Bud Gussel, Alumnus/Community Member

Bud Gussel was born and raised in Wisconsin Dells. He is a Wisconsin Dells High School alumnus, class of 1948, a successful businessman, a philanthropist and exemplary member of the Wisconsin Dells community.

Career Accomplishments

Mr. Gussel started Gussel Distributing in 1951 in an unheated garage serving as a warehouse and a 1938 Desoto for a delivery truck. Gross profit for the first week of business was $26.00. This was a family affair as Bud’s mother Julie, handled the secretarial duties and his wife, Joyce, waited on customers during the day and helped him fill orders at night.

As Gussel Distributing grew, Bud moved it to several different locations in town and in 1970 his business moved to its present location on Pioneer Drive. Structural enlargements over the years now cover approximately 2 acres with over 116,000 square feet of office, warehouse and vending space. Today, Holiday Wholesale is a broad line distributor with 266 employees serving over 6,500 customers throughout Wisconsin and parts of bordering states.

Community Service

  • Originated the Wo-Zha-Wa fall festival in 1968, chairman for over 28 years.
  • Started the Dells Area United Fund with Gordon Zinke and served as president for 53 years.
  • Origination of the Dells Country Historical Society and served as president for 26 years.
  • Chairman of the drive to secure the Bennett Studio historical site/served as president of the Bennett Foundation. Bud donated thousands of dollars worth of artifacts and cash donations.
  • Served 18 years on the Kilbourn Fire Department.
  • Helped fundraising to refurbish the Rev. Davies fountain at Bowman Park in Wisconsin Dells.
  • Member of the Wisconsin Dells Visitor and Convention Bureau for 60 years.
  • Pledged $3.6 million for indoor pool at a new WDHS.
  • Donated Owen Gromme “Passenger Pigeon” print to schools and libraries throughout the state of Wisconsin

Dale Maher, Educator

Mr. Maher demonstrated exceptional leadership, character and achievement during his tenure with the School District of Wisconsin Dells.


  • Bachelor of Science in Social Studies with an English and Physical Education Minor from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point.
  • Masters in English Education from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Professional Experience

  • Barron High School in Barron, WI. Social Studies and English teacher for six years. Football, Basketball and Baseball coach.
  • Pillsbury Baptist Bible College in Owatonna, MN. English teacher for one year and English Department Chair. Soccer, Wrestling and Baseball coach.
  • Wisconsin Dells High School in Wisconsin Dells. English teacher and English Department Chair for twenty nine years. Football, Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball and Baseball coach. Advisor for Student Council and Fellowship of Christian Athletes. President of the Wisconsin Dells Teachers Association.

Community Service

  • Lake Delton Village Board Member and President.
  • Associate Pastor for Walnut Hill Bible Church for ten years.
  • Youth Football Camp Director for ten years.
  • St. Claire Hospital Board Member and President in Baraboo, Wisconsin.

Eric R. Wick, Lieutenant Colonel (retired)

A 1986 graduate of Wisconsin Dells High School, Lt. Colonel (ret) Wick joined the Army after graduating from the U.S. Air Force Academy in 1990.


  • 1st Armored Division, Erlangen, Germany
  • Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom 1 in Baghdad
  • Operation Iraqi Freedom 7 in Kirkuk Province

Badges and Awards

Combat Action Badge, Bronze Star w/V, Bronze Star w/3 Oak Leaf Clusters (OLC), Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service medal w/4 OLC, Army Commendation Medal w/1 OLC, Army Achievement Medal w/5 OLC, National Defense Service Medal w/ Star, South West Asia Service Medal w/3 Stars, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary and Service Medals, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Air Force Training Ribbon, Kuwait Liberation Medal (Saudi Arabia), Kuwait Liberation Medal (Kuwait), Valorous Unit Award w/2 OLC.

Duty Positions

  • Platoon Leader of 1st Plt, C Co, 2nd Bn, 70th Ar,
  • B Co Executive Office & Commander, 2nd Bn, 70th Ar
  • Regimental Assistant Operations officer, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment (ACR)
  • Squadron S4, 1st Squadron, 11th ACR
  • Squadron S3 Air , 1st Squadron, 11th ACR
  • B Troop Commander, 1st Squadron, 11th ACR
  • Small Group Instructor Armored Captains Career Course
  • Professional Development Division Chief
  • Mounted Digital Leaders Course Manager
  • Chief of Commanders Planning Group
  • Executive Officer, Task Force 2nd Bn, 70th Ar 
  • Operations Officer, Unit of Action Experimental Element
  • Deputy Commanding Officer, 1st Armored Training Brigade
  • Commander, 5th Squadron, 15th Cavalry Regiment
  • Deputy Brigade Commander, 1st Bde, 1st AD
  • Deputy Brigade Commander, 3rd Bde, Great Lakes Division