PRESCOTT — Nearly every seat was filled at the Old Ptacek's Event Center, as attendees enjoyed breakfast with coffee and tea for the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation awards breakfast.

PCEDC Board President Dan Lytle welcomed the crowd of over 100 people, introduced the event sponsors and thanked the board of directors for its work.

Joe Folsom, executive director of the PCEDC, spoke about its accomplishments in 2019 and focus areas for 2020, including how to get high-speed broadband to Pierce County residents.

Some accomplishments include:

The event began with a networking social and ended with five awards being handed out. The awards, award winners and their descriptions are as follows:

Workforce Development Innovator

UNFI (United Natural Foods Incorporated) in Prescott

UNFI Prescott was built in 2015 and carries 26,000 different products. It delivers throughout Minnesota, western Wisconsin, North Dakota and South Dakota. It opened with about 135 associates and have grown to almost 200 associates, according to the PCEDC.

From left to right: Dan Lytle, UNFI HR Director Lorien Lucas, UNFI HR Generalist Sandi Keller and EDC board member Andrea Jorgenson. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia
From left to right: Dan Lytle, UNFI HR Director Lorien Lucas, UNFI HR Generalist Sandi Keller and EDC board member Andrea Jorgenson. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia

Career Pathway Award

River Falls School District

The River Falls School District is the lead district within the St. Croix Valley Youth Apprenticeship Consortium. It has over 200 area youth apprentices, and upon successfully completion they will have earned a combined wages of $1 million during this year, according to the PCEDC.

River Falls High School representatives stand next to Dan Lytle (left) and Brian Manion of WESTconsin Credit Union (right) for a photo. Ashley Rezachek/RiverTown Multimedia
River Falls High School representatives stand next to Dan Lytle (left) and Brian Manion of WESTconsin Credit Union (right) for a photo. Ashley Rezachek/RiverTown Multimedia

Professional Business Woman

Jayne Brand

Brand started in zoning and worked her way from clerk and to city administrator. She has had a large part in building Prescott's industrial parks and local development, according to the PCEDC.

"She always has her eyes open for opportunities for the city to develop and grow through her knowledge and work with the Pierce County Economic Development Corporation and the state of Wisconsin, she provided prospective businesses with the information they need to make the decision on whether to come to the city," Mayor David Hovel said.

Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand (right) was presented with the Professional Business Woman award by Prescott Mayor David Hovel (middle). Brand was surprised by the award as it had been kept a secret for about a month and a half. They stand next to Dan Lytle (left). Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia
Prescott City Administrator Jayne Brand (right) was presented with the Professional Business Woman award by Prescott Mayor David Hovel (middle). Brand was surprised by the award as it had been kept a secret for about a month and a half. They stand next to Dan Lytle (left). Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia

Small Entrepreneurial Star

A Butchery Shoppe

This award recognizes the individual or company that is an example of entrepreneurial spirit in the county.

A Butchery Shoppe is a small retail shop focusing on broths, soups, fresh produce and other prepared foods such as homemade dressing, spreads, flavored butters and specialty cheeses among other items. A Buttery Shoppe is located in Spring Valley and has begun its second year of business.

Ashley Smith, Fadra Greene and Kevin Olson of A Butchery Shoppe stands next to Dan Lytle (far left) and Nate Boettcher (far right) of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia
Ashley Smith, Fadra Greene and Kevin Olson of A Butchery Shoppe stands next to Dan Lytle (far left) and Nate Boettcher (far right) of Pierce Pepin Cooperative Services. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia

EDC Cornerstone Award

Whole Earth Market Cooperative

Awarded to an individual, company or organization that has made an extraordinary contribution to furthering economic development in the Pierce County.

The Whole Earth Market Co-op helps the River Falls community through fundraising events such as RoundUp for Good, which raised over $11,000 that went to four different community organizations. They co-op also helped the River Falls Montessori Academy raise close to $800 for its programs with its annual Holiday Coffee Fundraiser.

Robin Boles, Julia Tiede and Serena Weber of Whole Earth Market Cooperative stand next to Dan Lytle (left) and award presenter Paul Bauer (right) of the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia
Robin Boles, Julia Tiede and Serena Weber of Whole Earth Market Cooperative stand next to Dan Lytle (left) and award presenter Paul Bauer (right) of the Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery. Ashley Rezachek / RiverTown Multimedia