Park Falls Area
Business of the Year
2019 Recipient: Park Falls Building & Hardware
As part of the PFACDC’s ongoing business retention program, Park Falls
Building & Hardware was honored as the 13th Annual Business of the Year and
an award ceremony was held on August 28, 2019. This award is intended to
recognize the success of an existing business that has contributed to the
community through employment growth, capital investment, contribution to
overall community prosperity and growth, and providing stability to the area
Lifetime Achievement Awards
This annual event is intended to recognize the success of an individual who has helped to build, transform, and improve Price
County throughout his or her lifetime and who has positively impacted the lives of Price County residents while bringing honor
and distinction to their profession and/or their career.
2018 Recipient: Arnold J. Stueber, Sr.
Arnold J. Stueber, Sr. was born in Park Falls, Wisconsin in 1922. He was a veteran of the United
States Army serving during World War II. He worked for Fred Steiger’s Auto Dealership and
the Flambeau Paper Mill for a short time. On June 27, 1942 he married Sally Bennett.
In July of 1945, before returning from WWII, he began making inquiries by mail after he heard
that Flambeau Beverage was for sale. In February of 1946, he purchased the factory and
Stueber’s Beverages was born. At the time, not many people were likely to take over the
business because sugar was still rationed; however, Arnold held “sugar rights,” being a veteran,
allowing him an annual allotment of 50,000 pounds.
The first bottles were filled on February 23, 1946. In 1952, he obtained the Pepsi Franchise for
Price, Rusk, and Sawyer Counties and the lower half of Ashland County. A new plant at a new
location was built in 1957. After two expansions, there still was not enough room for the
volume of business, and other bottlers were having similar experiences. In September 1969,
Arnold and 15 other Pepsi bottlers formed a cooperative plant, Wis-Pak Incorporated, in
Watertown, WI, with a capacity of 100,000 cases a day. In 1996. Stueber’s Beverages, Inc.
celebrated 50 years in business and bottling. It was also an end of an era in the returnable bottle business. On September 18,
1996, the last bottle was filled in Park Falls. Stueber’s Beverages, Inc. was the last plant to produce returnable bottles in the state
of Wisconsin. All production is now handled by Wis-Pak, Inc. In October 1974, Arnold J. Stueber, Sr. purchased Morgan’s
Shopping Center and founded what is known today as Stueber’s Ace Hardware and South Side Shopping Center. In 1975,
Arnold acquired the True Value Franchise. In 1976, a 50’ x 60’ expansion was added to the north side of the building and a 60’ x
170’ expansion was added to the south side to expand for True Value.
In 1982, Arnold J. Stueber, Sr. purchased the controlling interest of First National Bank, Park Falls, Wisconsin, and by 1988 assets
exceeded $55 million. During the Stueber ownership, the bank had grown from $32 million to $128 million in assets, and today,
under family member ownership, is now nearing $150 million in assets. Bauer Financial has rated First National Bank a five star
bank for 20 consecutive years. This rating puts the First National Bank in the top 10% of all banks in the United States.
Arnold J. Stueber, Sr. was very involved in his community. He made significant contributions to the Park Falls Fire Department,
as well as the St. Anthony’s Church and Padua Center. Arnold’s family built, in his honor, the Stueber Pavilion in Triangle Park,
which is used for many community events. Arnold served as an alderman on the Park Falls City Council. Arnold was a
volunteer firefighter for many years, as well as a member of the Knights of Columbus and a member of the Park Falls American
Arnold J. Stueber, Sr. was a devoted husband to his wife Sally, a loving father to Arnold. Jr., James E., and Mary Elizabeth, and
loved dearly by now 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
2017 Recipient: Frank Dusek
Frank S. Dusek was born and raised in the Phillips area, which is located in Price County,
Wisconsin. After returning to Phillips after serving in the Army, Frank ‘bought himself a
job’ and purchased Master Service Station in 1961. When an opportunity arose to switch
from a service station to providing propane in 1962, Frank took it. In 1967, a new store was
built. Frank owned and operated Dusek’s LP until he retired in 2003 after 43 years of
providing service to Phillips and the surrounding communities.
Dusek is one of the “Founding Fathers” of the Price County Snowmobile Association. He
has worked tirelessly to insure the snowmobile clubs of Price county work together to keep
the Price county Snowmobile trails the best in the Mid-west. The snowmobile tourist
industry brings ‘millions’ of dollars into Price County every winter.
Frank’s hard work with the Price County Snowmobile Trails Association has insured that
the maximum funding from the State Trail Maintenance Program is received by Price
County. He also is responsible for the Price County Trails, ensuring excellent trail
maintenance and trail grooming. He also makes sure that all trail grooming equipment is
well maintained and in excellent working order.
Frank works with landowners to insure that their concerns are addressed regarding Price County snowmobile trails that cross
their land. Frank is a true ambassador for the snowmobile industry in Price County. Frank’s leadership has insured that the
Price County Snowmobile Trails Association is successful and viable.
In January of 2014, the Association of Wisconsin Snowmobile Clubs (AWSC) visited and toured Price County Snowmobile trails.
In a following magazine article, the AWSC Association wrote, “The highlight was a stop at the Frank Dusek Commemorative
Bridge just north of Philips on State Corridor Trail #21. The structure - part of the route that Dusek was involved in creating -
honors his decades of involvement in support of snowmobiling in Price County.”
Frank is also a very active member of the Phillips Lion’s Club, the Phillips American Legion, and volunteers for other community
activities. Frank was also the Phillips Citizen of the Year. Frank is a very personable and compassionate man who can get the job
2016 Recipients: Don & Wanda Preisler
Mr. Don Preisler was born and raised in the Park Falls area which is located in Price County, Wisconsin. Don graduated from
Lincoln High School in Park Falls in 1952 and then attended the University of Wisconsin-
Superior and also Cameron College in Lawton, Oklahoma. Don was among the first Scouts
from Park Falls to attain the Eagle Scout Award.
Don took a position with Flambeau Paper Company in Park Falls after college and then spent
two years in the U.S. Army, returning to work at Flambeau Paper Company after his honorable
discharge. Don remained employed there for 43 years and became National Sales Manager.
Don was a very important part of the success of the Flambeau Paper Mill and its many
employees during the time he was the National Sales Manager.
Don Preisler served on the Price County Board, and as a member of the Forestry Committee,
he worked to develop the Tuscobia Trailhead Park and Smith Lake County Park. He also
served as a trustee on the Price County Library Board. Don was also instrumental in helping
develop the Park Falls Recreation Arena. A donation from the Preisler family in the amount of
$150,000 helped to complete the recreational facility. Don also made contributions for the
development of tennis courts in the Park Falls Athletic Complex.
Ms. Wanda Preisler was born and lived her early life in Lawton, Oklahoma. She married Don Preisler in 1959 and moved to Park
Falls. Wanda and Don have two daughters, Jill and Jane. Wanda’s career as a nurse, nursing
home administrator, and owner of multiple businesses allowed her to impact the lives of
many, many Price County residents. In the early 1970’s Wanda and Don Preisler partnered
with Mel and Sally Lynn of Eau Claire to purchase the Smith Nursing Home in Park Falls and
developed Park Manor, Ltd. Through the 1970s, Park Manor was expanded from 48 beds to
171 beds and provided employment for 180 people. Also during this time, Wanda developed
the old nursing home located in Park Falls to a community-based residential assisted living
facility know as Park Place. There are over 300 residents of Price County today that work in a
business that Wanda established during her career. These businesses generate over $10
million dollars of revenue annually for Price County.
In the late 1990s Wanda wanted to insure that Park Manor would remain in Park Falls and
Price County. Using her innovative approach to the challenge, she determined that she could
establish a Park Manor Employee Stock Ownership Plan and set the course for Park Manor to
become a 100% employee-owned business.
During her career, Wanda volunteered, ran for office, and made her services available to the
community and profession, the most notable include serving on the Price County Board, Wisconsin Nursing Home Examining
Board, and North Central Technical College Board. She also served on medical and financial boards, along with many local Park
Falls community and sports organizations.
2015 Recipient: Leo Heikkinen
Mr. Leo Heikkinen was born and raised in Brantwood, Wisconsin and graduated from Tripoli High School in 1935. After high
school Leo worked in Milwaukee and in 1945 returned to Prentice and opened Heikkinen Machine Shop. Leo’s entrepreneurial
spirit led him to start Prentice Hydraulics in 1959, which operated until 1967 when it was
sold to Omark Industries of Portland, Oregon. The company had 340 employees and
Prentice had 51 percent of the world hydraulic loader market. Omark then built Leo a
Research & Development facility to design, develop, and test new forestry production
Leo Heikkinen and his family created a new hydraulic recycling equipment company
called Multitek. Multitek manufactures fuelwood processors, conveyors, wheel crushers,
attachments for skid steers, and machines for screening top soil, mulch, sludge, and
manure. Several area support cluster businesses were started in Prentice and Price County
because of Leo Heikkinen’s inventions, product lines, and model expansions.
These two companies founded by Leo Heikkinen, Multitek North America, LLC and
Prentice Hydraulics, which is now called Cat Forestry and owned by Caterpillar of Peoria,
IL, have both expanded in Prentice providing major employment and economic
development for Prentice, Price County, and surrounding communities.
2014 Recipient: Carl Marschke
Mr. Carl Marschke founded Marquip, Inc. in Phillips, Wisconsin in 1968 with a starting capital of $500. By 1997, Marquip, Inc.
was a full line global corrugated supplier with sales and shipping in excess of $186 million in equipment, parts, and service that
employed 1,700 people world-wide and was one of the largest employers in Price County.
Over the years, Carl has received numerous awards, but he is extremely proud of his
recognition by his peers as one of Boxboard Containers International’s 50 Most Influential
Leaders of the 20th Century. I n addition, the Milwaukee School of Engineering bestowed
an Honorary Doctorate on Mr. Marschke and he was privileged to deliver the
commencement address to the University of Wisconsin engineering graduates.
Carl has, through his business development efforts, helped to build, transform, and
improve Price County. Carl has had a significant impact on business and industry in Price
County and over the years has brought honor and respect to Price County as a major
manufacturing center for Northern Wisconsin.
Carl Marschke was born and raised in Rib Lake, Wisconsin. Mr. Marschke graduated
from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a Master of Science Degree in Electrical
Engineering in 1964.
2013 Recipient: Robert Cervenka
Mr. Robert Cervenka was one of the co-founders of Phillips Plastics Corporation. The company was founded in Price County in
1964 and grew to 1,600 employees in 14 locations and $300 million in sales at the time Mr. Cervenka sold the company in 2010. In
1974, Cervenka and Vokurka co-founded the Ann Marie Foundation. Named after their
mothers, the foundation has donated over $8 million since its inception. The Ann Marie
Foundation works to improve the quality of life within local communities home to Phillips
Plastics facilities when the founders owned the company.
A very important part of Robert Cervenka’s success was attributed to his ability to treat all
people with respect. Thereby creating a company with a foundation that was able to
provide good jobs and opportunities for the people located in Northern Wisconsin. He
held steadfast to his determination to build Phillips Plastics Corporation “from within” in
all these small rural Wisconsin communities.
Robert Cervenka was born and raised in Phillips, WI located in Price County. Mr.
Cervenka graduated from the University of Wisconsin in Madison with a Bachelor of
Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1958.
Sam Pritzl, President*
Park Falls, WI 54552
Sally Zoesch, Treasurer*
Northwoods Community Credit Union
Park Falls, WI 54552
Retired Local Business Owner
Park Falls, WI
Park Falls, WI 54552
Retired City Planner
Park Falls, WI 54552
Chequamegon School District
Park Falls, WI 54552
Park Falls, WI 54552
Park Falls, WI 54552
PFACDC Believes in Its Mission
For the fourteenth consecutive year, the Park Falls Area Community Development Corporation has pursued a continued
determination and focus to create the best possible environment for economic growth.
Every successful organization has characteristics that attribute to their success and the PFACDC is no exception. Our Directors
are proud to be a part of an organization that exhibits strong leadership, outstanding community and municipal involvement,
and a pro-active attitude in establishing further economic prosperity and diversification in our area.
A thirteen member Board of Directors oversees the operations and goals of the PFACDC. Board members represent all facets of
the community: Financial, Utilities, Accounting, Retail, Health Care and Manufacturing. The Ad Hoc members represent the
City of Park Falls, Village of Butternut, Town of Fifield, Chequamegon School District, Price County Board, Paper Mill Union, U.
S. Forest Service, Park Falls Chamber of Commerce, Price County Review and other area businesses.
The PFACDC continues to put a special emphasis on business retention because when existing businesses thrive, so does the
community. It is our goal to play a lead role in establishing economic development programming as this region continues to
grow and prosper.
Some of the major highlights of the past year include the 13th Annual Business of the Year promotion honoring Park Falls
Building and Hardware. To date, the PFACDC has assisted with or prepared grant applications totaling more than $150 million
with awards reaching just over $58 million. The PFACDC has also been very successful in assisting local businesses in acquiring
revolving loans through regional and local programs. In the past twelve and one-half years, 42 companies have received RLF
loans totaling $2,016,600. During the same period of time, PFACDC has had 350 plus business contacts requesting business start-
up, expansion or relocation assistance.
The PFACDC office is located in the Northwoods Community Credit Union building at 1224 S. 4th Ave., Park Falls, Wisconsin.
The office is staffed by Michael Bablick, Administrator and Shannon Greenwood, Administrative Assistant.
The following pages outline the major developments that took place during the last year to date. The PFACDC hopes that you
will find value in the work that we do.
Board of Directors
*Member of Executive Committee
City of Park Falls
Marshfield Medical Center
Flambeau View Greenhouse
Village of Butternut
Ad Hoc Members
City of Phillips
Chequamegon School Board
Bob Kopisch, Chairman
Price County Board of Supervisors
Saunders Wood Specialties, Inc.
Town of Lake
Village of Prentice
Northcentral Technical College
Town of Eisenstein
Park Falls Chamber of Commerce