Waupaca Area Chamber presents RUBY award
This fall, the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce held its ninth annual RUBY Award.
A strong desire to raise her family away from Chicago prompted Liz Kneer to set aside her career as a landscape architect and return to her central Wisconsin roots.
“I’ve always believed that it’s important to give back to your community in whatever capacity you can,” said Liz, who chose to settle in Waupaca with her husband and two daughters because they missed the community culture and connections they could not replicate in the big city.
This fall, Liz was honored as the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce's ninth annual recipient for her passionate community involvement. She was among six nominees for the RUBY award – sponsored by Community First Credit Union – that recognizes professional young adults (40 and under) who make a notable impact on their business/industry or demonstrate service/commitment to their community.
She has a diverse resume as a volunteer and is considered a real asset by the Waupaca school district, local arts community, parks organization and the library, among others. Her most rewarding accomplishment involved initiating and coordinating a free Family Reading Night at the Waupaca Learning Center that drew 400+ students and their families/caregivers for a dinner and an evening of literacy and learning.
For the past two years, Liz has utilized her design skills as the exhibit room coordinator at the , a flexible position that gives her the time needed for active kids and volunteering for various organizations. Her most rewarding accomplishment involved initiating and coordinating a free Family Reading Night at the Waupaca Learning Center that drew 400+ students and their families/caregivers for a dinner and an evening of literacy and learning.
She has served in official and volunteer capacities for many organizations. Liz was involved in organizing/coordinating meetings, initiating and pursuing collaborations, recruiting and engaging other community members and raising funds. Along the way, she has shared her design skills and marketing insights to create graphics, logos, newsletters, handouts, promotional materials, schedules, grants, displays/exhibits and more.
While an officer with a school parent-teacher group, she participated in three playground installation projects and installation of two climbing walls in school gyms.
“Community involvement has enhanced my life by creating connections and life-long friendships as well as providing a sense of pride and contribution to a place my family loves,” Liz said. “Waupaca is a dynamic community with beautiful natural resources, arts and cultural groups, and athletics. I hope my involvement with a few of these organizations has helped strengthen the fabric that makes it great.”
“We’re really fortunate to have a lot of community partners and businesses that take that to heart, too,” said Liz, a proud CFCU member-owner. “Community First is an outstanding partner. The more people and businesses we have like that, who understand the importance of giving back and being a solid community member, the better it makes all of us.”
Other 2020 RUBY nominees were Jami Bahr (ThedaCare), Alicia Dorsett (Trinity Lutheran Church), Kayla Flink (Farmers State Bank), Aaron Jenson (City of Waupaca), Melanie Peterson (Edward Jones).
Community First congratulates Liz and all the nominees for making a difference in the Waupaca community!
Photo Above: RUBY Award winner Liz Kneer helped educate youth about financial literacy at the Thinking Money for Kids national traveling exhibit, one of several community projects she has helped coordinate.