MFHS Honors Inductees for Wall of Recognition

At halftime of the December 14, 2018, boys basketball game, Menomonee Falls High School will induct four alumni to its Wall of Recognition. The Wall of Recognition, which lines the main hallway of MFHS, was started by former principal, Dick Woosencraft in 2004 to honor distinguished alumni who have achieved success professionally and notably give back to their community.  

This year’s inductees include:

  • Joseph H. Helm, Jr. (MF North HS 1972)
  • Peter Hollenhorst, Ph.D. (MFHS 1993)
  • Jeffrey T. Koberstein (MF East 1970)
  • Melissa (Ball) Maas, CFD, AIFD (MFHS 1997)

Joseph H. Helm, Jr. is a 1972 graduate of Menomonee Falls North High School. He attended University of Wisconsin Eau Claire & University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. In 1980 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Studies from Bob Jones University and then earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1983, where he received numerous awards and was a published Law Review Editor.

From 1983 to the present, Joe has been practicing law in Menomonee Falls at McLario Helm Bertling & Spiegel Law Offices, concentrating in estate planning. During his law career, he has had numerous published papers and articles on estate planning, charitable giving, mediation, and arbitration, as well as 1st Amendment rights. He has also testified before the U.S.Congress on civil rights issues. Joe is also an ordained minister, serving as an associate pastor at Brookside Baptist Church, Brookfield, WI for over 35 years, which includes mission work in many foreign countries.

For many years he served on executive leadership and boards of directors of several non-profit mission and educational organizations, including Northland International University and Bob Jones University. Joe’s extensive community service in Menomonee Falls includes Village President, Village Trustee, Plan Commission, Community Development Authority, and the Community Memorial Hospital Foundation Board.

Joe has been married to Lana Lee (McLario) since 1980. They have three children, Dr. Joseph Helm III (Melissa), Heather Olson (Reid) and, soon to be, Dr. Holly Helm. They currently have two grandchildren, Eliana, and Landon Olson.

Dr. Hollenhorst graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1993. He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from St. Norbert College in 1997 and a Ph.D. in Biomolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 2002. He then received a fellowship from the American Cancer Society to do additional training at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah.

Since 2010, Dr. Hollenhorst has been a faculty member of the Medical Sciences Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. Research in the Hollenhorst lab focuses on genes that are the most common cause of prostate cancer. His research findings have resulted in over 25 published articles that delineate novel molecular mechanisms that point the way towards new therapeutic approaches. His work is notable in establishing links between the molecular mechanisms of prostate cancer and other malignancies such as pancreatic cancer and Ewing’s sarcoma. Dr. Hollenhorst’s work at Indiana University has been funded by the American Cancer Society, the United States Department of Defense, and the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Hollenhorst is committed to training the next generation of cancer researchers, and over 30 young scientists have done research projects in his lab.

Dr. Hollenhorst resides in Bloomington Indiana with his wife, who is also an accomplished cancer researcher, and two sons.

Prof. Koberstein graduated from Menomonee Falls East in 1970 and was honored by receipt of the Schuman scholarship. After attending the University of Wisconsin, he received his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Massachusetts. His 38-year career in academia included positions at Princeton University, the University of Connecticut and Columbia University, the latter where he served as department chair and is the Percy and Vida Hudson Professor Emeritus of Chemical Engineering.

An avid researcher, he served as major advisor to more than 50 MS and Ph.D. students, authored numerous patents and published 145 archival journal articles. His research accomplishments have been recognized with several awards: the Arthur K. Doolittle Award from the American Chemical Society, the Charles Stine award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the Distinguished Engineering Professorship from the University of Connecticut. He was elected to serve as the chair of the American Physical Society Division of Polymer Physics and chair of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Division of Material Science and Engineering and has also been elected as a fellow in both of these professional societies. His research activities have taken him all over the world and he is privileged to have lived in Quebec, France, Germany, and Japan during his career.

He has also had a distinguished teaching career, receiving four teaching awards: the American Cyanamid Academic Award and the Rogers teaching awards at the University of Connecticut; and the Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award and the Edward and Carole Kim Faculty Involvement Award from the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Prof. Koberstein married Linda Farmer in 1975 and has two children, both of whom are in the teaching profession: Nicholas Koberstein and Meghan Koberstein Silliman.

Melissa Maas (Ball) graduated from Menomonee Falls High School in 1997. Melissa, the owner of Bank of Flowers, grew up loving flowers and throughout her high school and college years, worked in local flower shops. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Melissa attended the Floral Design Institute in Seattle, WA receiving her Advanced Floral Certificate.

In 2004 at the age of 24, Melissa purchased Bank of Flowers in her hometown of Menomonee Falls and her dream became a reality. A year later she opened a second location in Pewaukee.

Melissa is a Certified Floral Designer (CFD) and an Accredited Member of the American Institute of Floral Design (AIFD). In addition to operating two flower shops, she has regularly designed floral arrangements featured in Premier Bride, Veil, Wisconsin Bride, and other national floral industry magazines. Melissa has served as President of the Teleflora Board of Wisconsin and as Director of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan Floral Association (WUMFA) where she helps organize seminars to further other florist’s education all over the Midwest. Melissa has been honored as the Young Person of The Year by WUMFA and received the Small Business of the Year Award from the Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce.

Melissa always says “My mission is to inspire the human spirit from soil to vase” and she does that by giving back whenever possible. Melissa especially enjoys working with North Middle School students and being able to share the lessons she’s learned from years of business ownership with tomorrows Menomonee Falls entrepreneurs. Melissa has served on the MFHS Scholarship Board and gives back to the community each year by organizing free flower arrangements to Veterans at the Milwaukee VA Hospital and local nursing homes. Melissa loves her hometown which is a great community to grow a small business and is filled with people that appreciate the unique floral designs her and her team strives to deliver all over town each and every day. A dream come true that she plans on living for many years to come.

Her main inspirations are her husband Tom Maas, a fellow 1998 Menomonee Falls alumnus, and their daughter and son.

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