Recognition Award

Every year WCCAA asks our membership to nominate individuals who have made a significant contribution to the field of early care and education in the state of Wisconsin. The contribution can take a variety of forms and could be an administrator of a child care program, a resource person, a government or civic official, a person in the media or communication field, or a philanthropist. Our board then considers these nominations and selects one or more individuals to receive a recognition award at our annual winter conference.

In addition, we also seek nominations each year for corporations who have made note-worthy contributions in some way to better children and families in our state. WCCAA firmly believes that corporations can play a tremendous role in supporting quality child care. This also can happen in a variety of ways – implementing family-friendly policies for employees, providing child care assistance for families, giving financial or other support to existing quality child care programs, generating public awareness of issues that affect children and families, etc.

Nominations for Individual and Corporation awards are accepted from August through October. The deadline for accepting nominations is November 1st. Nominations are then reviewed, and the WCCAA Board makes a decision at the November Board Meeting. Recipients are notified and awards are presented at the Annual Statewide Conference. The links at the bottom of this page are to access the nomination forms.

Here is the individual award recipient from the 2016 WCCAA Conference:


Senator Julie Lassa has gone above and beyond for children and families in the state of Wisconsin.  Senator Lassa has written over more than 20 legislative bills that directly impact children in a positive way, with over ten of these bills being put into effect. She has been recognized for her work on promoting the safety and health of children, having written new laws to help identify and correct hearing impairments in children. She wrote the BPA-Free Kids Act that bans this toxic chemical from baby bottles and sippy cups sold in Wisconsin. Also, she has worked to protect children from abuse and neglect, including strengthening penalties for child sex predators.

A few of her legislative accomplishments include:

  1. 2005 Senate Bill 221, the Prevent Violence Against Children Act.  Sen. Lassa was one of the main authors on bill 221 on Shaken Baby Syndrome and she introduced a Prevent Violence Against Children Resolution in the Wisconsin State Senate asking Governor Doyle declare a SBS Awareness Week in April. The resolution was passed unanimously by the Senate. Now each year the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome promotes the third week of April as SBS Awareness Week
  1. 2009 Senate Bill 271 BPA Ban The BPA-Free Kids Act prohibits the manufacture or sale at the wholesale or retail level of empty baby bottles and sippy cups for children 3 years old and younger that contain BPA, and requires that manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers clearly label children’s bottles and cups as BPA-free.
  1. 2009 Senate Bill 323 Newborn Hearing Screening, relating to requiring newborn hearing screeningThis legislation allows Wisconsin to join the 35 other states that currently require that all newborns who are born in a hospital or at home receive a hearing screening test.  The bill requires that physicians, nurse-midwives, or certified professional midwives who attend a birth ensure that infants are screened for hearing loss before being discharged from the hospital or within 30 days of the birth if the infant was not born in a hospital.  The legislation also requires that the physician or midwife ensure that the parents are advised of the screening results.  Additionally, if the baby has an abnormal hearing screening result, parents must be provided with information on available resources for diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss.

Senator Lassa serves on the Children’s Trust Fund, which is Wisconsin’s child abuse and neglect prevention board.  Julie is highly supportive of the goals and mission of the WCCAA and attends regional meetings on an annual basis to discuss topics pertaining to the industry.

A  look back at some of our honored previous recipients:

Individual Award

  • 1997 David Linsmeier
  • 1997 Vicky Lenzlinger
  • 1998 Rosemary Troia Baker
  • 1999 Jere Wallden
  • 2000 Pam Boulton
  • 2000 Walter Schwede
  • 2001 Karen Driscoll
  • 2001 Chandra Morris
  • 2002 Laura Jo Pearson
  • 2003 Bessie Gray
  • 2004 Ena Faye Benedict
  • 2004 Chip Donohue
  • 2005 Mary Madsen
  • 2006 Jo Johnson
  • 2006 Jim Leonhart
  • 2006 Barb Meulemans
  • 2007 George Hagenauer
  • 2007 Fran Kielas
  • 2008 Jim Ryan
  • 2008 Verna Drake
  • 2008 Becky Wurzer
  • 2009 Marilyn Krinker
  • 2010 Beryl Anders
  • 2011 Mary Motquin, Helen Godfrey, Dan Riedel
  • 2012 Bonnie Paisar, Michael Conway
  • 2013 Beverly Anderson, Deborah Komp, Dotty Lillo
  • 2014 Laura Saterfield, Sue Lorenz, Isabella Bauer
  • 2015 Maida Sawyer, Rosemary Krause, Janey Brandt, Stephanie Kober

Corporate Award

  • 1999 Monroe Clinic
  • 1999 JanSport
  • 2000 LaCausa & Ft. Atkinson Memorial Hospital
  • 2001 Next Generation Now & Commercial Communications
  • 2002 St. Mary’s, Green Bay
  • 2004 Promega
  • 2007 Hans Lenzlinger/New Glarus Hotel
  • 2008 Kohl’s Kids Care Kollege
  • 2009 SC Johnson/Bright Horizons Family Solutions
  • 2011 Good Karma Broadcasting
  • 2012 Right Way Shuttle of Eau Claire
  • 2013 Farmers & Merchants Bank
  • 2014 Jentle Yoga and Life (Jennifer Culver)

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