By Eileen Persike
The Rhinelander advocacy group Forward Rhinelander recently selected 10 individuals from many nominations to represent the “Top 10” under the age of 40. As a way to get to know them, the Star Journal is featuring one of the 10 each week.
This week we introduce Dwight Webb, a Rhinelander native who returned to the land of the Hodag to work toward accomplishing his many goals, one of which is to better the community in which his children will grow up. He and his wife hope their two children, and one on the way, make positive lifelong memories in Rhinelander, like he was able to do.
How would you encourage other young people to get involved in their communities?
Rhinelander is home to many civic groups. Joining one of these groups is probably the easiest way to get involved. If none of the groups meet your needs, start your own group and do what you think would be good for the community. It may be a short term project that you think will help, or cleaning a ditch by your house with some friends. Whatever it is, make sure you are doing something you’re passionate about, and the rest will come a lot easier.
Who are your mentors?
I grew up attending Grace Foursquare Church in Rhinelander. Many of the people from the congregation had a positive impact on me. My parents and family have, and will continue to shape my life in a positive way as well. Many mentors have shaped my life as a person, a smaller group has been influential in my professional career. My uncle Reggie has taught me about real estate and finance, giving me the knowledge to do the projects that help my community. Terry Friese is another mentor who has shown me the blended line between faith and business, and doing it all with alacrity.
To date, what are you most proud of accomplishing?
After graduating from Rhinelander High School, I had a dream of starting a student housing facility in our community. This dream became a reality last year, when I purchased a vacant building and turned it into Riverview Hall student housing. Thanks to the help of my mentors, this project has been well accepted and has brought over 40 new individuals to our community over the past year. This project has also created other opportunities such as the Riverview Hall Culinary Incubator, which is expected to open in July 2018. This will allow individuals to rent a commercial kitchen by the hour in order to start their culinary dream. My ultimate goal is to turn vacant buildings into viable businesses that will enhance our community.
Another project I am proud of is the creation of a dog daycare opening this fall, once again taking advantage of a vacant building just outside of town. These are a few of my professional accomplishments that I am proud of. I am also proud of being a part of the Rhinelander Rotary Club, acting as president for the 2016-2017 year. I also volunteer my time in the nursery at my church, and I am also an advisor for the Nicolet College Collegiate DECA business management/marketing club.
What is your favorite thing about Rhinelander?
I love that Rhinelander is the hub of the Northwoods, offering most amenities you would find in a bigger city. Just a short distance from town, you can hunt or hike on one of our many public lands and trails. There is something to do in every season in Rhinelander!
If you could change one thing about Rhinelander, what would that be?
I would like to see more infrastructure improvements. We are making great progress this summer but I would like to see improved industrial areas to encourage new business or current business expansion.