Alumni Association Honors Wrightstown Resident
(Green Bay) Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s Alumni Association has named Karmen Lemke of Wrightstown as the recipient of the 2010 Distinguished Alumni Award. Lemke will be honored during the annual NWTC Educational Foundation Donor Recognition and Scholarship Awards Banquet at the Swan Club in De Pere on August 5, 2010.
Lemke has been chosen for her professional achievements, service contribution to NWTC, and involvement in community activities. She is a 1987 graduate of the Word Processing Specialist diploma program and 1994 graduate of the Marketing associate degree program. Lemke is currently the manager of community relations and contributions with Wisconsin Public Service Corporation (WPS).
A clear commitment to education is the common thread throughout Lemke’s personal and professional lives. Not long after earning her NWTC diploma and landing an entry-level position at WPS in 1987, Lemke returned to college on a part-time basis to advance her education and career, receiving an associate’s degree from NWTC in 1994 and a bachelor’s degree from Lakeland College in 1998.
“You could call me a lifelong learner!” Lemke said. “I am a very proud technical school graduate and often tell young people about my career path and how NWTC was the door to many new opportunities. I am so thankful to NWTC and the many instructors who helped me over the years. They taught me the importance of a good, hard work ethic, and it paid off.”
Throughout her 23-year career at WPS, Lemke has been a passionate supporter of education. She visits local classrooms to talk about gas and electric safety, organizes collections for needy children for the company’s Back to School Store, and participates in mentoring programs. She spent 10 years developing the Franklin Middle School/WPS business-education partnership. Lemke also served on the Wrightstown Area School District Board of Education for six years, something she considers to be one of her most rewarding and challenging educational endeavors.
“I enjoy helping students see what their possibilities can be,” Lemke said.
Her visible enthusiasm for learning touches technical education too. In addition to supporting the expansion of NWTC programming to meet energy industry needs and helping place youth in co-op and youth apprenticeships at WPS, Lemke helped start the first “Get into Energy” Tech Camp for middle school students in partnership with NWTC. “WPS and NWTC have been great partners in building a pipeline of future workers,” she said.
Lemke also contributes her time and talents to community initiatives. In her current position at WPS, she provides direction on the employee and retiree involvement program, the safety education and school-business partnership programs, and the local contributions and Foundation giving programs. She is the liaison between WPS and the community and schools, offering consultation and assistance to local non-profit agencies.
Her personal involvement in community activities includes serving on the board of directors for The Einstein Project, the Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, and the Catholic Foundation. Lemke has also served as president of the Volunteer Center and as a loaned executive for United Way of Brown County. She is active in the St. Clare Parish Community and School in Wrightstown. She and her husband, Randy, have three daughters, Lauren, Lindsay, and Leah.