ABC of Wisconsin Recognizes 300 Craft Professionals at 2024 Apprenticeship Graduation Banquet

WISCONSIN DELLS – Nearly 300 graduating apprentices from 11 trades were recognized for their accomplishments at the 2024 Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Graduation Banquet on Thursday, May 16 in Wisconsin Dells. Some 460 family members, instructors, and friends also attended the event at the Wilderness Resort’s Glacier Canyon Conference Center. Roughly 1/3 of this year’s 300 graduates made the trip from various parts of the state to cross the stage. 

“This is the most rewarding event ABC of Wisconsin holds all year because of the accomplishments we are recognizing,” said John Mielke, president of ABC of Wisconsin. “These men and women represent the future of our industry, and I am confident they will keep it in good hands.”

Thursday’s keynote speaker was Jessie Cannizzaro, President, and Owner of Milestone Plumbing Inc., a residential and small commercial plumbing contractor in southeastern Wisconsin. Jessie is a graduate of ABC’s five-year plumbing apprenticeship, which was instrumental in her becoming a business owner. She earned the ABC of Wisconsin Apprentice of the Year Award for all trades and won the ABC of Wisconsin Plumbing Skills Competition. In 2022 she was recognized with a Women in Construction Award by The Daily Reporter. She serves on the ABC of Wisconsin Skill Competition Committee, volunteers every year for the competition and currently serves as the ABC of Wisconsin Board of Directors Chair.

“The goal of a great leader, a parent, a mentor is to leave things better than you found them. But that does not happen without a great team that works together to make a difference while helping each other excel in their roles.  We need great leaders in our communities, our associations, our companies, and our families – leaders that care about making a difference and having an impact on those around them. That’s the legacy that each of us should strive to leave behind – leaving things better than we found them,” Cannizzaro told the graduates. “I live each and every day looking to make an impact and leave things a little better than I found them, and I encourage each and every one of you to continue this same purpose each and every day,” she said.

The graduating apprentices participated in ABC’s carpentry; concrete finishing; electrical; heat and frost insulating; heavy equipment operating; heating, ventilating and air conditioning; plumbing; roofing; sheet metal; sprinkler fitting; and steamfitting programs. 

ABC of Wisconsin also recognized a Craft Professional of the Year, an Instructor of the Year, and an Apprentice of the Year for contributions to apprenticeship and the craft trades. 

Thursday’s keynote speaker was Jessie Cannizzaro, President, and Owner of Milestone Plumbing Inc.

Cody Van Ginkel accepted the Craft Professional of the Year Award on behalf of Ed Zinthefer.​

Ryan Hyde, Sheet Metal Instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College receives the Instructor of the Year Award.

Jason Tuschl from Dave Jones receives the 2024 Apprentice of the Year.

The Craft Professional of the Year Award was presented to Cody Van Ginkel on behalf of Ed Zinthefer, owner and Master Electrician from Arch Electric of Plymouth. Zinthefer is highly regarded by apprentices and employers and has demonstrated a high degree of professionalism. He has been a pioneer in the renewable energy space for over 20 years. His dedication to employees and customers is second to none. He continuously spurs others forward to become the best version of themselves whether that be personally or professionally.  

The Instructor of the Year Award went to Ryan Hyde, sheet metal instructor at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. His nominators described him as “passionate, dedicated, kindhearted, leader and excellent.” He was instrumental in launching a new program from scratch almost eight years ago. He has gone above and beyond in providing his students with the necessary tools and equipment in their classrooms, enabling them to learn the essential skills for their trade. It is widely believed that without his exceptional efforts, their ability to perform their work accurately and safely would have been compromised. This instructor advocates for his students and their needs to ensure they are all successful. 

The Apprentice of the Year Award was presented to Jason Tuschl who attends Madison Area Technical College and is employed at Dave Jones. He is the model of what a fantastic apprentice looks like, is self-motivated and far exceeds expectations with his quality of work. Jason is currently going to school for his Mechanical Engineering degree, while also taking CAD and Revit courses on his own to further his career. He volunteers for Food for Kids, The Ronald McDonald House, The Red Cross, Kids Building Wisconsin, and Future Quest. He also competed and placed first in the ABC of Wisconsin Skills Competition.

Mike Somers, an apprenticeship heavy equipment operating instructor at Nicolet Technical College in Rhinelander, and Earlyn Hanson, an apprenticeship plumbing instructor at Western Technical College in La Crosse, were also recognized.


>>RELATED: Photos from the 2024 Apprenticeship Graduation Banquet

Recommended Articles
Chapter News


1,000 Members Strong: ABC of Wisconsin Celebrates the Growth of Merit Construction
Chapter News


ABC of Wisconsin Names Two New Directors to the Association Team
Chapter News


ABC of Wisconsin Apprenticeship Scholarship