MAY 14 - 27, 2018 Â» $3.25
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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
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
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• Compensation • Exit strategies • Rewarding your key management
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30 Buildings and Construction An update on Foxconn construction as site prep gets underway, and details on the fraud scheme prosecutors allege Ganos built.
BizTimes Milwaukee (ISSN 1095-936X & USPS # 017813) Volume 24, Number 4, May 14, 2018 – May 27, 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.
4 NOW BY THE NUMBERS 5 BIZ TRAVELER 6 IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD 7 JUMP START 8 GETTING THERE 9 INNOVATIONS 10 MY FAVORITE TECH 11 STYLE 12 BIZ POLL ON MY NIGHTSTAND
16 News 16 MEDICAL COLLEGE AIMS TO TACKLE HEALTH DISPARITIES WITH CENTRAL CITY CENTER. 18 MY TAKE 19 S ARGENTO STORY TO BE FEATURED AT FAMILY & CLOSELY HELD BUSINESS SUMMIT.
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41 Biz Connections 41 NONPROFIT 42 PERSONNEL FILE 43 SBA LOANS 44 GLANCE AT YESTERYEAR COMMENTARY 45 AROUND TOWN 46 MY TOUGHEST CHALLENGE
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Milwaukee Public Museum CEO unveils more plans for new downtown location By Lauren Anderson, staff writer The Milwaukee Public Museum’s new home will be a four-story building on a full city block in downtown Milwaukee, according to plans presented by president and chief executive officer Dennis Kois at a recent Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce event. The new building is designed to be less than half the size of the
museum’s current 400,000-squarefoot facility at 800 W. Wells St., which reflects a larger trend of museums scaling down their footprints as they shift away from large diorama exhibits to more technology-driven experiences, Kois said. “This (museum) was built for another era,” he said. “And to be ready for the next era, we’re going
BY THE NUMBERS Briggs & Stratton says the late start to spring could reduce its sales by
40 MILLION this fiscal year.
4 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
to have to make sure that we build a museum that is right-sized for the community, that is technologically advanced and ready for next-gen exhibits and experiences, and that is sustainable in this community.” Kois unveiled renderings of the new facility at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce event, but the museum is not releasing them to the public yet. A location has not yet been determined. As it builds a new facility, MPM is looking to position itself as a statewide institution, Kois said – and it could mean a change in branding. Renderings for the new building include the name “Wisconsin’s Natural History Museum.” “We are the Milwaukee Public Museum and that has fundamentally been our identity for 150 years, so it will always be a part of our identity,” Kois said. “But we also have to acknowledge that we are the state’s natural history museum. There is no other research-based collecting institution in the state … We have to use that as part of our branding.” It’s likely that the new museum’s branding would integrate the name of a large donor or company, he said. Kois said MPM leaders face the tension of trying to preserve beloved exhibits while also integrating new features. Plans for the new
facility include more interactive exhibits, like an urban biodiversity lab and citizen science projects, along with exhibits that “look and feel like old-school museums,” he said. The Streets of Old Milwaukee exhibit, for example, will carry over to the new building. “We’re going to bring the best of what this museum is with us,” he said. The project is on schedule to break ground in 2022. Kois didn’t disclose the cost of the project, but has previously floated $100 million as an estimate. Fundraising will be a “heavy lift,” and will require the museum to tap into resources outside of Milwaukee’s business community, Kois said. “We’re not going to raise everything we need to raise to build a new museum just by asking the same companies and people in Milwaukee to do the same things they’ve always done,” he said. “As a city, we have to get out of that mode.” The museum will likely pursue state and county funding for the project. Kois noted the state’s recent $70 million commitment to the Wisconsin Historical Society’s proposed $120 million history museum in Madison. MPM expects to announce the site of the facility within 12 months. n
B I Z T R AV E L E R : BOISE W ILL TESCH Chief executive officer, TESCHGlobal LLC
Will Tesch, chief executive officer of TESCHGlobal, has made many trips in recent months to Boise, Idaho as the Grafton-based tech firm opens a new office there. Here are a few of Tesch’s travel tips. n
T R A N S P O R TAT I O N : “If you go out west and have to transfer in any form, getting through Denver (International Airport) is a good option. Ever since Midwest Express disappeared – which is still the best airline ever in the world – I’ve focused on United and Southwest. The Boise Airport is on the south edge of town; it’s very convenient to get in and around that part of Idaho. I rent a car when I arrive.”
ACCO M M O DAT I O N S A N D F O O D :
E XC U R S I O N S: “There is a really cool cigar bar in Meridian, Idaho (about 15 minutes east of Boise) called The Vault. We actually buy cigars for our clients out there so they can come in to The Vault and enjoy a cigar on our tab. The Boise River runs through Boise and I’m a big fly fisherman, so I also enjoy fly fishing on the river.”
“The Hilton Garden Inn in Eagle – right outside of Boise – is right on the river and I can fly fish out the back door of the hotel. Eagle is the coolest little town, it has a similar vibe to Cedarburg. Eighth Street has all these really cool restaurants in downtown Boise. It’s a great place to take out clients. Humpin’ Hanna’s is a big Packer bar out there, which is pretty fun. Red Feather Lounge has excellent, crazy good food. They have really good steak and a great wine selection. That part of Idaho also has a proud wine tradition so they are kind of an up-and-coming wine producer, as well.”
T R AV E L T I P : “Boise is surrounded by mountains. You’re really close to some beautiful parts of the West out there. I’d recommend getting out there and taking it in.”
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IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
COLLECTOR’S EDGE COMICS SOUTH 2330 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Milwaukee NEIGHBORHOOD: Bay View FOUNDED: 1984 OWNER: Steve Dobrzynski EMPLOYEES: 6 PRODUCT: Comics
What do you sell? “We’re mainly comics and comic-related items. We’ve got about 1 million back issues, give or take. New comics come out weekly – we keep those maintained on our racks. We should always have at least the last four issues of any title that we’re not sold out of on our racks. We also buy collections, which are older comics – that goes into our back stock also.” Who are your customers? “We see everyone from 3-year-old girls to 80-year-
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old guys. The average customer is somewhere around 29 or 30, about 50/50 (percent) married to single. We’ve got pretty much everybody.” What are the most popular comics these days? “Your main titles – Batman, The Amazing Spiderman – but also independent titles are gaining momentum in several different areas that are non-superhero related. And a lot of these are being made into TV shows and movies. That’s
happening more and more where you watch a new movie coming out and say, ‘That’s a comic.’ And I don’t think people realize that.” Have you seen growing interest in female-centered comics? “They’ve always had female leads in comics, but now more than ever you see a cross-section of everybody. They’ve got male leads and female leads. There are Hispanic leads, there are black leads. Everything you could think of, there’s a comic for it.” n
BLOXVOX LLC LOCATION: Hartland FOUNDER: Greg Umhoefer FOUNDED: February 2018 PRODUCT: Private phone call device WEBSITE: bloxvox.com EMPLOYEES: 1
EXPERIENCE: Umhoefer worked in actuarial consulting at Ernst & Young for five years and then as chief financial officer at PingPong Financial.
Bloxvox device allows private calls in public places By Molly Dill, staff writer
LILA ARYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
GOAL: Raise $25,000 on Kickstarter
WHEN GREG UMHOEFER worked in actuarial consulting at Ernst & Young, he was on a business trip to New York and working out of the firm’s open concept office there. “I was getting a phone call from my girlfriend…and I want to have a conversation with her but it’s super weird, I think, to have personal calls with lots of co-workers around,” Umhoefer said. Searching for a vacant conference room or stairwell was an option, but Umhoefer started thinking about a more comfortable alternative: A device that would allow someone to have a private conversation without leaving their desk, or in any public place. In June 2017, Umhoefer began using a 3D printer to create a prototype of the voice mask he envisioned, which he calls Bloxvox. Seventy-five iterations later, he thinks he has the perfect shape and design to block sound from leaving the device, while picking up the speaker’s voice with good sound quality. Umhoefer has a utility patent pending on the shape. “If you’re in a typical office environment where there’s some background noise, maybe some air conditioning noise or traffic on the street, eight
Greg Umhoefer holding the Bloxvox.
feet away you pretty much won’t be able to hear” with the Bloxvox on, Umhoefer said. The Bloxvox is made of two materials: A rigid plastic and a rubberlike material that creates a comfortable fit against the user’s face. A slit in the device allows the user’s headphone cord microphone to be inserted. “There are a couple of, I call them indirect competitors, basically devices with a microphone built in, and they retail at about $300,” Umhoefer said. “This will have a price point well below $100. It’s basically a simpler, more mechanical device. It incorporates the microphone from your headphones.” So far, Umhoefer has bootstrapped the startup and has one unnamed investor. Now, he’s launching a Kickstarter campaign May 22 to raise $25,000 to make the injection molds and complete a production run of Bloxvox devices. “I’m in talks with a couple of plastic injection molding companies in southeast Wisconsin. I’m going to do my best to get it made here,” Umhoefer said. “If that happens, then the goal would be to work toward it becoming a mainstream office tool.” n biztimes.com / 7
How is your new role different? “I’m working to maintain and increase efficiencies among purchasing, customer service, scheduling, warehouse and distribution. (In my previous role) I worked with all of these departments on a daily basis. They were kind of separated. We’re bringing them all together to gain efficiencies.”
What drew you to manufacturing? “I worked at (PricewaterhouseCoopers) for four years. I was an auditor and I mainly focused on manufacturing companies. I loved accounting but I really had a hard time sitting behind a desk all day. I ended up really loving operations and that’s how I moved into the supply chain area. I actually ended up loving that more than accounting.”
Aspects of leadership position you like? “This (role) gives me a little more leverage of saying if we want to do something bold or make a change that’s really impactful to the company, I can do that without having to go through a lot of levels of management.”
Outside the office? “I’m a board member for the Sussex Chamber of Commerce. I’m in charge of our annual golf outing. It’s Aug. 2. I really like to spend time with my husband and my son. He’s 19 months old so he’s a handful and likes to spend a lot of time outside.”
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What keeps you in the area? “I know a lot of my friends from college, everyone moved to Chicago or bigger cities, but I think Milwaukee has a lot to offer. I also like living in Sussex because we’re only 35 minutes from downtown ... you can still go to Brewers games and Bucks games or downtown for a night and not feel like you’re spending much time to get there.”
MEGAN TZANOUKAKIS Vice president of supply chain SUSSEX IM
K AT H Y’ S H O U S E PHONE: (414) 453-8290 WEB: kathys-house.org
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Kathy’s House is a hospital guest house committed to providing affordable lodging and caring support in a “home away from home” environment for families who need to travel to Milwaukee for medical care.
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EDUCATION: Bachelor’s and master’s in accounting, Marquette University; licensed CPA PREVIOUS POSITION: Fulfillment and systems manager
INN Cielo develops solution to expedite hourly hiring process
LARGE SEASONAL operations, such as a theme park before the summer season or a retailer before the holiday rush, face a distinct challenge: the need to hire thousands of quality employees quickly. The pace of traditional hiring protocol – sifting through resumes, evaluating skillsets, scheduling interviews and following up on good prospects – can sometimes prove too sluggish for high-volume hiring. And for a job seeker, the hunt for an hourly gig can be equally cumbersome. “Typically, a candidate might see an ad, then click on the ad, and that will send them to a different system, where they’ll have to create a username and password,” said Adam Godson, vice president of global technology solutions at Brookfield-based Cielo Inc. “They will fill out a long application, and then they will wait. Some person will review their stuff to see if they’re qualified, maybe call them for an interview, then they’ll play phone tag for three to five days. The whole process can take multiple weeks.” Cielo says it can bring that time down to seven minutes. The Brookfield-based company recently launched High Volume RPO (Recruitment Process Outsourcing), a solution that uses mobile technology and intelligent automation to steer applicants through the job application process more efficiently. “We saw there was an opportunity Cielo’s High Volume RPO platform allows applicants to record answers to interview questions via their cellphone. to use technology in
an innovative way to help people and companies with hourly hiring,” Godson said. “We could see the pieces of technology that existed, but were not interconnected enough to really be effective.” The High Volume RPO solution is integrated into an employer’s job ads online. When a mobile user clicks on a posting, it takes the person through the Cielo-developed application process that can be completed within seven minutes. Cielo specifically targets not only job sites, but also consumer sites like Snapchat to reach people who aren’t necessarily looking for a job. It reflects the changing nature of work and a growing interest in side hustles, Godson said. “We see fresh audiences in (websites) where people aren’t necessarily thinking about jobs,” he said. “Work used to be 40 hours at one job and now, for many people, it’s putting together flexible work options.” Through the High Volume RPO process, applicants are prompted to answer questions about their employment history and complete two assessments – a condensed version of the DiSC profile and an emotional intelligence assessment. In lieu of an initial phone interview, the platform also allows for an audio interview process, in which applicants record answers to interview questions and the audio files are analyzed using voice analysis software to determine their tone and emotion. All of that data is condensed into a candidate’s match score, rated on a scale of 1 to 10. Those who score 8 and above are automatically scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager within three days. Those scoring between 6 and 8 undergo a human review process. Candidates are texted a reminder 24 hours before their interview is scheduled and they can text back, with the system using natural language processing
Cielo Inc. Brookfield
INNOVATION: High Volume Recruitment Process Outsourcing FOUNDER: Sue Marks cielotalent.com
to confirm the appointment. “We’re trying to automate as much of the early process – the part from the initial match to the actual interview – so we maximize the personal contact at the interview,” Godson said. “We’re trying to reduce the friction that exists in the early part of the process.” Still, human touches are sprinkled in throughout the tech-driven process. In addition to a text confirmation, the candidate receives a phone call reminder. “Through our data, we’ve learned things that are inherently human,” Godson said. “We have an outgoing call made to every candidate before the interview to say ‘Hey, we’re really looking forward to you coming. Do you have any questions about your interview tomorrow?’ We’ve done quite a bit of testing and found that we get higher interview show rates when we call people with people, compared to just using technology.” n
LAUREN ANDERSON Reporter
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Leading Edge 2019 EDITION
GIVING GUIDE A SUPPLEMENT
REGIONAL P HILANTHRO
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MY FAVORITE TECH
Reserve your space in the 2018 Giving Guide
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JOURDAN MILLER Director of marketing, Access HealthNet LLC
Jourdan Miller leads the marketing team at Milwaukee health care startup Access HealthNet, addressing business needs including lead generation, content marketing and brand development. With a schedule that includes traveling with chief executive officer Eric Haberichter to conferences and speaking engagements, managing media relations and supporting the startup’s business development team, she relies on several tech tools to help manage her work and life. Here are a few of her favorites:
an in-depth profile, plus several advertising elements in BizTimes Milwaukee magazine, BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly enewsletter and BizTimes.com. 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
FOREST “I’m working on my device addiction and Forest has helped me stay present and avoid mindless screen time. You plant a seed and as time goes by, the seed will gradually grow into a tree. If you start using your phone, your tree dies. You can also plant a forest when you’re with a group of people, encouraging everyone to stay off their phone.”
WAZE “I’m never late for a meeting because of Waze. It helps me keep track of road closures, traffic delays and lets me know when law enforcement is spotted ahead.”
Contact Media Sales today! (414) 336-7112 or email@example.com A SUPPLEMENT OF
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“This app has saved me from countless parking tickets. A seamless parking experience using only your phone. No change, no credit cards needed.”
SPOTIFY “Music is an important part of my life and my Spotify subscription will forever be the best $9.99 I spend every month. I can curate my own playlists, download them for traveling when I lose Wi-Fi, and always keep a pulse on new artists and releases.” n
CITIZEN CTO-CHECK THIS OUT
ROLEX OYSTER PERPETUAL DATEJUST $12,650 at Treiber & Straub Jewelers, Brookfield This 36 mm women’s watch features a dial that is made of synthetic sapphire crystal and silver, and surrounded by 10 diamonds. Protected by a stainless steel case and 18-karat “everose” gold fluted bezel, the watch is attached to a stainless steel and 18-karat “everose” gold band with an oyster clasp.
$188 at Powers Jewelry Designers, Milwaukee Powered by Eco-Drive Technology, which uses light instead of battery power, this men’s watch features a three-handed dial on a navy blue face that is enclosed in a stainless steel case, and fastened to a caramel brown leather strap.
NIXON ASCENDER $250 at MODA3, Milwaukee With its four hands, this men’s watch tells the time, day, date and moon phase. Day of the month numerals surround the 42 mm blue face, which is encased in stainless steel. Its three-link band is also stainless steel, and features a double-locking clasp.
PATEK PHILIPPE NAUTILUS $134,900 at Pak’s Jewelers, Milwaukee This stainless steel watch has been customized with a 34-carat total weight of genuine round, brilliant-cut diamonds. Its three-handed dial tells the time, day, date and month, and features a moon phase and 24-hour display. The watch is also water resistant for a depth up to 120 meters.
biztimes.com / 11
Leading Edge BIZ POLL
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on my nightstand...
A recent survey of BizTimes.com readers.
Should the state provide incentives to attract Foxconn suppliers to Wisconsin?
ART KEUP Chief financial officer Luther Manor
“Hemingway on Fishing” By Ernest Hemingway
Share your opinion! Visit biztimes.com/bizpoll to cast your vote in the next Biz Poll.
Success story #1. Our own.
ART KEUP was recently named chief financial officer at Luther Manor, an independent living, assisted living and skilled nursing facility in Wauwatosa. For Christmas, his wife gave him a new book he’s enjoyed reading and would recommend to other executives. “The book on my nightstand right now is Hemingway on Fishing, a collection of short stories and magazine articles that he wrote about fishing in various countries,” Keup said. The book delves into the es-
teemed author’s love of fishing and his writings on everything from trout fishing in Michigan to marlin fishing in the Gulf Stream. It even includes passages on fishing from his popular books “The Sun Also Rises” and “Old Man and the Sea.” “The short stories and excerpts in ‘Hemingway on Fishing’ cover his trips in northern Michigan as well as the Florida keys, Cuba and Europe, from about 1919 through the 1940s. I’ve learned a bit about how people traveled and fished in pre-WWII Europe,” Keup said. n
For a century now, the Ixonia Bank commitment to serving our customers, supporting their dreams and staying locally focused has given purpose to our success. We’ve earned a reputation for providing exceptional service and for helping businesses and customers succeed by meeting their needs as their financial lives evolve. Our foundation of fiscal responsibility has enabled us to grow and increase the prosperity of the communities we’ve served. Today, and in the future, Ixonia Bank looks forward to being a trusted partner and to bringing the best solutions to our customers every time we have the opportunity. See how we’re helping customers succeed at ixoniabank100.com
Celebrating 100 years of helping 262.567.7509
12 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
AN UNFORGETTABLE LESSON Christa Murphy considers herself beyond blessed; “it was truly a miracle how everything fell into place the day that I suffered my stroke last February” she says. Christa was getting ready for work, but something was off; she felt strange. But as many women do, she brushed it off and powered through her morning routine, despite having trouble performing everyday tasks like washing her hair and brushing her teeth. Christa made her way to her fourteen-year-old daughter, Katie’s bedroom, and Katie immediately knew that something was wrong. Rewind two days prior. Beth Tomlin, Katie’s teacher had five minutes left of science class, and contemplated whether or not she wanted to finish the current lesson. She decided to keep her students a few minutes into their lunch period, to drive home an important message. That day, she told her students the story of her friend who had suffered a stroke and taught her students what the signs and symptoms were. Because Mrs. Tomlin had made the decision to teach that lesson, because Katie’s sleepover had been cancelled the night before and because Katie had paid attention in class, she was able to recognize that Christa was suffering from a stroke and called 9-1-1. Within minutes, paramedics arrived and took Christa to the hospital where she received the clot-busting drug, tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), which when promptly administered, reduces the long-term effect of a stroke. Many people miss this key brain-saving treatment because they don’t arrive at the hospital in time for treatment. To ensure the best possible chance at a full recovery, just like Christa, it is important to identify a stroke and seek medical treatment immediately. When Mrs. Tomlin heard that Katie had applied what she had learned in the classroom to a real life situation, to save her own mother’s life, Mrs. Tomlin was blown away: ”I was super proud of Katie… she did a perfect job!” Christa, Katie and Mrs. Tomlin have formed a special bond since the stroke, uniting them in a common mission to spread awareness of the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Christa has since gotten involved with the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement and will be sharing her story at the Go Red for Women Luncheon on Friday, May 11. She has said: “If sharing my story brings some awareness and helps even just one person, it is worth it to me.” For her, the AHA has allowed her the opportunity to truly heal and find her purpose since her stroke. Many women spend their time taking care of others and put their own needs on the back burner, something that Christa admits to being guilty of. And while someone may look and feel healthy, they can be suffering from cardiovascular disease and still feel fine. This is why the American Heart Association encourages everyone to lead by example and make the time to “Know Your Numbers.” It’s knowledge that could save your life. Five numbers, that everyone should know to take control of their cardiovascular health are: 1. Total Cholesterol 2. HDL (good) Cholesterol 3. Blood Pressure 4. Blood Sugar 5. Body Mass Index (BMI)
Spot a Stroke F.A.S.T. Stroke is the fifth most common cause of death in the United States, killing nearly 133,000 people per year. Despite claiming so many lives annually in the U.S. and being a leading cause of serious, long-term disability, stroke is largely preventable & treatable. Awareness is key when it comes to stroke treatment. For many strokes, the right treatment, right away, can save lives & improve recovery, so it’s important to get help F.A.S.T, and look for these signs and symptoms:
F A S
ACE DROOPING – Does one side of the face droop or is it numb? Ask the person to smile. Is the person’s smile uneven? RM WEAKNESS – Is one arm weak or numb? Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? PEECH DIFFICULTY – Is speech slurred? Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand? Ask the person to repeat a simple sentence, like “The sky is blue.” Is the sentence repeated correctly?
IME TO CALL 9-1-1 – If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 and get the person to the hospital immediately. Check the time so you’ll know when the first symptoms appeared. Other symptoms you should know: Sudden numbness or weakness of the leg, sudden confusion or trouble understanding, sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes, sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss of balance or loss of coordination, and/ or sudden severe headache with no known cause.
Knowing these numbers can help you and your healthcare provider determine your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. It’s time for all of us to learn the most critical numbers in our life -- our lives depend on it. For more information or to purchase tickets to the Milwaukee Go Red for Women Luncheon, please visit www.heart.org/goredmilwaukee. biztimes.com / 13
RED DRESS COLLECTION >> EVENT RECAP The first Milwaukee Red Dress Collection was all about women empowerment, and featured gorgeous dresses, created by local designers and modeled by local heart and stroke survivors, who each had their own inspiring story to tell. The event was held on Thursday, March 22 at the InterContinental Hotel in downtown Milwaukee and was emceed by WISN Channel 12â€™s Adrienne Pedersen. The event kicked off with a cocktail reception, featuring lip touch-ups, shopping, selfies with Miss Wisconsin USA and heart healthy snacks, followed by the signature event of the evening: the fashion show. The designers created the dresses to fit the style and personality of each model, drawing inspiration from the survivors and their life experiences. Each dress was so unique and told a story. The featured designers were: Sarah Corlett, Pa Chang Her and Taylor Majewski. All of the models rocked the runway, struttinâ€™ their stuff in these signature designs, and each one of them had a lesson to share with their story, to educate and empower attendees to take control of their heart health. Our survivor models were: Kylie Bilello, Tracy Gerber, Amy Kerschen, Christa Murphy, Marian Robinson and Kathleen Shores.
14 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
@BIZTIMESMEDIA – Real-time news
The Medical College of Wisconsin.
Medical College aims to tackle health disparities with new central city center By Lauren Anderson, staff writer THE MEDICAL COLLEGE OF WISCONSIN has long been in the business of producing a pipeline of doctors prepared to respond to patients’ health needs. But with research showing a significant link between social factors seemingly unrelated to clinical care and health outcomes, MCW is seeking to address social determinants of health and establish a presence in Milwaukee neighborhoods where health disparities are most acute. MCW leaders are working on a development in Milwaukee’s central city that would aggregate its community-facing programs in one location. Leaders are calling it the Center for Flourishing Lives. “Responding to the community is important, but there is a 16 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
growing understanding that health disparities and overall wellbeing are more linked to social and economic factors than they are to the environment, genetics or even clinical care,” said Dr. John Raymond, president and chief executive officer of MCW. “We, as an institution, have focused largely on Raymond clinical care, but we believe that if we can employ our talent and resources to addressing some of the root causes of health disparities, we could have a larger impact.” While conversations around tackling health disparities have been ongoing for several years, plans for the new development –
which could be new construction or the renovation of an existing facility – are still in the early stages. Zip codes currently being considered for the building are 53206 and 53205 on Milwaukee’s north side, 53233 near downtown, and portions of 53203, 53202 and 53212. Persistent health disparities across Milwaukee-area zip codes are well documented. Milwaukee ranked second-to-last among the state’s 72 counties for its health outcomes in the latest Wisconsin County Health Rankings, compiled by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Its neighbor to the north, Ozaukee County, was first. Residents of the central city see higher rates of certain types of
cancer and other chronic illnesses than their suburban counterparts, namely obesity and hypertension, Raymond said. MCW’s new initiative is a response to recommendations from its Cancer Center advisory board that the school work to address cancer disparities in predominantly black zip codes, paired with the urgency prompted by the civil unrest in Milwaukee’s Sherman Park neighborhood in 2016. “We had a series of internal conversations about what MCW could do better,” Raymond said. “First, we started focusing on our employees who lived in or near Sherman Park. Then, we brought in some community leaders to advise what we could do more effectively.” All of those conversations led to the consensus that MCW needs to increase its visibility, approachability and presence in the central city. The new initiative will enhance all components of the school’s mission, said Gregory Wesley, an MCW senior vice president who is helping spearhead the initiative. “We have a Wesley strong clinical mission, but we have an equally strong education mission and research mission,” Wesley said. “And our community engagement mission … is the fourth pillar of MCW. This initiative gives us the ability to strengthen the education function, research function, as well as the clinical function by putting us closer to some of the greater needs in our community.” Until now, the institution has worked on social determinants of health in silos – through its Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin Endowment and Institute for Health & Equity, or an individual faculty member’s research, for example – but MCW leaders see the potential in aggregating those efforts. Those two departments, along with MCW’s Center for AIDS Intervention Research, could be among the departments housed in the new facility, along with a space
to recruit for clinical trials and house service learning opportunities for medical students. When the new space is operational, Raymond envisions hiring employees to serve as community and academic navigators who will “connect people from the community to MCW faculty and students, and vice versa.” Leaders are also mulling the idea of collaborating with other organizations within the building. “We also want to consider some community interactive space – a space to co-locate with partners who are working on social determinants of health in those zip codes,” Raymond said. “They could be large not-for-profits or small not-for-profits.” Initially, leaders expected to have decided on the site and scope of the project by May, and to take those plans to the board by June. But Raymond said that
timeline didn’t allow for enough community input. “What we heard from the community was that we were moving too quickly and that we weren’t giving people time to give us advice and to help us shape the impact of the project, so we have slowed down,” he said. He expects to bring a proposal to the board this calendar year, possibly as late as December. MCW is working with Milwaukee real estate developer Kevin Newell’s Royal Capital Group LLC on the community engagement and site selection process. Royal Capital Group is involved with several noteworthy developments in the city, including a 90-unit apartment complex near the new Milwaukee Bucks arena and a 181unit residential development in Milwaukee’s Brewers Hill neighborhood. MCW leaders hope the effort
will help jumpstart more investment in the neighborhood that’s chosen. “We hope we’ll be able to attract a grocery store from a national chain, retail, and affordable housing across the full spectrum, not just low-income housing,” Raymond said. “We also want to be mindful that we don’t create a situation that results in gentrification, because that won’t help solve Milwaukee’s health disparities.” Still, leaders don’t see the Center for Flourishing Lives as a panacea for Milwaukee’s deep-seated disparities. Moving the needle on those issues requires collaboration across organizations and sectors, Raymond said. “We know we’re not the first, we’re not the only and we’re not the most important entity to make a commitment to central city Milwaukee,” he said. “We need to work in partnership with the entities that are already there. We
want to make sure that we’re not saying we’re the ultimate solution.” Establishing a presence in the central city could enhance the school’s ability to produce more urban primary care physicians, which was identified as an unmet need in Milwaukee in a recent Wisconsin Policy Forum report. According to that report, the City of Milwaukee has been identified by the federal Department of Health and Human Services as a Health Professional Shortage Area for primary care physicians, and an estimated additional 57 physicians are needed in Milwaukee’s central city to address the shortage. Placing students who are in the school’s urban and community health pathway in the central city would allow those students to “be inspired by role models who are already serving in the community,” Raymond said. n
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MY TA K E
Should state close ‘dark store loophole’?
Some retailers have argued their properties should be assessed as if they were vacant buildings. In many cases, they have used this argument to fight for lower assessments and therefore, lower property tax bills. Local governments have complained and are pushing for a change in state law to eliminate what critics call a “dark store loophole.” n PRESENTS:
Call for Nominations BizTimes Media presents the fourth annual awards program to salute southeastern Wisconsin’s best corporate citizens and most effective nonprofit organizations. The awards will shine a light on excellence in philanthropy and nonprofit leadership. The recipients of the awards will be saluted at a breakfast program on November 2nd, 2018. Nominate the people and for-profit organizations who are making a positive difference in the community by donating their time, talent and treasure. Nominate the nonprofit organizations that are making the region a better place to live, work and play. Self-nominations also are encouraged!
2018 Awards Categories Corporate Citizenship Awards • Corporate Citizen of the Year • Next Generation Leadership • In-Kind Supporter • Corporate Volunteer of the Year • Lifetime Achievement
Senior vice president of government relations, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
YES NO DAVID VS. GOLIATH? “I have never met a homeowner who thinks they need to pay more in property taxes so a large national retailer can receive an unfair tax break. Unfortunately, due to the so-called ‘dark store’ loophole, that exact scenario is happening all over Wisconsin.”
“Everybody loves an underdog and that’s especially true when a storyline pits the ‘little guy’ against a large corporation. This is the narrative local governments have spun in the so-called ‘dark stores’ debate. This makes for an interesting story, but it’s simply not true.”
PROPERT Y TA X BURDEN
Nonprofit Organizations, Leadership & Support Team Awards • Nonprofit organization of the year (Small & Large Categories) • Nonprofit Collaboration of the year award • Nonprofit Executive of the Year • Social Enterprise
Save the Date: November 2ND
biztimes.com/npawards Nomination Deadline: September 6, 2018
18 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
REP. GORDON HINTZ SCOTT MANLEY
Democrat, Assembly minority leader
“Homeowners already pay 68 percent of the statewide property tax levy. Asking them to pay more to subsidize Walmart is just wrong. We should be working together to help our friends and neighbors lower their property taxes and make corporations pay their fair share.”
“The property tax burden has actually shifted from homeowners to businesses over the last decade. The dark store legislation is an effort to legalize tax hikes on businesses that assessors have been attempting to impose, illegally, for more than a decade.”
IMPACT “The failure by Gov. Scott Walker and legislative Republicans to address the ‘dark store loophole’ is a green light for retailers – large and small – to contest their assessments. This will result in lost revenue that will increasingly be made up by increased property taxes on residents and homeowners.”
“This debate isn’t about ‘closing a loophole’ or forcing someone to ‘pay their fair share.’ It’s about local governments wanting to tax to the max and villainize the businesses that provide jobs in their communities.”
Sargento story to be featured at Family & Closely Held Business Summit Annual BizTimes event to be held on June 14 By Andrew Weiland, staff writer THE STORY of Plymouth-based Sargento Foods Inc., a thirdgeneration family business, will be featured at the annual Family & Closely Held Business Summit presented by BizTimes Media. The event will be held on Thursday, June 14, from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St., Milwaukee. Louis P. Gentine II (Louie), the third-generation chief executive officer of Sargento, and Tom Faley, the communications manager at Sargento who wrote a book, “Treated Like Family,” about the company and the Gentine family, will give the featured presentation. Gentine worked his way up through the family business. He washed trucks in high school, and
worked on the production lines and in accounts receivable and retail sales during college. He also worked outside of the company for a while, as a commercial lender at American National Bank in Chicago. He returned to Sargento after earning his MBA at Loyola University in Chicago. Following several promotions, he became CEO in 2013. Gentine and Faley will talk about the company’s history and lessons learned over the years of passing its leadership on from one generation to the next. They will share insights, philosophies and stories about the generations of family leadership of the company, its management, and trials and tribulations on its path to becoming a leader in the cheese industry.
The Family & Closely Held Business Summit will also include a presentation by Deb Houden, senior consultant for Chicago-based The Family Business Consulting Group. She will talk about how to build the underlying foundations of trust and transparency to help create and sustain a successful family business. Houden has experience helping families and businesses with various needs, concentrating on communication, transition and next-generation development. She has worked with numerous families on developing effective communication and conflict resolution skills, facilitating various negotiated agreements – including shareholder and family employment agreements – developing family
meetings, beginning stages of board development, and working with younger generation members of family firms to create family councils. As a senior consultant with the Family Business Consulting Group, she interacts daily with several family business entities and their members at various stages of development. Houden, who earned her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin, teaches for the university’s Wisconsin School of Business in the BBA and MBA programs, and works with its Center for Professional and Executive Development providing corporate training. She is also a fellow with the Family Firm Institute and also holds a certificate in family business advising and family wealth advising from the Institute. Following the presentations, there will be three 25-minute roundtable discussions on a wide variety of family business topics, including: »» Trust and transparency in a family enterprise. »» Internal controls project your business and your bottom line. »» How innovation, entrepreneurship and an “employee family” built Sargento Foods. »» Developing leadership across generations. »» Communication and the company culture. »» Estate planning and the family legacy. »» Employee engagement and accountability. »» Integrating outside family members. »» Compensation. »» Exit strategies. »» Rewarding your key management. The Family & Closely Held Business Summit is sponsored by Davis & Kuelthau, National Exchange Bank & Trust and SVA Certified Public Accountants. Vistage is a supporting sponsor. Event partners are: the Family Business Legacy Institute, Wisconsin School of Business Family Business Center and the Wisconsin Family Business Forum. n biztimes.com / 19
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A rendering of the three-story office and retail building that will house Wheel & Sprocket.
Ballpark Commons at The Rock continues to roll forward in Franklin
IN EARLY MAY, city officials in Franklin asked the plan commission to table a $1.7 million proposal from Innovative Health & Fitness to expand the club. The project, which would add a 25,500-square-foot field house for intramural sports, training and rehabilitation just north of the property at 8800 102nd St., will be revisited next month. City staff isn’t opposed to the project. Rather, they need to delay their review because they are so busy working with the largest development the city has had in years: the Ballpark Commons mixed-use development at The Rock. With the $130 million project’s first commercial building and first four apartment buildings recently approved, Ballpark Commons is finally on track for a spring groundbreaking. The project will be anchored by a 2,500-seat baseball stadium. Exactly what it will look like has not been revealed yet. So far, the only “renderings” that have been released appear to be colored-pencil 2D drawings of a rural ballpark. Mike Zimmerman, chief executive officer of ROC Ventures and
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ADDRESS: 828 N. Broadway BUYER: 850 W. Jackson LLC, registered to Catapult Realty SELLER: James Cadd of Brookfield PRICE: $1.25 million 20 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
The historic Underwriters Exchange Building in downtown Milwaukee has been purchased by a Chicago-based development company. The eight-story building is about 20 percent occupied with five or six office tenants, according to Paul Dincin, principal of Catapult. His preliminary plans are to add apartments on the second through eighth floors. The first floor will be used for the lobby, retail and possibly co-working space, Dincin said. Catapult was attracted to the property, built in 1923, because of its prime location within the central business district and the building’s façade, Dincin said. This will be Catapult’s first project in Milwaukee, but Dincin and partner Charles Davidson will be looking for more development opportunities. “I like the way downtown Milwaukee is shaping up,” Dincin said. “The new Bucks stadium, the BMO tower, the streetcar, all of the universities and entertainment, and of course the Third Ward.”
the developer for Ballpark Commons, plans to build the stadium in phases, said Joel Dietl, Franklin planning manager. Phase one of the stadium will be the vegetation around the facility, berm, storm sewer, and everything else a new development needs, Dietl said. The second phase will be the stadium’s concrete bowl and the seating, which Zimmerman, who could not be reached, just applied for with the city. Phase three is the actual architecture, which includes the press box, scoreboard, locker rooms and other associated buildings, Dietl said. Zimmerman has not submitted plans yet for the indoor sports facility or the Luxe Golf Bays complex that will also be included at Ballpark Commons, Dietl said. Luxe Golf Bays will be a three-level, $15 million entertainment center that features 57 heated, open-air golf bays. It is basically a high-end driving range experience. It will include two locally-branded restaurants run by a not-yet-named local hospitality group and a four-season beer garden called the Hinterhof is also planned. Earlier this year, Brookfield-based soccer club SC Waukesha announced it would relocate to the 40,000-square-foot mixed-use indoor sports facility planned at the development. Zimmerman has been working on the Ballpark Commons project for years. He transformed the former Crystal Ridge Ski Hill, at the northwest corner of West Loomis Road and South 76th Street, into The Rock, a multi-sport complex with a ski hill, baseball fields, mountain biking trails and a BMX track. Zimmerman originally wanted to build a $10.5 million minor league ballpark at The Rock and secured a franchise for a team from the independent Frontier League. Zimmerman sought a public-private partnership with the City of Franklin to finance the ballpark, but was unanimously rejected in April 2014 by the Franklin Common Council. In January 2016, Zimmerman
returned to Franklin with his new proposal, which includes the 2,500-seat stadium, the indoor sports complex, retail, apartments and, most recently, a senior living component. Since the beginning of 2018, tenants have been announced for the complex, including SC Waukesha. Wheel & Sprocket will occupy the first floor and lower level of a three-story office and retail building in the north-side section of the development. Wheel & Sprocket owners announced in January they would lease 20,150 square feet of space, replacing their Hales Corners store. So far, this has been the only retail tenant announcement for the project. In February, Zimmerman announced he had struck a deal with the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball. He launched a “name the team” contest for the independent minor league team. The Ballpark Commons project will also include seven multi-family market-rate apartment buildings on 25 acres along West Rawson Avenue. In April, the city approved the first four three-story buildings. The buildings will have a total of 308 units. About 155 senior living apartments will be built next to the market-rate apartments. Plans for the senior living apartments have not yet been submitted, Dietl said. n
THIRD WARD MIXED-USE Milwaukee developer Robert Joseph is planning a seven-story mixed-use development at the southwest corner of East St. Paul Avenue and North Jefferson Street in the city’s Historic Third Ward neighborhood. The development includes 60 apartments, 3,500 square feet of retail space and three stories of above-ground parking. In the middle, on North Jefferson Street, would be an 11,000-square-foot We Energies substation. The one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments would be on floors four through seven. Joseph hopes to break ground on the project this year. DEVELOPER: Joseph Property Development ARCHITECT: Rinka Chung Architecture SIZE: 117,000 square feet
CORRINNE HESS Reporter
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PT A D A TO
T S E R S MO
SE O L C RES
he regional shopping mall, once a destination for teenagers to socialize, an escape for women wanting to get out of the house on Sunday afternoons and a place of wonder adorned with twinkling lights during the holiday season, is now in a state of upheaval. With teens preferring to communicate through social media and busy adults turning to their tablets and phones to shop, the retail industry has undergone a massive transformation over the past decade. Those changing consumer habits have put stress on retailers, causing many to close brickand-mortar stores or go out of business completely. As a result, retail real estate is also undergoing tremendous upheaval as property owners are increasingly challenged to fill spaces. This is especially true at regional shopping malls. The iconic destination of a generation ago has been forced to shift gears as its anchor stores increasingly disappear. Many mall owners and managers now find themselves in the unfamiliar position of mixed-use developer as they seek creative ways to replace lost stores. The latest hit to the suburban shopping mall is the liquidation of The Bon-Ton Stores Inc., parent company of Boston Store, which for decades has been an anchor tenant in every southeastern Wisconsin regional shopping mall, occupying between 106,000 and 217,400 square feet of space in each location. Having not turned an annual profit since 2010, Bon-Ton filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in February. The company hoped to find a buyer that would
continue to operate the business, signing a letter of intent with a group of mall owners and a private equity firm to keep the Bon-Ton stores from closing. But that deal fell through in April, and the only remaining bidders sought to liquidate the company. The winning bidder in the bankruptcy auction was a joint venture among Woodland Hills, California-based Great American Group, New York-based Tiger Capital Group and a group of Bon-Ton debtholders, which are now liquidating the company. Milwaukee and York, Pennsylvania-based Bon-Ton’s 250 stores nationwide, operated under the Boston Store, Bergner’s, Carson’s, Elder-Beerman, Herberger’s and Younkers nameplates, will close by Aug. 31. Nearly every regional shopping mall in metro Milwaukee will be faced with the challenge of filling its Boston Store space. “The closures are disastrous, potentially,” said a longtime Milwaukee retail real estate broker, who did not want to be named. “Change in retailing is inevitable. But you’ve got to be very quick and very nimble. The malls that have the right property in the right income area are going to be fine – if they reinvent themselves. But it will be a painful transition while that goes on.”
Bon-Ton’s effect on local malls The loss of Boston Store will mean different things to each local mall. Two area brokers who did not want to be named said a class A mall like Mayfair in Wauwatosa will be able replace its Boston Store with another retailer. Other malls will have to get creative and
r ff write ESS, sta H E N RRIN BY CO
Area Boston Stores are holding going-out-of-business sales. biztimes.com / 25
A rendering of the redevelopment planned for Brookfield Square. 2016 © All ideas, arrangements, and plans indicated or represented by the above drawings are property of ka, Inc. and were created for the sole use in connection with the specified project. No part of the drawings, arrangements, or ideas therein shall be duplicated or used in whole or part for any other purpose whatsoever without the expressed written permission of ka, Inc.
likely will turn to entertainment venues that offer a live experience consumers can’t get from shopping online. Brookfield Square in Brookfield, Southridge Mall in Greendale and Bayshore Town Center in Glendale have already been working on plans to replace vacant former Sears stores at those malls. Now, they will also have to figure out how to replace their Boston Stores. Bayshore Town Center was the first mall in the region to innovate. A massive redevelopment project, completed in 2006, transformed the mall, which first opened in 1954, converting most of it into an outdoor shopping center and adding a bowling alley and movie center to its lineup. In that format, Bayshore offers Milwaukee-area consumers a faux-Main Street shopping experience that differentiates itself from other area malls. However, Bayshore has suffered from several store closures. Sears closed in 2014. The store was demolished, but plans to redevelop it have not yet moved forward, as Sears only recently allowed the Bayshore owners to re-lease the space, according to a retail real estate source. In 2016, Sports Authority closed all of its stores, including the Bayshore location. Then, in December, Bayshore Town Center was purchased by its lender to avoid foreclosure. In March, iPic Theaters, a movie theater, restaurant and bowling alley at Bayshore, announced it would close. Although it is located along I-43 in the affluent North Shore area, Bayshore’s geography creates some challenges, some retail real estate brokers say. Its proximity to Lake Michigan limits the num26 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
ber of shoppers it can draw from the east. And in lower income neighborhoods to the west, many residents lack disposable income. In addition, rents for some Bayshore tenants were repeatedly lowered when those tenants were not making enough money and then they eventually left, according to a real estate source familiar with the mall. “From a cultural aspect, Bayshore has an odd dynamic,” said Cory Sovine, senior vice president at Colliers International in Milwaukee. “People in Milwaukee do not like parking structures. They will drive around the streets looking for parking. This may have, in some form, impacted its attractiveness.” At 1.2 million square feet, Southridge Mall is the state’s largest. Boston Store will be the third anchor Southridge is losing in less than a year. Sears, which announced it would close its last remaining Wisconsin stores in January 2018, closed the Southridge store in summer 2017. Kohl’s will close its Southridge store and move into a smaller space at the 84South retail development along I-894 in Greenfield later this year. Kohl’s has a lease with Southridge through 2020, however, so the store will be paying rent for two more years, according to Morningstar Credit Ratings. That means the remaining anchor stores at Southridge will be Macy’s and JCPenney. Both retailers have struggled recently and have had to close stores. Macy’s and JCPenney closed more than 100 stores in 2017. Mary Mokwa, general manager of Southridge Mall, sees the Boston Store loss as a “tremendous opportunity” for the malls. She said the store space
will be in high demand because of its location BROOKFIELD SQUARE SK-24 along South 76th Street. Brookfield, Wisconsin 03.12.2018 Planning Commission Design Package “Sears was re-leased within three months ofka # 17004-01 closing,” Mokwa said. The Sears space at Southridge will be redeveloped into a Dick’s Sporting Goods store on the first level and a Round 1 Bowling and Amusement complex on the upper level of the building. Southridge also leased a portion of its 7,000-space surface parking lot to Marcus Theatres in 2015 for the company to open its first BistroPlex eight-screen theater adjacent to the mall in mid-2017. Round 1 Bowling and Amusement and the Marcus BistroPlex are examples of the entertainment venues regional malls are seeking to reinvent themselves. Milwaukee-based Marcus Theatres owner The Marcus Corp. has been looking at mall properties across the country, said Katie Falvey, vice president of real estate for Marcus. “If we see good, strong, A-category malls that are interested in revitalizing the property, then we are interested in investing,” Falvey said. “Theaters are a destination, so there is a real opportunity there for both parties.” Marcus Theatres is planning its second BistroPlex complex at Brookfield Square. Plans are in place to replace the existing Sears store at Brookfield Square with the BistroPlex and a Whirlyball entertainment and food establishment. Chattanooga, Tennessee-based CBL & Associates Properties, which owns the mall, has been working with the City of Brookfield on the proposal that will encompass approximately 20 of the kainc.com
29 acres of the Sears parcel. The city, which will provide $6.3 million in financing for the project, is planning to redevelop the remaining nine acres for a hotel and conference center. About 65 percent of CBL malls contain Bon-Ton stores. Stacey Keating, a spokeswoman for CBL Properties, said there are no definitive plans for the Brookfield Square Boston Store space, but the company has been working on contingency plans for each affected mall. “We are certainly disappointed with the outcome (of the Bon-Ton bankruptcy), but this is an opportunity to continue to evolve our properties through transformative anchor redevelopments,” Keating said. “We have several replacements under advanced negotiation.” The biggest issue with an anchor store like Sears or Boston Store closing is not the loss of rent the tenant is paying the mall, but rather the loss of foot traffic its void creates and the impact on co-tenancy clauses, said Edward Dittmer, a senior vice president with Morningstar Credit Ratings. A co-tenancy clause in a retail lease allows tenants to reduce their rent or break their lease agreement if a large or key tenant leaves the mall. “By redeveloping the Sears parcel, Southridge is in good shape,” Dittmer said. “They are losing Kohl’s and will have to find a taker for Boston Store, so that could trigger some co-tenancy. It just depends on the particular leases.” Sears and Bon-Ton owned their buildings at Southridge, meaning neither store paid the mall rent. New tenants that go into those spaces, including Dick’s and Round 1, also won’t pay Southridge rent. The former Sears store is owned by New York-based Seritage Growth Properties, a Sears Holdings spinoff. The ownership of regional mall anchor stores varies widely, Dittmer said. “There really isn’t any rhyme or reason, it is just what the anchor negotiated when the mall was developed 30 or 40 years ago and the anchor was the powerhouse,” he said. When the anchor does lease, the cost per square foot is also very different than what smaller stores pay. While an anchor might pay $4 per square foot, a store renting 5,000 to 8,000 square feet will pay between $20 and $30 per square foot, Dittmer said.
“While it is certainly unfortunate, the good news is retail is not dead, it is just transitioning into other creative uses.” — Tom Treder, Founders 3
“The financial impact is not the result of an anchor leaving, it is what happens if multiple co-tenancy clauses are triggered,” Dittmer said. “If Victoria’s Secret, Express, Charlotte Russe and a few food court restaurants leave, then the effect can really be felt.”
Reinventing the shopping mall Tom Treder, principal of Milwaukee-based Founders 3 Real Estate Services, said mall owners have known for several years that this transition is coming, first with Sears and now with Boston Store. “While it is certainly unfortunate, the good news is retail is not dead, it is just transitioning into other creative uses,” Treder said. Depending on where the mall is located, there are a number of options for anchor store vacancies, including restaurants – which generally pay the highest rent per square foot – entertainment and grocery stores, he said. Fitness centers, which were once not even considered by mall owners, are still in expansion mode and are now sought after by malls.
“After you exhaust that list, you can go the non-retail route, maybe in less desirable areas,” Treder said. Those non-retail uses include call centers or medical offices. Before Sears announced it was closing all of its Wisconsin stores and before Bon-Ton filed for bankruptcy, Regency Mall in Racine was already struggling. Built in 1981, the 810,337-square-foot mall fought for several years to retain quality tenants. Sears closed its 89,119-square-foot store in 2014, and the following year JCPenney closed its 149,196-square-foot store. Then in December 2016, CBL sold the mall to Hull Property Group for $9.6 million as part of a three-property acquisition. The Augusta, Georgia-based company specializes in buying struggling mall properties, stabilizing them, transforming them and then repositioning them. In Racine, the Boston Store property is not owned by Hull Property Group. However, John Mulherin, vice president of government relations for Hull, said the company would be interested in purchasing the property. “It’s a great piece of property and a redevelopment of some type will take place,” he said. Last year, the City of Racine created a $15.7 million tax increment financing district for 24 parcels that total approximately 134 acres. The area includes Regency Mall, the mall outlots, Target, and High Ridge Center, including Home Depot and Toys R Us. The plan for Regency is to improve the interior and market it to new tenants, Mulherin said. Nine former store spaces, seven of which had been vacant, have already been combined and turned into a Planet Fitness. Hull Property Group is an independent company, not beholden to stockholders, making it possible to take risks and invest capital into its properties, Mulherin said. “What we need to do is get people off their phones and iPads and create an atmosphere in the middle of Regency,” Mulherin said. “We have vacancy. And we’re not afraid to tear down and demolish parts of the building if we have too much. We’re certainly not afraid to take a bold approach.” Less than three miles west of Regency Mall is the planned Foxconn Technology Group
METRO MILWAUKEE REGIONAL SHOPPING CENTERS SHOPPING CENTER
SIZE (SQ. FT.)
SOUTHRIDGE MALL, GREENDALE MAYFAIR MALL, WAUWATOSA BROOKFIELD SQUARE, BROOKFIELD REGENCY MALL, RACINE THE CORNERS, TOWN OF BROOKFIELD BAYSHORE TOWN CENTER, GLENDALE
1.21 MILLION 1.11 MILLION 1.12 MILLION 810,337 700,000 600,000
BOSTON STORE SIZE 217,434 206,681 215,450 106,157 N/A 167,100 biztimes.com / 27
THE CORNERS OF BROOKFIELD
The Corners in the Town of Brookfield included a first-to-market Von Maur store.
development site in Mount Pleasant. Mulherin believes the mega manufacturer and the jobs it will bring, along with the additional population growth that could come to Racine and Kenosha counties, could help retail at Regency Mall and the entire Washington Avenue (Highway 20) and Green Bay Road corridors. “If it is good for our competitors across the street, it is good for us,” Mulherin said. “If we do our business right, everyone wins. I feel like we are in a very good position with the right property and the right piece of dirt.” Malls like Regency could become stronger as other retail inventory is taken out of play and the marketplace is corrected, Sovine said. Certain malls, however, will just need to be repurposed, he said. For example, Memorial Mall in Sheboygan, once the city’s shopping hub, was partially demolished and replaced by a Meijer grocery store. Other options are medical office or industrial. “Whether it is a function of oversupply or American culture, there is a lot of (retail real estate) product out there,” Sovine said. “You have to look at it as a case-by-case basis. (Downtown Milwaukee’s The Shops of) Grand Avenue is great real estate. But it is just not great mall real estate.”
New forms of retail Robin Lewis, former vice president at Goldman Sachs, who now serves as a retail consultant, said the industry will either understand the seismic shift it is undergoing and transform its business, or be wiped out. “We are in a period of change that mirrors the industrial revolution,” Lewis said. “This is the technology revolution that will end with a lot of major retailers’ names gone who did not embrace it.” From 1950 to 1980, the United States experienced explosive population growth, which pla28 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
“This is the technology revolution that will end with a lot of major retailers’ names gone who did not embrace it.” — Robin Lewis, retail consultant.
teaued in the late 1970s, while retail real estate supply did not, Lewis said. In 1980, when annual population growth was at 1 percent, retail square footage continued to increase 4 percent per year. Today, there is 46 square feet of retail space for every person in America, compared to 9 square feet in Canada, Lewis said. “Last year, we closed 10,000 stores, but another 14,000 opened,” Lewis said. “And every week, 100 new websites are launched.” At the same time, baby boomers are downsizing and spending more money on travel. The other large population base – the millennials – has a smaller amount of disposable income and less interest in material goods, Lewis said. “Price promoting has moved from a weapon of choice to a weapon of necessity, which kills retailers,” Lewis said. “You can’t price cut your way to growth. That is not sustainable.”
Lewis praised Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. for its innovative thinking. The retailer beat its competition in the 1990s by opening one-story stores with large surface parking lots in neighborhoods, which were all appealing factors for working mothers with no time to go to the mall. Today, Kohl’s has partnered with Amazon and Aldi. “Talk about visionary thinking,” Lewis said. “That, to me, is where the world is going. Online is forcing some shrinking back in brick-and-mortar and a lot of non-visionary stores to close, whereas Kohl’s and others are starting to fill their stores with more productive products.” As shopping malls change, so has the way shopping centers are built. In the Milwaukee suburbs, several large mixed-use developments have been built recently that include retail, restaurants and high-end apartments, including Drexel Town Square in Oak Creek, Whitestone Station in Menomonee Falls, 84South in Greenfield, The Mayfair Collection in Wauwatosa and The Corners in the Town of Brookfield. With the exception of The Corners, the developments have included many lower-priced stores such as Five Below (imagine the checkout line at TJ Maxx), which appeal to young millennials and Generation Z, and discount designer stores. The Corners, a development project that took nearly seven years to complete, opened a year ago. It landed Von Maur as its high-end anchor, and has brought several first-to-Wisconsin retailers to the development. “The restaurants are doing spectacularly,” Sovine said of The Corners. “I get the general sense that the soft goods are not. Having Von Maur was an incredible victory for them. But that might not be the case anymore, given the history of mall anchors. But time will tell.” n
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Special Report BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION
Prosecutors allege Ganos built network of companies on fraud
Prosecutors allege a number of Ganos-affiliated companies operated from this building at the corner of North 55th Street and West Florist Avenue.
By Arthur Thomas, staff writer
BRIAN GANOS built a thriving construction business in the decade after he took over his father’s firm, in part by using government programs aimed at helping minority businesses get a foothold in the industry. Sonag Co. Inc. graduated from a U.S. Small Business Administration contract set-aside program in May 2003. The next year, Sonag and Sonag Ready Mix, an affiliated company, reportedly had $43 million in revenues. The businesses continued to grow and when the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons project needed 10,000 cubic yards of concrete for its foundation in 2015, Sonag Ready Mix provided it. But the year before that massive pour, a former Ganos employee provided law enforcement with allegations of an inappropriate affiliation among several of his companies. The tip helped kick off a years-long investigation. Federal prosecutors now allege as he continued to grow Sonag, Ganos also built a network of companies with straw owners to continue bidding on the government contracts that helped kickstart his business. Profits from those businesses allegedly came back to Ganos and funded his personal expenses, including cars, a condo in Colorado and remodeling at his Muskego home. The case has left City of Milwaukee officials questioning how their policies might have allowed Sonag-affiliated companies to be certified as a small business enterprise, giving them an avenue to get work on major city-funded developments like the Northwestern Mutual tower. Those projects have targets for how much work must be performed by businesses certified un-
der the small or disadvantaged enterprise programs, with the goal of building capacity in the city’s construction industry. “Our application process is very detailed. We ask for a plethora of documents,” said Nikki Purvis, director of the Milwaukee Office of Small Business Development, at a recent committee meeting. “We oftentimes hear from our small businesses that our application process is too cumbersome.” Officials discussed the possibility of going after companies in court, attaching monetary penalties for falsifying city documents, creating a random audit system, or establishing more stringent recertification processes. Sonag-affiliated companies performed about $12.3 million worth of work on the Northwestern Mutual tower and Milwaukee Bucks arena projects, according to the latest reports to the city. Officials estimated the companies may have had another $3 million to $4 million in work with the Department of Public Works in recent years. “It’s not just the theft of today; they stole somebody’s future,” Milwaukee Alderman Michael Murphy said.
CHARGES FILED Ganos was indicted in early April and faces 23 counts, including mail and wire fraud, money laundering and bank embezzlement. Sonag Co. is also charged with one count of mail fraud, Nuvo Construction Co. is named on eight counts and Mark Spindler, an accountant, was charged. Attorneys for Ganos and Spindler declined to
comment when charges were initially filled. Four other individuals, including Nicholas Rivecca Sr., have reached plea deals in related cases. Rivecca is co-owner of Sonag Ready Mix with Ganos. The charges came 20 months after federal investigators seized documents, bank statements, computer data and more from a Ganos-owned building at 5510 W. Florist Ave. and the home office of another accountant in Menomonee Falls. Documents supporting the search detailed Ganos’ alleged connection to companies that fraudulently obtained $268 million in government contracts intended for minorities and service-disabled veterans. Two years before Sonag graduated from the SBA 8(a) program, which sets aside contracts for socially and economically disadvantaged business owners, Ganos allegedly approached Jorge Lopez about starting a new company. According to court documents, Lopez had construction management experience and was a project manager for Sonag at the time. He also was on the verge of losing his residence, according to the former employee who prompted the investigation, so he accepted Ganos’ offer. Lopez agreed in April to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States, specifically for making false statements to investigators in 2016 when asked about his involvement in Nuvo. According to court documents, he changed the name of a company he had incorporated to Nuvo Construction Co. in 2001. Ganos also became a 15 percent owner in the company around
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the same time, the documents say. Nuvo was granted 8(a) status by the SBA in fall 2004. The informant told investigators that after the certification, work on Sonag projects slowed as crews began performing Nuvo work. The documents also say Lopez moved to Minnesota not long after the certification and was not involved in the day-to-day operations. In Minnesota, Lopez worked for the Southwest Minnesota Housing Partnership. Court documents say those involved in the scheme arranged for his SWMHP compensation to come through Nuvo’s payroll. Contracts, checks and other documents were “routinely” executed in Lopez’s name and other individuals had access to his email account to send messages in his name. Ganos and others also made it appear Nuvo provided ready-mix concrete and trucking on its own when the company’s operations “depended heavily” on Sonag Ready Mix, according to documents supporting Lopez’s plea agreement. Documents submitted to the SBA indicated Ganos received no compensation from Nuvo and in some years didn’t have access to Nuvo bank accounts. Court documents, however, allege Ganos received nearly $140,000 from
Nuvo in one five-month stretch and used company funds to pay insurance on his home, personal valuables, boat and vehicles, including a 1956 Chevrolet Bel Air, 1967 Ford Mustang and 1969 Chevrolet Camaro. In addition to Ganos, Nuvo was actually operated by James Hubbell, who has reached a plea agreement on one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States.
EXPANDING THE NETWORK Once Nuvo was established, Ganos and Hubbell sought to create a service-disabled veteran-owned small business to participate in a Department of Veterans Affairs set-aside contract program, according to court documents. Hubbell met Telemachos Agoudemos, a service-disabled veteran, at VA contractor meetings. In 2006, Ganos and Hubbell made Agoudemos president of C3T Inc., the new name of another company, Sonag Masonry. He was also made a majority owner, helping the company qualify for the VA program. Agoudemos has reached a plea agreement on one count of making false statements. According to the agreement, Agoudemos tried to participate
in C3T operations, but by January 2007 Hubbell and Ganos said they didn’t want him involved and he could stay home while drawing a salary. He eventually returned to operations in 2013, but Ganos, Hubbell and others retained control of the business. Prosecutors also allege Ganos sought to establish a third company that would be eligible for the SBA’s 8(a) program. According to court records, he chose an Asian-Pacific American female who had been a C3T project manager for four years to establish Pagasa Construction Co. Inc. in 2012. The business received SBA 8(a) status in 2015, but the woman has not been charged with a crime. The indictment against Ganos, Sonag, Nuvo and Spindler accuses them of lying about the relationship among the companies to federal, state and Milwaukee officials on four different occasions dating back to 2006. Nuvo and Ganos are charged on four counts for payments received for work on Highway 20 in Racine County, Layton Avenue in Milwaukee County and at the Milwaukee Intermodal Station. An arraignment hearing is scheduled for May 16. n
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Special Report BUILDING & CONSTRUCTION
Work underway, but Foxconn site prep will take until August 2019 Contractor draws lessons from Northwestern Mutual project By Arthur Thomas, staff writer
WHEN LOCAL OFFICIALS gathered recently in a gravel parking lot in what used to be a farm field off Braun Road in Mount Pleasant to mark the arrival of construction equipment at the Foxconn Technology Group site and reflect on the progress made in the past year, they had a point – a lot has been accomplished. It was April 28, 2017 when Gov. Scott Walker first met with Foxconn chairman Terry Gou. A year later, the project has been moving ahead at a breakneck pace. Just three months passed from the initial meeting to the announcement of a deal. A site was picked by October and Walker and Gou signed a contract in November. Even in the week before the one-year anniversary, the project gained approvals for air emissions and the withdrawal of Lake Michigan water, Mount Pleasant transferred land to the company,
and the first subcontractors were named. “The timeline for this project has been unlike anything we’ve ever imagined,” said David DeGroot, Mount Pleasant village president. Critics, of which the Foxconn project has plenty, would say the deal came together too quickly, special session legislation was rushed through and the project favored speed over environmental protections. But preparing an 800-acre site for a 22-million-square-foot LCD manufacturing campus takes time. Construction leaders say it will take until August 2019 to move the 4 million cubic yards of dirt needed to prepare the site. The actual construction of buildings could begin later this year or early next year, said Adam Jelen, senior vice president at Providence, Rhode Island-based Gilbane Building Co. Gilbane
is one half of the M+W|Gilbane joint venture selected to lead construction on the Foxconn project. German firm M+W Group GmbH, a top builder of clean room facilities, is the other. Part of the challenge Foxconn faces is figuring out how to adapt its manufacturing process from Asia to the United States. Company executives have said they will have to do things completely differently in the U.S. to make the project work. Building the Foxconn campus will require an estimated 10,000 workers annually once construction is fully underway. The site preparation work getting underway now will max out with about 400 workers on-site. Two subcontractors were named in April. Black River Falls-based Hoffman Construction Co. was chosen for work on site excavation, storm water management and erosion control, while Gestra Engineering Inc. of Milwaukee was selected for soil testing work. Another 26 subcontractors were announced May 7. All but one is based in Wisconsin and 80 percent of the workforce will be from the state. Those figures represent a solid start to M+W|Gilbane meeting its inclusion and diversity goals for the project. The company is hoping
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Renderings of the Foxconn plant included in presentations to contractors.
to have 60 percent of the work done by Wisconsin-based businesses, including 10 percent by Racine County firms. Ten percent would also come from minority-, woman- or veteran-owned businesses. The workforce goals include 70 percent of work hours performed by Wisconsin residents, with an emphasis on those from Racine County. Ten percent of the hours would be worked by minorities, women and veterans.
Jelen says the plan is custom-designed for the project to put Wisconsin first, but it’s also built on lessons from other projects, like the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons in Milwaukee. On the Northwestern Mutual project, the city’s financial support for the project came with the requirement that 40 percent of hours on the project be worked by under- or unemployed participants in Milwaukee’s Residents Preference Program.
RPP participants eventually accounted for 795,882 work hours, or 43.5 percent of all hours. By contrast, just the projects awarded in the first bid package for Foxconn will require 500,000 work hours. A Foxconn-commissioned analysis by Ernst & Young estimated the construction work for the entire project would require 40,935 worker years. At 40 hours per week, that figure would amount to more than 85 million work hours. Jelen said the Northwestern Mutual experience showed him it was important to have strong communications from the start, which he said is why M+W|Gilbane and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. combined to hold 14 information sessions around the state in April. Nearly 2,000 businesses attended those sessions and roughly 900 registered to bid on Foxconn work. The other lesson from Northwestern Mutual was the importance of understanding the available workforce and business capacity and then targeting training for the project. Some have questioned whether the plans go far enough. Milwaukee Alderwoman Milele Coggs asked Jelen at a recent committee meeting why the targets were set low, especially considering the combination of minorities, women and veterans. “It’s based on the capacity that’s available in the marketplace,” Jelen replied. Foxconn’s targets were set by the company and M+W|Gilbane, but the contract with the state does not set any requirements for hiring Wisconsinites or minorities. Marjorie Rucker, executive director of The Business Council in Milwaukee and a representative of the Ethnically Diverse Business Coalition, acknowledged at a contractor information session in Milwaukee that it requires faith in Gilbane to follow through on the targets. “It’s faith, but it’s also trust in us both knowing where the rubber meets the road and where we need to intersect to make sure this goes right,” she said. n
MACC FUND, MIDWEST ATHLETES AGAINST CHILDHOOD CANCER, INC. PHONE: (414) 955-5830 WEB: maccfund.org The MACC Fund raises funds for research in Wisconsin for childhood cancer and related blood disorders like sickle cell disease and aplastic anemia providing a Gift of Hope Through Research.
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A world-class corporate culture Harken employees passionate about sailing, people
I was honored and fortunate to participate in Harken Inc.’s 50th anniversary celebration – first in Pewaukee, and then on to Italy. Harken enthusiasts traveled from virtually every continent, at their own expense, to help the company mark this golden anniversary with events both fascinating and fantastic. Founders Olaf and Peter Harken are true rock stars in the sailing world, witnessed by their products on every America’s Cup yacht no matter what international flag flies. While I didn’t ask people to roll up their sleeves, I can guarantee you some devoted fans had Harken-tattooed arms and legs. Harken’s story is remarkable, but surprisingly, not well-known in Wisconsin outside of the sailing world. It’s a Harley-Davidson or Hewlett-Packard type of story playing out right in our own Cheesehead backyard.
HOW IT ALL STARTED Olaf’s autobiography, “Fun Times in Boats, Blocks & Business,” is an entertaining read, documenting the brothers’ personal history and Harken’s ascendance in the sailing world. (Today, Harken’s reach extends well beyond sailing to other manufacturing applications – but that’s for another column.) The book, available on Am36 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
azon, should definitely be on your reading list. How does a small company, started by two brothers from Dutch Indonesia, grow to become the brand in sailing? At Harken, it started with the brothers’ invention, creativity and personal drive, but it continued with culture and living out core values. Harken has a document called “The Weather Mark” which describes, in Olaf and Peter’s own words, their beliefs on how to run their business. 1. “Keep the wellbeing of your people first!” 2. “Make the best products at a fair price.” 3. “Service your customers beyond their expectations.” 4. “Never lose your sense of right from wrong, the basic judgment taught by your mother and father.”
Culture replicates and survives only by having processes, systems, rewards – and sometimes punishments – aligned with core values. And it doesn’t happen accidentally. Discussions around culture and living up to “The Weather Mark” happen at Harken at every weekly meeting on-site and at meetings off-site. Maintaining the corporate culture across all offices and in culturally-diverse countries isn’t easy. It’s hard work. And it’s worth it. It’s how a company like Harken becomes old enough, wise enough and strong enough to celebrate a 50th anniversary around the world. n
What stands out is how Harken lives these corporate values. As a result, it has created a people-centric corporate culture. Customers and Harken team members always come first. As a result, employees are incredibly engaged and truly care about the customer, each other and the wellbeing of the Harken family.
WHY THIS IS IMPORTANT In his book, “The Coming Jobs War,” Gallup CEO Jim Clifton says, “Your customer will never be more engaged than your least engaged employee.” Harken’s loyal customer base is a testament to the engagement of its team members. But is this all sustainable? Of course, it’s fair to ask: “Is a great culture sustainable once the founder retires?” I believe it will be at Harken. It starts with selecting people who naturally fit the company’s core values (back to “The Weather Mark” for guidance here). Harken has done an incredible job creating a team of people who are not only passionate about sailing, but exceptionally passionate about people.
JOHN HOWMAN John Howman has led a variety of businesses, from technology to consumer products companies, and leads two groups for TEC/ Vistage, a professional development group for CEOs, presidents and business owners. He can be reached at JHowman@AlliedCG.com.
Take time to reflect Examine your own approach
Is it time to re-evaluate your performance and maybe reinvent yourself as a leader? Many of us think it, and if you don’t, why not? Do you initiate it? You reflect back: Where have you come from, where are you at and where to you want to go yet? Do you sit and think about what was, where you are and what is to come? Shouldn’t we all do so as leaders? Shouldn’t leaders be required to take a good hard look at ourselves in the mirror each and every day, as well as every year? Shouldn’t you look at the inside and the outside? You are the leaders now; shouldn’t you be helping to provide the empathy and needed ear for our emerging, evolving new leaders?
DISCOVER Shouldn’t we look long and hard at ourselves? Gather information from our peers or colleagues in our industry? From our work family? Outside of our industry? From our family? From our friends? From our community members? Then, do you listen? Do you listen and hear what you need to in order to be the best leader? To be a “doing” leader? And the list goes on… shouldn’t you?
DO How do you “do”? When, where and how, do we do what we do? And mostly why? Why do you do what you do? Because you should, because you are passionate about what you do. Because someone says you should, because, because, because… aren’t you responsible to ourselves and others who ask the same questions? Aren’t you supposed to sit and think? Aren’t you a leader? Don’t you need to lead? Don’t you need more of the leading by doing? And next year… what do you do then? Where are you? What’s next? Why are you where you are? Are you evaluating what you discovered, designed and are doing? Let’s hope you are leading and working together. Listening carefully, sharing vulnerably, conducting yourself accordingly, and taking risks to help grow the person you are, the team you work with, the organization you represent and the community of which you are a part. Let’s hope we are all doing and leading. Let’s hope we are the “doing” leaders. Let’s hope you are leading now. n
DESIGN What do you want to rewind back and do again because it was so right, so good, so whole? What do you want to fix, change and make better? Do the same? Do you want to do this at work and at home or just work or just home? Does this make sense to mix home and work? Is it tolerated to do both? Do you need to do one or the other? Do you design with love, hate, fear, greed? Do you design with others in mind or is it all about yourself, your team? Do you design with partnerships, collaboration or teammates, and how do you distinguish what you do by yourself or with others? Do you want to do these boldly, quietly, with risks, or the safe path… together with others? By yourself? Do we keep asking ourselves what makes us who we are? What makes us stand strong, stand humbly, stand with conviction and who in the world cares? Or why in the world should you care?
PATRICIA LENIUS Patricia Lenius is the president of Pewaukeebased PJL & Associates. She can be reached at (414) 852-9887. biztimes.com / 37
How to produce more sales with less effort Pursue high probability opportunities
Sales productivity is at the heart of company profitability, yet too many salespeople pursue prospects who appear interested, but do not have approval power or are only interested in “free consulting.” This can drain sales productivity and profitability. To avoid wasting valuable time and sales resources, create an ideal client profile – the characteristics of your best clients. Empowering sales professionals with a clear understanding about whom they should target, and likewise disqualify, allows them to focus on the best opportunities and secure measurably higher win rates. The easiest way to develop your ideal client profile is to analyze your best clients and develop a list of the characteristics that they share in common. For example, you might begin with: »» What industries do they represent? »» What is the company’s annual revenue (can be a range from X to Y)? »» How many employees work at the company? »» How many locations do they have domestically? Abroad? »» What is their buying process? »» What triggered them to take action and want to buy? »» Why did they select your company? Or you? »» What is the key decision-maker’s title? 38 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
»» Who authorized the budget and why? »» What return on investment did your solution generate for your client? »» Who among your clients will testify to the value they received? »» How did this solution improve their business? After developing your ideal client profile, create the list of qualifying questions the sales team should ask a prospect, in the first or second meeting, to determine if they are a viable prospect. At the very least, the questions should help the sales professional understand the prospect’s current and desired business situation, scope of potential engagement, and readiness to buy. Understanding this information will reduce the risk of the salesperson mistaking interest for opportunity. Interest is a curiosity or a nice to know; opportunity is a validated desire with a confirmed capability to commit. Building a new habit takes time and practice, so it is essential to train the sales team. After explaining the value and desired outcome of targeting only ideal clients, the team members need to practice asking the qualifying questions and knowing how to respond to the different types of answers they are likely to receive. In these case studies, include scenarios where the prospect avoids answering questions directly, or redirects the conversation – this is often a sign that the prospect may not be in the market for your offering, but wants free consulting. Beware! These scenarios can consume tremendous company resources with no payoff. To demonstrate the value of what this approach would mean to your company, analyze your current sales pipeline. Identify how many real prospects are in the queue and what percentage will close within 90 days. Many executives are content with a 20 to 25 percent close rate, but few have taken into consideration the real costs. For an average manufacturing com-
pany, a proposal that requires some engineering input can cost $3,000 to $15,000 to produce. Imagine the financial impact to your company if your close rate rose to 90 percent. You might say, “That’s crazy!” Except it’s not. Companies that pursue only high probability opportunities have smaller pipelines, but close more than 90 percent of the deals in their pipeline in less time. Training sales professionals to pursue prospects that meet their ideal client profile and qualify early generates, on average, a 20 percent shorter sales cycle, 13 percent higher deal size, and more than 100 percent improvement in close rates. What uptick in productivity, revenue and profit would your company yield if your numbers were consistent with these? n
CHRISTINE M c MAHON Christine McMahon offers strategic sales and leadership training, conference keynotes and executive coaching. She can be reached at (844) 369-2133 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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NONPROFIT $1 M I L L I O N KO H L’ S G I F T TO F U N D S U S A N G . KO M E N S AT E L L I T E O F F I C E Kohl’s Corp. is donating $1 million over two years to Susan G. Komen Wisconsin to fund community outreach initiatives and a new satellite office for the breast cancer organization on Milwaukee’s north side. The new office at the COA Goldin Center, 2320 W. Burleigh St., will provide access to breast health education, navigation to screenings, diagnostic services, social and financial assistance resources and healthy lifestyle classes for women in the Amani neighborhood. The donation continues Kohl’s support of the organization’s outreach initiatives, which
will have a new focus this year on reaching women who are most at risk – those over the age of 40 who live in Milwaukee neighborhoods where Komen has found women are nearly twice as likely to die from breast cancer as those in surrounding areas. The donation will also continue to fund the Komen Wisconsin Breast Health Fund, which provides financial assistance to uninsured and under-insured individuals in southeastern Wisconsin, and continue Kohl’s role as the local presenting sponsor of the Komen Southeast Wisconsin Race for the Cure. — Lauren Anderson
c alendar Prevent Blindness Wisconsin will hold its 59th annual meeting of the board at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 17, at the Italian Community Center, 631 E. Chicago St. in Milwaukee. Five award winners will be recognized for their efforts to help achieve healthy vision for all Wisconsin residents. More information is available at wisconsin. preventblindness.org/59th-annual-meeting-board-directors. La Causa Crisis Nursery & Respite Center’s gala fundraiser will be held at 6 p.m. on Saturday, May 19, at the Harley-Davidson Museum /The Garage, 540 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. All proceeds from the Wild Wild West-themed gala will support the Crisis Nursery, a 12-bed shelter for children ages birth to 12. More information is available at lacausa.org/events/wildwildwest.
D O N AT I O N R O U N D U P Milwaukee-based Professional Dimensions donated $50,000 to fund Pathfinders’ New Paths program, which supports youth who have been victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking | The Greater Milwaukee Association of REALTORS presented $12,500 to Housing Resources Inc. to support their work in preparing Milwaukeeans for successful homeownership to recognize the 50th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act | First Choice Ingredients donated nearly $8,000 to the Menomonee Falls Fire Department for the purchase of three camera laryngoscopes used in emergency response vehicles | Cousins Subs Make It Better Foundation awarded $5,600 in grants to three Wisconsin-based nonprofits: Next Door Foundation, Wisconsin DECA and Greater Green Bay YMCA.
COUR AGE MK E
1544 S. Sixth St., Milwaukee (414) 704-3856 | couragemke.org Facebook: facebook.com/CourageMKE | Twitter: @Courage_MKE
Year founded: 2015 Mission statement: Courage MKE fuels a collaborative movement to provide the resources LGBTQ+ youth need to thrive. Primary focus: We are working to open and sustain The Courage House, the first home for LGBTQ+ youth in our state. The drop-in home has on-site support for any LGBTQ+ youth that have suffered mental or physical abuse, have no means to support themselves, and/ or need a place to call home, longterm or temporarily. Other focuses: We are a diverse group of allies and members of Milwaukee’s LGBTQ+ community. Our goals are to raise awareness for the growing number of homeless LGBTQ+ youth in Milwaukee, and provide scholarships to high school seniors for any post-high school education and monthly grants to high schools across the state to ensure their Gay Straight Alliances remain intact. Employees at this location: Two Executive leadership: Brad Schlaikowski, co-founder and executive director Key donors: Jaimer’s Floral, D.I.X. Milwaukee, Fat Daddy’s,
Northwestern Mutual, Kessler’s Jewelers, Kohl’s, Fluid Milwaukee, Walker’s Pint, Hamburger Mary’s MKE, Castaways M.C. of Milwaukee, This Is It, The Waxwing, Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Church, QuinTron. Board of directors: Joey Balistreri; Leslie Angove; Ryan Bricks; Nick Schlaikowski, Meg Strobel; Alec Weber Sternig. Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? We’re always open to the possibility of expanding our board and welcome candidates that share a passion for our mission. What roles are you looking to fill? Board secretary. Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: Donations to support the renovation of the house, as well as donations of socks, laundry soap, books and board games, paper and personal hygiene products. Key fundraising events: Fluid presents “Art with a Heart” at the Courage House on Saturday, May 19 and Courage MKE’s 2018 gala, There Is No Place Like Home, on Friday, Nov. 2. More information is available at couragemke.org.
biztimes.com / 41
BizConnections PERSONNEL FILE BANKING & FINANCE
BANKING & FINANCE
AILCO Equipment Finance Group, Waukesha
Wells Fargo, Milwaukee
AILCO Equipment Finance Group has named Greg Larson president. Larson was previously senior vice president and director of commercial banking at Bank Mutual, and has more than 35 years of banking experience.
BANKING & FINANCE
First Federal Bank of Wisconsin, Waukesha First Federal Bank of Wisconsin has hired Leila Pals as vice president of retail banking. She has been in the financial industry for more than 35 years and has held various retail banking positions, most recently AVP-branch manager at Associated Bank.
BANKING & FINANCE
Johnson Financial Group, Racine
Wells Fargo has hired Jason Eggert as vice president, senior relationship manager for its Milwaukee middle-market banking group. Eggert has more than 13 years of banking experience, most recently coming from a regional bank where he spent 11 years in roles within commercial banking.
specializing in clinic administration, management evaluation, service provision and new program innovation.
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Milwaukee
HEALTH CARE & WELLNESS
My Choice Family Care, Wauwatosa My Choice Family Care has named Dr. Joseph O’Grady Jr. medical director. O’Grady’s responsibilities include providing leadership, oversight and direction in health care services, quality measures of clinical outcomes and performance, health care information, clinical practice guidelines, health care provider relations and clinical supervision.
Michael Best & Friedrich LLP has hired Shane Brunner as a partner in the firm’s litigation practice group and Jennifer Ciralsky as a partner in the firm’s labor and employment relations practice group. Brunner has more than 18 years of experience focusing on intellectual property litigation and other complex commercial disputes. Prior to joining Michael Best, Ciralsky worked at a global labor and employment firm.
MANUFACTURING HEALTH CARE & WELLNESS
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, Milwaukee Larsen
Johnson Financial Group has hired Emily Larsen as chief marketing officer and Pat Lawton as senior vice president, commercial real estate regional manager, Wisconsin. Larsen has more than 20 years of marketing experience, most recently as senior vice president in the media and marketing strategy group for Kohl’s Corp. With more than 30 years of banking experience primarily in the Wisconsin market, Lawton is experienced in managing commercial real estate lending groups.
Prevent Blindness Wisconsin has promoted Tami Radwill to chief executive officer. After her son was identified 16 years ago at a vision screening as being at high risk for a vision problem, Radwill started volunteering at Prevent Blindness. She recently led Prevent Blindness through its highest grossing financial year, raising just more than $1 million.
HEALTH CARE & WELLNESS
Seeds of Health Inc., Milwaukee Seeds of Health Inc. has hired Ann White as its new WIC (women, infants and children) program director. White has more than 25 years of public health management experience
42 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
Jason Industries Inc., Milwaukee Jason Industries Inc. has named Kevin Kuznicki general counsel. Kuznicki’s experience includes a series of domestic and international roles with Adient plc/Johnson Controls International plc, most recently serving as vice president and deputy general counsel of Adient, the public spinoff of the automotive business unit.
NONPROFIT & PHILANTHROPY
Girls on the Run of Southeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee Girls on the Run of Southeast Wisconsin, Milwaukee has named Whitney Sweet to its board of directors. She is
a senior communications strategist at Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc. in Milwaukee.
NONPROFIT & PHILANTHROPY
American Lung Association Wisconsin, Brookfield American Lung Association Wisconsin has promoted Megan Cordova to executive director. She was previously employed in the Wisconsin office from 2012 to 2015 as director of special events. During that time, Cordova directed three major annual fundraising events to successfully raise more than $3.4 million.
NONPROFIT & PHILANTHROPY
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Milwaukee The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has named Michael Hoffman vice president of human resources and organizational learning. He will be responsible for driving strategic planning, organizational development, staff learning, collaboration and talent management, while ensuring alignment of the foundation’s commitment to racial equity and inclusion.
Heritage Senior Living, Milwaukee Heritage Senior Living has hired Lars Johnson as its new chief financial officer. Johnson, who was formerly the vice president of finance at Southview Senior Communities in the Minneapolis/ St. Paul area, has more than 17 years of accounting experience in the health care industry.
SBA LOANS: MARCH 2018 The U.S. Small Business Administration approved the following loan guarantees in March: KENOSHA COUNTY
Everlasting Tools LLC, 755 20th Ave., Kenosha, $350,000, First Home Bank; Ketterhagen Memorials LLC, 6511 52nd St., Kenosha, $509,800, Citizens Bank; The Unlikely Gardeners LLC, 7944 14th Ave., Kenosha, $6,000, U.S. Bank; Top Choice Tents Inc., 2119 81st St., Kenosha, $786,600, Associated Bank;
Community Roofing & Restoration Inc., 2340 N. Cambridge Ave., Milwaukee, $379,000, Wells Fargo Bank; Horizon Electric Co., 53225330 W. Electric Ave., West Allis, $380,000, Byline Bank; K2 Logistics Inc., 4830 W. Armour Ave., Greenfield, $25,000, The Huntington National Bank; K2 Logistics Inc., 4830 W. Armour Ave., Greenfield, $374,000, The Huntington National Bank;
Lakeshore Contractors 123 Inc., 3030 S. Delaware Ave., Milwaukee, $510,000, Stearns Bank;
3 Kids & a Truck Inc., 8843 W. Sura Lane, Greenfield, $465,000, Byline Bank;
Milwaukee FADS Inc., 625 E. St. Paul Ave., Milwaukee, $350,000, Bank of the West;
3MJ LLC, 8950 S. 27th St., Oak Creek, $125,000, First Bank Financial Centre; Cloud Recycling LLC, 5325 W. Rogers St., Milwaukee, $25,000, Wells Fargo Bank;
Orchard Street Press LLC, 4188 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., Saint Francis, $350,000, Waukesha State Bank; Praji Properties LLC, 8980 N. 85th St., Milwaukee, $742,000, Wisconsin Bank & Trust;
Renters Warehouse Milwaukee LLC, 7101 N. Green Bay Ave., Milwaukee, $185,600, The Port Washington State Bank; OZAUKEE COUNTY
Paulus Construction LLC, W5011 County Road H, Fredonia, $125,000, Independence Bank; Two Hips and a Valley LLC, 117 Edmaro St., Fredonia, $32,700, The Port Washington State Bank; RACINE COUNTY
Accelerated Auto Service Inc., 756 McHenry St., Burlington, $365,000, Racine County Business Development Corp.; Camden Alan LLC, 28020 Kramer Road, Waterford, $381,000, WBD Inc.; DeanMoczynski, 11831 4 1/4 Mile Road, Franksville, $12,500, Community State Bank; Gallo Business Center Investments LLC, 3600 S. Memorial Drive, Racine, $2.7 million, Bank of the West;
Legacy Realty Group LLC, 3631 Falcon Court, Waterford, $25,000, Educators Credit Union; Marz Insurance Services LLC, 3716 Durand Ave., Racine, $150,000, CRF Small Business Loan Co. LLC, Pawstar RE LLC, 1500 Summit Ave., Racine, $315,000, JPMorgan Chase Bank; SHEBOYGAN COUNTY
Arch Electric Inc., 1237 Pilgrim Road, Plymouth, $615,000, Commerce State Bank; Juhl Concrete Solutions LLC, 5205 County Road J, Sheboygan, $15,900, U.S. Bank; Marlee Girl LLC, 1540 Saemann Ave., Sheboygan, $60,000, Spirit of Texas Bank SSB; WALWORTH COUNTY
Castle Rock Restoration Inc., 101 W. Evergreen Parkway, Suite 4, Elkhorn, $200,000, First Home Bank; Daleâ€™s Bootery LLC, 155 W. Main St., Whitewater, $150,000, First Citizens State Bank;
Westenn Mechanical Contractors Inc., 990 Koopman Lane, Elkhorn, $50,000, Community State Bank; WASHINGTON COUNTY
Advanced Asphalt Paving Inc., N124 W13900 Lovers Lane, Germantown, $36,200, The Port Washington State Bank; Advanced Asphalt Paving Inc., N124 W13900 Lovers Lane, Germantown, $140,000, The Port Washington State Bank; Cafe Floriana LLC, 611 Veterans Ave, Ste.104, West Bend, $224,900, BMO Harris Bank; WAUKESHA COUNTY
Axis Automation LLC and Axis Automation, 1115 Cottonwood Ave., Hartland, $1.3 million, Byline Bank; Brookfield Fads Inc., 15760 W. Capitol Drive, Brookfield, $350,000, Bank of the West; EVC Valuation LLC, 375 Bishops Way, Suite 236, Brookfield, $250,000, Town Bank;
Joe Rajchel Enterprises LLC, 1639 Square Circle, Waukesha, $106,200, Educators Credit Union; Living Assistance Waukesha LLC, 120 Park Ave., Pewaukee, $163,000, Byline Bank; Lone Rock Services LLC, 402 Travis Lane, Suite 66, Waukesha, $189,200, Waukesha State Bank; Net Zero Chase LLC, 1265 Club Circle, Brookfield, $50,000, JPMorgan Chase Bank; Organic Lawn Services LLC, N57 W13636 Carmen Ave., Menomonee Falls, Waukesha, $375,000, U.S. Bank; R2 Properties LLC, Lot 3 in Westmoreland Industrial Park, Waukesha, $1.1 million, Citizens Bank; Summerville Toys LLC, 2420 Milwaukee St., Delafield, $1.2 million, Wells Fargo Bank; Upper Room LLC, 1005 Spring City Drive, Waukesha, $2.05 million, U.S. Bank.
biztimes.com / 43
BizConnections VOLUME 24, NUMBER 4 | MAY 14, 2018
GLANCE AT YESTERYEAR
126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120 PHONE: 414-277-8181 FAX: 414-277-8191 WEBSITE: www.biztimes.com CIRCULATION: 414-336-7100 | email@example.com ADVERTISING: 414-336-7112 | firstname.lastname@example.org EDITORIAL: 414-336-7120 | email@example.com REPRINTS: 414-336-7128 | firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLISHER / OWNER Dan Meyer email@example.com
SALES & MARKETING
DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Mary Ernst firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL EDITOR Andrew Weiland email@example.com MANAGING EDITOR Molly Dill firstname.lastname@example.org REPORTER Lauren Anderson email@example.com REPORTER Corrinne Hess firstname.lastname@example.org REPORTER Maredithe Meyer email@example.com REPORTER Arthur Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
— Photo courtesy Riverside Theater.
We’re all in on Foxconn, like it or not THE FIRST PIECES of construction equipment have arrived at the Foxconn Technology Group site in Mount Pleasant as general contractors Gilbane Building Co. and M+W Group GmbH begin the early work to build a $10 billion LCD screen manufacturing campus. The village has acquired much of the site for the project and recently transferred nearly 800 acres of land to the company. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently approved air emissions permits for the Foxconn complex and also approved an application for Racine to divert 7 million gallons of water from Lake Michigan, most of it for Foxconn. Numerous road projects are slated to begin later this year to improve access to the Foxconn site. Just more than a year after negotiations first began between Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn founder Terry Gou, the project is moving full speed ahead. The company says the campus 44 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Molly Lawrence email@example.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE David Pinkus firstname.lastname@example.org ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Maggie Pinnt email@example.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Christie Ubl firstname.lastname@example.org SALES INTERN Amanda Bruening email@example.com SALES INTERN Tess Romans firstname.lastname@example.org
ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR Sue Herzog email@example.com
Riverside Theater This photo, taken in 1951, shows the Riverside Theater in downtown Milwaukee. At that time, the theater was mainly used to show movies. Here, “Flying Leathernecks” is playing. The Riverside was originally built by RKO as a vaudeville stage and opened in 1928. Today, the Riverside hosts musical and entertainment performances.
DIRECTOR OF SALES Linda Crawford firstname.lastname@example.org
PRODUCTION & DESIGN GRAPHIC DESIGNER Alex Schneider email@example.com
Independent & Locally Owned
ART DIRECTOR Shelly Tabor firstname.lastname@example.org
— Founded 1995 —
could eventually have 13,000 employees. Supporters, led by Walker, sure hope so and believe the Foxconn supply chain will transform Wisconsin’s economy. Meanwhile, the long list of Democrats competing for a chance to take on Walker this fall have been very critical of the Foxconn deal and some want to challenge it. Attorney Matt Flynn says if he’s elected he will file a lawsuit to stop Foxconn. Madison Mayor Paul Soglin and state Rep. Dana Wachs expect Foxconn to violate the terms of the deal, which they say would create an opportunity to renegotiate it. The state’s $3 billion subsidy for the project is certainly shocking and raises all sorts of legitimate questions. And local incentives, road construction and utility upgrades will add another $1.5 billion or so. The Foxconn project is a big risk for the state and Mount Pleasant. While the state’s incentive package is tied to job creation and capital investment, there is still a massive amount of upfront cost for infrastructure. And there’s no guarantee Foxconn will remain successful here for the long haul. But there is also tremendous potential upside. In a state and region that has seen only tepid growth compared to more robust areas of
the country for decades, Foxconn could be the economic opportunity of a lifetime. At this point, the state and Mount Pleasant have pushed their chips toward the center of the table. We’re all in on the Foxconn deal. It’s time to hope for the best. Walker is sounding the alarm to his supporters that if he loses in November, a Democratic governor will look to kill the Foxconn deal and its great opportunity for the state will be lost. Rather than trying to stop the project or expecting a violation of the deal, the Democrats running for governor should argue that they will do a better job of making sure that Foxconn lives up to its promises and complies with environmental regulations. And the state needs to just say no to any Foxconn suppliers that request their own subsidy. We’ve done more than enough. n
ANDREW WEILAND EDITOR
P / 414-336-7120 E / email@example.com T / @AndrewWeiland
Milwaukee Women’s Leadership Luncheon
The Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce recently held its 2018 Milwaukee Women’s Leadership Luncheon at Saz’s South Second in Walker’s Point.
LAURA MARTIN and MICHELE DEWITT, both of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., and ALEXIS FIELEK of United Heartland Inc.
ROSEMARY POTTER, RACHELLE HOEHNEN, and KARI LUENEBERG, all of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin.
JOCELYN STORER and RACHAEL ANDERSON, both of Rockwell Automation Inc.
BOB LAMB and CHIA XIONG, both of U.S. Bank, and ANNE CURLEY of Curley Communication.
MIKAYLA DHEIN and DANA PHILLIPS, both of River Club of Mequon.
KOSANA STOJCEVIC, ASHLEY BRUNDAGE and LEESA GILLIAM, all of PNC Bank.
KAYLEIGH NORTON and ANGELA WIEGERT, both of Wisconsin Gazette, and MAUREEN KANE of MMK Design.
KELLY OSTRICKI and WILL MCINTOSH, both of PNC Bank.
IRIS LOWERY and MELISSA ANDERSON, both of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, BOB LAMB of U.S. Bank, TRACI CAIN of Gathering on the Green, MELISSA SHNEYDER of U.S. Bank, and JEFFREY WEIGAND and GWENDOLYN BLAND, both of Harley-Davidson Inc.
Milwaukee Urban League Annual Meeting
The Milwaukee Urban League held its Annual Meeting on March 28 at Foley & Lardner LLP in the U.S. Bank building in downtown Milwaukee. 10. SEAN LOWE of National Urban League Young Professionals and JORDAN ROMAN of Milwaukee Urban League. 11. AMY LINDNER of United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County and MATT MATSON of JP Cullen. 12. PHOEBE WILLIAMS of Marquette University and KENNETH HARRIS, JR. of Talented Strategies LLC.
14. JORDAN ROMAN and JOCELYN JOHNSON of Milwaukee Urban League. 15. TARENA FRANKLIN of Washington Franklin Law Offices S.C. and DARIAN LUCKETT of Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp.
16. DANIEL ZDROJEWSKI and PIOTR JELEN, both of Milwaukee Area Technical College. 17. JIM LOGAN and BETH LOGAN, both of Logan Productions Inc.
Photos by Maredithe Meyer
13. EARL BUFORD of Employ Milwaukee, PERCY DORSEY, and PENELOPE STEWART of Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s.
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EL ANA K AHN Position: Director of Jewish Community Relations Council Company: Milwaukee Jewish Federation What it does: The Milwaukee Jewish Federation is a nonprofit organization that provides social and religious services for Milwaukee’s Jewish population. Its Jewish Community Relations Council serves as a public affairs advocate and representative for the Jewish community. Career: Kahn has served as director of the federation’s Jewish Community Relations Council since 2010. She previously served as editor of The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle and president of the American Jewish Press Association.
THE CHALLENGE “After Charlottesville last summer, when we saw so clearly what Jews know – which is that the targets of white supremacy include Jews as well as people of color – the response in Milwaukee, and in other places, was often to talk about white supremacy and put Jews on the ‘white side’ of it, not the target side of it.” The white nationalist rally last summer in Charlottesville, Virginia sparked local and national discussions and awareness efforts surrounding violence and discrimination, but the Jewish population, Kahn said, was largely left out of those gatherings and conversations. “Maybe one of the local events had a Jewish speaker, but that was it.” In her current role, Kahn is responsible for representing the Jewish population and sharing its culture with the greater Milwaukee community, including other minority groups. Milwaukee’s response to Charlottesville revealed an underlying mentality of what she calls, “competitive victimhood,” an ongoing challenge amongst victimized minority groups that further divides these populations rather than uniting them. “It’s like we don’t have enough space in our hearts or in our minds to conceive the idea that we’re actually all in it together.” THE RESOLUTION Kahn faces this mentality in her everyday work – sometimes in the form of stereotypes or anti-Semitic remarks – but it doesn’t stop her. “For me, it’s continuing to show up everywhere that we are supposed to be and to continue to communicate the message that if any of us are not safe based on our race, religion, or gender or sexual orientation, then none of us are safe. We have to be allies so we are not victims.” In November, the federation re-launched Hours Against Hate, an initiative that organizes social events and service projects for individuals, organizations, schools and businesses with the goal of connecting people from different backgrounds.
LILA ARYAN PHOTOGRAPHY
46 / BizTimes Milwaukee MAY 14, 2018
“I think it’s a solution. I mean, it’s slow, it’s a slow and long-term solution, but if we can get to know other people, we can maybe get to see the complexity that they live with, and get to see them as human beings.” Kahn said she knows there is no easy fix for problems like bigotry, discrimination, stereotypes, racism and anti-Semitism, but for now, she says she does what she can to work toward justice for all minority groups. n
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