The Beginning: In 1992, Technology Education Collegiate Association (TECA) students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout wanted to put on an event similar to the one run by Technology Education Teachers in the state of Minnesota. The TECA students at the time did not have the time or knowledge of writing such a proposal to raise the funds. A Graduate Student in the Master’s Degree program at UW-Stout at the time, Steve Hoersten, took on the task in the Fall of 1992. With the assistance of Dr. Kenneth Welty and Dr. Ed McDaniel (TECA Advisor in 1992), Steve submitted the proposal to the UW-Stout Foundation. The proposal was successful and TECA was awarded the funds needed to start the First HMV Competition. (Vague references to amount being $2,500.00)
First HMV Challenge: The first High Mileage Vehicle Challenge in Wisconsin was conducted by a handful of TECA students at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in the Technology Park in Menomonie, WI, in the Spring of 1993. UW-Stout TECA/HMV hosted 6 cars their first year on a very rainy day. The event did not generate enough money to sustain itself, however the start-up funds from the foundation offset most of the costs for their second year as well.
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Funding Early HMV: UW-Stout HMV was not self-sustaining the first few years through entry fees alone. With the help of Dr. Kenneth Welty, TECA advertised and sold “Motor Packs” along with curriculum to Wisconsin Technology Education Programs. The UW-Stout Technology Education department received a donation of several pallets of Small Motor Packs from a local industry. TECA advertised to WTEA Conferences and through WTEA Newsletters these “Motor Packs.” This promotion generated dozens of orders and TECA had all the money they needed to run the HMV with funds to spare. The sale of “Motor Packs” generated thousands of dollars for TECA. After several years, TECA eventually ran out of motor packs. However, the HMV Competition was then large enough to support itself annually through entry fees, shirt sales and consessions during the event.
Growth – Road America: In the years around 2000 and 2001, HMV began to grow beyond 40 cars at the UW-Stout TECA/HMV Challenge.
Growth – FVTC: The Fall of 2001, FVTC was approached by NE-Wisconsin schools asking if it would be possible to have an event “on this side of the state.” With collaboration from the TECA Students and Dr. Kenneth Welty at UW-Stout, the inaugural event went smoothly in the Spring of 2002. The first Fox Valley Technical College HMV Challenge was host to 17 High Mileage Vehicles on a very hilly and challenging course on the FVTC Campus. FVTC has been host to various strong supporters from the beginning including “Fox Valley Area Porsche Club” and “Miller Electric Manufacturing Co.” The Porshe Club provided countless hours of volunteers for inspections and competition time while Miller provided equipment and expertise in cutting and joining technology during both inspection and competition days. Other various student clubs and staff at FVTC have also been a mainstay in providing inspectors, recovery vehicle drivers and more. The event grew quickly and by the third year, the challenge day site had moved to an area that surrounded the college’s truck driving skid-pad in order to accomodate the volume of participants. With the addition of Wisconsin Electrathon teams in 2005, more complexity was taken on with the larger volume of the event. By 2007 the event organizers decided that the challenge day portion had outgrown the facilities and grounds on the campus of FVTC and moved that portion of the event to Wisconsin International Raceway (WIR) in Kaukauna, a fifteen minute drive from the college. The half-mile speedway was an instant hit with that year’s 63 registered vehicles. The speedway offers their facilities for the students to use at a very deep discount and FVTC and WEEVA are surely appreciative of that.
Wisconsin Supermileage Association (WSA) is formed: On May 29th, 2007 – the Wisconsin Supermileage Association was officially formed with Articles of Incorporation. This organization was created to help bring uniformity to the 3 events in the state, aligning registration forms and 1 set of rules. A website was purchased for wisconsinsupermileage.org
Name change – WEEVA: Shortly after WSA was created, the entity that was hosting the Electrathon events in Wisconsin (in conjunction with FVTC and RA events) asked WSA to take over that entity as well. So the board of directors looked at a name change to be more inclusive and chose “Wisconsin Energy Efficient Vehicle Association” or WEEVA, effective February 12th, 2008. A new website was later purchased as challengewisconsin.org
Growth – WI Dells: Special thanks to (at the time) Wisconsin Dells Tech Ed Teacher – Larry Martin, for coordinating this event in Wisconsin dells for 3 years. This event was the first in Wisconsin for a “Fall Event” for teams to compete. Hosted at Wisconsin Dells Speedway, and participated by a dozen cars annually – Wisconsin Dells event was short lived.
20 Year Anniversary
Growth – UW-Platteville: Special thanks to Dr. Frank Steck for starting up this event in coordination with the UW-Platteville Technology Education students. This event has been growing annually.
Growth – Autobahn Event: This new event was created in the Spring of 2017 by the hardwork of the D214 advisors. Their inaugural year was kept to mostly Illinois teams participating, and opened up to all WEEVA teams for the 2018 season.
ChallengeUSA is Created: during 2017, WEEVA began the process to once again change our name. This time with a larger scope and purpose to grow the organization to the Mid-West. Effective February 12th, 2018, new name is ChallengeUSA. A new website is unveiled in April of 2018 – challengeusa.org