Wednesday July 6, 2016 – Jim Pomeroy Day
Hall of Fame member Jim Pomeroy from
Winona has a long history in the City of Winona. and proudly notes that he was
born and raised in the city he loves along with his 5 brothers and 4 sisters.
“I have worked and vacationed in some very nice places, but there is no place like Winona County. The diverse economy and natural beauty here is beyond compare. Winona County is a wonderful place to get a good education, a good job and to raise a family,” says Pomeroy.
He has been married to his wife Kathryn for 34 years, and the couple have two daughters, Angela and Rebecca. Jim says he is looking forward to spending time with granddaughters Maddy and Abby at the 2016 fair, and take in some of the rides at the carnival!
A graduate of Cotter High School, Pomeroy also furthered his education at Winona Vocational and Technical Institute and Winona State University. Pomeroy had a 19 year career with the City of Winona, with 15 of those years as the Winona City Clerk. He also frequently served as Acting City Manager.
Following his time with the city, he moved into the banking business with positions at Town and Country State Bank and Winona National Bank. His final years in banking were as President/West Branch Manager for the merged bank.
Pomeroy also believes it important to serve the community, and is currently on the Winona County Historical Society Board, and has served on the Winona ORC Board where he was recognized as Volunteer of the Year in 2015.
One of Pomeroy’s biggest contributions to Winona County has been his service on the Winona County Board of Commissioners. He was first elected to the county board in 2007, and he has been pleased to be on committees to “improve the quality of life in Winona County”.
During his years as a county commissioner Pomeroy has been very supportive of the mission of the Winona County Fair, and making it a better place. Back in 2007 he was very instrumental in assisting the fair board secure the funding through the county for a new fair board office. The new building provided the fair board with a year round space to work in, but also gave the Winona County Sheriff’s Department and Winona County Community Health (First Aid) offices in the new building.
“I enjoy the fair immensely, and am impressed with the effort of the fair board. The fair is an important part of the heritage of Winona County, and I am so glad to be part of that,” Pomeroy concludes.
Thursday July 7, 2016 – Jack Gunnarson Day
Jack Gunnarson of Winona moved to this area in the early 2000’s, and in the time since he purchased a business here, has established a very successful company called Excel Images, Inc.
“With the help of my two sons, and an incredible group of hardworking, committed, talented, passionate and dedicated employees, we have become a very meaningful branded apparel and promotional products company,” says Gunnarson about his contribution to Winona County’s business community.
Gunnarson and his wife Jaci will be married 43 years on August 25, and the family includes sons Jackson (wife Katrina) and Jon (wife Shannon) and grandchildren Carter, Crew, Peyton, Jonna and Tyler.
Jack and Jaci grew up on the Iron Range of Northern Minnesota, and after spending 30 years in the Twin Cities, the couple made the move to Winona when they purchased the business here.
While in high school Gunnarson started working part time in a small lettering shop in Virginia, MN. He proudly states that was the beginning of a 46 year career in the decorated apparel/promotional products industry. For 33 years he and a close friend partnered in a decorated apparel business, and when the business went public the two experienced 25 years as a quality supplier of printed and embroidered apparel to major retailers nationwide.
When the business was purchased in Winona, the family moved to the area. Visits to Winona County in the 1990’s convinced Gunnerson and his wife this would be a wonderful place to live.
“The river, the bluffs, the beautiful farmland, the business environment and the people… small communities with their own character and charm are so refreshing,” stated Gunnarson about his decision to purchase a business in Winona County.
For Gunnarson, the important parts of life are faith, family, health and business, and while there are limited hours in the day, he does support some important causes. Cancer events being one since he lost his business partner to cancer in 2003, and the other the national wheelchair camp at Ironwood Springs Christian Ranch since he and his wife have 2 grandsons with spina bifida. He also supports the Winona County Fair through discounts on apparel and other items.
“With so many worthy causes, you have to decide which ones mean the most to you and focus on those,” concludes Gunnarson.
Friday July 8, 2016 – Larry Greden Day
The true family farm is something fading on the landscape of the rural areas these days, but Larry Greden of Altura is proud to note that a sixth generation of the Greden Family are now a part of the Century Farm called Greden’s Ponderosa.
“I maybe didn’t know any better about going into farming, but I have been on this place forever and it is really a great place to be,” states Greden.
Greden has been married to his wife Nancy Jean for 47 years, and the family includes 4 children including Kari, Brent, Ross and Kami and 11 grandchildren. Greden also notes that his mother still lives on the home farm in her own house, and that a sister Judy is near-by.
Born and raised here in Winona County, Larry says he stayed in the area because he likes Minnesota’s 4 seasons, the Mississippi River, the many streams, the woodlands and the great hunting and fishing available.
Greden’s Ponderosa Dairy Farm was the 2007 host to the Winona Chamber’s “Family Night on the Farm”. The operation is run by Larry and Nancy, along with their sons Brent and Ross. It is located on Oak Ridge, north of Altura.
In 1976, Larry purchased the farm from his father Len, which had one of the first milking parlors in Winona County as of 1959. Greden commented that his dad was also a fair Hall of Fame honoree in the 1980’s. Larry expanded the dairy facility in 1995 to support the addition of his sons to the operation. The Greden’s operate about 1,000 acres of farmland, which supplies the alfalfa and corn needed to feed their livestock.
Aside from the farming operation, Larry has been active in his community. Those activities have included Farm Bureau, Winona County Board of Adjustment. St John’s School Board, the Altura Lion’s Club, church board and Winona County SWCD Board. Added to all this was FFA and 4-H, and these days he watches grandchildren show livestock at the Winona County Fair.
Greden is also proud of his efforts to preserve the environment, and since 1969 has planted over 100,000 trees and wildlife shrubs to protect wild-life habitat.
“I am both honored and humbled to be a part of this great group of people, and I say thank you to the fair board,” concluded Greden about being a Hall of Fame Honoree.
Saturday July 9, 2016 – Phil Thesing Day
Phil Thesing of Lewiston has the distinct honor of being the most “senior” member currently on the Winona County Fair Board, with more than 30 years of continuous service. When asked about wearing his fair hat for the Hall of Fame photo shoot, he states with a smile “people at the fair would not know me without the hat”.
A lifelong resident of Winona County, Phil and his wife Joan (Nahrgang) Thesing have been married almost 42 years. Their family includes children Mandy, Peggy, Becky, Zach and Ana, and grandchildren Paige, Abby, Megan, Bo, Layne and Matthew.
During his life, Phi spent over 30 years as a herdsman on dairy farms, and worked for Lewiston Feed & Produce and Behrens Manufacturing. For the past 11 years he has been a propane delivery person with Altura Hardware, and currently High Plain Cooperative. Phil also served his country in the US army as a military policeman.
“Winona County is where I grew up… I never have wanted to leave since this area has everything to offer. I love the small town atmosphere, and the friendly people who are easy to work with,” says Thesing.
As part of this community he loves, Phil has been involved with the American Legion, Lewiston Bowling Association, church board and walked the Fools Five Race to help raise money for cancer research. Thesing also notes he played sports in his “younger” years, but takes the time now to “watch” the grandchildren play sports.
Phil is proud of the years he has spent at the Winona County Fair and serving on the fair board. At the fair you can find Phil helping with fair preparations, handling the open class sheep show, watching a gate, selling grandstand tickets, solving issues or just “welcoming the people who attend the fair.
Daughter Peggy Baumgartner says that her dad raised her and her siblings to have a love and passion for the Winona County Fair. Peggy is so proud to have a role model like Phil show their family what it means to be a leader.
“His children and grandchildren know where they will find their dad and Papa the first 2 weeks in July—on the fairgrounds with a true smile of pride on this face, and a new county fair hat on his head,” comments Baumgartner.
Sunday July 10, 2016 – Isabelle “Izzie” Timm Day
“Izzie” Timm is a vivacious, active person who has lived in Utica, MN since 1957. She and husband Everett ran a beef and crop farm for most of their marriage. In 2011 the Timm Farm was one of the Century Farms honored at the Winona County Fair.
Their family included three children—Cindy, Barb (husband Michael Forsythe) and Craig. All three were involved in the Winona County Fair as 4-Hers. Everett, who was also named to the Winona County Fair Hall in 1999, died in 2004, but Izzie knew he would want to her to keep busy with life.
“When my husband died, I decided I was going to keep busy… what better way than to be involved in your community,” states Timm.
Izzie was a 37 year employee of Herff Jones, a school photo processing company in Lewiston, but has also been involved in her local community. Those activities have included church, serving as a head election judge for Utica, auxiliary groups at both the Lewiston Villa and Speltz Assisted Living and the Utica Cancer group, who held various dinners to raise money for the Eagle’s Cancer Telethon.
Another passion is the Winona County Fair where Izzie serves as an art exhibit superintendent, and is an amateur artist who has won numerous ribbons at the fair over the years. Timm credits former St. Charles High School Art Teacher Ron Buck, who taught a community art group and was a long time art superintendent at the fair, for getting her started in art.
Prior to the fair she spends numerous days getting the Rentfrow Hall Building ready for the art and photography exhibits that come in the Monday of fair week. As Izzie’s Hall of Fame nominator Oliva Heim of St. Charles stated in her letter to the fair board that “I see Izzie Timm helping with so many things at the fair”.
Izzie loves singing, her favorite music being barbershop and also “Elvis” music. She has been singing with Sweet Adeline choruses since 1973, and presently sings with the Twin Cities Show Chorus. Each Tuesday evening, she travels to the Twin Cities with Sweet Adeline friends for rehearsals. Over the years she has participated in International Sweet Adeline competitions with her chorus in Honolulu and Nashville, and in June 2017 the group heads off to perform in Branson.
“I am very honored to be named to the Hall of Fame, and extend my sincere thanks to the fair board,” says Timm.