Skip to content

Annual Awards Celebration

November 2, 2022
Golden Mast Inn
W349 N5293 Lacy’s Lane, Okauchee

Our 2022 Large Business of the Year is a second-generation, family-owned company that  has been serving the Oconomowoc area since 1973.  They started as a small Shell gas station and over the years have grown to four locations across Waukesha County with over 50 employees.  They recently won the 2022 Best Workplace Award from Ratchet+Wrench, a national publication for automotive repair business owners, and were the featured speaker at a Ratchet+Wrench management conference in Dallas, Texas. 

Residents of the Oconomowoc community have come to know and expect the comprehensive services provided by our award winner.  In the past year alone, the company has taken care of more than 5,000 customers and well over 10,000 vehicles. 

They are also very involved in the communities they serve, sponsoring multiple school events and contributing to many school  fundraisers, sponsoring car shows that benefit local churches and charities and offering discounts to our front-line workers.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Large Business of the Year is Silver Lake Auto & Tire Centers.  Congratulations and thank you for strengthening our community.

Our Nonprofit of the Year recognizes the hard work and dedication of the nonprofit organizations that provide a strong foundation for life in our community. Whether providing programs or services for unmet or underserved needs in our community, improving people’s quality of life, or organizing fun, family-focused events, the winner in this category embodies and enhances the spirit of Oconomowoc.  

Our winner this year has provided free, family-friendly fun to the Lake Country Area for 16 years with movies and entertainment at Fowler Park and on the streets of downtown Oconomowoc.  These events are family-centered activities and entertainment with a goal to foster family interactivity while serving the needs of others in our community.  Over the years they have served thousands of families by providing entertainment to parents and kids, regardless of income.  The Oconomowoc Food Pantry has been the primary beneficiary, with food item collections and dollars raised at the event.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Non-profit Organization of the Year goes to Moonlit Movies.  Thank you for contributing to our great quality of life in Oconomowoc.

Our 2022 Small Business of the Year is a family-owned business that opened in 2007. It’s conveniently located in downtown Oconomowoc and provides a gathering place for people in the Oconomowoc community enjoy a warm, inviting sitting area, perfect for those needing to get a little work done on their laptop or to catch up with a group of friends. They also provide a great meeting place for businesspeople to use for planning committees, group meetings, and interviews.

This business has experienced great growth in sales due to the warm, friendly attitudes of the staff, great food and home-baked goods, and specialty drinks that keeps their loyal customers coming back and giving them great word-of-mouth referrals.  Their motto, “The place to be for all generations” is a true reflection of the atmosphere.  It is common to see grandparents bring in grandchildren for a brownie or ice cream treat or friends coming together for a coffee and conversation.

They are also very involved with the community, giving back through volunteerism, providing a meeting space for school and business groups, and donations in support of area school programs.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Small Business of the Year is Whelan’s Coffee & Ice Cream.  Thank you for contributing to our vibrant and friendly downtown!

Our 2022 Citizen of the Year started her journey of raising awareness and advocating for mental health after losing a loved one to an accidental drug overdose.  Her mission is to provide prevention, awareness, and outreach for families in the fight against drugs.  She founded Saving Others For Archie, also known as SOFA, to spread the message through events, education, ad campaigns, public policy advocacy and more.   

What started as a local effort has grown and has caught the attention of lawmakers on local, state, and national level.  Lauri has advocated for treatment centers at city council meetings, was the voice that urged Waukesha County Executive, Paul Farrow, to declare Fentanyl a community crisis in our county, has worked with Dr. Tim Westlake, Senator Ron Johnson and other senators on a pending bill, Stopping Overdoses of Fentanyl Analogues Act, and has testified before a Homeland Security Border and Drug Control Field Hearing.

She has also taken her fight to raise awareness to the public by organizing numerous events for drug prevention, mental health awareness, suicide awareness, and more.  Recently her organization has worked on billboard campaigns with the tagline, “FENTANYL AMERICAS NEW “F” WORD” that are located in Southeast Wisconsin.  This message was so powerful, a group of partnering organizations have worked together to have the billboard in Times Square, New York and now other states have contacted her to implement the billboard in their area.

We are pleased to announce this year’s Citizen of the Year award goes to Lauri Badura.  Lauri, we thank you for your continued fight to save others from suffering the same fate as your son and their families from experiencing the same grief you experienced.

Annual Awards Celebration
Annual Awards Celebration
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