Living in Stormy Kromer Country

From the CEO
September 12, 2011

By Bob Jacquart, CEO

Bill and Jack Wagener with Bob Jacquart (on right)

A lot of people have trouble understanding how someone can live in a remote and cold place like Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. The truth is, I don’t know any other way to live. As I have gotten older, I have found that more and more friends and colleagues tell me how lucky I am.

I remember a time when I was watching the Packer Game with some friends at the best dining spot in the area, The Bear Bar. My 3 friends were all from Madison. At a commercial break in the 4th quarter, one of them said to me, “And you get to stay here!” as he started thinking about his long drive back to Madison and away from the Northwoods.

Or the time when I met a new business contact – someone who seemed to have accomplished a lot more than I had. I told him how proud he should be of what he achieved, and his response to me was, “No, Bob, you should be proud because you have figured out a way to live and work in this beautiful place.”

So I do live here with my wonderful family. I have been married to Denise for 37 years and if you don’t already know, both of my daughters, Gina and KJ, work in the business.

After trying hard to be an Olympic marathoner and blowing out a knee, I found road biking. Gina wasn’t too sure of the connection between my love for Stormy and road biking when I asked if I could design a Stormy Kromer bike jersey. Created by our graphic designer Matt Schnell and built by Mt Borah, I had a few jerseys made for myself and some friends. We now have about 16 folks biking the Northwoods in their jerseys. (I even traded the former owner of Schwinn – a new friend – a Stormy Kromer jersey for some Schwinn gear.)

Road biking is amazing here as the roads near our cabin are flat and quiet. I take a 20 mile ride after work and I see on average 4 cars.

Michael Wagener in Taos, New Mexico

In the winter my bike goes inside on a trainer and I am very content with riding that and also with cross-country skiing. All of this quiet time gives me a chance to think about how I can grow as a leader and continue to make Stormy Kromer a major contribution to my family, the people who work for us, our dealers, our customers and my community.

Are there other fans out there that have combined their love of SK with another hobby? We’d love to hear about it.

22 thoughts on “Living in Stormy Kromer Country

  • Kate says:

    I am lucky enough to call the northwoods home as well, and hiking goes well with a stormy kromer on the cooler fall days!

  • Chuck Kolesar says:

    Great story Bob. You have put it all together. Congratulations!

    Our two visits a year to the UP are never enough. Someday I see a May to December marriage in our future.

    Every year we drag my Dad away in December and January. Lower Michigan, Florida and California make up his itinerary. Wherever he is around the middle of January he starts pacing. Spearing season has been on the first of January! But Dad it’s cold. Just keeps the ice solid and safe!

    • Bob Jacquart says:

      Hey Chuck,
      We have to stop meeting like this and actually meet in person. I am preparing a speech to give to a retired business leaders in Green Bay next week and part of the Power Point is the famous photo of your mom and dad on one of their first dates in the early 40s with Bobo wearing his “unigue for the time” red stormy Kromer.
      Hope to meet up with you again soon,
      Bob Jacquart

  • Beats By Dre says:

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  • I place url of your respective weblog on my own Zynga Wall structure. great weblog in fact.

  • Jim Eickhoff says:

    My son went to school at M T U and I fell in love with the U P. I can’t wait to retire and convince the wife to move up there. The season of color if amazing (fall)

  • William Bankes says:

    Hey I like the cycling Stormy Kromers! Where can I get one? Keep up the warm and good work folks.

  • Ardis says:

    Where is the facebook like button ?

  • Awesome blog, it’s just like a game for me! It’s so infomative and usefull, thanks a lot! If you post more of this great stuff, I’ll visit your blog again!

  • You have really interesting blog, keep up posting such informative posts!

  • Bob Sauer says:

    Really great story, Bob……… To know you is to know The Great Northwoods!

    • Bob Jacquart says:

      Hey Bob Sauer…thanks a lot for your kind words. Here’s to you & Cheryl someday being more premanent residents like Denise and I are! Bob J

  • Frank Balowski says:

    Nice story. You are very lucky. In a few years I hope to retire from a company in southeast Michigan. Most people I know talk of retiring to Florida or to the south west. I’m hoping to go to the land I love near the shores of Gitchigoomie or as Henry Wadworth Longfellow wrote, ” By the Shores of Gitche Gumee” from the epic poem,”The Song of Hiawatha”.
    Love Life it’s a gift. FB

  • Jane says:

    Thanks for all this great information and for sharing your joy about Kromer Kaps. I just learned this year that I am a distant relative of Stormy’s wife and just discovered this site today. What a great legacy! Thank you for it all!

    • Thanks Jane! We’d love to have you come up and visit us sometime at the factory!

    • Bob Jacquart says:

      We have very strong ties to some of Stormy’s relatives in the Appelton, WI or Kaukauna, Wi area. I was at the home of Stormy’s great niece in September and she shared with me a bunch of new photos and historical info. If you don’t know any of them, please give me a call at the factory and I will introduce you.
      Bob Jacquart

  • You actually make it appear so easy together with your presentation but I in finding this topic to be really something that I believe I might never understand. It sort of feels too complex and very wide for me. I’m taking a look ahead to your subsequent submit, I will attempt to get the cling of it!

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Living in Stormy Kromer Country - Stormy Kromer