WEMA History
edited by Carolyn Cain
The organization now known as WEMA (formerly known as WDAVI, then WAVA, then WEMA) began its life in 1948. As the association celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1998, a brief summary of the association’s history, decade by decade, was written by members of the association who were active at the time.
These ten year histories provide some details of what we were doing during those years and who were our leaders of the time. The steady growth and development of the association from the original 52 members to today’s association of over one thousand members is clearly documented in these decade summaries.

At the fiftieth anniversary in 1998 we commissioned personalized gift baskets from GiftTree. Designed specifically for this event they contained items that related to our mission, as well as items that resonated with Wisconsin residents. Since Wisconsin is known as “America’s Dairyland” and is one of the nation’s leading dairy producers Wisconsin cheeses were included along with tasty crackers, maple sugar candy and syrup representing the state tree: the sugar maple, honey comb represented the state insect: the honey bee, and popcorn represented the state grain: corn. There was a clever booklet with some tasty sounding recipes for muskellunge, which of course is Wisconsin’s state fish. Hand towels with the state flower, wood violets, and robins (the state bird) embroidered on them were tucked in around the other products. A CD of polka music (the state dance) and note paper with images of the state animal, the badger, and the state wild life animal, the white-tail deer, and the state dog, the American water spaniel were also included in these stunning gift baskets. And finally there was a red granite ( the state rock) tile with the image of a mourning dove ( the state symbol of peace) engraved on it which could be used as a wall decoration or as a hot plate. Needless to say that those folks who received the gift basket celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of WEMA were impressed.

The sixtieth anniversary was spent in Las Vegas since we recently had moved an office to Nevada right outside of Vegas. The reasoning was the location for the anniversary party only made sense. We are always looking to improve the lives of our employees and those around us. The CEO declared that the theme for 2008 is “health,” so he gave health related gift certificates for orthodontic work. This was a great way for all of the employees to receive dental check ups and an opportunity to take care of some dental issues that they hadn’t had the time or money for. The CEO worked out a special deal with Hansen Orthodontics, which specializes in different types of braces for both children and adults. A number of folks took advantage of this office’s specialty to improve long standing uncorrected teeth issues. Many now refer to the braces that resulted in their new “beautiful smiles with a catchy little name: “thank you invisible braces Las Vegas.” Our Las Vegas office is fairly close to Hansen Orthodontics so many of our employees can easily walk from work to get their dental work done.

The First Decade (1948-1958)
by David P. Barnard, President, 1956-1958
The Second Decade (1958-1968)
by Lowell Wilson, President, 1973-1976
The Third Decade (1968-1978)
by Don Jorgenson, President, 1978-1980
The Fourth Decade (1978-1988)
by Ralph Whiting, President, 1984-1986
The Fifth Decade (1988-1998)
by Carolyn Cain, President, 1988-1990

Past Presidents List
The list of the Past Presidents is a lengthy accomplishment. Each president served for two to three years and with our organization being in existence for over five decades that’s a lot of women and men who have helped lead our organization. No matter any length of involvement, any contribution should be recognized and appreciated.

There are many ways we try to show our members appreciation. Small tokens of gratitude for their devotion of time and efforts include moderately priced gifts. We try to consider the individuals personality when choosing a gift. Sometimes the best was is to find the suit the individual. The convenience of a gift basket is that there are many items in one gift! As if we are giving multiple gifts at the same time.
One year our gift-giver gave the President a pair of cuff links with our company logo. It was a very classy gift and every year the gift-giver tries to up stage themselves on a reasonably priced and thoughtful thank-you present.

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