Three local leaders honored for lasting impact on community
Ray Nass, Sue Wilcox and Louis Wysocki were honored with the Quality of Life Leadership Award at the Saint Michael’s Foundation 23rd annual Community Leadership Celebration in front of a record crowd of nearly 300 attendees Saturday, April 23, in the Grand Hall of SentryWorld.
The Quality of Life Leadership Award is offered annually in recognition of leaders that significantly impact the lives of others.
“These three treasures have played a vital role in our community with a common bind of kindness and generosity,” said Angie Heuck, Saint Michael’s Foundation director. “This event not only pays tribute to them, but to all those who give back to our community in many different ways.”
Nass, who spent 22 years as president and chairman of Joerns Healthcare, was recognized for a variety of community, civic and church groups that have benefitted from his volunteer work, such as Operation Bootstrap, Stevens Point YMCA, Stevens Point Serra Club, Portage County United Way, Pacelli High School, Portage County Library Foundation, Stevens Point Area Catholic Schools and St. Stephen Parish.
Nass’s creative talents have blended together with volunteerism as he authored or co-authored full-length plays and skits produced for community fundraisers benefitting Habitat for Humanity, the Community Foundation, Mid State Epilepsy Association and Pacelli Panacea Community Capers.
Wilcox joined the United Way of Portage County in 1989, serving first as the organization’s director of planning and allocations and then as associate executive director. Wilcox took the helm as executive director in 1998 and continues to enjoy making connections between the business communities, the residents of Portage County and the area’s health and human services needs.
Her role with United Way also brought her together with Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital and its Foundation. The first drive chair she ever worked with was Jeff Martin, Ministry Health Care vice president and St. Michael’s Hospital president, she said.
Since then she has had the opportunity to work hand-in-hand with the Foundation and plenty of other talented, caring members of the Ministry St. Michael’s team.
Wysocki and his brothers founded a farming business along with their father in 1964, which has since evolved into Wysocki Family of Companies – a Bancroft-based farming business specializing in potatoes and onions.
Over the years, the United Way of Portage County, Central Wisconsin Area Foundation, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) College of Natural Resources, and UWSP Foundation have all benefited from Wysocki’s time and talents.
Each year, the Quality of Life Leadership Award honorees select a fund close to their heart to benefit from all gifts made in their honor to the Saint Michael’s Foundation.
Gifts in honor of Ray Nass benefited the Joseph and Charlene Jarabek Endowment Fund which supports the greatest needs of patients and families serviced by Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group.
Gifts in honor of Wilcox benefited the Greatest Need Fund which provides unrestricted support to programs and services that improve the quality of health care services at Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital and Ministry Medical Group.
Gifts in honor of Wysocki benefited the Hospice Fund which provides support to subsidize the care for any patient not able to afford the service as well as training and education of hospice staff and volunteers.
“We are grateful to our honorees, families and friends who joined in this celebration,” said Heuck. “This event would not be possible without the time and talent of our Steering Committee and support of our presenting sponsors.”
For more information about these funds or to see a complete list of funds available at the Saint Michael’s Foundation, visit www.ministryhealth.org/SMH/Foundation.nws or call 715-346-5349.