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APR 16 - 29, 2018 » $3.25

W HO ’ S G O I N G T O R I D E T



$45 / person $360 / table of 8

LEADING THROUGH CHANGE Help us kick off the 14th annual BizExpo and join BizTimes Media and moderator Kimberly Kane for a candid conversation with a panel of the region’s business leaders as they talk about advancing change and growth in an organization. From the board level to company leadership, the panelists will discuss leading through change and issues related to culture, diversity, equality, innovation, and philanthropy and how this is important for the company, its employees, shareholders, customers and the community. Panelists: Margaret Farrow, Former Lieutenant Governor, Wisconsin & Corporate Director (1) Kim Metcalf-Kupres, Retired Vice President & CMO, Johnson Controls & Corporate Director (2) Coreen Dicus-Johnson, CEO & President, Network Health (3) Laurie Benson, Executive Director, Nurses on Boards & Corporate Director (4) Moderator: Kimberly Kane, President & Founder, Kane Communication Group (5)







Woman Executive of the Year: Juli Kaufmann, President, Fix Development BizTimes Milwaukee will present its 2018 Woman Executive of the year to Juli Kaufmann, president of Fix Development. Leveraging her more than two decades of nonprofit, corporate and entrepreneurial business expertise to advance Fix Development’s initiatives in and around Milwaukee, Juli has led numerous urban and rural development projects in Wisconsin.

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» APR 16 - 29, 2018

BizTimes Milwaukee (ISSN 1095-936X & USPS # 017813) Volume 24, Number 2, April 16, 2018 – April 29, 2018. BizTimes Milwaukee is published bi-weekly, except monthly in January, July and December by BizTimes Media LLC at 126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120, USA. Basic annual subscription rate is $42. Single copy price is $3.25. Back issues are $5 each. Periodicals postage paid at Milwaukee, WI and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send all UAA to CFS. NON-POSTAL AND MILITARY FACILITIES: Send address corrections to BizTimes Milwaukee, 126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120. Entire contents copyright 2018 by BizTimes Media LLC. All rights reserved.




16 Real Estate 31 International Trade 42 The Executive 57 Strategies



57 LEADERSHIP Joseph Weitzer 58 FAMILY BUSINESS David Borst 59 TIP SHEET

Who’s going to ride the streetcar?

61 BizConnections

Special Report 20 Transportation

In addition to the cover story, coverage includes an update on the bus rapid transit route planned from downtown to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center and a look at the fast-paced road construction projects around the Foxconn development.




414-273-3507 | / 3

Leading Edge




ATI to add 125 jobs to Cudahy plant By Arthur Thomas, staff writer Pittsburgh-based Allegheny Technologies Inc. plans to invest $95 million into its 1.4-millionsquare-foot plant in Cudahy to meet increased demand from the aerospace jet engine market. ATI purchased the former Ladish Co. Inc. in 2011 for nearly $900 million and rebranded the Cudahy operations as ATI Forged Prod-

ucts. The plant currently has about 700 employees and the project is expected to create another 125 positions. The project will include the addition of a fourth iso-thermal press to the Cudahy iso-thermal forging center and additional heat-treating capacity. It will take about three years to complete the

BY THE NUMBERS Foxconn has agreed to buy Los Angelesbased Belkin International for


$ 4 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

capital investment and fully qualify for aerospace-related production. “We continue to invest in our advanced forging capabilities in support of our aerospace customers’ ramp-up of next generation jet engine production,” said Rich Harshman, ATI’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “Once completed and fully qualified, this critical growth project will enable us to meet the increasing production requirements for existing long-term agreements with our engine OEM partners.” In landing the project, the Cudahy plant won out over ATI operations in North Carolina. In an interview, Harshman said those facilities make many of the raw materials that go into parts made in Cudahy. “If you think about it from a logistics standpoint, it would be very natural,” Harshman said of North Carolina. “The location (in Cudahy) is obviously where we have our existing capability … it was a natural place and location for us to put it, but it also needs to be competitive.” He credited the company’s unions for their willingness to restructure and extend their contracts to make the investment possible. “We made a lot of work rule changes that allowed us to be more productive,” said John

Minich, president of ATI Forged Products. “And because we were more productive, we were able to be more competitive globally.” “It wasn’t asking people to work for less money,” Harshman said. John Sims, ATI executive vice president for high performance materials and components, said employees at the plant and in the company have developed a reputation for quality work. “I’m carrying your reputation when I go and talk to these people,” Sims said of meeting with customers. “I can tell you, you’ve made my job easier.” To support the project, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is offering ATI $7 million in enterprise zone tax credits over the next seven years. Credits in the enterprise zone program are refundable, meaning the company could receive a payment from the state if the amount exceeds its tax liability. The exact amount of tax credits ATI will receive is dependent upon the number of jobs created and retained and the amount of capital actually invested. ATI is forecasting continued growth this year in its high performance materials and components segment, which includes the Cudahy operations. The improvement is being driven by a switch to next generation engines by commercial jet makers. n

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Mazorca serves up tacos in Walker’s Point ON AN EMPTY LOT at the busy intersection of South First Street and West Pittsburgh Avenue with trains passing overhead, the aluminum trailer with an affixed neon sign is serving a steady stream of customers seeking Mexican fare. While Wisconsin springtime temperatures may not be ideal for outdoor dining, taco fans nevertheless line up to be served. Inside, crew members craft handmade corn tortillas and assemble tacos. Mazorca taco truck, owned by Milwaukee native Jesus Gonzalez, has become a fixture in the Walker’s Point neighborhood. After attending culinary school and working for a few years in New York, Gonzalez returned to his hometown with the goal of opening his own food truck. After finding the right vehicle and location, Gonzalez opened Mazorca last summer. The trailer stays put on its lot, drawing in customers throughout the day, both during peak lunch hours and well into the evenings. Mazorca is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to midnight. The truck serves up four tacos – the al pastor, pork marinated in adobo with avocado and cilantro salsa; birria, braised beef with tomato salsa, pickled onions and cilantro; bistec, thinly sliced beef marinated in Wisconsin beer and served with beans and tomatillo salsa; and a vegetarian option, featuring muenster cheese, guacamole, tomatillo salsa and cilantro. n -Lauren Anderson / 5

Leading Edge

@BIZTIMESMEDIA – Real-time news


KORINTHIAN VIOLINS LLC 2900 S. Delaware Ave., Milwaukee NEIGHBORHOOD: Bay View FOUNDED: 2007 OWNER: Korinthia Klein and Ian Weisser EMPLOYEES: 5 PRODUCT: String instrument rentals, sales, lessons and repairs

How did you decide to open a violin shop? “I was working at another store where I learned repair and bow work. In 2006, my husband (Ian Weisser) was deployed. Our kids were 4, 2 and I was pregnant. It was unfeasible to work outside of the home with a toddler and a newborn. When my husband came back after 15 months, I didn’t have a job and he didn’t have a job, but we had some combat pay to play with so we thought we would give this a try.”



Breakfast & conversation with

Dennis Kois


How many instruments have you built? “Hmm… 16 or 17. I’m building one now for my oldest daughter. She has another couple of weeks to make a decision

what the back of the scroll will look like.” Do you have a favorite instrument you’ve built? “Part of the reason I went into violin making is my mother is an artist and there is something beautiful about making something and then seeing it when it is done. If you are lucky, each time you do it, it’s a little better every time. I built the viola I play in 2008. I like it very much, but when I’m sitting in orchestra, all I see are the things I didn’t do right that I got right the next time.” n

A recent survey of readers.

Do you plan to ride the downtown Milwaukee streetcar?




Did you always know you wanted to start your own business? “I grew up in Michigan and my parents had an art gallery. It was always an extension of our home. There was something so familiar and nice about that. I am a creative person and I knew what I wanted a violin store to be.”



MAY 2, 2018 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM

Milwaukee Public Museum 800 W. Wells St. - Milwaukee

Dennis Kois will share his experience in leading the Milwaukee Public Museum on the path to sustainability and innovation. 2018 Platinum Sponsors:

2018 Program Sponsor:

2018 Media Partner:


WWW.MMAC.ORG/CALENDAR.HTML 6 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Share your opinion! Visit to cast your vote in the next Biz Poll.


What problems should





president and CEO, Wigwam Mills Inc.

“Business leaders experience their fair share of sleepless nights thanks to immediate business challenges, issues and problems, but more of us should lose sleep over the decisions that affect the longer term. As leaders, we underestimate our impact on business processes, manufacturing and procedures and how they may be negatively or positively affecting the environment or our internal sustainability efforts. Sometimes, it is the simplest of course corrections that have the most significant and long-lasting impacts.”



chief executive officer, broker owner, Suzanne Powers Realty Group Inc.


“If you’re a small business owner, you must know your numbers inside and out. Every 30 days, review your P&L statement and meet with your accountant. The other important aspect is culture. Establishing and maintaining a positive culture is vital for continued success and growth, and creating that culture starts at the top.”


president and CEO, First Bank Financial Centre

“Never underestimate the value of a strong culture. Our mission statement, ‘Make Lives Better,’ is a bold declaration that our employees are empowered to help our customers and stakeholders. Without the opportunity to be a part of something greater than themselves, employees become disengaged and the business suffers.”



chair of SCORE SE Wisconsin and chair of Executive Agenda


“How to handle a person, activity or performance that needs to be confronted. Conflict is tough. No one wants to deal with it when you don’t have a replacement, so determine that something needs to be done and do it. You’ll feel much better about it.”


owner, Brew City Beer Gear Inc.


“Customer service is imperative these days, and there is also a large emphasis on internal company culture. I wholeheartedly agree with these key focuses. However, I have learned how vital it is to build sincere, mutually beneficial relationships with vendors/suppliers. These relationships are key to success for all.” n / 7

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Leading Edge

The latest area economic data.


The Milwaukee area was ranked the

place in the nation for millennials with student debt to live by New Yorkbased RewardExpert.



Wisconsin’s unemployment rate reached

in February, its lowest since data collection began in 1976.

April 5 - 29, 2018

An ode to youth, life, love and the mystery of human connection. 255 S Water St | Milwaukee, WI 53204 | 414.278.0765 |

The Milwaukee-area local manufacturing index for March was


Any reading greater than 50 indicates growth in the sector.

ABCD’S ANNUAL CELEBRATION Wednesday, May 30, 2018 | 5:30 p.m. InterContinental Milwaukee First Annual Melodie Wilson Oldenburg Visionary Award as well as Power of One-to-One Award will be presented For ticket, donation or sponsor information, please visit or call (414) 410-3211.


Southeastern Wisconsin winter home sales were up

from December through February, compared to the same period a year ago.


The Milwaukee metro area added 390 tech jobs in 2017, ranking it

for tech job growth, according to CompTIA. Thank you to our current sponsors

8 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018


LEADERSHIP: Steve Robinson, founder and CEO H E A D Q U A R T E R S: Milwaukee, virtual



WEBSITE: W H AT I T D O E S: AI and data analytics platform for marketers F O U N D E D: February 2017 E M P L OY E E S: Three N E X T G O A L S: Finishing product and getting more beta customers on board FUNDING: Boostrapped. Completing gBETA program in preparation to launch seed round.

Ferrite Labs applies AI to marketing By Molly Dill, staff writer

WHEN STEVE ROBINSON founded advertising agency Brilliant Metrics Inc. in 2014, he found available marketing technology tools were not up to snuff. “Most of the technology that’s out there, it’s very campaign-based,” he said. “It’s primarily focused on digital. It tries to tell you where you’re getting your revenue from, but it ends at that point. It doesn’t help a marketer improve, it just helps them justify the spend on a project.” Robinson wanted a tool that would go farther, telling the marketer how to improve and generate more revenue. So in 2017, he created another startup, Ferrite Labs LLC, to build the platform he envisioned. The company’s three employees have now created a beta version of the software and are testing and polishing it before doing a bigger marketing push this summer. The platform uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to help marketers optimize the tactics they use and bring continuous improvement methodology into their work. It provides three different metrics: the congruency, or whether the tactic used is reaching the intended audience; the statistical correlation between a tactic and a result to guide effective spending; and a comparison of multiple tactics to each other to see where to spend the most.

So far, Ferrite has one paid beta client, Milwaukee-based Hatco Corp., that generates its $2,400 in revenue per year, Robinson said. “They had been a Brilliant Metrics client, and so they knew the power of data analytics and knew where our tools fell short,” he said. Ferrite is targeting B2B clients that have a long customer journey, in industries such as automotive and health care. The platform is offered on a monthly subscription model. The company is in the process of completing gener8tor’s gBETA program, which will help build its network of mentors, entrepreneurs, angel investors, venture capitalists and technologists. “We anticipate at some point raising some seed capital, so we’re trying to leverage the program to get as investment-ready as possible,” Robinson said. Ferrite plans to use the funding to scale its software beyond minimum viable product and ramp up its sales and marketing. “This is a rapidly growing space with a huge addressable market,” Robinson said. “Most of the marketing service providers in this area are moving more into that attribution modeling. They’re zigging and we’re zagging and we’re going in the other direction and providing real diagnostic tools.” n / 9

Leading Edge





PR E SI DEN T A N D CEO, R E V GRO U P I N C . Tim Sullivan, president and chief executive officer of REV Group Inc., recently gave the keynote address at BizTimes Media’s annual M&A Forum at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. Sullivan has made 21 acquisitions during his career, four of which were in the past 12 months. He guided South Milwaukee-based Bucyrus International Inc. through its $7.6 billion sale to Caterpillar Inc. in 2011. n

“Do not overpay. That’s a tough one. You see it, you see what the end game could be, you see what the integration could be and you say, ‘Oh, it’s just another $5 million, it’s just another $10 million.’”



I T:





“Move expeditiously. We close deals in 60 to 90 days. We have a saying, ‘Excellent is the enemy of good.’”

“We don’t get rid of anybody (when REV acquires a company). Everyone always looks at the ‘human synergies.’ Those will sort themselves out with time. If you’re trying to justify an acquisition with human synergies, you’re making a huge mistake.”

“We’ve got 78 employees here in Milwaukee now and that’s going to grow. Eventually we’ll bring manufacturing to Wisconsin. We manufacture everywhere else, why not here?”

“The one thing that we had at Bucyrus that I missed was hyper-growth – growth at a breakneck speed. I don’t know how to explain it, it’s like this constant feeling of anxiety. I’d show up for work every day at the controls of a runaway train. That’s what Bucyrus was.” “When we sold Bucyrus, I remember (MMAC president) Tim Sheehy said, ‘I’m one of the happiest guys in Milwaukee right now. I bought a bunch of your stock. I just made a ton of money. This is really great.’ Then he said, ‘This is also a very sad day. This is the third corporate headquarters that has left Milwaukee in 10 days.’ That haunted me, and so when I was running Gardner Denver, I brought (the headquarters to Milwaukee). And we’ll be two years in Milwaukee come June with REV. I talked to Sheehy and he said, ‘Well that’s good, you got two. We’re looking for the hat trick.’”

10 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018



DAVE CICCANTELLI ASSISTED LIVING LOCATORS OF WAUKESHA THE FRANCHISE: Scottsdale, Arizona-based Assisted Living Locators provides placement and referral services for seniors and their families seeking senior housing. Founded in 2003 and franchising since 2006, it has about 64 U.S. franchises.

“There was a lot of terminology being thrown around and we were wondering, ‘What exactly does he need?’ I think that’s what a lot of people face these days is, ‘I’ve got so many choices, where do I go with this?’”

MAY 2017 Ciccantelli is laid off from his job at Fiserv Inc. in Brookfield. He had worked as an IT developer at Fiserv for about 30 years. At the same time, Ciccantelli’s 97-year-old father is in need of assisted living placement. JULY 2017 After attending a presentation by franchise consultant Perry Zukowski of FranNet of Wisconsin, Ciccantelli decides to investigate franchising. Zukowski suggests a few franchise opportunities to him.

“The more I delved into what Assisted Living Locators was about, the more it seemed to resonate with me.”

NOVEMBER 2017 Ciccantelli attends training at the Assisted Living Locators headquarters in Scottsdale. He develops an assessment he administers based on a person’s medical needs, the family’s finances and their desired location. Then, he matches the senior with three or four possibilities and goes on tours with them. DECEMBER 2017 Assisted Living Locators of Waukesha officially launches. The service is free to seniors and their families. Ciccantelli is working to develop contracts with all the assisted living facilities in his territory to establish referral fees.

“I don’t limit myself to any (particular facilities), although there’s some that are more on my go-to list than others. You don’t really know what a client might need until they come to you.”

THE FRANCHISE FEE The initial fee to open an Assisted Living Locators franchise is $49,500, and there is an additional $3,000 marketing package the company provides.. / 11

BizNews FEATURE STORY Justin Carlisle (left) and Karen Bell (right)

Supporting, not competing, for the top Bell and Carlisle named finalists for James Beard Best Chef award By Maredithe Meyer, staff writer WISCONSIN’S FOOD SCENE was well-represented when the James Beard Foundation earlier this year announced the semifinalists for its Restaurant and Chef Awards. The state boasted 10 nominations for the categories of Outstanding Restaurant, Outstanding Restaurateur and Best Chef Midwest. Of those 10 nominees, six represented Milwaukee. Then, last month, when the competition narrowed from 450 semifinalists down to just more than 100 finalists, two Milwaukee-based chefs advanced – representing the entire state as they joined a cohort of 50 chefs considered to be the best in the country, at least this year. Karen Bell, owner of Bavette La Boucherie in the Third Ward, and 12 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Justin Carlisle, owner of Ardent on Milwaukee’s East Side, are among five finalists, selected from a group of 20, for this year’s Best Chef Midwest award. They are up against three Minneapolis-based chefs – Steven Brown of Tilia, Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable, and Ann Kim of Young Joni – for this paramount honor in culinary excellence. For industry leaders, winning a James Beard award doesn’t mean scoring a cash prize or appearing on a reality TV cooking show – the reward arguably runs deeper than that. Achieving this national recognition, and even a nomination, brings peer validation, media attention and, of course, more patronage. After all, the awards are widely known as the “Oscars”

of the food and beverage world. But for Bell and Carlisle – both Wisconsin-born chefs who left the state early in their careers to gain national and global food industry experience – it means working together, not against each other, toward a common goal. That is, putting Milwaukee’s evolving food and restaurant scene on the map for the nation to see. “To be recognized in smaller cities or in up-and-coming cities like Milwaukee where, lets be straightforward, many people don’t expect that we have the evolved culinary scene that we actually do – really means a lot to us,” said Carlisle, who also owns The Laughing Taco in Walker’s Point and Red Light Ramen on Milwaukee’s East Side. “It’s a chance

to show the outside world that we are developing, that we are a city that has a lot of amazing things, and that the restaurant community here is like no other.” Carlisle has been around this block before – four other times, to be exact. He was named a finalist for Best Chef Midwest in 2015, 2016 and 2017. And in 2014, just five months after he opened Ardent, the upscale eatery was named a semifinalist for Best New Restaurant, a national recognition. Bell, on the other hand, is a first-time James Beard award finalist. She was a semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest last year, but didn’t advance to the next round. “I think we’ve had a really good food scene for a while, but it’s just taking time to get that recognition outside of Milwaukee,” Bell said. “If you’re not familiar with the city, you might not actually know what’s going on here.” Now in the running for the second consecutive year, she said the pressure that comes along with the nomination pushes her to work harder. In 2013, Bell opened her restaurant and butcher shop Bavette La Boucherie, located at 330 E. Menomonee St. Her original intent was to sell locally-sourced, sustainably-raised wholesale meat while serving a limited selection of sandwiches, cheese and charcuterie. Five years later, the restaurant has grown more than she ever expected. “A butcher shop with a small café – that was my idea when we first opened – and now we are a restaurant with a small butcher shop,” she said. Bell opened Bavette with a mission to practice whole animal butchery – a traditional, more sustainable method of butchery that uses every part of an animal. She

said her interest was sparked by a national resurgence of the method around the time she opened Bavette – not to mention her previous six-year stint as a chef and restaurant owner in Madrid, Spain, where whole animal butchery is an industry norm, she said. Available as wholesale and on the menu, Bavette’s meat selection is sourced from several farms and vendors across the state, including CDK Ranch in Lena, Illinois, Kirschbaum Family Farms in Kewaskum, Pinn Oak Ridge Farm in Delavan and Dominion Valley Farm in Allenton. Bell also sources fruit and vegetables from about 10 produce farms throughout the year. With the restaurant’s casual fare, including meat-focused sandwiches, soups and salads, Bell said she doesn’t consider her restaurant a “fine dining” establishment. But, with a passion for the farm-totable idea, she has built a culture

that says otherwise. “Whenever I interview a cook I tell them, ‘Even though you’re making a sandwich, in my eyes, it’s not just a sandwich,’” she said. “Everything we get comes from a farm and I have a personal relationship with that farmer who worked really hard to produce the best product to give to us. We will, in turn, respect that, respect the product, respect the producer, and do our very best to turn out our best product.” Similar to Bell, Carlisle has built his own farm-to-table concept, now five years old, on his interest in locally-sourced food and his close ties with those who produce it – and those ties run deep. Many ingredients and products used at Ardent, from the beef and vegetables down to the napkins and aprons, are sourced from Carlisle Farms, his parents’ beef farm and his childhood

home, located near Sparta. “(The nomination) is very much about my family and not about myself,” he said. “I think people know by now that I’m not the guy cooking everything every single night. It takes a very well-oiled and educated, outstanding group of people to produce this on a daily basis.” Maybe the fifth time will be the charm for Carlisle and his team. And even after coming up short for four consecutive years, he’s just happy to have made it this far. “We’re still one of the best restaurants in the entire United States,” he said. “Having this year after year after year says that we’re not a one-time show.” The award winners will be announced on May 7 at the James Beard Awards gala in Chicago. Until then, and regardless of the result, Milwaukee’s own James Beard finalists say they will play for

the same team. “There is no competition here,” Carlisle said. “I think the competition is to support each other to stay open, to stay moving forward, and to be able to produce the atmospheres and environments that we want. We are, in my mind, very supportive of each other.” Bell said she is rooting for her co-finalist throughout this last round of the competition, and that she hopes he wins the award. According to both chefs, that supportive mentality is just the reality for chefs and restaurateurs within the greater food and restaurant community in Milwaukee. “The collaboration and support is amazing,” Bell said. “Everyone is so supportive of everyone else. It’s not a competition thing and I don’t think it even needs to be because there are enough diners to support all of the great restaurants in this city.” n / 13


Cameras, sensors offer EmbedTek a return to growth PEWAUKEE-BASED EMBEDTEK was one of the fastest-growing manufacturers in the region in the first part of the decade. The company went from just a few employees in 2010 to more than $20 million in revenue by 2014. EmbedTek grew by combining engineering with manufacturing touchscreen display and controls products. Growth, however, has slowed over the past few years as U.S. military budgets for training and equipment have been consumed by operations, said Dan Aicher, chief executive officer of EmbedTek. “We didn’t shrink as a company, but that consumed other growth,” Aicher said, noting the company’s military-related business, which represented about 30 percent of sales, was basically zeroed out. But EmbedTek has been able to return to growth by continuing to emphasize its engineering and manufacturing capabilities. “We’ve won a lot of new business, particularly in medical equipment and some of the industrial and security spaces where we’re leveraging our expertise in cameras and sensors and analytics,” Aicher said. Examples of newer products include license plate readers and a high-speed counter that replaces a laser-based system. In some ways, the products the company designs and builds haven’t changed that much. They are still often a non-descript box with an embedded computer. When they’re coming together in EmbedTek’s manufacturing cells, it is hard to see the three years of work that went into making the product a reality. “We’re just much deeper into the 14 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

creation of the technology itself,” Aicher said. For cameras in particular, the past several years have seen a steady decrease in prices, combined with improved performance, resulting in more potential applications for the technology. EmbedTek has been able to use commercial off-the-shelf cameras and sensors instead of sourcing proprietary systems, making the buildout more affordable and opening up more potential applications “You stack up these royalties you have to pay and all the sudden your camera is $8,000 (but) when you peel back the core technology, you have $100 of material in there,” Aicher said of the more proprietary systems. EmbedTek specializes in creatively using components and optimizing them for particular applications, but Aicher said building in software and analytics behind those components is the key. “We can leverage on success to another in a way that we continue to build on the expertise that we have and it makes for a pretty compelling story,” he said. Combining manufacturing with development and engineering capabilities has helped EmbedTek. The company primarily serves businesses in the industrial automation, medical equipment, and military and security markets, each of which presents opportunities for EmbedTek to bring its expertise to bear. “We know that there are applications in those markets for a lot of the capabilities that we have,” Aicher said. “These are difficult capabilities to find. I’ve tried to find companies that do what we do and it’s really kind of difficult.”

A license plate reader is assembled at EmbedTek’s facility on Bluemound Road.


N7 W23700 Bluemound Road, Suite 100, Pewaukee INDUSTRY: Embedded computing EMPLOYEES: 85

EmbedTek goes after not just the engineering or design work, but also the opportunity to build ongoing revenue with manufacturing. “We look at applications where there’s scale and volume to them and that’s part of how we select what engagements we’ll take on,” Aicher said. “Our business is predicated on sustainable revenue, that we win programs and they stack on each other and we build the scale of the business.” Even though EmbedTek works with customers that have sophisticated manufacturing operations of their own, the company has invested in being able to assemble, test, package and distribute for customers, Aicher said. “We’re doing it because of the nature of the technology in there, the complexity of it, and the supply chain is something we’re more adept at managing and manufacturing,” he added. One frustration for Aicher has been the inability to source the components EmbedTek needs domestically, much less locally.

“Even cables, film layers, adhesives for adhering panels, there was no supply chain to support this kind of business in the United States and what there was was very poorly informed,” he said. Aicher said he is hopeful the arrival of Foxconn Technology Group, with which EmbedTek has long done business, will bring component suppliers to the U.S. and make it easier to source components domestically. n


P / 414-336-7123 E / T / @arthur8823



EXPERTS TO SHARE SECRETS TO FAST-GROWTH SUCCESS Congratulations to the 2018 Bravo! Entrepreneur & I.Q. (Innovation Quotient) award winners. Join us to celebrate the entrepreneurs and innovators whose ideas and hard work make Milwaukee a better place. BizTimes’ Bravo! Entrepreneur & I.Q Awards honor the region’s most creative and successful entrepreneurs, as well as the most innovative products, services and processes developed by Southeastern Wisconsin companies. Prior to the awards program, four Milwaukee entrepreneurs will share their secrets to success. The panelists will address the factors that helped drive their companies’ rapid growth—and how they addressed growing pains. Panelists: Elmer Moore, Executive Director, Scale Up Milwaukee, Founder, Milwaukee Denim Co. (1) Kurt Heikkinen’s, President & CEO, Montage (2) Dave Durand, CEO, Best Version Media (3) Joseph Taylor, Partner, Penrod Software (4) Moderator: Molly Dill, Managing Editor, BizTimes Media (5)

$55 / person $440 / table of 8

MEET THE 2018 WINNERS! I.Q. Awards for Innovation: AddeoFit Containers Up Design Fugitives Francis Investment Counsel Hamacher Resource Group, Inc. Hydro Electronic Devices, Inc. Milwaukee County Remedy Analytics WorkWise

Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards: Kate Brewer, Greenfield Rehabilitation Agency Erik Dorfner, Westallion Brewing Company Dave Durand, Best Version Media Todd Muderlak, Xela Innovations, LLC Troy Vosseller, gener8tor Faye Wetzel, Faye’s Women’s Boutiques Chris Widmayer, Penrod Software, LLC Kay Yuspeh, Elite Sports Clubs

Regional Spirit Award: 1





Jeremy Fojut, Newaukee

Lifetime Achievement Award Tim Keane This year’s Bravo! Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Tim Keane. Keane is the founder and director of Golden Angels Investors, an angel investment firm focused on capital formation for Midwestern entrepreneurs. He previously founded and served as chief executive officer of Retail Target Marketing Systems, which is now a unit of FIS. Keane mentors entrepreneurs throughout the Midwest to help drive their growth.

Presented By:

Sponsored By:

Event Partner:

Real Estate

@BIZTIMESMEDIA – Real-time news

In fall 2017, Zilber purchased the former John Deere distribution center in Janesville. The 489,000-square-foot industrial building sits on 61 acres.

I-43: The next hot corridor?

WHEN JAMES YOUNG joined Milwaukee’s JLL office earlier this year to lead the firm’s industrial team, one of the first things brokers in the Chicago office asked him about was the I-43 corridor. For the past decade, momentum has grown along the I-94

north-south corridor, with several companies from Illinois moving north of the state line and bringing hundreds of jobs with them. What brokers and developers are beginning to discover is the I-43 corridor from New Berlin to Janesville could offer employers the same benefits. “There is a lot of land, the communities have good workforces and the corridor is set up great for trucking,” Young said. “So what is one more freeway interchange down the road?” Milwaukee-based Zilber Property Group has been bullish on the I-43 corridor for some time. In late March, the company bought out its partner, the Luterbach family, to acquire full ownership of the Towne Corporate Park in New Berlin in a $29.2 million deal. The six-building business park, at I-43 and South Moorland Road, totals 430,000 square feet and is fully occupied. In fall 2017, Zilber purchased the former John Deere distribution center in Janesville. The 489,000-square-foot industrial building sits on 61 acres and can be expanded to 1.1 million square


ADDRESS: 518-22 N. Water St., Milwaukee BUYER: Joshua Jeffers SELLER: Richard Meeusen SALE PRICE: $1.4 million 16 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Prolific Milwaukee developer Josh Jeffers purchased a 128-year-old downtown Milwaukee building in late March for $1.4 million. The four-story building, located at 518-22 N. Water St., was sold to Jeffers by RAM Real Estate Holding LLC, a company registered to Rich Meeusen, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Brown Deer-based Badger Meter Inc. The sale gives Jeffers another property on the block, where he owns several. Jeffers is planning a seven-story mixed-use building next to the historic Mackie and Button Block buildings on the block. The project, to be called Broadway Connection, will be built at 511 N. Broadway, which is currently a parking lot at the northwest corner of East Clybourn Street and North Broadway. The Water Street Building has 16,592 square feet of space and has an assessed value of $1.12 million, according to city records. Its tenants include Fire on Water, M13 Graphics and PinIt Live. The building also has seven residential apartments. The building is in “really good condition,” Jeffers said, and no major changes are planned. “It’s a long-term hold for us,” he said.

bor force within a 30-mile radius.” Another area of interest along the I-43 corridor has been Mukwonago. The village has been working with Greenfield-based Anderson Commercial Group LLC for more than two years to market key sites for retailers and manufacturers, while at the same time marketing itself as a business-friendly community. A large parcel known as the Sugden property was sold to the village in late March for $3.3 million. It will be used for a business park at I-43 and Highway 83. C.I. Banker Wire & Iron Works Inc. will jump start the park with a 190,000-square-foot facility there later this year. “Everyone is chasing employees and where populations are growing is where employers will want to be,” Kleber said. “Mukwonago is a growing area.” In Elkhorn, New Berlin-based plastic container manufacturer Schoeneck Containers Inc. is planning a large industrial building. Schoeneck Containers has filed documents with the state saying it plans to build a 250,777-squarefoot industrial building on about 38 acres at the interchange of I-43 and Highway 67. “If the market continues to be this strong, companies will have to go further out to get the product they want,” Young said. “It’s really only an extra few minutes to go from Mukwonago to the airport versus Pewaukee to the airport, so this is very viable long term – as long as the market stays healthy.” n


feet, said Michael Kleber, director of leasing for Zilber. “We have bookends with the New Berlin park and 61 acres in Janesville,” Kleber said. Since the purchase, Zilber has prepared the building to be re-leased. Zilber is planning two 150,000-square-foot industrial buildings adjacent to the former distribution center. Depending on leasing, those buildings could be constructed in late 2018 or 2019, Kleber said. The site, at 2900 Beloit Ave., is located 76 miles from Milwaukee, 40 miles from Madison and 109 miles from Chicago. In addition to its proximity to I-43, it is also located along the I-39 corridor, which is where Dollar General constructed a 1 million-square-foot distribution center in 2017. “Once I started looking down there, I was pleasantly surprised,” Kleber said. “There were so many well-known corporate flags outside of office buildings. This is a border city, there is great freeway connectivity and Rock County has an engaged economic development director.” Jeff Hoffman, a partner with Cushman & Wakefield | The Boerke Co. in Milwaukee, said the I-43/39 corridor in southeastern Wisconsin has differentiated itself from the metro Milwaukee marketplace by being able to deliver 20-plus-acre industrial parcels that have all utilities and entitlements in place at a fraction of the cost of locating in the Milwaukee/Chicago area. One example he pointed to was the City of Janesville’s Community Development Authority advertising one of its business parks for $35,000 per acre for fully improved industrial land with immediate access to I-39. A comparable site in Kenosha County would be going for closer to $150,000 per acre, Hoffman said. “I am curious as to how the people/wage dynamic will hold up in this corridor,” Hoffman said. “The total labor force available within a 30-mile radius of Beloit is estimated to be 520,000 people, compared to Kenosha, which has access to a 1.77 million-person la-

A. WERNER SILVERSMITHS Adolf Werner opened his Silversmith shop 130 years agoafter arriving in Milwaukee from Austria. Four generations later, A. Werner Silversmiths remains on North Water Street. The 1,998-square-foot, two-story building is sandwiched between A.J. Bombers to the north and a small parking lot to the south. Werner’s son, Leo, took the reins in 1940 and guided the business until his death in 1954, when it was turned over to Douglas Wied, who had begun an apprenticeship two years earlier, according to the company’s website. Today, Douglas’ sons, Dennis and Michael Wied, operate the business. ADDRESS: 1241 N. Water St. OWNER: Dennis & Laureen Wied and Michael & Heather Wied ASSESSED: $167,000 ($120,000 for the land)

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of Milwaukee May 5, 2018 | Walk - 10 a.m.


P / 414-336-7116 E / T / @CorriHess

Join us for the American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk to help save lives, celebrate survivors, and honor loved ones lost. 1.800.227.2345 ©2018, American Cancer Society, Inc. No. 031334 / 17



THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2018 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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T G O R ID E N I O G S ’ O H W T




By Mo lly Dil l, staf

20 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

f writ er



s the streetcar rolled off a truck onto the tracks on West St. Paul Avenue in downtown Milwaukee on March 26, onlookers scrambled to record the moment. It has been such a long time coming that Milwaukee’s streetcar arriving in the steel hardly seemed real. Bystanders watched the 40-ton, 67-foot articulated vehicle’s maiden voyage near the Milwaukee Intermodal Station to its parking spot in the streetcar maintenance facility at 450 N. Fifth St. in preparation for 621 miles of testing before passengers can ride. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett acknowledged the project had been arduous and there were plenty of critics, but with characteristic optimism, he hoped to convince them of its greatness. “My hope is that we’ll win over, not all the critics, but we’ll win over many of the critics when they see how well this runs, when they see how many people are utilizing it,” Barrett said. Alderman Bob Donovan, one of the project’s biggest critics, describes the streetcar as a “solution in search of a problem.” “I never supported it from day one, primarily because the city is faced with a variety of challenges in our neighborhoods that remain unaddressed, higher priorities than a streetcar,” Donovan said. “I think in the long run we’re going to be paying dearly for this. The maintenance cost, the operational cost, we don’t know necessarily where that money is going to come from.” Regardless of the politics, now that it’s here, the question is: Who is going to ride the streetcar? And how will it fit into daily life in downtown Milwaukee?

Sponsorship & ridership

The City of Milwaukee estimates the Phase 1 route will provide 1,850 rides per day and about 595,000 rides per year in its first full year of operation in 2019. The route is meant to complement existing bus lines and bike share stations and improve mobility around the downtown area. Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has agreed to foot the bill for the first year’s fares as part of a $10 million, 12-year deal that includes prominent logos on the streetcar’s exterior. The streetcar is designed to allow users to “park once” along the route and then take the streetcar to different destinations downtown or in the Third Ward. Streetcar supporter Alderman Bob Bauman, who represents the downtown area, described an example of a user who wants to get dinner at the Calderone Club on North Old World Third Street, see a show at the Skylight Theater in the Third Ward, and grab a drink afterward at Victor’s on North Van Buren Street. Bauman also envisioned residents using the streetcar for pub crawls, or tourists taking the Lakefront Line to Discovery World or the Milwaukee Art Museum. Professionals from Chicago visiting their company’s Milwaukee office might take the streetcar from the Intermodal Station to the U.S. Bank Center or Northwestern

The first streetcar vehicle arrives in Milwaukee.

Mutual Tower & Commons. “I suspect you’re going to see heavy usage by downtown residents, by downtown workers over the noon hour and after work,” Bauman said. “I think you’re going to see a lot of tourists and visitors using it, without question. Tourism is not a bad thing. Tourism generates a lot of income for people.” Ghassan Korban, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of Public Works, expects riders to take the streetcar to and from the Intermodal Station. “We hope it’s tourists, we hope it’s residents (who ride the streetcar), we hope it’s employees who just come downtown for work and hopefully enhance or encourage their mobility during the

they’re going to start getting excited about it. Now you have a streetcar that’s running. Let’s take advantage of it.” Initially, they expect there to be a surge of curiosity, followed by a drop-off, which they have taken into account in their ridership projections. The real sticking point will be when the free rides end at the conclusion of Potawatomi’s sponsorship on September 1, 2019. Railroad fan Tom Burke drove up from Fox River Grove, Illinois to see the arrival of the first streetcar March 26, with plans to return when he can ride it. He expects mainly tourists to use the routes. “I think it will be nice, especially if they can extend it out to Summerfest and over to Marquette

“Now you have a streetcar that’s running. Let’s take advantage of it.” — Ghassan Korban, Milwaukee Department of Public Works

lunch hour. Maybe after work to just hop on it, get somewhere, run some errands and come back to either their workplace or wherever they happen to be parked,” Korban said. While the 2.1-mile route isn’t the longest, this is a starter system that aims to be a proving ground, said Jeff Polenske, Milwaukee city engineer. “The whole idea of being in the downtown was to demonstrate all the very positive impacts that a streetcar can provide to a community,” he said. Korban and Polenske aren’t worried about getting support now that the streetcar is here. “People forget pain and people forget the inconvenience that they went through on a project,” Korban said. “They’re going to start believing and

and over to UW-Milwaukee. Right now, it’s kind of limited in terms of the loop that it does,” Burke said. Greg Paules, who works for the Department of Transportation at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station, came by because he was curious to see it. “I’ve been excited about this happening for a while, so I wanted to get a first glimpse of it, check it out,” Paules said. “I live about a mile-and-a-half from here and we’re on one of the proposed expanded routes, so I’m really hoping that happens. I think that’d be fun to ride it to work or something.” And he would use the streetcar to get around for more than just work. “Especially with the first year being free, I plan to be on that thing a lot, hopefully,” Paules said. / 21


Logistics Four more streetcar vehicles will arrive from Pennsylvania manufacturer Brookville Equipment Corp. through August, with the system expected to open to the public in late fall. The City of Milwaukee has secured the operator, TransDev Services Inc., and is beginning to hire and train streetcar operators. At the same time, it plans to train the public on life with a streetcar. With the help of marketing firm 2-Story Creative Ltd., the city plans to undertake a public information campaign to let businesses, residents and visitors alike know more about the vehicles and how they operate. The streetcar vehicle mostly shares lanes with vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians, who should treat it just like a large vehicle, Korban said. In some spots, it has a dedicated lane. The streetcar obeys the speed limit and traffic signals, has a horn and can extend green lights in some instances. The city plans to install signage along the route to instruct vehicles and bicycles on interacting with the system, and route

“If you have a transit system that connects nothing to nowhere, don’t be surprised if no one rides it. It’s not rocket science,” Anderson said. “If you have a transit system where you have a lot of people around it and it connects them to places they want to go, then you’re going to have a lot of people ride it. “Getting the right kind of development happening around the transit line is a big deal. Understanding that basically, you’re trying to create walkable, mixed-use, vibrant areas along the corridor the streetcar’s going to serve.” Portland, Oregon’s streetcar, installed in 2001, is hailed as the shining example of a modern streetcar. It transports 4.6 million riders annually on a 7.2-mile network and has driven $4.5 billion in additional market value along the route since 1998, according to economic consulting firm ECONorthwest. “That’s when we’ve seen it be successful in creating jobs and creating new economic activity is when the public sector is cognizant that they’re trying to create a magnet to organize private sector development around,” Anderson said. A city similar in size to Milwaukee, Kansas City, Missouri, has also installed a successful system. Kansas City’s 2-mile streetcar opened in 2016,

Future Arena

Pabst Brewery Complex

BMO Harris Bradley Center

Milwaukee Theatre

“T hat’s when we’ve seen it be successful in creating jobs

and creating new economic activity is when the public sector is cognizant that they’re trying to create a magnet to organize private sector development around.”

UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena Milwaukee Public Museum

Milwaukee Central Library

Wisconsin Center

— Geoff Anderson, Smart Growth America

information signs will also be posted at stops. Parking is not expected to be heavily impacted by the route. The hours of operation will be 5 a.m. to midnight Monday through Saturday and 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays, with potential adjustments based on demand, Korban said. The hope of supporters is the streetcar becomes an everyday part of life in Milwaukee. “Our job is to make it very simple to use, very clean, very attractive, very safe and organically, it is just going to become part of the culture and part of what people are accustomed to,” Korban said.

Other cities’ experiences

Other cities that have installed streetcars in recent years can provide some clues about how the Milwaukee streetcar may be used. Cities that get streetcars right realize they are about concentrating new economic activity in an area and attracting talent to the same spot, said Geoff Anderson, president and chief executive officer of Smart Growth America, a Washington, D.C. nonprofit that advocates for thoughtful urban expansion. 22 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

and more than 3 million trips have been taken since. The initial route runs from its Union Station through downtown to the River Market North dining and shopping area. Two extensions have been proposed. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has supported the streetcar’s development, said Pam Whiting, vice president of communications at the chamber. “We saw it as first helping to move people and to connect people with our downtown area, which has been undergoing a great revitalization,” Whiting said. “The second reason that we supported it and continue to support it is because of the economic development that typically follows a fixed line. And that’s been proven to be true in that we’ve had more than $2 billion – that’s billion with a ‘b’ – in development along the streetcar line.” Additional development is already being floated along the proposed extensions. “It’s wildly beyond expectations,” she said. “As our downtown has redeveloped, a lot of people are using it to get to work and are giving up their cars and we see people from out of town using it, as well as people in town.”


Milwaukee Intermodal Station

St. Louis has had a bumpier path to unveiling its streetcar, which was due to open in fall 2017, but delayed by several months. The refurbishment of the historic streetcars took longer than expected and the employees hired for the system became a drain on the system’s resources, said Joe Edwards, the business executive who has championed the streetcar route. St. Louis company Clayco stepped up and donated $500,000 in gap funding to move the project toward completion recently. Edwards expects


How it’s funded

$3.5 MILLION ANNUAL OPERATIONS FEDERAL: Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant covers 80%

FEDERAL:Â $54.9 million in ICE funding

of 18 months of pre-revenue costs

FEDERAL: $14.2 million TIGER VII grant

FEDERAL: CMAQ grant anticipated for 18 months of revenue service

LOCAL: $9.7 million from Cathedral Square TID

LOCAL: Potawatomi to cover fares for first year

LOCAL: $18.3 million by amending Erie Street TID to 19 years

LOCAL: Other corporate sponsorships for stations and routes

East Pointe LOCAL: $31 million from 19-year East Michigan TID

LOCAL: Advertising on side of streetcar


Metro Market

Turner Hall Ballroom

Marcus Center

Milwaukee Historical Society

City Hall Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Pabst Theater

Milwaukee County War Memorial

Milwaukee Art Museum


Riverside Theater


Betty Brinn Children’s Museum

Shops of Grand Avenue

MCTS Discovery World

Couture (Planned)

Milwaukee Public Market

Henry Maier Festival Park




Greyhound Amtrak

the streetcar to open in about two months, and the projected ridership to be 350,000 per year. The 2.2-mile route is called the Delmar Loop, and is designed to connect residents and visitors to restaurants, shopping, entertainment and the popular attractions in Forest Park. “I think a lot of St. Louisans will (ride it) just for fun because there’s nothing like riding something on rails. And then the visitors to St. Louis will like it a lot,� Edwards said. “I think local residents and business people will, too, because they’ll be able to take

MetroLink (light rail) here and not have to drive, not have to park. And a lot of younger people and retirees appreciate livable, walkable communities.� St. Louis has seen additional development along its route already, he said. A $66 million, 14-story apartment building and a $100 million redevelopment project were attributed to its being built. In Dallas, where a 2.4-mile streetcar line was installed in 2015 to connect the Oak Cliff neighborhood over a bridge to downtown, the city, like Milwaukee, also chose Brookville cars.

“They put in a streetcar that actually is battery powered when it goes over that bridge because it’s a historic bridge and residents didn’t want to see the catenaries on it,� said Dallas council member Lee Kleinman. “Because we ended up with this hybrid electric battery-operated model, the first year they had some tweaks to work out,� but the Brookville cars have generally been problem-free, he said. Kleinman said the streetcar has had generally positive acceptance, ridership has gradually been increasing, economic development has picked / 23

STORY COVER up in the Oak Cliff neighborhood, and the city is talking about adding another segment to connect the Oak Cliff line to its heritage line on the other side of downtown. “In Oak Cliff, we have seen a lot of development. New restaurants, new multi-family development and other ones on the way,” he said. “That’s what it was intended to do.”

Economic development

A vital component of the success of the streetcar is how it impacts economic development in the corridor it travels, stakeholders say. Maintenance facility

Intermodal Station

development will also be a centerpiece of the streetcar’s transportation network, Marcoux said. He’s not worried about the project’s delays. “The Lakefront Line is already under construction,” he said. “(Developer Rick Barrett) will get the building out of the ground this year and that will allow plenty of time for The Couture to open and also the Lakefront Line to open.” “Regarding the streetcar, that we’re preparing right now to have that operable by the year 2020 and we’re tracking on that timeframe,” Rick Barrett said. “It’s actually in following with the original timeframe and we are waiting for our information on financing back with (an application for a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Post office

Milwaukee Public Market

project now that it’s here. “The streetcar, I think, is one of those things that people maybe didn’t think it was going to happen,” Johnson said. “So of course…they really didn’t believe that would have an impact. Now that it’s here, they’re optimistic. I do believe that’s a pervasive sentiment. It’s here and we’re going to make the best of it and leverage the benefits that it can bring.”

Opinions abound

The construction on city streets over the past several months has been challenging for Historic Third Ward businesses and residents, said Jim Plaisted, executive director of the Historic Third Ward Association. But he hasn’t heard any negative feedback on the streetcar itself, since it is expected to bring conThird Ward shops

The Wicked Hop

Metro Market

East Pointe Market Place

What’s along the route? Hotel Metro

West Kilbourn Avenue

“We’re very excited about that it telegraphs development along its route,” said Rocky Marcoux, commissioner of the Milwaukee Department of City Development. “We’ve already seen an incredible amount of interest from developers that have expressed interest in building along the line or, in some cases, already have buildings along the line.” Most developers have responded positively to the streetcar because it reflects a long-term commitment to the route, versus a bus route that could easily be changed overnight, Korban said. Irgens Partners LLC for example, noted the streetcar in its choice to develop the 25-story BMO Harris tower under construction at North Water and East Wells streets. Josh Jeffers has taken on several major developments along the route, and R2 Cos., owner of the post office building on West St. Paul Avenue, has cited the streetcar as a factor in its redevelopment plans. While its construction has been delayed by several years, The Couture high-rise apartment 24 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018


Cathedral Square

loan guarantee insurance plan) right now, so everything’s moving along.” A significant portion of Barrett’s tenants at other buildings are millennials, he said, and they are asking for more urban amenities. “Every single time we talk to our residents or create a survey for residents out of our buildings, we are constantly being asked by the millennial crowd to push the initiative of more walkable community,” Barrett said. “What I’m thinking is that people … are having happy hour at The Couture and they jump on the streetcar very simply and they get dropped off right at the arena.” But there has been skepticism among some in the community, including real estate professionals. Commercial Association of Realtors Wisconsin executive director Tracy Johnson said while a November member survey showed just 31 percent thought the streetcar would attract riders and spark development along the route, the organization’s members generally support the

sumers to Third Ward retailers and restaurants and alleviate the neighborhood’s parking challenges. “It’s going to be such a positive downtown circulator for the Third Ward, for the Public Market,” Plaisted said. “One of the things we’ve noted is we’re really becoming a weekend destination for people from Chicago and they’re taking the train.” Rodney Ferguson, chief executive officer and general manager at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, said although it doesn’t go to the casino, the streetcar is an attraction tool to get more people into the city and become more competitive for events like the NBA All-Star Game and the Democratic National Convention. But Donovan questions the short length of the initial route, which wouldn’t be able to take people to the new arena for those potential events. “I don’t know that it really takes anyone, at this point, to any particular destination,” Donovan said. “I think there’ll be … somewhat of a honeymoon period where people will want to do it just for the

novelty of it, but I assume that will quickly dry up. I have a feeling that once this is open downtown, rush hour is going to be a hell of a mess in downtown Milwaukee.” Ian Abston, president of millennial consulting company Millennian LLC, disagrees with Donovan. He bought a condo at the Breakwater on East Knapp Street and North Franklin Place after the streetcar was announced, and plans to use the streetcar to get to work, the gym, and to bars and restaurants. It gives Milwaukee a leg up on future population growth as more residents shift into cities, Abston says. And it could position the city better for tourism. “The Amtrak from Chicago to Milwaukee is one of the most heavily used Amtrak lines in the nation and we’re dumping people there with zero transportation options,” he said.

“I don’t think we should have taken the funding,” she said. “I mean, look at where we are recently. The City of Milwaukee has failed for the second time now for that (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) grant. Why are we taking money for a project that’s not going to help boost economic development, not going to spur along the tax base and it’s not even designed for expansion?”

Future expansion

One thing most everyone can agree on is that the initial streetcar route is limited. The problem is funding. The Phase 1 route and the Lakefront Line, which is set to open next, cost a total of $128 million to build, which came from federal grants and

Cafe Benelux

Milwaukee Marriott Downtown

North Milwaukee Street

Odgen Street streetcar stop

Streetcar signage

Streetcar tracks

Milwaukee’s population growth among those aged 18 to 34 was seventh-lowest in the nation from 2010 to 2015, according to a recent report by the Brookings Institution. “We are getting our asses kicked (in attracting millennials) and the streetcar isn’t a save-all by any means, but at least it’s a step in the right direction,” Abston said. “I think we’ll be pleasantly surprised by ridership. The car is no longer this American freedom box on wheels that it once was. With rideshare, carshare, Uber options out there, (millennials are) just looking for transit options.” But Megan Taylor, a millennial Milwaukee resident, does not support the streetcar. Taylor owns and operates Port Washington-based portable restroom company Cans-togo and Mequon-based Best Waste Solutions. She owns a condo in Walker’s Point, and described the streetcar as a “complete waste of money” that will burden taxpayers if funding doesn’t come through for operations.

the days of its previous streetcar, which was originally pulled by horses, electrified in 1890 and eventually grew into a large network of hundreds of miles that looked roughly like today’s Milwaukee County Transit System. It ceased operations in 1958, said Milwaukee historian John Gurda. At its World War II peak, when tires and gasoline were rationed and more workers needed to get to factories, streetcar ridership was 428 million in 1944, he said. That’s about 10 times current MCTS ridership. Most cities’ streetcar systems went by the wayside at about the same time as Milwaukee’s due to the rise of the automobile, Gurda said. “Today’s streetcar is much different than the past streetcar,” Polenske said. “The millennials have made it very clear East Side homes

Burns commons

local tax increment districts. About 80 percent of pre-revenue operational costs for the first 18 months will be funded by a federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grant, and another CMAQ grant is expected to be funded to cover another 18 months once revenue service begins. The city plans to charge an introductory fare of $1 per ride, and supplement the cost with sponsorships and advertising. The annual operating costs are expected to be about $3.5 million. In early March, Milwaukee was for the second time turned down for a $20 million federal TIGER grant that would have extended the streetcar another 1.2 miles to the new Milwaukee Bucks arena. But by the end of the month, President Donald Trump had approved $1.5 billion in funding for another round of the program and there was a new opportunity to apply. “We will certainly be first in line to apply for it for our share of that,” Korban said. Milwaukee has a long way to go to return to

A Bublr bike station

The lakefront

through their behavior that they don’t like cars; they like mobility through either biking, walking or other modes of transportation such as the streetcar,” Korban said. The city’s transit-oriented development plan is to have the streetcar extend north to Bronzeville and south to Walker’s Point. “I’m sure we will be in the next round (of TIGER funding), at a minimum for the extension to the arena, which we’ve already dedicated a local match to of about $20 million,” Marcoux said. Barrett said the city is not discouraged by the previous TIGER application being turned down, since it had to apply several times to obtain the grant for the Lakefront Line. “We are undergoing an incredible renaissance and there’s a lot of development here in the heart of the city,” Barrett said. “The streetcar complements that. It’s all about making this city more desirable for those people who work here, who live here and who visit here.” n / 25


Milwaukee County BRT could roll out in 2019 By Corrinne Hess, staff writer In September 2017, Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee County Transit System updated their grant application to the Federal Transit Administration to fund bus rapid transit service from the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee to the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center in Wauwatosa. Since that time, MCTS has hosted public outreach meetings to provide information about the $50 million project. No other major announcements have been made. Funding has been the hold up. Eighty percent of the project will be funded by the FTA through its Small Starts program. The remaining 20 percent is expected to come from Milwaukee County. In late March, President Donald Trump increased funding for the FTA to $13.5 billion – more than the $12.3 billion authorized – by signing the 2018 Omnibus appropriations bill. The bill includes increases in spending for the Department of Transportation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery program, which could fund future extensions of Milwaukee’s streetcar line, and the Small Starts program. Milwaukee County is still awaiting word on how the increase could affect MCTS’s BRT application, but the news is promising, said Brendan Conway, chief marketing and communications officer for MCTS. “We are certainly hopeful we will get funded and that we will find out when in the near future,” Conway said. How cash-strapped Milwaukee County will pay its share of the project will also have to be determined. Conway is confident the money can be allocated from the county’s bus replacement budget. “This is not new money,” Conway said. “MCTS is spending money on buses now, but instead they will be spending on the BRT route.” Conway also pointed out that the BRT route is similar to the existing Gold Line route, which runs 26 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee to Brookfield Square. When BRT begins, that route will no longer exist. Milwaukee County’s nine-mile BRT route will start from the site where The Couture tower is planned at the lakefront, traveling west to West Wisconsin Avenue. When it reaches North Hawley Road (55th Street), the bus will travel west on West Bluemound Road to 95th Street and then turn north to West Watertown Plank Road to the Regional Medical Center. The BRT will offer daily service, with buses every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 20 to 30 minutes during non-peak hours. The route will use new buses specifically branded for BRT. There will be about 11 buses in the fleet, with eight to 10 on the road at a time, Conway said. The BRT buses would be hybrid electric vehicles that are partially propelled by electric power from batteries on the roof of the buses. These buses are quieter, consume less fuel, have lower emissions and have smoother acceleration than a conventional diesel fuel-powered bus. MCTS officials originally estimated the time savings for the BRT line, compared to a regular MCTS bus making the same trip, would be 13 minutes one way, or 26 minutes round-trip. However, those time savings were reduced after the Milwaukee Common Council voted against the entire route having a dedicated bus lane. The route features dedicated bus-only lanes along 53 percent of the route, with up to 19 stations for riders to access the buses. The non-dedicated part of the route will be along West Bluemound Road, Conway said. Bus rapid transit service operates in hundreds of cities worldwide, approximately 30 of which are in the United States, including San Antonio, Kansas City, Cleveland and Jacksonville. A study released in January 2017 by the Center for Population Dynamics at Cleveland State University found the number of jobs along Cleveland’s HealthLine BRT system nearly doubled since 2008, when the city’s BRT was launched, ac-

A rendering of a bus rapid transit station.

cording to an article in The Plain Dealer. Cleveland’s system offers dedicated lanes on 60 percent of its seven-mile route. “This has worked in every city and it will work here,” Conway said. “It is unique because at the ends there are huge job centers of downtown Milwaukee and the regional medical complex, and in between there are small businesses, residential and nine colleges. You can get to the Brewers game and if the streetcar gets the money it needs to extend, you can get to a Bucks game.” Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman, who has been a vocal proponent of the streetcar and mass transit, is not 100 percent sold on the BRT – at least not the current plan.

“This has worked in every city and it will work here.” — Brendan Conway, MCTS spokesman.

Bauman, who represents downtown Milwaukee and Alderman Michael Murphy, who represents the neighborhoods west of downtown, co-sponsored legislation to prevent dedicated traffic lanes west of North Hawley Road for the BRT. Bauman said it had to be done to keep businesses along West Bluemound Road from moving out of the city. “I think what they are going to build is basically a bus route that will duplicate an existing bus service,” Bauman said. “It will operate slightly faster because there will be barrier-free fare collection, and a lot of buses are slowed down because of the boarding process.” Bauman said if Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele had come to the city in 2016, when the


A rendering of a bus rapid transit vehicle using a designated lane.

BRT was first discussed, and bus rapid transit, the streetcar and light rail were compared side-by-side, then perhaps the governments could be working together on a singular mass transit solution. “If we had done a true, private right-of-way (for BRT) with its own road, then this would be effective,” Bauman said. “There are a couple like that. The Orange Line in L.A. is the best example.” In May, Nashville voters will decide whether to raise taxes to pay for a mass transit plan anchored by

light rail and a 1.8- mile tunnel below its downtown. Bauman said he would love to see something like that built in Milwaukee to accommodate buses and potentially light rail. “I believe this (BRT) was an ill-planned and instinctive thing,” Bauman said. “The city was going to support it, but I think we could have done a lot better. This is a defeatist plan.” Brookfield Mayor Steve Ponto would like his community to eventually connect to Milwaukee

County’s BRT line. Ponto is a member of the Regional Transit Leadership Council, which was formed in 2016 to work with the Public Policy Forum (now Wisconsin Policy Forum) to evaluate solving the “last mile” barrier to employment for workers taking public transit. “I know that they were having some issues in Milwaukee with dedicated lanes,” Ponto said. “Bluemound Road through Brookfield doesn’t have those issues – it is very wide and we do have dedicated lanes for buses.” Ponto said while he knows BRT needs strategically-located stops and controlled traffic lights, he believes bus rapid transit could work seamlessly from Wauwatosa to Goerke’s Corners. Ponto said BRT is an attractive possibility because it is much less expensive than rail and it is flexible. He also believes it could benefit many of the people who work at the restaurants, hotels and stores along West Bluemound Road. “We have an interesting opportunity right now, with Foxconn, to really address transit in a creative way,” Ponto said. “Obviously, we have to get from where we are to a more advanced system, but I think that attention will be focused on transporting people because of Foxconn and their huge need for labor, and that can really benefit the whole area.” n


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Foxconn sends I-94 work into overdrive in Racine County By Arthur Thomas, staff writer Jonathan Delagrave says he can point to numerous examples of when Racine County lost out on attracting new businesses because the expansion of I-94 had been delayed or was progressing slowly. “It kind of felt like we were the hole in the doughnut in some respects,” said Delagrave, Racine County executive. More than $1 billion has been spent on the I-94 north-south corridor since 2009, with most of the money going to adding lanes and rebuilding interchanges in Kenosha and Milwaukee counties. The Racine County portion of the project progressed at a slower pace as resources went to rebuilding the Zoo Interchange. But the arrival of Foxconn Technology Group in Mount Pleasant means Racine County is now the center of attention when it comes to Department of Transportation projects. Anyone who has driven through the I-94 corridor in Racine County recently has seen the return of the familiar orange barrels, but it might be a few months before the state knows just how long those barrels will be there. Wisconsin applied last fall for the U.S. De28 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

partment of Transportation’s Infrastructure For Rebuilding America grants. The state is seeking $246.2 million out of the $1.5 billion made available for fiscal years 2017 and 2018. U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao told a House committee in early March she’s hopeful the department will announce the INFRA grants in early June, noting that lawmakers had put the program under a policy office, not an operations office. Getting the federal grant is a key step in funding the I-94 project. Wisconsin lawmakers approved $252 million in bonding as part of the Foxconn special session legislation, but they also required the state to receive federal funds before using the money. The grant would allow the state to finish work on I-94 by 2021, but not receiving it could delay completion until 2032, according to the state’s application. Delagrave said not having received the grant yet is an issue, but added those from the public sector who are involved in the Foxconn project feel the state fits exactly what the U.S. DOT is looking for in projects. “We are concerned, but we feel like we’re in a really good place to receive that as well,” he said.

Construction work is already underway on I-94 northsouth in Racine County.

Transportation was a top concern for Foxconn as it sought a location for its LCD panel manufacturing campus. Records released by state agencies under open records laws show finding grant money for the project was a suggested topic for a meeting among President Donald Trump, state officials and Foxconn executives in June 2017. The company and state officials also met with U.S. DOT officials to discuss funding options. “We need federal support in highway & other long term transport / rail infrastructure investment in southeast Wisconsin for our special electronic mfg zone,” Alan Yeung, director of U.S. strategic initiatives for Foxconn, texted Scott Neitzel, then-secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Administration, on June 16. In a July 27 text, Yeung said the company would prefer to have roads widened “sooner than later.” “Roadworks should start early to avoid or ease traffic; and finish simultaneously with fab construction,” he wrote. Work is certainly getting started early with projects that don’t rely on the state bonding or federal funding already underway. Michael Pyritz, a state DOT spokesman, said the I-94 proj-

ect was never “a non-priority” and the department is largely able to turn to plans that were already developed. “The engineering portion of it has already been addressed; we know what we need to do to build a roadway,” he said. Those plans call for a full reconstruction of the I-94 roadway from the dirt up, with the addition of one lane in each direction. The plan is for all traffic to be shifted to one side of the road from about mid-May through October, Pyritz said. He added that peak summer traffic times, Friday afternoons heading northbound and Sundays heading southbound, are expected to be among the most challenging times to travel and encouraged people to take that into account. Mainline work from Highway 142 in Kenosha County all the way to Highway G is scheduled to get underway in the coming months. The northern segment from Highway G to College Avenue is scheduled to begin in the second half of the year. It would be one thing if the department was only doing the I-94 project, but the DOT has also assumed control for local road projects in the area around Foxconn’s planned campus. Those projects – which include first resurfacing roadways to handle increased traffic and then widening a number of roads as well – add an estimated $134 million in

work to the roughly $500 million planned on I-94. On top of all those projects, Foxconn will be building out its $10 billion facility. “The only way this happens and the only way it can happen is through intergovernmental cooperation,” Delagrave said. “We are talking every day and we’re working to overcome some of these challenges.” Pyritz noted the DOT teams working on these projects are, at their core, the same teams responsible for work on the Marquette, Mitchell and Zoo interchanges, each of which had its own unique challenges. “There’s a lot of experience, a lot of expertise that’s being brought to bear,” he said. While the engineering is finished for the I-94 project, the local roads require new plans to be developed. Pyritz said that presents a challenge, but the work isn’t overly complex, as most of the roads are generally flat and at grade. Like Delagrave, Pyritz expressed confidence about the INFRA grant application, but not knowing does create uncertainty. “Until those numbers come through, we’re not quite sure,” he said. “We’re ready to react whatever the outcome is and we’ll adjust accordingly.” The projects around Foxconn and the I-94 corridor may be moving ahead full steam, but other

conversations about how to move people around the region are still ongoing. Racine County officials have formed a task force to discuss how to best move people to employment and how to move people from the freeway to Lake Michigan. Delagrave noted with 29 stoplights, it can take 25 or 26 minutes to go from I-94 to the lake on Highway 20, so the task force is looking at the possibility of a highway spur. Milwaukee County officials are also discussing transit options. Milwaukee County Board chair Theo Lipscomb Sr. has proposed a commuter bus route from downtown Milwaukee and Racine to the Foxconn campus. Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman had said that approach would be inefficient and is pushing for a commuter rail option using Amtrak. Lipscomb’s proposal would require Racine and Milwaukee counties, along with the state, to agree to jointly use $4.5 million from the recent sale of two former Midwest Airlines hangars at General Mitchell International Airport instead of trying to split the funds up. Delagrave said a discussion should include whether transit is the best use of the money or if workforce development or attraction would be better. “We’re open to any and everything, but that conversation hasn’t started yet,” he said. n

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Wisconsin International Trade Conference to offer keys to world business Valuable connections that can take your international business to the next level are waiting to happen at the Wisconsin International Trade Conference. It will be held Wednesday, May 9 at the Wisconsin Center in downtown Milwaukee. Whether just starting out in global business or a seasoned professional, the conference offers something for everyone. The daylong event includes informative workshops and compelling speakers, and attendees will walk away with new ideas that put global trade to work for their businesses. The agenda includes: the Governor’s Export Awards; International CafÊ roundtable discussions with peers and subject matter experts; breakout sessions on unlocking the tax code, global e-commerce, compliance, transportation and international growth strategies; and a networking reception. Read this special section for a preview of the conference. For more information or to register, visit / 31




A letter from the governor Dear Wisconsin business owner: Wisconsin’s economy is stronger than it has been in decades, with a record low unemployment rate, more people working than ever before, and companies from all over the world choosing to expand or establish operations in our great state. Another indicator of our economic strength is the rise in Wisconsin’s exports, as more and more companies of all sizes and industries are realizing that developing an export strategy can play a big part in their overall success in our ever-changing global economy. In 2017, Wisconsin businesses exported $22.3 billion in goods and services to 202 countries, a 6.1 percent increase over the previous year and a 13 percent increase since 2010. We saw across-the-board growth in exports, with increases in key categories such as: industrial machinery, electrical machinery, agricultural products, vehicles and vehicle parts, plastics, and aircraft and parts. We’re proud of the successes Wisconsin companies have had in exporting, but we would like to see more businesses either take the leap into selling their products overseas, or expand their existing international efforts. That is why the State of Wisconsin, through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., has experts in the state and around the world poised to help you develop a successful exporting strategy.

Gov. Scott Walker

The annual Wisconsin International Trade Conference on May 9 at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee is the ideal opportunity to learn more about how WEDC’s programs can help support your company’s exporting efforts, and I invite you to stop by the WEDC booth at the conference or visit to learn more. This year’s conference will feature “The International Café” where participants can engage in roundtable discussion on topics such as WEDC’s ExporTech Program, federal assistance for exporting, international legal issues and more. I also want to congratulate the winners and semifinalists of the 2017 Governor’s Export Achievement Awards, which recognize Wisconsin companies that have achieved extraordinary results in international markets and have contributed to Wisconsin’s ability to compete in the global economy. I look forward to honoring those businesses for their success at the conference. Sincerely,

Gov. Scott Walker

32 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018


Governor’s Export Awards semifinalists American Exchanger Services Inc. (Hartford) designs, builds and services heat transfer equipment primarily for the power generation, pulp and paper, and process industries. The company creates value for its customers by providing engineering solutions to their thermal equipment design and service needs.

Bryant Products (Ixonia), founded in 1991, specializes in creative solutions for industrial needs. Manufacturing capabilities include CNC turning up to 140 inches in length and up to 22 inches in diameter, vertical machining, metal forming, and welding of carbon, stainless steel, aluminum and special alloys.

Carnivore Meat Co. (Green Bay) is one of the fastest-growing companies globally in the pet food industry, specializing in the raw food category. The company’s flagship consumer brands, Vital Essentials and Vital Cat, make up the fourth-largest brand in this niche, with frozen and freeze-dried entrees, treats and snacks for dogs and cats.

Gehl Foods (Germantown) is an aseptic manufacturer that produces fresh-tasting, shelf-stable dairy products. The company has integrated business units covering contract manufacturing, retail brands, private-label brands, food service, convenience store and entertainment segments for both the domestic and international markets. Gehl’s product portfolio includes cheese sauces, puddings, creamers, yogurts, and readyto-drink meal replacement and nutritional shakes.

Great Northern Distilling (Plover) is a craft distillery focused on making small batch, exceptionally smooth spirits from fresh ingredients sourced from within 150 miles of the distillery. Founded in 2013, Great Northern’s products include Potato Vodka, Herbalist Gin, Opportunity Rum, Vanguard Whiskey, Rye Whiskey and limitededition spirits like Wisconsin Brandy. The company’s export program started in 2016 when it worked with Hsu’s Ginseng Enterprises in Marathon County to develop the American Ginseng Bourbon Whiskey for a mutual customer in Taiwan.

L&R USA Inc. (Milwaukee) is part of a leading global medical device company that has been delivering high-quality health care products for more than 160 years. L&R is dedicated to providing health care professionals product solutions in the treatment of wounds, edema, venous disease and lymphedema to improve patient care and outcomes. L&R’s comprehensive product portfolio of worldclass brands, such as Debrisoft, Suprasorb, Rosidal, TributeNight and ReadyWrap, are trusted for their effectiveness and quality.

L.B. White Co. (Onalaska) is a leading global manufacturer of forced air heaters, brooders, tube heaters, handheld gas torches, convection heaters and portable heaters. With more than 65 years in business, the company specializes in providing heating solutions and heating systems for the agricultural, horticultural, industrial, construction, and special event tent rental industries.

Marathon Ginseng International Inc. (Weston) was founded and is led by partners Dr. Ming Tao Jiang and retired Col. David Monk in 2010. MGI specializes in production, distribution, research and education on Wisconsin ginseng.

Optimum Vehicle Logistics LLC (Milwaukee) is a distributor and exporter of military vehicle spare parts. The company has customers in 37 countries, supporting U.S. manufactured equipment operated by foreign forces. Optimum has had several years of double-digit growth and achieved record sales in 2017. / 33





Trump’s tariffs could shake up international trade As President Donald Trump pursues a bold new trade agenda for the United States, moving to enact tariffs on steel, aluminum and billions of dollars in imports from China, American companies are keeping a close watch on those policies, and how other countries are responding to them. One of those companies is Brown Deer-based Rite Hite Co. LLC, a manufacturer of loading dock equipment, industrial doors, safety barriers and industrial fans. The company has manufacturing operations in China and Europe and does business all over the world. Ellen Kosidowski, vice president of order administration and logistics for Rite-Hite, is heavily involved in managing the company’s exporting and global logistics and trade compliance. She is also the president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s World Trade Association. Kosidowski recently spoke with BizTimes Milwaukee editor Andrew Weiland about the tumultuous international trade environment. Following are portions of that conversation. BIZTIMES: First of all, what is your take on President Trump’s

move to slap tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, with exceptions granted for some countries? KOSIDOWSKI: “I certainly understand where it’s coming from. I was a little bit relieved to hear that it’s not across the board. There are plenty of countries that the U.S. is importing steel from and we don’t have those same (trade deficit) challenges. Initially it was going to be across the board, no matter where they are coming from. At least to have it a little bit more targeted I think it will have less of an impact, certainly on our business. Personally, I see where it’s coming from. I’m not sure it’s the right approach, but it’s certainly sending a message.” BIZTIMES: More recently, President Trump announced

tariffs on $50 billion in imports from China. He said a major reason is because of intellectual property theft and currency

34 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Ellen Kosidowski

manipulation by China. What do you think of the tariffs he wants to place on Chinese goods? Does Rite-Hite do a lot of trade with China? KOSIDOWSKI: “We have a manufacturing facility and an Asian service and sales headquarters in China. Our big sales office is in Shanghai. Our manufacturing facility is in Kunshan, which is about a 40-minute drive from Shanghai. As far as the imports, what we bring in from China, it’s very little. There was a time when we were exporting quite a bit to China and the Asian market. That’s been reduced because we are manufacturing a lot more locally. While we do have a lot of business that happens with China, there isn’t a whole lot of importing or exporting that’s happening. We do send manufacturing and production parts from the U.S. to them. So that does happen. But on the import side I’m not sure how much it would affect our business. However, that being said, there is the bigger picture issue of the relationships. We’ve also heard some stirring about China and what they will do to retaliate. It sounds like there are already some things in the works to do that. But there will be some retaliation and there will be some things that impact our exports to the China market.” BIZTIMES: Are you worried that the United States is heading

into a trade war? KOSIDOWSKI: “Certainly it’s going to play a role and have an impact on business. It sounds like for the steel and aluminum tariffs, the European market is going to be protected from some of these new regulations. I don’t know if I’m concerned about the rest of the world. It’s almost like it’s a threat and as this is being rolled out it really is targeted more toward China and a few other countries that we have



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had some other issues with. With China, I can speak to some of the things like (theft of) trade secrets or patents, things like that we have seen stolen or abused because they didn’t have the same kind of laws in China. We’ve had that happen with our products, the copycat kind of things, like you hear about with the Coach purses. We’ve certainly had that happen with our products, and them showing up again in the U.S. market. So those kinds of things I understand why we are trying to combat some of that. But certainly there’s a concern (about a trade war), absolutely.” BIZTIMES: You said that Rite-Hite has a plant in China, but

does not import much from China to the United States. Where do your products made in China go? KOSIDOWSKI: “The real purpose of getting started with our sales and manufacturing in the China market was to serve the China market itself. So the products we initially started out making there were specific models that we knew would suit the China market. But as soon as we got that manufacturing going, we realized with production lead times and the expense of the freight, it made sense to offer those products to all of the Asia market. So, really our goal with that whole thing was just to serve the entire Asian market. We are not manufacturing products in China and bringing them back to the U.S. What we are selling in the U.S. is U.S. (manufactured) product. What we are making in China is going to China and that southeastern Asia market.” BIZTIMES: Considering the trade issues between the United

States and other countries, is the best approach to make products in the areas where they will be sold and consumed? KOSIDOWSKI: “It’s certainly a solution. Our reason for doing it really had more to do with lead times. We’re using the same models, just determining what makes sense for that area. It’s expensive (to ship product a great distance). Obviously you are adding to the freight. A lot of it has to do with how quickly you can get the product and not having to be on the ocean for four to six weeks or whatever. It has worked well for us and I think it can certainly be a viable option for other companies.” BIZTIMES: With this president, he has a reputation as a deal-

maker. It seems like these tariffs are driven by the desire to make deals with individual countries. Bilateral deals seem to be his preferred approach as opposed to being in large, multi-national partnerships. One of the first things he did in office was pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. What do you think of that approach? KOSIDOWSKI: “A lot of this is so new and it’s been hypothetical. It’s hard to know exactly what his intentions are. With so many things being rolled out, it seems to be changing day-by-day. In my role, I’m trying to facilitate being able to take the orders easily and be able to ship them and get

36 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

them to our customers in the manner that we can do some decent business. So I have always been a big advocate of the trade agreements. I see the reciprocity that happens, and the back-and-forth and building those business relationships with the companies in those countries. The WTA and the MMAC has had some great programs and great networking opportunities, informational meetings. We’ve met several times on the TPP to talk about what it meant, what the impact would be and what if we didn’t do it. How it would impact the U.S. if other countries were in an agreement and we weren’t. I’m an advocate for being involved in those and do think it’s a little scary that we are starting to target specific countries and kind of isolate ourselves. Like with NAFTA, I can’t see how that can go away because so many U.S. companies, their business is so ingrained with that. It would have some severe impact on how companies are doing business.” BIZTIMES: The Trump administration is in the process of

trying to renegotiate the NAFTA deal. What do you think about that? KOSIDOWSKI: “We have distribution across Canada and we have a strong distributor in Mexico, as well. They are completely different countries. The way you import and export to those two countries is different, as well. But they are certainly, for the U.S., our biggest trade partners and so I see a huge benefit in us having some kind of trade agreement and a partnership and a relationship with those countries. From the whole logistics part of it, it just makes sense. For so many Wisconsin companies, Mexico and Canada are their biggest export destinations. You think about the impact to our business and our ability to be able to sell our products in those countries if there were suddenly huge import duties and tariffs that were put on those products. So I am a big advocate of renegotiating and not making huge changes. I think it’s working. I’m hopeful we don’t see a whole lot of huge changes.” BIZTIMES: Big picture, global trade remains an important

part of the U.S. economy, right? KOSIDOWSKI: “Right. The definition of trade is the give and take, the back-and-forth. We have to have some kind of partnership. We have to be able to do that. You’re not really trading if we don’t want to have to pay these big duties and taxes to be able get our products into their country, but on the other hand say they need to (pay duties and taxes) when they are (sending product) back here. That’s not how trade works. Trade has got to be give and take. Our business, on the international side, we are certainly heavier on the export side than on the import side. We rely on our exports. We want to facilitate that. But at the same time, you have to be able to understand there are some imports to be able to balance that out. Finding a balance would be ideal.”

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The impact of the new federal tax legislation on Wisconsin exporters BY ROBERT MISEY, for BizTimes Exporters have always been the backbone of the Wisconsin economy. Exporters produce manufacturing jobs, the type of jobs for which labor needs a strong back and a reliable alarm clock. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has resulted in a lot of commentary, little of which is pertinent to Wisconsin manufacturers who export. This article focuses on the good, the bad and the ugly, with planning suggestions for exporters to deal with the bad and the ugly.

THE GOOD Three provisions bring good news to Wisconsin exporters. The new participation exemption simplifies the taxation of dividends received from a foreign subsidiary. Suppose a C corporation manufactures widgets for export through a foreign

subsidiary. To repatriate cash, the foreign subsidiary distributes a dividend. In the past, the C corporation would have to deal with the complex deemed paid foreign tax credit, which, because U.S. tax rates were higher than foreign tax rates, resulted in a total tax at the higher U.S. rates. Now, the new participation exemption makes the taxation much easier. The C corporation simply excludes the foreign dividend from income. Despite originally being on the chopping block in the Senate, the interest charge domestic international sales corporation survived and remains one of the top benefits available for exporters. An IC-DISC permits a U.S. manufacturer to convert a portion of export income, typically taxed as ordinary income at marginal rates, into qualified dividends taxed at only 20 percent. An ICDISC is a specially elected corporation, with virtually no functions, that receives a deductible commission from a U.S. exporter before paying a dividend at favorable tax rates to individual owners.

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The new deduction for foreign derived intangible income offers a C corporation a 13.125 percent tax rate on highly-profitable exports. More specifically, a C corporation can deduct 37.5 percent of any high returns (those in excess of a 10 percent return on assets) to the extent those high returns are attributable to foreign sales and foreign services.

THE BAD The participation exemption and the FDII deduction are only available to C corporations. S corporations, LLCs, partnerships, and sole proprietors will have to conduct some planning to obtain their benefits. Suppose, for example, that an S corporation owns the shares of a foreign subsidiary. The S corporation should consider contributing the shares of the foreign subsidiary to a C corporation. Under the new participation exemption, there will not be any U.S. tax on a dividend from the foreign subsidiary to the C corporation.

THE UGLY Exporters that incur foreign income tax will incur double taxation due to the lack of foreign tax credits. The foreign tax credit has always been limited by the U.S. tax on what the Internal Revenue Code characterizes as foreign source income.

As a result, any recharacterization of foreign source income as U.S. source income reduces the foreign tax credit and causes double taxation. Previously, half the income from exports of U.S. manufactured goods was typically foreign source income. Unfortunately, the 2017 Act characterizes all the income for U.S. manufactured products as U.S. source income. The end result is that none of the income will be foreign source and no foreign tax credits will be available to these exporters. Accordingly, the income will be taxed twice – once by a foreign country and again by the United States. These exporters may have to restructure their supply chain into a manufacturing corporation and a distribution corporation, as different sourcing rules apply to a distributor. The distributor should try to have title pass abroad to have the income characterized as foreign source income. The 2017 Tax Act does provide good news to Wisconsin exporters. Prudent planning can help lower the exporter’s tax costs resulting from the bad and the ugly. A shareholder with the law firm of Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., Robert Misey is president of the Milwaukee Tax Club and chair of the international tax committee for the American Bar Association. / 39



Wisconsin’s exports on the rise WEDC is poised to help companies grow their exports further BY KATY SINNOTT, for BizTimes Wisconsin’s exports grew by 6 percent in 2017 compared to the prior year, reaching a total of $22.3 billion in goods and services exported to 202 countries around the world.

with exporting if they don’t yet have a strategy in place. The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. offers a number of programs designed to help companies with their exporting needs.

The state’s top trading partners are Canada, Mexico and China, and all three of these destinations saw significant increases of Wisconsin exports in 2017. Exports to Canada grew by 4.3 percent, to $6.9 billion, driven by increases in the export of miscellaneous mineral products and electrical machinery. Exports to Mexico were up 4.8 percent to a record $3.2 billion, mostly because of an increase in the export of electrical machinery and oil seeds (primarily soybeans). Exports to China jumped by 21.6 percent, to $1.7 billion, in 2017 – also a record for exports to that country. Driving the growth in exports to China were increases in the shipments of aircraft and parts; industrial machinery; dairy products; wood and wood products; and raw hides and skins.

The ExporTech Program, offered by WEDC and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership, guides Wisconsin companies in creating an export strategy tailored for their products, honing in on a handful of markets where they have the greatest chance of success. This program is appropriate for companies that are just getting started with exporting, as well as those that have taken a reactive approach to exporting thus far and would like to become more proactive and strategic.

Wisconsin’s exports to Saudi Arabia also grew – in this case, surging 71 percent to $796 million – due almost entirely to an increase in military vehicle exports. This increase moves Saudi Arabia into the position of Wisconsin’s fourth-highest export destination. Industrial machinery continues to be Wisconsin’s top export product category, accounting for 24 percent of all exports, or $5.4 billion in 2017. Electrical machinery tied with medical and scientific instruments for second place; both categories came in at $2.2 billion, each representing 10 percent of the state’s total exports. Wisconsin ranks 19th among U.S. states in total exports, and 12th for agricultural exports. Wisconsin led the nation in exports of a wide variety of products in 2017, including prepared/preserved cranberries, prepared/preserved sweet corn, bovine semen, outboard marine engines, refrigeration/freezer equipment, tanks and other armored vehicles and parts, and lawnmowers. Given this trend of rising exports, Wisconsin companies would be wise to focus on growing their exports – or on getting started

40 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

WEDC also offers Global Business Development grants to assist companies with export growth activities such as attending overseas trade shows; customizing their websites, product documentation and/or marketing materials for new markets; export education and competency building; and export-related consulting services. Companies that have completed ExporTech are eligible to apply for a higher grant amount. In addition, WEDC leads approximately six global trade ventures each year. Wisconsin’s leading export destinations are on the list of trade venture destinations annually, along with a few other destinations – such as the trade venture to Germany coming up in June. Through its global network of authorized trade representatives, WEDC engages trade representation in 82 countries around the world, and these representatives are available to assist Wisconsin companies with market research to inform their export plans. Subscribe to WEDC’s INterconnect newsletter to find out about upcoming global trade ventures and other export growth opportunities. Katy Sinnott is vice president of international business development at Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.


Contracts with Chinese companies do matter BY DAN HARRIS, for BizTimes Many believe it is not worth having contracts with Chinese companies because Chinese companies can and regularly do breach their contracts with impunity. However, this belief is both wrong and counterproductive. First off, The World Bank ranks China fifth among the 186 countries it ranks for “enforcing contracts.” But even beyond enforceability, there are several good reasons to have contracts with Chinese companies. CLARITY. Having a well-written contract in Chinese will ensure that your Chinese counterparty understands what you expect from it. If you ask a Chinese supplier if it can deliver your product in 30 days, it will invariably say, “yes,” but what it means is simply that it may occasionally be able to deliver in that timeframe when everything is perfectly aligned for your order. But if the Chinese supplier signs a contract mandating that its failure to ship your product within 30 days will require it to pay you 1 percent of the value of your order for each day it is late, you will know the supplier is serious about the 30-day shipping terms. When crossing borders and cultures on a deal, clarity is essential. COMPLIANCE. Having a contract with the Chinese counterparty also serves to convince the company that it will be better off complying with your contract than violating it. By creating a contract that is at least potentially enforceable in China, you make clear to your Chinese counterparty that its failure to comply with your contract could subject it to a lawsuit it might lose. If your Chinese supplier makes widgets for 25 foreign companies, but only three of those foreign companies have written contracts with clear time deadlines and clear contract damages provisions for delays, which companies will the Chinese manufacturer prioritize if it begins falling behind on production? The three companies with good contracts, of course. If your Chinese counterparty believes there is even a chance your contract may be enforced, it is likely to act accordingly. GETTING PAID. When paying overseas companies, Chinese companies must first have their RMB converted to U.S. dollars or some other convertible currency. This conversion is subject to strict rules issued by China’s State Administration of Foreign

Exchange to prevent capital from illegally leaving China. To comply with these rules, Chinese companies must provide documentation proving there is a legitimate underlying transaction for which payment is being sought. The basic documentation for proving this is a formal written contract (preferably in Chinese), executed, dated by both parties and sealed by the Chinese party. U.S. COURTS. When your company is sued for late or defective product, would you prefer your lawyer be left defenseless trying to explain to the jury why you had nothing in writing making clear your product needed to be delivered on time and free of defects? Or, would you prefer your lawyer give the jury a contract showing that you did what you could to ensure a timely and safe product?  ENFORCEABILITY. When my firm has sued, threatened to sue, arbitrated or threatened to arbitrate on good Chinese contracts, it has seen that China does indeed enforce contracts. We hear similar stories from other law firms. However, just about every week, one of my firm’s China lawyers advises an American company that it is not worth paying us to sue a Chinese company with which the American company does not have a written, China-specific contract.  Dan Harris is a founding member of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with offices in the United States, China and Spain. He is also a co-editor of the China Law Blog. Dan will be taking questions during the International Law and IP Roundtable at the Wisconsin International Trade Conference. / 41

















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601 E. Ogden Ave., #906, Milwaukee $2.6 million This two-story penthouse in downtown Milwaukee comes with its own waterfall. It also includes three bedrooms, three-and-a-half baths and more than 5,000 square feet of outdoor terrace space. Inside, the 6,500-squarefoot home features a fully-equipped bar, theater room, suspended catwalk and a spa with whirlpool tub, sauna and dual shower with tanning light. Parking isn’t a problem, either – there are five spaces. It is listed for sale by Corley Real Estate.

10058 N. Sheridan Drive, Mequon $1.67 million A split-design ranch along Lake Michigan includes four bedrooms and four-and-a-half baths in this 4,785-square-foot home. The kitchen is custom-built with a chef’s prep island, breakfast bar, planning desk, custom backsplash and access to the patio overlooking Lake Michigan. Brazilian cherry floors, three fireplaces, and an attached heated three-car garage are also included. It is listed for sale by Suzanne Powers.

35308 Pabst Road, Oconomowoc Lake $10.5 million This home is a replica of Anne Boleyn’s castle built in 1892 and completely renovated in recent years, including a large addition in 2014. The 7.2-acre property has access to more than 800 feet of lake frontage and includes a private island. The 16,000-square-foot house has 10 bathrooms, six bedrooms and a four-car garage. It is listed by Jonathan Spheeris with Coldwell Banker Elite. / 43


4111 Dyer Lake Road, Wheatland $5.5 million A well-known toy manufacturer once owned this 233-acre private estate on Dyer Lake near Lake Geneva. The 4,628-square-foot property has five bedrooms and threeand-a-half bathrooms. The house features vaulted ceilings, a stone natural gas fireplace and a chef’s kitchen. It is listed by Liz Curro with Shorewest.

4545 Hewitt’s Point Road, Oconomowoc Lake $3.49 million Set on 3.7 acres with 369 feet of Oconomowoc Lake frontage, this 1916 Mediterranean villa features a Spanish tile indoor pool. The 12,212-square-foot home also has a master suite with its own sunroom, a two-bedroom guest house and garage space for more than a dozen vehicles. The home has five bedrooms and six bathrooms. It is listed by Jonathan Spheeris with Coldwell Banker Elite.

3701 Trinity Lane, Delafield $3.79 million Seven fireplaces, an elevator and an in-floor, 20-zone geothermal heating system are part of this home on Upper Nashotah Lake. The 8,000-square-foot home has five bedrooms, seven-and-a-half bathrooms and is located on a wooded 2.6-acre lot with 200 feet of lake frontage. The property also features a guest apartment. It is listed by Jonathan Spheeris with Coldwell Banker Elite.

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8100 N. Beach Drive, Fox Point $3.48 million This Nantucket-style beachfront estate is located on 1.4 acres with 130 feet of level Lake Michigan frontage. The four-bedroom, five-bathroom house includes a lower-level family room with a custom bar, gas fireplace, home theater, and exercise and game room. In addition, there is a fully-equipped separate guest house. It is listed for sale by Lauren Siegel at First Weber.

4325 W. Beach Road, Oconomowoc Lake $2.95 million An estate once owned by Fred Miller of the Miller Brewing Co. is also one of the most historic homes on Oconomowoc Lake. The 10,369-square-foot property includes 11 bedrooms and seven bathrooms. The lake is visible from porches and bedrooms. The home includes 112 feet of sandy lake frontage. It is listed by Jonathan Spheeris with Coldwell Banker Elite.

S78 W21060 Twin Ponds Road, Muskego $3.2 million This Mediterranean Tuscany custom home features two full granite kitchens, four fireplaces, a lower level with a 500-bottle wine room, a theater, a game room, a safe room and an outside kitchen. It has an in-ground heated pool and a 10-car garage. The 7,018-square-foot house has six bedrooms and five bathrooms. It is listed by Dave Birkle at RE/MAX Realty. / 45


34917 Fairview Road, Oconomowoc $1.98 million Built in 1903, more than 100 feet of lake frontage can be viewed from a large brick patio leading to a lakeside lawn. It includes a four-season room and built-ins throughout. The interior of the 3,630-square-foot home includes five bedrooms and four bathrooms. It is listed by Jonathan Spheeris with Coldwell Banker Elite.

2135 W. Dean Road, River Hills $2.73 million With wet bars and a party patio overlooking the Milwaukee River, this 11,895-square-foot home is perfect for entertaining. It features wood-burning fireplaces, a paneled library and a media room. The house has five bedrooms and seven bathrooms. It is listed by Joan Read with Coldwell Banker North Shore Office.

N3344 Koepp Road, Caledonia $2.3 million This log-sided six-bedroom, five-bathroom home on more than three acres comes furnished. It features a two-story stone fireplace, custom woodwork carvings throughout, a gourmet kitchen, custom tile, a theater room, a sauna, an in-ground pool and a hot tub. It has more than 200 feet of Lake Michigan frontage. The home is listed by Scott Elert of RE/MAX Preferred.

46 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Here’s to Higher Living and Enjoying the Journey

Like a journeyman who’s picked up great stories along the way, The Kimpton Journeyman Hotel is full of fun things to discover — like ceramic pooches in the rooms. Head to rooftop restaurant and bar The Outsider for a game of shuffleboard, or to Mediterranean-inspired modern American restaurant Tre Rivali for a plate of pasta. Any time of day, the chandelierbedecked lobby has a communal feel that’s always conducive to conversation. Historic Third Ward is artsy and architecturally significant. Just three blocks south of downtown, find galleries, a market known for its specialty purveyors, and ethnic festivals in the summertime — plus Summerfest, the world’s largest music festival. Cheers Milwaukee, see you soon!

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One of the Founders Suites on the Field Level at Miller Park.


In style at the ballpark There’s nothing like a beautiful day or evening at the ballpark. But watching a Brewers game in a luxury suite at Miller Park takes the experience to another level. Miller Park has 60 Club Suites, three Party Suites, and one Executive Suite located on the recently renovated PNC Club Level of the stadium. On the Field Level of the ballpark are 19 Founders Suites. Each suite offers open-air seating, lounge seating with a coffee table, a private restroom, a wet bar, flat-screen HDTVs, and complete catering and beverage service. The lease rates for the Club Suites range from $152,768 for a full season (for suites near home plate) to $17,700 for a nine-game plan. The suites come with numerous additional benefits and experiences, depending on the number of games purchased. Available experiences include a visit from a Brewers alumnus, a visit to the Fox Sports Wisconsin booth and a chance to run in the Famous Racing Sausages race. Some of the Miller Park luxury suites are available for individual game rental. The Party Suites have all of the amenities of a Club Suite, plus a larger lounge area and more ballpark seating. The Executive Suite has meeting space for up to 30 guests, including built-in A/V equipment and a view of the field. On game days, it is converted from a board room to a premium suite.

Back the Pack in ultimate comfort


One of the luxury suites at Lambeau Field.

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The “frozen tundra” is part of the legend and legacy of Lambeau Field in Green Bay. But some fans would rather enjoy the game from the comfort of a luxury suite. Lambeau Field has 195 luxury suites. From 2015 to 2017, the Packers completed a $55 million project to renovate 175 of the suites. The improvements included operable windows (if you want to let the cold air in), renovated interiors and new furniture. For the suites that are leased on an annual basis, Packers public affairs coordinator Katie Hermsen said, “Pricing depends on individual client contracts, proximity to the 50-yard line and size of the suite.” Suite prices start at $60,000 per season and go up from there depending on size and location. Some suites at Lambeau are available for single game rental, including the Lambeau Suite, which is geared for group entertainment and was new in 2017. The Lambeau Suite can accommodate 36 people and for each game, a Packers alumnus watches the game there. The Lambeau Suite also features an enhanced menu offering, restroom located in the suite, a dedicated suite attendant and bartender, and an indoor/outdoor design. Single-game prices for a regular season game will range anywhere from $8,100 up to $49,000 for the Lambeau Suite. The single game suite price includes the suite, tickets, a food package and a beverage package.



New arena offers the latest in luxury suites

Renderings of a suite at the new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks.

Set to open this fall, the new $524 million arena for the Milwaukee Bucks will offer the latest in high-end entertainment amenities. That includes the arena’s 34 luxury suites, which have been in high demand. All but two of them are sold out. The arena’s luxury suites are all leased on long-term, multi-year deals. Prices range from $225,000 to $350,000 per year. Those leases are for all of the events at the arena, including Bucks games, Marquette University men’s basketball games and concerts. The suites have 12 to 18 seats each and additional room to stand and watch the games. Each suite has three TVs, leather furniture, quartz countertops and Sub-Zero high-end refrigerators. Unlike the suites at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, which each have their own bathroom, the suites at the new arena will share a luxury restroom, said Jamie Morningstar, senior vice president of ticket sales and service for the Bucks. That move created more space in the suites “for people to enjoy themselves,” she said. The design of the new arena is more geared toward basketball than the hockey-friendly Bradley Center, so the sightlines from the suites at the new arena are also better, Morningstar said. “The views are tremendous,” she said. “You just feel like you are on top of the court.” The stadium seats in the suites are set within the main seating bowl, so suiteholders can get close to the action, or opt for privacy within the box. “It’s the best of both worlds,” Morningstar said.

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MARCUS MAKES THE ULTIMATE LUXURY EXPERIENCE For those looking for luxury, look no further than Milwaukee-based Marcus Hotels & Resorts. With a tradition of excellence going back more than 50 years, its diverse collection of full-service properties spans the United States and ranges from upscale urban hotels, to renowned resorts, to suburban escapes, to historic masterpieces. The company’s three award-winning Milwaukee properties are the city’s finest. The upscale InterContinental Milwaukee (which will soon undergo a major transformation into an independent arts-themed hotel), the historic Pfister Hotel, and legendary Hilton Milwaukee City Center are renowned as extraordinary destinations for sophisticated travelers. They welcome guests with gracious services, incredible experiences, lavishly appointed guestrooms, exclusive club lounges, and some of the best dining in the country. Each has become an essential part of the Milwaukee experience.

Stately Suites and Guestrooms

Rest assured, Marcus Hotels & Resorts guests will enjoy a stay in an elegant suite with the top-notch amenities expected of a high-quality hotel. Guestrooms at all Marcus Hotels & Resorts properties are regularly updated to meet the elevated standards of its guests. The Pfister Hotel, Milwaukee’s crown jewel, recently updated many of its guestrooms ahead of its 125th anniversary celebration. As they have since 1893, guests will enjoy a rich experience complete with modern touches, comfortable beds, and spa-like bathrooms.

Lavish Spas

Speaking of spas, Marcus Hotels & Resorts boasts one of Wisconsin’s most incredible relaxation destinations. For more than a decade, WELL Spa + Salon has been a serene sanctuary located inside The Pfister Hotel. As a retreat from the busy downtown commotion, this Milwaukee Spa + Salon accommodates each guest with personalized treatments that are designed to accentuate their natural features. The experience allows guests to craft their visit from start to finish and choose from an exclusive lineup of full body massages, rejuvenating facials, hair and makeup care, as well as luxurious customizable spa packages. With natural treatments and private suites, it’s a tranquil oasis in the heart of a major city.

Gorgeous Club Lounges & Boardrooms

Marcus Hotels & Resorts guests enjoy distinctive amenities like The Pfister Butler, who is ready to handle all of your requests. The Hilton Milwaukee City Center has also adopted a texting service, which allows guests more convenient access to the hotel’s concierge. In addition, The Pfister Club Lounge offers guests a private space to work, connect with colleagues, or just relax and enjoy a cocktail and appetizer. It’s located on the hotel’s 23rd floor, and overlooks the beautiful Milwaukee skyline. It features comfortable seating and workstations, Wi-Fi access, TVs and food & beverage service. Club Concierge attendants are on hand to assist Club Lounge guests and provide the high level of service that Pfister Hotel guests have come to expect. Adjacent to The Pfister Club Lounge is a state-of-the-art executive boardroom, Twenty 3. As the first meeting space of its kind in Milwaukee, it offers top executives everything they need to succeed with an engaging meeting. To complete the luxurious experience, Marcus Hotels & Resorts guests also enjoy complimentary shuttle transportation, on-site concierge, express check-in and checkout, dry-cleaning services, valet parking, and more.

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Corvette engine helps Land Rover prepare for takeoff A customer brought a 1997 Land Rover Defender 90 to Steve Valenti with the goal of transforming it into something that was unique but still looked like it could have come off an assembly line. The customer also wanted the vehicle to have the feel of a truck and the performance of a sports car. Valenti, owner of Franklin-based Valenti Classics, set about building a one-of-a-kind project that included adding a Corvette engine that more than doubled the vehicle’s horsepower and a custom dash that mimicked an airplane cockpit. “It introduced lots of challenges from a functionality standpoint,” Valenti said of the engine. He said car makers like Chevrolet and Ford have begun selling packages that allow their sports car engines to easily be put into new applications, but with more power comes the need to upgrade things like the suspension and brakes. The vehicle came to the shop with a small plastic bubble gauge that would show the slope of a hill. The gauge served as inspiration as Valenti and his team designed an interior that included a hand-fabricated dash, avionics to display an artificial horizon and actual airplane switches to control two flaps that allow fresh air into the vehicle. All told, the build took about 18 months and roughly 1,000 hours of design, engineering, fabrication and build work. Adding new technology doesn’t come cheap and the budget for the build reached nearly $250,000.

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Classic muscle with all the modern touches The rise in popularity of car restoration TV shows and movies like the “Fast and Furious” franchise and “Gone in 60 Seconds” has increased the popularity of 1960s- and ’70s-era muscle cars. The challenge for custom car builders like Steve Valenti is to figure out how to engage a younger generation that likes the look of the cars but isn’t interested in dealing with the idiosyncrasies that might come with them. “They want to turn the key and go and have fun,” said Valenti, owner of Franklin-based Valenti Classics. As part of a promotional build, Valenti and his team took a 1969 Ford Mustang Fastback and upgraded it with all the modern amenities. While they wanted to keep classic styling, they also sought to give it a more modern look without losing the muscle car characteristics. Some of the changes included a more streamlined body, integrating the exhaust into the design and more contoured bumpers. “It clearly looks like a Mustang Fastback from that era,” Valenti said. In addition to the 450-horsepower engine, the car also features highend steering, brakes and an adjustable suspension. “It’s set up to handle any driving condition you put it under,” Valenti said. Interior touches include digital gauges, power windows, Bluetooth and Sirius XM radio. The retail cost of all of those upgrades was nearly $165,000. While Valenti would have wanted a year to complete the project, his team put it together in less than four months with nearly 1,300 hours of work to meet the promotion deadline.

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Yachting in Milwaukee


Milwaukee is a boater’s paradise during late spring, summer and fall, with its rivers and Lake Michigan coastline. Milwaukee-based boat dealer CenterPointe Yacht Services operates retail locations and marinas in Walker’s Point, Pewaukee, Kenosha, Sturgeon Bay and Holland, Michigan. Its Milwaukee location recently sold two yachts from French yacht manufacturer Beneteau just in time for the start of the boating season.

Beneteau Gran Turismo 46 $700,000 This 48-foot “sport cruiser” boasts a European-style design, giving it a stylish and sleek look. Its exterior is an open-air hardtop with fully retractable sunroofs, electronically-operated side enclosure and a wide glass door that contains the cockpit. With an open concept, it can be opened completely to let in sunlight or it can be fully enclosed during bad weather – no canvas necessary. Its interior, constructed with wood, titanium, leather and lacquer finishes, holds a main cabin and guest cabin with separate bathrooms, a full kitchen with a refrigerator and electric stovetop, and multiple storage compartments. An interior lounge with a U-shaped seating area fits six people. Gran Turismo 46 offers easy access to the water or beach with its hydraulic swim platforms in the back, while the front of the boat offers space for sunbathing. A padded platform can act as a reclining bench, with two sun loungers or a flat sun bed. This diesel-powered boat is fuel-efficient and can reach speeds up to 30 knots, or 34 miles per hour.


Beneteau Gran Turismo 49 $800,000

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Similar to its cousin, the Gran Turismo 46, this European-style yacht also boasts an open-air exterior hardtop with retractable sunroofs and side panels. Its interior is constructed with features such as a full kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms similar to those of the GT 46. However, this yacht boasts more length – measuring almost 52 feet – and it sold for $100,000 more than the GT 46. A distinguishing feature of Gran Turismo 49 is its back storage locker, which can fit a smaller boat up to nine feet in length, such as an inflatable boat or a jet ski. A submersible swim platform, which can hold 770 pounds, covers the top of the storage space. An L-shaped lounge area in the cockpit can seat five people and the front sun lounger, with a retractable headrest, provides more space for relaxation. It also has a surround sound all-weather entertainment system with Bluetooth. Like the Gran Turismo 46, the GT 49 is a diesel-powered, fuel-efficient boat that can reach speeds up to 30 knots, or 34 miles per hour.


Cessna Citation Mustang The Cessna Citation Mustang is a very light jet class business jet that retails for $2.7 million. Just 470 of the aircraft, which is mainly aluminum alloy construction, were produced between 2005 and 2017. The Mustang is a low-wing cantilever monoplane with a swept wing, T-tail and tricycle retractable landing gear. It measures 40.56 feet in length and has champagne, navy and maroon stripes along the outside. The Mustang can reach speeds of Mach 0.63, or 483 miles per hour. It has a range of 1,343 miles. The Mustang holds four passengers and can be operated by a single pilot, making it ideal for zipping around the Midwest for meetings. The plane has an onboard toilet upholstered to match the platinum interior, which includes leather seats and cupholders. This plane is owned by a Lake Country business owner and hangared at the Waukesha County Airport. He pilots the plane on trips himself. “A lot of guys just buy it to get themselves to work or meetings or their family,” said Jim Furlong, turbine manager at WCA.

Cessna Citation XLS A later iteration of the Cessna Citation Excel, the XLS is a true business jet. The XLS retails for about $12.75 million. It began production in 1996, and 575 have been built. The medium-sized jet is a turbofan powered aircraft with a glass cockpit and PW545B performance engines, allowing it to reach a cruise speed of 507 miles per hour. The XLS has a wide, stand-up cabin fuselage that makes for one of the roomiest cabins in its class, but its length is just 52 feet. This seven-seater requires two pilots, and has a long range of 2,138 miles—the Milwaukee executive owner uses it to fly to Florida non-stop. It has its own private bathroom with a standard toilet, swiveling champagne leather seats, cupholders and upscale furnishings. The XLS has a separate auxiliary power unit for maximum passenger comfort. “On the ground, you could have that running without the engines running and that will give you cooling, heating without the battery on,” said Jim Furlong, turbine manager at WCA. / 55


Spacious Mequon home gym This spacious basement underwent a major transformation to create the perfect space for both work and play. The owners of this Mequon home love to entertain and wanted their basement to include an upscale bar and entertainment area to host their guests, paired with a large workout facility. Drab colors and 1990s features were replaced with lighter hues, sleek designs and plenty of natural lighting. A complete reconfiguration of the space made room for the large gym, which is separated by a glass door on a sliding track, opening up to the rest of the basement. The gym, which features rubber flooring, includes mounted TVs, free weights, two treadmills, an elliptical machine, a weight bench and an open space for yoga and other exercise. Patio doors in the bar and entertaining area allow for easy access to an outdoor swimming pool. The remodeling project was completed by AB&K Bath & Kitchen.

A full home gym in a compact space This entire Mequon home on Lake Michigan’s lakefront underwent a significant more than two-year renovation for its two new owners. The extensive reconstruction project, which was completed by B&E General Contractors of Glendale, included converting a windowless basement den into a home gym and sauna area. A workout enthusiast, owner Mike Kryshak wanted an at-home counterpart to his office gym, his wife Loretta said. Maximizing the compact space, the gym is outfitted with a steam shower, sauna and a rubber-matted workout area, featuring multiple stations of HOIST Fitness equipment, including a Smith machine and elliptical machines, along with free weights. The space features red-orange tones and birch wood trimming. An open bathroom area features a cement countertop sink and handmade birch cabinets, with marble tiled walls and floors.

56 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018


Great leadership comes from within Key qualities of effective leaders True leadership is both a choice and a personal journey. Any of us can be promoted into leadership roles, but it is by conscious choice that some of us accept the responsibility to go beyond simply being in charge. Those of us who carefully consider the implications of our decision to lead recognize our commitment to a journey that requires personal sacrifice and continuous learning. When a new company leader is named, her or his initial learning may be focused on tactical matters, like the organization’s operations and customer profile. In the long-term, however, a leader’s effectiveness is dependent on clarity of vision, a commitment to ongoing development and the ability to utilize strengths at opportune moments for the benefit of the organization. As leaders, we owe it to ourselves and our organizations to seek out and engage in ongoing professional development. The speed of business, changing demographics and challenges to keep pace with demands of customers are different today than even five years ago.

UNDERSTAND WHAT DRIVES YOU A critical, yet often underappreciated, predictor of a company’s success is the leader’s vision, which is invariably informed by personal experiences and beliefs. It requires candid reflection and honest self-assessment to uncover the core purpose and passion that drives you as a leader. Clarity around vision and purpose is critical

for success. It ensures alignment between personal satisfaction and the organization’s expectations. In fact, misalignment between a leader’s core vision and the organization’s often leads to mutual disappointment and discontent. Consider the leader whose personal vision is driven by being a “builder.” As a builder, this type of leader finds excitement and measures success through growth initiatives, innovation and new business development. Placing that leader into a role whose organizational focus is on stabilizing infrastructure by cutting costs and reallocating resources in support of short-term initiatives is likely to be frustrating for everyone involved.

NEVER STOP GROWING Just as leaders have a responsibility to develop the talent of their teams, we also own the responsibility of continuing our own professional and personal development. While it is important to recognize the relationship between the skills and experiences that have contributed to our past success, our organization will not measure our current value solely on past performance. Rather, leaders are evaluated and selected based upon their potential for guiding the organization into the future. We cannot afford to rest on our laurels.

In short, notoriety as a great leader is directly related to one’s personal character and the ability to tap into the right strengths at the right moments, inspiring others to achieve the unexpected.

LEADERSHIP IS A JOURNEY It is our obligation as leaders to make investments to stay ahead of obsolescence and support the evolution of our organizations. There is a wealth of new information – from improvements in business approaches to personal strategies – that are proving valuable to even the most seasoned leaders. The role of leader comes with expectation and commitment: to be successful, you must delve deep. Seek to understand what drives you – your purpose, passion and vision. Commit to a lifelong learning strategy to ensure you expand your base of knowledge and associated skillsets. This will help position you to respond to your ever-changing environment. Take action, and be the leader your organization needs, now and into the future. n

SEIZE YOUR OPPORTUNITIES Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mother Theresa represent a brief list of some our most admired and respected leaders. Each rose to a level of greatness through his or her actions at times when leadership was needed. Each owned his or her leadership responsibility, and through a lifetime of learning, self-reflection and then action, contributed in meaningful ways, staying true to his or her purpose and passion.

JOSEPH WEITZER Joseph Weitzer is the executive director of the BizTimes Leadership Academy. For more information, visit / 57


The first family of pro wrestling McMahons have been a huge success

It began with my mom. She would stay up on a Saturday night watching the likes of Verne Gagne, hometown hero Da Crusher, Dick the Bruiser and the Vachon Brothers. Following that was “GLOW- Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling,” the forerunner to today’s “Total Divas.” I am not embarrassed at all to report I watched wrestling and to this day, try to keep up on the latest in soap opera sports. To deny that professional wrestling is a big business is to deny the facts – it is a global empire. And the first family of pro wrestling is currently the McMahon family of World Wrestling Entertainment. Many of you reading this may have known this name, but it is unlikely that you know the family history. Starting in 1952, the grandfather to the reigning emperor began Capital Wrestling Corp. Yes, wrestling is a family business for the McMahons, and the business was passed to Vince Sr., who ran the business until 1982, when Vince Jr. bought it. To make things even more interesting for our readers, Vince Jr. is married to the current administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, Linda McMahon. While you may dismiss this family as noth58 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

ing but Hollywood and faux, it is a real business bringing in millions of dollars and is quite legitimate in the eyes of the federal government, if not your dubious eyes. Recently, the patriarch Vince Jr. announced a new football league to rival the NFL. This is no stunt. It’s McMahon’s second try to launch a new pro football league, after the XFL in 2001. The timing might be right for him to try again. You may have noticed that the NFL has had some struggles recently and has seen slumping attendance and viewership to prove it. The cynic in me might say it is because my beloved Green Bay Packers were not in the playoffs, but I suspect the troubles began long before this. Head injuries, deflate-gate and a fellow named Colin (Kaepernick) all played a prominent role in the troubles of the NFL. Along comes Vince McMahon and the WWE, with a string of movie successes and stars like The Rock and John Cena. Bet against the WWE and XFL if you must, but my money is on the family. The family business does not end with the current patriarch – it extends to the children, Shane and Stephanie, and Stephanie’s husband, Paul Levesque. To the more avid wrestling fan, you know Paul as his wrestling moniker, Triple H. Stephanie is the most frequently seen member of the family today and appears to be the keeper of the brand. Shane has wrestled, and if you follow the story line, has been exiled from the family firm. But, like all things in professional wrestling, he could return in the future or is active but behind the scenes. Like all family businesses, this family has weathered serious challenges to the brand. Allegations of steroid use, suicides and even death in the ring have all plagued the business. In 2014, The Ultimate Warrior, who had beaten Hulk Hogan in Wrestlemania VI, died of a heart attack many believe was induced by years of steroid use. In 1999, in the most famous death

in wrestling history, Owen Hart of the famous Hart Foundation family of wrestling died in an equipment malfunction, falling to the floor of the Kemper Arena in Kansas City. Today, the granddaughter of the original Hart wrestling patriarch, Natalya, is the reigning wrestling women’s champion – or at least she was when I wrote this. You know wrestling… At a time when the first family – the Trump family – comes from the entertainment world, we would be better not to scoff at the entertainment empire started by and continued into the fourth generation by the McMahons. It is the McMahons who launched the political career of the former governor of Minnesota, Jesse “The Body” Ventura. I am quite sure none of us would have even heard of Ventura if it weren’t for the fact that he was a regular star on Vince McMahon’s WWE. The McMahon family has gone from wrestling to entertainment, from football to the White House. How many of you can say that? n

DAVID BORST David Borst, Ed.D., is executive director and chief operating officer of the Family Business Legacy Institute, a regional resource hub for family businesses. He can be reached at

Tip Sheet Creating group norms


f you’ve ever been a part of an effective executive team, you know the factors that contributed to its success – easily flowing communication, common goals, mutual support and dedication. In a Harvard Business Review article, CEO coach and leadership speaker Sabina Nawaz

says following group norms, or an agreed upon set of behaviors, is an important practice for maintaining a successful executive team. She suggests five steps to creating your team’s norms and putting them into practice: 1. Use past experiences to identify successful norms. Think back to times when your current or previous team worked well together and identify some contributing factors, such as consistent communication or being present during conversations, that led to that success. These will become some of your team’s norms. 2. Translate the norms into behaviors. After listing your desired norms as a group, discuss how to act upon them and turn them into collective behavior. Nawaz uses the example of encouraging equal participation during meetings: Brainstorm what equal participation looks like to your group. Then, create the behavior, which could be

for key issues or decisions, asking for every team member’s vocal input “starting with the person who’s spoken the least in that day’s meeting.” 3. Prioritize the top five norms. As a group, choose one to five norms that are most important and commit to practicing those first. The fewer norms the group tries to master at once, the more impactful they will be. 4. Create an achievable and measurable plan. Create a game plan for enacting those norms so your effort is not wasted. The plan should be specific, appointing owners and setting timelines for how your team will commit to each norm. 5. Hold each other accountable Discuss the ways your team will check in with one another and hold each other accountable throughout this time of change. n

ThankYou! SPONSORS AND ATTENDEES Attendees of BizTimes Media’s annual M&A Forum gained valuable insights about buying or selling a business. REV Group Inc. president and CEO Tim Sullivan gave the keynote address sharing his extensive experience in buying and selling companies. Panel discussions focused on exit strategies, the business sale decision-making process and recapitalizations. There were also a series of informative breakout sessions. BizTimes Media would like to thank all who attended, Sullivan, the panelists, moderators, and the breakout session leaders. PRESENTED BY:





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Contact Advertising Sales for rates and specs. or 414-336-7112

NONPROFIT JOHNSON CONTROL S G I V E S $1 M I L L I O N TO P L A N N E D I N T E R N AT I O N A L AFRIC AN AMERIC AN MUSEUM Johnson Controls International plc is giving $1 million to the planned International African American Museum in Charleston, South Carolina ahead of the museum’s anticipated groundbreaking later this year. The gift will be recognized in the museum’s planned Center for Family History, a research center dedicated to African American genealogy that will use databases and DNA testing to help individuals identify their ancestors, countries of origin and living relatives. The new museum, which is being developed on the site of a former disembarkation point for

African slaves as they arrived in the U.S., will highlight under-told experiences and contributions of Americans of African descent. Johnson Controls officials said the company took an interest in the project because of its commitment to diversity and inclusion. “The IAAM will elevate under-told stories that are vital to the broader American narrative, and we look forward to seeing the institution come to life,” said Grady Crosby, chief diversity officer at Johnson Controls and president of the Johnson Controls Foundation. — Lauren Anderson

c alendar Arts @ Large will host The Fabric of Milwaukee Gala at 5 p.m. on May 4 at Black Swan MKE, 309 N. Water St. The event will feature live music and a silent auction. Cocktails will begin at 5 p.m. Dinner will be served at 6:30 p.m. For more information, visit Kathy’s House will host its Building the Perfect House Gala at 5 p.m. on May 19 at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave. The program will include a silent auction, dinner, live auction and program, featuring speaker Deanna Singh. Michael and Virginia McBride will receive the Founder’s Award. Mary Gronnert-Kollross and Hank Kollross will receive the Inspiration of Hope Award. For more information, visit

D O N AT I O N R O U N D U P Camp Hometown Heroes raised more than $125,000 recently at the 8th annual Grand Slam Charity Jam to benefit Camp Hometown Heroes, a free, national, weeklong summer camp for children who have lost a loved one who served in the U.S. Military. | Goya Foods recently donated 47,500 pounds of food to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin as part of the Goya Gives ‘Can Do’ campaign. | West Bend Mutual Insurance Co. has pledged to donate $50 to the MACC Fund every time a Milwaukee Brewers player hits a double this season, and $100 to the Brewers Community Foundation every time a player hits a home run at Miller Park. | Local police officers and firefighters recently competed in the Battle of The Badges hockey game to raise nearly $20,000, benefitting the Summer Camp for Burned Injured Youth and Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin Charitable Foundation.




528D Wells St., Delafield (262) 346-5100 | Facebook: | Twitter: @goldinseptember

Year founded: 2012 Mission statement: Increase funding for childhood cancer research and initiatives by growing awareness that inspires action to help every child, everywhere. Primary focus: A childhood cancer nonprofit dedicated to coloring the world gold so every child, everywhere will survive cancer. G9 directly funds early phase trials, bringing the newest, most promising treatments to kids faster. Utilizing a noble model of turning the world gold to raise awareness and meet the mission, G9 directly benefits the entire childhood cancer community with gold alliance, resulting in increased funding and support for all childhood cancer initiatives. G9 stands for Gold in September. Gold is the national color for pediatric cancer and September is the recognized National Childhood Cancer Awareness month; together, they make G9. Other focuses: Increasing gold awareness to inspire action that will raise money for pediatric cancer research. Employees at this location: 7 Executive leadership: Sarah Bartosz, president; Beth Lunow, executive director

Board of directors: Sarah Bartosz, Charles F. Bohl, Elizabeth Brenner, Shanna Cox, Kristin Guadagno, Dave Drury, Anthony Fuerst, Rory Leyden, Beth Lunow, Ron Troy, Jason Wilde Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? G9 is always seeking dedicated board and/or committee members for consideration. Ways the business community can help: G9 is looking for individuals who wish to help the organization build success and survival for children in a number of different ways, including: fundraising, marketing and communications, youth and school programs, and business development. Key fundraising event: Gold In September is hosting a Golden Celebration event on April 24 in the new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons, featuring an amazing culinary experience via James Beard Award-winning chefs Paul Bartolotta from the Bartolotta Restaurants and Andrew Zimmern, star of the Travel Channel series “Bizarre Foods.” / 61





HGA Architects and Engineers, Milwaukee

Port Washington State Bank, Grafton

Bielinski Homes Inc., Pewaukee

Chicago Title Insurance Co., Milwaukee



Port Washington State Bank has promoted Angie Regnitz to personal banker-II. S. Bielinski

P. Bielinski


Port Washington State Bank, Port Washington

Chicago Title Insurance Co. promoted Emily Ramacciotti to senior underwriter for Wisconsin.

Bielinski Homes Inc. has promoted Paul Bielinski to chief executive officer and Steve Bielinski to chief operating officer.


RyTech LLC, Milwaukee RyTech LLC has promoted Sam Kessenich to director of search marketing.


Steeple Pointe Homes LLC, Waukesha


HGA Architects and Engineers has promoted Mike Andric, Andrew Lasca and Kate Mullaney to associate vice presidents, and Kevin Kerschbaum to vice president.


Johnson Bank, Milwaukee Johnson Bank has hired Tony Petrie as vice president – mortgage field manager.



Port Washington State Bank has promoted Kelly Lambrecht to vice president mortgage lender and BreAnna Porth to vice president branch manager.



North Shore Bank has promoted Margaret Capper to senior vice president, commercial banking, Eric Ohlert Freeman to senior vice president, commercial real estate lending, and Mark Ohlert to senior vice president, chief credit officer.

62 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

Concurrency Inc., Brookfield Concurrency Inc. has promoted Steve Cundy to vice president, strategic business consulting and modern management.

Wells Fargo, Milwaukee



Waldo State Bank has promoted Derrick Hermann to vice president of lending.

BANKING & FINANCE Wells Fargo has hired Jeanne Zeske as senior vice president and relationship manager for middle market banking in Wisconsin.


The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Milwaukee

Waldo State Bank, Waldo


North Shore Bank, Brookfield

Steeple Pointe Homes LLC has hired Steve Wamser as vice president of sales.


Aurora Health Care, Milwaukee Michael Thompson, a board-certified hematologist and oncologist with Aurora Health Care, has been named a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has named Kristen Mekemson vice president of development and philanthropic services.


Heritage Senior Living, West Allis Heritage Senior Living has hired Antonio Evans to fill its regional director of hospitality and culinary position.


SBA LOANS The U.S. Small Business Administration approved the following loan guarantees in February:



Rock River Laboratory Inc., 710 Commerce Drive, Watertown, $218,000, First Bank Financial Centre; MILWAUKEE COUNTY

Aeroforce Logistics LLC, 620 E. Vienna Ave., Milwaukee, $150,000, PyraMax Bank; Aeroforce Logistics LLC, 620 E. Vienna Ave., Milwaukee, $25,000, PyraMax Bank; Aesthetics 360 LLC, 233 N. Water St., Milwaukee, $530,000, BMO Harris Bank; Baisla Stones LLC, 6720 27th St., Oak Creek, $175,000, Byline Bank; Baisla Stones LLC, 6720 27th St., Oak Creek, $1.76 million, Byline Bank; C Blu LLC, 2450 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee, $595,000, Byline Bank; Conflux Holdings LLC, 748820 S. Water St., Milwaukee, $2.5 million, Commerce State Bank; Creative Infancy LLC, 11109 W. Bluemound Road, Milwaukee, $35,000, Summit Credit Union; Morts Painting Inc., 3915 McKinley Ave., Milwaukee, $35,000, U.S. Bank; Noor Property LLC, 1831 W. National Ave., Milwaukee, $314,000, WBD Inc.; Pinnacle Freight Systems Inc., 2719 S. 60th St., Milwaukee, $100,000, Landmark Credit Union; Pro Engineering & Manufacturing, 11175 W. Heather Ave, Milwaukee, $350,000, Commerce State Bank; Probst Law Offices S.C., 1011 N. Mayfair Road, Milwaukee, $10,000, Landmark Credit Union; Room 2 Room Construction LLC, 4224 Studio Lane E., Oak Creek, $40,000, U.S. Bank; Savage Solutions LLC, 233 N. Water St., Milwaukee, $125,000, Commerce State Bank;


Sunset Options Funeral & Cremations, 904 E. Rawson Ave., Oak Creek, $210,500, CoastalStates Bank; Uncle Wolfie’s Breakfast Tavern LLC, 234 E. Vine Street, Milwaukee, $75,000, Summit Credit Union; Whit and Wolf LLC, 234 E. Vine St., Milwaukee, $600,000, Summit Credit Union; Witkowiak Funeral Home LLC, 529 W. Historic Mitchell St., Milwaukee, $125,000, First Bank Financial Centre; OZAUKEE COUNTY

Data Financial Inc., 1100 Glen Oaks Lane, Mequon, $250,000, Byline Bank; RW Shaw Construction Services, W75 N846 Tower Ave., Cedarburg, $125,000, Independence Bank; RACINE COUNTY

Anchor Inn & Bowling, 6501 Washington Ave., Racine, $35,000, Community State Bank; Foreman-Slaasted Heating & Air Conditioning, 6028 Middle Road, Racine, $45,000, Community State Bank; Imme Transport Inc., 7129 Peterson Court, Waterford, $50,000, Independence Bank; J Harris Trucking LLC, 2040 5 1/2 Mile Road, Racine, $50,000, Newtek Small Business Finance Inc.;


Almar Holdings LLC, 3018 Helsan Drive, Richfield, $492,000, WBD Inc.;




Conley Media LLC, 801 N. Barstow St., Waukesha, $300,000, First Bank Financial Centre; DeMore’s Innovative Design Inc., N56 W19868 Silver Spring Drive, Menomonee Falls, $80,000, Associated Bank; Haq Nawaz Group LLC, 3065 N. 124th St., Brookfield, $125,000, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.; Intelligentinfo Solutions Inc., N19 W24400 Riverwood Drive, Suite 3, Waukesha, $100,000, First Home Bank; Late Model Throttle LLC, 525 Progress Ave., Suite B, Waukesha, $122,000, Associated Bank; LG Elm Grove LLC, 780 Elm Grove Road, Elm Grove, $336,000, WBD Inc.; Living Assistance Waukesha LLC, 120 Park Avenue, Pewaukee, $1.2 million, Byline Bank;


931 Millersville LLC, 931 Millersville Ave., Howards Grove, $2 million, Bank First National;

River’s Rain Gutters LLC, 301 Sand Hill Lane, Dousman, $52,000, First Bank Financial Centre;

CMC Media LLC, 6534 State Road 89, Whitewater, $25,000, U.S. Bank;


Quality Stamping & Tube Corp., N169 W21010 Meadow Lane, $3.4 million, Hiawatha National Bank;

Parkland Landscape Management LLC, S46 W25094 Black Oak Court East, Waukesha, $50,000, Associated Bank;




VividInk Print Solutions LLC, W223 N720 Saratoga Drive, Building B, Waukesha, $125,000, Waukesha State Bank.


Reserve your space in the 2018 Giving Guide

Your involvement in this annual publication includes an in-depth profile, plus several advertising elements in BizTimes Milwaukee magazine, BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly enewsletter and Take advantage of the opportunity for your organization to be seen by the Region’s Business and Philanthropic Leaders all year long.

Publication Date: November 12, 2018

Contact Media Sales today! (414) 336-7112 or A SUPPLEMENT OF / 63

BizConnections VOLUME 24, NUMBER 2 | APR 16, 2018


126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120 PHONE: 414-277-8181 FAX: 414-277-8191 WEBSITE: CIRCULATION: 414-336-7100 | ADVERTISING: 414-336-7112 | EDITORIAL: 414-336-7120 | REPRINTS: 414-336-7128 | PUBLISHER / OWNER Dan Meyer



EDITORIAL EDITOR Andrew Weiland MANAGING EDITOR Molly Dill REPORTER Lauren Anderson REPORTER Corrinne Hess REPORTER Maredithe Meyer REPORTER Arthur Thomas

— This photo is from the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Photo Archives collection.


Streetcar supporters had better get on board THE FIRST STREETCAR vehicle has finally arrived in Milwaukee. Love it or hate it, this is a big deal. The federal transportation funds for the project were allocated to Milwaukee in the early ’90s, but officials spent years arguing about what to use them for. After so much discussion and debate, it’s almost surreal to see the streetcar is actually here. The streetcar remains an extremely controversial project. A short video on the BizTimes Facebook page of the streetcar arriving in Milwaukee generated an enormous response, far more than usual. The post received dozens of “likes” and “shares” by supporters. But there was also a long list of comments that were overwhelmingly negative. For opponents, the streetcar is the ultimate symbol of government waste. For supporters, it is an investment that will make the city more attractive and provide a clean transportation 64 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

alternative to get around downtown. There will be a ton of scrutiny of the streetcar. Every problem it has will get a massive amount of attention and the critics will howl. Passenger service is expected to begin this fall. If supporters of the streetcar want to see it succeed, they had better ride it. A lot. That includes the members of Milwaukee’s business community who have pushed for the project. They include Marcus Corp. president and chief executive officer Greg Marcus, former ManpowerGroup CEO Jeff Joerres, General Capital Group partner Linda Gorens-Levey, Lubar & Co. president and CEO David Lubar, Mandel Group Inc. president Barry Mandel, former Johnson Controls International plc CEO Alex Molinaroli and Medical College of Wisconsin senior vice president Greg Wesley. All of them were part of a coalition that pushed for Common Council approval of the streetcar in 2015. The streetcar got even more support from Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, which is providing $10 million over 12 years to be the naming sponsor for the streetcar. With the Potawatomi sponsorship, rides on the streetcar will be free for a year. It will be very interesting to see how many



Original Milwaukee streetcar The background of this photo shows the original horse-drawn Milwaukee streetcar traveling down Grand Avenue toward Sixth Street. Grand Avenue is now West Wisconsin Avenue, and the new streetcar tracks cross over it at North Milwaukee Street and North Broadway. The streetcar was introduced as a horsecar line in 1860 and the system was electrified in 1890. It went defunct in 1958.



 Independent & Locally Owned


—  Founded 1995 —

people actually ride the streetcar. Who will it appeal to? Perhaps it will be an alternative for people making short trips around downtown who would rather not walk several blocks or have to find parking. Streetcar supporters have also said it will attract development along the route. That remains to be seen. Some projects are already occurring there, but did the streetcar have anything to do with them? The initial streetcar line, which runs from the Intermodal Station northeast through the Third Ward, downtown and to the Lower East Side, is only supposed to be a starter line. City officials want to get more federal funds for extensions. So far, they have been unable to get funds to extend the streetcar to the new arena. If the city and streetcar supporters want to grow this system, they need to prove it can succeed. n


P / 414-336-7120 E / T / @AndrewWeiland

M&A Forum


BizTimes Media held its annual M&A Forum on March 21 at The Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.












TOM VENNER and BROCK CHILDERS, both of Taureau Group LLC, and DIANE VERHAGEN of Insight Publications LLC.


ED KRAJCIR of Sunbelt Business Brokers and GINA NATOLI of Beauchamp Maleki Group.


PETER KORDUS of KPS and STACY TERRIS of Vistage Worldwide Inc.


SCOTT AUSTIN and MASWOOD WASIULLAH, both of Aurora Health Care, and TIM SULLIVAN of REV Group.


THOMAS KINGSTON of Insperity, KARIN GALE of Schenck SC and PETER RUUD of Lube-Tech & Partners LLC.


STEVE MCGLOTHLIN of Old National Bank, SUSAN BALL of Schenck SC, and WILLIAM FARRAR of Concord Financial Advisors LLC.


AMY BIERSTEKER and LISA HORN, both of Schenck SC, and TAMMY HALFMANN of Taureau Group.


BRYAN BRUNCLIK and MAX BRUNCLIK of Clearwing Productions and STEVE KELLY of MLG Capital.


DEREK SMITH of Associated Bank, KEVIN ANDERSON of Old National Bank, ANN HANNA of Taureau Group and LINDA MERTZ of Mertz Associates.

Women Inspired to Lead PEARLS for Teen Girls held its 10th annual Women Inspired to Lead fundraising event on March 15 at the Harley-Davidson Museum.


10. CATHY CERO-JAEGER of Concordia University Wisconsin and SHANITA ROWSEY of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co.



11. DARICE BROWN and ED SEABERG, both of Rockwell Automation, and PATRICK SMITH, self-employed. 12. BETSY CORRY of First Stage Children’s Theater and ELIZABETH MEYER of Fund Development Corp. 13. KOSANA STOJCEVIC, JOYCE KIRK and LEESA GILLIAM, all of PNC Bank.



15. ANDREA WOLF of First Business Bank, KELSEY LORENZ and KIM KOLESARI, both of M3 Insurance, and JILL BOYLE of Sikich LLP. 16. MARY DOWELL of MJ Dowell & Associates LLC, DELORIS SIMS of Legacy Bank, GERRY HOWZE of PEARLS for Teen Girls, MARKAYLA, a Pearl Girl, and KATE MEYER of BizTimes Media.



17. LINDA EDELSTEIN of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and keynote speaker JENNIFER BUFFETT of the NoVo Foundation in New York.

Photos by Maredithe Meyer


14. JUWANIA KEYS of Independent Care Health Plan, JONA MOORE of PEARLS for Teen Girls and DEBORAH MOORE of City of Milwaukee. / 65






President and CEO, Rogers Behavioral Health System Inc. OCONOMOWOC-BASED Rogers Behavioral Health System Inc. has expanded quickly in recent years. Since 2014, the health system has added outpatient centers in Tampa, Nashville, Chicago, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and San Francisco. Meanwhile, it plans to add a residential unit for adults at its West Allis campus and 60 beds at its Oconomowoc hospital. Currently serving about 1,000 patients annually, Rogers is poised to serve as many as 1,400. In a recent interview with BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Lauren Anderson, Patrick Hammer, president and chief executive officer of Rogers, discussed the health care system’s growth. WHY OPEN REGIONAL CENTERS? “We wanted to continue to serve patients in their home communities that were traveling to Wisconsin for specialized residential care. Having patients travel to Oconomowoc for the intensive level of care, we wanted to have a transition experience for them back in their home communities, as well as serve patients that could receive care in one of our outpatient clinics so that they might not need to travel all the way to Wisconsin for care.” EXPECTED FUTURE GROW TH? “Right now we have a pretty high demand – we run waiting lists for some of 66 / BizTimes Milwaukee APRIL 16, 2018

our specialized residential treatment services. By building out these intermediate levels of care, we’re trying to decrease the number of patients on those waiting lists. We’ve been successful to a certain degree, but we’re also finding that, with the specialty nature of what we do, more people are hearing about us from these regional communities that we’re in and want to access these higher levels of care. We see growth in our residential treatment center division. We’ll be adding 100 beds over the next 12 to 18 months. In addition, we’ll be adding about 300 spots for outpatient care across the country. We’re forecasting that growth to continue over the next five years. Some will be organic growth at existing outpatient clinics and we are evaluating additional clinic sites across the country that we may add.” EFFECT OF THE OPIOID CRISIS? “Certainly with the issue of substance use disorders in our society, we need many quality providers to help treat addiction issues. We’re a little different in that we not only provide general detoxification services, but we provide the specialized services for persons that have co-occurring disorders. They may have a substance use disorder, but also an anxiety disorder or co-occurring post-traumatic stress disorder. We’re addressing a highly complex patient population and we’ll work with local community providers that provide more generalized care.” n

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Thursday, June 14, 2018 7:00 AM - 11:00 AM | Italian Community Center

Trust and Transparency in a Family Enterprise

Presenter: Deb Houden, Ph.D., Senior Consultant - The Family Business Consulting Group Successful family enterprises have shared decision-making and effective communication. Before either of those can happen, families must build their trust and be transparent in their individual needs and desires. Join us as Deb Houden Ph.D. will present ideas on how to build the underlying foundations of trust and transparency to help build and sustain your successful family business.

Featured Presentation: Treated Like Family


How an Entrepreneur and His “Employee Family” Built Sargento, a Billion-Dollar Cheese Company

Presenters: Louie Gentine, CEO, Sargento Foods Tom Faley, Author and Communications Manager, Sargento Foods Louie Gentine and Tom Faley will share insights, philosophies and stories about four generations of Sargento Foods, its management, and the trials leading to its influential place in the cheese industry. Topics discussed will include key concepts which led to founder Leonard Gentine’s entrepreneurial success: • The importance of a corporate culture based on the values of its employees • Company ownership not narrowly defined by its shareholders or its products • Servant leadership • Hire good people and treat them like family GENTINE


Roundtable Discussions

Following the family business presentation, the program continues with three, 25 - minute roundtable discussions. Attendees can choose from topics like: • Trust and transparency in a family enterprise • Internal controls protect your business and your bottom-line • How innovation, entrepreneurship and an “employee family” built Sargento Foods

• • • • •

Developing leadership across generations Communication and company culture Estate Planning and the family legacy Employee engagement and accountability Integrating outside family members

• Compensation • Exit strategies • Rewarding your key management




BizTimes Milwaukee | April 16, 2018  

Who's going to ride the streetcar? | Foxconn sends I-94 work into overdrive in Racine County | Milwaukee County BRT could roll out in 2019 |...

BizTimes Milwaukee | April 16, 2018  

Who's going to ride the streetcar? | Foxconn sends I-94 work into overdrive in Racine County | Milwaukee County BRT could roll out in 2019 |...