Portage County Farmers Market

Entrepreneur of the Year and Charitable Community Awarded

By Portage County Business Council

One Portage County business and one nonprofit organization in the county’s business community were singled out for honors Friday, May 5th at the Portage County Business Councils’ Creative Excellence Awards Breakfast in the Grand Hall of SentryWorld.

This year’s event captured the entrepreneurial spirit of successful business across Portage County.

The Entrepreneur of the Year Award was presented to Sunset Point Winery, located at 1201 Water Street in downtown Stevens Point. Sunset Point Winery was selected from several nominees by the Business Council’s Selection Committee based on their:

• Growth and financial stability
• Dedication to customer service and community needs
• Personal commitment
• Innovative efforts to identify a market niche.

Their building was purchased on October 6, 2014 and after extensive renovations, inspections, approvals and permits, owners Don and Kelly Guay started making wine in April, 2015 and opened their doors over the Riverfront Rendezvous weekend of July 4, 2015.

Sunset Point Winery has demonstrated significant growth since opening their doors. Comparing month to month, the winery is up 20% per month, year over year and they are ahead of their business plan by nearly two years. Their on-going commitment to the community is evident through donations, involvement and support to many organizations including, but not limited to the Portage County Business Council, Stevens Point Curling Club, Boys and Girls Club of Portage County, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Portage County, City of Stevens Point Firework Celebration, Ruffed Grouse Association, Portage County Bowl for Kid’s Sake, the Paper Science Foundation and many other fund raising causes.

When you step into their tasting room, you can’t help but relax with their 2nd story view of the river, city square and beautiful parks. They not only offer amazing wine, but craft beer, soda, snacks made from other Wisconsin businesses, shopping in their retail space, tours of the facility, and quality entertainment.

We are proud to have Sunset Point Winery as a Portage County Business Council member! Don and Kelly Guay are shining examples of how successful entrepreneurs can be in our community. Congratulations to Don, Kelly and the stakeholders of Sunset Point Winery – our 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year!

The Portage County Charitable Community Award was presented to the Aging Disability Resource Center of Portage County (ADRC) for their work in enriching the lives of Portage County residents.

The mission of the ADRC is to support seniors, adults with disabilities, and their families and caregivers by offering easy access to services and by fostering a caring community that values lifelong contributions, maximum independence, and individual dignity.

Some of the ways that they do this is by being a source of public information, education, advocacy and opportunities. The agency serves as the focal point in our community for services for seniors, adults with disabilities, and collaborations with a wide variety of community agencies, organizations and individuals. The ADRC offers many programs designed to help keep people active, engaged, and living in our community regardless of their age, physical disabilities and cognitive state because they understand that everyone is a vital part of our community.

In 2016 alone, their Senior Nutrition Services, which provides home delivered meals for seniors 60 and older served 55,266 meals to more than 1,231 people. They provided 17,785 rides for people with disabilities, seniors and disabled veterans. Their volunteer services provided 571 seniors with volunteer opportunities in 56 organizations throughout Portage County, impacting 2,095 school children and providing more than 70,500 volunteer hours.

In addition, their Caregiver Support Services served 601 individuals in 7 programs and provided 609 employees at area businesses with training on dementia. The Community Resource Center served 1,419 people with an average of 3.8 contacts per person. Their Disability Benefit Specialists served 197 people with an economic impact of $2,885,106 and Elder Benefit Specialists served 1,690 seniors. These numbers certainly demonstrate the impact the ADRC has on our seniors and adults with disabilities throughout our community. This amazing list of community outreach goes on and on!

We congratulate Cindy Piotrowski and all the staff of the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Portage County – our 2017 Portage County Charitable Community Award Recipient. Thank you for enriching lives in our community!

“Their dedication to bettering our local community is another element that makes both Sunset Point Winery and the ADRC unique and valuable parts of the Portage County business community,” stated Karen Schanock, Director of Programs & Events for the Business Council. “We salute your work and congratulate you on these well-deserved awards!”

Melissa Sabel from the Stevens Point Area Convention and Visitors Bureau was the guest speaker for the event. Her presentation was entitled “Tourism is Economic Development”.