University of Wisconsin-Stout

Aug. 24, 2010

Plastics engineering wasn’t offered when Charllotte and Bob Janeczko attended the University of Wisconsin-Stout in the 1960s, but their generosity will help ensure that students for decades to come will have that option.

The Janeczkos have pledged in excess of $1 million to be used in the form of scholarships for students majoring in plastics engineering. “This is a unique institution,” Bob said of UW-Stout, where he and Charllotte met.

The donation is their way of providing long-term support for UW-Stout and strengthening a growing career field, one that has been good to them. “If you’re successful, we believe you have an obligation to give back in a meaningful way,” said Bob, who graduated in 1963 with a degree in technology education.

The Janeczkos bought Innovative Injection Technologies, also known as i2tech, in 2003. The company, which has 150 employees, engineers plastic components and subassemblies in West Des Moines, Iowa. Bob is CEO.

“We made our money in plastics, and we’re glad to be able to help young people with a career in this great industry,” said Bob, a Chicago native who also has been an executive with Morton Metalcraft and John Deere and a professor of industrial technology at Western Illinois University.

Bob and Charllotte have been married for 44 years. Charllotte, who graduated in 1965 in home economics education, is a retired teacher and homemaker. They have four children, including their son Joshua, i2tech president who will take over when Bob retires.

“We wanted to leave a legacy. It’s a positive way to be remembered,” said Charllotte, who grew up in Rosendale, near Fond du Lac.

Four students have been chosen for the first Janeczko scholarships beginning this fall. Jason McNulty, a senior from Stillwater, Minn., will receive $7,500. Three incoming freshmen each will receive $2,500. They are: Luke Buerkley, from Somerset; Andrew Sandberg, from Mondovi; and Zachary Wenner, from Cottage Grove, Minn.

“I feel very honored and extremely thankful that the Janeczkos established such an amazing scholarship and even more so that they chose UW-Stout's plastics engineering program,” said McNulty, who is interning this summer at American Medical Systems in Minnetonka, Minn. “Thanks to their generous donation, I am confident that the program and its future students will have tremendously bright futures.”

The Janeczkos’ initial donation of $200,000, using estate planning tools, will ultimately yield an endowment worth more than $750,000. For the next 20 years, until the endowment matures and becomes self-sustaining, they also pledged $15,000 a year — or $300,000 — to fund the annual student scholarships.

“Charllotte and Bob Janeczko have provided wonderful scholarship support for four very talented students,” said David Williams, vice chancellor for University Advancement. “They’ve also provided UW-Stout with a great tool to recruit top-quality students into this new field of plastics engineering, which will ultimately yield great graduates well-suited for work in the plastics industry. We’re very grateful for their generous gift.”

UW-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University, began offering the Bachelor of Science plastics engineering major in fall 2008. It is one of just a few universities in the country with a four-year plastics program.

I2tech’s customers include John Deere, Arctic Cat and Kawasaki. Plastics is the third largest industry in the country, Bob said. “It’s a growth industry and very innovative. The industry serves a greater need than most people realize.”

For more information, contact Williams at 715-232-1151 or williamsda@uwstout.edu.

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