The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its 2nd Recognition Banquet on Saturday, April 27th at Irish Greens Golf Course. The recipient of the “Volunteer of the Year” award was Jeremy Wusterbarth who was nominated by City of Oconto Administrator, Sara Perrizo.

Jeremy, who is the Superintendent of Public Works and manager of the Utility Department for the City of Oconto was chosen for his outstanding volunteer work with the youth of Oconto especially in revitalizing the Youth Wrestling program, as tournament director of the Oconto Little league for the past 6 years and tournament director for the Oconto Softball Tournament for the first time this year. Jeremy was instrumental in helping to decorate the larger trees in Winter Wonderland this past holiday season to help out the Chamber. Jeremy is also assistant Wrestling Coach and Varsity Softball Coach for the Oconto School District. Some of his greatest coaching memories include the Sectional Softball Championship game in 2007 and coaching 9 individual wrestlers at the State Tournament. Jeremy is married to the former Laurie Allen and has three children, Aiden, Hallie and Ethan. Congratulations, Jeremy!

The Chamber also selected John Matravers for “Business of the Year” as John is one of the City of Oconto’s foremost owners of 4 different businesses: Matravers Hardware, Matravers TV & Appliance, Matravers Power Center and Oconto Furniture. John employs 16 employees and has always been optimistic about Oconto’s future. He has not been afraid to take chances and has stated that he has “his whole life invested here.” In addition to operating the 4 different businesses, John is also Chairman of the Board for Maple Valley Mutual Insurance. John along with a few others started the Copperfest Parade in 1983 and was parade chairman for 15 years. The reasons that John is successful is that he has competitive prices, good selection, excellent service, delivery, and financing. Many of John’s former as well as current employees attended the banquet. John is married to his wife Rose who has done childcare in her home for the past 29 years and has 2 daughters, Michelle and Amy and 3 grandchildren, Bobby, Jackson, and Colin and 2 sons-in-law Robert and Tucker.

Congratulation, John!
Ron Hayes, President of the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce introduced the recipients as well as the dignitaries that attended which included Dave Hansen, 30th District Wisconsin State Senator and wife Jane, and 89th District Assemblyman John Nyren and his wife Maggie. Reid Ribble, Wisconsin’s 8th District Congressman, was unable to attend, but sent an excellent DVD congratulating the recipients. Kathy Hayes was emcee for the program and wishes to thank her technical staff, Sara & Tim Perrizo. The Chamber wishes to thank Irish Greens, owners Ken & Erin Sikora and the staff, especially, Patty Trepanier and Cindy Olson for their hospitality, service and excellent food.

Thank you also to all those who attended. The Recognition Banquet is held every other year and the Chamber accepts nominations of current Chamber members from anyone for these prestigious awards.