Board Member of the Year Award - 2020

Carla Hedtke - NWTC

Each year, we ask our members to recommend colleagues who have made particularly important contributions to our cause as board members and as an association. Selecting a Board Member of the Year is difficult because we must pick from among very deserving individuals who come from very different colleges and boards, and from very different backgrounds and experiences.

We were honored to review the nominations for several really extraordinary members this year, and the committee would be proud to have selected any of the candidates.

The Board Member of the Year Award is based on four criteria: involvement at the district level, involvement at the state level, involvement at the national level, and the individual’s overall service through other contributions.

This Year's Winner - Carla Hedtke - NWTC

For nearly 25 years, Carla Hedtke has been the most active member of the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College District Board. Her dedication and contributions to NWTC and the community, and her high level of participation on state and regional governing boards and national committees, are what make her truly deserving of the 2020 Board Member of the Year Award.

LOCAL LEVEL: During her tenure as trustee, Ms. Hedtke has held several NWTC District Board positions, including vice-chairperson and her current role as chairperson. Since first appointed to the Board in July 1995, Ms. Hedtke has been a steadfast advocate for the College. In her few first years as trustee, Ms. Hedtke, as a member of the NWTC presidential search committee, was instrumental in the hiring of Dr. H. Jeffrey Rafn, who has led the College for over 20 years. She also supported the College’s blossoming partnership with the Green Bay Botanical Garden, including the leasing of 30 acres of NWTC land to the fellow nonprofit.

As an NWTC Board member, she has helped make decisions that have advanced the College’s offerings and innovations. A few notable examples of her support: successful referendums for $46 million in 1999 and $66.5 million in 2015; a focus on student success which led NWTC to become the first Wisconsin college to be named an Achieving the Dream College; and trailblazing training and educational efforts in renewable energy, including the new NWTC Great Lakes Energy Education Center™.

Ms. Hedtke has demonstrated her dedication to the College in many visible ways. She has represented the Board at nearly every NWTC commencement for over 20 years. That includes three campus ceremonies each spring, the annual winter ceremony, and the annual GED/HSED graduation ceremony. Ms. Hedtke has also attended nearly every groundbreaking and ribbon cutting ceremony for the College’s construction and renovation projects.

Ms. Hedtke has been a small business owner/entrepreneur in Oconto Falls for over 25 years – owning and operating NEW Rehabilitation Services. She is highly regarded in the pain management field throughout northeast Wisconsin and beyond as a professional, licensed myofascial trigger point/massage therapist. She has directly trained and supervised NWTC Business program student interns working within her private therapy practice.

Ms. Hedtke has been a resident of the Oconto Falls community for over 50 years and has raised her family in the community. She always advocates for the College and the Oconto Falls Regional Learning Center. She is proud to have an NWTC graduate grandson and a grandson currently attending NWTC. Ms. Hedtke frequently volunteers in local community events involving fundraising and healthcare. She is a member of the Oconto Falls Chamber of Commerce and participates in the Oconto County Development Committee. She has been recognized by the following organizations for her civic contributions: American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, March of Dimes, and the “NEW Horizons” Wheelchair Basketball Team she was instrumental in organizing.

STATE LEVEL: Ms. Hedtke has been incredibly active on the District Boards Association. In addition to regularly attending DBA meetings, she has served on the following committees: By-Laws, Human Services, and Marketing. Plus, she held several positions including secretary/treasurer, vice president, and president from 2017 to 2019. As president, she attended all WTCS Board meetings, reporting the DBA activities and meetings. In addition, Ms. Hedtke was appointed by the governor to the State of Wisconsin Massage Therapy and Bodywork Therapy Affiliated Credentialing and Licensing Board, where she serves as vice chairperson.

REGIONAL/NATIONAL LEVEL: Ms. Hedtke has participated in ACCT national meetings and conferences for over 20 years. In 2014, she co-presented “Oneida Nation and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Partnership” at the ACCT Leadership Congress in Chicago. She has also served ACCT in the following ways: NWTC Delegate trustee, Education and Communication Committee member, Finance and Audit Committee member, Policy and By Laws Committee member, and Central Region chair of the Nomination Committee.

Former Award Winners

Board Member of the Year
Year Member College
1976 William Pierce Waukesha
1978 Walter Calvert Southwest WI
1979 Leah Rigler WI Indianhead
1980 Ben Guthrie Nicolet
1990 Jacqueline DeBaker Lakeshore
1991 Joan Jenstead Waukesha County
1992 Donald McGrath Blackhawk
1993 Conrad Zander Nicolet
1994 Ruth Harker Lakeshore
1995 James Munro Blackhawk
1995 Jerald Schoenike Fox Valley
1996 Ken Day Northcentral
1997 Deborah Streuli WI Indianhead
1998 Linda Christman Madison
1999 Robert Beaver Mid-State
2000 Philip Baranowski Moraine Park
2001 Audrey Hein Blackhawk
2002 Sandra Haasl Mid-State
2003 Ruth Mundt Southwest WI
2004 Joan Jenstead Waukesha
2005 David Logghe WI Indianhead
2006 Jean Trempe Northcentral
2007 James Munro Blackhawk
2008 John Lukas Lakeshore
2009 Ronald Bertieri Waukesha
2010 Lauren Baker Milwaukee
2011 Vernon Jung Moraine Park
2012 Russell Moyer Southwest WI
2013 Patrick Costello Mid-State
2014 Ramona Mathews Chippewa Valley
2015 John Lukas Lakeshore
2016 Ramona Mathews Chippewa Valley
2017 Robert Beaver Mid-State
2018 John Lukas Lakeshore
2019 Betty Bruski Mallek Mid-State
2020 Carla Hedtke Northeast Wisconsin