In September of 2016, an initiative titled Teaming for a Brighter Tomorrow was launched for students attending either the Kiel or New Holstein school district.
The initiative began with the vision of Mike VanderZanden, CEO and President of Amerequip. Mike’s interest was to bring local businesses together with local government, community and the school districts. The purpose of this partnership would be to support a program designed by each district having the goal of educating and supporting students on the issues facing our young people today.
I am pleased to announce that Mr. VanderZanden has been awarded the “Bert Grover Child Advocacy Award for Business” by the Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators. Dan Nett, Superintendent of New Holstein and I nominated Mike because his leadership with Teaming for a Brighter Tomorrow is most representative of the essence of the award.
Nominations for this award include businesses from school communities around the state. It is competitive with businesses from larger cities to rural townships. Each nominee undergoes a rigorous review process. It is an honor for Kiel and New Holstein to have Mike receive this award.
Teaming for a Brighter Tomorrow is essential in helping our students and their families learn how to deal with challenges that we all know are evident in our world today. A myriad of topics and systems of support are supported by the funds from Teaming. Topics include substance abuse,
bullying, acceptance of differences and suicide prevention. It has also funded leadership training for the students in addition to community service involvement. The proactive vision of Mr. Vander Zanden and the financial support from Amerequip and many local businesses has provided the Kiel District with over $105,000 in support for mental health assistance/personal growth. Thanks to Mr. VanderZanden’s efforts other area businesses have committed to a three year investment into Teaming for a Brighter Tomorrow. Our gratitude goes to the lead donors from Amerequip, H.G Weber, Land O’Lakes, MB Company, Metko, Weber Oil and Windwalker label. The City Council of Kiel also donated to the cause.
We are very proud and honored to celebrate Mike VanderZanden’s award as a child advocate at a recognition banquet on Thursday, May 11 in Madison. He is most deserving of this recognition!

Watch the video below for more information: