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Madison – Governor Scott Walker recognized Wisconsin business leaders today at the 2016 Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business ceremony. The awards highlight the rich legacy of women-owned businesses throughout the state of Wisconsin.

“Women business owners continue to serve as important role models for potential job creators across the state,” Governor Walker said. “Wisconsin’s history of women-owned businesses is long-standing, and they are a key component to the economic success of our state.”

The 15 award recipients represent eight counties and a wide array of industries.

“Private sector job creation is an essential part of our state’s long-term economic growth strategy,” Governor Walker added. “The entrepreneurial women honored today are a vital part of our economy and play an important role as we work towards our goal of ensuring anyone who wants a job can find a job.”

Trailblazer Awards are given to businesses statewide to recognize the legacy of women’s business ownership in Wisconsin. Categories include family-owned businesses that are currently owned by women and have been in operation for three generations or more, and businesses with sole or majority ownership by women, or a series of women, for 25 years or more. This year, the new Thrive Award was presented for 50 years of operation by a woman-owned business.

Since it was established in 2007, 71 Wisconsin woman-owned businesses across 24 counties have received the Trailblazer Award.

Recipients of the 2016 Trailblazer Awards (by county):

Dane County
Pioneer Award – The Creative Company, Inc., Laura Gallagher, President & CEO – Madison

Torchbearer Award – Lichtfeld Plumbing, Inc., Melanie Lichtfeld – Madison

Pioneer Award – Nan M. Zimdars, Inc., Nan Zimdars – Madison

Pioneer Award – Silver Leaf Interiors, Inc., Laura Groenier, President – Madison

Thrive Award – Joan Collins Publicity, Joan Collins – Madison

Fond du Lac County
Torchbearer Award – Schlaefer Optometrists, Ann Schlaefer, Optometrist – Cambellsport

Kenosha County
Pioneer Award – Target Corporation, Carol Oxley, President – Pleasant Prairie

Milwaukee County
Special Recognition – Armstrong General Contracting, LLC, Loriana Armstrong, President – Milwaukee

Special Recognition – Belabela, Bella Roontga – Milwaukee

Torchbearer Award - Coakley Brothers Company, Peggy Coakley, President & CEO – Milwaukee

Pioneer Award - Wauwatosa Day Care & Learning Centers, Inc., Rosemary Krause & Janey Brandt – Wauwatosa

Sauk County
Torchbearer Award – Meyer Insurance Agency, Inc., Lise Meyer Kobussen, President – Sauk City

Sawyer County
Torchbearer Award – Treeland Resorts, Cheryl Treland – Hayward

Waukesha County
Special Recognition – Milton Law Offices, Latrice Milton – Brookfield

Wood County
Pioneer Award – Glacial Lake Cranberries, Inc., Mary Brazeau Brown, President – Wisconsin