Award entries are evaluated by an independent panel of judges. This distinguished panel includes leaders in business, government, education, and the media from across the state. Organizations represented in the past include CEOs from past winner companies, leaders of financial investment organizations, representatives from the Wisconsin Technical College Systems, The Business Journal serving Greater Milwaukee, the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, the Association of Equipment Manufacturers, and many more.
Once the application deadline is reached and all entries are received, a list of the nominated companies is distributed to all judges to identify any conflicts of interest. If a judge has a relationship with any nominee that would preclude him or her from objectively judging the entry, he/she is assigned to a different category. In late-December, category assignments are finalized and nominations are provided to the judges for their evaluation. In January, the entire judging panel convenes in Madison to discuss the top companies in their respective categories. Through these in-depth discussions, award winners are selected. The names of award winners are held in confidence until they are announced during the formal award ceremony.