From Doug Zeise, your President
I'm a proud Wisconsin native currently residing in Pewaukee, but my roots run deep in Manitowish Waters. My grandparents owned a cottage on Rest lake, so I've been fortunate to have been coming up here for over 35 years. My dream of having a place in Manitowish Waters came true 10 years ago when I purchased that same cottage where I have so many fond memories.
Currently employed by Waste Management, I travel throughout the US and Canada. With a company presence in over 500 locations, my job focus is on ensuring our front-line and customer-facing employees and managers are aligned with our corporate strategies and goals, and that they understand what it means to them so they can deliver excellent results at every opportunity.
My daughter, Taylor Zeise, attends West Virginia University (go "Mountaineers")! I'm proud to say she is also the youngest member of the Alliance. There is also a good chance she has served you a cocktail or meal at Little Bohemia in the summers.
In June of 2019, I married Kate in Manitowish Waters. She is an even bigger fan of Marquette basketball than me. In the summer, you might see us boating on the Manitowish Chain - one of our favorite places in the world. Kate is as committed to the Alliance as I am and she supports our efforts to ensure we live up to our history and all that was accomplished by those that preceded us.
And I'll just share this with you, so keep it to yourself....I'm a "tech junkie". You name the gadget and I probably have it: drones, a smart home, and a bunch of other stuff I don't really need but love!
From Terry Mueller, Vice President
I live with a simple philosophy: "Work Hard. Play Often. Do 'Much' Good." This likely is an embodiment of my small town heritage. I was born in Sheboygan, WI and several years later we moved to Howards Grove, WI (population under 2,000). My close friends and I experienced our world with an openness, eagerness and appreciation for "community." Since graduating from Howards Grove High School in1983, I've been fortunate to align my employment with my passion - working with people. A visit to Manitowish Waters became a life-changing event for me. I moved here in February of 2006 and enjoy all of the outdoor activities our town has to offer. Since 2019, I've been splitting my time between Hobart and the northwoods.
I joined the Manitowish Waters Alliance in 2006 and have been a board member throughout those years. I have traveled Wisconsin extensively and, you can take it from me, our community is one of the best you will find - anywhere!
If you'd like to meet friendly people, make new friends, create fond memories, and forge a deeper connection to our community, please consider becoming a member of this great organization - the MW Alliance Foundation. And if you are already a member - Thank You!
Yes, that's me in the Santa suit - but don't tell the "little" (or "big") kids!
From Laurel Tschurwald, Vice President
I'm an "accidental" resident of Manitowish Waters. For over one year my husband, Darrell, and I searched the north half of Wisconsin for our future "retirement" lake home. One Sunday afternoon in August of 2005, we were driving back home after looking at properties in the Land O'Lakes area. As we headed west on Hwy W, we noticed a real estate office with the OPEN light on. We weren't even sure where we were, but we pulled over. The agent on duty was just closing but happily listened to what we were looking for, gave us a handful of property brochures, and offered to take us to see the ones that looked interesting to us. That realty office was Schmidt Haus Realty and we purchased our current home in September.
I retired from Harley-Davidson Motor Company in April, 2010 after 32 wonderful years. I especially enjoyed running a subsidiary located in Cleveland, OH that developed, sold, and supported computerized H-D dealer management systems integrated with corporate systems. Following that, I became the Director of IT corporate software systems (US). My first of many Harley's was a new 1978 Sportster (I could barely reach the ground). For my 65th birthday this past March, I got a 2020 H-D Triglide (with three wheels, I don't have to worry about sand or wet leaves on the roads!) I love "gas and oil" machines!
From Tom Ahonen, Treasurer
You need a geek to look after the books - and I guess I qualify. I grew up in the UP (Ironwood) and was always a numbers guy. I received a finance degree from Northern Michigan University and a bonus: placement in the dictionary under “Husband of the Better Half!” Pat and I met in a singing group at Northern and recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I am a lucky man. And yes, there is a picture of her under “Better Half” in the Britannica. Convince me I am wrong.
My career has been a mixed bag of leadership roles in operations, finance, and IT. We have lived all over in my corporate America days. 14 houses? We have two children and a one-year old grandbaby (cutest baby ever, of course), and lest I forget – Maisie the Wonder Dog (AKA cutest puppy ever). My family has had a place in MW since 1984 and Pat and I have officially called MW home since 2016. These days for work I am part of a team supporting investments in several small companies across the upper Midwest; trying to provide great jobs in great communities.
Serving as a board member and officer of the Manitowish Waters Alliance Foundation was an easy call. Working to try to make a difference in our fantastic community is a joy. Manitowish Waters not only has a great history and legacy as a town, but also amazing possibilities for the future; a future which is best realized through the power of collaboration. Let’s roll.
From Jean Schroeder, Secretary
My dream job while growing up in Green Bay was to be a mom. I married my husband Lynn in 1978 and we started our family and fulfilled my dream one year later. Within three years we had three boys and finished our family off with a girl 7 years after the first was born. I was involved in every group that asked for a volunteer while my kids were growing up, while also providing daycare in our home.
We lived a simple life and shared our love of the outdoors with our kids. For many years we camped and fished as a family. Lynn was an avid hunter so each one of the kids experienced that as well. In 1999 we built a place on Twin Lake in Mercer. With Mercer as our home base in the Northwoods, we loved to come to MW and boat around the Chain and dreamed of living here someday! After being blessed with the opportunity to buy the business my husband worked for, for 28 years, we were then able to purchase a place on the Chain in 2012.
We quickly found out what a wonderful community Manitowish Waters is. We have made many lifelong friends and could not imagine living anywhere else. We joined the Alliance a few years ago and love the social aspect of it! We also enjoy all the outdoor activities that the north provides: Music in the Park, golfing, kayaking, x country skiing and snowmobiling to name a few.
I am still working at Truck Equipment via my home office. But now that our sons are taking over the business in Green Bay, Lynn is retired, and we both are passionate about being involved in the community. We are certainly living the good life and my dream continues with our 10 grandchildren (ages 15 to 1) who love to spend time at Nan and Pops. It has become a bit of competition between the grandkids to see who stays the longest during the summer. Manitowish Waters is certainly our dream come true!
Board of Directors
From Judi Schmidt-Arnold
I moved here from Madison, WI, permanently, after vacationing at our Vilas County cottage for 18 years. I started my real estate business in 1984 and never want to leave this area - it is truly "Gods Country". The weather has many phases . . . as does the entire State. I have camped all over Wisconsin and have never found a more beautiful area than Vilas County and the surrounding counties. Yes, we have mosquitoes . . . so does most of the State. Yes, the winters can be long, but they are strikingly beautiful and there are lots of outdoor activities to enjoy --- ANY TIME OF THE YEAR! The lakes are clean and clear and, whatever the size, stunningly beautiful. You look forward to a beautiful Spring when everything comes awake and alive again; then the beautiful lazy Summer; and then the gorgeous, vivid Fall!
When in Madison I was very active in the community, i.e.; Arts Ball, Business & Development Director of the Vilas Zoological Society, and the Madison Chamber of Commerce to name a few. I firmly believe that being involved in your community, and giving back to the community you are part of, is very important. My hobbies are painting, reading & biking.
I have been in Real Estate in Manitowish Waters since 1982. I have been on the Board of Directors for the Manitowish Waters Alliance Ltd. for almost too many years to count – serving as President, Vice President, and Secretary - and remain as a member. I have also served on the board for the Manitowish Waters Foundation, Manitowish Waters Chamber of Commerce, twice the President of the Northwoods Assn. of Realtors as well as being a board member, and have been a long standing member of the Manitowish Waters Lioness Club.
From Debbie Johns
I was raised in Okauchee, Wisconsin and have been living in Manitowish Waters since 1978. Together with my husband, Dan, we operate Little Bohemia Lodge. My husband's family has had property on Little Star Lake since the early 1930's and he has been a lifelong community member. We bought Little Bohemia in 2006, partially out of concern for its future, but largely out of our love for the Lodge and the community, and we moved up as full time residents in 2007. The history of this town is wonderful, and so is its citizenry. We take pride in the Lodge and likewise the community. Together with our son, Dan Jr., we truly believe that Manitowish Waters is a unique and special place and always try to do what is best for the town and our fellow community members.
We support the Alliance Foundation wholeheartedly and believe that functions such as the Summer Solstice and Mani-Wish Christmas are very beneficial to the community. We have been members of the Alliance almost since its inception. We ask that anyone with an interest in Manitowish Waters join us as a member. Together we can do great things!
From Dan Meier
I was born in Monroe, WI where my parents ran a dairy and hog farm. I was a "middle child" and have 3 adoring sisters. My family started coming up to Manitowish Waters in 1965 (when I was still just a young lad). I graduated from Monroe High School - go "Cheesemakers" - and then went on to graduate from UW - Platteville. Not surprisingly, I became a "large crop" farmer and a bar owner. In 1980 I married my wonderful wife, Debbie - who was from Brodhead, WI, and we honeymooned in the MW area. My dream of calling Manitowish Waters "home" came true in 1995 when we moved our family here. This was a wonderful place to raise our two young sons. We bought on the Chain and owned and operated North Country Sport Marine and Up North Wisconsin home decor. In 2000, I joined Schmidt-Haus Realty.
I have been an Alliance member and a MW Lion's Club member since we moved to this great area. I feel so blessed to have met and become friends with so many customers that I have gotten to work with over nearly 40 years.
Deb and I now have three grandchildren that we adore. It took me a while, but I finally learned that having a loving family, close friends, and good health is what makes one "rich!" My hobby and passion is fishing and discovering the incredible lakes in Ontario, Canada.
From Bill Vogel
I was raised on a dairy farm in the small town of Jackson, WI. I remember dreaming of having a log home on a northern lake for as long as I can remember. The dream came true when we moved to Manitowish Waters in 2007. My wife, Joyce, and I are now full time residents and could not be happier!
I am still active in our family business, but do most of my work from our home in Manitowish Waters. My two sons, Larry and Danny, are in business with me. I have a daughter, Julie, that lives with her family in Mars, PA. Joyce and I also have 4 grandchildren that are the joys of our lives.
I have been involved in many service organizations, one of my favorites being “Green Care for Troops”, where we provide free lawn care for the homes of deployed troops.
Besides playing cards with our friends, I enjoy traveling in our motor home, driving the UTV, snowboarding, biking and flying.