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Thursday, November 19, 2020 | Virtual Program – Free | 12:30 - 1:00PM Networking, 1:00 - 2:45PM Program

LOOKING BEYOND THE TUMULT OF 2020 WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? The dramatic news events of 2020 have been felt everywhere, including the southeastern Wisconsin commercial real estate industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to adapt to having many of their employees working remotely. At the same time, civil unrest across the country has drawn increased attention to the issue of racial inequality in communities across America, including Milwaukee, Kenosha and the rest of southeastern Wisconsin. Join us as the 2020 BizTimes Media Commercial Real Estate and Development Conference will feature a pair of panel discussions diving into two key issues that have been front and center this year: 1) How will work at home practices adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic impact the future of the Milwaukee office market? 2) What opportunities exist, and what challenges are in place, to attract economic development to Milwaukee’s lower income neighborhoods?

PANELISTS: • John Coury, Founder, Crestlight Capital (1) • Josh Jeffers, President & CEO, J. Jeffers & Co. (2) 1

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• Lyle Landowski, Managing Director & Partner, Colliers International|Wisconsin (3) • Barry Mandel, Chairman & CEO, Mandel Group (4) • Kevin L. Newell, MBA, President & CEO, Royal Capital Group LLC (5) • Ryan Pattee, President, Pattee Group (6) • James Phelps, President, JCP Construction (7)

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• Heather Turner Loth, Practice Leader – Project Development and Workplace Strategy • Leader, Eppstein Uhen Architects (8)

MODERATOR: • Andy Hunt, Director, Marquette University Center for Real Estate (9) 7

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Kenosha picks up the pieces MILWAUKEE STARTUP LAUNCHES HEALTH CARE BENEFITS PLATFORM 9 COLLEGES BRACE FOR ENROLLMENT DECLINE 12

SALEM BUSINESS PARK ATTRACTS BUSINESSES FROM ILLINOIS 24

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NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN! NOTABLE HEROES IN HEALTH CARE

BizTimes Milwaukee will feature BizTimes Media 2020 Notable Heroes in Health Care within the December 14th issue of BizTimes Milwaukee. This special editorial feature will profile the executives who are shaping their own organizations as well as the path forward for other women in the industry. Your company, and its executives, are invited to submit a nomination form that will help us determine this year’s honorees. The special section will run in print and online, recognizing the chosen individuals for their accomplishments. WHO SHOULD APPLY? Accepting nominations for front line workers like: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Doctors Nurses and nursing teams EMTs Janitors Environmental Services Hospital cafeteria workers and teams Home health care providers Respiratory therapists Contact tracers Physician Assistants Community Health Centers Retirement home workers and teams

• Rehab and nursing home workers and teams • Clinics and managers • Ambulance teams • COVID response teams • Hospitals • Supply chain operations • Laboratory workers and teams • Call centers and 911 operators • Telehealth providers • Infectious disease departments

Hurry! Nomination Deadline is this Friday, November 13th

NOTABLE WOMEN

NOTABLE

These accomplished professionals represent all aspects of human resources. The common denominator: They went into HR to help people and have staked out paths to make an impact.

BizTimes Media announces BizTimes Media 2021 Notable Minority Business Executives, recognizing minority senior leaders in firms across the metro-Milwaukee area.

Nomination deadline: December 16, 2020

Nomination deadline: January 4, 2021

Issue Date: January 25, 2021

Issue Date: February 15, 2021

IN HUMAN RESOURCES

MINORITY BUSINESS EXECUTIVES

To view this year’s winners and nominate, visit biztimes.com/notable


LOCALLY OWNED FOR 25 YEARS

biztimes.com

» NOV 9 - 22, 2020

6 Leading Edge 6 NOW BY THE NUMBERS 7 ON THE JOB WITH… VANGUARD SCULPTURES 8 ON MY NIGHTSTAND BIZ POLL COFFEE BREAK 9 REV UP 10 “QUOTE UNQUOTE” 11 IN FOCUS

12 Biz News 12 FROM SMALLER CAMPUS FOOTPRINTS TO CHANGING STUDENT DEMOGRAPHICS, HIGHER ED LEADERS BRACE FOR BIG CHANGES 14 MADE IN MILWAUKEE

16 Real Estate 30 Notable Veteran Executives

COVER STORY

18

Kenosha picks up the pieces

Special Report

18 Business in Kenosha County In addition to the cover story, coverage includes a report on the Salem Business Park, which has attracted three businesses from Illinois.

ANDREW FELLER PHOTOGRAPHY

BizTimes Milwaukee (ISSN 1095-936X & USPS # 017813) Volume 26, Number 12, November 9, 2020 – November 22 , 2020. BizTimes Milwaukee is published bi-weekly, except monthly in January, April, May, July, August and December by BizTimes Media LLC at 126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120, USA. Basic annual subscription rate is $96. 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 2020 by BizTimes Media LLC. All rights reserved.

Contents

27 Banking and Finance Coverage includes a report about a regulatory change that makes it easier for people to become certified as accredited investors and could increase the number of people involved in the local venture capital ecosystem.

36 Strategies 36 LEADERSHIP Dan Steininger 37 COACHING Susan Wehrley 38 NETWORKING Cary Silverstein 39 A Brief Case

42 Biz Connections 42 NONPROFIT 43 AROUND TOWN 44 GLANCE AT YESTERYEAR COMMENTARY 45 MY BEST ADVICE

Originated $45 million in PPP Loans. Awarded 33 grants totaling $91,000. Purchased over 200 gift cards. We support small business – always have, always will. Shop local. Eat local. Let’s show them we care. 262-363-6500 www.citizenbank.bank Member FDIC | Equal Housing Lender

Follow | Like | Review Citizens Bank – WI

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Leading Edge

BIZTIMES DAILY – The day’s most significant news → biztimes.com/subscribe

NOW

The new Briggs & Stratton says it is hiring and committed to Milwaukee By Arthur Thomas, staff writer

BY THE NUMBERS More than

2,000

computer-controlled LED light bulbs were installed on the west side of the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge over Milwaukee’s inner harbor. 6 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

A little more than a month after being sold out of bankruptcy to a New York-based private equity firm, the new chief executive officer of Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton says the company is committed to Milwaukee and looking to hire. “The Milwaukee community – and all of the communities within which we currently operate – has been good to us and we will remain a strong community partner that stands behind its products and supports its customers, for many years to come,” said Steve Andrews, CEO of Briggs & Stratton LLC. Briggs & Stratton Corp., the previous iteration of the company, filed for bankruptcy this summer as it faced looming debt maturities and a need for capital to fund its operations heading into a new fiscal year. The company entered bankruptcy with an offer from New York-based KPS Capital Partners to buy Briggs. KPS ultimately acquired most of Briggs’ assets for $550 million. Andrews, who worked with KPS as CEO of Illinois-based International Equipment Solutions, was brought in to replace former Briggs CEO Todd Teske after the deal closed in September. “Many of the external challenges that seemed to hit the company all at once are starting to stabilize: Weather is in our favor; the stay-at-

home environment has positively impacted our business … and, we’re now a well-capitalized company, unencumbered by past liabilities, so we can focus on growth,” Andrews said in a press release. The company touted that it is currently hiring for more than 100 salaried and hourly positions in Milwaukee and hundreds more across its other operations. “I’m impressed with the talented team of employees at Briggs & Stratton and look forward to growing that team to support what will again be a very successful business,” Andrews said. He said the company would have “a renewed focus on innovation, new products, quick action and growth.” In particular, Andrews highlighted Briggs’ Vanguard lithium-ion battery system and its push into commercial power applications. Those efforts were in place prior to the Briggs filing for bankruptcy this summer and were at the heart of a strategic plan unveiled in early March. “While residential engines and products remain a core part of what we do, we will continue to strategically focus our offerings to include commercial engines and products, lithium-ion batteries and other systems and products that will help make our commercial customers more productive and profitable,” Andrews said. n


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Vanguard Sculpture Services By Brandon Anderegg, staff writer Tucked away on the northern end of Milwaukee’s 30th Street Industrial Corridor is a group of artists with decades of bronze casting experience. In 1993, artists Beth Sahagian-Allsopp and Michael Nolte left Milwaukee’s Bronze Heart art foundry to start a foundry of their own. Three years later, the business partners opened Vanguard Sculpture Services, whose artists not only craft artwork of their own but can bring the work of others to life with bronze.

Communication is key for the Vanguard team. When a piece of artwork is removed from the kiln at approximately 1,800 degrees and is placed on the pour floor, the pour team has just eight minutes to cast the bronze into a ceramic mold before either the molten bronze or the artwork becomes too cool. “It’s not only about being safe, but also about being super-efficient,” Sahagian-Allsopp said. “So, everybody has to be in top form when they are on the pour floor.” n

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1 The pour crew works to lift the 2,050-degree crucible. From left: Chris Andrews, Ed Sahagian-Allsopp and Michael Nolte.

JAKE HILL PHOTOGRAPHY

ON THE JOB WITH…

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Beth Sahagian-Allsopp shows off the wax, clay and silicone molds of the bronze sculpture of Road America founder Clif Tufte.

Shawn Stephany and Michael Nolte open the kiln containing the ceramic molds of artwork, heated to over 1,800 degrees.

Michael Nolte protects himself with a cavalier fire suit as he removes the ceramic mold from the kiln.

Shawn Stephany and Michael Nolte work to clean the inside of the mold before pouring molten bronze.

Molten bronze is poured into each ceramic mold, which is held steady by chains during the pour.

biztimes.com / 7


Leading Edge COFFEE BREAK

on my nightstand... RICK SCHLESINGER President – Business Operations Milwaukee Brewers

Eric Conley

President, Froedtert Hospital; executive vice president, Froedert Health 900 N. 92nd St., Milwaukee

“The Gathering Storm”

Froedtert.com

By Winston Churchill RICK SCHLESINGER says he’s gained some leadership wisdom from his current read: “The Gathering Storm” by Winston Churchill. Volume one of Churchill’s memoirs of World War II focuses on the interwar period, when he was isolated from power and the United Kingdom followed a policy of appeasement toward Nazi Germany. Later, as prime minister from 1940 to 1945, Churchill led the country to victory. Schlesinger, who is president of business operations at the Milwaukee Brewers, notes two significant

BIZ POLL

Industry: Health care

takeaways from the lengthy work, originally published in 1948. “First, stick to your convictions even if it would be expedient, financially rewarding, or politically advantageous to do otherwise,” he said. “Second, good intentions are no substitute for wise actions.” n

• Conley was senior vice president of Froedtert Health and chief operating officer for Froedtert Hospital for two years before becoming executive vice president of the health system and president of the hospital in July. • Previously, Conley was a vice president at Louisville-based KentuckyOne Health and a vice president at Northwestern University’s primary teaching hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. • He attended Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania for undergrad to play baseball, but “fell into hospital administration” after encounters with two professors – one, a former hospital administrator, and another who taught sociology.

A recent survey of BizTimes.com readers.

Is the Foxconn deal good for Wisconsin? Yes:

No:

35%

50%

Neither:

Not Sure:

1.7%

3.3%

• He went on to receive his master’s degree in health care administration from The Ohio State University. His first job in a hospital was as a unit secretary at the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Early on I saw how a health care organization has a major impact on the community and the individual lives of those in that community,” he said. “… And it’s extremely complex. I like hard, complex things, and delivering health care is very hard and complex.” • Besides golf, his favorite parts about being in Milwaukee are the restaurants and how easy it is to get around the city. • He and his wife Janell have three daughters, Cydney, Cori and Christen, all of whom played field hockey in high school and college. • Conley isn’t a coffee drinker. “I get nervous when I go to a Starbucks and have to order for someone because I don’t know the rules or the language,” he said. n

Share your opinion! Visit biztimes.com/bizpoll to cast your vote in the next Biz Poll. 8 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020


LEADERSHIP: Ray Seaver, founder and chief executive officer; Bruce Stahl, principal and vice president, and Rob Goll, vice president of business development.

JAKE HILL PHOTOGRAPHY

zizzl LLC

REV UP

H E A D Q U A R T E R S: Ward 4, 313 N. Plankinton Ave., Suite 204 W H AT I T D O E S: Payroll and employee benefits F O U N D E D: 2016 E M P L OY E E S: 14 NEX T GOAL: Expand its zizzl Health platform nationally by 2022.

Bruce Stahl, Ray Seaver and Rob Gall

Milwaukee startup zizzl launches new health care benefits platform By Brandon Anderegg, staff writer

MILWAUKEE-BASED payroll and employee benefits startup zizzl LLC is launching a new health care benefits platform after raising $630,000 during its first round of funding. The funding round, raised by six investors and one venture fund, will be used to launch zizzl Health, a tech-enabled health benefits solution for businesses with fewer than 100 employees, said Raymond Seaver, Jr., zizzl founder and chief executive officer. zizzl Health is based on a new form of Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) called Individual Coverage HRA, which became available in the health insurance marketplace in January 2020 following an executive order from President Donald Trump. ICHRA uses a model based on reimbursing employees for insurance rather than buying it for them. Employers can design the company’s plan by establishing reimbursement limits and also define which employees are eligible. In essence, employees purchase the individual plan they want and receive reimbursement from their employer for a portion or all of the premium, depending on the cost and how much their employer is contributing, along with other valid claims they submit. However, even though employees are purchasing an individual health plan, employers

still get the pre-tax savings of a group plan – a core component of ICHRA. “It allows businesses and employers to give their people pre-tax money and then we help those people find the best health insurance plan that’s available to them through an individual family plan in the state of Wisconsin,” Seaver said. zizzl is not the first startup that Seaver helped build. Before starting zizzl in 2016, he worked for Chicago-based bswift, which was acquired by Aetna in 2014 for about $400 million. While at bswift, Seaver was part of the team that developed the company’s Ask Emma tool, which asks employees about their health care needs and then compares out-of-pocket costs for several plans. zizzl currently has 14 employees and all of its customers are located in Wisconsin. However, the company has ambitious plans to grow to a staff of 500 and generate another 4,500 jobs outside the company through collaboration and partnerships by 2027. To achieve its job creation goal, the startup has plans to scale their solutions, Seaver said. “In order to get to 500 employees, we will have to expand the zizzl Health program nationally, which we will be doing in 2022,” Seaver said. n biztimes.com / 9


Leading Edge

“ QUOTE

unQUOTE

A A RO N JAG D F E L D

CHAIRMAN AND CHIEF E XECUTI V E OFFICER , GENER AC Aaron Jagdfeld, chairman and CEO of Waukesha-based Generac Power Systems, Inc., recently sat down with BizTimes Media associate editor Arthur Thomas for a one-on-one interview as part of the virtual 2020 Next Generation Manufacturing Summit. Among several topics discussed, Jagdfeld addressed shifts in power product demand spurred by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as opportunities and risks from climate change. Listen to the full interview as featured on the BizTimes MKE podcast. n “Everybody has turned the home into a sanctuary and it’s really become a theme for our customers. For people who are stuck at home, a power outage is something that used to be an inconvenience. Now, it’s just an untenable situation, so the products that we sell primarily on the residential side have been very strong.”

“As weather conditions have become more severe across the country … warmer air temperatures, warmer water temperatures creating more energy in the atmosphere for more storms. More storms create more power outages. So, as we think about that part of our business, clearly climate change is an opportunity to sell more generators.”

“With unemployment going up because of the pandemic, you’d think it would be easier to find people, but what we’ve found is many of the people who are out of work right now are not in the traditional manufacturing backgrounds. … It was a challenge before the pandemic finding people. It’s a challenge today finding people.”

“The flip side of that is what causes climate change — some of the effects of the human condition and what we do. Internal combustion engines are identified as a contributing factor. … It’s one of the challenges that people in our industry have struggled with, so we’re looking at what to do about that in the future.”

“There’s no way anybody could’ve seen the pandemic coming, but that’s the kind of thing you have to plan for in business: it’s the stuff you can’t control. It’s trying to be in control of your future to a point, but then when you face a situation where you can’t control the outcomes, you have to have some mitigating paths ready to go so that you can adjust on the fly.”

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The Prairie School nurtures the creativity, interests and abilities of every student, inspiring each to explore, thrive, and add value individually and in collaboration with others. Our community of students, faculty, and families works together to create a collaborative and supportive culture grounded in human values – celebrating both our differences and commonalities. Prairie graduates are prepared for college and life with the desire and skills to make the world a better place.

To learn more, visit biztimes.com/giving

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KOHLER CO.

Straits Chapel DEMAND FOR WEDDING space has been on the upswing in recent years for Kohler Co.’s hospitality arm. With mainstay reception venues like the American Club and Whistling Straits already booked years in advance, the company saw an opportunity to tap further into a growing business sector. Last month, Destination Kohler unveiled its new Straits Chapel, a non-denominational venue constructed on a 150-acre site overlooking Lake Michigan just north of Sheboygan. The chapel’s bright, modern design frames its natural surroundings, and 22-foot windows offer panoramic views of the lake and woodland. “Straits Chapel rounds out our wedding venue offerings at Destination Kohler,” said Christine Loose, vice president of lodging and wellness at Kohler Co. “For example, brides and grooms can host their wedding ceremony at the chapel followed by a reception at the Irish Barn at Whistling Straits, Blackwolf Run or at The American Club depending on their needs.” Booking interest has so far been strong for the 2021 wedding season and beyond, said Loose. And the 150-person space isn’t limited to wedding ceremonies. Hand-carved pews and furnishings can be rearranged for other smallscale events such as concerts and seminars. Destination Kohler is also in talks with local funeral homes about hosting celebrations of life. n — Maredithe Meyer biztimes.com / 11


BizNews FEATURE

Cindy Gnadinger

Michael Lovell

Mark Mone

Vicki Martin

From smaller campus footprints to changing student demographics, higher ed leaders brace for big changes

Lauren Anderson, staff writer

EVEN BEFORE the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the higher education system, industry leaders had already been bracing for a major challenge on the horizon. Projections indicate the typical college-going population will decrease by 15-20% after 2025 due to declining birthrates, a trend that is in part linked to the Great Recession. “We’re running out of teenagers, I like to say,” Mark Mone, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee said during a recent Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce discussion with higher education leaders. Industry leaders were in the process of making plans for the approaching enrollment drop-off when COVID-19 accelerated that timeline by five years. Nationally, freshman enroll12 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

ment at colleges and universities dropped 16% this fall compared to fall 2019, according to the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Marquette University’s freshman enrollment decline was in line with those averages – down 16% from last year, or roughly 350 fewer incoming students. President Michael Lovell said he does not expect those numbers to improve next year. “We were preparing for a 1520% decrease. … Suddenly now it’s upon us this year. We had to go from planning to prepare for 2026 to planning for next year and figure out how we can restructure the university in one year to deal with this demographic shift,” Lovell said on the MMAC webcast. With fewer college-aged students coming in and a grow-

ing number of them opting out of college amid the pandemic, universities and colleges expect to see smaller student bodies in the coming years – a trend that will create a ripple effect across the region’s institutions. For one, Milwaukee-area college leaders said it could mean their campuses have fewer – or at least smaller – buildings, a reversal of the facility expansion trend in recent decades at schools like Marquette and UWM. “We’re going to find a way to decrease our physical footprint,” Lovell said. “We’ve found many people can work from home and don’t need an office here at Marquette. If we have a smaller student body, that means less residence halls and less need for classrooms, particularly as classrooms are changed to an online environment.”

Mone said UWM will need to “right-size” to adapt to the declining demographics. “Less real estate,” Mone said. “What’s wrong with that? The problem is how do we shed that quickly enough to reduce costs?” Five years from now, Milwaukee Area Technical College campuses will have a “much smaller footprint,” said president Vicki Martin. More students will likely be learning off campus, but the college is working to build out its environment to be more engaging for students when they are on site. That will likely look like more clubs, more sports and a greater presence of four-year college representatives and employers on campus, she said. “... When students are on campus, it will be much more of a college environment with a lot of different activities happening,” Martin said. “The look of the college will be different. We’re working on that right now to change our appearance.”

Credentials and badges Colleges and universities will also need to find new revenue sources to make up the gap, Mone said. There could be a potential revenue opportunity for higher education as employers seek to upskill workers for the pandemic economy and the post-pandemic economy. Martin said she expects a growing trend of adults “going to work to earn a degree.” Increasingly, employers are going to look for their employees to translate their work experiences into credentials or badges that acknowledge the worker has attained a specific skill. Those could look like a digital coding badge or a “critical thinking” credential, backed by a higher education institution. “It’s just in time learning,” Martin said. “That’s what people are interested in.” Building out a system of badges and credentials that meet the


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needs of industry partners in the region has been a recent focus of the Higher Education Regional Alliance (HERA), a coalition that includes the region’s two- and four-year colleges and universities and about 10 community organizations. “We know there are a lot of industry partners out there who need to upskill and retool the workforce; they don’t need another four-year degree, they just need the skills,” said Cindy Gnadinger, president of Carroll University. “So, we’ve looked at micro-credentials and badges to make that happen. A lot of us are doing that work right now.” As a recent example, Carroll provides badging for people to become COVID-19 contact tracers through Waukesha County. “You go through the training program that Carroll provides, then you get your credential to become a contact tracer and you get hired by Waukesha County,” Gnadinger said. “... You don’t need a degree; you just need the training and the credential for it.” Todd McLees, founder and managing partner of Hartland-based Pendio Group Inc. and a consultant with HERA, said the need for two- and four-year degrees is as important as ever, with low-skilled jobs being most at risk for automation. But credentials, which are more granular and incremental than a degree or certificate and can be added on top of a degree, offer an opportunity for “lifelong learning” and career advancement, he said.

New demographics, closing gaps With fewer high school graduates coming into college, a target demographic for higher education institutions will be those who have started but not completed a college degree, Mone said. Wisconsin is estimated to have more than 800,000 people who fit in that category. To that end, MATC in 2018 launched its Promise free tuition program to help returning college students receive credentials. This year, the college

began offering eligible returning students with student debt relief for up to $1,500 of past-due balances. Mone noted colleges will also expand their reach to those in the corrections system and the unemployed and underemployed. The challenges facing colleges have put an increased focus on student success, as higher ed institutions are pressed to justify the cost of tuition and value of a degree, Mone said. In that context, reducing graduation equity gaps has become an imperative for colleges and universities, he said. UWM, MATC, Carthage College and UW-Parkside recently announced they will work to eliminate the graduation gap for students of color by 2030 as part of a national initiative. In the seven-county Milwaukee region, 56% of white students earned a degree or certificate within six years in 2020, compared to 32% of Hispanic students and 20% of Black students, according to data compiled by HERA. Through a partnership with national education firm EAB, the four schools will undergo equity-mindedness training, improve transfer pathways and use a “student success management” software platform that allows advisors and faculty to monitor and reach out to students before they fall off track from graduation or take the wrong courses for their degree. The effort to eliminate graduation disparities will include a roughly $8 million investment over the next five years. Despite the industry’s financial headwinds, Mone stressed that now is the right time for the schools to sign on to the initiative. “Especially in a time of the most significant financial challenges that higher education has collectively faced in decades, if not forever, we think this is the right time, this is the absolutely necessary time to bring about these types of changes at our institutions,” he said. “It is simply unacceptable to do anything less than make these types of investments.” n

Keeping customers safe with Shock & Shield treatment The Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery is a standout stop in Kohler, Wisc., and its outdoor patio makes it a summer staple in the area. Like many businesses in the era of COVID-19 however, the company struggled with how to stay open and keep staff and customers safe. Nye took action after learning about a two-step process from Butler-based Green Up Solutions that would disinfect and protect the restaurant - increasing safety for his patrons and coworkers.

“To me, it was a no-brainer,” said Thomas Nye, general manager of the Blind Horse. Armed with UV-C lights to disinfect surfaces and an EPA-registered antimicrobial called OMNIShield to protect the cleaned surfaces, Green Up Solutions administered the patent-pending Shock & Shield treatment at the Blind Horse Restaurant and Winery. The UV lights eliminate 99.999% of bacteria and viruses – including SARS and MERS – on high-touch surfaces and in the air. Then, the application of OMNIShield provides an invisible barrier to inhibit the growth of bacteria for 90 days.

“I don’t know how a restaurant [or a hotel]

could even open without considering something like this,” added Nye. “It’s been vital to our reopening. We are breaking records almost every weekend [with the crowds that are coming here,] and we’re doing it safely.” Green Up Solutions made a second visit to The Blind Horse at the end of August to reapply OMNIShield, giving customers and employees peace of mind through the fall. “We have customers that stop us on the property, or call, or email, and they thank us for taking these extra steps to open up,” said Nye. “The best decision we made was to bring in Green Up Solutions.” COVID-19 has impacted every business, Green Up Solutions knows protecting staff and customers is your top priority. To learn more visit biztimes.com. Read this story in its entirety at biztimes.com/category/sponsored.

Green Up Solutions LLC

12733 W Arden Place, Butler, WI | info@greenupsolutions.org | 262-606-1600 biztimes.com / 13


BizNews

Manufacturer’s internal needs led to Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin THE DEBUT PRODUCT from MuL Technologies was not intended as a solution to the social distancing needs of the COVID-19 era. As it turns out, however, the Mobile Autonomous Robotic Cart – or MARC – is pretty good at helping employees keep their distance from each other in warehouses or on the factory floor. The real reason the team at MuL (pronounced “mule”) developed MARC was to meet their own internal needs at sister company GMI Solutions. The company used carts internally and was looking for ways to make them more efficient. Dan Armbrust, founder and chief executive officer of MuL, said the first instinct was to look externally. “All the other solutions we saw were much more expensive and they were really overkill for what we needed,” he said. What GMI needed was something that could go between a handful of different points and be easy to use. The team set about building what became MARC. It uses proximity sensors, high-resolution depth cameras and a 360-degree LIDAR laser device to navigate between user-defined points in a facility. It operates without connecting to WiFi and programming it is as simple as changing radio presets in a car. “We wanted something super easy and I think we’ve accomplished that,” Armbrust said. MuL Technologies, which was officially registered with the state in August 2019, also accomplished something else: winning 14 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

the Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest this year. The contest results were announced in mid-October. To win, the cart received more support than nano preemie diapers made by Kimberly-Clark in Neenah, electric rope shovels made by Caterpillar Global Mining in South Milwaukee and adaptive clothing made by C.C. moo LLC in Stoughton. This year’s Coolest Thing Made in Wisconsin contest was the fifth iteration. Previous winners included the Big Boy All-Weather Rifle from Henry Repeating Arms, the Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Kringle from Uncle Mike’s Bake Shoppe, the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle from Oshkosh Corp., and the Milwaukee Eight Engine from Harley-Davidson. “I was blown away by how creative the state is and some of the great ideas that are out there,” Armbrust said. He added the MARC likely resonated as a unique product that fills a niche many manufacturers can relate to. Other contest entrants have contacted MuL to learn more about how MARC could benefit their operations, he said. MARC has a maximum load capacity of 200 pounds and is intended for tasks like moving tools between CNC machines, taking packages from receiving into the warehouse or routing products from inspection into shipping. The idea is to save employees from having to waste time walking between departments or areas.

The Mobile Autonomous Robotic Cart or MARC, developed by MūL Technologies.

MuL TECHNOLOGIES 10202 N. Enterprise Drive, Mequon INDUSTRY: Autonomous carts EMPLOYEES: 10

multechnologies.com

“We really want to help supplement the associates,” Armbrust said. One of the markets MuL is initially targeting with MARC is small and medium manufacturers who might otherwise be priced out of some of the more advanced automated cart systems. “The other systems out there are still very expensive,” said Bob Grabon, chief technology officer at MuL Technologies. Armbrust notes that MARC’s price, just under $10,000, means that in certain cases departments can buy it without seeking additional authorizations. At 40 hours per week, the price works out to less than $5 per hour over a year. With an easy setup, the cart can quickly be put to work to recover that cost, while other systems can take longer to set up. “They’re all very good products, but they’re just set up differently,” Armbrust said. “They’re very complex.” Of course, the prospect of any autonomous cart roaming a factory floor could raise safety concerns for many people. Grabon said MARC uses LED lights and audio cues to let people know when it is moving and its sensors, cameras and LIDAR give it a solid

understanding of its surroundings, including whether something is a stationary object, like a wall, or a moving object, like a person. He also noted MuL benefited from testing and developing MARC in its own manufacturing environment. “We’ve been able to prove out that this really does work and it works well,” Grabon said. Armbrust said initially many people look to challenge the technology to see how it reacts to their presence, helping develop a level of comfort. “What we see happen as you adopt this technology is people tend to work with it,” he said. n

ARTHUR THOMAS Associate Editor

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121-123 Park Ave. Owner: Jason and Amy Jo Koboski, and the Laimon Family Limited Partnership Tenant: Park Avenue Pizza Company

5 145 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owner: Beachscape Pewaukee LLC, registered to David Griffith; condo units above Tenants: Ryloo Boutique, SKN BAR RX, Twisted Vine Wine Shop and Bar

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2 113-117 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owner: Manuel and Rita Staleos Tenant: End of the Leash

6 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owners: Siepmann Development Co., registered to James Siepmann Tenants: Anchor Fitness, Beachcomber Salon, Edward Jones, Ruggeri’s Italian Market, Seester’s Mexican Cantina, The Chocolate Factory

3 125 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owner: Snail Lake LLC, registered to James Siepmann Tenants: Lake Country Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, WholeHealth Biomimetic & Biological Family Dentistry

7 179 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owner: Siepmann Development Co., registered to James Siepmann Tenant: Artisan 179

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8 203 W. Wisconsin Ave. Owner: Duncans Inc., registered to Jeff Duncan Tenants: Brewer’s Two Café, VéloCity Cycling/The Handlebar

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EATON EXPANSION IN WAUKESHA Diversified industrial manufacturer Eaton Corp. plans on expanding its Eaton Power Systems facility at 2300 N. Badger Drive in Waukesha. The project will allow it to increase production of regulators and transformers, improve production efficiencies and reduce costs, the company said. It will also allow the company to move operations from two other nearby locations into the Badger Drive building. The two facilities, located on North Street in Waukesha and on Hickory Street in Pewaukee, will be closed and sold. The expansion and consolidation will eliminate 30 positions, though impacted employees will receive a severance package and will be invited to reapply for another position, according to Eaton. CONTRACTOR: Berghammer Construction Corp. SIZE: 233,000 square feet COST: $24 million

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Two vacant retail properties greet passersby headed north on Port Washington Road as they pass Bradley Road. They are the former Northpoint Service Center at 8000 N. Port Washington Road and former Port China restaurant at 310 W. Bradley Road. It appears the service center building may soon be used again. It’s under contract for purchase, and the prospective buyer filed plans with the village to reopen it as a gas station and convenience store. Travis Tiede and Adam Matson of Newmark Knight Frank are marketing that property for sale. They said the proposal would “bring new life into a main throughway in the village.” The two were once pitched as a redevelopment site, but an impediment to that is a We Energies substation behind the buildings. The owner of 8000 N. Port Washington Road is the Thomas M. Willetts Revocable Living Trust, and the owner of 310 W. Bradley Road is Karl Cheng.

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STORY COVER

Kenosha picks up the pieces

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URING THE SECOND NIGHT of the August civil unrest in Kenosha, Uptown Restaurant owner Yolanda Hernandez arrived home around 8 p.m. Like other business owners in Kenosha, Hernandez and La Estrella Supermarket owner Abel Alejo spent much of the day boarding up their windows in anticipation of violent protests. “Here and there I was watching Facebook Live, but then my daughter came home, and she started looking at it more,” Hernandez said. “I told her, ‘I don’t want to look at it,’ and she said, ‘Mom, you have to look at this.’” The live feed revealed that several buildings on 60th Street had caught fire, two blocks away from La Estrella Supermarket and Hernandez’s restaurant on 22nd Avenue. From the perspective of another live video, Hernandez could see that protestors were now headed towards her business. Equipped with a fire extinguisher, Hernandez drove to Uptown Restaurant and on the way called Alejo, asking him to meet her on 22nd Avenue. “By the time I got here, there was fires in the front and some in the back,” Alejo said. “The fire was only affecting a couple of businesses, but it 18 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

spread and eventually, well, you know the rest.” As Hernandez and Alejo looked on, it was clear they were too late. But their timing didn’t matter; had they arrived minutes earlier, fire extinguishers were no match for the inferno burning their businesses. Both businesses were so irreparably damaged that neither Hernandez nor Alejo were allowed to enter once the fires had been extinguished. “You know you’re working here, and this is your way of living,” Hernandez said. “These are small businesses, family-owned. That’s why my desperate thoughts were to bring fire extinguishers.” Walking through downtown Kenosha and the Uptown neighborhood weeks later, it’s evident the community had suffered – spider-cracked windows, charred I-beams, piles of rubble and completely leveled buildings. It looks like the set of an action film, but this was no movie, and the people impacted by the rioting were not actors. It is estimated that at least 40 businesses were damaged while another 20 buildings, including publicly owned facilities, were burned to the ground as a result of the late August unrest. “We have a list of about 70 businesses that have shown that they have been physically affected by the events of that week,” said Heather Wessling Grosz, Kenosha Area Business Alliance vice pres-

BY BRANDON ANDEREGG, staff writer

ident. “It’s still hard to tell, but it’s anywhere between $10 (million) and $20 million of actual damage. And then replacement value is hard to say too, but probably three to four times that number.” The people of Kenosha were and are hurting, but across the city, the facade of buildings and boarded up windows are spray-painted with messages of unity, support and a resolve to rewrite the narrative of a community shrouded by the events that drew national and international attention. The Kenosha protests followed the police shooting of Jacob Blake on Aug. 23. The protests escalated into violence. In addition to the rioting and burning of buildings, a 17-year-old counter-protester shot three people, two fatally, and now faces several charges including first-degree murder. The police shooting in Kenosha and the protests and unrest that followed were another in a series of similar events across the United States this year sparked by violent confrontations between police and African American suspects, including Blake. At the summer’s end, Kenosha became ground zero of the broader movement for racial justice in the country and the center of political division after both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden visited the community just days after the protests. Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian says he un-


ANDREW FELLER PHOTOGRAPHY

La Estrella Supermarket owner Abel Alejo and Uptown Restaurant owner Yolanda Hernandez owned their businesses for nearly six years before the civil unrest left most of their block in a pile of rubble. Here, Alejo and Hernandez stand inside the middle of the building where their businesses are located on the 6000 block of 22nd Avenue. biztimes.com / 19


BRANDON ANDEREGG/BIZTIMES

STORY COVER

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derstands why Trump and Biden visited Kenosha, but the city was grieving and the timing wasn’t appropriate. When both Trump and Biden arrived, Antaramian stayed home. It just wouldn’t have been right to be there, he said. “We had just gone through some major unrest and rioting in the city,” Antaramian said. “Things had just started to quiet down, and I didn’t want politics to be the focal point of what goes on. All of a sudden, I have more people coming into town from the outside. Because a great deal of our problems came from out of town.” Now, while the city is on the mend, Antaramian admits that Kenosha still has much to address, including the widespread destruction, racial division and dozens of displaced business owners. “I think a lot of (business owners) are still in limbo,” Antaramian said. “I think a lot of them don’t know for sure what the next thing is going to be, and uncertainty is always one of the most difficult things for small businesses. When it is your livelihood, you look at things differently from another’s perspective of saying, ‘well, long-term it will be great.’ Well, long-term, you may not be able to hang on for the long-term.” Still, the mayor expects Kenosha to grow, prosper and come out of this strong “because that is Kenosha,” he said. “But none of these things happen fast and we need to deal with the issues that are out there right now,” Antaramian said. “We need to make sure that, number one, people feel that they are being listened to and we also need to make sure the community feels safe. At that point in time, I think you’ll see things moving forward. But we have work to do.” Local nonprofits like Downtown Kenosha Inc. and 1HOPE have mobilized to provide both businesses and community members with supplies and financial support. The Kenosha Area Business Alliance is also slated to deploy $4 million in zero interest microloans using Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. funding with up to $50,000 available to each business impacted by looting, fires and the destruction wrought by protestors. A portion of the WEDC-backed loans could become grants for business owners, but KABA has yet to finalize those details, said Wessling Grosz. In addition to grants provided by local organizations, Wessling Grosz said the community will receive approximately $4 million in CARES Act funding through the U.S. Economic Development Administration, but those funds would be ear1: R ows of burnt and rusted vehicles sit at Car Source, a used car dealer at the corner of Sheridan Road and 58th Street that sustained $2.5 million in damages following the civil unrest. 2: T he Danish Brotherhood Lodge on 63rd Street was destroyed during violent protests following the shooting of Jacob Blake, who was shot in the back by a Kenosha Police officer. 3: C aved in walls and piles of warped metal left Rode’s Camera Shop unrecognizable.


4: T he Good Taste Ice Cream Shoppe on 22nd Avenue in Uptown was heavily burned in the same fire that destroyed Uptown Restaurant and La Estrella Supermarket. 5: R usted and burnt cars at Car Source.

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marked for businesses impacted by COVID-19, not by the civil unrest. Kenosha has also applied for disaster relief funding through the U.S. Small Business Administration, but it’s unclear whether the community will be eligible for the program and the amount of federal funds that would be made available. Alejo and Hernandez have been encouraged by the community support, but the two business owners are still faced with a major problem – their sole source of income evaporated overnight. Local, state and federal government leaders say funding is on the way, but it has been more than two months since the protests and no one has established a clear timeline for when business owners will receive funding, Alejo said. While both Uptown Restaurant and La Estrella Supermarket are insured, they don’t have the type of coverage that offsets the aftermath of large-scale protests. Like many damaged small businesses in Uptown, Alejo and Hernandez were underinsured, Alejo said. “For people like us, that was our only income,” Hernandez said. “We need to do something soon and fast because we cannot even apply for unemployment because we were business owners. We’re on our own right now.” Nearly six years ago, Hernandez and Alejo opened their businesses in Uptown. Before then, Alejo owned a flooring business in Jacksonville, Florida and Hernandez owned an ice cream shop just a few storefronts down from Uptown Restaurant. “It’s frustrating because when you start a business, you don’t start making money right away; it’s a process,” Alejo said. “I know we were losing money probably the first three or four years or so. We were just starting to make a little money when this happened. So, it is devastating. It really is.” In the time since Alejo and Hernandez opened

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STORY COVER

BRANDON ANDEREGG/BIZTIMES

6: P iles of debris sit within the shell of what was once B & L Office Furniture Inc. on 60th Street in Kenosha.

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their businesses, police and government had worked to clean up Uptown both in terms of crime and aesthetics, and their efforts showed, Alejo said. Still, Uptown, one of the most ethnically diverse neighborhoods in Kenosha, is hamstrung by poverty and homelessness. When it bore the brunt of the violent and destructive protests, the impact to the neighborhood was two-fold. “A lot of people don’t even have cars, so they walk here and there to get stuff,” Hernandez said. “There’s not a lot of money in the neighborhood and now they don’t have any services.” Just months before Blake was shot, 22nd Avenue was filled with protestors following the death of George Floyd, who was killed by a Minnesota police officer. Uptown Restaurant and La Estrella Supermarket were open and so were their doors because those protests were peaceful, Hernandez said. What made the August event different? Of course, Blake was from Kenosha, so the community was more charged by what protesters felt was an unjustified shooting. Alejo says a lot of the people protesting in August came from out of town, which he thinks led to the destructive actions. “There were a lot of cars with license plates

from Illinois and a lot of people came from up north I think, from here in Wisconsin,” Alejo said. “But those were not familiar faces, and we know a lot of the people here.” Much like other businesses in the area, La Estrella Supermarket and Uptown Restaurant were Uptown staples, so Hernandez and Alejo were in tune with the neighborhood. This is part of the reason they wish to return to Uptown, but they are not sure if or when that will be possible. The city has plans to redevelop the west side of the block on 22nd Avenue between 61st and 63rd streets, but the project could take at least a year. The redevelopment of the block will be led by Gorman & Company, a developer who renovated the historic Heritage House Inn into what is now the Stella Hotel & Ballroom at 5706 Eighth Ave. The 22nd Avenue redevelopment plans consist of first floor commercial and second floor residential space, Antaramian said, adding that previous tenants will be asked first to return once the development is finished. Gorman will apply for new market tax credits with the idea of making rent for both commercial and residential units affordable. The goal is to rebuild in a way that allows business owners to

return in a financially viable environment, Antaramian said. Over the past several decades, Kenosha County has seen a lot of development along the I-94 corridor and in its business parks. But areas like Uptown have not seen much new development. Wessling Grosz acknowledged that economic development in the county has been uneven, but it is largely due to land availability, a changing economy, and the fact that commercial properties in the Uptown neighborhood are largely occupied, she said. “Most of the lots besides the (massive former) Chrysler (plant) site are small infill lots, they’re not big empty fields to build a business park or like downtown where you’ve got the lakefront,” Wessling Grosz said of Uptown. “… As the economy changed, it reflects a period of divestment and it’s not just KABA, Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce or the city, it was a change in the economy.” Although KABA’s mission has evolved over the years, at its core, the organization focuses on spurring economic growth and development as well as new employment opportunities throughout Kenosha County. With Kenosha’s older neighborhoods being mostly residential, the organization has not had a great focus on this part of the city, Wessling Grosz added. “We do think that neighborhood development is important, but we didn’t really have tools in our toolbox to start focusing in on what can we do in the Uptown district,” she said. But with KABA now deploying many of the microloans to businesses impacted by the civil unrest, the organization plans to not only strengthen its relationship with these neighborhood business owners, but also have a greater focus on generating opportunity in this part of town. “We’re a partner in this community; that’s why (KABA’s office is) downtown,” Wessling Grosz said. “But now we’re trying to say, ‘How can we expand and extend our reach to put a lotMULLCORP of support and partnerships into developments that would positively affect those neighborhoods?’”

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One such development is that of the former Chrysler Engine Plant site, the last remnant of Kenosha’s massive automotive industry. The 107-acre site, which was vacated in 2010 when the automaker declared bankruptcy, is being contemplated for an education, research and technology center. The city has already begun environmental remediation on the land and is now in the process of installing infrastructure. Antaramian admits this project will take time before coming to fruition. The infrastructure itself will cost millions of dollars while private sector development would cost hundreds of millions, he said. However, Antaramian envisions a cluster of small businesses and startups paired with higher education and a STEM school. All of those components would serve as a source of jobs, which the city’s McKinley, Lincoln Park, Columbus, Roosevelt and Uptown neighborhoods lost after the plant closed a decade ago, he added. “This is something that is going to have to be done with the neighborhood,” Antaramian said. “Part of the next steps will be involving the neighborhood in the planning of these projects.” While the rebuilding of infrastructure and redevelopment of the Chrysler site may be longterm solutions to spur economic prosperity in the community, the mayor’s short-term focus is on people, he said. “You have a lot of people who are hurt,” Antaramian said. “And I don’t mean just the people who lost businesses and the housing, but the neighborhood is hurt.” What Antaramian says he learned over the course of several community listening sessions is that he and Kenosha have lost touch with the community’s younger population. Specifically, Antaramian realized that Kenosha must capture the entrepreneurial spirt of community members in its older neighborhoods. “A lot of what we’re looking at doing for the future is, how do we create that entrepreneurial spirit?” Antaramian said. “How do we also create the next fireman, policeman or the next mayor? We need to find a better way of channeling their energy and we need to make sure they see the future as a positive and that there’s a place for them in the future.” The city is in the process of establishing multiple committees to turn its plans into action while several local, established companies like Jockey International are providing their support. As part of their efforts, Kenosha-based Jockey is calling on business owners and community leaders to become more visible and active as the community works to rebuild, said Mark Fedyk, Jockey International president and chief operating officer. “The spotlight is on Kenosha right now and it has been since August the 23rd,” Fedyk said. “As a community and business leaders, we have a moment. We have a moment here where we can change the narrative from violence and destruction and division to healing, to hope and to opportunity.” n

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Special Report BUSINESS IN KENOSHA COUNTY

Salem Business Park shows Kenosha County’s growth isn’t limited to I-94 corridor THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE have seen the economic development successes in Kenosha County along I-94. The massive buildings developed by or for the likes of Amazon, Uline and soon Haribo are part of a bright spot in southeastern Wisconsin development that has gone on for several years. Far fewer people are likely to have seen another development success emerging just west of the interstate in the Salem Business Park. Located along Highway C and west of Highway 83, the business park is a 15-minute drive from I-94 and about half that to the Illinois border. The Kenosha Area Business Alliance led the development of the park. It landed its first tenant in 2016 when Vonco Products agreed to move from Lake Villa to Salem Lakes. After a roughly two-year lull in activity, the park has landed a number of new tenants this year, including Stabio North America and Advent Tool & Manufacturing. More recently R+D Automation broke ground

on a 62,000-square-foot building. “We actually had a lot of activity,” Todd Battle, president of KABA, said of the park’s lack of momentum. “We just couldn’t really get anything over the finish line. There was always some sort of impediment.” Battle noted that for the typical company that would consider the park, moving the business would be a big deal, the cost of a new building is a significant hurdle and many have existing real estate they would need to sell or a lease to get out of before committing. Serving those businesses, primarily small and medium-sized manufacturers, was part of the reason KABA launched into the development of the park, Battle said. The organization has seen success recruiting companies from the eastern portion of Lake County in Illinois and establishing a park west of the interstate allowed for similar opportunities in western Lake and McHenry counties. The

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BY ARTHUR THOMAS, staff writer

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance has led the development of the Salem Business Park.

new park also served to bring more development to the western portion of Kenosha County. Another reason to develop the business park was to put some of KABA’s available capital to work. Battle noted that, historically, financing growth and expansion has been a big part of KABA’s activity. The organization has around $33 million under management with the vast majority earmarked for revolving loans. The problem was the availability of those funds wasn’t enough on its own to bring projects to the county.


“We just noticed that for some of the projects we were chasing, a low interest loan wasn’t necessarily moving the needle,” Battle said. “It could be helpful, but it wasn’t necessarily always all that impactful.” KABA wanted to put its resources to work, but the I-94 corridor itself is well-served by developers and investors putting up larger buildings. Battle noted a typical facility is likely closer to 500,000 square feet than it is 100,000. “Us getting involved in that segment would probably screw up the market a little bit in terms of

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Vonco Products has grown to around 120 employees since moving to Wisconsin.

Zilber Property Group is currently finishing work on two buildings in the Salem Business Park.

pricing and competition and subsidies,” he said. “But we just didn’t see anybody in Kenosha County killing themselves to build a 50,000-square-foot light industrial building for a small industrial company.” The combination of available capital and a need to serve western Kenosha County led KABA to explore establishing a business park. Battle and his team worked with the county and municipalities, looked at multiple sites, and conducted a feasibility study and fiscal analysis. Ultimately, KABA bought an 82-acre tract of

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land that would become the Salem Business Park. Around $4.5 million was invested in infrastructure to prepare the park, including mass grading and roads. By the fall of 2016, Vonco was able to break ground on its facility. Keith Smith, president of Vonco Products, came to the company in 2013 as it was acquired by Milwaukee family investment firm Jacsten Holdings LLC. Smith said the company quickly outgrew its Lake Villa, Illinois facility and needed to expand.

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Special Report BUSINESS IN KENOSHA COUNTY The company explored expanding on its existing site, but the building was inefficient and required a lot of work to improve flow, cleanliness and overall looks. Expanding would have also been difficult because of wetlands on the site. But Vonco also didn’t want to move too far. Its largest concentration of employees came from Round Lake, just a few miles to its south. When Smith started discussing a move with KABA, the organization initially suggested the Pleasant Prairie area. It was just outside where he was comfortable moving the company. Smith said KABA vice president Heather Wessling Grosz mentioned the possibility of the organization starting a new business park and asked if Vonco would be interested in anchoring it. Smith was. The park is just up Highway 83 from the company’s now previous location. “KABA has been extremely creative in how they financed the deal as far as the building is concerned,” Smith said. Vonco invested around $12.5 million and committed to bringing 86 jobs to the state in exchange for $500,000 in tax credits. As of October, Smith said the company is at around 120 employees and looking to hire another 35.

“The fact that we’re starting to see people move in, it’s great to see that the vision of economic development works and continues to work in Wisconsin,” Smith said. Battle said KABA initially considered a speculative building to kick off the business park but decided the idea of spending $7 million or more with no tenant was too risky. With control of the land and a desire to get the park going, KABA decided to be aggressive in offering Vonco a deal on its rent to help attract the company. The deal is also structured to incentivize the company to eventually buy the building. “Frankly, we don’t want to really own a lot of industrial real estate. We just want to build a park and have jobs and tax base,” Battle said. KABA had an initial win in attracting Vonco, but then came the lull. Seeing a need to continue activity and the development of the park, the organization turned to Milwaukee-based Zilber Property Group. Battle said KABA acknowledged the developer might prefer bigger buildings within the immediate I-94 corridor but used its ability to offer more aggressive terms for land prices and financing to encourage Zilber to come to the Salem Business Park. “If you’ve got a well-heeled developer with an

extensive track record and portfolio in the region and they kind of come out and stick their flag in the ground and say, ‘yeah, we’ll build some industrial buildings out here,’ it kind of elevates the park,” Battle said. Zilber ended up putting up two buildings that are nearly complete. One is around 110,000 square feet for Stabio North America and the other is a 50,000-square-foot facility with half occupied by Advent Tool & Manufacturing. Chelsea Couette, industrial investments manager at Zilber, credited KABA with spearheading the user-driven deals. Chad Navis, director of industrial investments at Zilber, said the company invested in the area because while there are a lot of developments and investors near the interstate, there is also opportunity off the interstate as well. “There are a lot of manufacturers kind of in that western Kenosha County north-south corridor that need space and are under-supplied,” he said. “We think it’s a great opportunity to satisfy that need, which is close to a lot of skilled labor force for many manufacturers that need to be close to that labor force but then not as sensitive to immediate proximity to the I-94 interstate.” n

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BANKING & FINANCE

Expanded accredited investor criteria could boost local venture capital ecosystem BY BRANDON ANDEREGG, staff writer A RECENT AMENDMENT to the federal definition of what it means to be an “accredited investor” could have an impact locally by providing more people the opportunity to engage in venture capital. The long-awaited amendments, adopted by the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 26, create new categories of individuals and entities that may be certified as an accredited investor with the goal of increasing access to private offerings. The primary change to the definition is that the SEC now considers an individual’s education as a factor, where a wealth test previously served as the sole barometer for those looking to become accredited. Area experts say that change could increase the amount of people involved in the local venture capital ecosystem. Under the previous SEC rules, in order to become an accredited investor, an individual had to

have a net worth of at least $1 million, excluding one’s primary residence, and annual income exceeding $200,000 for each of the past two years, or $300,000 combined income with a spouse. Now the definition has expanded to also include individuals who hold certain professional certifications administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc., such as the Licensed General Securities Representative (Series 7), Licensed Investment Adviser Representative (Series 65), and Licensed Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82). Regardless of their net worth, individuals holding those licenses who are in good standing with FINRA can become accredited, said C.J. Wauters, attorney at Godfrey and Khan. It has always been the case that certain key members of operating companies such as directors and executive officers are considered accredited. But now the definition also extends to private

Wauters

Schoen

Keane

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Special Report BANKING & FINANCE fund executives and employees of private funds who participate in the investment activities of their employer’s fund. Wauters says this change is particularly meaningful because many funds prefer to have their employees involved since they are responsible for analyzing and generating the investment. “It gives them the opportunity to participate, align their interests and have some skin in the game and this will allow that to happen,” Wauters said. Locally, the new definition could have an impact on Brookfield-based Golden Angels Investors. The firm consists of a network of 105 accredited investors, but it also manages a training program called Golden Angel Advisors for young professionals who have an interest in entrepreneurship. Tim Keane, director of Golden Angels Investors, started the program because he wanted to help more people become angel investors. He was inspired by the Sequoia Scouts Program, through which startups that have been funded by California venture capital giant Sequoia Capital identify and invest smaller amounts in pre-seed and seed technology startups.

“Now, under these rules, some (Golden Angel Advisors) who work in the financial services industry or have other relevant experience could invest or be accredited,” Keane said. It might also encourage people interested in venture capital to join angel networks like Golden Angels, which allows its members to invest in smaller quantities, Keane added. “One of the things that this will do is make those smaller investments more accessible to more people because now the young person who is accredited can raise $2,000 or $4,000 without having to write a check for $20,000,” Keane said. Another significant change to the accredited investor definition is the addition of “spousal equivalence” when calculating whether individuals meet the criteria based on net worth. Now prospective accredited investors can combine their net worth with a “cohabitant who is occupying a relationship generally equivalent to that of a spouse” for the purposes of becoming accredited, Wauters said. The new definition also includes an avenue for several entities to become accredited, including state-registered investment advisors, exempt reporting advisors, rural business investment

companies, family offices, Indian tribes and governmental bodies. Although these changes may open new capital avenues, the amended definition could become problematic in some circumstances, Wauters said. For example, employers could lean on their employee to make an investment they would otherwise not feel comfortable making. Also, if an investment goes poorly, the employee could lose not only his or her money, but also their compensation or even their job. Liquidity is often a concern for startup investors because venture capital investments can take several years to generate return. Investors are typically unable to sell their securities prior to liquidity events. For this reason, many venture capital firms, including Baird Capital, viewed financial education as an important factor even before the SEC modernized the accredited investor definition. “With this new limit, (the SEC) is taking more of the financial education into account, or how much you know about the financial markets, which is important,” said Katie Schoen, Baird Capital vice president. “From our perspective, you need both.” n

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COUSTECH S U P PLY

I N C.

SPOTLIGHT ONE:

MILWAUKEE SOLDIERS HOME EVERY HERO NEEDS A HOME: The rehabilitation of six historic buildings on the Milwaukee Soldiers Home grounds is actively underway and nearing completion. This spring 101 supportive housing units will be available to veterans and their families who are struggling with homelessness, or at risk of becoming homeless. In addition to a new home, veterans and their families will have access to ample amenities including a business center, fitness centers, a television lounge, a club room, and various flexible lounge areas for gathering with guests or quiet contemplation. Furthermore, veterans will receive supportive services provided directly by the Milwaukee VA Medical Center, including but not limited to educational training, employment assistance, temporary financial assistance, sobriety maintenance, independent living skills training, and peer-to-peer counseling. PROJECT COST: $44 million NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS: If you or someone you know is interested in applying to live at Milwaukee Soldiers Home please call 1-877-4AID-VET. PROJECT PARTNERS: « THE ALEXANDER COMPANY: Developer and Project Architect « HOUSING AUTHORITY OF THE CITY OF MILWAUKEE: Facility operator « DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS: Supportive Resident Service Provider « RAMLOW/STEIN ARCHITECTS: Project Architect for Old Main « JP CULLEN: General contractor 30 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020


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DANIEL BUTTERY PRESIDENT & CEO WAR MEMORIAL CENTER Daniel Buttery is a strategic, mission-focused leader with over 20 years of experience serving veterans in our community. He currently serves as president and chief executive officer of the War Memorial Center in Milwaukee.

BizTimes Milwaukee is proud to

present

the

inaugural

showcase of Notable Veteran Executives spotlighting U.S. military

veterans

accomplished

who

Prior to that he served as founder and past president of Fisher House Wisconsin, assistant deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs and founder and president of HVT Marketing.

are

professionals

across the region. The leaders

Buttery was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and went on to become company commander of C-Company, 724 Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army National Guard in 2001.

profiled in the following pages were nominated by their peers at work and in the community and

His combat company successfully conducted 300 missions in Iraq in 2003 and 2004, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.

showcase the diversity of talent in our market. The leadership shown by

“Dan understands on a personal level the sacrifices that members of the United States Armed Forces and their families make on a daily basis for our freedom,� said Michael Grebe, chairman of the board of directors at the War Memorial Center.

the individuals profiled here is setting an example to shape a better future for our region.

METHODOLOGY: The honorees did not pay to be included. Their profiles were drawn from nomination materials. This list features only individuals for whom nominations were submitted and accepted after a review by our editorial team. To qualify for the list, nominees must be based in southeast Wisconsin. They must be currently serving in a senior level role at their firm, must hold a leadership position in their industry outside of their own organization, have made a significant contribution to advancing workplace equality at their own workplace or beyond, and act as a role model or mentor.

He has been recognized by The Milwaukee Armed Services Committee for his volunteerism and support of the veteran community with the Citizen Support of Our Armed Services Award in 2015. He was also named Veteran of the Month in 2013 by the Milwaukee Brewers for his work to build Fisher House, and has been instrumental in advancing pro-veteran legislation in Wisconsin.

WA R M E MO RI A LC E N TE R .O RG 75 0 N . LI N CO LN M E MO RI A L D RIV E M I LWAU K E E , W ISCO N S I N 532 0 2


ANDY WEINS

CLINT LASKOWSKI

DIRK DEBBINK

PRESIDENT & CEO GREEN UP SOLUTIONS

FOUNDER & CEO

MSI GENERAL CORP.

Andy Weins, a service-disabled veteran, is a true entrepreneur. He owns and operates Butler-based Green Up Solutions, whose product lines and subsidiaries include a demolition and deconstruction business, a waste processing facility, UV light disinfection and antimicrobial protection, Rage Room MKE, and Revived Goods. Weins is a proud U.S. Army combat veteran, Army Reserve career counselor and master resiliency trainer. He has earned a reputation through his no-holds-barred teaching style that inspires immediate and transformational action. Under his leadership, Green Up Solutions has grown from a twoman, backyard operation to a national, multi-faceted enterprise. He has run businesses in franchise systems and standalone ventures, as well as venture-backed and self-funded companies, and he has grown them to seven figure revenues. He has spoken at TEDxOshkosh and several other conferences on topics including: Unconventional Business Tactics, Techniques and Procedures, Transforming Pain into Passion to Define Purpose and Service Members Transformation into Veterans. Weins is also a founder of The Young Guns Movement – a group of entrepreneurs who promote authenticity and partnerships that align with core beliefs. The group produces live events and four YouTube programs for knowledge sharing and networking. Together, members of the group collaborate to keep up with the speed of innovation with respect to personal branding, social media, business creation and differentiation.

CHAIRMAN & CEO

SUMMARY MEDICAL, INC.

Dirk Debbink is an Oconomowoc native who has faithfully served his country for 35 years.

Clint Laskowski spent 23 years in the U.S. Army Reserve. Today, he is a business leader and entrepreneur who is using his military experience to make a better Milwaukee. Laskowski has more than 15 years of experience working in the risk and cyber security departments of companies like Northwestern Mutual, Verizon and Milliman IntelliScript. In May 2019, Laskowski founded Summary Medical, a Milwaukee-based company developing software to improve the way insurance companies review medical records. He currently serves as the company’s chief executive officer. In September 2019, Summary Medical graduated from the gener8tor gBETA Milwaukee startup accelerator program. “Being both a veteran and over the age of 50, Laskowski’s presence in Milwaukee’s startup ecosystem encourages founders of various backgrounds to see a place for themselves in the innovation space,” said Patty Newby, project manager at gener8tor. “He is an incredible corporate leader and innovator in Milwaukee.” Beyond his work in business, Laskowski commits his free time to serving his community. He has served as a fundraising volunteer for Special Spaces, a nonprofit organization that creates dream bedrooms for children diagnosed with cancer. He has also established a computer network and Greater Giving software for the organization.

He is currently chairman and chief executive officer of Nashotah-based design-build firm MSI General Corp. Debbink holds a bachelor’s degree from the United States Naval Academy and a master’s in business administration from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1977 and was assigned to the USS Fanning. Later, he served aboard the USS Dale and as reserve deputy commander and chief of staff of the United States Pacific Fleet. He was named deputy chief of the Navy Reserve in 2007 before being named chief of Navy Reserve on the staff of the chief of Naval Operations in 2008. He has been honored with several military honors including the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with second award star, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal with second award star, the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with second award star, and the Navy Achievement Medal. “(Debbink’s) service to our country, his community, and our economy epitomize the value of military veterans to our economy and the vitality of our communities,” said Saul Newton, executive director of Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce. Upon retirement from the Navy, Debbink returned home to Oconomowoc to serve as chairman of MSI General.

While “FAMILY” doesn’t fit one definition: FAMILY IS...

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FAMILY IS...

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FAMILY IS... Architects. Contractors. Engineers. Leaders.

the community you build stronger.

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sharing the same core values.

OUR FAMILY fits together! MSI General Corporation W215 East Wisconsin Ave. Nashotah, WI 53058 262.367.3661 www.msigeneral.com

FAMILY IS MSI GENERAL. biztimes.com / 33


DAVID HARRELL

SAUL NEWTON

DIRECTOR OF ARENA SECURITY

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

FISERV FORUM/ MILWAUKEE BUCKS David Harrell has spent the past 20 years in the sports and entertainment industry, serving as director of arena security for the Milwaukee Bucks. Before joining the organization, he served more than two decades in the U.S. Army. He traveled all over the world, serving in Germany, the Middle East and Korea. Throughout his career, he was responsible for medical and training management for tens of thousands of troops. He won more than 20 awards and medals throughout his career in the Army. Harrell has worked at both the Bradley Center and Fiserv Forum in security and guest services roles. He has implemented procedures, including the emergency and safety/risk management programs, that ensured the safety of up to 20,000 spectators that attended each event at the arena. He also maintains relationships with the major sports teams that utilize the venue and proactively manages security, building monitoring and operations year-round. Outside of his career, Harrell has two daughters who have also embraced military life. One of his daughters graduated from West Point Military Academy and will soon be promoted to Major. His other daughter is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and will soon be promoted to lieutenant.

34 / BizTimes Milwaukee JUNE 29, 2020

WISCONSIN VETERANS CHAMBER OF COMMERCE For the past five years, Saul Newton has been an integral part of the Wisconsin veterans business community. He currently serves as executive director of the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce. He served in the Army from 2009-‘12 and was deployed to Afghanistan for 13 months. When he left the Army, he was struck by the “broken veteran” stigma that existed everywhere. He founded the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting military veterans as well as veteran-owned and veteran-friendly businesses throughout the community in 2015 as a way to counter that stigma and showcase the leadership and entrepreneurship among the veteran community in Wisconsin. He is a tireless advocate for Wisconsin veterans and also serves on the board of directors of the U.S. Veterans Chamber of Commerce, Feast of Crispian, and the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative. He is a member of the Wisconsin Veterans Network Advisory Board, and volunteers with more than a half dozen local and statewide community organizations. In 2017, he was recognized as the Veteran Small Business Champion by the U.S. Small Business Administration. He is a member of the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, as well as the Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Amvets.

MIKE THIRTLE, PH.D. PRESIDENT AND CEO BETHESDA Mike Thirtle, Ph.D., has more than two decades of experience serving his community. He is president and chief executive officer of Bethesda, a nationwide Christian nonprofit based in Watertown and Brookfield. Prior to his current position, he worked with military and national security personnel for 20 years at Santa Monica, California-based RAND Corp. where he advised senior military officers and civilians on topics of military effectiveness, combat operations and national security. He served as personal advisor to the commander of Air Combat Command, the secretary of the Air Force, and the chief of staff of the Air Force. Bethesda is committed to serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In his role, Thirtle advocates for veterans issues and promotes military service. He is a mentor to veterans across the country, assisting them with career development and counseling, and has partnered with high school students for selection to the Air Force Academy and ROTC. He frequently speaks on veterans issues in the community and also serves on the board for Team Red, White & Blue, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of America’s veterans through physical and social activities. He is also a member of the American Legion, his Congressman’s Service Academy Nomination Board and the Air Force Academy Association of Graduates organization.


JASON YOUNG OWNER 3 UP METAL WORKS Jason Young is a U.S. Marine Corps and Wisconsin Army National Guard veteran with over 15 years of proven experience in executive level operations, personnel development and management. He is currently the owner of Milwaukee-based 3 Up Metal Works, a custom metal fabricating company focused on the food and beverage industry as well as various metals and material for the commercial construction industry. Young has been recognized for his strong leadership skills, his proactive approach and his change management and adaptability in challenging and diverse environments. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Jason for three years,” said Michelle DeGrave, chief financial officer of Price Erecting Company in Milwaukee. “Jason’s ability to apply the skills he acquired in the armed forces along with the desire to make people around him more successful has benefited Price Erecting two-fold.” Prior to owning 3 Up Metal Works, Young worked for Price Erecting Company for more than three years, serving most recently as president. Outside of work, Young is actively engaged in the veteran community. He serves on the board of directors for the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce and also supports troop shipments with Hunzinger Construction, the Milwaukee War Memorial and the promotion of veterans in supplier diversity.

DAN NEWBERRY CO-DIRECTOR WWBIC - VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTER Dan Newberry joined the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation - Milwaukee just over a year ago as co-director of the organization’s Veterans Business Outreach Center. In addition to his military background, Newberry has corporate experience in operations and financial management as well as logistics. “We have been thrilled to add Dan to our VBOC and WWBIC teams,” said Wendy Baumann, WWBIC president. “He is a remarkable and energetic professional who brings a strong sense of advocacy and caring to his work. He is clearly relatable, which is a great source of comfort to our veterans and military-connected family members.” In his role, Newberry guides veterans through the transition from military service to civilian life. “Dan has special insight, understanding and sensitivity of what are the unique challenges and barriers faced by veterans and military-connected family members on the way to realizing their dreams,” said Baumann. Newberry also serves as executive director of Lift For The 22, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping veterans transition to civilian life by focusing on fitness and camaraderie. He remains committed to his mission and has developed revenue generating and fundraising activities and refined all aspects of communications, creating a stronger brand from web presence to external relations.

ADAM WICKERSHAM

KALIB HRBACEK

DIRECTOR OF THE EXECUTIVE MBA PROGRAM - LUBAR SCHOOL OF BUSINESS

ALTIUS BUILDING COMPANY

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MILWAUKEE For more than 30 years, Adam Wickersham has served his community and his country. Today, he is director of the Executive MBA program at the Lubar School of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. “Adam is a true inspiration to students, industry, and UWM,” said J. Dietenberger, instructor at UWM. Wickersham has applied his training and service orientation to a variety of leadership positions throughout the community. He was instrumental in the creation of the Milwaukee Municipal Identification Program, an initiative that has helped more than 5,000 under-documented residents gain access to critical services such as housing, jobs, banking, and protective services. He has also served on the board of the Milwaukee Homeless Veterans Initiative and as a peer mentor with Dryhootch, a veteran support organization. Under his leadership, the number of veterans admitted into UWM’s EMBA program has increased by more than 200%. Additionally, the number of minority students enrolled and the number of female students enrolled increased 130% and 300%, respectively. “A natural leader, Mr. Wickersham is a tireless advocate for veterans in our community,” said retired Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Mary Kuhnmuench. “He is a passionate voice of support for our returning men and women in uniform.”

DR. MAKEBA BUTLER

CHIEF ESTIMATOR

Kalib Hrbacek is a leader within the construction industry with 16 years of experience and eight years of dedicated service to this country as a member of the U.S. Army. He is currently the chief estimator at Brookfield-based Altius Building company. Hrbacek served as sergeant in the Army, where he also earned seven awards for his achievements and completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2013. He is a leader and mentor to veterans in the community through his support and leadership as vice president of the Nam Knights Brew City Chapter, a non-profit veteran and law enforcement motorcycle club, which also helps veterans in need. He is also a board member for the Wisconsin Veterans Chamber of Commerce, which is dedicated to improving the business climate for veterans in the community. For Hrbacek it is easy to see how his military background contributes to his professional life. “Accountability, leadership, transparency, and candor are all tools I have kept and refined as I moved back into construction,” he said. “It has also prepared me to lead a team that focuses on project execution and deliverables while dialing in on the ‘mission critical checkpoints.’”

CONGRATULATIONS!

CO-DIRECTOR WWBIC- VETERANS BUSINESS OUTREACH CENTER Dr. Makeba Butler joined the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation - Milwaukee just over a year ago as co-director of the organization’s Veterans Business Outreach Center. According to Wendy Baumann, president of WWBIC, Butler is a transformational leader committed to strengthening workplace culture through the relationship-building process. “She is a passionate educator and change agent who understands that positive relationships are the bedrock to any longterm connection, beliefs which have contributed directly to her research and publications,” said Baumann. Butler is an Air Force veteran and former education professional. She is passionate about supporting and recognizing women veterans as key contributors to the military and veteran community. She has extensive experience serving veterans, most recently serving as the associate director of veteran programs for the Illinois Procurement Technical Assistance Center at the Women’s Business Development Center in Chicago. “We at WWBIC are fortunate to showcase Makeba’s talents,” said Baumann. “We are especially concerned about opening opportunities for veterans who are also women or people of color. Makeba brings a highly-developed combination of skills in communication and cultural competency that will help clients realize their potential, especially in combination with (co-director) Dan Newberry’s complementary skills. Together, as a team, they are unstoppable!”

biztimes.com / 35


Strategies LEADERSHIP

Leading from behind Innovation through servant leadership ANY LEADER in America would risk the loyalty of their followers, whether they were president of the United States or CEO of a company, if he/she did not appear to be strong, knowledgeable and in control of the organization they lead. This concept of leadership is hardwired into most Americans. But many highly successful CEOs in Wisconsin model a different form of leadership. They tap the resources of their entire workforce in driving critical decisions at their organizations. Some describe this management philosophy as “servant leadership,” which represents a different paradigm from the “leader knows best” model. Consider these examples of leaders with a contrarian view of the role of the leader in any organization. Richard R. Pieper, Sr. former CEO of New Berlin-based PPC Partners, a nationwide electrical contractor, describes it as a philosophy and set of practices that enriches the lives of individuals, builds better organizations and ultimately creates a more just and caring world. Bob DeKoch, president of Appleton-based The Boldt Company, one of the largest construction firms in the nation, wrote a book, “Embrace Uncertainty.” DeKoch says leaders should be candid with their team members and say they don’t have all of the answers to complex, challenging problems. At first the employees may be shocked, DeKoch writes, but in the long run they will accept the idea that it’s their responsibility to help solve challenging issues. Bob Hillis, CEO of Milwaukee-based Direct Supply, has grown his company into a national 36 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

player. Reflecting on the company’s success, he said in a speech to BizStarts: “…at one time I owned a large portion of the small pie; then I spread the ownership to employees and now I own a small sliver of an enormous company.” Making employees owners clearly reinforces a team approach to operating a business. Andy Nunemaker, former CEO of EMSystems and Dynamis Software, said, “I think the real test of a leader is how well the team members thrive. One of my proudest stats in business is the fact that over a dozen of my former employees are now CEOs, presidents and business owners. To me, that’s what makes it all worthwhile.” These four examples show proof of practice. So, what is servant leadership? Servant leadership seems like an oxymoron. It was first espoused by Robert W. Greenleaf. What were initially the writings of the former AT&T executive from Terre Haute, Indiana, have grown to international stature with little fanfare or TV commercials. He believed the American leadership model was incorrect. A leader is not someone with a commanding presence and a high IQ brain that contains the answers to challenges. Greenleaf and his adherents, including a very active Wisconsin group, believe a successful organization is one where people feel ownership in their work and the urge to help others. Hence the role of a leader is to help his people and model behavior such that everybody serves each other and the organization. Everyone in management puts their ego aside. In Wisconsin, approximately 2,200 people in six cities volunteer, meet, share practices and encouragement with each other. Their website is www.wisconsinservantleadership.org. Other major companies and organizations in Wisconsin that adhere to servant leadership philosophy include: Children’s Wisconsin, Brady Corp,, Festival Foods, and colleges: Viterbo, MSOE and Alverno. The ubiquitous Kwik Trip is also an adherent. It has 16,000 employees and 500 locations in three states. Kwik Trip mottos are: “Treating people right since 1965” and “Treating co-workers and guests like family.”

A type of servant leadership that can also be witnessed in nature is the wolf pack. The wolf is an iconic animal with a ferocious image. We use a metaphor “the lone wolf.” But consider the wolf pack photo below. The leader is in the rear marked with the blue arrow. At the front are the old and sick. They set the group pace. If they were last in the pack, they would fall behind and die. Next, in the red, are the strongest to protect them and look ahead for danger. The capable follow the strongest. Way behind is the alpha wolf (the person with the title on the door, so to speak). Wolves, with their instinct to protect their pack, provide us an unusual model.

Servant leaders are similar to wolf leaders. They lead from behind because they firmly believe everyone in the organization is critical to its success. All can take pride in their work and enjoy the collective accomplishment of success with their fellow employees. n

DAN STEININGER Dan Steininger is an author, speaker, business advisor and president of Steininger & Associates LLC, which helps companies drive innovation. He can be reached at Dan@BizStarts.com.


COACHING

Raise your level of consciousness Elevate yourself to cope with these tumultuous times WE CAN TELL what level mass consciousness is in during these tumultuous times of the COVID-19 pandemic, #BlackLivesMatter, unemployment and the elections by listening to our conversations. Listening to people speak is a lot like watching soap operas and observing the dramas of “he said, she said.” Other times, we get thrown into the polarization of opinions, sparring on who is right and who is wrong politically or on other matters of importance. This can be exhausting and draining. Unfortunately, what most of us have not learned how to do is elevate our experience during tumultuous times. It’s as though a switch gets flipped in our brains and suddenly, we are in a fight or flight mode, trying to survive, and chattering in our conversations as much as we are in our minds. The census bureau reflects this mass consciousness with their recent report that indicates a third of Americans show signs of clinical depression and anxiety. These and other mental conditions are becoming amplified during the pandemic, while COVID-19 patients and their families are also at high risk to develop depression and anxiety. Maurizio Fava, MD, psychiatrist-in-chief within the Department of Psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, said this, “It’s quite understandable the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to cause significant stress and psychological distress for a large proportion of the population. We know the rates are progressively increasing.” The various factors that contribute to our anxiety and depression include: trauma from widespread disease, grief over loss of life, fear of getting sick, unprecedented

physical distancing, loss of community, financial and unemployment concerns, reduced access to caregivers, and political and economic uncertainty. When we elevate our consciousness, however, we can let go of our fears and detach from the mass consciousness around these events. To do so, we must first understand “The 5 Levels of Consciousness” from my new book called “Awaken.” When we realize how our thoughts are creating our experience, not the events themselves, we can change our thoughts and therefore elevate our experience.

The Five Levels of Consciousness » LEVEL ONE - UNCONSCIOUSNESS: In this level of consciousness, you experience anxiety and depression. This is because you are focusing on what is happening, instead of what you can do about it. In this level of consciousness, practice getting away from the news and out into nature. Nature has a way of calming us and bringing us back to our center. » LEVEL TWO - SELF-DOUBT AND JUDGMENT: In this level of consciousness, you are recognizing your chattering mind more and realizing how it is filled with anxious and judgmental thoughts. While this is not comfortable, at least you are becoming more conscious of how it is that your thoughts are creating your feelings of anxiety and depression. It is not the circumstances. By realizing it is your thoughts, you begin to take ownership of what you are thinking about and telling yourself about the situation. Pause and breathe more deeply to slow down your chattering mind and ease your anxiety and depression. » LEVEL THREE - SELF-AWARENESS: At this level of consciousness, you are now fully aware of your self and how you want to go into a fight or flight reaction when you feel anxious and depressed. You begin to have a sense of wonder as you observe this tendency to operate from the belief that the sky is falling, and you are not enough to handle it. As you practice observing this tendency, and meditate at least 20 minutes a day, you will create a better gut-brain axis. This will help you to function out of the executive center of your brain instead of the

emotional center called the amygdala. » LEVEL FOUR - DETACHMENT: At this level of consciousness, you are beginning to break through your tendencies toward anxiety and depression. This is because you are now operating from the executive center of your brain and focusing on what you can do versus what might happen to you. By focusing on your vision, values and goals during these uncertain times, you increase your locus of control and feel more empowered. » LEVEL FIVE - INTUITIVE ALIGNMENT: When we let go of our fear, create a plan, and surrender to something bigger than ourself, we become more clear, calm, and confident no matter what circumstances we are facing. At this level of consciousness, you are rising above your circumstances and surrendering your cares to your intuition with a “How might I…?” problem-solving question. By surrendering your cares and questions to your intuition, you know that no matter what happens, you will figure out what you need to do, even in the most tumultuous times. n

SUSAN K. WEHRLEY Susan K. Wehrley is an executive coach who has owned and operated her own business, BIZremedies.com, for 30 years. She has written several books to help people create the life and business they desire, including her newest book, “Awaken,” teaching readers about the 5 Levels of Consciousness. Get more information at: BIZremedies.com or contact Susan at: Susan@BIZremedies.com or 414-581-0449. biztimes.com / 37


Strategies NETWORKING

Your network is the key to your job search

“ Investing your time networking pays dividends.”

IT’S FRIDAY AFTERNOON and you are called into Human Resources and told you are being let go because the company is downsizing. You have been working for this firm for over 20 years. You are in your early 40s or 50s and have built a specific set of skills that are no longer relevant in today’s market. You are now in unfamiliar territory, unemployed and scared. You ask yourself a very familiar question: “What do I do now?” “Where do I start?” The answer is: Begin to build your network, which will consist of your business contacts, including vendors, customers, past fellow employees, and employers. Assemble their email addresses, phone numbers and begin to let them know you are in the market. You will be asking for their help in identifying opportunities, providing market intelligence and in contacting your target companies. Target companies are those firms that you see as potential employers. I have spoken to and mentored many recent38 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

ly unemployed middle and upper executives and found that many were reluctant to “light up their network.” They would rather sit in front of the computer and complete online applications. When you invest your time in this manner, your chances of getting the job you really desire are lower than if you leverage your network and begin to move your name to the front of the line. This is not the time to be timid or shy; it is a time to act to increase the possibility of finding the right position. Investing your time networking pays dividends. It permits you to gain access to the upper levels of the hiring and decision-making processes by having someone who is familiar with you and your skills place your name and resume in the right person’s hands. At the Lumen Christi Employment Network, we have over 800 alumni employed at major Wisconsin and Illinois firms who would be happy to pay it forward. Why, you ask? Because they were once in your shoes and have used the process to a successful end. So, how do you “light up your network” and what steps do you need to take? » One strategy that will help build your confidence is to start networking with people you know and are familiar with you and your strengths and skills. As you become more comfortable, begin to call individuals to whom you have been referred. » Next, review your business cards, email contact file and build a list of business and personal contacts that could potentially assist with your job search. » Put together your resume and an “elevator speech” no more than 30 seconds in length stating your strengths and what type of position you are looking for. » Begin to contact these individuals and set a time for coffee or a meal to discuss your job search. » Set up multiple “face to face” meetings each week with members of your network. » Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals to individuals who they feel could be of further assistance in your search. » Come to networking meetings prepared to have

them review and critique your resume. Be open to coaching and constructive feedback. » End each meeting in a positive manner and thank them for their time. » Even if these meetings are not initially successful, be sure to follow up with a positive note or email. If something develops in the future, they may contact you. Never close the door, keep communication open and positive. » Establish a personal board of directors, friends and contacts you trust who will hold you accountable for your search and networking activities.

Once you light up your network, you need to keep it active. One contact leads to another and another and your network will expand. As you gain experience networking you will become more comfortable asking for assistance from others. Believe me, networking is the fastest way to regain employment and set yourself apart from the masses of online applicants. This is your opportunity to act. Get plugged into the network, increase your interpersonal skills and meet the people who can aid you in again finding that job you always wanted. So, get plugged in and get going. n

CARY SILVERSTEIN Cary Silverstein, MBA, is a speaker, author and consultant, a former executive for Gimbel’s Midwest, JH Collectibles, and a former professor for DeVry University’s Keller Graduate School. He can be reached at csilve1013@aol.com.


Strategies A BRIEF CASE

What’s one important lesson you’ve learned this year and how will you apply it to 2021, and beyond? Mike Underwood

Charlotte Fairburn

Rob Levin

President Underwood Events LLC

Owner Aesthetics 360

Vice President of Operations F Street Hospitality

“As soon as COVID-19 was declared a pandemic in March, we began receiving cancellation inquiries from clients. By the middle of April, 100% of our clients had canceled events for the remainder of the year. “In an industry that is predicated on physically bringing people together, our firm’s future was at risk because it was impossible to do that very thing. But like so many of our colleagues and partners in the sphere of corporate event management, we learned to be more nimble and adapt in ways we never anticipated. Clients began looking to us as subject matter experts in topics ranging from safely bringing small groups together and virtual formats for communicating messages to key stakeholders to food safety guidelines and force majeure contract clauses. “We were forced to make decisions and establish key strategies in a matter of weeks, if not days. As a result, we introduced a new core service, Underwood Corporate Concierge, that is a viable solution for business people who need assistance with both routine and unique tasks but who may no longer feel safe completing them. “While we are slowly seeing signs of business returning, our forecasts are nowhere near pre-pandemic levels. Our patience and nimble reaction to the ever-changing business climate has positioned us to recover as our industry does.”

“The challenges of 2020 have resulted in a series of lessons related to planning, diversifying resources and learning to pivot at a moment’s notice. The main lesson I’ve learned is that there is power in community. “Be it local community, the community of small business owners, or the community within the aesthetic industry. The help of some of my colleagues has recently gotten me through staffing challenges because I asked for help. Vendors helped out while we were closed, with extending invoice payment terms. Our clients have stayed loyal. In turn, we have been able to create three new jobs. We gave away 50 free facials to essential workers and will be giving back to the community by implementing a charitable donations program for the upcoming holiday season. “Tapping into the resources available around us allows our business to stay strong, keep our employees and service our clients. I have learned to not be afraid to ask for help. In 2021 and beyond, I will continue to look for ways to contribute as an employer to my team, a provider to our clients, a member of the local small business community, and as a resource to others in my industry.”

“For the food and beverage industry, tourism industry, disposable income industries, this has been a year like no other. I think I speak for all restaurateurs when I say in my entire career of more than 30 years, the past eight months have been the most challenging. With that being said, I truly believe in times of struggle, there is always a silver lining. “For our industry, it has always been about nickels and dimes. Moving forward, at least for the unforeseeable future, it will be about pennies. Doing more with less will take on a whole new meaning up and down the industry — smaller menus, smaller staff who are more versatile, the need for cross training at an all time high. Less purveyors on all levels to maximize buying power and rebate programs. And stronger leadership. “The leaders of our industry must invest in their people more intently, more diligently, and more empathetically to fully understand that every single decision we make these days will cost us or make us pennies. And looking around the restaurant world, we all have very few pennies to lose.”

biztimes.com / 39


Marketplace

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GET THE WORD OUT! News? Press Releases? Awards? Show them off in BizTimes’ new BizUpdates section. Submit your company news at at biztimes.com/bizconnect

40 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020


BIZ PEOPLE

Advertising Section: New Hires, Promotions, Accolades and Board Appointments

CONSULTING

Familiar Face Offers New Resources

Jennifer Ott, a familiar face in fundraising & cancer awareness, has opened Jennifer Ott Consulting, Inc.. Ott leverages her 25+ years in professional services to offer custom Marketing Strategy, Leadership Development Training and Public Speaking.

STAFFING

COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE David M. Washebek Elected VP, National Electrical Contractors Association District IV. Lemberg President/CEO David M. Washebek is elected VP, National Electrical Contractors Association District IV (WI, MI, IL, IN, KY). He’ll provide leadership for NECA policies. Earlier this year he became Fellow of Academy of Electrical Contracting.

ANNOUNCEMENTS WFA names new Germantown office Branch Manager

o place your listing, or for more T information, please visit biztimes.com/bizconnect

Megan DeGeorge has been promoted to Branch Manager for their new Germantown location. DeGeorge will be managing all sales and recruiting efforts for this office in addition to her responsibilities as Recruiting Manager for all 3 WFA office locations.

NONPROFIT

NONPROFIT Robertson promoted as GMF’s first EVP, COO and CFO

The Greater Milwaukee Foundation has promoted Kenneth Robertson to Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer as he continues to guide the community foundation toward its strategic and operational objectives. He has been serving the Foundation as vice president and CFO since October 2015. In his expanded role, Robertson will adopt greater responsibility and authority across the organization. In addition to his established leadership in the ThriveOn Collaboration, he will assume direct responsibility for the Foundation’s impact investing program and human resources functions.

Ponting promoted as VP Finance and Controller at GMF

Wendy Ponting has been promoted to Vice President of Finance & Controller at the Greater Milwaukee Foundation. Ponting has served on the Foundation’s finance team since 1998 and has been controller for nine years. Her sharp technical skills and strong institutional knowledge have been critical to the Foundation’s growth and success. In addition to her controllership responsibilities, Ponting will assume expanded financial responsibility managing the Foundation’s cash disbursement and cash receipt cycles.

New Hire? Share the news with the business community! Announce new hires, promotions, accolades, and board appointments with BizPeople.

Visit biztimes.com/bizconnect to submit your news!

biztimes.com / 41


BizConnections NONPROFIT MARCUS CENTER LAUNCHES $9 MILLION CAMPAIGN TO OFFSET LOSSES, SUPPORT FACILITY UPGRADES The Marcus Performing Arts Center in downtown Milwaukee has launched a $9 million campaign to offset losses from the COVID-19 pandemic and support its renovation project. To date, the center has raised 46% of its “Raise the Curtain Campaign” goal and will continue raising funds over the next two years. Like performance venues across the state, the Marcus Center has been particularly hard hit by the shutdown this spring and continued capacity restrictions. It reported a 75% revenue loss due to capacity limitations and canceled performances. “As the region’s hub for performing arts and culture, the Marcus Center relies on the support of our patrons and commu-

nity. This support is needed now more than ever, as we continue to endure the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our organization,” said Kendra Whitlock Ingram, president and chief executive officer of the Marcus Center. This fall, the Marcus Center kicked off a multi-phased renovation project. The first phase of the project will make several upgrades to its main performance venue, Uihlein Hall. The project includes adding new seats, increasing public health and safety amenities and enhancing ADA accommodations. The center is also creating a new outdoor public space that will allow for socially-distanced programming.

nonprofit

SPOTLIGHT

Project RETURN client Ventae Parrow with his mother.

PROJEC T RETURN

2821 Vel R. Phillips Ave., Suite 223, Milwaukee (414) 374-8029 | projectreturnmilwaukee.org Instagram: @project.return.milwaukee Twitter: @projectRETURN2

— Lauren Anderson, staff writer Year founded: 1980

c alendar Chosen Inc. will host its virtual “Open Homes, Open Hearts” gala on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. Tickets are free. An online silent auction will open to registrants on Nov. 9, and several big-ticket items will be auctioned live at the Nov. 14 event. More information is available at choseninlove.org/2020gala. Milwaukee Urban League will host its virtual 35th annual Black &

White Ball on Saturday, Nov. 21. More information is available at tmul.org. The Kelly Johnson Foundation will host its third annual Turkey Trot

5K on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 8 a.m. at Fox Brook Park, 2925 N. Barker Road in Brookfield. Race proceeds will support local high schools in Wisconsin and Illinois that have insufficient funding for after-school athletic and extracurricular programs, along with the Johnson Family Scholarship program. More information is available at kjfwi.org.

D O N AT I O N R O U N D U P

Cousins Subs, through its Make It Better Foundation, donated $2,500 to Artists Working in Education and $2,000 to SecureFutures Foundation, Inc. to help offset the cost of providing youth education programming. | Milwaukee Public Schools recently received 4,000 backpacks, stuffed with school supplies, courtesy of Educators Credit Union and assembled by Beyond Vision. | Phoenix Investors donated $10,000 to Above & Beyond the Playground in support of the nonprofit’s new computer lab. | HSA Bank donated $5,000 each to Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Milwaukee and HSHS St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan to support the hospitals’ fight against COVID-19.

42 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

Mission: Project RETURN (Returning Ex-incarcerated People To Urban Realities and Neighborhoods) exists to help men and women make a positive, permanent return to community, family and friends. Primary focus: Helping ex-incarcerated men and women reenter society. Other focuses: Employment services, alcohol and other drug abuse (AODA) counseling, housing, circles of support, alumni support group, women’s support group, advocacy Number of employees: 7 Key donors: The Reva and David Logan Foundation, Siebert Lutheran Foundation, Charles O’Malley Charitable Trust, Bader Philanthropies, Greater Milwaukee Foundation and Forest County Potawatomi Foundation. Executive Leadership: Executive director Wendel Hruska, wendel@ projectreturnmilwaukee.org Board of directors: Rodney Evans (president), Rob Schreiber (vice president), William Harrell (treasurer),

Rev. Mark Thompson (controller), Dr. Ed de St. Aubin (secretary), Chris Avallone, Rev. Joseph Ellwanger, Judge Patricia Gorence, Charles Hampton, Maggie Kuhn, Dr. Tom LaBel, Monte Mabra, Mark Rice and Judi Ruppel. Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? Yes. What roles are you looking to fill?

Fund development, legal services/ expertise, IT, lived experience with the organization’s mission. Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: • Partner with Project RETURN to open pipelines to employment for our clientele. • Provide volunteers for our support groups, such as Circles of Support, to provide support and also to better understand what an individual returning from incarceration goes through to reintegrate into the community. • Be a corporate sponsor of our fundraising events. • Underwrite our programming, which changes lives. Key Fundraising Events: Annual Golf Outing – June 2021


PHOTOS BY: MAREDITHE MEYER

AROUND TOWN

Light the Hoan illuminates west side of Hoan Bridge PHASE ONE of the $4.6 million “Light the Hoan” campaign was recently unveiled, officially illuminating the west side of the Daniel Hoan Memorial Bridge over Milwaukee’s inner harbor. During a light show celebrating the milestone, more than 2,000 computer-controlled LED lights were programmed to change color and animate to the tune of music by local artists on 88.9 Radio Milwaukee. Despite fog and rainy weather, the spectacle drew a crowd. Families and small groups gathered in cars and on foot along East Erie Street and East Summerfest Place to watch the crowd-sourced and privately funded project brighten the southern half of Milwaukee’s skyline. n — Maredithe Meyer biztimes.com / 43


BizConnections VOLUME 26, NUMBER 12 | NOV 9, 2020

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 | circulation@biztimes.com ADVERTISING: 414-336-7112 | advertising@biztimes.com EDITORIAL: 414-336-7120 | andrew.weiland@biztimes.com REPRINTS: 414-336-7100 | reprints@biztimes.com

PUBLISHER / OWNER Dan Meyer dan.meyer@biztimes.com

SALES & MARKETING

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Mary Ernst mary.ernst@biztimes.com COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT / OWNER Kate Meyer kate.meyer@biztimes.com

EDITORIAL EDITOR Andrew Weiland andrew.weiland@biztimes.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lauren Anderson lauren.anderson@biztimes.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR Arthur Thomas arthur.thomas@biztimes.com REPORTER Brandon Anderegg brandon.anderegg@biztimes.com REPORTER Maredithe Meyer maredithe.meyer@biztimes.com

Hogs on 13th Street This 1891 photo from the Walter K. Means Collection shows hogs being herded down 13th Street in Milwaukee to the John Layton packinghouse at what is now 400 N. Plankinton Ave. Before mechanized transportation, meatpackers would hire the sons of farmers to help drive hogs to the slaughterhouse. Milwaukee got its first slaughterhouse in the 1840s and was the fourth largest meatpacking center in the country by the early 1870s. — Photo courtesy of Historic Photo Collection/Milwaukee Public Library

COMMENTARY

Let there be light DECORATIVE LIGHTS have finally been added to the Hoan Bridge, after a seven-year ordeal. It began in 2013 when the Wisconsin Department of Transportation was planning a $278 million rehabilitation project for the bridge. The project was to include decorative lighting at a cost of $500,000 to $1 million. However, Republican legislators blasted plans for the lights, saying it was a huge waste of taxpayer money for an unnecessary and purely aesthetic upgrade. The funding for the lights was cut from the project. The rehabilitation of the bridge was completed in late 2015, without the lights. In 2018, Ian Abston and Michael Hostad launched a private fundraising campaign to put decorative lights on the Hoan Bridge. Again, there were critics. Even though the project was 100% privately funded, some said it was a mistake to donate money to put lights on a bridge when there are so many bigger problems in Milwaukee deserving of financial support. 44 / BizTimes Milwaukee NOVEMBER 9, 2020

Nevertheless, Abston and Hostad persevered, even through times when fundraising was slow. The first phase of the $4.6 million Light the Hoan project was completed recently with more than 2,000 computer-controlled LED light bulbs installed and lit on Milwaukee’s most iconic bridge. The lights can change colors and “move” in different patterns. So, is it a good thing that millions of dollars were spent to put lights on the Hoan? Yes, it is. Kudos to Abston and Hostad. What’s the value of aesthetic beauty to a city? It’s hard, if not impossible, to quantify. Great cities have a lot of things that make them special: people, businesses, parks, culture, sports, restaurants … and much more, including sights that delight us: great architecture, natural beauty, public art. There certainly are more important things than the aesthetic beauty of a city. But cool things to see in a city also help attract people to live, work and play there. The visual appearance of a city helps to form people’s opinions of it. A beautiful city has a better image than an ugly city, and is going to have an easier time attracting people to spend time and money there as residents or as visitors.

REPORTER Alex Zank alex.zank@biztimes.com

DIRECTOR OF SALES Linda Crawford linda.crawford@biztimes.com CONTENT SOLUTIONS MANAGER Maggie Pinnt maggie.pinnt@biztimes.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Paddy Kieckhefer paddy.kieckhefer@biztimes.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Christie Ubl christie.ubl@biztimes.com ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Dylan Dobson dylan.dobson@biztimes.com

ADMINISTRATION ADMINISTRATIVE COORDINATOR Sue Herzog sue.herzog@biztimes.com

PRODUCTION & DESIGN GRAPHIC DESIGNER Alex Schneider alex.schneider@biztimes.com ART DIRECTOR Shelly Tabor shelly.tabor@biztimes.com

Independent & Locally Owned —  Founded 1995 —

So, in a small but important way, the lights on the Hoan Bridge make Milwaukee better. Likewise, the lights added last year to the giant dome atop the Basilica of St. Josaphat on Milwaukee’s south side also made Milwaukee a more interesting and more attractive place and brought new attention to that beautiful church. Or consider the Quadracci Pavillion at the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and completed in 2001 at a cost of about $100 million. The art museum didn’t need to add a spectacularly designed addition to house beautiful works of art, but the beauty of the architecture itself drew more attention to the museum and has become perhaps Milwaukee’s most iconic building. There’s a lot of value in that. Let’s seize future opportunities to make Milwaukee a more beautiful place. n

ANDREW WEILAND EDITOR

P / 414-336-7120 E / andrew.weiland@biztimes.com T / @AndrewWeiland


MY BEST ADVICE

JAKE HILL PHOTOGRAPHY

“ Don’ t

be afraid to ask.”

MAT T MORONEY President and chief operating officer

Wangard Partners Inc. Wauwatosa Industry: Real estate wangard.com Employees: 58 “THERE’S REALLY TWO BITS OF ADVICE I TRY TO FOLLOW. The first bit of advice that I received from a very successful individual is, don’t be afraid to ask, because the worst thing that could happen is somebody tells you ‘no.’ And so, I think throughout my career I’ve not been afraid to ask questions, whether it was in the government sense, raising money or whatever – just don’t be afraid to ask. “The second bit of advice is you can agree to disagree. And you can do it in a professional manner. You may agree to disagree today, but tomorrow you may agree on another item. But if you burn that bridge, you probably won’t agree in the future on another item. So, those are two approaches I try to implement in my professional career and also in my personal (life) as well.”

AGE: 51 PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Moroney graduated from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa and from the University of Iowa College of Law. He worked at the Metropolitan Builders Association of Greater Milwaukee, including as executive director. He was then an attorney at DeWitt Ross & Stevens LLC until he became deputy secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in 2011. He then worked for former Gov. Scott Walker as a senior advisor and deputy chief of staff before becoming strategic economic initiatives director for Wisconsin, where he oversaw the Foxconn project, in 2017. IN THE NEWS: Moroney was recently promoted to the role of president of Wangard. After joining the firm in January 2019 as chief operating officer and general counsel, Moroney is now part of the firm’s leadership team that also includes Stu Wangard, chief executive officer and chairman of the board, and Burton Metz, president of investment and acquisitions. Moroney also sits on the newly created board of directors, along with Wangard, Metz and vice president of accounting and tax Kyle Dieringer. n biztimes.com / 45


DESIGNED, MADE AND BUILT IN SOUTHEASTERN WISCONSIN

Who’s Recruiting Tomorrow’s Workforce in Technology, Health Care, Manufacturing and Construction?

ARE YOU? A G U ID E TO

A P R OD U C T OF

MADE AND BUILT IN NORTHEASTERN WISCONSIN 2020

COOL STUFF page 8

WHAT IS IT?

made with pride in northeastern Wisconsin

STUFF BLOWN UP page 14 Featuring Two Creeks Solar Park

COST OF LIVING page 16 Personal budgets and finding a salary that works for you

WHO MAKES IT?

COULD I MAKE A CAREER OF THIS?

CHECK OUT JOB PROFILES - PGS 29-39 TO LEARN ABOUT CAREER OPPORTUNITIES!

FC-BC STUFF NE WI 2020 All Editorial Pages.indd 1

2/28/20 4:24 PM

PROMOTE YOUR BUSINESS AND RECRUIT YOUR WORKFORCE FOR TODAY AND TOMROROW STUFF: CONNECTING PEOPLE AND JOBS


With compelling stories and profiles of area companies, A Guide to STUFF Designed, Made and Built in Southeastern Wisconsin showcases all the cool careers available right here in our state, and the companies who are hiring for those positions.

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MOLLIE DIPIETRO

FUN STUFF

401(k) Vacation (paid time off) Sick (paid time) Flexible Workplace Dependent Care Reimbursement Wellness Program Tuition Reimbursement

WHO WE ARE Miller Electric Mfg. LLC, is headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, and wholly owned by Illinois Tool Works (NYSE: ITW). We are the world’s largest manufacturer of arc welding products and we provide crucial solutions for welding safety and health. Our company maintains its industry leadership by setting the standard for reliability, quality, and responsiveness. Our tagline, “The Power of Blue®,” is inspired by the blue color of our Miller equipment.

STUFF WE MAKE

INFO 1635 West Spencer Street Appleton, WI 54914 (920) 734-9821 millerwelds.com facebook.com/MillerWelders linkedin.com/company/118096 youtube.com/MillerWelders @MillerWelders Employees: 1,500 Year founded: 1929 President: Becky Tuchscherer

» Welding Machines » MIG, TIG, Stick, Engine Drive, Wire Feeders, Advanced MIG, Multiprocess, Multioperator, Submerged Arc, Spot Welders » Welding Intelligence » Welding Automation » Plasma Cutters » Induction Heating » Oxy-Fuel

Our culture is family oriented and fun. We work on goals, help each other advance in career, earn paid time off rewards by sharing ideas that work, and support events for the community, the United Way, and employees in need. We host tours of the facility for students, customers, and family. We have an annual family company picnic which hosts up to 3,000 people as well as an event at the Building for Kids during the end of year holidays. Our products can be seen on popular shows such as Goldrush and on millerwelds.com, we have a gallery of Do-It-Yourself projects submitted by our customers. We also like sharing food!

WELDER

AGE: 19 | YEARS AT COMPANY: 2 WHAT ARE YOUR JOB DUTIES? » Set up manual and robotic welding equipment » Operation of manual and robotic welding equipment » Preventative maintenance » Basic machine trouble shooting » Scheduling of production runs » Ordering material

CAREER OPPORTUNITIES/ BENEFITS

experienced

Career Ladder

Spotlight your company in the 2020 edition.

THE JOB: REQUIREMENTS » Associate’s degree, Machine Tool program or 5-7 years of previous experience » Skilled in mathematics, blueprints, and measuring devices » Team player, self-starter and good communication skills are key » Ability to perform set-ups, cross-train, and comprehend/perform SPC charting » Make adjustments on machines to meet print specifications

Build your Career with Us: » Business Careers - Sales, Marketing, Engineering, Finance, Operations, HR » Technical Careers - Lab Technicians, Documentation Technicians, Service Technicians, Engineering Technicians » Skilled Manufacturing Careers - Machinist, Welder/ Fabricator, Coil Winders, Maintenance Mechanics, Electricians, Automated Manufacturing Technicians, Electromechanical and Electronic Technicians » We invest in developing your talents: • Ongoing leadership and skill development programs • Opportunities to try challenging assignments and learn new skills • Tuition reimbursement » At Miller — we work with you to succeed. • Ability to try many positions or roles - internships/ apprenticeships • Flexibility to pursue your talents, passions, and goals • Supportive work environment

SKILLS » Blueprint reading/analyzing » Math skills » Troubleshooting machines » Basic computer skills » Most of the skills can be learned through time and exposure to new machines and processes

$62,420

KYLE BELONGER MACHINIST

AGE: 25 | YEARS AT COMPANY: 6 WHAT ARE YOUR JOB DUTIES? » Setting up equipment for cell » Operating equipment in cell » Operating multiple machines on shift » Ordering material » Scheduling production runs » Troubleshooting when machines are down

SKILLS » Blueprint reading / analyzing » Measuring devices » Math skills » Troubleshooting machine programs » Basic computer skills » Most of the skills can be learned through time and exposure to new machines and processes

3 ADVANCED CAREER

VARIES DEPENDING UPON PATH

2 METAL FABRICATION $

17/HR-$32/HR

1 GENERAL MANUFACTURING $

14/HR-$29/HR

Reserve your profile or full page ad today!

CONTACT Jess Haase | HR Manager (920) 735-4419 | jess.haase@millerwelds.com | facebook.com/MillerWelders

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IF you are a technology or health care company... IF you are a manufacturer or construction firm... IF you are an educational institution... IF your firm is hiring… …showcase your business in the 2020 edition.

NEW IN 2020

Participate in the 2021 Virtual Career Fair

2020 STUFF Profiles and We’re Hiring! Page advertisers are eligible to participate in the January 2021 virtual career fair, open to students and job seekers. Participation includes booth space, links to your careers page, speaking time to introduce your company, and follow up analytics on attendees and interested job-seekers. Separate times for students current job-seekers.

For more information, contact Linda Crawford or your account executive at (414) 336-7112 or advertise@biztimes.com


BANKING BEYOND EXPECTATIONS When I think about the character of individuals at First Business Bank, what comes to mind is — do the right thing and be a good person. There’s a feeling here that you don’t need layers of bureaucracy, policies, and procedures to make that happen. We just try to keep it simple, keep our word, and do what’s right. Those are classic midwestern values you can really count on.

KEVIN KANE PRESIDENT - MILWAUKEE REGION, FIRST BUSINESS BANK

BUSINESS BANKING | PRIVATE WEALTH | SPECIALTY FINANCE

firstbusiness.com/mke

Member FDIC