Ribbon Cutting at American Family Insurance

The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce conducted a ribbon cutting ceremony for the Grand Opening of the new American Family Insurance building on July 21st. The building is owned by Kevin & Amy Huggett at 215 Main St. Oconto. The Kevin Huggett Agency of American Family Insurance was established in 2006 and has a location also in Gillett. There are three staff members: Sydnie Patzer, Amy Huggett and Lisa Shelton. Their goal is to make sure that you have protection that matches your style. They will look over your current policies and make sure everything is current. Insurance coverage ranges from car, home, farm and ranch, life and business. The unique backgrounds, training and experience of the staff have prepared them well to help meet your insurance needs. Additionally, as residents of your community, they understand how important it is to be there for you – trusted friends and neighbors. Office hours are Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Gillett office hours are Monday and Friday 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. You can access the agency anytime at 1-800-692-6326.

Miss Copperfest 2018

At the Kick-Off Breakfast on Friday, June 8, Miss Copperfest 2018 was chosen. She is the 36TH queen to receive this honor. She is Sydney Koch.

      The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the contest by presenting scholarship amounts. Miss Copperfest 2018 received a $1000 scholarship, the 1st Runner-up, Mackenzie Heyrman received a $500 scholarship and the 2nd Runner-up, Megan Ryan received a $250 scholarship. Additional prizes were given to all 3 of the candidates.

       The Chamber would like to thank all the 2018 Chamber Business sponsors which include: Wayne’s Family Restaurant sponsor of Megan; Patsy Bake of Avon, sponsor of Mackenzie and Brothers 3, sponsor of Sydney.        The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank : Miss Wisconsin, McKenna Collins, for her appearance; Lauren Resch, Patty Heier and Sara Perrizo, judges for the contest; Brothers for hosting the meal for the judging; Vital Signs for the car signs, The Reporter and WOCO for publicity for the contest, Main Street Creative Apparel for providing the sashes, crown, and Oconto Floral for the roses for the crowning.

Kathy Hayes, Chairman of the Miss Copperfest 2018 Committee

Robert’s Appliance Ribbon Cutting

The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce facilitated a ribbon cutting at Robert’s Appliance Center on Friday May 4th.

Roberts Appliance formally known as Matravers TV & Appliance was purchased by the Robert’s Family in December 2016. The Roberts knew that the appliance store needed more room to grow so the decision was made to move across the street to 908 Main Street.

Stop in and see the new store which is open 9:00am – 5:00pm Monday through Friday and Saturday 9:00am – 3:00pmPictured: Don Nerenhausen, Chamber Treasurer; Chris Roberts, Maria Roberts, owners and Ron Hayes,  Oconto Chamber President.

Chamber 11th Annual Expo

      On March 24, 2018 47 vendors and organizations displayed their products and services at the 11th Annual Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce Expo. The Chamber wishes to thank all the businesses and organizations that participated as well as the attendees. Special thanks goes to WOCO for broadcasting the event. Food for purchase was provided by Wise Guys and Wagner Shell. Several businesses asked to present oral information to attendees. Main Street Health informed participants about group benefits for insurance and Medicare options while enjoying Frank’s famous chili; Prevea Health had interesting info on Ideal Weigh, Therapy, Home Health, Orthopedic and Cancer Centers; Norwex demonstrated its cleaning products and Senior Medicare Patrol presented tips on Medicare. The Chamber wishes to thank the Oconto Unified School District for the use of its table and chairs and the Bond Community Center for the use of it facilties and their usual hospitality.

Chamber Chat March 2018

The  Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce held its March meeting at Crivello’s.

A letter was read from the Life Smarts Team at Oconto High School who recently won the 2018 State LifeSmarts Championship in Madison. They will now compete at the National LifeSmarts Competition in San Diego in April. They are asking for donations of Wisconsin-based company gifts to include in a gift exchange with their “sister” team. If your company has a small item to donate, contact Kathy Hayes (920-835-5348) or drop off at the OHS District Office. The Chamber wishes to congratulate the members of the team: Alex Maynard, James Alwin, Morgan Durand, Lucas Ruechel, and Carley Murphy.

Scot Neu, business teacher at OHS is running a business simulation in his Intro to Business course and is seeking help in conducting interviews. The available times would be the start of the week of April 2nd during the times of 8:00, 8:45, 9:50 and 10:30 a.m. (when the classes run) This would consist of a brief 10 minute interview with student and then your impressions of these students.

President Hayes, Mayor Heier, Dr. John Honish and Kathy Hayes attended the Governor’s Conference on Tourism at the Fox Cities Convention Center March 11-13. All stated it was very worthwhile and many tips were heard on how to advertise a business on a low budget and how to create an unforgettable experience for visitors who come to our community. Kathy will explore the possibility of a touch screen for the Chamber information center. Employees at businesses and organizations need to keep informed as to what is going on in our area. This would also be a benefit to tourists who ask what is going on in our area.  August 31 is “Wisconsin Supper Club Day.” The Chamber will promote this event.

Check out the website: nationalcalendarday.com

Members are also encouraged to make suggestions as how to make the Oconto Chamber better. Email: imageappkathy@bayland.net.

Don Nerenhausen, Chairman reported that a huge increase in the pedestrian bridge cost is now due to increase in materials and a State fee to inspect the bridge. An engineering firm will now be hired to explore other options. President Hayes and Mayor Heier discussed the funding for the bridge with State Assembly Representatives Jeff Mursau and John Nygren at WIGCOT.

Miss Copperfest 2018 applications are now ready for distribution. The deadline is May 19, 2018. The forms can be found on the Chamber website. Any girl 16-21 may apply. Each applicant must be sponsored by a Chamber business or organization. If you can’t find a sponsor, one will be provided for you. Each applicant must write an essay and the topic is found on the application form. The Chamber is awarding $1000 to the queen, $500 to the 1st runner up and $250 to the second runner up.

Currently there are 114 paid members. If you would like to join as a business, organization or individual, the forms can be found on the Chamber Website. www.ocontoareachamber.com

All Chamber members are requested to check their listing on the Chamber website and indicate whether or not there should be changes or additions. Email: imagappkathy@bayland.net

Chamber Harvest Fest 2017



     Harvest Fest was held on September 30th. Vendor numbers increased significantly from last year as the venue was changed to Main St. and many businesses on Main St. were open. The weather was fantastic and many, many positive comments were heard about the new venue. The Oconto Area Humane Society sponsored a “Cutest Pet” Contest.

      You may have noticed that the flower pots on Main St. were planted with a fall theme. A thank you goes out to Nancy Rhode who purchased the pumpkins and mums. Planting was done by Nancy and Kathy Hayes on the first day of autumn, the hottest day of the year. Please recognize the business sponsors of the planters: Newcap, Cain Accounting, OCEDC, Huntington Bank, Image Apparel, Citgo, Oconto Pharmacy and State Farm Insurance.

     More activities for children will hopefully be added next year. In addition to the Cutest Pet Contest,  Bay Impressions set up a tent for a coloring activity for young and old artists. Brenda Race supplied pumpkins for children to paint,  Westenberg Financial had a bean bag toss game as well as the Lions Club and Farnsworth Library was conducting a bike decorating  activity.

      Food was provided by Wise Guys, Aurora Carrazco, 1st American Lutheran, Jim Truckey’s kettle corn, Newcap, and Crivello’s. Entertainment was provided by Don Marovich and Jean Carlin and Cain throughout the day.


Water Fest 2017

      The City of Oconto along with the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsored its first annual Waterfest on July 1st at the Harbor. Hats off to Sara Perrizo, Oconto City Administrator and all of the City staff who coordinated the event along with Ron Hayes, Chamber President.  Bad Habitz played from 2:30-6:30 and Nashville Pipeline played from 6:30-10:30 pm. A lighted boat parade took place at 9:30 p.m. The best decorated watercraft received $25 in Chamber Bucks. They are Steve Witt of Oconto Falls, Gregg Catch of Green Bay and Patti Ernst of Oconto. Fireworks were shot off on the causeway at 10:00 p.m. This event was free to the public due to the generosity of the business sponsors which were the City of Oconto , the Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce, Bellin Health, Huntington Bank, Roberts Hometown Hardware, Thompson’s County Market, Stephenson National Bank & Trust, and Wagner Shell. A huge thank you also goes out to Kobussen Bus Company which provided shuttle service, Kenny Sallee who provided the water taxi, the Oconto Elks Club which provided food and beverage for purchase and all the other vendors who displayed their products. This event is being planned again for next year.

Miss Copperfest 2017

At the Kick-Off Breakfast on Friday, June 9, Miss Copperfest 2017 was chosen. She is the 35TH queen to receive this honor. She is MARISSA DIAZ

      The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the contest by presenting scholarship amounts. Miss Copperfest 2017 received a $1000 scholarship, the 1st Runner-up, ALLISON BUCHEGER received a $500 scholarship and the 2nd Runner-up, BRIANNA CAIN received a $250 scholarship. Image Apparel supplied additional prizes to all 3 of the candidates.

       The Chamber would like to thank all the 2017 Chamber Business sponsors which include: Bayshore Chiropractic, sponsor of Marissa; Davis Agency, sponsor of Allison and Cain Accounting, sponsor of Brianna.

        The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce wishes to thank : Miss Wisconsin, Courtney Pelot, for her appearance; Lauren Resch, Patty Trepanier and Sara Perrizo, judges for the contest; Oconto Legion Golf Club for hosting the meal for the judging; Vital Signs for the car signs, The Reporter and WOCO for publicity for the contest, Image Apparel for providing the sashes, crown and prizes, and Oconto Floral for the flowers for the crowning.

Kathy Hayes, chairman of the Miss Copperfest Committee.




1984 – LORI ZAHN


































Restaurant Week 2017

                                      RESTAURANT WEEK 2017

      The Chamber sponsored “Restaurant Week 2017 April 23-29 for the 4th consecutive year. A little over 1100 votes were cast at the various food establishments. Customers were given slips were to fill out indicating their favorite restaurant and menu item. The Chamber is pleased to announce that Wayne’s Family Restaurant is the 2017 winner. They were voted as serving the best pie in town, stuffed hash browns and Swedish pancakes. Check out their extensive menu items. The restaurant is located at 805 Brazeau Ave.

     Angry Eddies located at 1131 Main St. was voted as having the best big pretzel in town as well as specialized pizzas and Gyros.

      Brothers 3 is located at 106 Superior Ave. and still seems to be a favorite spot for pizza especially the Deluxe, bacon Cheeseburger and Hawaiian pizzas. A drawing was held there and Chris Roberts won a 13” pizza.

     Crivello’s located at 818 Main St. is the spot to go for the Vinnie burger, stuffed hash browns and a Jack Daniels burger. Crivello’s was the Restaurant Week winner in 2014

      The Oconto Legion Golf Club located at 532 Jefferson St. is the place to go for wings, chicken dinner, and steaks.

      Wagner Shell located at 517 Smith Ave. was voted as having some of the best broasted chicken and pizza slices. Why not check out “Wacky Wednesday” for a free package of toilet paper or paper toweling with special purchases.

      Wise Guy’s Riverside Bar seems to be the place to go for prime rib, all sorts of burgers and homemade grasshoppers served at the end of many of their entrees.  They were the Restaurant Winners in 2015.

Most of our home town food establishments make deliveries and do have carry outs. Benjamin’s Family restaurant was the winner in 2016. Shop and dine locally and “beef” up our local economy.

Oconto Chamber Recognition Banquet

The Oconto Area Chamber of Commerce Recognition Banquet 2017 took place on May 6th at Crivello’s.

The selection for the “Ed Zahn Volunteer of the Year” Award was Janine Hornblad. Janine has been very active in the community as President of the Woman’s Club. In this role, she has helped coordinate “Deck the Fence” and Christmas gifts to Rainbow House. She is definitely a community volunteer and leader as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, an organizer of the Holy Trinity auction, a helper at the Blood Mobile and manna meals, a City election worker and she also serves on the Technology Committee for the City of Oconto. Gary Zahn, in memory of his father Ed Zahn, presented the award to Janine. Janine’s husband Jim and three sons and many members of their families were in attendance.

The selection for the “Business of the Year” was Stephenson National Bank & Trust, the Oconto branch.

Since opening its branch in 2002, the staff volunteers in many community events. Bob Schwartz, Loan Officer, is very active in the Lions Club, Knights of Columbus, Oconto Chamber “Grow Oconto” Committee and the Elks Club where he was named “Member of the Year for 2017.  SNBT is dedicated to volunteerism and community leadership. Members of the staff also belong and participate in many civic organizations in the City of Oconto. SNBT distributes over $100,000 to non-profits yearly. Beth Larson, Branch manager accepted the award. Beth also is active in the community and Oconto Chamber where she functions as Vice-President and a member of the “Grow Oconto” Committee. Dan Peterson, President and CEO of SNBT commented on the outstanding job that the Oconto Branch does.  Other members from the Oconto Branch who attended include Cathy Heimke CSR Supervisor; Denise Holtger, CSR; and Tina Hazen, CSR. Other employees of SNBT who were unable to attend include Patti Ernst and Sally Nischke.

This recognition takes place every other year. Past recipients of the volunteer award include: Gary Zahn, Jeremy Wusterbarth and Karl Ballestad. Past recipients of the business award include: Thompson’s County Market, Matravers Hardware, and Oconto Wagner Shell.