To recognize a person or organization that has provided a positive, far-reaching impact on public works programs, services, or policies through distinguished public service and commitment to their community and the State of Wisconsin.


Candidates may be any person or organization serving in a public works related field or special endeavor. Candidates may come from the public or private sector and from any level within the organization from labor to executive. APWA membership is not required


The Awards Committee reviews the nominations and selects the award winner.

Nomination Process

Nominations may be made by an APWA entity or individual APWA members. Submittals should include nomination form and documentation supporting the purpose of the award and the award’s eligibility requirements. The submittal should be sent to Jennifer Barlas, Wisconsin Chapter Awards Chair at jbarlas@baxterwoodman.com. The nomination and supporting data forms are available on the Chapter website,  Awards – APWA Wisconsin Chapter.


January 31, annually


The award shall be made by a representative of the Wisconsin Chapter Executive Board at a meeting of the City’s/County’s governing body. The winner is also recognized at the APWA Wisconsin Chapter Spring Conference and will be featured in the chapter newsletter.

  Nomination Form

Supporting Data Form

Award Program Information

January 31st-11:59 pm CT



The award is named in honor of William J. Rheinfrank who was president of the Wisconsin Chapter in 1962. He began his long career with the Milwaukee Department of Public Works as a clerk in the Water Department in 1926. When he retired on Jan. 18, 1970, he had served 43 years in the Department of Public Works, with the last 18 years as Superintendent of Street Sanitation. It was in snow fighting that Mr. Rheinfrank made his greatest and most visible contribution. He was instrumental in converting the City’s ill-equipped system into “the best department in the Midwest snow belt region.” He continually campaigned for better equipment and training and by 1965 had published a comprehensive snow-fighting plan called “Snow Plowing and Ice Control Procedures.”

At the National level he was active in the Institute for Solid Waste and the North American Snow Conference. He received the Samuel A. Greeley Award in 1952.

A bequest from the Rheinfrank Estate was given to the Wisconsin Chapter of APWA to be used specifically for the education and scholarship fund. The award is given in memory of Mr. Rheinfrank for his dedication and contribution to public works in the State of Wisconsin.


Past William J. Rheinfrank Award Recipients:

2023 David Botts, City of Janesville

2022 Paula Vandehey, City of Appleton

2021 Howard Crofoot, City of Platteville

2020 David Biebel, City of Sheboygan

2018 Rick Eilertson, AECOM

2017 Jeff Mazanec, R.A. Smith, Inc.

2016 Maurie Rott, Cities of Janesville and Shawano

2015 Steve Pudloski,University of Wisconsin EPD

2014 Clark Wantoch, City of Milwaukee

2013 Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

2012 John Edlebeck, City of Waupaca

2011 Tom Grisa, City of Brookfield

2010 Christine Walsh, City of Beloit

2009 North East Wisconsin Stormwater Consortium

2008 William Tarman-Ramcheck, City of Wauwatosa

2007 Daniel Lynch, City of Janesville

2006 Madison Area Municipal Stormwater Partnership

2005 Howard Rosen, University of Wisconsin EPD

2004 Mike Barnhardt, City of Eau Claire

2003 Herb Goetsch, City of Milwaukee (Retired)

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