-chair the event.

Meet the History Makers Class of 2010

  • Will Allen will receive The William Dempster Hoard Award for Distinction in Agriculture. Allen is a former professional basketball player, a farmer and a community activist. He is the CEO of Growing Power, a national nonprofit organization based in Milwaukee that promotes sustainable farming methods in low-income neighborhoods. He is driven by a desire to make quality fresh fruit and vegetables accessible to underserved inner-city populations. He is also a leader in the effort to encourage our youth to develop healthier eating habits to end juvenile obesity.
  • Michael Leckrone will receive The Spencer Tracy Award for Distinction in the Performing Arts. Leckrone has been the director of the marching band and director of bands at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for more than 40 years. By creating a new, demanding marching style, "stop at the top," a pre-game run on, and emphasizing showmanship, he turned the program into one of the finest in the nation. He is in constant demand as a clinician, guest conductor and adjudicator throughout North America and is also a noted arranger, composer and performer.
  • Robert Spitzer will receive The Charles Van Hise Award for Distinction in Education. Spitzer is president emeritus of the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE). As president from 1977 to 1991, he innovated financial and management charting systems, and helped MSOE gain a national reputation for excellence in engineering, entrepreneurship, business enterprise and global awareness. Prior to leading MSOE, he served as president and CEO, and as chairman of the board of Murphy Products Company, a nationally known agribusiness firm located in Burlington, Wisconsin.
  • Frederick Stratton, Jr. will receive The Samuel C. Johnson Award for Distinction in Corporate Leadership. Stratton is the retired chairman and CEO of Briggs & Stratton Corporation, the world's largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. As CEO he faced many challenges from foreign competition and demand by mass retailers for lower prices. He reorganized Briggs & Stratton into product-focused divisions, expanded product lines, and entered into successful joint ventures that brought about long-term stability for the company.

Ticket Information, Online Registration and Sponsorships

For more information or to purchase tickets online, visit the History Makers ticket information page. To purchase individual tickets by phone, sponsor a table of 10, or to reserve space in the Gala program book, contact Jackie Mich at 608-261-9364 or via email.

:: Posted April 15, 2010

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