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Annual Awards Celebration

November 7, 2024
Golden Mast Inn
W349 N5293 Lacy’s Lane, Okauchee

Small Business of the Year: Burn Boot Camp is a fitness establishment that opened its doors in 2022 and has already made a positive impact on the lives of 350 individuals. Multiple nominators praised the owners as incredible people who serve as inspirational figures, motivating others to lead happier, healthier lives by recognizing and celebrating their unique fitness achievements.

Burn Boot Camp has also positively impacted our community through its philanthropic efforts. Despite its relatively short time in operation, it has organized two drives for WI Women 4 our Troops, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sending care packages to deployed servicewomen and men. In addition, they lent a helping hand to a family in need last Christmas, collecting and delivering gifts to ensure a joyous holiday season.

Non-Profit Organization of the Year: Baby Blessings was founded in 2020 to fill a desperate need in our community. Diapers are not currently covered under any government program. With the ongoing rising costs of everything, some parents are simply unable to afford them. Many times, they are unable to change their child’s diaper as often as they should, thus posing a health risk for the child.

Baby Blessings provides free diapers and wipes, along with other essential baby items like clothing and formula, to families facing financial hardship, serving sixty to one hundred babies per month. 

Large Business of the Year: Tinus Marine recently celebrated an impressive 75 years in business, a true testament to their enduring sustainability. In recognition of this milestone, the Oconomowoc City Council recognized April 20th, 2023 as Tinus Marine Day. They proudly remain a family-owned and operated enterprise, with the third generation actively involved in all aspects of the business, ensuring top-notch service to their customers. What keeps people returning to them is their unwavering commitment to supporting their customers and their neighborly interactions, which creates relationships that foster customer loyalty.

Tinus Marine is passionate about giving back to the community, actively contributing to numerous organizations each year. Their generosity extends to groups such as the Oconomowoc Food Pantry, Oconomowoc Memorial Auxiliary, Tricia’s Troops, Oconomowoc Arts Center, Western Lakes Fire District, Oconomowoc Lions Club, and many more.

Citizen of the Year: Kevin Pehler is an amazing example of the extraordinary people that dedicate their time, talent, and resources to improving life in Oconomowoc and beyond. His heart is truly bigger than the city he loves. His contributions, whether within an organization or as individual endeavors, are numerous.

He has volunteered for many area nonprofit organizations including the German Christmas Market Board, Oconomowoc Area Foundation, Oconomowoc Rotary and its Foundation Board, and the Oconomowoc Parade Committee.

He volunteers as a mentor for the students of the Oconomowoc High School Seminar Digital Communications class, and City of Oconomowoc interns, and he has taken the lead in organizing the Fourth of July Parade for the past few years.

He leads philanthropic efforts with imagination and innovation, creating marketing materials and videos to assist in fundraising for the Oconomowoc Skate Park, Oconomowoc Community Theatre, the Oconomowoc Library’s 2023 Book Binders Ball, the Oconomowoc Splash Pad, and also lends support to Zachariah’s Acres and Western Lakes Fire District.

He created a fun basketball fundraiser called Stoops in which he challenges local businesses to engage in Stoops matches, where the loser contributes $500 to a specific nonprofit.

One of the people who nominated him shared this about him. She asked why he cared so much to which he replied (paraphrase), “Because every single one of us can make a difference each day.”

Annual Awards Celebration
Annual Awards Celebration

Help us celebrate the businesses, organizations and people that make Oconomowoc great!  The Oconomowoc Area Chamber of Commerce has proudly hosted the Annual Awards Celebration since 1985. This special dinner is held to recognize a Large Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Non-profit Organization of the Year, and Citizen of the Year for their outstanding contributions to the community. It is also an occasion to network with other Chamber members, city officials, and community attendees.  Sponsorship of the Annual Awards Celebration is a great opportunity to promote your business or organization to the community.

CITIZEN OF THE YEAR AWARD CRITERIA:  This award recognizes an individual whose volunteerism and outstanding service and dedication have made a significant contribution to the community.  The selection committee will review and weigh the nominatees based on the following criteria: 

  • Community Involvement
  • Service Group Involvement
  • School Involvement
  • Charitable Contribution
  • Leadership

LARGE AND SMALL BUSINESS OF THE YEAR AWARD CRITERIA:  This award recognizes a Chamber member business that has set standards for excellence and innovation with their business practices and community involvement.  The selection committee will review and weigh the nominated businesses based on the following criteria: 

  • Business Growth and Performance
  • Leadership, Innovation and Customer Service
  • Community Involvement and Contribution
  • Overall Success and Impact

ORGANIZATION OF THE YEAR AWARD CRITERIA:  This award recognizes a Chamber member service organization or 501(c)(3) not-for-profit community organization that has made a positive impact in the Oconomowoc Area.  The selection committee will review and weigh the nominated organization based on the following criteria: 

  • Community Service/Impact
  • Improving Quality of Life
  • Serving unmet or under-served needs
  • Leadership Development
  • Collaborative partnerships

Registration details, sponsorship opportunities, and winners will be updated as November approaches – check back for more information or sign up for our Weekly eBlast for announcements of this event and more!

If you have any questions, please contact or call the Oconomowoc Chamber of Commerce at 262-567-2666.

Previous Awards Winners