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CALS to honor five exemplary leaders at Oct. 15 banquet

On Oct. 15 the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences will present its Honorary Recognition Award to Debra Crave and Michael Krutza and its Distinguished Service Award to Joachim von Elbe. Hector DeLuca and Richard Scheller will both receive the new Distinguished Alumni Award.

Over the past 100 years, the College has recognized nearly 500 individuals for their outstanding service with the Honorary Recognition Award. Each has given unselfishly of time and talent, improved the lives of many, and enriched society for us all.

In 1994, the College introduced the Distinguished Service Award to recognize University faculty and staff members for meritorious service to the College and University, to citizens of Wisconsin, and to people around the nation and the world. This year the College is proud to mark the inaugural year of the Distinguished Alumni Award, which recognizes a career of outstanding achievement through extraordinary contributions to one”s chosen field or an exemplary record of public service.

Debra L. Crave, Waterloo, Wis., is currently vice president of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese where she manages administrative, budget, public relations, sales and marketing activities. Crave has held several high profile positions, including Alice in Dairyland. Following her term as Alice, Crave began a 16-year career with Wisconsin”s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, culminating in her role as director of its International Agri-Business Center. After three years with the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Crave joined the Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese operation in 2001, which now enjoys a national reputation for its high quality products and innovative farming and marketing techniques.

Michael R. Krutza, Wausau, Wis., served as CEO of FCS Financial Services from 1988 until 2007. Krutza began his career as a loan officer in 1973 and assumed successively more challenging roles with FCS. In addition to his career with FCS, Krutza has continually served in a variety of influential public service positions. His service to rural Wisconsin includes developing a “green” label for Wisconsin-grown potatoes and advocating for the Dairy Investment Tax Credit, a measure credited with invigorating investment in the state”s dairy business community. Today, Krutza is applying his experience and vision to his new venture, Lighthouse Leadership, Inc., a firm devoted to leadership development.

Joachim H. “Joe” von Elbe, Madison, Wis., is an emeritus professor and past chairman of the Department of Food Science. His leadership extended widely across the CALS mission of research, instruction and outreach, with a career devoted to the education of both undergraduate and graduate students, service to his fellow faculty and staff members, and the food industry. von Elbe created innovative educational, research and outreach programs. His outreach program for the food industry included the development of two-week courses in confectionary science and technology (“candy school”) and brewing and malting science. These courses have been taught for thirty or more years. His own research focused on the chemistry of natural pigments, their application as food and pharmaceutical colorants, and the improvement in the quality of canned vegetables, specifically improving the texture of heat processed potatoes and the color of canned green vegetables.

Hector F. DeLuca, Madison, Wis., professor of biochemistry at UW-Madison, is internationally recognized for his contributions to human health. He”s played a decisive role in the development and introduction of the natural hormone and related compounds as effective new drugs for the treatment of disease. Six compounds discovered and developed in DeLuca”s laboratory are in use worldwide for the treatment of such conditions as vitamin D-resistant rickets, hypoparathyroidism, renal osteodystrophy, psoriasis and osteoporosis. Additional findings from DeLuca”s lab are being explored as potential treatments for diabetes, multiple sclerosis and arthritis. Beyond the lab, DeLuca has twice served as department chair, advised numerous academic and industry boards, and accumulated more than 50 honors and awards over his career.

Richard H. Scheller, Stanford, Calif., is Executive Vice President-Research of Genentech, Inc., South San Francisco. Scheller joined Genentech in 2001 as senior vice president and soon advanced to his current position. Projects led by Scheller at Genentech are prolonging the lives of cancer patients and improving the lives of patients with disorders of the immune system such as rheumatoid arthritis. Prior to joining Genentech, Scheller was on the faculty at Stanford University, where he conducted research that resulted in a major increase to the understanding of the human nervous system. Scheller”s scientific contributions are documented in more than 270 peer reviewed publications, and he is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and member of the National Academy of Science.

The CALS Honorary Recognition Banquet and Ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of these remarkable individuals and the connection between the College and its friends, supporters and stakeholders. The banquet will be held on October 15, 2009 in the Great Hall, Memorial Union, University of Wisconsin-Madison. For more information or to register to attend, please visit Please contact Arla Dauscher, CALS External Relations (, 608-262-5784) for additional questions.