TOURISM COUNTS AWARD 2019
Presented by Tourism Manager, Olivia Reinke
As the tourism manager for the chamber it is a great honor to recognize a strong industry partner with this award.
The Fort Atkinson Area Chamber of Commerce “Tourism Counts” Award is presented to an individual, business, or organization who, by their leadership and efforts, have made a difference in the promotion and development of tourism in our area. The name of the award reflects the tourism commissions’ desire to impress upon the community that tourism does count in the bigger economic picture, and that it does impact the vitality of our city.
This year’s recipient is usually behind the scenes making things happen. While his position is very visible, he never seeks the limelight, and is quick to give credit to everyone on his team. He is directly responsible for helping execute nearly half the Project LEAD projects in town. Over the past thirty years of service, the recipient has overseen several large projects that have enhanced the Fort Atkinson tourism assets and benefited area citizens. Examples include the Aquatic Center expansion, the creation of pathways in all major parks including the Bike Trail and Riverwalk, the renovation of the Wisconservation Club House (twice), the addition of the Rotary Shelter in Rock River Park, adding new playgrounds in 7 (soon to be 8) parks, as well as 2 sets of stadium seating, a new press box and a complete renovation of the Grandstands at Jones Park.
Not only does Scott Lastusky oversee the maintenance and improvements of the City’s parks and recreation, he has employed thousands of staff over the years.…including myself. A fellow former employee, Marissa Weidenfeller, attributes the beginning of her career ladder to being a “Bathhouse girl” noting, “Scott and Brett have provided me and so many other Fort Atkinson students with professional guidance and leadership skills, while giving most of us a chance at a first job and helping us create memories to last a lifetime. I believe that Scott and his team are why so many people love Fort Atkinson and why we are proud to call Fort Atkinson home. Without their tireless dedication and passion, our community would not be the vibrant, family-oriented place it is today.”
In the course of one year, the Parks and Rec department provide the facilities necessary to serve over 160 shelter rentals, more than 50 programs for both youth and adults, over 10 concerts in the park, and 8 sports tournaments. Teams and attendees travel near and far to participate and spectate these events. One tournament has over 50 teams that play at 5 diamonds over the course of 3 days. Additionally, the Aquatic Center sees over 30,000 swimmers in a year, with thousands of kids taking swim lessons from 14 different cities.
These are all just statistics though…
The growth and success of the Parks and Rec department are a testament to the leadership at the helm
When asked about Scott Lastusky, City Manager Matt Trebetoski said “Scott keeps himself informed of the latest trends in the parks and recreation industry and is always looking to keep things fresh...
He is a true leader who comes to the table with solutions and not just problems. He creatively finds ways to get things done.”
A community counter-part, Merrilee director at the Hoard Historical Museum notes that she has “ yet to have a “negative” interaction with anyone in Parks and Rec. Even when asking them to move dozens of tables & chairs, deliver heavy equipment, or use a park as an overnight campsite for historic reenactors. This is a testament to Scott’s leadership model and his positive role-modeling for his department.”
And from personal chamber experience we can all attest to the willingness, hard work and dedication Scott and his team have to community events. From the tourism perspective, it is a great partnership to be able to have the well-maintained parks and community amenities to promote as tourism attractions.
The list of quotes and personal experiences working with Scott and the Parks &Rec department could go on all night. We are truly fortunate to have you.
All of these accomplishments have aided in the development of tourism in Fort Atkinson.