I've been married to my lovely wife Anne for 17 great years. We have four wonderful daughters, Alexandra, Lillian, Margaret, and Odilia. My family has lived in Oshkosh for 8 generations. My grandfather Elmer ran Derksens and Sons, one of the oldest running Winnebago County businesses. I have two wonderful teachers that both worked in education. My mother taught in the Oshkosh Public School system for 32 years and is now teaching future teachers at UWO. My father Dale worked at Derksens and eventually was a custodian at Webster Stanley school where he worked along side my mother. My brother Jeremy had been involved in the local music scene and I had the privilege to play with him in the B-Side Revivals, a 50's and 60's cover band which played all over the region. My family goes well beyond blood as I have many brothers and sisters through faith and friendships all over. I am honored that they are all supportive of my run for Winnebago County Executive.
I opened our restaurant in 2004. We have survived through everything from the market crash in 08' to the Covid-19 shutdowns. We have always been a community minded business that believes in giving back and setting an example of what it means to be a good corporate neighbor.
We are members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association and have carried high reviews on social media. We treat our employees as family and have built a culture that sees a very low turnover in a historically high turnover Industry.
In normal times we enjoy providing concessions at Waterfest, where we strive to provide great food at a reasonable cost for a concert venue. We sponsor many different community events throughout the area always trying to push the good.
Through Covid-19 challenges, we provided toilet paper for those without and food boxes for those in need. We continue to adapt and have had multiple drive in movie events so families have safe events they can attend. We have always tried to be on the front of community communications pushing safe practices as well as a little humor to push positivity in these tough times.
We will always continue to be leaders and set an example of what business can be. The culture and following we have created will allow me to step away from the restaurant so I can concentrate my efforts on serving you as the next Executive of Winnebago County.
My involvement in the community has always been a high priority for me. I received a 4 under 40 award and also was inducted into the North High School hall of fame.
I served as the Chairman of the board of directors for the Chamber of commerce. I am a founding member of the Oshkosh Kids Foundation and continue to sit on their board of directors. I also am a Board member for the Day by Day Warming shelter and currently sit on their facilities committee hoping to bring them into a future where a new home will provide a year round shelter for our homeless community.
I founded Heroes of Oshkosh which now has grown to over 8,000 members and has helped thousands of families throughout Oshkosh and beyond. Multiple chapters have sprung up throughout the region giving those who need and those who have extra a place to connect and bring the definition of neighbors back to life. We have also used this group to help bring some of our non-profits together working in collaborative efforts to help those in the most need among our community.
I also founded the Mark Gruenwald Comic Book Creation Challenge which gives people of all ages the opportunity to create their own story and promote literacy in our region.
Our non-perishable food discount through ZaRonis has helped raise over 8,000 pounds of food for the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry. Our Hero Discount has rewarded people for volunteering in our community and challenges more people to get involved.
I look forward to bringing this same level of compassion and commitment to the Winnebago County Executive position. I'm more than ready to roll up my sleeves and get to work for you.