Greendale Chamber announces winners of its annual awards

Published on: 2/25/2014

Greendale — The Greendale Chamber of Commerce recently named three residents as its Member of the Year, Spirit of Greendale and Educator of the Year.

The awards were given during the chamber's annual banquet Feb. 12, held at Joey Gerard's supper club.

Member of the Year

Dr. Eric Munson of Veterinary Medical Associates was awarded the Member of the Year for the overarching development of his animal hospital since he purchased it in 1996.

'It's quite an honor to receive this award,' Munson said. 'We've been working the past 17 years to upgrade the building inside and out. We pretty much gutted the whole building.'

The animal hospital was originally built as a home in 1954 before the owner turned it into a vet clinic that was a little rough around the edges, Munson said.

Munson, who previously worked at a 'pretty modern' animal clinic in Oklahoma, said he 'had a vision and saw an opportunity in Greendale.'

'It's unique that the hospital developed as a home and was turned into what it is now,' he said. 'It's been through a gradual change and we're still in the end-stages of renovation ... but it's always a good feeling knowing you did something that the community appreciates.'

Spirit of Greendale

Resident David Miller was given the Spirit of Greendale Award for his involvement with the village's 75th anniversary last year.

To honor Greendale's history as a 'Greenbelt' community dating back to 1938, the board discussed ways to celebrate its 75th anniversary during a 2010 meeting.

Miller, who attended the meeting, said he was 'just at the right place at the right time.'

Recently retired, Miller focused his efforts on the anniversary as the co-chair of the 75th Anniversary Committee.

The five-day event 'ended up being a full-time job for me, but I certainly didn't do it all by myself,' Miller said, noting the hundreds of volunteers involved with the anniversary. 'It was a big undertaking, but I just wanted to give back to the community.'

Educator of the Year

Daniel Rogaczewski, the at-risk facilitator for the Greendale School District, was given the Charlie Herman Educator of the Year Award by the chamber.

Rogaczewski has worked in the school district for 12 years, teaching a range of subjects from social studies to world geography to U.S. history.

'Honestly, when I started 12 years ago, I only imagined one day being full-time,' Rogaczewski said. 'Receiving the Charlie Herman Award is a great honor ... (but) I really think in this profession, awards are great, but more importantly are the productive and quality relationships you develop with each of your students and colleagues that create a level of excellence within the school, where recognition as such is authentic.'

Rogaczewski was also awarded the Employee of Merit and the Kohl Fellowship Award earlier this year by the school district.

The Greendale School District 'demonstrates excellence at all levels; from the principals, leaders and classroom teachers, it has always been about forward-thinking, trusting their teachers and driven (to succeed),' Rogaczewski said. 'Greendale is a tight-knit community that takes its education seriously and the people who work and live in this district have high expectations.

'All my colleagues are excellent at their jobs, and that is what makes Greendale a great place to be and work.'