2019 Friend of the Chamber Award- Brandon Housley
By Kelley Westphal
At the chamber you’ll often hear us talk about how lucky we are to have such wonderful members; and we appreciate the opportunity to honor some of them at this event. When the chamber staff sat down to discuss this year’s Friend of the Chamber Award, we were instantly reminded of how fortunate we are to have so many friends of the chamber. But there was one individual that stood out to all of us this year. This person truly cares about the City of Fort Atkinson and the people in it. He’s selfless and helpful and he makes every person in the room feel important. He’s genuinely interested in the betterment of our community, which is demonstrated by his longevity and involvement socially, professionally and through giving back.
This year’s honoree joined the chamber in 2017 and has since become a Project LEAD graduate and a Fort Atkinson Chamber Ambassador, recruiting four new members and inviting prospects to every business after hours he attends. We’re not exactly sure how he has time since he is also a part of the Wisconservation Club, is a Friend of the Library, and consistently works with various charities along the way.
If you don’t recognize this individual from his Hawaiian button up shirts, contagious smile or expert real estate skills, then you would probably recognize him as a super volunteer, giving his time most Saturdays down at the farmers market community booth, welcoming customers and making new friends. Kaitlin Myren-Celkis, the Fort Farmers Market Manager says, "[This person] has been a wonderful long-time volunteer with the Fort Farmers Market. His friendly charismatic demeanor makes him the perfect person to welcome all of our market visitors from the frequent shoppers who already know him to the new faces that are checking it out for the very first time. He has always been someone we can rely on and we love having him as a part of our Farmers' Market Family." This person is also key to the chambers workforce development efforts as a frequently requested speaker for our 10th grade career classes and a participant in our annual senior exit interviews.
When we found ourselves short-staffed for this year’s golf outing, we asked this friend of the chamber, Brandon Housley if he could help out. Without hesitation he said, “absolutely, what time do you need me?” Brandon was out on the course from the beginning of the event until the very end, when a thunderstorm rolled in. Being the kind of guy Brandon is, he ran around the course in the pouring rain trying to assist everyone with their belongings. He came into the clubhouse soaking wet and still had a giant smile on his face.
I’ve been fortunate enough to know Brandon for the better part of a decade now, not only is he a friend of the chamber, he’s been a great friend to me personally. He’s the friend that everyone needs. He will help you with whatever problem you have and if he can’t help, then he will find someone who will, and he will do it all while making you crack up at something ridiculously funny that he said. Thank you for all that you do, Brandon. We truly appreciate you.