Dennis Klumb Sr., along with other members of his family, started a utility services company, Arby Construction, in 1972. They sold it in 2000. In 2005, with a business partner, Tom Schaitel, they started another company in the same industry, New Berlin-based KS Energy Services, which provides construction and maintenance services to the natural gas, electric and telecommunications industries.
KS Energy Services has thrived. In 13 years the company grew to more than 1,400 employees and more than $300 million in annual revenue. Today the company is led by president and chief executive officer Dennis Klumb Jr., chief operating officer Lyle Hildebrand, senior vice president Rick Klumb, senior vice president Mike Klumb and senior vice president and treasurer Shawn Klumb. Dennis, Rick, Mike and Shawn are brothers.
While achieving business success, the Klumb family has been committed to giving back to the community through the Dennis & Janice Klumb Family Foundation. Their primary charity of choice has been the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Wisconsin. The family has raised and donated more than $2.2 million to the foundation over 23 years.
“(The Klumbs) truly are exemplary,” said Patti Gorsky, president and chief executive officer of Make-A-Wish Wisconsin. “Their efforts and generosity have resulted in more than 400 wishes granted. The Klumb family has no equal when it comes to commitment to the magical Make-A-Wish mission that creates life-changing wishes for Wisconsin children with critical illnesses.”
In addition to Make-A-Wish Wisconsin, KS Energy Services and the Klumb family have supported the Milwaukee Urban League, MACC Fund, Big Brothers Big Sisters, the United Performing Arts Fund and others.
Four generations of Klumb family members have been involved with supporting Make-A-Wish. Dennis Klumb Sr., who co-founded Arby and KS Energy and retired in 2010, and his wife Janice Klumb established a legacy of giving and volunteering that has been continued by their seven children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Gorsky said.
For their support of Make-A-Wish and other organizations, the Klumb family will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual BizTimes Media Nonprofit Excellence Awards program.
The annual program, which honors top area nonprofit organizations for their work in the community and also honors private individuals and businesses that support area nonprofits, will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, from 7:30-9:30 a.m. at the Italian Community Center in Milwaukee. Click here to register for the event.
The finalists for the other Nonprofit Excellence Awards are (winners will be announced at the Nov. 2 event):
Corporate Citizen of the Year:
- Cousins Subs
- First Bank Financial Centre
- Komatsu Mining Corp.
Corporate Volunteer of the Year:
- Tim Stewart, DeWitt Ross & Stevens
- Marcell Jackson, GE Healthcare
- The Marcus Corp.
Next Generation Leadership:
- Erik Kennedy, Aurora Health Care
- Christine Richards, Richards Group Allstate
- Brew City MKE Beer Museum
- FEI Behavioral Health
- Milwaukee Habitat for Humanity
Nonprofit Collaboration of the Year
- Dominican Center for Women Inc. and Hunger Task Force
- Elevate Inc.
- Outreach Community Health Centers
Nonprofit Executive of the Year
- Ann Petrie, Ronald McDonald House Charities Eastern Wisconsin
- Lynda Kohler, SHARP Literacy Inc.
- Angela Mancuso, The Women’s Center Inc.
Nonprofit (organization) of the Year – Large
- Discovery World Ltd.
- Luther Manor
- My Choice Family Care
Nonprofit (organization) of the Year – Small
- Cathedral Center Inc.
- CORE El Centro
- Literary Services of Wisconsin Inc.
- Northwest Side Community Development Corp.
In addition to the awards themselves, the Nonprofit Excellence Awards program will include a discussion about how psychological trauma effects Milwaukee and its workforce, featuring Marquette University president Dr. Mike Lovell and REDgen president Amy Lovell.
The platinum sponsor for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards program is Potawatomi Hotel & Casino.