Distinguished Alumni Awards
Western's greatest source of pride is the personal and professional achievements of its alumni, those who have gone on to distinguish themselves in their personal and professional lives, representing the best that Western has to offer. Recipients are selected based on demonstration of the following:
- Dedicated service to the community or nation
- Personal growth and achievement
- Professional achievement
- Contributions to the Western district
Nomination forms are due January 30.
2014 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients
1983 Wood Tech
1986 Wood Tech
Jeff Wieser, ‘83 and Brian Wieser, ‘86 of La Crescent, MN, are this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award recipients. Both are graduates of Western’s Wood Tech program and owners of Wieser Brothers General Contractor.
Raised on the family dairy farm with sixteen brothers and sisters, Brian and Jeff learned about hard work and honesty at a very young age. After graduating from Western, they worked as apprentice carpenters with a local commercial contractor. Learning the trade through hands-on experience, they became journeyman carpenters, and quickly progressed to job superintendents running multi-million dollar projects.
In 1994, they formed Wieser Brothers General Contractor, Inc., a family-owned and -operated firm based in La Crescent. The company has grown from 2 employees to 85, with annual sales exceeding $30 million. Jeff manages the sales and support staff, handling the bidding process and maintaining the construction schedule. Brian oversees field operations, visiting job sites and ensuring quality control and safe operations.
Throughout the years, they have maintained a strong relationship with the college. They established the Wieser Brothers General Contractor Endowed Scholarship. They hire both students and graduates, not only from the Wood Tech program, but from the Business Education area as well. Additionally, Jeff serves on the Western Foundation Board.
They have been recognized with the 2012 Projects of Distinction Award and have been consistently recognized and awarded the designation of Accredited Quality Contractor by Associated Builders and Contractors. They have sponsored the Organic Valley Country Fair, participated annually in the United Way Pacesetter Campaign, and were selected for the Houston County Share the Spirit Award to recognize those who go above and beyond in service to others. .
- 2013 - Mary Jo Klos
- 2012 - Rose and Mike Levendoski
- 2011 - Joel Guberud
- 2010 - Harold Coppernoll
- 2009 - Lisa Thill
- 2008 - Richard Westpfahl
- 2007 - Debra Lash
- 2005 - Richard Walz
- 2003 - Terry Rydberg and Keith Steenlage
- 2002- Mike Sexauer and Kathy Foust
- 2001- Jeff Komay and Cinda Vingers
- 2000- Don Jobe and Lynn Smyrk
- 1999 - Kevin Kobishop and Karen Long
- 1998 - Karl "Butch" Halverson
- 1997 - Jim Timm
- 1996 - Dick Fox