Michelle is the main anchor for FOX 47 News at Nine in Madison. She also teaches communication history, theory and writing courses at the university level. She’s currently an instructor at Madison College.

You’ll see Michelle hosting dozens of area events throughout the year. She is also proud to serve on the WI-American Diabetes Association Leadership Board.  She loves singing big band music, cooking TV, dancing and is a former competitive twirler!

She’s married to her very supportive husband, Nick and they have one son, who she says already out-wits her and a big fluffy standard poodle! 

Andrew Nussbaum

WI Dept of Tourism

Ken is the owner of Fromagination, a shop located on the Capitol Square which is celebrating 10 years in business. Ken’s goal is to have you leave Fromagination loving cheese more.  Fromagination works with small artisans across the state and show cheeses and companions in European setting.  Their cheeses are cut to order. 

After spending 25 years in the corporate world Ken decided to chart his own destiny. It has been a life long dream to have a shop that works with small producers and showcases rich cheese making tradition.

Jeanne Carpenter

Wisconsin Cheese Originals

Chief Cheese Geek

Beth Crave

Crave Cheese

Angie Thuli

Thuli Family Creamery

Karen Bast

Southwest Tech College
Culinary Arts / Management Instructor

Michelle Carolla

WMSN - FOX 47 News - Madison, WI

 Main News Anchor

Jeff Dombeck

Southwest Tech College 
Culinary Instructor

Mayor Todd Novak

City of Dodgeville/Wisconsin State Assembly

Angie and her husband Ted along with their sons Blake and Kyle are owners of Thuli Family Creamery located in Darlington, where they produce specialty cheeses, yogurt and drinkable yogurts. Angie received her Cheesemakers license from UW River Falls in 2013. They also are part owners in their family business, Darlington Dairy Supply.

Along with operating Thuli Family Creamery and Cheese n Beans coffee shop, Angie is Executive Director of the Darlington Chamber Main Street. She is active in her community and is partnering up with opening a brewery in downtown Darlington. 

 2017 Amateur Competition Judges

Bob Page

Bob's Bitchin' BBQ

Erik is the director of design for Voice of the River Valley magazine and edits Driftless Terroir, a column about "character of place” that frequently celebrates regional food and beverage. By day he works in development for Taliesin Preservation, the steward of Frank Lloyd Wright’s home, studio, school, and agricultural estate in rural Spring Green.


Drew joined the Department of Tourism in 2012, after having spent his entire professional career in hospitality, marketing, and tourism.  His focus with companies and organizations has always been to grow their customer service effectiveness, a passion that began with his first restaurant job in 1984.  Drew refers to this as “Northern Hospitality”.

He loves traveling the state meeting with folks and helping them get the word out about all the great things there are to see and do in Wisconsin. Having worked with various regional and statewide collaboration efforts, Drew enjoys bringing organizations together to share ideas and resources.

Kara grew up in Spring Green and is the youngest daughter of William and Tracie Hutter. She is a graduate from River Valley High School where she was active in cheerleading, gymnastics, National Honor Society, Forensics, and FFA.  Kara is currently a student at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she is majoring in Agriculture Education. She intends on studying veterinary medicine to become a large animal veterinarian. 

2017 will be Kara's sixth and final year exhibiting swine at the Iowa County Fair. She began showing swine as a member of the Coon Rock 4-H, but currently exhibits through the River Valley FFA. 

  • Loves watching the Brewers and Packers
  • Has been a culinary arts and management instructor at SWTC for 22 years.
  • Graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY and Milwaukee Area Technical College
  • I’ve had a passion for the industry since the day I walked into my first job as a dishwasher.
  • Enjoys a good cup of coffee in the morning, afternoon naps, old movies, vacations and most of all great food.
  • My career has given me the pleasure of working as a baker, food research & designer, chef to NFL football team, owner and operator of a catering company.  

Keith writes about food and the business of food in the Driftless Area for the website Driftless Appetite, as well as other publications such as the Voice of the River Valley.  In his day job, he is a glass scientist.

As one of only five American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professionals in Wisconsin, Jeanne Carpenter is the founder and executive director of Wisconsin Cheese Originals, where she educates consumers about the art and science of cheese through educational seminars, tours and cheesy events. She works as the specialty cheese buyer for Metcalfe’s Markets in Madison and Milwaukee, helping introduce new Wisconsin artisan cheeses to consumers. You'll find her byline in a variety of food magazines. Her motto is: Have Fun. Do Good. Eat Cheese.

 2017 Professional Competition Judges

Robert Moses, President & CEO of the Prairie du Chien Area Chamber of Commerce.  I joined the Prairie du Chien Chamber in 2006. I currently serve as a board member for WMC (Wisconsin Manufacturing and Commerce) and I am the Vice President of WCCE – (Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Executives.)  I will begin as President of the WCCE in January of 2018.   I have a BA in Education and have had the pleasure of teaching for over 15 year’s prior to entering the Chamber world.

Ken Monteleone

Fromagination Artisian Cheese

Erik Flesch

Voice of the River Valley Magazine
​Design Director

Robert Moses

Prairie du Chien ​Chamber of Commerce

Bob is owner of Bob’s Bitchin’ BBQ. Along with creating award winning signature sauces he loves what he does. 

  • I believe strongly in my faith and sustainability.
  • I have a great soul mate Jeff, 2 beautiful daughters: Nick and Ash, 2 wonderful son-in-laws and 7 amazing grandchildren.   
  • Born in Lancaster, lives in Lancaster and will probable retire in Lancaster.
  • Graduated from UW – Platteville with a BS in Business Administration with an emphasis in management, human resources and marketing. 
  • Has worked in the food service industry since she was 14.
  • Comes from a long line of great cooks and bakers, it just seems to come naturally.
  • Owned and operated the Arrow Inn restaurant in Lancaster for 8 years and Specially for You Catering 6.
  • Has been a culinary art and management instructor at SWTC for 17 years.
  • Food is my passion or maybe an obsession, not sure which, maybe both.  I go to bed thinking about it, I wake up thinking about it and I talk about it all day long.  

Keith Burrows

Driftless Appetite

Food Blogger

Kara Hutter

2017 Iowa County Fairest of the Fair

Beth grew up on a rural dairy farm in Reeseville, Wisconsin. She went to MATC (Madison College now) for Culinary Arts and Hotel/Restaurant Management. She is the Customer Service Manager and Corporate Chef for Crave Brother Farmstead Cheese in Waterloo, Wisconsin. She also writes the “Producer Plate” section for Hoard’s Dairymen out of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin. 

Beth is very passionate about cooking and cheese making. She enjoys spending time in the kitchen with her two children Emma (6), and Kolbe (3) and traveling with her very supportive husband Karl.Beth is very excited about being on the “other side” of the table for this year’s event! As she is the back-to-back reigning “best of show” champions from 2015 and 2016