Three area businesses and a non-profit organization will be honored with awards at
the Black River Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Dinner Monday, March 2, 2020 at Castle Hill Supper Club
Black River Falls Studio 107 will receive the 2019 Business of the Year Award (less than 20 employees), Black
River Country Bank will receive the 2019 Business of the Year Award (more than 20 employees), Taylor Media
will receive the 2019 Emerging Business of the Year Award (open in our area 5 years or less) and Aptiv will
receive the 2019 Service Organization Award. The winners were chosen by the Chamber Ambassadors group
and the Chamber Annual Dinner Committee after a review of the nominations.
Black River Falls Studio 107 (Studio 107), the Business of the Year (less than 20 employees), has been owned
by Kelly Nieman for 11 years. They offer all types of hair services including men’s, women’s and children’s
haircuts, hair coloring, perming, smoothing, styling, treatments and extensions. They also offer waxing, tanning
and manicures and pedicures on natural nails. Studio 107 does their best to go above and beyond for every
client that walks through their doors. They try to make everyone feel like they are welcome regardless of age,
race, ethnicity or gender. The salon atmosphere is fun and upbeat. They love making their clients look good so
that the clients feel good about themselves. Through the years, Studio 107 has donated countless items to
area fundraisers. They have also made monetary donations to families in need. Most recently, they hosted a
Cut-A-Thon to raise money for the Black River Falls School District hot lunch account. The Cut-A-Thon raised
Other nominees for the Business of the Year Award (less than 20 employees) were Cell.Plus/US Cellular
Agent, Coldwell Banker River Valley REALTORS, Merrillan Café and Revolution Coffee.
Black River Country Bank, the Business of the Year (more than 20 employees) has a long history in Jackson
County. They have been a staple in the area for 113 years. They opened on June 21, 1907 and began
business as Bank of Melrose. In May of 1973, the Bank of Melrose expanded and opened a branch Bank north
of Black River Falls on Highway 12. In 1993, the Board of Directors and stockholders voted to change the
name from the Bank of Melrose to Black River Country Bank. They have 26 employees between both
locations. Black River Country Bank provides a wide range of banking services including personal and
business checking and savings accounts, CDs, personal lending, business and ag lending, mobile banking,
online banking, bill pay, and more! Black River Country Bank is very community oriented. They make financial
contributions to local organizations and their employees volunteer time with many different non-profit
organizations. Black River Country Bank hosts many community events including photos with Santa and the
Easter Bunny and a “Milk for Moola” challenge. The employees of Black River Country Bank are cheerful and
they go out of their way to make their customers feel important.
The other nominee for the Business of the Year Award (more than 20 employees) was Kwik Trip #648.
Taylor Media, the Emerging Business of the Year, was started in September of 2018. Taylor Media started as
a film production company that produced video content for businesses on social media. The company has
evolved into producing a lot more than just social media videos such as the production of multiple TV
commercials, drone photography, corporate videos, a local podcast, a local outdoor show, music videos,
wedding films, birth films, 8mm and VHS conversions, and hosting services for the state-wide TV show
Discover Wisconsin. Taylor Media launched "The BRF Podcast" in the spring of 2019. This project added value
to the community by featuring local community members who are making a positive difference in Jackson
County. Jack Taylor and Taylor Media have also been involved with all three school districts in Jackson
County, from speaking to students for free to volunteering at basketball camps. Taylor Media has helped uplift
Jackson County through both its paid work and volunteer community projects.
Other nominees for the Emerging Business of the Year Award were Black River Falls Cleaning Services,
Garske’s Veteran Services, Millie J’s Boutique and Reflections on Water.
Aptiv, the Service Organization of the Year, was established in 1976 as Riverfront Activity Center. In 1985,
services expanded to Jackson County. Expansion of service areas continued over the next three decades to
include Buffalo County, Monroe County, Vernon County and Rock County. In addition to growing service
areas, the organization expanded its types of services and ages served. The expansion of services included:
residential homes, behavioral support, range of motion, day services, and many other innovative programs to
assist people with their individual growth. In 2016, the organization began serving youth ages 3-18 in the
counties of La Crosse, Jackson, and Buffalo to provide summer and afterschool services, as well as mentoring
and daily living skills. Aptiv gives people the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. They are committed to
providing people with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their aptitude for learning new skills, better-
engage and play a more active role in their community, live a more meaningful, independent and fulfilling life
and find adaptive options that help them succeed in their goals. Aptiv works with them and can provide
supports throughout their life. Aptiv makes a significant impact on the lives of the people that live in Jackson
County each day.
Other nominees for the Service Organization Award were Network for Youth and Rotary Club of Black River
The Chamber’s Annual Banquet starts at 5:30 p.m. with a social hour, 6:30 p.m. dinner and 7:30 p.m. the
program begins. A Silent Auction and 50/50 Raffle will also take place.