Two City of Viroqua employees receive regional Rising Star Awards

VIROQUA, Wis. – Viroqua City Administrator Nate Torres and McIntosh Memorial Library Youth Services Director Laci Sheldon are two of 25 people selected as Rising Star Award winners by the River Valley Media Group and 7 Rivers Alliance. 

Rising Star winners are area men and women who are committed to making their communities a better place to live and work. They do it without the spotlight nor do they seek recognition — it’s just part of who they are.  Past winners represent the diverse workforce in the region — teachers, doctors, nurses, business owners, nonprofit leaders, instructors, public service workers and others whose commitment to their work or community service groups sets the bar for engaged citizenry.  To be nominated for an award an individual must be under 40 years old.

City of Viroqua Administrator Nate Torres

Torres and Sheldon were nominated by colleague Trina Erickson, Director of the McIntosh Memorial Library.  “I can’t think of two people more deserving of this honor.  I’m continually inspired by what Nate and Laci do to better serve our community.”

In the application packet Erickson pointed out some of the endeavors Torres has been part of since he began working for the City of Viroqua in 2019.  Some of those projects include leading the city through the COVID-19 pandemic, opening the Viroqua Business Park, and constructing a new Police Department and City Hall.

“I am honored to receive this acknowledgement.  I accept it with great appreciation for the City of Viroqua’s elected officials, staff members, residents, and community members.  I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as your City Administrator and hope that I have served the position well,” said Torres.

McIntosh Memorial Library Youth Services Director Laci Sheldon

Laci Sheldon’s accomplishments include managing the library After School Program, creating programs supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion, and speaking at national conferences about the work of the library.  Sheldon’s efforts were part of the reason why the McIntosh Memorial Library was named the Best Library in the State of Wisconsin for 2022.

“I was surprised and honored to be nominated by my mentor and supervisor, Trina Erickson the Director of McIntosh Memorial Library. Every day I feel the importance and value of being McIntosh Memorial Library’s Youth Services Director. It is a tremendous honor to serve my hometown community with a special focus on enabling children and their families to embrace their love of reading and educational programs at our public library. I dedicate this award to my nieces who always bring me great joy: Loralei, Larkin, and Layelle Sheldon; and Ryann Sandra Baldwin.”

The winners were selected and are being recognized in special coverage in River Valley Media Group publications and with videos online.  Torres and Sheldon will be honored along with the other 2023 Rising Star winners at an October 19, 2023, reception at the La Crescent Area Event Center.

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