Janesville65.2°

Mac's Pizza named business of the year

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JAMES P. LEUTE
January 28, 2011
— Even while on the receiving end, Bill McMullin couldn't help but give.

Giving back to the community, after all, has been a hallmark of McMullin and his Janesville business for decades.


That business, Mac's Pizza Shack, was honored Thursday as Forward Janesville's small "Business of the Year."


Several other individuals and companies also were honored at the 10th Annual Forward Janesville Awards Banquet at the Pontiac Convention Center.


McMullin took to the stage to accept the award three weeks after hip surgery.


"I'm more nervous about this than anything to do with the hip," he quipped before turning serious to discuss the community support that has helped his family and business in the nearly 34 years it's operated on Milton Avenue.


"You're going to hear a lot about gratitude from me," he said shortly after announcing that every one of the 400 or so people in attendance would leave with a box for a free pizza.


In 2007, McMullin and Erika Bickle bought the former Happy Joe's Pizza & Ice Cream from the retiring Dave McMullin, Bill's brother. The two discontinued the franchise agreement with Iowa-based Happy Joe's and opened under the new name.


Shortly thereafter, the business' flour price nearly quadrupled, cheese prices doubled and General Motors said it would close its plant in Janesville.


"The last 32 years have been a real challenge for anyone trying to run a small business in Janesville," McMullin said. "But the great thing about Janesville is that we help each other.


"We're all in this together."


AWARD WINNERS

In addition to Mac's Pizza Shack, other honorees at the 10th Annual Forward Janesville Awards Banquet on Thursday were:


-- Community Improvement Award: Christine Moore


-- Diversity Award: YWCA of Rock County


-- Woman of Excellence Award: Diane Pillard, UW-Rock County


-- Goodwill Ambassador: Teri Barnes, Blackhawk Community Credit Union


-- Volunteer of the Year: Bill Boyd, Boyd Consulting Group


-- Small Business Person of the Year: Jeff Hazekamp, Angus-Young Associates


-- Business of the Year, more than 50 employees: Janesville Sand & Gravel/LYCON


-- Lifetime Achievement Award: Donald Hedberg



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