Bridging Brown County held their 14th Annual Appreciation Dinner October 26th at the Sleepy Eye Event Center. Included in the evening was a silent and live auction, guest speaker Sleepy Eye Mayor Wayne Pelzel and Bridging Brown County Director Clarice Platz was honored with the 2017 Bridge Builder Award.
One American company has the mantra:
Faith first, family second, career third.
This year’s Bridge Builder recipient lives that mantra.
- Faith first – Clarice is an example of living her faith. She is very active in her church and truly believes in the biblical rule of “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. She is a lifelong member of St. Raphael’s Church where she has served in a number of roles. She is a past volunteer director for faith formation
- and has served as catechist, sharing her faith, for many years. She continues to serve as an Eucharistic minister and is very active in the Council of Catholic Women. Clarice’s devotion to her faith has been recognized by the Bishop as she is a past recipient of the prestigious Bishop’s Medal of Service from the Diocese of New Ulm.
Family second -Clarice is a devoted wife, mother, daughter, sister and grandmother. She enjoys nothing better than time spent with family, particularly her 8 grandchildren. Clarice recently received the MNCASA (Minnesota Coalition Against Sexual Assault) AWARE Award for her work with her seven sisters to bring educational resources to our area. The AWARE award is given to both individuals and groups and recognizes the way in which recipients courageously responded to sexual abuse and assault and how they transformed their personal adversity into prevention. Also, having served on the Brown County Underage Substance Abuse Coalition, it’s obvious that Clarice has a passion for educating others, particularly children, on abuse prevention.
Career third – Clarice is not only a Director for Bridging Brown County, she also runs her own business – Seams to Fit and Tuxes, too. Clarice has been an active Chamber of Commerce member for Springfield and Sleepy Eye and is always promoting the value of doing business locally.
Clarice is a bridge builder – always working hard to find ways to make things work. We are happy to have her as in important part of our organization and community and very pleased to present her with this award that she is so deserving of.
Clarice Platz – the 2017 Building Brown County Bridging Award recipient.
Rides are offered free of charge to anyone from approximately 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Brown County Rural Electrical Association (REA) hosted about 470 members and spouses, employees and guests at the New Ulm Civic Center April 6th for the cooperative’s 80th Annual Meeting. A total of 232 members registered for the meeting.
Pastor Josh Doughty of United Methodist Church in Springfield, shared the invocation. Board President Jim Mickelson recapped highlights and cooperative happenings over the past year. He talked about the leadership transition at the co-op as General Manager Wade Hensel retires and Mike Heidemann becomes the fourth person to lead Brown County REA in its 80-year history.
CEO Heidemann reviewed activities of the past year, noted retirement of the general manager and two long-time employees, and renewal of a contract for hydropower through Western Area Power Administration (WAPA). He thanked Hensel for his excellent leadership of the cooperative the past 16 years.
The 2016 audited financial report was reviewed by Office Manager Darla Ruschen. Directors were elected in Districts 2, 3, and 8. Incumbents Bradley Sprenger, Allen Hanson and Reuben Kokesch were re-elected to three-year terms.
David Luepke shared his experience serving on the Member Advisory Council, topics addressed at the meetings and being part of the nominating committee. He encouraged other members to become involved. In her absence, Member Services Manager Marcia Solie shared Natalie Sellner’s comments and appreciation for the opportunity to travel to Washington, D.C. last June as the cooperative’s Rural Electric Youth Tour representative.
At the organizational meeting which followed, Jim Mickelson was elected President of the Board, Bill Berg chosen as Vice President, Jim Hanson elected Secretary/Treasurer and Reuben Kokesch was again selected as Brown County REA’s Great River Energy representative.
The Sleepy Eye chapter of the Knights of Columbus donated their profits from their annual Super Sunday Benefit Brunch, held February 12th to the Sleepy Eye Holiday Lights in Motion. Accepting the $1200 check are Holiday Lights in Motion organizers (from left) Mike Suess and Shari Hittesdorf. Presenting the check includes KC reps Phillip Sellner and Tom Hirsch.
Sam Arsers of New Ulm received the 2017 Brown County Republican Distinguished Service Award from past award recipient, Lori Wehrwein of New Ulm, during the Brown County Republican annual convention held February 11 at the Sleepy Eye Community Center. This honor recognizes his many years of involvement on the county board, as well as his willingness to volunteer for Republican activities.
Guest speakers included State Representative Paul Torkelson (HD16B – Hanska) and State Senator Gary Dahms (SD16 – Redwood Falls). Both legislators are serving as committee chairs and reported on the progress of their priorities during the current session underway in St. Paul. Mary Bartz of Sleepy Eye spoke on behalf of U.S. 1st District Congressional Candidate Jim Hagedorn of Blue Earth, who has announced his intention to unseat incumbent Tim Walz (D) of Mankato.