HARTLAND, Wis. – The Tribute Companies president, Christine Toson Hentges, has been honored as one of 13 Governor’s Trailblazer Award recipients for 2014. Trailblazer Awards are given to businesses statewide to recognize the legacy of women’s business ownership in Wisconsin.
“Private sector businesses are key to our state’s job creation strategies. We are fortunate to have many women who have started a business and now employ their fellow Wisconsinites,” said Governor Scott Walker. “I hope that these Trailblazers can serve as role models to other women who are considering opening a business and creating jobs.”
Trailblazer recipients were chosen in two categories: ‘Torchbearers’ referring to companies operating for three or more generations which are currently owned by female relative(s) and ‘Pioneers’ businesses under majority woman ownership for 25 plus years. A wide range of industries are represented including those considered non-traditional for women.
Hentges, recognized as a Torchbearer, is the fourth generation representing Pinelawn Memorial Park in Milwaukee and three other prominent Wisconsin cemeteries. In addition to owning and operating cemeteries, The Tribute Companies, a firm established in 1973 by her father, William Toson, offers architectural design services and precast concrete products to cemetery clients across the United States and into Canada.
“Carrying the legacy of the family business to the next generation has been extremely important for me in my career. The Torchbearer award exemplifies the significance of the hard work and dedication that the previous generations of the family business have instilled for themselves and the next generation(s). I am honored to be recognized by the governor for this achievement and for the celebration of the impact that family businesses have for the communities we serve and for the state of Wisconsin,” Hentges said.
In true Trailblazer fashion, The Tribute Companies strives to be an economic anchor in the communities it serves sustaining jobs and continually promoting innovation. The family owned cemeteries offer many community outreach programs including final estate preplanning education.
“Thriving to grow the company and the legacy to the next level by embracing progress, but also honoring tradition is of great importance for the continuation of my family business. Being a leader in the professions we serve in is a continuous goal for me,” Hentges added.
Hentges holds a masters degree in business from Keller Graduate School and an undergraduate degree in psychology from Marquette University. She serves as vice president of external affairs for the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association and has earned the Certified Cemetery Executive designation by the International Cemetery, Cremation and Funeral Association. Her local volunteer involvement includes Youth Exchange Officer for Lake Country Rotary and Counselor for Camp Hope for Kids, a camp for grieving children and teens.
The Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business are hosted by the Offices of the Governor, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, and Wisconsin Women’s Council. This year’s Trailblazer award recipients will be honored at the State Capitol April 9, 2014 with a ceremony and luncheon sponsored by BMO Harris Bank.
Posted March 25