Person of the Year 2009 Full Nominations

January 1, 2010

Here, in alphabetical order, are your 21 nominees for Bay View Compass 2009 Person of the Year. One person is nominated twice and two are nominated together, with Ron Bird also anticipated to be nominated a second time.

Ron Bird

Ron Bird Ron Bird was selected for the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association Distinguished Service Award from all Bay View Redcats staff, coaches, players, and fans for the last 56 years. Bird is the president and founder of the Bay View Redcats and he will be presented with the Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award for his many years of work and dedication to youth football in the Milwaukee area.

~”Parents of Bay View”

Marcy Blaufuss

Marcy Blaufuss I would like to nominate Marcy Blaufuss for 2009 Bay View Person of the Year. As a second generation Bay View resident, (my mother and father were born and raised in Bay View), it is an honor to nominate Mrs. Blaufuss for this distinguished award.

Marcy is a lifelong Bay View resident who has made an impact in the lives of Bay View’s youth for many decades. She is a director of the World Champion Daley Debutantes Baton Twirling Corps. For over 50 years, this baton twirling corps has served as an ambassador for Milwaukee by participating in numerous parades and competitions in Wisconsin, the Midwest, and even internationally, performing in Ireland twice. Last year, they performed in the Holiday Bowl Parade and halftime show in San Diego, Calif.

As a member and leader for more than 50 years, she has been a positive influence in the lives of hundreds of children from Bay View, including my son. Her positive attitude and can-do outlook toward life has given our youth the confidence to set high goals and, through hard work, achieve them. My son Joseph joined the Daley Debutantes as a sixth grader seven years ago. During these seven years he has participated and competed in many parades and competitions. With Marcy’s help and encouragement I have seen him grow and mature into a fine young man. He is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, majoring in mechanical engineering. He is an assistant captain of the Daley Debutantes drumline and is a member of the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Marching Pioneers.

Marcy Blaufuss won five Wisconsin state solo baton championships; she was Milwaukee’s first Junior Miss, performed at the Cotton Bowl, and was the state’s first senior Miss Wisconsin Majorette. A graduate of Marquette University, Marcy was the featured twirler and first chair alto clarinetist with the Warrior band. For six years, she was famed Coach Al McGuire’s coordinator of cheerleaders for the Marquette Warrior basketball team, including the 1977 NCAA champions. In 1974, she was named Drum Major magazine’s Twirling Teacher of the Year. Because of her community involvement, as well as her leadership in the Daley Debutantes organization, Milwaukee magazine named her “One of Milwaukee’s Most Interesting People of 1985.” In 1993, the National Baton Twirling Association honored Marcy as the “International Corps Director of the Year.”

Mrs. Blaufuss is currently president of the South Side Scholarship Foundation., Inc., whose primary purpose is to provide a scholarship fund for post-high school individuals to pursue continuing education. Last year this organization gave scholarships to 16 college students. Marcy was born and raised in Bay View, and is a graduate of Immaculate Conception Grade School and Cathedral High School. She remains an active member of Immaculate Conception Parish. Marcy is married to Phil and they have one son, Eric. A graduate of Marquette University, he is presently working as a recruitment assistant for St. Thomas More High School.

It is an honor and pleasure to have known Marcy for the past seven years and to nominate her for the 2009 Bay View Compass person of the year.

~Bob Grilli

Tom Brandstetter

Tom Brandstetter Tom Brandstetter is my nominee for Bay View Person of the Year.

Tom put his money where his mouth is in 2009.

Tom is a tireless advocate for the environment, focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency. Several years ago he reduced his work schedule as a pharmacist so he could do research and lecture on environmental issues.

When he found out his home on Indiana Avenue was a poor site for a solar electric system, he found a better way. He donated $28,000 to be used toward a system to generate electricity on the roof of his church, the Unitarian church on E. Ogden Avenue.

After doing some research, Tom realized he could maximize the benefits of his donation through rebates and credits that are available to nonprofit organizations. His donation made it possible for the church to purchase a renewable energy system worth $100,000.

The system will produce three times as much energy as a system that would be added to a private home. Everyone will benefit because the energy will be pollution-free.

But Tom did not stop there. He helped lead a campaign to raise another $50,000 for energy efficiency improvements, including insulation, for the 118-year-old building.

The campaign that Tom and other church members worked on was so successful that it raised $10,000 more than the goal.

At a reception kicking off the campaign, Tom and others pointed out that the church already was a good steward of the environment because many energy improvements had been added in recent years. Tom also said the building is in excellent shape for a facility of its age.

Tom has traveled to Asia and Europe to do his research. He also is an advocate of the concept of Peak Oil. That is sometimes described as the belief that there is a maximum amount of oil that can be extracted from the Earth. After the halfway point is reached, the rate of extraction starts to decline and prices will become more unstable.

~Bill Lavelette

Marina Dimitrijevic

Marina Dimitrijevic She deserves to be Bay View Person of the Year because of her caring and optimistic attitude as Fourth District county supervisor.

~Nancy Timm

John Ebersol

John Ebersol I would like to nominate John Ebersol for the 2009 Person of the Year award. He is a lifelong resident of Bay View and continues to live in the family home of his father and grandfather. Throughout the years he has done much to restore and maintain this lovely home on S. Shore Drive. In addition, he has shared his knowledge and expertise and helped many others in the neighborhood in maintaining their older homes. As a youngster, John had a keen sense of how things worked and he took great interest whenever a home in the neighborhood was being worked on. It made no difference whether the project involved plumbing, roofing, electrical wiring, woodworking, or landscaping, John would be watching and asking questions.

John graduated from Trowbridge Street School and Bay View High School. It was during these school years that he became an Explorer Scout and was an active member of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church under the leadership of Father Harding. He was a camp counselor for many summers at Camp Blazing Star in Nashotah, Wis. After high school, he earned a degree in engineering from UW-Milwaukee.

John is a charter member of the Bay View Historical Society. He has always been interested in the history of Bay View, and is the archivist and lecturer at the South Shore Yacht Club. He has preserved and maintains the earliest records of the current and earlier yacht clubs, as far back as the Steel Mill Yacht Club. Before historical preservation was en vogue, John was instrumental in designing and erecting the memorial dedicated to the victims of the Steel Mill Massacre, on the northeast corner of Superior Street and Russell Avenue. He was also active during the Save Our Shore campaign, and actively participated in the restoration of the large anchor that was found in Lake Michigan and now is displayed near the pavilion in South Shore Park.

John has donated countless hours to the restoration and maintenance of the Brinton House-home of the Bay View Historical Society. His interest in history was a factor in salvaging the old guardrails from the Kinnickinnic River bridge and installing them as backyard fencing for three of the homes on his block. He also built molds using the designs of the original Lake Park concrete walls to maintain the walls at the top of the bluff in the yards across the street from his home. Using the old design of the old lamp posts along these walls he constructed new molds and has erected beautiful lighting posts in several of the neighborhood yards.

To give you an idea of the kind of neighbor John is, he bakes hot cross buns every Easter and delivers them fresh out of the oven to all of his neighbors, sporting an authentic chef’s hat as he makes the rounds. During the Christmas season he started a tradition of putting big, red bows on all of the trees lining our block. He meant to do this anonymously, but after a few years word got out that he was the person responsible for this festive, cheerful touch.

John should also be credited with the formation of the Coffee Guys-a group of neighborhood men who have been getting together every weekday morning for an hour or so to discuss “Bay View Happenings.” It is networking at its best! These gatherings started out many years ago at John’s home, and only recently have they started meeting at different members’ homes.

Lastly, John seems to be the person many go to in times of crisis. Once it was to retrieve a dead cat from under a bed, another time to get a squirrel out of a chimney, or to get advice on any topic from which mushrooms are safe to eat to what type of bird just perched on a backyard birdfeeder.

John is the lifeblood of our Bay View neighborhood. He has given a lifetime of assisting and helping and sharing his vast expertise with whomever is in need. None of this is ever done with thought of pay or reward, and yet his work and contributions to Bay View have been priceless. His contributions have truly gone on for a lifetime!

I strongly urge you to consider John Ebersol for Person of the Year! He is truly deserving of the title!

~Linda Becker

James Godsil

James Godsil I have never met anyone who is as interesting as Jim Godsil. He has his hands in so many projects that enrich the lives of Milwaukeeans. He is always willing to listen and his patience has no bounds. He is dedicated to improving this planet so that future generations will be able to have the same resources that exist today. Long live the word of Godsil!

~Melissa Tashjian

Robert Gurgel

Robert Gurgel The person I would like to nominate would be a man who has spent his life putting others first. A man who is an authentic friend and mentor to the young and the old in Bay View. He is focused on the well-being of the community. Whether it is a big or small problem, if asked, he is a reliable source. From helping the homeless to the jobless to food for the needy, he has made it his mission to help. Ironically his real mission in life is fishing. But you won’t catch him fishing the Great Lakes, little streams, or rivers. He is a fisher of men. I am talking about Pastor Robert Gurgel of St. Lucas in Bay View. His goal is to put you on the path-the path to your Savior.

~Danielle Gillingham

Kevin Harper

Kevin Harper Just as everyone living within a 250-foot radius of a neighborhood business requesting additional city permits [Blackbird Bar, 3007 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.], Kevin Harper received his “Notice of Public Hearing” from City Hall. There were some questions about the viability of these permits, and after speaking with his immediate neighbors, Harper took it upon himself to insure that all neighbors were informed of the importance of appearing a the hearing if they objected to the permits being granted.

First, Harper went to City Hall to review the license applications to make sure that he thoroughly understood the intent of the business. Then he went door to door and spoke personally to all who answered his knock. If no one answered, he left a letter in which he introduced himself and reminded everyone of the importance of their presence at the hearing. He also offered to organize carpools for anyone unable to get to City Hall, especially the elderly.

Harper’s efforts and enthusiasm helped encourage his neighbors to attend the hearing. The turnout was noteworthy, especially because at least 80 percent of those speaking out had to take off work to be present.

Therefore, I would like to nominate Kevin Harper as your 2009 Person of the Year, as he has demonstrated his leadership abilities and concern for his Bay View neighbors.

~Darlene Lalich

Patricia Jursik

Patricia Jursik I would like to nominate Eighth District County Supervisor Patricia Jursik for Bay View Person of the Year.

Supervisor Jursik has positioned herself as the centralizing force behind opposition to possible demolition of the Hoan Bridge, the lifeline between Bay View and the larger community. Her “Save the Hoan” campaign included  research and presentations that translated complex designs into understandable information, four overflowing town halls, taking the message to a wider audience on WPR’s 08/19/09 Lake Effect, and a petition to Governor Doyle with more than 8,000 names asking that the Hoan be re-decked rather than demolished. Supervisor Jursik has not only worked to thwart demolition of the bridge-she has exposed behind-the-scenes bureaucratic processes that are antithetical to democratic decision-making itself.

Supervisor Jursik deserves to be recognized as Bay View’s Person of the Year because without her actions there may no longer be a Bay View.

~Kathy Bauernfeind

Carol Kraco

Carol Kraco There are days when I think Bay View would fall apart without Carol Kraco. I have never met anyone who more tirelessly puts herself out there in order to improve where we live. She is the first to volunteer to help her school, a neighbor, or a friend-and in my case even a stranger. When I was at the most difficult point of the struggle of trying to care for my family while my husband was on his first deployment to Iraq, Carol stepped up out of nowhere and took over transporting my kindergartner to and from school for the rest of the year, which really saved me. She did it as she does everything, as if it were a simple courtesy not worthy of special notice. But Carol deserves special notice for all she does. I am very proud now to be able to call her my friend. Carol is trying to create a better community in which to raise her children and all of us benefit from her efforts. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of the title “Bay View Person of the Year.”

~Korinthia Klein

Molli Jo Latin-Kasper

Molli Jo Latin-Kasper My nominee for Bay View Person of the Year is Molli Jo Latin-Kasper. She has lived in Bay View for over 20 years, has worked at Dover Street School for 15 years and is a staunch supporter of the Bay View community and its schools. She is a dedicated wife and mother. She and her husband raised three wonderful children in Bay View. She is at every farmers market, Bash, South Shore Water Frolics, and, of course, the July 4th parade at Humboldt Park. She is dedicated to the community and its development. She served on the Bay View Cluster Committee to help determine the future of the Bay View Schools. She helps collect canned goods for the Bay View Community Center and the Hunger Task Force every year. She volunteers at Humboldt Park for Tree Day. She works tirelessly to increase the quality and the participation of our parent involvement at Dover. She is a very valuable member of Dover Street School and of the Bay View Community.

~Jaclyn Dee Laber

Tom Matthews

Tom Matthews-Lukens In the two-plus years Mr. Thomas Matthews has been the leader of Trowbridge Elementary School of Great Lakes Studies many parents, students, and teachers have been positively impacted.

Just looking at where we were less than three years ago would give strong evidence of just how much Mr. Matthews has helped make our school community stronger. When he began his service to Trowbridge, our enrollment was somewhere in the 160-180 range. Now, we are 275-plus strong. Before his arrival our parent involvement was lacking administrative support. Now, we have an active and effective PTA and school climate committee.

When parents come to our school, they no longer have to ask for the principal, they now ask for Mr. Matthews. Perhaps this is because he makes it a priority to greet them through his open office door.

Parents looking for a safe, welcoming, learning environment are given a personal tour of our building. There are many students sitting in our seats today who were influenced by the time they and their parents spent with Mr. Matthews before enrolling their child or children.

Our school community is also enhanced by Mr. Matthews’ visibility in the building. He has to keep a walkie-talkie with him because he could be anywhere at anytime. He tries to address all students every day. Many mornings he can be seen in the lunchroom with our younger students before he visits the classrooms of the upper elementary and middle school students. And during these visits, he is interacting with students, informing them of expectations, reminding them of upcoming events, and answering any questions they may have. It is not uncommon for a student to ask to speak to Mr. Matthews privately, as they know he will make time for them.

Other areas we commonly see Mr. Matthews is on the playground before school and at recess, in our lunchroom during lunch, in the halls just before dismissal, and outside the building at the end of the day. The banter and interaction during these times builds a trusting relationship with our children while offering support to staff.

As visible as Mr. Matthews is to parents, teachers, and students, he also takes a tremendous amount of time to plan and execute valuable and interesting fieldtrips as well as programs that may come to our school. Before Mr. Matthews came to Trowbridge we had limited visual art and music. Now every child has these experiences on a weekly or better basis. We even have dancing for two grade levels.

Fieldtrips were far and few. Now students go to a variety of places-usually at a reduced or free rate. If a staff member is interested in taking students somewhere that would enhance learning, he will do whatever it takes to support the effort. Somehow, some way, he finds the resources to make a difference in our students’ lives.

On a more personal level, as a teacher, I find Mr. Matthews to be incredibly supportive. We do not always see eye-to-eye, but no matter the situation, he listens. His door really is always open. It doesn’t matter if it is a personal issue, a student-centered issue, or a building concern. He will always listen and together we will come up with a way to move forward.

Knowing that Mr. Matthews has my best interests and my students’ best interests at heart frees me up to focus on the children. That translates into a better learning environment for my students, which is what our school is really all about-successfully allowing students to reach their potential.

And so it is aptly appropriate to recognize Mr. Matthews as the person who is responsible for making Trowbridge a place where all can feel welcome so that ultimately students can succeed in their classrooms and beyond.

Thank you Mr. Matthews for your time, energy, and dedication-for making a positive difference in the lives of many now, thus impacting who knows how many for generations to come!

~Charles D. LeBlanc

Kathy Mulvey

Kathy Mulvey portrait I’m nominating Kathy Mulvey. Seems like a no-brainer.

  • Founder of the South Shore Farmers Market
  • President of Bay View Historical Society
  • President of South Shore Park Watch
  • President of Save the Seminary Woods


  • Integral in expanding the south shore bike trail.
  • Pushed for the Army Corps of Engineers to fix breakwater.
  • Organized to save the Seminary Woods.
  • Increased the capacity of the Bay View Historical Society.

~Stephanie Harling

Joyce Parker

Joyce Parker She is creative, hardworking, generous, independent, and forthright-everything the ideal Bay View citizen should be.

In addition to her running her businesses, Joyce Parker has provided the Bay View community with free Saturday afternoon concerts for over 10 years! These concerts present music of many types for the enjoyment of everyone and offer musicians a chance to showcase their talents, thanks to Joyce Parker. I haven’t heard of anyone else in the whole city doing anything like this.

~Stephanie Kasper

Anna Passante

Anna Passante 1. Anna takes topics about the area which many take for granted and makes them come alive, i.e. Deer Creek, etc. (via Historic Bay View column).

2. Anna has the ability to use her talent in English teaching and library work at MPS after her retirement to help others to learn more.


Bill Rouleau

Bill Rouleau I’d like to nominate Bill Rouleau. He co-owns Rush Mor Records and bartends at The Palomino. If you’re not already aware, he organizes several Bay View social events each year including The Bay View Dog Blessing, The Humboldt Park Halloween Pumpkin Night, Biketoberfest Bike Pub ‘Crawl’, Tour De Farce Bike Pub ‘Crawl’, etc. He often promotes Bay View on his weekly Radio Show on WMSE on Monday afternoons.

I don’t have a picture to share right now, however, he was pictured in a couple of past Compass issues, so you should have a copy.

~Jerry Bajczyk

Bill Rouleau

I would like to nominate Bill Rouleau of Rush Mor Records as the Bay View Person of the Year.

Bill has been silently championing unique events that make Bay View a fun and funky place to live-whether it be the popular Rush Mor stage at the Bay View Bash, the Dog Day Afternoon Dog Blessings, being a driving force behind the Halloween event “Pumpkin Pavilion,” the Biketoberfest events, or the New Year’s Day Polar Plunges at South Shore Park, Bill knows how to get the neighborhood to come out and have a good time together. And he does it all from behind the scenes, all while maintaining an independent record store in Bay View.

Here’s to Bill!

~Dana Jones

Jim Sambol

Sambol Although we do not have a photo of Jim Sambol, the Bay View Compass file probably does because of a brief write-up on him October 2007. It is easy enough to get a photo of him nearly any Monday at Anodyne, 2920 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 489-0765, where he is introducing customers to the world in a way that no one else can. He lives at 2946 S. Kinnickinnic Ave.

Part of what makes the Jim Sambol Bay View story so amazing is how he got to Anodyne and why he plays at the time he does. (The fact that he can play more musical instruments than anyone else we know of in the world is another story, or possibly the basis of many other stories.) One day he walked into Anodyne and asked when their least busy time is. They told him it was Mondays around noon. He then offered to play during that time as a way of “giving back to Bay View” and does it nearly every Monday between 11am and 1pm. What a present to Bay View to have the most versatile musician (How many people do you know who can play more than 100 musical instruments?) available while introducing customers to so much of the world!

He is very good at not only playing world music, but also singing in original languages that go with what he plays. He is excellent at explaining cultural backgrounds of each song before singing it the way it is intended to be sun in its original language. It is hard to believe how many different languages you can hear sung at a typical Monday session. Notice how happy people look as they listen and perhaps sing along, knowing that they are experiencing more of the world than would be possible anywhere else.

Like he says, this is his way of giving back to Bay View, where he chooses to live. What a gift to the Bay View public that no other community has!

~Jim & Janet Sullivan

Swee Sim

Swee Sim Swee is a humble genius and is always willing to share his expertise. He has an extensive and impressive background in engineering and is applying that knowledge to “greening” Milwaukee. I am so impressed by his openness, humility, and kindness.

~Melissa Tashjian

Patty Pritchard Thompson & Carol Voss

Patty Pritchard Thompson Carol Voss I nominate both Patty Thompson and Carol Voss. As community leaders they are awesome. They have helped Bay View come together using Chill on the Hill and other events. They have kept us informed about upcoming events in Bay View and important town hall meetings. They are incredible and my vote is split between them!

~Bob Roman

Ken Weber

Ken Weber I would like to nominate Ken Weber, owner of the Brickyard Gym, as the 2009 Bay View Person of the Year (BV POY). Ken is well qualified for this award. Ken is a long-standing business owner. But more than that, he takes the time to help people in need, at his gym, in the neighborhood, and at his church. Ken also encourages people in eating and living with healthy dietary and lifestyle habits. Mr. Weber is deserving to be recognized as the 2009 BV POY.

~John L. Hoh, Jr.

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One Comment on "Person of the Year 2009 Full Nominations"

  1. Jeremy Hooper on Mon, 11th Jan 2010 1:32 pm 

    I take issue with Darlene Lalich’s nomination of Kevin Harper. While he may have felt he was working for the good of some in Bay View, he was certainly not speaking for all neighbors and was actually working against the better interests of the neighborhood. He waged a mini-campaign against Blackbird which I felt was misleading and dishonest. The letter he left in neighbors’ mailboxes, including mine, leveled numerous allegations against Blackbird, using scare tactics such as the threat of increased crime, vandalism, the sale of drugs, etc. if Blackbird were allowed to have an outdoor patio. Not to mention the fact that leaving an unstamped flyer in a mailbox is AGAINST FEDERAL LAW. The owners of Blackbird have proven to be exemplary business owners (Blackbird and Classic Slice), working for the betterment of Bay View. Kevin Harper’s NIMBY attitude is shameful and will only serve to drive out responsible businesses.

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