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Jeff Szukalski recognized as United Way’s Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award Honoree

August 28, 2023 – West Bend, WI – At the annual Leaders in Giving event, United Way of Washington County presented the Clifford A. & Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award to Jeff Szukalski.


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United Way’s Volunteer Leadership Award was created to recognize an individual in Washington County who has demonstrated community leadership and a long-term commitment to volunteering. The award is named in honor of the late Cliff Nelson and his wife Betty, who are known for their outstanding volunteer efforts on behalf of human service, civic, and arts organizations. Each year, past Nelson Award winners nominate and select a new recipient.

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At this year’s event, Jeff was honored with this prestigious lifetime achievement award:

Jeff Szukalski, Owner, Jeff’s Spirits on Main

Jeff has been a generous contributor of his time and support for decades throughout Washington County.  Key highlights of his service include:

  • Member of the Volunteer Center Board
  • Involved with Seafood Fest
  • Vice-President of the Board for the West Bend Area Music for Youth, Inc
  • Serves on the West Bend Rotary
  • Executive committee member of the West Bend Baseball Association Board of Directors
  • Board member and volunteer of the Restoration of Carl Kuss Field at Regner Park
  • Involved with the Full Shelf pantry through the Packer games squares
  • Christmas parade committee

United Way

“I cannot remember a time when Jeff has ever said “no” to a request for support or assistance with a fundraiser or community project. He is always at the forefront – ready to volunteer or provide actual real goods and services,” states Prudy Pick Hway, nominator and past award recipient.

“Each year, it is an honor to recognize the best of our community,” said Kristin Brandner, CEO of United Way of Washington County.  “It is an honor to recognize Jeff for his longstanding commitment.”

“I think most nonprofits from MOWA to the Boys & Girls Club would agree that he is one of those unsung heroes who is always behind the scenes.  Let’s recognize him for all he does for West Bend and Washington County,” added Pick Hway.

Past recipients of United Way’s Clifford A. & Elizabeth M. Nelson Volunteer Leadership Award include:

2022 – Jerry Aman, Chris Chulpp and Tim Purman

2019 – Peter Ziegler

2018 – Allan Kieckhafer

2017 – Tom Hostad

2016 – John Duwell

2015 – Mike Bloedorn

2013 – Prudence Pick Hway

2012 – Elizabeth M. Nelson

2011 – Kevin Steiner

2010 – Nancie Heaps

2009 – John R. Dedrick

2008 – Andrew Gumm

2007 – Charlie & Gaytha Hillman

2006 – Robert Rolfs

2005 – Mo Josten

2004 – Ray Lipman

2003 – James W. Kieckhafer

2002 – Doug Ziegler

2001 – George Prescott

2000 – Thomas R. Bast

1999 – Rick Edwards

1998 – Jerry & Nancy Mehring

1997 – Sharon S. Ziegler

1996 – Vic Albiero

1995 – Bernard C. Ziegler

1994 – Helen Hillman

1993 – Judie Lewis

1992 – John B. Torinus, Jr.

1991 – John F. Rozek

1990 – Robert J. Steiner

1989 – Joan Pick

1988 – Clifford A. Nelson


At the annual Leaders in Giving event, United Way of Washington County unveiled a new award, the Steiner Emerging Leader Award.

This recognition is in honor of Kevin Steiner as the founder of our local United Way’s Emerging Leaders group, which started in 2017 when he served as United Way campaign chair.  Amanda Novotny and Dominic Labb have served as emerging leaders co-chairs and presented Kevin with this recognition.

“Our chief visionary is Mr. Kevin Steiner himself,” states Dominic Ladd, former co-chair of United Way’s Emerging Leaders. “Kevin saw the need to grow the next generation of leaders in this community and helped form our group.”

“Each year, Kevin remains hands-on in providing mentorship and resources to support our rising leaders,” highlights Amanda Novotny, current co-chair of United Way’s Emerging Leaders. “What an honor to thank him by presenting this legacy award.”

United Way’s Emerging Leaders is a team of young professionals who actively invest their time, talent, and resources to improve our community.  Their mission is to ignite and inspire one another by providing opportunities to lead, serve, and grow.  It is a place to grow one’s network, meet community leaders and CEOS, invest in the community through volunteerism, and develop personally and professionally.

Over the next few months, the emerging leaders will consult with Kevin on building the criteria for this annual award, which will be announced each year alongside the Nelson Volunteer Leadership Lifetime Achievement award.

“Kevin is an incredible leader and he’s truly passionate about helping others,” said Kristin Brandner, CEO of United Way of Washington County. “He has had such a profound impact on touching the lives of so many. It truly is an honor to recognize him with a named legacy award so he can continue to inspire generations to come.”

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