BizTimes Milwaukee | February 22, 2016

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BANK MERGERS IN STATE INCREASE DRAMATICALLY John Stibal, West Allis community development director and West Allis Mayor Dan Devine.


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Highlighting Wisconsin’s key industries, innovators, leaders, entrepreneurs and thriving business communities. The 2016 edition of WisconsinBiz, a print and online magazine, offers a look at business throughout our great state, and highlights the people, companies, institutions and communities that are growing a strong and vibrant economy in Wisconsin.


Why Participate: • Drive business development efforts • Employment recruitment • Highlight your organization - your team and history • Economic development tool • Public relations and branding • Show your pride for doing business in Wisconsin Showcase your commitment to business growth in Wisconsin by participating in the only statewide resource guide fostering economic growth in the state.

For advertising and sponsorship opportunities contact Media Sales at 414-336-7112 or


February 22 - March 6, 2016 S P E C I A L R E P O R T:



Coverage includes a report on Waukesha County’s new economic development plan, an analysis of the dramatic increase in bank mergers in Wisconsin, and an evaluation of Looking Glass Investments’ unique model.

HIGHLIGHT S Now 4 No sign of slowdown in downtown apartment boom.

Social Media Strategies


Follow the 5-3-2 rule for social media posting.

Coffee Break


A conversation with Patti Kneiser of Froedtert.

Made in Milwaukee


LEDs lighting Kenall’s path to growth.

On the Money


The certainty of our uncertain future.


S TR ATE GIE S Culture Anne Grace Nimke 25 Innovation Dan Steininger 26 Learning Jo Gorissen 27 Marketing Robert Grede 28


’Stallis strives for renewal

BIZ CONNECTIONS Calendar 29 Personnel File 30 Commentary 32 BizTimes Around Town 33 The Last Word 34

City works to develop new identity ON THE COVER: John Stibal, West Allis community development director and West Allis Mayor Dan Devine. — photos by Troy Freund Photography

V I S I T B I Z T I M E S . C O M F O R A D D I T I O N A L S T O R I E S , D A I LY U P D AT E S & E - N E W S L E T T E R S Editorial . . . . . . . . . . . . 414-336-7120 Advertising . . . . . . . . . 414-336-7112 Subscriptions . . . . . . . 414-277-8181 Reprints . . . . . . . . . . . . 414-277-8181

Founded in 1995, BizTimes Milwaukee provides news and operational insights for CEOs, presidents, owners and other top level executives at companies in southeastern Wisconsin (Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth and Sheboygan counties). Subscription Customer Service: BizTimes Milwaukee, 126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120, USA, Phone (414) 277-8181, Fax (414) 277-8191,,


BizTimes Milwaukee (ISSN 1095-936X & USPS # 017813) Volume 21, Number 23, February 22 - March 6, 2016. BizTimes Milwaukee is published bi-weekly, except two consecutive weeks in December (the third and fourth weeks of December) by BizTimes Media LLC at 126 N. Jefferson St., Suite 403, Milwaukee, WI 53202-6120, USA. Basic annual subscription rate is $42.00. Single copy price is $3.25. Back issues are $5.00 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 2016 by BizTimes Media LLC. All rights reserved.





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leading edge NOW

No sign of slowdown in downtown apartment boom


he apartment development boom in downtown Milwaukee and nearby neighborhoods is showing no signs of slowing down. Several apartment buildings are under construction or have been completed recently, and new projects seem to be announced on a weekly basis. Some of the latest apartment building developments announced downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods include: »» Greenfield-based The Ladner Group LLC plans to build an 18-story, 57unit apartment building at 107-115 E. Wells St. The building will also have office space and a restaurant. The existing two-story, 8,014-square-foot vacant building on the site will be torn down. The site is on the Milwaukee River and adjacent to the Bronze Fonz statue. “It’s a phenomenal and iconic site at a great section of the river,” said Cory Sovine of Colliers International|Wisconsin, who was the listing broker on the property. »» Milwaukee-based developer James Wiechmann plans to build a 13-story, $33 million building with 153 apartments and 10,000 square feet of office and retail space at 1832-40 N. Farwell Ave. on the East Side. The building will have four stories of frontage along Farwell Avenue, including a ground floor restaurant, owned by Ardent chef

and owner Justin Carlisle. There will be nine additional stories of residential, but those floors will be set back from the street, closer to the alley, east of Farwell. »» Milwaukee-based multifamily housing developer Mandel Group Inc. closed on the financing and recently started construction on its long-planned 132-unit DoMUS apartment development in the Historic Third Ward in Milwaukee. The six-story DoMUS is being built on a vacant site along the Milwaukee River in the 300 block of East Erie Street. Mandel Group has been working on the DoMUS project for several years. The firm’s original plans for the project called for a 61-unit condominium building, but that project was scrapped when the downtown area’s condo market collapsed and the Great Recession set in. “This (project) has been a long time coming. However, we feel that it has been worth the wait,” said Robert Monnat, partner and chief operating officer of Mandel Group. »» Mandel Group also recently began work on the fourth phase of its The North End project, which will add 155 apartments to the 650-unit mixed-use development along the Milwaukee River. The $200 million

Rendering of the Ladner Group project.

project is the largest concentration of new apartment development within Milwaukee’s downtown. So far, 406 apartments have been constructed. Mandel Group says it continues to experience strong demand for apartments within The North End. Completed phases of the development are 96 percent occupied. »» New York-based Whitestone Realty Capital LLC recently purchased the former Malt House and grain warehouse (also called the malt elevator) buildings at the former Pabst brewery complex for $1.6 million, allowing a long-planned

redevelopment project to finally move forward. Whitestone plans to create 111 apartments in the buildings. Madison-based Palisade Property Management LLC recently submitted plans to build a $55 million, 26-story, 202-unit apartment tower on the site of the 118-year-old Goll Mansion at 1550 N. Prospect Ave. on Milwaukee’s East Side. The mansion would have to be moved forward on the site before the tower could be built.

——Corrinne Hess and Andrew Weiland


Follow the 5-3-2 rule for social media posting Social media can be a confusing place. No one wants to overload their followers with too much content, but they also want to be visible. Finding this balance can seem tricky. There is hope, and it is the 5-3-2 rule. It is recommended that a company should post about 10 times a week. Although this seems time consuming and can require a great deal of brainstorming, there are quick tips that can alleviate headaches and retain and reach more followers. »» 5 times a week, share other content. This content can be found on your industry’s professional website, social media sites or newsletters. It can range from different types


B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


of information to quotes and images; however, it should stay relevant to your company. »» 3 times a week, share an original post. This is where the creative juices can flow. There are five different types of posts to include on your social media sites each month. Share information about the company or inspire your followers with success stories or good reviews. Allowing followers to feel invested in the organization can also retain them. Can’t decide which new commercial to use? Ask your followers! Content should create interaction with your followers. Incentives are also a great way to encourage your followers to share a post or interact with you. This is your

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time to be creative. »» 2 times a week, get personal. Wish your followers a great weekend or happy holidays. This humanizes your brand and followers begin to feel personally connected. You can include a humorous picture to showcase your personality. Remembering to post 10 times a week may seem difficult for those busy weeks. There are many different types of scheduling tools available to help you stay on track. Using scheduled posts will make posting 10 times a week a breeze.

——Sam Orne is assistant account executive at Milwaukee-based Vollrath Associates Inc.

leading edge COFF E E B R E A K


Wrong emphasis? BY MATT POMMER, special to BizTimes

What’s new at your company? “We launched a Virtual Clinic that truly ‘meets people where they are.’ People can talk to a doctor 24/7 with their smartphone, computer or telephone for problems like flu, bladder infections and respiratory conditions. It’s easy, affordable and has gotten great response. Along with our walk-in and FastCare retail clinics, it offers on-demand access to care.”

What’s the hottest trend in your industry? “Consumerism. Health care is increasingly driven by what patients want. That’s a change for the better. For us, it means finding ways to meet people where they are—where they work, play and live—and give them choices about how to receive care.”

outpatient health centers in Oak Creek, Mequon, Waukesha County and other locations across the region.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year? “Managing change. Health care is changing in nearly every respect, and staying ahead of it is a tremendous challenge for all health care organizations. We’re fortunate to have Cathy Jacobson’s outstanding leadership to guide us.”

What motivates you? “Making a difference. If I can get up every day knowing I’m in a position to do good, that drives me forward.”

What’s something about your role that might surprise people?

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year? “Boost our focus on wellness and injury prevention, especially at the workplace. I lead our health network’s strategy to partner with employers to improve employee health and reduce costs. This is a huge issue for employers, and there’s solid evidence that workplace programs can play a role. So we’ve expanded our capabilities in occupational medicine and workplace clinics to support that.”

“I’m very engaged in economic development organizations and chair Economic DevelopmentWashington County this year. It’s rewarding to apply my experience as a strategist and business development consultant to assist growth companies and promote economic vitality in the communities we serve.”

What was the best advice you ever received? “‘Choose your battles carefully!’ I’m fiercely competitive, so learning how to reach win-win solutions and not get waylaid by minor issues has been critical to my leadership success.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year? “Keeping up with demand for our services is a continuing challenge. We’re always looking for exceptional people and actively recruiting nurses and others to join our staff. We also have plans in the works for new Froedtert & MCW

Wisconsin is among seven states that saw their economies contract during the last three months of 2015, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. Five of the states – North Dakota, Wyoming, Mississippi, Louisiana and Alaska – were hurt by plunging oil and natural gas prices. Statistics for Wisconsin and Illinois were impacted by a sluggish manufacturing sector, according to reports. Hours worked in manufacturing and employment levels are two of the factors in the study. Wisconsin’s economy has long been tied to manufacturing. Some studies have indicated we have had the fourth highest manufacturing levels among the 50 states. Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has focused on helping the manufacturing sector with tax credits that dramatically lower how much large manufacturing firms are required to pay in corporate taxes. The governor also has sought to convince firms to move into Wisconsin. The personal income tax, something that impacts corporate leaders, has been reduced and the old alternative minimum tax has been scrapped. But a new study by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities is asking whether the focus on reducing income taxes or trying to lure firms to the state is the correct approach for state governments. Its authors, Michael Mazerov and Michael Leachman, suggest another alternative. “To create jobs and build strong economies, states should focus on producing more homegrown entrepreneurs and on helping startup and young, fast-growing firms already located in the state to survive and grow – not on cutting (income) taxes and trying to lure businesses from other states,” they write. The new firms are more likely to produce jobs than older, mature companies. And those starting new businesses are more concerned about property taxes than income taxes, they suggest. Cutting corporate and top personal income taxes has little impact on the fast-growing startup companies “because they generally have little taxable income,” Mazerov and Leachman say. Public investment to build a skilled workforce is the better approach, they assert. They cite an Inc. magazine study of the 150 fastest-growing companies in the country, which showed the leaders of those firms focused on the availability of an educated workforce and quality of life factors in deciding where to locate.

Patti Kneiser Vice president – employer services Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin 9200 W. Wisconsin Ave., Wauwatosa Industry: Health care Employees: About 10,000 Family: My husband Rick and I have two children, Emily and George. w w


Matt Pommer is the “dean” of Capitol correspondents in Madison. His column is published with permission from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association, but does not reflect the views or opinions of the WNA or its member newspapers.

What do you like to do in your free time?


“I’m a tennis player (although currently rehabbing an injury) and a passionate ‘sports mom,’ so most often you’d find me cheering at a football field, basketball court, ski race or golf tournament.” Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016

The Humphrey Scottish Rite Masonic Center in downtown Milwaukee is for sale, with a listing price of $4 million. n

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leading edge ON TH E C ALEN D AR


LEDs lighting Kenall’s path to growth While Kenall Manufacturing is among a number of companies that have made the move from Illinois to the Kenosha area in recent years, a shift in lighting technology is having a much bigger impact on the company than any geographic change. The change has been a shift to light emitting diodes, or LEDs. Three years ago, LEDs made up less than 10 percent of Kenall’s business. In the past two years, the company hasn’t made a new product that didn’t include LEDs. “That shift to LED, for a lot of companies in the lighting business, has been really traumatic,” said Patrick Marry, Kenall president and chief operating

ARTHUR THOMAS (414) 336-7123 | Twitter: @arthur8823

officer, adding that many either made lights or fixtures, but now everything ships together. The company started in 1963 making lights for Chicago public housing. They were made with an emphasis on durability that has carried through to Kenall’s work today in lights for hospitals, highway tunnels and prisons. Kenall completed its 354,000-square-foot Kenosha facility in December 2014, moving there from Gurnee, Ill. Marry said the support from the Kenosha community has been great and the biggest challenge is finding people to fill open positions. The company currently runs slightly less than two full shifts and has about 30 percent of the facility’s space left open strategically. Kenall places an emphasis on custom work, so tasks like painting and circuit board work are done on site to allow for faster turnaround. The shift to LED has meant the industry is increasingly driven by electronics and controls. Lighting also has a place in the Internet of Things, with sensors ranging from a simple occupancy sensor that knows when someone walks into a room to remote monitoring of an automated parking garage that senses where a person is to light her path. “During these periods of change is when industries grow,” Marry said. There are energy efficiency benefits to LEDs, but the real gains come from using a specific wavelength of light to drive biological responses, said Cliff Yahnke, Kenall’s director of clinical affairs. “That is a unique characteristic of LEDs that I think we’re just getting started with,” he said. Kenall is currently working to commercialize an overhead light and fixture branded as Indigo-Clean through a licensing agreement with the University of Strathclyde. Researchers at the Scottish university determined a specific blue-indigo wavelength of light – 405 nanometers – can kill bacteria by creating a reaction that’s identical to pouring common household bleach on it. Yahnke said there has been interest from other areas and he sees the potential for using Indigo-Clean in something like food processing, but the focus is on health care for now. One reason is that if Yahnke and his team demonstrate it works in health care, it should be easier to transfer it elsewhere. The product is currently in testing through partnerships with Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin and United Hospital System’s Kenosha Medical Center campus. The challenge is finding where it is best applied. Some of the early testing has been done in waiting rooms and Kenall is now evaluating intensive care units, operating rooms and pharmacies. Kenall’s Indigo-Clean fixtures are made to allow all-blue, mixed or all-white modes, and sensors allow for different settings de-



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Wellness Summit

ABOVE: The Indigo-Clean ceiling fixture is installed in a number of areas at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin as part of a partnership to test the technology. BELOW: Kenall Manufacturing completed its move from Gurnee, Ill. to Kenosha in December 2014. The 354,000-square-foot facility has room for the company to grow without needing another new facility.

BizTimes Media will host the 2016 Wellness Summit on Friday, March 18, from 7:30 to 11 a.m. at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, 1721 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. This year’s event will focus on “The High Cost of High Stress.” Greg Schramka, director of behavioral health therapy services at Aurora Behavioral Health Services, will discuss how employee anxiety can hurt a business, and what can be done to fix it. A panel discussion and wellness fair will also be part of the event. For more information or to register, visit

For a complete listing of all area events, visit the event section of our website.


“Deep Work” Kenall Manufacturing 10200 55th St., Kenosha Industry: Lighting Employees: 400

pending on the application. Other environmental disinfection technologies like ultraviolet lights and chemical foggers are more episodic in nature, Yahnke said, adding that Indigo-Clean is meant to work continuously and establish a lower baseline of bacteria levels between episodic cleanings. The lights are more expensive than traditional fixtures, but Yahnke said the cost should be balanced against the potential for preventing infections. From a production standpoint, Kenall has to require tight tolerances from suppliers to make sure the exact right wavelength is used. The fixture itself also has to meet the unique demands of use in a hospital setting. “I think it’s probably one of the most stringent products that anybody in the lighting industry makes,” Yahnke said. Get the latest manufacturing news delivered to your inbox every Monday. Sign up for BizTimes’ Manufacturing Weekly at

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Are you able to focus on work without distraction? If so, you have mastered one of the most valuable skills in our economy that is becoming increasingly rare. According to author and professor Cal Newport, deep work is the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task. It’s a skill that allows you to quickly master complicated information and produce better results in less time. Deep work will make you better at what you do and provide the sense of true fulfillment that comes from craftsmanship. But in the days of social media and email, most people have lost the ability to go deep. Dividing this book into two parts, Newport first makes the case that in almost any profession, cultivating a deep work ethic will produce massive benefits. He then presents a rigorous training regimen, presented as a series of four “rules,” for transforming your mind and habits to support this skill. Deep Work is available for $22.40 at

——Corrinne Hess

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leading edge NON P RO F IT N E W S


Milwaukee alderman resigns to work for nonprofit

Taking a shot

Milwaukee Alderman Willie Wade recently resigned from the Common Council to become a staff member at the Milwaukee Area Workforce Investment Board. MAWIB is a publicly funded nonprofit that provides employment and training programs for adults and teens in Milwaukee County. Wade said he was drawn to the organization while Wade watching building projects emerge as an alderman, such as the Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons, 833 East Michigan, The Couture and the Milwaukee Bucks arena. “What I saw were a lot of opportunities for people to not only build those structures but to have jobs within those structures,” Wade said. “What I also knew by being the alderman of one of the poorest districts is that the community at large didn’t have the skillset to get those jobs and do those jobs...I thought it was the perfect opportunity for me to make this transition and bring this city up to par.” Wade’s position with the workforce investment board will be vice president, which is one of several new staff positions created in the past 18 months by president and chief executive officer Earl Buford. Buford would not say what Wade’s salary will be in his new role. Wade’s gross pay as an alderman was $79,909 in 2014. Wade announced on Dec. 1 he would not seek re-election. He represented the Seventh District for 13 years.

——Ben Stanley

In 2005, Josh Behrend’s grandmother bought him a digital camera to take on a trip to Europe. “It wasn’t anything fancy,” Behrend said. “But it was a nice camera; a nice point and shoot.” He was in high school at the time, and he played around with the camera while he and his classmates toured Europe. It’s something he’s been doing on the side ever since — both as a creative outlet and to make a little extra money. Behrend, a social media strategist at Sosh in Milwaukee, likes to flex his creativity with his camera on nights and weekends. He has photographed weddings and volunteers as a photographer and media director for Wisconsin Destination Imagination, a visual arts nonprofit in Germantown. “It’s a fun outlet for me to express myself creatively,” Behrend said. “I do a lot of writing at work, but that’s my form of art that I can provide to the world, because I’m a crap painter and drawer.” Behrend is also on the Milwaukee Art

ABOVE: The Bixby Bridge in Big Sur, Calif. Behrend said he enjoys taking photos on trips and also on walks around Milwaukee. Behrend

Museum’s MAM After Dark advisory board and helps brainstorm ideas to get people interested in its events. “It’s been fun,” Behrend said. “I’ve met some great people and made some great connections.”

——Ben Stanley

Joseph Pickart Taxation

Ahead of trends.

Winning strategy. Robert Dallman Taxation

Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek’s Taxation team stays ahead of industry trends so we can best advise our clients. We use our extensive tax experience to develop a tailored approach to representation that meets our clients’ goals and expectations. The result is a winning strategy for every situation.


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leading edge O N T HE M ON E Y


The certainty of our uncertain future


Whether after the opening kickoff or the opening bell, prognosticators had a rough ride in 2015. More than five months ago, ESPN analysts attempted to predict the outcome of Super Bowl 50. Of 48 analysts surveyed, zero picked the Super Bowl champion. Perhaps more interestingly, 36 of the 48 (75 percent) picked a team to play in the Super Bowl that missed the playoffs entirely! 2015 was equally rough for predictions in the financial markets. A 2014 CNN Money survey of investing pros predicted the S&P 500 would end 2015 at 2,184. It closed at 2,044, approximately 6 percent less than the target. Meanwhile, strategists predicted crude oil would rebound to $74, but oil prices ended 2015 near $37. As famed physicist Niels Bohr said, “Prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.” Much like last year, 2016 faces its share of uncertainty. China’s economic growth and depressed oil prices are confounding the market, and the presidential election looms on the horizon. Unfortunately, two equally intelligent, experienced professionals can analyze these events and arrive at completely opposite conclusions. Even if they do agree, they still have to determine how the financial markets will digest this information. And then, to top it off, they need to consistently repeat this success. As investors, perhaps our investment plans should embrace this uncertainty and avoid short-term speculation altogether. The first step to building an appropriate investment plan is to determine your goals. Are you investing for 12 months or 12 years? The next step is to align your investments with your goals using a cost-sensitive, diversi-

A $33 million, 13-story mixeduse tower is planned for 1832 and 1840 N. Farwell Ave. in Milwaukee. The mixed-use development would include 153 residential units and 10,000 square feet of commercial and office space. The building would have four stories of frontage along Farwell, including a restaurant, owned by Ardent retaurateur Justin Carlisle.

——Corrinne Hess

fied portfolio. Allocate relatively stable assets for your short-term needs (12 months) and relatively volatile assets, like stocks, for your long-term goals (12 years). The last step is to implement a disciplined process for reviewing and changing your plan based on your personal situation, not short-term predictions. The future will bring more uncertainty...and more predictions. But your future should be based on a disciplined plan centered on your goals, not on the whims of prognostication.

——Justin Moilanen is a fee-only financial planner with Financial Service Group in Mount Pleasant.


Award Requirements & Criteria

Now Accepting

Applications for the 2016

Eligibility Requirements

Minimum of 3 years in business Significant presence in Southeastern Wisconsin

Judging Criteria

A commitment to good business practice A history of good employee relations/benefits Customer focused commitment Financial growth and consistency Community service involvement Education partnerships and workforce development

Apply today! Visit to submit your application today. Application Deadline: March 14, 2016.


Top 10 Businesses of the Year Awards Luncheon Thursday, June 23, 2016 | 11:30am - 1:30pm Country Springs Hotel & Conference Center - 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee


To reserve your seat at the event or for more information, visit


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leading edge News



The Bubbler



Special Pubs








Re: State of the City of Milwaukee “More good things are happening in Milwaukee than in any city in this state. Of course, we have our challenges. But together, we have put Milwaukee on a strong foundation and we can address and overcome anything that stands in our way.” - Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett

Re: State government’s health care costs “If our erstwhile legislators would get out into their districts and talk to business people, they would soon learn that most sizeable companies already self-insure for coverage of their workforces. They would learn that self-insurance opens the door for huge savings.” - John Torinus, Serigraph Inc.

Re: Super Bowl ads “Super Bowl ads provide the opportunity to create a national buzz surrounding your brand and your message. Historically, those who realize this and create strategically targeted, original creative messaging can do very well. But many brands have missed the mark by trying too hard or misunderstanding the opportunity.”

The Sojourner Family Peace Center recently opened its new 72,000-square-foot facility in Milwaukee to serve domestic violence victims.

-Brian Bennett, STIR Advertising & Integrated Marketing

Will the Johnson Controls-Tyco merger be good for Milwaukee?

Yes No

41% 59%

For additional stories and daily updates, visit our website at...




Veneer Desking

Milwaukee Rescue Mission

Showcase Your Success.

(414) 344-2211


Set a professional tone for the entire office, and Announce to the world that you’ve made it.

Adaptable to Any Need.

The Milwaukee Rescue Mission (MRM) has faithfully served the homeless and poor of Milwaukee since 1893. Our mission statement says: “In response to God’s grace through Christ, we compassionately serve men, women, and children who are homeless, hungry, or poor to help them become whole in body, mind, and spirit for the glory of God.” The Milwaukee Rescue Mission offers help in the present in order to give hope for the future.

To learn more, visit

N115 W18500 Edison Drive Germantown, WI 53022


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innovations Telkonet introduces app to complete smart residence platform


here are plenty of challenges to properly programming a home thermostat. Sure, having it set correctly can save money by not heating or cooling the residence when no one is around, but schedules change and re-programming the device can be a hassle. Waukesha-based TelARTHUR THOMAS (414) 336-7123 Twitter: @arthur8823

konet Inc. hopes to eliminate some of the hassle with a new app that uses a smartphone’s location to automate residential temperature controls.

EcoManage – a free app available in the Android and Apple stores – is part of Telkonet’s EcoSmart platform. Users with an EcoSmart thermostat can manage the temperature of their apartment, hotel room or dorm from their mobile device. The company’s platform is not intended for use in single-family homes, but instead works in multi-family buildings and commercial settings like hotels, hospitals, dormitories and military settings. The idea behind EcoManage is to give consumers the ability to control the temperature of their residence while still giving the building owner oversight. It also opens up possible rebates and incentives from local utility companies for the owner. The app is just part of the company’s

Inspired by Innovation Davis & Kuelthau’s Construction Industry and Real Estate Teams are committed to taking a unique approach to guiding you through your legal needs. We proudly work with private and public owners, investors, developers, general contractors, subcontractors, architects and engineers on the full spectrum of start-to-finish services.

To learn more about Davis & Kuelthau’s breadth of related services, contact James Braza, Construction Industry Team Chair, at 414.225.1421 or or Joseph Tierney IV, Real Estate Team Chair, at 414.225.1471 or


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Telkonet’s EcoManage app is part of the EcoSmart platform. Smart devices are connected to a thermostat by QR code or a code on the thermostat.

platform, which also includes thermostats, occupancy sensors, data monitors, light switch and outlet controls, and door and window monitors. Beyond products, the company also provides cloud-based software, services and mobile applications. “If you put all four of these pieces together, you understand what IoT, or the Internet of Things, is supposed to do,” said Jason Tienor, Telkonet chief executive officer. “We have a comprehensive platform that has all of the pieces.” The company’s whole platform and history of developing connected devices puts it in a better position than new entrants to the market, Tienor said. Telkonet was founded in 1999 and had $14.8 million in revenue for fiscal 2014 and was profitable. The company reported in November that year-to-date sales were up 3 percent through the first three quarters of 2015, the first year with the EcoSmart platform fully deployed. The geo-fencing technology in the EcoManage app allows users to set a distance away from home at which the thermostat would turn on or off. It is possible for the heat to kick on when the user is a quarter-mile away. The thermostat can also be connected to multiple smartphones, so a user doesn’t leave roommates in the cold when he or she heads to work. The app works in concert with the rest of the platform to deliver “intelligent automation” of energy use, Tienor said. Users are becoming conditioned to having the ability to automate controls and are

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Telkonet’s EcoManage app allows users to alter the temperature of their residence remotely on their smartphone.

Telkonet Waukesha Innovation: EcoManage app

coming to expect it, he said. “People are more and more seeing and using the capabilities provided on their smart devices,” Tienor said. In hospitality settings, there is a move toward smart hotel rooms, he said. From a phone as a room key to returning the thermostat and television to the guest’s preferred temperature and channel, Tienor said hotels are using automation not just as an energy saving opportunity, but also as a chance to improve the experience. n Get news headlines from around the state delivered to your inbox first thing Monday through Friday. Sign up for BizTimes’ Morning Headlines at

Agenda 7:00 - 7:30 | Registration and Networking 7:30 - 10:30 | Breakfast and Program 7:00 - 11:00 | Interactive Wellness Fair Keynote: Greg Schramka, Psy.D., Director, Behavioral Health Therapy Services, Aurora Behavioral Health Services “Building a psychologically healthy workplace” Learn to identify stress in the workplace and where to focus your efforts to reduce employee stress levels and enhance motivation. Takeaways:





Panel Discussion: Back to the basics In an age of fast food, fad diets and quick-fix diet pills, the path to a healthier life is still good old-fashioned healthy eating, exercise and sleep. Moderator: • Paul Nobile, Interim President, Anthem Blue Cross Wisconsin


How employee anxiety can bring down your business – and what you can do to fix it Life in the workplace – and in general – moves exponentially faster than a generation ago. Today, about half of all Americans feel stressed out, and their anxiety takes a toll on their health, well-being and their employers’ bottom line. Join us March 18 to learn how to identify stress in the workplace and help your employees overcome it for increased productivity, real cost savings and improved retention.

Friday, March 18, 2016 | 7:00 – 11:00 AM Potawatomi Hotel & Casino


• Identify sources of stress in employees’ lives at work and home. • Become aware of how high levels of stress affect job performance and the workplace. • Understand the basic psychological needs that play a role in improving employees’ mental health and motivation.


• Jennifer Smith-Hulbert, General Manager and WorkingWell Director, Wisconsin Athletic Club • Mary Kelly, Wellness Manager, Sensia Wellness • Sleep specialist

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real estate Dynamic developer

Wangard working on several major projects in Milwaukee area


t took Stewart Wangard, one of the most active commercial real estate developers in the Milwaukee area, about 10 minutes to get back to his seat after giving a presentation at this year’s annual Institute of Real Estate Management Forecast Breakfast. The chief executive officer of Wangard Partners CORRINNE HESS P: (414) 336-7116 E: Twitter: @CorriHess

Inc. had just announced he was moving forward with renovating the former Laacke & Joys building in downtown Milwaukee and about a half dozen people in the room lined up to talk to him about the project

and others he had discussed that morning. Several weeks later, at a coffee shop in Walker’s Point, Wangard is approached several times by people who either want to do business with him or Wangard just want to say, “Hi.” Wangard is soft-spoken, but you can tell by both the large portfolio of projects he is working on in the Milwaukee area, and by his deliberate way of speaking, that he holds people to a high standard – especially himself. With several substantial projects in Milwaukee, Wauwatosa and Oconomowoc, the one-time real estate broker turned developer has become one of the most signif-

icant real estate dealmakers in the region. Word has gotten out that the company is growing and people want to be part of it. In fact, Wangard himself receives three resumes a day; his property manager gets 20. “By the middle of last year, we realized we needed a lot more bench strength to fulfill all the things we have in the works,” Wangard said. In early 2015, Wangard Partners had about 30 employees, and now it is at 50. “We’re experiencing some growing pains,” he said. Wangard didn’t set out to go into the real estate business. He had just started his first semester at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 1974 when he decided to drop out to help his mother clear up the family business.

His father had just died after a yearlong illness, leaving behind several small apartment buildings on Milwaukee’s East Side that were in receivership. Wangard, who was 17 years old at the time, convinced the banks to release the properties back to his family one at a time. “We cleaned them up, leased them and sold them, one-by-one,” Wangard said. “This was in the middle of a horrible recession, so there was not a lot of equity there, but what we were able to do is eliminate the debt and in the end there was a little bit left for my mother.” The process took two years, during which Wangard got his real estate license. “Realistically, it took me another three years before I really knew what I

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was doing,” he said. By 21, Wangard was Re/Max’s regional director of sales for Wisconsin. After three years, he decided to move on to commercial real estate brokerage The Boerke Co. Inc., where he stayed for 11 years. After leaving in 1992, Wangard had to honor a non-compete clause, so he joined United Properties, where the majority of his work was related to stabilizing or liquidating foreclosed properties. During a 90-day period, Wangard took back more than 2 million square feet of foreclosed property, including the 1000 North Water Street office building in downtown Milwaukee. “It was the most mind-expanding experience you can ever imagine,” he said. “What we were looking at was the result of all kinds of bad decisions, as well as the general meltdown of the economy.” In 1995, Wangard started the company he owns today – although at the time, it was called SM Wangard Inc. and it was a general brokerage. Wangard’s first major development was the 130,000-square-foot High Pointe Office Centre at 1200 N. Mayfair Road in 1998. Wangard partnered with Multi-Employer Property Trust on the development and the group bought the building from Wangard three years after its completion. In 2007, Wangard, who says he always liked the building, bought it back. Today, Wangard has five major projects underway in Milwaukee and two in the suburbs (there is a third planned in the suburbs that he wouldn’t talk about, but said would be announced in March). Rocky Marcoux, commissioner for the Milwaukee Department of City Development, has worked closely with Wangard on the projects in the Park East corridor, as well as Freshwater Plaza in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, which Marcoux called the gateway to the harbor campus. “He is a high-quality developer who is well known throughout the region not only for the developments he has built but for the developments he manages, including 875 East (Wisconsin Ave.), which is the home to Roundy’s,” Marcoux said. “It wouldn’t surprise me to see him announcing additional deals going forward.” Wangard is excited about all of the developments along North Water Street, including what Mandel Group is doing with the North End and what Marcus Corp. and Hammes Co. are planning.

Neither Marcus nor Hammes would comment on those plans, but both firms have submitted proposals to purchase and develop a one-third acre parcel of land owned by Milwaukee County in the Park East corridor. When all of the development in the North Water Street area is done there will be a chain of pocket parks stretching from the Marsupial Bridge at the Holton Street viaduct to the Peck Pavilion on Kilbourn Avenue, Wangard said. “You’ve got the Peck, you have Red Arrow, there will be a small park where Marcus and Hammes are developing, there will be a park on Block 22 (where Wangard is planning a mixed-use development), Mandel has a small park on the North End, there will be a park on Brady and Water and right next door, we have the Marsupial Bridge,” Wangard said. “It’s not that we’re all talking to each other, but as we share ideas, we realize that we can do things that create a neighborhood unlike what you have anywhere else.” Another project Wangard is working on is the 200,000-square-foot expansion of the Milwaukee Electric Tool headquarters at 13135 W. Lisbon Road, Brookfield, which will add 500 jobs. Even though it’s not his own project, Wangard calls it one of the most exciting projects happening in the Milwaukee area. “It’s very similar to a Google or a Facebook or an Apple; they’ve become a talent magnet for a lot of engineers and they are drawing people from coast to coast,” Wangard said. “It’s nice to see a strong, dynamic employer headquartered here.” Wangard credits his company’s recent growth to his team – particularly the hiring of three key people: Beth Schumacher, chief financial officer; Chad Venne, executive vice president, property management; and Jen Devitt, corporate counsel. That said, Wangard is planning to take a “bit of a pause” this year. He is also going to sell at least six properties, including two Piggly Wiggly supermarkets, at least one other retail asset and one smaller industrial asset. “Part of it is related to scale, part is related to time and part is related to making sure the company is always healthy,” Wangard said. “That is not new. We sold some of our best assets in 2008 and we came into the recession healthy. We want to make sure we are always going to stay healthy.” n w w


Wangard’s Milwaukee projects: »» Freshwater Plaza: The $48 million mixed-use development will include offices, 76 apartments and a Cermak’s Fresh Market grocery store in the city’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.

A rendering of Freshwater Plaza. »» Laacke & Joys: Wangard is planning to create 106,000 square feet of office space in the building on five floors and an 8,000-square-foot restaurant in a building next door. »» Brady & Water: An 89-unit apartment complex at 1693 N. Water St. »» Avenir Phase II & III: 146 apartments and 4,700 square feet of retail space will be added to the Avenir development in the Park East corridor. The first phase of the Avenir, a mixed-use building with 104 luxury apartments and 7,045 square feet of ground level retail space, opened in February 2015.

A rendering of Avenir Phase III. »» Park East Block 22: In December, Wangard was selected by county officials, in an RFP process, to purchase and develop Park East Block 22 for $2.4 million. Plans include a $47 million mixed-use residential complex that will contain 250 apartments and 70,000 square feet of retail.

A rendering of Park East Block 22.

Wangard’s suburban projects: »» The REEF: a 180-unit multifamily housing development at 1215 N. 62nd St., Wauwatosa. »» The Preserve at Prairie Creek: Phase two of The Preserve in Oconomowoc will include 160 units, plus an expanded club house. Phase one, which is 228 units, is already fully leased.

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cover story

Mayor Dan Devine and director of develpoment John Stibal stroll through the West Allis Farmers Market.


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BY CORRINNE HESS, staff writer


ohn Stibal arrived in West Allis in 1989, at the tail end of one of the toughest decades a city of its kind would ever see. Between 1979 and 1989, West Allis lost 8,500 manufacturing jobs, 10,000 people moved out of the city and the average wage dropped 25 percent. Stibal, then 40, had spent the past 16 years working in the development department for a white collar suburb of Waterloo, Iowa. He was looking for a new challenge. As West Allis’ first director of development, he found one. For nearly four decades, West Allis has struggled to regain its footing from the loss of those manufacturing jobs and to shake its image of a worn, blue collar industrial town. There have been high points, including the $50 million transformation in 2004 of the former Allis-Chalmers site into the Summit Place office complex. And of course, setbacks. Promising developments have started and been halted as the result of the Great Recession. But as the economy has recovered, so has West Allis.

DEVELOPERS TAKE NOTICE Within the past 18 months, the city has added 1,800 jobs – including more than 800 from Glendale-based Johnson Controls Inc. in 2014, when the company leased space at the Renaissance Center, 801 S. 60th St. The development community is also starting to take notice of the city’s redevelopment efforts. Six prominent local development teams submitted proposals to the city to redevelop a site in the Six Points/Farmers Market neighborhood on the east side of West Allis. Milwaukee-based multi-family housing development firm Mandel Group was selected by the city for the Six Points/Farmers Market neighborhood project and is planning a $65 million mixed-use development that will include a specialty grocery store, two restaurants, retail space and up to 300 market-rate apartments. The development, which will break ground in June, heavily incorporates West Allis’s renowned farmer’s market by adding space for yearround activity at the market. “West Allis is accelerating so much, so recently, that it is going to be really excitw w


ing in the next several years to be here to help evolve what’s coming,” Stibal said. “On every front, from industrial, to multifamily to commercial, there are things going on in every sector. There is not going to be any part of the city that you are not going to see some significant evolution.” Stibal’s 1989 arrival in West Allis coincided with the city’s decision to get aggressive about redevelopment. One of the first orders of business was redeveloping the 130-acre site AllisChalmers had occupied. Nearly 15,000 people went to work every day at the Allis-Chalmers plant in the late 1950s, but the company began suffering in the 1980s, and by 1987, it had declared bankruptcy. The site was vacant by 1990, leaving several city blocks of empty buildings and pushing a major tax burden onto the city’s residents. “Community change happens because you have progressive leadership,” said Patrick Schloss, West Allis community development manager, who has worked for the city since 2002. “Getting rid of the old industrial dinosaur properties and attracting a new tax base happens because

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of good leadership and a good plan.” West Allis began creating tax incremental financing districts, a public financing mechanism used to divert future property tax revenue from a defined area to help fund an economic development project. Today, West Allis has 14 TIF districts. The use of TIF made it possible for several developments to happen, including attracting West Allis’ largest employer and largest taxpayer, Quad/Graphics, which opened a plant in the former Kearney and Trecker Corp. manufacturing property in 1994. TIF was also used to redevelop part of the Allis-Chalmers site into the Summit Place complex, now the city’s largest center of employment. “Our mission was to be entrepreneurial in how we dealt with business,” Stibal said. “If we can think along the same lines as business, it’s easier for us all to get what we need.” After converting a former warehouse at 801-829 S. 60th St., which was also once part of the former Allis-Chalmers complex, into the Renaissance Center in 2012, Milwaukee developer Joel Lee said West Allis was the best community he had 15

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ever worked with. “It’s all in the attitude,” said Lee, who owns Van Buren Management. “I think it’s a great community that has had a lot of inherent disadvantages because the manufacturing base literally eroded overnight. But they also have a lot of advantages and they’ve done very well for themselves.” In 2007, the city also created the FirstRing Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise, or FIRE. FIRE is a community development entity formed to issue tax credits to help finance developments in low-income areas throughout southeastern Wisconsin. FIRE has successfully received more than $100 million in New Market Tax Credits from the U.S. Department of the Treasury since its inception. Those tax credits are part of what attracted The Mandel Group to West Allis and will be used as a major funding source for the Six Points project, said Robert Monnat, chief executive officer of Mandel Group. Affordability and accessibility to West Allis are two other factors that made the city an attractive site and development partner for Mandel, Monnat said. “When we spoke to West Allis they said they wanted a project to put the city on the map,” Monnat said. “We want to show people that West Allis is a viable competitor in terms of where people desire to live. West Allis has put AllisChalmers behind them.”

THE NEXT BAY VIEW? West Allis stretches 4.5 miles from east to west. By comparison, if you start at Lake Michigan in Milwaukee and drive 4.5 miles west, you arrive at 60th Street, going through a lot of neighborhoods along the way. Similarly, West Allis can be divided in thirds – the west, from New Berlin to Highway 100; the middle; and the east, from 16

70th Street to the West Milwaukee border. It’s the eastern third that the Mandel Group is interested in because that area, with its older housing stock, farmers market and established bars and restaurants, has the most potential to become a vibrant urban neighborhood similar to Milwaukee’s Bay View, Monnat said. “There is a certain sense of a traditional neighborhood (in eastern West Allis),” Monnat said. “There are tremendous amounts of Milwaukee-esque type of establishments that make up an authentic neighborhood, much like Riverwest, Bay View, and similar working class communities.” Nearby restaurants include Kegel’s, the newly-reopened Crawdaddy’s, Chef Paz, Antigua, Sofia’s and The West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe. The West Allis Cheese & Sausage Shoppe, 6832 Becher St., has been in West Allis since 1968. The Lutz family purchased the business in 2002, and added a restaurant almost three years ago. They recently purchased a building across the street, at 6807 W. Becher St., that will be leased to a new restaurant, Ka-Bobs, which will open Feb. 23. Owner Mark Lutz, said since the shop added the restaurant, business has “taken off like crazy.” “We have a large demographic mix – older folks whose husbands worked at Allis-Chalmers and a lot of young couples who have moved into the neighborhood and like to have a place to walk to,” Lutz said. “My neighborhood is like East Tosa, but more affordable. There are a lot of advantages nowadays to start out in West Allis – and there are 70,000 (city residents) who do need to eat.” Milwaukee developer Ogden & Co. has also recognized the potential in West Allis, both from an affordability standpoint and because of the city’s central location. Ogden is planning to start construction this B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


spring on a $33 million mixed-use development east of South 84th Street and south of West Greenfield Avenue that will include 216 market-rate apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The Ogden development will be located next to the $13 million, 104-room Hampton Inn & Suites hotel that opened last fall at 8201 W. Greenfield Ave. Jonathan Ross, president of Ogden & Co., said the West Allis apartments will be market-rate but will feature the same amenities found in downtown Milwaukee and at Ogden’s Sutter Creek apartments in Brookfield, including stainless steel appliances, nine-foot ceilings and balconies. “We’re looking at young professionals and potentially empty nesters (as potential tenants),” Ross said. Wauwatosa was ahead of the development curve, and now it is too expensive for many people, so West Allis is an area being targeted by developers, Ross said. “People are going to start moving to West Allis and the secret will be lost and those rents will start to creep up,” Ross said. “We see this as an opportunity because young people want to live close to downtown, but can’t afford to pay downtown rents. West Allis is centrally located and almost dead center to the employment centers of the area.” Ross said the ease of working with the city also makes working with West Allis an appealing prospect for developers. “Like many communities that were part of manufacturing and the so-called rust bucket, they are trying to change their image and create new jobs and industries,” Ross said. “When the industries start coming back or new ones are formed, it helps with residential, and vice versa.” One of the next projects on the horizon for the city is the redevelopment of the former Milwaukee Ductile iron foundry at South 68th Street and West

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Mitchell Street, just west of the Mandel development site. In 2009, Metal Technologies closed the plant, leaving a large, vacant and aging industrial facility in the middle of a residential neighborhood. The city’s Community Development Authority owns the site, including a threestory 44,500-square-foot building on the property where Stibal envisions ground floor parking and two stories of office or apartments. The city will likely issue an RFP for the property late this year or in 2017, he said. This summer, West Allis is also planning to launch a National Avenue Corridor plan, which will include an $800,000 to $1 million funding pool to help business owners along National Avenue improve the facades of their buildings. This will coincide with a street improvement plan along National Avenue. Since taking over as mayor in 2008, Dan Devine has worked to improve the image of West Allis. He said there is still the outdated stigma that West Allis is a tired, old industrial suburb, but insists nothing could be further from the truth – especially now. “Allis-Chalmers was a big fish; When you lose those jobs and that population it leads to elements of urban decay, but that’s not us anymore,” Devine said. After eight years as mayor, Devine said he is surprised at how long it has taken to “get the ball rolling,” but he said over the past two years, he feels like the work that was put in place, even beginning with former Mayor Jeannette Bell, is beginning to gain traction. “It seems like people are finally starting to believe in this community and realize the potential,” Devine said. n Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox, Monday through Friday. Sign up for the BizTimes Daily at

Mandel Group’s The Market at Six Points project is planned at the intersection of South 66th Street/Six Points Crossing and West National Avenue.

Mandel Group awarded Six Points development Plans include apartments, specialty grocery, brewpub, enhanced farmers market


andel Group is planning a $65 million mixed-use project on the east side of West Allis that city officials are hoping will be the economic development spark to finally put the community’s industrial past and often-negative public perception behind it. Milwaukee-based Mandel’s project was selected by city officials as the winning bid in a request for proposals process for the site in the city’s Six Points neighborhood. The project, The Market at Six Points, will include 200 to 300 market-rate apartments in two three- to four-story structures and a two-story, 40,000-square-foot office building on vacant land between West National and West Greenfield avenues, east of South 66th Street (Six Points Crossing). Mandel Group says it has verified interest for the office space from a specific employer, which it will not name, that has been in operation for more than 30 years and has more than 30,000 employees at nearly 200 locations across eastern Wisconsin and Illinois. Directly across the street, south of National Avenue, and across from West Allis’ renowned farmers market, Mandel is planning a cluster of food offerings. This will include a 20,000-square-foot specialty grocery store, two 7,000-square-foot specialty retail stores, a 6,000-square-foot brewpub, which will be operated by a “local, well-known brewery,” and another 5,600-square-foot restaurant. That parcel of land will also include eight 840-squarefoot townhomes. Mandel is expected to break ground

BY CORRINNE HESS, staff writer

on phase one of the project, which includes the brewpub, specialty grocery, restaurants and retail space, in July. Construction of the office building will begin in June 2017, and phase two, which is the residential portion of the project, will begin in April 2018. Open from May through Thanksgiving, West Allis has the largest open air farmers market in the Milwaukee area. The market was one of the main drivers for Mandel Group to pursue the project and was the inspiration for the development’s design, said Robert Monnat, chief operating officer. Plans also call for a 2,700-square-foot roofed kiosk next to the farmers market so there can be activity at the market year round. There will also be a designated area on the western portion of the existing farmer’s market for a “food truck court” that could attract local food trucks during busy weekends and during the holiday season. “We want people on that farmers market block every day, every month of the year,” Monnat said. “This could include a Thanksgiving Market, a Kris Kringle Market, caroling and other winter activities. It is our intention to take the farmers market and turn it into an activity hub for the city, and in particular, the Six Points neighborhood.” The concept brings together a farmto-table and locally-sourced food and beverage lifestyle millennials are looking for, Monnat said. The location is also within walking distance of many of West Allis’ other restaurants and bars. w w


“People can walk out their front door, shop for food, stay for lunch, go to the retail shops; there are a lot of diversions,” Monnat said. “People ask, what’s the next Bay View? We really feel this part of West Allis has the same kind of character and the same kind of affordability that was crucial for Bay View.” Mandel Group’s plans to incorporate the farmers market into its development caught the eye of city officials. The firm was one of six to submit a response to a request for proposals from the city to develop the Six Points neighborhood site. Others to submit proposals in response to the RFP included Wauwatosa-based Wangard Partners Inc., Kenosha-based Bear Development LLC and Milwaukeebased Fiduciary Real Estate Development. The proposals ranged from $30 million to $62 million in value, with some developers proposing only residential and others proposing mixed-use. West Allis Mayor Dan Devine said he liked the feel of a neighborhood within a city that the Mandel project creates. “There were a lot of excellent proposals put forward, but I like the way (Mandel) saw the potential of our city,” Devine said. “They really seemed to capture the farmers market as one of the gems in our community and they harnessed that potential and saw it as an area where they could build from.” The parcel is part of the city’s 44-acre Six Points/Farmers Market tax incremental financing district in the area between West Greenfield and West National avenues, be-

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tween South 60th and South 67th streets. The TIF was created in 1994 to eliminate and prevent the spread of blight experienced in the years following the closure of the Allis-Chalmers manufacturing plant. The land was originally going to be developed by Milwaukee-based Toldt Development, which proposed more than $60 million in redevelopment over several years. Toldt completed several projects in the mid-2000s, but was unable to complete the entire development project it had planned, leaving a large area vacant. In 2013, through provisions in the original purchase and sale agreement, the site was re-acquired by West Allis’ Community Development Authority at a substantially discounted value because of Toldt’s lack of performance. Financing for Mandel’s project will rely heavily on new markets tax credits, Monnat said. “Having West Allis as a proponent and a partner has been absolutely vital,” he said. “We’re able to bring the best kind of housing and retail to West Allis that would typically require rents as high as in downtown Milwaukee. West Allis, in their wisdom, was looking for a quality concept and knew they needed to figure out how to fill in the (financing) gaps.” The residences in The Market at Six Points will range from studio apartments to three-bedroom apartments, with rents ranging from $950 to $1,750 per month. Fifty percent of the apartments will be 725 square feet, two-bedroom, one-bath and cost $1,200 per month. 17

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A rendering of the specialty food/brew pub area of Mandel’s development. View at Specialty Food I Brew Pub I Restaurant and Connection to Residential Beyond

Besides needing to figure out the financing for the project, Mandel Group determined it also needed to figure out a way to sell West Allis to the millennials to which it hopes to market the development. So Mandel has hired Ian Abston, the founder of NEWaukee, a social engagement organization that promotes Milwaukee to millennials, to let young professionals in the area know West Allis is…well, cool.

150129.00 I


A rendering of the residential portion of the project.

As an apartment developer, Mandel Group has two main groups it caters to – empty nesters and millennials. Monnat said the company’s executives understand the empty nesters, but need a little help with the younger generation. “We thought Ian was a natural to add to the team,” Monnat said. “West Allis is still shaking off that old reputation of being the place where Allis-Chalmers was, even though 70 percent of people probARCHITECTURAL STUDIOS, INC.

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ably weren’t alive when it was here.” Since leaving NEWaukee amicably in November, Abston has started his own consulting firm, Millennian LLC, where in addition to the work with Mandel, he has done multiple speaking engagements and signed on to help another developer, which he would not name. As far as the West Allis project, Abston said the city gets a bad rap, but he believes he has the skills to market it and Mandel’s

project to millennials. “As millennials age, they’ll start to have a small kid, or two, and a dog and need more space,” Abston said. “Some will stay downtown but others will want to find a different place to nest, but won’t want to sacrifice community. Mandel has done a great job of finding places that have a great sense of community. I’m going to be working with them to promote the brand of West Allis and the future development.” n

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EmbedTek has grown from eight to 75 employees since 2010 with the help of a private loan and state tax credits. The company had a tough time figuring out how to obtain county funding.

EmbedTek outgrew its Hartland location and moved into this new Pewaukee facility in August.

Waukesha models new business growth strategy on nearby counties Economic development organizations offer variety of resources


hen EmbedTek LLC wanted to make a big investment and rapidly expand its size beginning in 2010, the company’s leaders weren’t sure which organization in Waukesha County could help them make it happen. “We were located in Hartland and we were looking to expand the business and ultimately move into a new facility,” said chief operating officer Tom Fotsch. “I wouldn’t say (we were) necessarily looking for a loan.” EmbedTek, which designs and manufactures single-purpose computers and digital displays for original equipment manufacturers, has increased employment from eight to 75 since 2010, outgrowing its 26,000-square-foot location in Hartland and moving to a new, 100,000-square-foot facility in the City of Pewaukee last year.

Its 2015 revenue was about $27 million, up from $4 million in 2009. That’s big growth. The kind of jobsand development-creating investment with which many county economic development organizations would love to assist. When it was planning the expansion, EmbedTek turned to the now-defunct Waukesha County Economic Development Corp., which in turn directed it to the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Otherwise, WCEDC didn’t provide much assistance or engagement on the project, Fotsch said. EmbedTek was able to garner a $300,000 tax credit deal with the WEDC in return for job creation, and ended up getting a private revolving loan from Town Bank for the majority of its investment, which totaled about $4 million.

BY MOLLY DILL, staff writer

There may have been resources available to EmbedTek through Waukesha County, but Fotsch didn’t have the time to research them since he was busy growing the business. The process would have been easier if there were one central organization—a traffic cop, if you will—that could help any business in the county with hiring, working capital, expansion and other growing pains, he said. “The challenge that (business owners) have is that their No. 1 job is to run their business,” Fotsch said. “They don’t have the time or the resources to go and research and find out what are the resources that will help them grow.” When he was elected in April, Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow said his goal was to drive economic development across the county, and he has been

busy putting together a new economic development organization to serve as that traffic cop for businesses planning to grow. With the input of a group of business leaders and stakeholders including Fotsch, Waukesha County plans to launch the new organization by the third quarter. Waukesha County expected to put a request for proposals to operate the new organization on its economic development site by Feb. 17. The address is The old WCEDC closed down in October 2014 due to an unsustainable financial structure, said Dale Shaver, director of the Waukesha County Department of Parks & Land Use, who is leading the rollout of the new organization. The hope is that the new organization gets buy-in and funding from the


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Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016

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municipalities within Waukesha County, pooling the loan funds and information to make business growth financing simple and efficient, Shaver said. A central point of contact for businesses, looped in on the project from the start, could aggregate which real estate is available countywide and keep up with where assistance is needed using an expediter mentality. Among the pooled funding that would be available: Community Redevelopment Block Grant revolving loans; early lapsing tax incremental financing; Community Reinvestment Act funds; industrial revenue bonds; and eight existing town, city and village programs. The City of Waukesha was already planning to form an economic development organization this year, but instead has agreed to contribute the $50,000 it had allocated and put its weight behind the group entity. Together, Waukesha County, the City of Waukesha and the University of Wisconsin – Extension Small Business Development Center have structured $350,000 in funding for the initial admin-

istration cost. The county plans to gather several million dollars for the loan fund. The new setup is being modeled off the successful approaches by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Racine County Economic Development Corp. and Economic Development Washington County. “The successful models that we’ve seen in Kenosha, Racine and Washington counties is the economic development organization also creates a collaborative fund,” Shaver said. “That loan fund has enough money in it that begins to generate interest that can be used to sustain the operational cost, or part of the operational cost, of the organization.” RCEDC has 99 active loans in a $30 million loan portfolio. The organization’s success has partly been driven by its longevity and its employees’ outreach. It’s been around since 1983, and offers 13 loan programs. “We’ve always tried to serve as that point of contact regardless of the project,” said Jenny Trick, executive director. “So often…these programs exist but

businesses just don’t know about them or they’re not aware of them in time for us to help them.” Trick has been with the organization for 24 years, which has also helped contribute to the staying power of RCEDC. “You kind of become that staple in the community that people just know you,” she said. “And if you provide value, you get repeat customers.” Among the organization’s services are advocacy on behalf of businesses when it comes to funding, zoning, building occupancy issues and other barriers to growth that could arise. It also can cobble together more than one loan program to form an overall funding package of as high as $1 million, Trick said. Economic Development Washington County is an independent nonprofit that administers loans on behalf of the county. The model has been successful because of the speed and privacy afforded by the separate entity, said Christian Tscheschlok, executive director. But the loan pools are still one of the

best kept secrets in Washington County, he said, and part of that could stem from the perceived slowdown created by obtaining government funding. “The minute you start talking about an incentive program that’s in some way associated with the government, then the private sector runs to some understandable conclusions, either from past experiences or word of mouth,” Tscheschlok said. “We’ve worked hard to develop tools that really break the mold from that regard. They are extremely flexible, they are very timely, and they don’t involve government red tape.” EDWC has about $3.7 million to lend, spread among three loan programs. The turnaround on the funding can be as short as 60 days, he said. Usually, its lowinterest loans are used to leverage a private loan, freeing up working capital for the growing business. “We’re not here to compete with banks,” Tscheschlok said. “We’re here to support lender success on projects and support their customers’ success.” n

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Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


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Member FDIC


banking & finance

Banking on peer-to-peer lending Looking Glass invests in marketplace loans


he rise of peer-to-peer lending sites was borne out of the aftermath of the Great Recession financial crisis, as banks tightened their standards and consumers sought liquidity in a floundering economy. But since the sites first emerged as aggregators of consumer microloans, many of them have evolved to also include institutional investors seeking yield. One such firm is Whitefish Bay-based Looking Glass Investments, which bases its investment strategy on buying loans on these sites, in what is known as marketplace lending. The idea for Looking Glass came out of a conversation between friends. Matt O’Malley and Chad Cotti both had young children and wanted to make sure they were saving enough for their kids’ education. They had dabbled in peer-to-peer lending before and saw the potential in it. In 2012, they cashed out their children’s college funds and made their first joint investment in a loan on lending site Prosper. O’Malley, who was then a procurement and sourcing manager at Journal Communications Inc., and Cotti, an associate economics professor at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, wondered how to most efficiently determine whether a loan would default before making an investment. From there, they began to build algorithmic models to analyze and underwrite a loan in as little as five seconds using custom software that analyzes hundreds of

BY MOLLY DILL, staff writer

factors related to investment performance. LGI’s economists use econometric and machine learning models that incorporate as much information as it has available about the borrower, the characteristics of the loan itself and the context, said Nathan Tefft, Ph.D., executive vice president and chief economist at LGI. “We use all that data to then build predictive models which try to model as accurately as possible the direct effects of all those underlying variables, how those variables interact,” Tefft said. Once they had a proprietary system in place, the founders gathered $5.5 million in seed capital from general partnership investors. Looking Glass Investments officially launched its fund in January 2014. “People might argue that we had a disadvantage coming into this because we were not money managers. We weren’t brought up in that world,” said O’Malley, now president and chief operating officer at LGI. The firm focuses on four lending platforms: Funding Circle, Lending Club, Peerform and Prosper. Prosper introduced its institutional investing channel in April 2013 and has since seen significant interest from a broad swath of institutional investors, including banks and firms like Looking Glass, said Eric Thaller, executive vice president of capital markets at Prosper. Its balance shifted to majority institutional investors

Looking Glass president and COO Matt O’Malley and CTO Brad Darnell view an analytical model.

and its loan origination surpassed $1 billion as a result. “For institutionals such as Looking Glass, it is a first come-first serve market,” Thaller said. “To the extent that they have the ability to process information quickly and make a decision about funding a consumer, they can effectively purchase those loans in very short order.” “We know that there are others out there working on similar approaches,” Tefft said. “We know there’s competition

because we end up competing for loans on the online marketplaces.” The competition and simplified application process on marketplace lending sites can make the experience easier for the consumer, Thaller said. “They can get the money in one to three days,” he said. “That really separates marketplace lending from the traditional process by which people would get a consumer loan. You don’t fill out a long paper application, wait two to three weeks for an

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answer and then get your funds.” Using its custom predictive analytics software, LGI evaluated $6.2 billion in potential loans and invested about $21 million in about 10,000 loans in 2015. The model Looking Glass developed evaluates the likelihood of default on a particular loan. Most of the loans the firm invests in are above the average fixed interest rate. “We know everything about a potential borrower—except their name,” and personal details, O’Malley said. “We just allow the numbers to tell the story.” Marketplace lending is attractive to borrowers who want to improve their credit or get an easy loan, O’Malley said. It has become more competitive as an alternative, and banks are starting to partner with accredited investors like Looking Glass to underwrite the non-traditional loans rather than taking on the risk themselves. Most loans go bad between eight and 13 months into repayment, O’Malley said. So far, the firm’s default rate is about 3.4 percent since it launched the fund. If a loan defaults, LGI charges it off immediately, and the platform manages the collection. O’Malley cautions investors that marketplace lending is a new asset class, so the numbers could change. “The return number could end up being higher…and the same with the default. The default could end up being lower,” O’Malley said. “Duration matters.”

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Lending platforms like Prosper service the loans and assure repayments are distributed among the multiple investors that may be part of a single loan. “We make sure that each investor is distributed appropriately the amount of principal and interest due to them,” Thaller said. “We take care of all the operational burden of the fractionalized loan.” O’Malley described marketplace lending as a new, explosive asset class for investors. LGI can invest up to $35,000 in a loan. Its largest investor is Capital One, which has a separate managed account, followed by GCI, a Waukeshabased private equity firm started by the children of Lands’ End founder Gary Comer. It now has 84 investors, many of them local, and $18 million in assets under management. “(LGI’s model) translates into excellent returns for our investors,” Tefft said. “Somewhere around 10 percent is what we have been doing in actuals in past returns and we hope to continue that.” As a high-yield, low duration loan, a marketplace loan can prove worthwhile for a variety of investors, Thaller said. “We’ve demonstrated through our track record very good performance. But I think in addition to that, these assets are high yielding, short duration, monthly paying assets, which I think is very attractive relative to other opportunities in the market,” he said. n

banking & finance

Bank mergers have increased dramatically over past two years Wisconsin deals have also become larger in scale


isconsin has seen a marked increase in the number of bank mergers over the past two years, driven by a combination of regulation, aging managers and economies of scale. According to the FDIC, there were two bank mergers completed each year from 2011 to 2013. In 2014, six deals were completed, and in 2015, nine bank mergers were finalized across the state. “In those two years, there was more deal activity than there has been in any year in the previous 10 years,” said Peter Wilder, an attorney in the banking and financial institutions practice group at Godfrey & Kahn S.C. in Milwaukee. “We

saw a lot of activity and I think we’re going to continue seeing that.” In fact, the trend has been toward much larger bank transactions reWilder cently. Within the past six months, several blockbuster Midwestern deals have been announced that impact Wisconsin, most of which will be completed this year: »» In September, Sturgeon Bay-based Baylake Corp. and Green Bay-based Nicolet National Bankshares Inc.

BY MOLLY DILL, staff writer

announced they will merge in a $141 million deal to become one of the largest Wisconsin-based banks, with $2.2 billion in assets. »» In January, Madison-based Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin Inc. announced it will be acquired by Evansville, Ind.-based Old National Bancorp for about $461 million. Anchor also is one of the top five largest banks headquartered in Wisconsin, with $2.2 billion in assets. »» In January, Columbus, Ohio-based Huntington Bancshares announced it will buy Akron, Ohio-based FirstMerit for $3.4 billion. FirstMerit, which



has 48 branches in Wisconsin, entered the state in 2013 when it acquired Citizens Republic Bancorp Inc. This is Huntington’s first entry into the Wisconsin market. »» Also in January, Midland, Mich.based Chemical Financial Corp. announced it will acquire Troy, Mich.-based Talmer Bancorp Inc. for $1.1 billion. Talmer until recently had 11 Talmer Bank and Trust branches in Wisconsin, which were folded into Hartland-based Town Bank in 2014 through an acquisition by parent Rosemont, Ill.-based Wintrust Financial Corp.

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Anchor BanCorp announced in January it will be acquired by Old National BanCorp in a blockbuster deal.

“Some of those were multi-billion dollar deals, but all of them were more than $100 million, which are very large transactions for Wisconsin,” Wilder said. Of the 25 largest regional banks in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin, 11 are currently involved in a pending whole bank merger or acquisition of some kind, he said. “One of the theories is a lot of the larger regional banks were not doing as much M&A because the regional approval process for acquiring another bank had gotten so difficult in the wake of the recession,” Wilder said. “It appears that that is loosening up a little bit.” “It is a nationwide trend,” said Cheryll Olson-Collins, acting administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “The state of Wisconsin has more state-chartered banks than the majority of states, so we’re pretty healthy to begin with.” Among the other Olson-Collins factors driving the deals is the increasing regulatory burden faced by banks in the wake of the financial crisis and the costs that go along with complying with those new rules. Also, a number of banks don’t have a succession plan in place and selling the bank is the easiest way to get liquidity for shareholders, Wilder said. A lot of employees in the banking field are aging, Olson-Collins said. The WisconB i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


Wisconsin Bank Mergers Number of mergers


10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 2011






sin Bankers Association’s BOLT (Building Our Leaders of Tomorrow) program aims to address the aging workforce problem by encouraging more young people to consider banking careers, she said. At the same time, banks’ balance sheets have been squeezed by low interest rates. “They’re having a hard time making as much of a margin on their assets, on their loans and their securities portfolios,” Wilder said. “Because interest rates have been low for so long, it’s becoming more and more common for banks to want to get larger because they can spread their costs across a larger asset base.” Economies of scale are certainly a factor in combining two banks into one larger operation, said Rose Oswald Poels, president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Bankers Association. “Regulatory costs have gone up, technology costs have increased, secu-

Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


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rity, in the context of greater expenses for data security and cyber protection, have gone up,” Oswald Poels said. “It’s been a challenge to find enough revenue Oswald Poels sources to offset that. “For the last really six years or more, we’ve had a very low interest rate environment. That is what negatively affects banks’ profitability.” She expects another five to seven percent increase in merger activity statewide in 2016. “We do have some deals pending, some acquisitions, with bank holding companies,” Olson-Collins said, though she couldn’t share details of the deals. Wisconsin now has 181 state-chartered banks, down from 188 in 2014, she said. n

strategies The one thing that is guaranteed to improve your company culture Accountability assures strategies take flight


o matter what you may call it— “employment branding,” “company culture,” or “employee engagement”— company leaders, employees and job seekers are interested in understanding and improving how it feels to work at a company. Why? Because as our lives and work have become more intertwined and demand for talent becomes more competitive, company culture just may become your most competitive advantage in both hiring and retaining the talent you need to achieve your goals. Culture is a valuable and powerful force in the success of the organization. It is how employees feel working at the company. It is how your employees would describe the experience they are having while working at your company. Here are some things to help you ensure that this priority gets both the attention it deserves and the results you expect. Have you ever been asked, “Who is responsible for company culture?” The most common answers are: »» Everyone »» HR »» CEO »» No one This is a critical question. In your organization, perhaps you have a definitive

answer, perhaps not. However, the most impactful question, the ONE thing that can make or break the authenticity and effectiveness of the workplace culture you’re trying to create is accountability. Who is accountable for your company culture? If there is responsibility and no accountability, the person (or team) will not feel a need to get your culture goals defined or reached. If this responsibility is part of a person’s group of responsibilities, she may be distracted by the needs of her “real job.” If his responsibility is not measured, most likely the work will not get done. Your consumer or company branding is owned by the marketing department. It is responsible, accountable and has the authority to build, enhance and change your consumer/customer brand…right? It has goals, a budget, and must report on its progress and success. Its employees are measured on their achievements and are expected to find a new way if their efforts aren’t working. They have regular performance reviews and appropriate rewards and recognition. Shouldn’t the same be applied to your company culture? Dr. Mark Allen, an MBA professor with Pepperdine University, reviews a variety of culture-driven organizations and relates this example: You can’t see wind but you can see its effects. It’s the same

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with your company culture. You can’t see culture but you can see effects in the behaviors and language of your employees. You have a company culture whether you define it or not. You have a reputation as an employer, whether you like it or not. You must plan for your culture, you must hire for it, and you must maintain and nurture it. I’m excited every day to work with many companies who are doing just that and proud of who they are as employers. Here is a short and meaningful quote from a Good Jobs company, The Starr Group, that illustrates my point. “Our company culture is by design, not by default.” The Starr Group reinforces its company culture throughout its employment process and new hire orientation, throughout the workday, as well as through all avenues of communication. In addition, choice employer and business awards have consistently recognized the company. So is “talent” a primary concern for you and your organization? Are you struggling with recruiting or retaining the talented people who will help you reach your goals? If so, your company culture needs to be at the top of your

Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


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strategic plan’s priority list. It’s a new year; you can make an impact in 2016. Define the following: »» Where are we now? How would we define our company culture now? »» How would we want to be recognized as an employer? »» What does success look like? »» Who will we assign to help us achieve these goals? »» How will we measure progress and results? When identifying who is responsible to lead and own this priority, give that person or people the authority to take it forward and hold them accountable for the strategy and actions to make this goal a reality. You will see progress and it will make a difference! n Anne Grace Nimke is chief executive officer and cofounder of Milwaukee-based The Good Jobs Inc. (www., a turnkey employment branding solution that provides transparency by quantifying culture to help companies attract, hire and retain the right talent.



TOP: Inside Derse’s headquarters shop. BOTTOM: Derse Inc.’s Milwaukee headquarters.

Innovate or die

Derse Inc.’s smarter approach to face-to-face marketing


rade shows. Can’t live with them, can’t live without them. Many companies simply go through the motions, thinking they have to make a trade show appearance in order to stay competitive. Little thought is ever given to a strategy— what they want to accomplish—and metrics are rarely captured to track the sales results from a trade show. That means many companies are spending a lot of money on trade shows without a clear post-trade show analysis of the results. The team at Derse Inc., led by president and chief executive officer Adam Beckett, saw this as an opportunity. Derse is an iconic brand in Milwaukee Beckett and has been growing rapidly across the country. It specializes in face-to-face marketing, where trade shows are the gold standard. Historically, it has helped clients prepare for trade shows. But it identified an opportunity to 26

dramatically enhance the trade show experience for those clients’ customers. All innovation begins with the voice of the customer. That is where Derse saw important opportunities for its clients. Contrary to setting trade show goals first, Derse begins by asking its clients: What are your sales and business objectives? From there, Derse aligns the trade show objectives to help the company get the most out of its investment. More often than not, a client wants its product or offering to stand out. But how can any company make that happen at a trade show with possibly thousands of attendees? Derse helps its customers understand the core competitive advantage of their brand and then uses face-to-face marketing to deliver and create a brand experience for attendees in real time. For example, one client makes very sophisticated medical devices, including valves for the heart. Amidst the medical jargon, Derse uncovered the client’s simple brand promise to “dramatically improve the quality of life for the patients” B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


DAN STEINING ER INNOVATION who are using its heart pumps or heart valves; not just keep them alive. To drive that message home, Derse brought end user patients to the trade show to engage with doctors and share real stories about how the products improved their quality of life. But the story doesn’t end there. Prior to the trade show, Derse conducts strategy sessions and develops performance measurements, such as number

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of sales leads and the ability to convey perceptions of the client’s offering. Its philosophy is that you’re wasting money until you can track the metrics. And once you do, you become a true believer. Industry statistics suggest that more than $28 billion is invested in trade shows every year, with little understanding of the value to a given company. Derse develops performance metrics and helps clients track those results. It also recognizes that face-to-face marketing is improved if the physical layout is welcoming and a multisensory experience is available to those attending its client’s display. Derse ensures that the trade show deepens the experience for customers. Derse can also test presentations on prospective customers in advance of the trade shows to get feedback on message effectiveness and engagement. The ultimate test is whether the improved customer experience translates to increased quality leads following the trade show. Innovation begins with properly assessing the needs of customers. It’s not necessarily inventing the new mousetrap or disruptive technology, but stepping back and understanding an opportunity inherent in the client’s offerings that the client itself did not see. So if you’re looking to drive innovation in your company, here are some basics that can be learned from Derse’s success: 1. Begin by asking: What are the values behind your brand that you are trying to communicate? 2. Can you create opportunities to emotionally connect to those values so the customer can go beyond satisfaction with your company to becoming a devoted and loyal believer in what you offer? 3. Finally, develop metrics that measure those initiatives to determine if they work. Without strategy, success is unlikely. It helps to communicate what you do for customers and deepens their experience and their relationship with you. Keep reminding yourself: You are not selling products, but offering solutions to solve the customer’s problem. n Daniel Steininger is president of BizStarts; a lecturer on creativity for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Continuing Education; and president of Steininger & Associates LLC. He can be reached at


Is your organization full of wonder? Curiosity can enhance learning and relationships


ately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between curiosity and learning, and how that relationship impacts the business learning essential for organizational success. The word itself came from the Latin “curiosis,” akin to “cura,” translated to “care.” We have to care about something, someone, even our own development enough to experience curiosity, to wonder, to want to explore, to be open to observation. (Quite apt that the Mars rover launched in 2011 is named “Curiosity.”) When I picture a corporate training room at the start of a typical program, I wonder how many people bring into that room real curiosity about the topic, and what a difference it would make if they did. (Especially if it’s one of my own presentations, I wonder this. Do they care about this topic? How can I foster the caring, the curiosity?) Soon after moving to Florida, I discovered a charming little French restaurant close to my condo. After several very pleasant experiences, I began to wonder if it would be possible to start a little dinner club there for other people who really like France and might want to know more about it. With the blessing of the owners, I put that idea out on the Internet through the Meetup site. Certainly I didn’t know the outcome in advance, but was delighted to welcome 14 people to the first meeting—people from all over the world. The evening sparkled. An even bigger surprise was when a handsome Dutchman came to the second meeting, a Francophile fluent in the language, who became my friend and is now my husband of five years. Shortly before that, I was curious about changing the nature of my coaching practice from face-to-face meetings in executive coaching into doing all sessions on the phone. After all, I now lived a long distance from most of my clients. The outcome was very positive and expanded into a combination of personal and business coaching, which I call transition coaching. It is working well and I’m grateful for the curiosity that led to this outcome. Wonder, curiosity—they thrive on uncertainty. Research reveals that these emo-

tions lead to more meaning and happiness in our lives. A football game is more fun when you don’t know if your team will win. (Well, I’ve had moments with my Packers when I might have traded that uncertainty for a sure thing.) Generally, we don’t like spoilers. So welcoming uncertainty and learning to be cozy with it will lead you to honor your own wondering and curiosity. A regular dose of uncertainty helps keep you healthy. In any of your business (or personal) relationships, curiosity will lubricate the development of positive outcomes. If you honor your curiosity, you will reflect an interest in the other person, you will be less likely to judge and you will be more likely to want to discover the why and how behind what the person says. Your

language will reflect this and the engagement will be more fun, even sometimes playful, and individuality on both sides will be honored. Think about how your curiosity has served you. Curiosity can enrich almost any experience in your daily life. Think about what the people in your organization want to know more about. How can you arouse their curiosity in the concepts you believe they need to know more about in order to be productive and find more satisfaction within your organization? If they are curious, they will learn. If they are learning, they will more likely stay with you. The launch team of the Business Learning Institute found in 1999 and again in 2011, that “to be successful in a rapidly changing and complex world, a profes-

JO GO R IS S EN LEARNING sional’s rate of learning must be faster than the business environment’s rate of change and faster than their competition.” n Jo Gorissen is a certified transition coach and a former Milwaukee area resident. She can be reached at

Smart Enough to Know... I should attend this event

Inspirational Leadership 2016 “The Connection Between Happiness and Success” Presented by Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage

Friday, April 29 7:30 am - 12:00 noon

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Register online at or contact TEC at 262-821-3340 Every attendee will receive a copy of The Happiness Advantage. Shawn Achor, whose TED Talk just passed 10 million views, recently received the honor of his presentation being called one of the most popular TED Talks of all time by

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Break through the clutter Good advertising must have impact


uess how many ads you are exposed to in a typical day. Fifty? A hundred? More? The average consumer is exposed to more than 1,500 advertising messages every day. From billboards to bumper stickers, print or broadcast or online, to logos on caps and T-shirts. They’re everywhere you are. There are advertisements in public restrooms and on the grocery store floor. They even sell space on the inside of the cup at the golf course. Sink your putt. Retrieve your ball. Drink Pepsi. Advertising is pervasive. And it is not likely to abate any time soon. If anything, advertising is becoming more ubiquitous.

Most newspapers are about 60 percent advertising; trade journals often contain even more. Your utility bills arrive with multiple ads enclosed. Go online and you’re inundated with ads, many specifically designed with your needs in mind, guided by complex algorithms that record and analyze every site you visit and how long you linger at each. Yes, advertising is everywhere, but nowhere is it more apparent than on your television screen. New research released by the American Advertising Federation, an advertising industry trade group, says the number of television commercials, public service announcements and station promotions reached an all-time high

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in 2015. And it’s not because the networks think you need more time to fix a snack or go to the bathroom. Costs are going up for networks, and advertising is what covers those costs. Among networks, only about 38 minutes of every hour is devoted to programming. For cable, it’s even less. The balance is called “clutter.” Clutter worries the advertising industry. Its leaders figure the more commercials stuffed into an hour, the less likely you are to remember their clients’ ads. Clutter, whether on television or in any medium, also makes their jobs harder. It’s up to the advertising agency to create commercials for their clients that stand out from the rest of the commercials you see. Their ads must communicate their client’s message more clearly and be better remembered than the muddle of mediocrity that exists among most media advertisements. The ads must have punch, make the viewer stop from changing the channel, the reader from turning the page, or the browser from moving on. They must break the “boredom barrier.” In short, good advertising must have IMPACT. It’s a fundamental precept of all advertising. No matter how persuasive your copy, no matter how strong your offer, if your customers don’t read your ad or see your TV spot, you’ve wasted a lot of money. So how do you create ads with impact? In print or online, start with a good headline. Five times as many people read a headline as read the body copy. A good headline is therefore worth 80 cents of your advertising dollar. For your 80 cents, pack in your brand name, its product benefit, and a catchy appeal to your target audience if you can. Don’t be afraid of a long headline. Research has shown that headlines of 10 words or longer, containing news and

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information, consistently outperform shorter headlines. Famous ad man David Ogilvy’s best headline was “At Sixty Miles Per Hour the Loudest Noise in the New Rolls-Royce Comes from the Electric Clock” (which prompted the chief engineer at RollsRoyce to comment, “It is time we did something about that damned clock.”). Certain words or phrases work wonders in a headline: how to, suddenly, announcing, miracle, wanted, the truth about, hurry, compare, and so forth. They may seem like clichés. But they work. In broadcast, the same principle holds. The “headline” of your TV or radio spot is often the opening line, a catch phrase, or words superimposed on the screen. The most important factor in creating impact is to make it easy for your customers to recognize your product at a glance. At Leo Burnett Advertising Agency, we called it “The Big Idea.” It was a theme, or a catch phrase, or sometimes even a “critter” that embodied the brand and what it stood for. United has the friendly skies. McDonald’s has the golden arches. Keebler has elves. Each identifies the product or service quickly and efficiently. Each jars the memory and alerts a potential customer to the product being advertised. Even if a potential customer skims over your newspaper or online ad without reading it carefully, the tag line or corporate symbol may register. Just one more way to break through the clutter and register with your customers. n Robert Grede, author of “Naked Marketing – The Bare Essentials,” is president of The Grede Co., which offers marketing and strategic planning consulting (www.RobertGrede. com). He can be reached at

biz connections CA L E NDAR


The Milwaukee Chapter of the American Marketing Association will host Milwaukee’s Own Social Movement on Wednesday, Feb. 24, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Box, 311 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. Angela Damiani, CEO of NEWaukee, will discuss how the organization has succeeded in its social architecture campaign to redefine the Milwaukee experience. Cost is $45 for members and $50 for non-members, and includes networking and a box lunch. For more information or to register, visit


The Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce will host Bluemound Road Building Boom— From Barker to Moorland on Tuesday, March 8, from 7:15 to 9:30 a.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton Milwaukee/Brookfield, 18155 W. Bluemound Road in Brookfield. Developers of the projects in progress along Bluemound Road in Brookfield will speak about their projects, provide information on signed tenants, and discuss the value their developments will bring to the Town and the City of Brookfield. Cost is $35 for members and $45 for non-members. For more information or to register, visit CEOs of Growing Businesses will host Get a Grip on your Business on Wednesday, March 9, from 7:30 to 10 a.m. at The Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave. in Milwaukee. The session will offer tools to help business owners roll up their sleeves and confront organizational issues head on. Cost is $97 for MMAC members, $127 for MMAC non-members, and $97 for CGB members and guests. For more information or to register, visit

Canned Water 4 Kids N69W23448 Donna Drive, Sussex 414-791-2450 |

Positively Pewaukee will host a Pewaukee Downtown Open House on Thursday, March 10, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. The event will showcase downtown businesses with demonstrations, small plate and drink specials and shopping. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, visit See the complete calendar of upcoming events & meetings.


Hupy and Abraham S.C.

Milwaukee-based Ascedia, a full-service digital agency based in Milwaukee, has been named a Gold Partner by Kentico, an e-commerce and online marketing platform.

Milwaukee-based Hupy and Abraham S.C. has received a 2015 Litigator Award, a prestigious legal accolade given to less than one percent of trial attorneys across the nation.

The Gold Partner status represents the highest level of Kentico partnership. As a Gold Partner, Ascedia has proven expertise in the Kentico platform and has successfully launched three or more Kentico websites within the past year. The agency also has multiple certified Kentico developers on staff and is actively engaged with the Kentico business development team.

Hupy and Abraham, S.C. received the award for outstanding legal representation in the “Dangerous Conditions: Slip and Fall” category.

Longtime Milwaukee resident Rachel Howe has formed Milwaukee-based content development and marketing agency Bite Sized Media. Bite Sized Media LLC was founded in October 2015, and works with local agencies and growing businesses to improve their website content and online marketing efforts.

Denali Realty Group Allison Quartuccio, owner/broker of Denali Realty Group in Elm Grove, was recently awarded the Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designation by the SRES Council of the National Association of Realtors. She joins more than 16,000 real estate professionals in North America who have earned the SRES designation, all of whom were required to complete a comprehensive course in understanding the needs, considerations and goals of real estate buyers and sellers aged 55 and older.

The 2015 Litigator Awards represent the highest honors in trial law, and are one of the nation’s most coveted symbols of litigation achievement. Presented in up to 72 “Practice Specialty” categories, the awards are based on actual verdict and settlement dollar achievement rather than peer popularity.

Schooley Mitchell Gregg Robers of Schooley Mitchell in New Berlin was recognized for obtaining the most electronic payment processing clients in 2015 out of the Schooley Mitchell network of 100+ offices. He excelled at saving these clients money on their credit and debit card processing costs. The merchant services savings are just one aspect of his strong inaugural year in business in the Milwaukee area.

Wallner Builders Butler-based Wallner Builders has received a “Best of Houzz 2016” award from Houzz, a leading online platform for home remodeling and design. Wallner Builders was recognized for “Client Satisfaction” in the award’s Customer Service category. w w


Year founded: 2008 Mission statement: Because all children deserve clean, safe drinking water.


Bite Sized Media

Social media channels: @cw4k, @cannedwater4kid,

Primary focus of your nonprofit organization: Building wells and donating clean water to developing countries in Africa and the Highlands of Guatemala using proceeds from selling canned water. Other focuses of your nonprofit organization: Partner with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Engineers without Borders and the Milwaukee Water Council on water projects. Number of employees at this location: 1 Key donors: Ball Corp., REXAM, Crown Cork & Seal, Alcoa, Novelis Executive leadership: Gregory Stromberg, chief executive officer/founder Board of Directors: »» President, Greg Stromberg »» Treasurer, Dan Kipp »» Secretary, Peter Gorman »» Vice president of sales, Conrad Adelman

The honor is based on several factors, including the number and quality of recent client reviews on Wallner Builders gained five-star ratings – the highest possible – in nine out of 10 reviews. The most recent, dated Dec. 14, 2015, states:

»» »» »» »» »» »» »»

Jeff Hengsbach Marissa Jablonski Scott Ertl Jared Brody Allison Buchanan Megan Daum Ashley Gravlee

Is your organization actively seeking board members for the upcoming term? Yes; possibly two to three new board members. What roles are you looking to fill? Grant writing and fundraising positions. Ways the business community can help your nonprofit: Our water is great for business meetings, special events, picnics, tradeshows and organizations that want to get rid of plastic water bottles. Key fundraising events: A Healthier America, Green Sports Alliance and United Nations World Water Day. Get the latest nonprofit news delivered to your inbox every Friday. Sign up for Nonprofit Weekly at

“Wallner Builders approaches every job with dedication and an attention to detail. We have worked with Wallner Builders on four separate house renovation projects in two different homes. Repeat business speaks for itself.”

To have your business briefs published in a future issue of BizTimes Milwaukee send announcements to

Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


biz connections PER SO NNE L F I L E

■ Accounting

managing and cultivating retail activity.

Scribner, Cohen and Co. S.C., Milwaukee, has named Jessica Gatzke a shareholder of the firm. Gatzke joined the firm in 2003 and specializes in the taxation of closely-held businesses and high net worth individuals. She also leads the firm’s Internal Revenue Service examination division.

■ Architecture


Submit new hire and promotion announcements to


Jeff Scray has been named project manager and Jacqueline Wolke has been named project designer at Groth Design Group, Milwaukee. Scray brings 13 years of experience and will focus on the planning and design of facilities in the firm’s senior living and health care practice, while Wolke has 15 years of experience and will focus on the design of projects in the firm’s corporate facilities practice.

■ Banking & Finance Wisconsin Bank & Trust has named Rebecah Wickert-Carini banking center manager for its Plymouth and Sheboygan Falls offices. She will focus on establishing and sustaining relationships with business banking customers, along with

Charter Capital Management, Wauwatosa, has added Chris Beidel to its retirement plan advisory services division. Beidel will work with Joel Hassler, CFA, and Dan Glaser, CPA, CFP, to provide complete retirement plan advisory services to small and mid-sized businesses in the region.

■ Building & Construction VJS Development Group LLC, Pewaukee, has promoted Bailey Copeland to development director. She has been with the company for more than 10 years, and has gained extensive experience in the areas of development management, leasing, sales, acquisitions, entitlements, property management and marketing.

■ Engineering Ruekert & Mielke Inc., Waukesha, has named Alesha Potter its communications coordinator. Potter will be responsible for digital communications, social media messaging and external marketing communication materials.

Saz’s Hospitality Group, Wauwatosa, has named Kristal Kaiser marketing director and corporate event specialist. Kaiser previously served as sales and marketing manager for Saz’s Catering. She will develop and implement strategic marketing plans for the Saz’s divisions, as well as manage corporate event sales activity and on-site event execution.

■ Legal Services Lori Meddings, a partner in Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s intellectual property practice group, has been recognized as a 2016 Leader in the Law by Wisconsin Law Journal. The list celebrates the top judges, attorneys and legal professionals making a difference in Wisconsin’s legal community.

Carlos Pastrana has joined Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan’s Milwaukee Office as an associate in the labor and employment group. He handles matters involving discrimination, retaliation, sexual harassment, FMLA, wrongful termination, labor relations, unfair labor practices, unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, workplace safety and federal contractor issues.

Mahesh Reddy has been appointed general manager of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. Reddy previously served as general manager of the Platinum Hotel & Spa in Las Vegas, Nev.

Century Fence Co., Pewaukee, has promoted Tim McChesney to vice president of operations in the Pewaukee office. Milwaukee-based Olympus Group announced that Josie Prins, former first shift sewing production manager, is now the sewing production manager for both the first and second shifts. In addition to being responsible for all sewn goods leaving Olympus Group, she will take on a more strategic role for the department’s growth. She will also coach employees and work to reduce waste in the department.

■ Marketing & PR Serene Mireles has joined Menomonee Falls-based Trivera as a web designer and frontend developer.

■ Technology

■ Manufacturing Scott Herbst has joined American Transmis-

■ Hospitality

at Spokane Industries in Spokane, Wash. Scott Duncanson has joined Badger Alloys as machine shop manager. He has nearly 40 years of experience.

sion Co., Pewaukee, as vice president of information technology. Herbst comes to ATC from PPL Corp., where he was senior director for the IT Business Solutions group. Badger Alloys Inc., a full-service sand casting foundry based in Milwaukee, has added Antonio Melendez as foundry engineer. He previously served as technical design engineer

Rob Neijenhuis has joined Superior Support Resources Inc., Brookfield, as a systems engineer. He will assist clients in managing their total IT environment by providing preventative maintenance, mitigating security risks and acting as part of a project management team.

The Executive

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ADVERTISE IN THE BIZ MARKETPLACE TODAY! Contact Kevin Gaschk for rates and specs. or 414-336-7132 w w


Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


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biz connections





Sarah Sinsky




Corrinne Hess REPORTER

Arthur Thomas

Toy’s Restaurant


Ben Stanley

This photo, taken sometime between 1915 and 1946, shows the interior of Charlie Toy’s Chinese-American Restaurant in Milwaukee. The Toy Building in which it was located was in the Chinese architectural style, and also housed the Toy Theater, Hascall Billiard Parlor and other businesses. It was located at 736 N. Second St., and was razed in 1946. Toy’s moved to two other locations and closed in about 2000. — This photo is from the Milwaukee Public Museum’s Photo Archives collection. Additional images can be viewed online at







Christie Ubl


Alex Schneider ART DIRECTOR

Shelly Tabor


Maredithe Meyer

Independent & Locally Owned —  Founded 1995 —


Problems with the Domes raise big questions


he Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory, better known as “the Domes,” one of Milwaukee’s most iconic landmarks, was closed recently by county officials after a chunk of concrete fell from the structure. According to a report by Graef, a Milwaukee-based engineering and consulting firm, “The Domes are old structures that are showing the effects of their age. They will continue to deteriorate ANDREW WEILAND Editor BizTimes Milwaukee

unless major renovations are completed.” Completed in 1967, the Domes are almost 50 years old. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele estimates it would cost $65 million to $75 million to replace the Domes. 32

A short-term solution to wrap the Domes’ concrete ceilings with a canvaslike material would cost nearly $1 million, Abele says. That could last for 10 years, but would not solve the long-term problems of the Domes’ deterioration. Those two options seem like such extremes. There isn’t a way to repair the existing structure at a lower cost than $65 million? Last year, 248,000 people visited the Domes. Not bad, but does that level of attendance justify spending up to $75 million? That’s going to be a hard sell. You can be sure there will be a lot of accusations about who is to blame for the deterioration of the Domes. State Sen. Chris Larson, who is running against Abele for county executive, is already blaming Abele and former county executive Scott Walker. The County Board loves to criticize Abele, so you know that’s coming. A spokesperson for Abele said he isn’t “pointing finB i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


gers” but then said Abele “inherited a mess” when he became county exec. “There needs to be a broader community conversation about whether (the Domes are) an icon that we’d like to save for future generations,” said County Board chairman Theodore Lipscomb. Indeed. The future of the Domes needs to be part of a broader conversation about how our community will preserve its most treasured cultural assets, including the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee County Zoo, the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts and the Milwaukee Art Museum. The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce has taken a leadership position in calling for action to preserve these institutions, but little has happened so far.

Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


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The Mitchell Park Domes.

Just like the major investments made in Milwaukee’s sports facilities, investments in parks, arts and cultural amenities are important for providing a high quality of life in the Milwaukee area, which is necessary for the region to be competitive in attracting businesses and talented employees, who could choose to live anywhere. The urgency to provide a high quality of life will only grow as the huge baby boomer generation leaves the workforce and the war for talent among regions intensifies. n








biz connections

BI Worldwide employee engagement luncheon Attendees at the BI Worldwide employee engagement luncheon on Feb. 3 heard from Brad Shuck, University of Louisville professor of organizational leadership, and Rodd Wagner, BI Worldwide vice president of employee engagement strategy and author of “Widgets.” Both spoke on research on employee engagement and what it means for the workplace. 1

Rodd Wagner, BI Worldwide and Brad Shuck, University of Louisville.




Trish Herzfeld and Stacey Zanck, both of MillerCoors


Rae Ann Good and Greg Narey of BI Worldwide.


David Bryant and Rick Reles, both of Kohler Co.


Greg Narey, BI Worldwide and Amanda Clossey.


Katie Robinson, Tom Rowley, Dave Lukowski and Kyle Dexter, all of Brady Corp.


Andrew Kissel and Corey Reed, both of Case IH.


Mike Abbott, Kevin Bobolz, both of MillerCoors, Larry Hoglund, BI Worldwide and Brad Shuck, University of Louisville.


Attendees at BI WORLDWIDE’s employee engagement seminar enjoyed lunch at The Garden, 725 N. Milwaukee St. in Milwaukee. Photos by Arthur Thomas

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the last word

Be a leader in your community Steve Johnson is the regional president for BMO Private Bank. Companies can make a difference through active leadership in the community, he says. “At BMO, we challenge our employees to put our clients and communities at the heart of everything we do. It is our responsibility as a corporate citizen to ensure we encourage our employees to be active leaders who are committed to making a difference locally. It’s easy to write checks, but it is a more profound commitment when your employees are giving back their time, talent and passion to the communities they serve. I am so very proud of our support of the Milwaukee community and 34

am inspired by the number of our employees who sit on boards of directors, participate on committees or volunteer their time to help others. “By enhancing our understanding and getting engaged in our communities, we become more successful in serving our clients. Relationship building and networking within our local communities is an important step to growing our business. Investing our time and partnering with charitable organizations is also a critical element. “What I’ve learned early in life is it’s important to find an organization that aligns with my values and passions, whether it is working to ensure a vibrant arts community or serving those who are less fortunate. I take great

B i zT i m e s M i l w a u k e e


Februar y 22 - March 6, 2016


Steve Johnson Regional president BMO Private Bank 111 E. Kilbourn Ave., Milwaukee Industry: Banking Employees: 100

pleasure in lending my expertise, energy and leadership to help make my community more sustainable and a better place to live, work and play.” n

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GIVING GUIDE Didn’t make it in this year?

Reserve your space for the 2017 Giving Guide!

Check out the new digital edition:





MISSION Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin provides exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play in their communities.

Connecting Individuals with Disabilities to a World of Possibilities

2222 S. 114th Street West Allis, WI 53227 (414) 449-4444 GOALS @ESSoutheastWI

To change the way the world defines, views and treats disabilities so that every person can achieve their full potential. To provide exceptional services to ensure that all people with disabilities or special needs and their families have equal opportunities to live, learn, work, play and engage in their communities.


Live: Hands-on, comprehensive, vital services and support to help people reach their full potential—regardless of challenges, needs or disabilities.

SERVICE AREA Easter Seals Southeast Wisconsin serves six counties: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Kenosha and Racine.

Learn: Programs designed to help children and adults learn—and often re-learn—basic functions, master skills needed to develop and thrive, and be sharp and active as they age.


Work: A range of training, placement and related services that help people prepare for the workforce—because meaningful work is often the key to overcoming challenges and having a good life.

FUNDRAISING/EVENTS We hold two annual fundraising events that offer opportunities for individuals and corporations to get connected: • Walk With Me – Wednesday, June 29th at the Milwaukee County Zoo. A family event to walk together to raise funds and awareness for individuals with disabilities. Be a corporate sponsor or form a walk team. Registration begins in January at • Autism Awareness Month – April. Through this cause marketing campaign, you can align your business with Easter Seals to help spread the word and raise needed funds to provide scholarships to families that are on the therapy waiting list for early intervention support services.

Play: Fun, healthy programs for children and adults and caregivers to relax, connect with friends and engage in constructive activities—all so necessary to living the best life possible.

 Program Fees .................................... 62%  Government Contracts ........................ 18%  Commercial Sales ................................ 9%  Donations ........................................... 7%  Other Income ...................................... 4%

Act: Our vibrant community of friends and supporters stands with those who face challenges by volunteering, advocating, donating and participating in events that inspire us all and sustain our cause.

Dale Van Dam (Chair) ★ Peggy Niemer (Vice Chair) ★ Kenwood & Wells, LLC

Jim McMullen (Secretary) ★ PNC Bank

Nancy Creuziger (Treasurer) ★ Robert Glowacki CEO


Michelle Schaefer COO

Easter Seals knows the personal impact your gifts make is of great importance to you. There are many ways to make a difference: Volunteer or leadership at the Board level; corporate volunteer days; tailored event sponsorships; individual gifts; in-kind gifts; or through your United Way Giving Campaign. A bequest gift allows you to combine your personal financial objectives with your charitable giving goals to establish a lasting legacy.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS M3 Insurance Solutions

Robert Ranus Retired, Roundy’s

David Glazer

David Glazer Real Estate, LLC

Bill Hughes

Sue Pierman

Pierman Communications

Daniel O’Callaghan

Harley-Davidson Motor Co.

Massage Envy

Sara Walker

Tari Emerson


Tom Kelly

Kelmann Restoration

Jean Schramka

Patina Solutions

Roger Schaus

Associated Bank

Jeff Squire

ProHealth Care

Tom Gagliano Morgan Stanley


Retired, Generac

Take advantage of the opportunity for your organization to be seen by the Region’s Business and Philanthropic Leaders all year long.


Frank Windt

Schenck Business Solutions

Your involvement in this annual publication includes an in-depth profile, plus several advertising elements in BizTimes Milwaukee magazine, BizTimes Nonprofit Weekly enewsletter and


VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Our dedicated volunteers play an essential role in positively impacting the lives of those that we serve. We have a variety of opportunities throughout the week and weekend to fit your availability and interests. Learn how you can make a difference through volunteering at


Publication Date: November 14, 2016

Charter Steel


Stay Connected! •

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

• •

Subscribe to the BizTimes Milwaukee Nonprofit Weekly eNewsletter Submit your organizations listing to the BizTimes Nonprofit Directory For more information, visit

You’ve planted the seeds for your business success. Now it’s time to harvest the rewards and get the recognition you deserve. Apply today for the 2016 Future 50 Awards.



Winners are based on objective criteria and all information is kept strictly confidential. If your company meets four basic criteria, complete the online application and put your company in the running for the 2016 Future 50.

Presenting Sponsor


1. Headquartered in the 7-county region (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Washington and Waukesha)

2. Independent, private ownership (not a subsidiary, franchise or division) 3. Growth of sales and employment (averaged over the past three years) 4. In business for at least three years

Gold Sponsors

Media Partner


DEADLINE: Friday, April 1, 2016 For more information, contact Alexis Deblitz at 414.287.4130 or The Future 50 Awards Program is a service of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and its Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE).