Saturday, August 7, 2010
PHOTO by Chris Leclerc.
Nearly 30 years ago, a good friend of mine, Mark Gottsacker and I started a small textile business in Minneapolis. We acid-etched glass using a silk-screen process. It was a risky business...mostly because of the health hazards associated with the process, so after three years when my father invited me back to Sheboygan to join the family advertising business, I gave it serious thought, eventually sold the business and returned to Sheboygan.
I remember the long drive east on Highway 23, through the flatlands of Mauston, Princeton, Ripon, and Fondulac. But what I remember most was crossing the Sheboygan County line, and how the typography had suddenly changed. Now, green rolling hills, golden cornfields and deep glacial kettles, winding rivers and rising bluffs, and distant Lake Michigan in the east lit up by the warm western light in my rear view mirror. To the south...the tall pines of Kohler Andrae State Park. To the North... the high rocky cliffs of Hika Bay. And carving a path through it all...the beautiful Sheboygan River. It was easy to understand why such dramatic geography would have stopped Sheboygan County’s earliest settlers in their tracks to stake a claim, build a home and find a way to make a living in what was and still is undeniably one of the most inspiring geographic areas in the state of Wisconsin.
So I traded Minneapolis for Sheboygan County, and after nearly 30 years, I have no regrets. Instead, a great measure of gratitude for all Sheboygan County has given to me and my family....and continues to give each day. It makes me want to spend the next thirty years giving back.
No other county in Wisconsin offers so much in such a concentrated area as Sheboygan County. We have the nicest, cleanest and longest sandy beaches on Wisconsin’s shoreline, World-Class sailing, golf, fishing, auto racing and a endless choice of glacial hiking and riding trails through some of the most dramatic geography of Wisconsin. What’s even better is that most of it is within 5-15 minutes of home....which for my family has been right in the heart of Sheboygan.
Fortunately for those who have had the opportunity to live in this great county, we have had great companies like Kohler Company, Bemis, Vollrath, Acuity, Richardson, Sargento, Master’s Gallery and countless others that have contributed to the development of these resources to make them accessible to all. They’ve given generously and they’ve given with great vision.
As America’s future will depend on its people to ignite/foster a new Creative Economy, Sheboygan County will be challenged to do the same.
Can the same geographic resources that attracted our county’s original settlers continue to attract the kinds of people and industry we will need for our county’s future? I think so. More than ever. As a matter of fact, I truly believe that Sheboygan County has exactly what great creative minds are looking for. Accessibility to an abundantly wonderful, affordable and highly diverse quality of life. The kind of life that inspires great thinking!
So, welcome creatives. Welcome innovators. Welcome dreamers. Welcome inventors.
Come to Sheboygan County...and find greatness!
No other county in Wisconsin offers “So Much. So Close.”