Alan Brandon Christianson

The Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce has announced the award recipients for this year’s Rusk County Community Awards.

The recognition banquet for the Rusk County Community Awards will be held Thursday, May 19, at Tee Away Golf & Grill with a social hour beginning at 5 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. An awards ceremony will follow the dinner. Tickets are now on sale at

Chamber Manager Andy Strom said, “There are several businesses, organizations, and individuals that go above and beyond to help make the Rusk area great.” 

The Rusk AREA Community Awards are an opportunity to deservedly shine the spotlight on some of these businesses, organizations, and individuals, according to Strom.

This year’s Community Leader of the Year will be presented to Ladysmith City Administrator Alan Christianson. The award will be presented by the Northland Community Club. 

In speaking of this year’s Community Leader of the Year recipient, Strom said, “Al Christianson has shown he is a leader in our community for many years. We are talking about a guy that out of college went to work helping people in our community develop and open businesses.”

According to Strom, Christianson did great things as the Executive Director of Ladysmith Main Street for many years, served as Mayor for Ladysmith and now serves as the City Administrator. 

Christianson also completes volunteer work with the Jaycees and other organizations. 

“If there is a community event he is usually either running it, helping work it, or is attending it. He loves this community and has unarguably done great things as a leader in our community,” said Strom.

“I feel very humbled being selected as the Community Leader of the Year,” said Christianson. He added, “while it is seen as an individual honor, the credit for success in our community is due to the many wonderful people who work hard day in and day out for the good of the community.”

Christianson believes the community of Rusk County has seen many successes over the last year and the community sits poised for more in 2022. Many of those successes have taken the involvement of many people, said Christianson, whether they be private individuals, business owners or those serving on the city council, county board, school board or other community organizations.

“I’ve had the privilege of working with wonderful people across many different organizations and playing a small role in some of those successes,” said Christianson.

Christianson continues, saying “I would like to congratulate all the award winners this year. All very deserving recipients.”

This year’s recipients all show a great commitment to making our area great, said Strom. “Luckily for all of us in this area these recipients love and care for our community as without them this area would unfortunately be a much different place,” added Strom.

Additional awards to be presented at the banquet include:

Small Business of the Year will be presented to Rocque Ridge Guides & Outfitters LLC by the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce.

The New Venture of the Year will be presented to the Veterans Memorial Association Car Show and presented by the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Volunteer of the Year award will go to Anita Gavin and be presented by the Northland Community Club.

Farm Family of the Year award goes to Bob and Tammy Jacobs & Jeff and Nicole Jacobs.

The award for Civic Organization of the Year will be presented to Hope Lutheran Church Food Pantry by Maple Hill Farm.

Large Business of the Year award will be presented to Marshfield Medical Center - Ladysmith and be presented by the Ladysmith Community IDC.

The Green Award will be presented to Connections Thrift Store by the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce.

The Friend of the Arts Award will be presented to Karen Ek by the Rusk Area Arts Alliance.

The Educator of the Year award will be presented to all educators of Rusk County by the Rusk County Retired Educators.

The Legacy Award goes to Joseph Baye and will be presented by the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce.

Reserve and pay for your seat in advance at the Rusk Area Chamber of Commerce. Cost for the dinner is $20 per person. Reservations and payments can be made at

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