Now there’s a cliché and age-old question with no real (or honest) answer. At least for those who’ve ever truly pondered it. It’s also a question that separates the dreamers and doers from the wanters and wishers. In a world of uncertainty, the former never consider failure as an option. They simply thrive on the very thing that regular folks avoid at all costs: change.
An entrepreneur, by definition, is someone that organizes and operates a business—taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so. I suppose that’s why 80% of all businesses fail within the first 18 months; risk is scary and money management is a skill left unmastered by most. But, occasionally, those variables yield untold rewards when you find someone with enough guts and grit to pull the trigger on a dream.
This incredible husband-and-wife team (gone rogue from Corporate America) has built and sustained an outdoor adventure company rooted in north-central America with integrity and relatability as their cornerstones. They’ve shredded stereotypes, broken all the rules and, contrary to statistics found in nearly every business journal in circulation, beaten every odd. They have found the secret sauce!
For walking the talk, Aventuron was honored this past weekend with the ‘Corporate Sponsor of the Year Award’ at the 2020 Wisconsin Trout Unlimited Banquet in Oshkosh. This annual banquet, the State Council’s largest fundraiser, makes the mission of TU in Wisconsin possible. Just to put this distinguished honor into perspective (and so you don’t have to take my word for it), I recently spoke with Mike Kuhr, State Council Chair for Wisconsin Trout Unlimited. This is what he had to say:
"Here at Trout Unlimited, we first heard about Aventuron when they opened the storefront in Sheboygan, WI. They have become a really good partner with our local Trout Unlimited chapter in that area--Lakeshore. They have contributed financially (as well as through in-kind donations) to support local chapter fundraisers. They’ve even run membership drives where they offer to pay for a new member’s first year in the [Trout Unlimited] organization. Last year, Aventuron stepped up and contributed several high value items to the State Council to use at our banquet fundraiser. This year, they’ve teamed up with the Lakeshore Chapter, which is well-known for their work on local trout streams like the Onion River and Nichols Creek, and, together, they are donating aSurlyPugsley Fat Tire Off Road Expedition Bike valued at nearly $2000.00. Some of the 2020 plans include billboard advertisements for the store reflecting their status as “Proud Member of Lakeshore Chapter of Trout Unlimited,” featuring the TU logo. This type of commitment and support from a local business made Aventuron an easy choice for our2020 Corporate Sponsor of the Year Award."
Aventuron now stands in the company of internationally recognizable names like Cabela’s and Orvis, both recipients of the same award in years past. Taking such a coveted position next to industry giants is no minor feat. Setting your local business apart in a meaningful way, while competing with major corporations that have deep pockets and unlimited budgets, is deserving of a nod from every competitor, far and wide. Other awards bestowed on honorees last weekend included the Lifetime Achievement Award and the Joan and Lee Wulff Award for Outstanding Conservation Leadership, further demonstrating that Aventuron is in the company of greatness. And, as the saying goes, ‘you become just like the company you keep.’
All of this excitement comes on the heels of Aventuron’s 4th birthday, which was celebrated just a few weeks into the New Year. Still reeling from the sugar rush, this unexpected and humbling award has left Carl Martens, owner of Aventuron, with these words:
"We are committed to protecting the places we are passionate about and we view Trout Unlimited as a great partner to achieve this. Our local chapter, Lakeshore Trout Unlimited, received the Silver Trout Award last year. This chapter is doing extraordinary things. We started our company, in large part, wanting to become influencers in our community. So, supporting their initiative has been a ‘no brainer.’ To be acknowledged is a wonderful thing and we hope it encourages other businesses to get involved. This has come at a cost to our business and we are appreciative that Trout Unlimited recognizes companies for their contributions. Aventuron employees have also made their own personal contributions and we share this award with them."
Undoubtedly a permanent part of the fabric of Sheboygan, Aventuron has made short order of earning their stripes in every arena. Although the journey hasn’t been without its share of blood, sweat and tears, their vision has come alive. Seemingly overnight. As trailblazers in both conservation and sustainability, the folks at Aventuron have gone above and beyond to prove that they’re committed to far more than just equipping adventurers with the means to scale mountains. Although, they know a thing or two about that and you won’t find anyone else around more suited for the job!!
Stop in at 631 N. 8th Street to see what the fuss is all about. You won’t find any birthday cake…that’s long gone. But you will find some likeminded folks teeming with altruism who, without fail or pretense, practice what they preach. Give out a few high fives while you’re there. I promise they’ve been earned. Moreover, they’ll be appreciated beyond measure.
Until next time…Adventure On.
Words by: Amber Leach Contributing Writer & Terrible Netter of Fish
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