Ward’s Balsam Beach Resort
700 State Road 46 North
PO Box 305
Balsam Lake, WI 54810

About Us

Ward’s Balsam Beach Resort has been a part of the Ward family for over 50 years. After being purchased by Dick and Mercedes Ward in 1953, the beautiful shoreline along the west edge of gorgeous Balsam Lake was soon booming with visitors from Rockford, IL, where they had moved from. Some of these families still visit today, with their children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren joining them. The resort is still owned by Ronald Ward, son of Dick & Merce, and his wife Stephanie. The resort is managed by Ronald’s son, Kyle, and his wife Dawn.

Though the homes on the resort have multiplied and expanded to make room for more generations of Wards and guests, the cabins remain rustic and charming—two originals on the point, Cabin #1 and Cabin #2, dating back over 100 years.


Founders of Ward's Resort: Mercedes & Dick Ward

Families from all over have made memories at this cozy resort, returning year after year, with generation after generation. Some strive to catch the much sought after walleyes Balsam Lake is famous for. Some prefer the quiet R&R found sitting on the bench swing or catching rays from the swim raft. Conversations around the campfire tell stories about the big one that got away, or some child’s first experiences on water skis. Whatever your pleasure, Ward’s Resort has some memories waiting for you.

If you prefer to be active, there are kayaks for rental, a sand volleyball pit horseback riding nearby, a golf course up the road, or take a walk or bike ride down the quiet side street appropriately named “Pleasant Avenue.”

Cabin 1

University of St. Thomas Family Business of the Year 2008: The Ward Family

RSW Management Inc. is in the business of investing in the future of companies, whether it is funding an entrepreneur's dream, investing and consulting with a company through a growth phase or helping a company through restructuring or distress. The foundation of the business is the Ward family.

In the early 1950s, Richard and Mercedes Ward purchased their family resort, the first business which was to become the beginning of the family-owned and run entrepreneurial business now known as RSW Management. All along, family involvement was the mission of the business.

As a company, RSW took off when Richard and Mercedes' son Ronald and his wife Stephanie took the innovative spirit developed in Ronald's first career as a successful oral and maxillofacial surgeon and dedicated it and their energies to the world of business. Ronald began purchasing growing and distressed companies, then invested money and his own brand of personal management in them. He also invested in many start-up companies that most banks would not finance. Today, the holdings of RSW span the nation in locations and span the spectrum of diversification in industries.

View the Video by University of St. Thomas

Ronald and Stephanie decided in 1994 to develop a succession plan to ensure that RSW would continue to be run by a Ward in the future. After investigating many business schools, they chose the University of St. Thomas as the school to best teach the principles of ethical business practices to their son, Peter Ward. As a student at UST, Peter and his family learned a lot about working as a business family through his course in family business management. Peter's family attended class with him. The class format allows for families to have discussions and plan actions for their business family.

After graduating UST in 1998, Peter joined RSW Management and began the process of formalizing a business plan which would give the company a road map for success far into the 21st century and the next generation of Wards. Today, leadership is split among third-generation siblings, all of whom come together with their mother and father for weekly meetings to discuss the business and keep the family organized.

View this Article on the University of St. Thomas website

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