Joined at the jukebox

Meet Josh, Heidi, Owen, Ella and Emery Wiesman

Josh Wiesman met his wife Heidi in 2001 at Wiggly Field in Weston. Josh had already graduated from college and was working at Eastbay, while Heidi was still a student at UW-Stevens Point. Heidi was home for the Halloween weekend and both were out on the town with friends.

“I spotted this tall, good-looking man standing near the jukebox.” said Heidi. “I worked up the courage to go over by him to play a song.” The couple spoke and had an instant connection.

“As we got to know each other, we realized how much we had in common and that we shared the same values and aspirations.” added Heidi. For the rest of her college career, Heidi did a lot of commuting back and forth from Wausau to Stevens Point.

The couple married in 2004, a year after Heidi finished college. Pastor John Roseth officiated the wedding at Saint Andrew Lutheran Church and the Wiesmans celebrated with a reception at the Elk’s Lodge.

Josh is a 1995 graduate of DC Everest High School. Heidi graduated from Wausau West in 1998.

Following high school, Heidi attended UWSP at Wausau for two years before transferring to UWSP. She graduated from UWSP with a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a minor in English as a second language in 2003. She went on to earn her master’s degree in teaching from UW-River Falls in 2008. Heidi has taught at John Muir Middle School in Wausau for more than a dozen years teaching sixth grade social studies and advising the student council.

Heidi teaches in a school that she attended as a middle schooler and works with some of her teachers.

“No class period or day is ever the same or ever boring.” said Heidi. “I love working in a career where I knows I can make a difference in other’s lives every single day.”

Josh is a 2000 graduate of UW-La Crosse earning a bachelor’s degree in finance (risk and insurance concentration) and marketing (sales and promotion emphasis). Josh was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity where he acted as president for one year and treasurer for two years. After graduating, he moved back to Wausau and worked at Eastbay for seven years as a basketball footwear buyer. He then took a position at Linetec as a senior buyer for about a year before getting back into the sports industry working in sales for Adidas/Reebok for three years.

A new opportunity presented itself in 2011. Josh and a business partner started a welding and fabrication business called American Process Solutions specializing in stainless steel for the food processing industry. The company supplies products for cheese plants, dairies, microbreweries, petrol chemical companies, and medical device companies.

Missing the sports aspect of his career, Josh, along with another business partner, started a sports marketing agency called Packer Events. The business represents professional athletes for appearances, autograph signings, public and motivational speaking, and fundraising efforts.  As the name suggests, most of the athletes are current and retired Green Bay Packers.

The family has lived in the Fountain Hills subdivision for more than 10 years. Before moving to their home, the Wiesmans lived across the street from the subdivision on McIntosh Street in Wausau.

“Before moving to Fountain Hills, we loved going for walks around this subdivision.” said Josh.  “Everyone was always so nice and there were so many kids always playing in the yards. We knew that this would be a great place to raise a family.”

Soon after Owen was born, the couple purchased a lot and started to build.

“Some of our dearest friends began as neighbors and now feel like part of our family.” said Heidi. “We get together often for cookouts, football games, and Old Fashioned Fridays!”

“Many of us like to run and exercise together as well.” added Heidi.

Both Wiesmans serve on the board of directors for North Central Wisconsin Donate Life. Heidi’s father was an organ transplant recipient and started this non-profit organization as a way to give back and promote the importance of organ and tissue donation. After he passed in 2013, his family carried on his mission to promote organ and tissue donation awareness.

“Our big event each year is a glow run/walk called Ted’s Trek.” said Heidi. “This event is always the last Friday in August. The proceeds from this event go to scholarships for nursing students, the Restoring Hope Transplant House near Madison and the UW Health Organ Procurement Organization.”

Josh also serves on the board of directors for Junior Achievement - Northcentral Wisconsin District and has taught classes for the past eight years to students from grade school through high school. He has a passion for financial literacy and enjoys educating youth about becoming fiscally responsible.

Josh enjoys coaching his children in a variety of sports including baseball, football, basketball and softball. He also loves spending time in their schools helping out on field trips or classroom events. Josh is an avid sports fan. He follows the Packers, Badgers and Brewers closely, with football his favorite sport.

Owen is a student at DC Everest Middle School this fall. He loves to play football and just started snowboarding last winter. Owen also plays the trumpet in his school’s band and has a love for photography. With a very artistic and creative streak, Owen hopes to someday become an architect.

The Wiesman girls, Ella and Emery, both attend Riverside Elementary School in Ringle.

“We can’t say enough good things about the staff and culture at Riverside.” said Josh. “Our kids have been very blessed with great teachers like Mrs. Strehlow, Mrs. Baumann and Mrs. Reimer.”

Ella will enter fourth grade this fall and has been involved in dance since the age of two through the Wausau Academy of Dance. Her favorite style of dance is tap. She is also involved in gymnastics through the Woodson YMCA and has been playing piano for three years.

The most humbling and challenging experience for the family was when a ten-month-old Ella was diagnosed with a childhood cancer called neuroblastoma. Her tumor was discovered by accident at the very best time for treatment.

“We thank God every day that it could be removed without any further cancer treatment and she is now a very healthy and active nine-year-old.” said Heidi. “When this happened, our family, friends and neighbors rallied around us and offered us so much love and support.”

“It was through this event that we first realized that our neighbors were more than just neighbors and that they would be a very important part of our lives.” said Josh.

When Ella grows up she wants to be a medical scientist so she can cure cancer.

Emery has spent her life trying to keep up with her older siblings.

“She always seems wiser than her years!” said Heidi.

Emery will be a second grader this fall and also has been dancing since the age of two. She doesn’t have a favorite dance style, but her least favorite is ballet, which she feels is too slow paced. She has been playing piano for two years under the tutelage of her teacher, Marie Oberg. Emery recently discovered a passion for basketball and her family enjoys watching her play. When she grows up she wants to get a puppy and wants to become an artist.

Emery’s desire to add a dog to the family isn’t new. She has been trying to convince her parents to get a dog since she could talk.

“We love dogs but feel like we are too busy to provide the attention a pet would need.” said Heidi. “For now, we enjoy the neighbor’s dog, Meatball.”

The family have been members of Saint Andrew Lutheran Church in Rib Mountain since 2013. Along with the couple’s marriage at the church, all three of their children were baptized there. Heidi has been a member of the Christian Education ministry at the church for five years and a chairperson for one year. She helps organize Sunday school programming and vacation Bible school. Josh has served on the endowment fund committee and funeral service committee.

As the weather warms each year, the Wiesmans enter their element.

“We are summer enthusiasts!” said Josh. “Our favorite summer activity is camping. We both grew up camping and continued the tradition together with our family.”

Over the years the Wiesmans have owned three different campers each getting a little bigger than the last.

“We have a few favorite places that we visit every summer. The kids’ favorite destination is River’s Edge Campground.” added Josh.

“This past year we made the decision to trade in the camping life for cabin life.” said Josh. “It was definitely a bittersweet decision for all of us. We purchased a cabin on Pelican Lake in March.”

“As sad as it was to say goodbye to camping, there are many more memories to make at our cabin.” said Heidi.

Vacationing for the Wiesmans means more than just camping or visiting their cottage. The family has taken spring break vacations in each of the last four years with trips to Disney World, Mexico, the Bahamas and, most recently, Jamaica. Two neighbor families have joined the Wiesmans on these vacations with a group of 21 (kids outnumbering adults 13 to 8) traveling this year.

“We both grew up in the Wausau community and think that it is the perfect size for us and offers great educational and extracurricular opportunities for our children.”

“Our family’s motto is definitely to live life to the fullest and don’t wait until tomorrow to do what you love because tomorrow is uncertain.” said Heidi. “We both have fulfilling careers that we love and we are surrounded by loving family and the best friends and neighbors. We feel very blessed!”

This article initially appeared in Wausau Neighbors magazine, Best Version Media

Photos by Portraits by Tiffany/Graphic Impressions Photography LLC

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