Annual Americanism Awards Breakfast
On Sunday, October 30, 2016, the Milwaukee County Veterans Board of Directors hosted their Annual Americanism Awards Breakfast. Eighteen separate veteran’s organizations presented their awards to recipients of their respective programs. While all awardees were clearly deserving of this recognition, due to space limitations I can only mention a few.
The Marine Corps League Badger Detachment recognized one of the members of the War Memorial Board of Trustees, our own Creamheld Pepito. Cream was presented her award by Tim Baranczyk, a member of the WMC Courtyard Committee that was instrumental in creating the upgrades to the WMC in 2015. He described Cream as a “bundle of energy” and a “firecracker.” I could not agree more. She was a significant player in the recent Douglas Mac Arthur related efforts around the WMC, the recent highly successful Cyber-security Symposium, and other volunteer activities. We are all proud to see her receive the recognition she deserves. Congratulations Cream!
The Veterans Board of Directors also recognized former WMC Chairman of the Board Michael Berzowski for his leadership during the earliest, and some say the darkest days of the “new” War Memorial. This period of time came after the WMC had separated from several Milwaukee County cultural institutions in 2013 and it established its own board of trustees. Several major threats were addressed vigorously by Mike and the team he created. After a few years of intense battling, the WMC came out on top with an exciting and more secure future. In receiving the third of the awards presented to WMC board members, I mentioned that all the plans for the recent major renovations and the current strategic plan on which we are operating were also developed on Mike’s watch. Clearly, his influence at the WMC will continue for many years to come. We congratulate Mike on his retirement from the board and we thank him for his outstanding leadership of the War Memorial Center.
I also have to mention the great job our WMC Treasurer Pat Romero did as the master of ceremonies. Pat is also the Chairman of the Veterans Board of Directors and was charged with making this complicated ceremony look easy. No one does it better than Pat.
Finally, I wish to extend my personal congratulations to all of the recipients of the 2016 Americanism Awards. I invite everyone join us next year as other volunteers are recognized for their service to the area veterans. They deserve our thanks for the jobs they do for us every day.