Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients | Western Technical College

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

2018 - Bernadine “Bernie” Hornby

​1980 Interior Design Graduate 

Bernadine Hornby

Western Technical College’s Alumni Association awarded this year’s Distinguished Alumni Award to Bernadine “Bernie” Hornby, president and chairperson of Vernon Electric Cooperative. This award recognizes dedicated service to the community or nation, leadership, personal growth and achievement, professional achievement, and contributions to the Western district.

Hornby, of Viroqua, is a 1980 graduate of the Interior Design program. Until 1986, she held interior design positions at A&C Johnson Co. and the Viroqua Home Center. From 1988-2001, she formed her own business, Wedding Day Bridal Services, which designed and coordinated rental products for wedding ceremonies. In addition to her professional career, she became a dairy farmer with her husband, David. They own a 320 acre farm and milk 70 cows.

Throughout her career, Hornby has served on a number of community organizations. From 1992-2012, she served as Treasurer for the Town of Franklin in Vernon County. In 2001, she was elected to the Vernon Electric Cooperative Board, serving as Treasurer until 2012, and from 2012-present, as president. In doing so, she became the first female president of an electric cooperative board in the state.

Hornby is also active in her local church, serving as president and secretary of WINGS Ladies Group, as well as a Sunday school teacher and youth group leader. She is involved with the Viroqua FFA Alumni, serving as secretary since 2010, and assists with purchasing and packaging food for elementary students who are in need of food over weekends. She is also a volunteer for the Vernon County Fair, working as needed at the event, and serving on the Fairest of the Fair Committee.


Previous Recipients

  • 2017 - Robert Abraham
  • 2016 - Diane (Forde) Raaum
  • 2015 - Kyle Bakkum
  • 2014 - Jeff Wieser and Brian Wieser
  • 2013 - Mary Jo Klos
  • 2012 - Rose and Lester "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

If you would like more information about the past recipients visit https://community.westerntc.edu/DistinguishedAlumni or please contact the Alumni Association at alumni@westerntc.edu or 608-789-6083.