‘See you THIS time!’ Kwik Trip patriarch Zietlow to accept ‘Seize the Day’ award June 3 at ‘treps event

‘See you THIS time!’ Kwik Trip patriarch Zietlow to accept ‘Seize the Day’ award June 3 at ‘treps event

Don Zietlow
, the president and chief executive officer of La Crosse-based Kwik Trip, will be honored during the June 3 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference with the 18th annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award.

The award, which celebrates entrepreneurial leaders who have been crucial to Wisconsin’s economic growth, is named for the late Ken Hendricks, a Beloit businessman and 2006 “Seize the Day” award winner who died in an accident in late 2007.

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Kwik Trip opened for business in 1965 and today employs more than 30,000 people in 768 stores while serving 8.5 million guests per week in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. A vertically integrated company, it makes and ships more than 80% of its branded products, utilizing technology at every step through robotics, solar energy production, food protection laboratories, customer rewards and recycling processes. It is a family-owned and run business with about $7 billion in annual revenue.

“Don Zietlow, his family and co-workers have been expanding this innovative company for decades with no apparent end in sight. He’s a team player who exemplifies what it means to adapt to changing times while embracing technology and sticking with a culture of customer service,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council.

The June 3 conference will be held on a virtual platform under the theme of Building blocks for young companies. The “Seize the Day” presentation with remarks by Zietlow will take place mid-day.

Past winners include Don Weber of Logistics Health Inc. (2004); Bob Cervenka of Phillips Plastics (2005); Ken Hendricks of ABC Supply (2006); Jan Eddy of Wingra Technologies (2007); Michael Cudahy of Marquette Medical Systems (2008); Toni Sikes of The Guild and Guild.com (2009); Bill Linton of Promega (2010); Bob Hillis of Direct Supply (2011); Kay Koplovitz of USA Network (2012); Fred Foster of Electronic Theatre Controls (2013); Craig and Lea Culver of Culver Franchising System Inc. (2014); Jim Berbee of Berbee Information Networks Corp. (2015); Mark Gehring of HealthMyne (2016); Zach Halmstad of Jamf (2017); Dude and Kerry Frank of Comply365 (2018); Sue Marks of Cielo (2019) and Kevin Conroy of Exact Sciences (2020.)

Produced by the Tech Council, the Entrepreneurs’ Conference has been a signature event for entrepreneurs, investors and others in the early stage sector since launched by the Tech Council in 2003. Detailed panel information will be posted soon at witrepsconference.com. Other highlights will include:

  • Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest will present live, via Zoom on June 2
  • Keynote presentation from Wes Schroll of Fetch Rewards, sponsored by RSM
  • Governor’s Business Plan Contest awards ceremony with category winners, a grand prize winner, a “Bright New Idea” award and a new “People’s Choice” award this year
  • Virtual interactive exhibitor booths from more than 30 Wisconsin companies
  • A presentation by the winner of the Wisconsin YES! youth business plan contest, and;
  • Plenty of chances to network 1:1 virtually, a variety of discussions under the “Launch, Grow, Succeed” theme and much more!

Sponsors thus far include: PLATINUMAmerican Transmission Co., AT&T, Godfrey & KahnHusch BlackwellMichael BestUniversity Research ParkWisconsin Alumni Research FoundationWisconsin Economic Development CorpGOLD: Aberdean ConsultingMakin’ HEY! CommunicationsSILVERAffiliated EngineersAmerican Family InsuranceAlliant EnergyBaird CapitalBaker TillyBDOCenter for Technology CommercializationCity of FitchburgDedicated ComputingDeWittFindorffFirst Business BankHealthX VenturesJ.P. Morgan ChaseMadison CollegeMadison Gas & ElectricMarquette UniversityMarshfield Clinic Health SystemMicrosoftMobile22Neider & BoucherOgden Glazer + SchaeferPDSPerkins CoieQuarles & BradyReinhart Boerner Van Deuren, Shive-HatteryUWM Research FoundationUW-Madison D2PUW-Madison Office of Business EngagementVenture InvestorsVersitiWEA TrustWIPFLiWisconsin Technical College SystemSPECIAL SUPPORT: Madison Development Corp.  and RSM.