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Mentor guides people to their own solutions

Posted on Mar 19, 2018, by

Bob DeKoch’s most valuable contribution as a leader doesn’t involve solving problems for people who come to him for help. His particular talent is in helping people see within themselves the means to solve the problem.

That’s why Bob will be presented with the 2018 Paul and Elaine Groth Mentoring Award, sponsored by the Mielke Family Foundation. It is one of seven volunteer awards being presented at the annual Celebrating Volunteers community gala April 26 at the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The event is sponsored by the Community Foundation and The Post-Crescent.

“He has a unique ability to identify and cultivate, not only an individual’s personal strengths, but also their strengths within an organization. I’m very honored to call Bob my mentor,” said Jarrad Bittner, executive director of The Building for Kids who nominated him for the award. “He never solves my problems for me, but rather presents the tools I need to discover the path forward myself.”

DeKoch is known for being an active board member and mentor. His dedication was demonstrated  when, following an emergency operation, he had a meeting with Jarrad and a board member of The Building for Kids moved to Theda Clark Regional Medical Center so he could take part.

Tom Boldt, chief executive officer at the Boldt Company, where DeKoch is president, called him “a tireless educator” and “a sounding board” for the people he is responsible for developing.

Another of the many nonprofit organizations to which Bob volunteers his time is NEW North, a promoter of economic development in the Fox Valley region. There, Bittner said, “Bob has continually demonstrated that he is a skilled, thoughtful and humble leader who cares deeply about the community he serves.”

Bob will receive a $5,000 prize to distribute to favorite charities.


Register for Celebrating Volunteers by April 19.

Honoree Stories:

Hanns Kretzschmar Award for Excellence in the Arts – Renee Ulman

Paul & Elaine Groth Mentoring Award — Bob DeKoch

Youth Scholarship Award — Rachel Miserlian

Janet Berry Volunteer of the Year Award — Cheri Duchrow

Walter L. Rugland Community Service AwardNancy Heykes

Health Care Volunteer Award — Jim and Sue Spierings

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