Understanding Your Market: Second-stage companies Capital Region Indicators, Pages 15-17
BUSINESS JOURNAL GOING digital Details, Page 5
Business Journal SERVING
L A FAY E T T E
A monthly publication of the Wisconsin State Journal
November 2009 Vol. 5 Issue 7
Giving credit where credit is due
need some inspiration?
Take time to visit these three Madison landmarks.
LAVISH PARTY MAY BE GONE ... ... but area companies are finding ways to acknowledge hard work during the holidays.
CHATTING WITH Jeff Raasch
Architect with Flad says it all started as a young boy, standing atop the Empire State Building.
Area businesses can still get loans, but the standards are higher and there is less money available. Pages 2-3 ALL IN THE FAMILY
PRSRT STD U.S. PoSTage
Dorf Haus in Roxbury is celebrating 50 years. Page 18
2 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Rules have changed in the credit market Capital Region businesses can still get loans, but the requirements have gotten more strict, and there’s not as much money available. By Mark Crawford
hat is the credit market like in the Capital Region? It depends on whom you ask. Bank lending to businesses in Wisconsin has improved since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law in February, based on data from the U.S. Small Business Administration. “The SBA guarantees loans to business from banks and credit unions,” said Neil Lerner, director of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Madison’s Wisconsin School of Business. In Wisconsin, the SBA approved 1,094 loans, both 7a guaranteed loans and 504 guaranteed loans, totaling $355,508,946 in lending since the Recovery Act became law in February, Lerner said, adding that since March, the average weekly loan volume in the state has increased 147 percent in dollar volume, compared to January and February volumes (from $3,954,000 per week to $9,779,000 per week). With the exceptions of AnchorBank and Amcore Bank, which are under cease-and-de-
sist orders from the FDIC, Madison banks are still lending, but to varying degrees and with much more caution. “We are looking to grow our loan portfolio,” said Greg Dombrowski, president of Johnson Bank. “In 2008, our Madison loan portfolio grew about 15 percent and in 2009 we have stayed fairly flat. For banks with losses and eroded capital, the issue is conserving capital, which usually means cutting back on lending. Most banks in Madison are lending, but they are being more conservative in underwriting, and it’s taking longer to approve loans.” Although getting loans for norisk projects is still fairly easy, “credit for anything considered risky (such as commercial real estate) is very difficult to come by for two reasons,” said James M. Johannes, professor of finance and banking at the UWMadison School of Business. “First, banks are storing liquidity on the asset side of their balance sheets because regulators are frowning on borrowing funds to meet liquidity needs. Second, given the uncertainty about the
economy going forward, it is too difficult to assess the true risks in projects, which makes it impossible to price risk in loan rates. This means banks are charging very high interest rates to cover unquantifiable risks, which are too high for most borrowers.”
Feeling the pressure A number of factors outside the banking industry’s control are influencing bank lending. Because of the recession, there is less demand for business loans and there are fewer creditworthy borrowers. Reduced cash flow, poor earnings and impaired collateral are also big reasons businesses can’t get credit. Before the credit crisis erupted, FDIC-insured banks supplied only about 22 percent to 25 percent of the total credit available in the U.S. economy, according to the American Bankers Association. “The so-called ‘shadow banking’ industry (insurance companies, mortgage brokers, government programs, commercial paper, money market mutual funds, etc.) supplied the rest,” said Kurt Bauer, president of the
“Banks have been unfairly criticized for not filling that vacuum, but that is an unrealistic expectation given the state of the economy.” —Kurt Bauer, president, Wisconsin Bankers Association
Wisconsin Bankers Association. “Many of these players have since exited. That means there are fewer outlets for credit. Banks have been unfairly criticized for not filling that vacuum, but that is an unrealistic expectation given the state of the economy.” Some banks are preserving capital because of regulatory pressure and/or as a hedge against future economic volatility or defaults. Banks are also experiencing much higher operational costs, which reduce the capital available for loans. Examples include the skyrocketing cost of FDIC deposit insurance premiums, higher regulatory compliance expenses and increased taxes. “State corporate taxes went up about 15 percent in February (from the state budget repair bill) and FDIC deposit insurance has gone up as high as 1,000 percent for some banks,” Bauer said. On top of this, the FDIC recently announced banks will be assessed three years of premiums in advance in order to recapitalize the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF), rather than dip into its available $100 billion line of credit with the U.S. Treasury.” These additional cost burdens have strained banks, some of which are restricting lending
to preserve capital. “I’ve talked with many tenants, prospective tenants and banks,” said Terrence Wall, president of T. Wall Properties. “Overall, most banks in Madison are fairly strong and don’t have many bad loans, but since July we have seen a tightening of credit, which I think will go on for another 12 to 18 months. Regulators are directing banks to increase their capital ratios. There are two ways to do this: raise more capital, which is difficult to do in this climate, or curtail lending. The FDIC demand to prepay three years’ worth of premiums takes an amazing amount of capital out of banks, which leaves less to lend.”
Tougher underwriting The troubled economy, combined with annual sales running as much as 50 percent below the previous two years for many companies, make loan underwriting decisions far more complex — what might have been a “sure thing” two years ago may well be rejected today. “Banks are getting back to the basics of good credit underwriting, partly due to requirements from regulators,” said Dan Schneider, executive vice president of the Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp., or
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 3
“It is an unconvincing story that includes a 2010 plan with projected sales up 20 percent... Companies have to show resilience and the ability to react quickly with lower sales levels.” —Mark J. Meloy, president, First Business Bank
The banks turned me down because I didn’t have a job. I have a great credit score and great assets, but they didn’t like the fact I didn’t have any secondary income. That’s crazy. If I’d had a job, I would have quit it anyway to run the new business.” —Linda Crowley, owner, Buffo Floral and Gifts in Madison WBD. “They are taking a closer look at management’s ability to successfully operate the business and analyzing financial statements to determine the company’s ability to repay the proposed debt. Banks are also trying to determine the adequacy of working capital and the balance sheet leverage, including any additional debt, as well as the owner’s personal creditworthiness. The process appears to be more rigorous and take longer, but it is simply prudent credit underwriting.” “We adhere to the same basic underwriting principles we have held all along and have seen an increase in our loan volumes over the past six months in particular,” said Kim Sponem, president of Summit Credit Union. Market
conditions, however, have made it more necessary for Summit to require updated appraisals and to assume higher vacancy rates on investment properties when qualifying a member for a loan, compared to a year ago. “Right now there are more businesses that have downward trends in one category or another, which does prompt further investigation,” she added. “The key is to take the time to understand why and to make sure the owner’s plans to manage or change those trends are achievable. We are also looking more at capital and cash flows.” The biggest challenge for companies to overcome in looking for credit is the ability to explain the past and how the future is going to be better or different.
“Most companies are looking at lower sales numbers in 2009 than 2008, and 2008 was lower than 2007,” said Mark J. Meloy, president of First Business Bank. “It is an unconvincing story that includes a 2010 plan with projected sales up 20 percent. Credit underwriting in this environment includes a no-growth analysis and in some cases even lower sales. Companies have to show resilience and the ability to react quickly with lower sales levels.” It took first-time business owner Linda Crowley several attempts before she found a financial institution — Summit Credit Union — that would lend her the money she needed to buy Buffo Floral and Gifts on Cahill Main in Fitchburg. “The banks turned
me down because I didn’t have a job,” Crowley said. “I have a great credit score and great assets, but they didn’t like the fact I didn’t have any secondary income. That’s crazy. If I’d had a job, I would have quit it anyway to run the new business.” Crowley said the lending officers told her that if she had come to them one or two years ago, her lack of income would not have been a problem. “I met with Summit at 9 a.m. and by 4 p.m. my loan was approved,” she said. “They were satisfied with the assets and income stream of the business I was buying, as well as my own assets and credit rating.”
2010 and beyond WBD scores applicants based on management experience, ability to repay debt and personal credit scores. “The average credit score for 2009 is significantly higher when compared to the average scores for each of the past five years,” said Schneider. “It appears that banks are continuing to lend money but mainly to more credit worthy businesses. I would expect this trend to continue in 2010.” Wall is concerned about the impact of almost three-quarters of a trillion dollars of conduit loans that will be coming due over the next three years. “These loans were sold on the bond market and bundled,” said Wall. “They won’t be refinanced through the conduit market because it doesn’t exist anymore. They will go back into the banking system and be much tougher to refinance; only developers with good credit, equity, and cash flow will be considered.” According to Bauer, bank performance in 2010 will depend on two factors: the economy and the regulatory environment. If the economy improves, loan demand will increase and businesses will have stronger assets.
Regarding regulatory conditions, “the pendulum has shifted too far and some regulators are being unreasonable and forcing the industry to spend many times more on compliance and other operational costs instead of serving customers,” said Bauer. “This is counterproductive to economic recovery. The next crisis for banks has already begun: surviving the increased regulatory burdens and costs.” A recent credit study by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis concluded a credit crunch does not exist in the Midwest; it did find, however, that fewer businesses are creditworthy because of the effects of the recession. That said, Wisconsin banks are still lending. “The loan-to-deposit ratio for Wisconsin banks is 106 percent, as of the second quarter,” Bauer said. “That means that for every $1 a Wisconsin bank receives in deposits, it lends $1.06. The national ratio was only $.83 for the same period.” Capacity in the banking sector is declining. Regulators have warned the financial industry about exposures in non-owneroccupied real estate. Credit quality has put pressure on banks to retain more earnings and bank failures have increased the cost of FDIC insurance by a factor of four or more. What does all of this mean? “Borrowers should be prepared for the cost of credit to be higher, both in terms of interest rate and fees,” Meloy said. “Loans have already included interest rate floors with variable interest rates and renewal and documentation fees. It truly is a matter of supply. There are fewer banks lending and therefore the cost is higher. That is not something that is likely to change soon, either.” n Mark Crawford is a freelance writer. He can be reached at mark. firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
September 4-10, 2008
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November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 5
Coming in December: A digital Capital Region Business Journal
HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW? Sherman Middle School students learn to appreciate fresh produce
A note to our readers:
30 6-11 Expertise Financial planning: It may be time to update your little black book Human resources: Don’t create additional ‘protected groups or classes’ Legal advice: Bringing uniformity to wind farm regulations not an easy task Organizational Leadership: Leaders must be visionaries, and know how to stop, drop and roll Careers: How this successful career changer won friends and influenced people
20 Executive profile
Jeff Raasch, principal/architect at Flad Associates, reflects on how his career began.
22 Focus Holiday parties may be scaled back a little, but area companies are still finding ways to thank employees
Wisconsin Business Council aims to stay focused more on the issues, less on the politics
Strategic planning: Focus on finding your company’s core competency
Tech views: ‘Vision 2020’ report foreshadowed link between academia and industry
Sales: You can learn a lot from fighter pilots and NFL quarterbacks
Internet marketing: Even if you don’t realize it, you need Google Analytics
Small business: Are you really ready to capitalize on the economic recovery?
26-27 Real Estate
Buildings Matter: Garner both courage and inspiration by taking some time to spend at these three landmarks.
State Journal: Madison City Council shouldn’t make more hurdles for Edgewater proposal
A Closer Look: Lodi Medical Clinic, 160 Valley Drive in Lodi
As I See It: Ken Harwood asks, why can’t Madison do what Dubuque, Iowa, did?
28-29 Digest and Take Note
30 Good Works
Gather round for a good old-fashioned fairy tale about a traveling salesman and an evil witch
15 Calendar 15-17 Economic Indicators 18 Family Business
Dorf Haus in Roxbury celebrating 50 years of serving tasty German dishes to diners
For a business person in the Capital Region, what is better than getting a monthly magazine filled with local business news, expert columnists, fascinating features and regional economic indicators? Getting that same publication delivered easily and conveniently via e-mail, where it won’t get lost, eaten by the dog or ruined when your morning coffee spills. The Capital Region Business Journal is going all digital, starting with the December issue. We will continue to produce for you a quality publication, filled with all of your favorite news, features and statistics. But you will also be able to print pages from the digital document at your convenience, share content and easily store issues for future reference. Advertisers in the publication also will benefit, as a targeted audience of well-connected business people will be able to click on an ad and instantly view the advertiser’s Web page. We hope you will continue to consider the Capital Region Business Journal your must-read source for business news and information in our nine-county region. Want to be among the first to sign up for the new e-edition? Please send your e-mail address to: email@example.com. See you in December! Julie A. Shirley, — Capital Region Business Journal editor
L’Etoile’s Tory Miller helps Sherman Middle School students understand and appreciate the importance of fresh vegetables
31 Downtime Books: ‘The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader’ Hot Spot: Lake Vista Cafe, One John Nolen Drive, Madison
6 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
It may be time to update and organize your little black book
Brent A. Lindell
is responsible for managing all aspects of the financial planning and investment process for the Madison office of Savant Capital Management.
have had a small black notebook in my possession for the last eight to nine years. No, it is not a list of past girlfriends; each page of my notebook is devoted to a different part of either my financial life or the plethora of passwords that I have created over the years. Just to give you examples: • I have one page each devoted to the term life insurance policies I keep on my wife and myself. I put down the date I took them out, the policy number, the annual premium, the length of the term insurance, and the tollfree phone number of the insurance company. • I have a page devoted to my online bank bill-pay and checking account (and the passwords needed to access them). • Another page pertains to accessing my 401k information online (and again, the passwords).
With an ever-expanding portion of our personal lives stored online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for executors to get their arms around the job that they’ve been given. • Another page tells how to get to my health care benefits online. • I also have myriad Internet accounts (Amazon, eBay, Expedia, etc.), and each has its own distinct password combination that is needed to access it. In all, I have 50-plus pages of this notebook filled out with all of this information. The bad part of this is that you’re never supposed to write down this type of information; the experts say create strong and varied passwords for all of your accounts and change them often. Good luck with that — it’s hard
enough trying to keep track of all this information while you’re alive. Even worse is trying to piece together an estate after a death (or incapacitation) occurs. With an ever-expanding portion of our personal lives stored online, it is becoming increasingly difficult for executors to get their arms around the job that they’ve been given. To make matters worse, in our efforts to go paperless, electronic statements are now regularly sent, rather than paper statements, making it even more difficult to “find” an elusive account while trying to settle an estate.
Even when people leave a list of financial accounts, they often don’t list the passwords needed to access them. Without log-in information, survivors usually need to go to court for legal authority to gain access. So, what can you do to address this problem? My wife and a couple of other relatives know where my little black book is at. Or, you can store the information in a safety deposit box or home safe; just make sure someone else is able to access these. One other recourse that I just became familiar with; Legacy Locker (legacylocker.com), which lets you store log-in and password information for your online accounts, while also allowing you to make arrangements for sending it to the appropriate people upon your death. It even lets you write and store letters to send to relatives. My little black book just might be getting outdated. n
Avoid creating additional ‘protected groups or classes’
T Dan Stahl
is president of the Human Resources Group, a Madison human resources consulting and recruiting firm. He can be reaced at dstahl@hrgroup. com.
his month’s column digs deeper into the subject of “accountability” that I wrote about in September, specifically related to those employees with poor performance and work habits. In it, I advised against creating the perception of “protected employees.” The premise of this article is that there are already a significant number of protected classifications – including 20 for City of Madison employers – so do not add to the list by creating “informal protected groups” through poor management practices. First, though, what is meant by the term “protected groups or classes” of employees? You may be familiar with the terms if you are a human resources professional or have an HR department, have read articles on the subject or attended a seminar on employment law or, in a worst case scenario, have been involved with a employment discrimination complaint or suit. Protected groups or classes refers to categories or characteristics of employees or applicants that are protected from discrimination under federal, state and, where established, local municipal law. They have been established largely within the past 45 years and provide needed and valuable protections from unlawful discrimination. In case you are not familiar with the categories, here are the protected classes established by federal, state and city of Madison statutes: Federal: age, race, color, sex, reli-
gion, national origin/ancestry and disability. State of Wisconsin: All of the above plus creed, marital status, sexual orientation, arrest record, conviction record, military service, and use or nonuse of lawful products off the employer’s premises during nonworking hours. City of Madison: All of the above Wisconsin classes plus student, political beliefs, physical appearance, retaliation, less-than-honorable discharge of military service, family status, source of income, Social Security/public accommodation, and domestic partners/public accommodation. While it is essential to have lawful employment practices that don’t discriminate, why give a perceived “protected status” to certain employees who underperform or demonstrate unacceptable work habits (i.e. behaviors) by not holding them accountable to expected standards? In our leadership development work with very diverse types and sizes of organizations, it’s not unusual to hear about chronic “problem performers,” those employees with a history of poor or unacceptable performance or work habits. How do you deal with employees who require an inordinate amount of supervisors’ time? Here are a few ideas: 1. Identify and describe the specific poor performance and work habits. It is important to have supervisors get beyond the labels and
encourage them to identify specific performance issues and work habits that need correcting. Work habits are frequently lumped together under the term “performance,” but differentiating them will enable a more explicit conversation to occur. Performance issues: relate to quantity or quality of output Work habits issues: relate to behaviors (e.g. attendance, housekeeping, safety compliance, interpersonal relations, teamwork, initiative, etc. While these two components tend to be reinforcing, it is possible for someone to have good performance and poor work habits and vice versa. 2. Examine reasons the employee has not been held accountable. Help supervisors diagnose why the problem situation has occurred and been tolerated. Does the supervisor avoid conflict and confrontation? Have they been trained in how to conduct effective and constructive coaching discussions? Do they perceive the problem employee has a special relationship with a manager or owner and is “untouchable”? Is the employee viewed as “indispensable” to the organization, so their poor work habits need to be tolerated? In the case of bullying, is the “bully” in a position of authority and considered above confronting? Has the problem gone on for so long (years?) that the supervisor questions how to even begin the needed conversation? These are all potential rationales for not dealing with the problem. If nec-
essary, help supervisors diagnose the problem. 3. Get agreement on a corrective course of action. If the problem employee is in another department, discuss your concerns with the supervisor or manager of the employee and ask that the issues be addressed through coaching and, if necessary, additional progressive discipline. Describe the reasons for concern and the impact of the problem performance or work habits on productivity and other employees. If there is reluctance on the part of the supervisor to deal with the issue, “elevate the discussion” to HR or other member of management charged with assisting with employee issues. 4. Where possible, tie the corrective action plan to established organizational values and expectations of all employees. Even if the organizational “values” are informal and unwritten, connect future expectations to the organization’s cultural norms of expected performance and behaviors for all employees. 5. Acknowledge the corrected performance and work habits. Providing feedback to the person on corrected performance and work habits will help reinforce and sustain the change. Addressing those “problem employees” and requiring them to perform and work consistent to expected standards should avoid the creation of any unintended “protected groups” in your organization. n
8 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Legislature tries to bring uniformity to wind farm regulation
O Cynthia Buchko
is a shareholder in the Madison office of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. and concentrates her practice in energy law and commercial litigation.
ne of Gov. Jim Doyle’s policy goals is to generate 25 percent of Wisconsin’s electricity from renewable sources by 2025, and Wisconsin electric public utilities are under statutory mandates designed to ensure that at least 10 percent of our electric consumption comes from renewable sources by 2015. Wind-generated electricity is one way to meet these goals. As pressure increased for new renewable energy sources, so too did the friction between wind industry growth and municipal control over that growth. In the wake of the 1979 energy crisis, the Wisconsin Legislature enacted statutes intended to encourage the development of wind and solar projects. The statutes (Wis. Stat. 66.0401 and 66.0403) prohibit municipal restrictions on wind farm development unless the restriction “serves to preserve or protect the public health or safety.” Since the statutes were first enacted, wind turbine technology and the scale of wind farms have changed dramatically. No longer is Wisconsin’s wind industry dominated by single wind turbine projects supplying electricity for an agricultural operation. Today, Wisconsin’s wind industry consists of commercial-scale wind
Today, Wisconsin’s wind industry consists of commercial-scale wind farm developments, each potentially involving several hundred 200-foot-tall wind turbines distributed over many miles. farm developments, each potentially involving several hundred 200-foottall wind turbines distributed over many miles. The large wind farm developments have encountered vocal opposition, particularly in communities with the best wind resources and the highest concentration of new wind farm developments. To address local concerns, some municipalities have enacted zoning ordinances prohibiting the placement of wind turbines within certain distances of roads, property lines and buildings, and requiring wind farm developers to obtain conditional use permits. Municipalities with such ordinances assert the ordinances promote public health and safety, such as protection of residents from shadow flicker or noise from wind turbines; however, wind farm developers argue the ordinances intentionally hinder wind
farm development — engendering a “Not In My Backyard” attitude — and create a patchwork of inconsistent regulation throughout the state. The tension between wind industry growth and municipal control of wind farm developments has led to lawsuits. In a recent case, a wind farm developer claimed that a Calumet County ordinance restricting wind farm development violated Wis. Stat. 66.0401 and 66.0403. The Wisconsin Court of Appeals agreed, concluding the ordinance exceeded the authority granted to municipalities by Wis. Stat. 66.0401 to regulate wind farms. At the same time this and other litigation was ongoing, the Legislature was contemplating statutory changes that would, hopefully, end the debate over the extent of municipalities’ authority to regulate wind farms. On Sept. 16, the Assembly passed 2009 Senate Bill 185, announcing the
Legislature’s decision that regulation of wind farm development should be uniform and centralized with the state. Under SB 185, the state Public Service Commission must develop rules for the construction and operation of wind farms, including uniform standards for the visual appearance of turbines, setback distances and shadow flicker. Any municipality that wants to regulate wind farms will be prohibited from enacting ordinances that are more restrictive than the PSC’s uniform standards. Wind farm developers may seek review by the PSC if they believe a municipal regulation is unreasonable or more restrictive than the PSC’s uniform standards. Gov. Doyle signed the bill on Sept. 30, and shortly thereafter the PSC opened a docket (PSC Docket No. 01-AC-231) relating to the development of wind siting rules. Whether uniform, centralized standards will actually increase wind farm development in Wisconsin is unclear; however, the struggle between state and local control of renewable energy projects is likely to recur as the 2015 and 2025 policy-goal deadlines near. n Jonathan D. Bundy, also an attorney with Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., assisted with this article.
The effects of technology, and the need to stop, drop and roll
I Dan Loichinger
is the managing partner of Loichinger Advantage LLC. He can be reached at dan @loichinger advantage.com.
recently had the great privilege to help design and launch the 2009 Midwest Forum on Talent Management. By all accounts — participant feedback, faculty dialogue and the engagement of our stakeholders — we started something big; something that will last. Did the area need one more conference? No. Do we benefit with a range of practitioners together? Yes! Could we leverage multiple associations to focus on advanced concepts and practices? Certainly! Will we need to change things for next year’s forum? Yes! Should we let go of what had been done for years and look ahead to something fresh and creative? Absolutely! Consider this quote: “We not only cling to the past, regardless of the result, but spend far too much time looking backward.”
The Problem Technology has come to roost in many of our organizational functions and practice disciplines. We all have mini-computers attached to our hips, enterprise resource
planning (ERP) systems integrating our work, and we continually update the PC systems needed for the workforce. Have we successfully brought the same innovation to our leadership function? Yes, we have rolled out new programs and initiatives, but have they really benefited the workforce in the way we anticipated? Organizations finish their strategic plan, but stop meeting after six to nine months. Businesses offer training programs, but managers seldom follow up because of their schedules. Companies buy new software without a stable process. We continue offering many of the same initiatives after improving them. Are they really what we need to meet customer needs in a dynamic world?
The Implication If we continue pushing what we’ve always pushed, we will continue to get the same results. If we do the same thing over and over again and expect different results, we lose touch with reality.
The world around us is changing rapidly, and in a very profound way. You’ve probably heard many of the same experts I have, who are predicting that the change we are experiencing has altered the very structure of who we are and what can be done. Time to look forward — not backward.
Becoming measurably better So, how do we become measurably better as leaders? We decide when to let go of the things that have served us well, and decide where we need to be bold and visionary. Allow me to share a few of the ideas that came my way during the forum this past week. I think they will serve you well: • Stop, drop and roll. Take the time to re-visit your strategic initiatives and business model. • Pick one initiative to be bold and visionary. Take charge of your customer’s success. Stop counting the steps and build a new system without risking it all. • Look upstream and ask tough questions the next time you aren’t
satisfied with your results. What could have been improved? Were expectations clear? Where could communication be strengthened? • Focus on relationships. Organizations can provide any custom model they want for managers but in the end, failure is predictable. Leaders derail when relationships don’t work. Networks are the real org chart today. • Build in the line of sight for everyone. Be transparent. Share the good and the bad. Put everyone in a position to support clients and revenue goals. • Listen, listen, listen. Understand that we have multiple generations working today. Each group has strengths to offer. • Grow by differentiating your company and brand. Go beyond the marketing exercise. Live the change. Actively manage the tension you see and feel. • Turn the keys now to prepare for the current upturn in the economy. Wishing you all the best and continue welcoming your comments, feedback and input. n
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 9 CAREERS
How a career changer won friends and influenced people
ast month we heard how Mike Olson prevailed in a challenging job search. This month, let’s take a closer look. How did he land a new job in such a weak market, and what can we learn from his success? To recap, Olson started 2009 in a tough spot. He’d just been laid off from his job as chief financial officer at Iconica, a Madison construction company. There were no job opportunities in sight for real estate CFOs. Peter Gray He decided a is the head of career change executive recruit- to commercial ing at QTI Profes- lending would sional Staffing in suit his skills and interests, Madison. If you have a question even though the market for or idea for a banking jobs future column, was hardly betcontact him at ter. peterg@qstaff. He threw com. himself into networking with his personal and professional contacts. One of his first meetings was with the banker whose client he’d been, Beth Korth, and her colleague Mark Meloy at First Business Bank. The networking trail started there. Korth and Meloy referred Olson to other bankers they knew, Jim Hartlieb and Steve Machotka at Amcore Bank. (Hartlieb has since moved to First Business Bank.) Hartlieb knew Mike Jones, the head of commercial lending at the Bank of Prairie du Sac, and Hartlieb was aware that Jones was looking to hire a commercial lender. He referred Olson to Jones, and Olson interviewed for, and got, that job. Sounds straightforward, right? A meeting with a friendly business contact led to a follow-on networking referral, then a referral to a job lead, and then a successful job interview. You’re probably thinking that Mike Olson must be very well connected, a good interviewer, and lucky to boot. He may be all three, but he’s also a hard worker. Consider this: Olson’s networking meeting with Korth and Meloy at First Business Bank was in February. His meeting with Hartlieb and Machotka at Amcore Bank, the meeting that pointed him to the job lead at Bank of Prairie du Sac, was in May. In between those meetings, Olson had 85 other networking meetings. So
he had three months of full-time networking to expand his contacts and hone his pitch before he reached his ultimately successful job lead. According to Korth, “Mike was very conscientious about his networking. He came very focused and organized, explaining the specific job move he was trying to make, and why. His style
was very effective. He asked, ‘Where should I go from here? Who should I talk to?’ without making it seem too contrived. He listened to us, and he got us engaged in trying to help him. If you told him to go out and talk to somebody, he’d call back and say, ‘I learned this from them.’ He kept checking back in. He made us feel like he was bring-
ing us, and all these people, onto his team.” Hartlieb added: “Mike was very respectful of my time. Our meeting took less than 30 minutes, which is what he told me on the phone. He was very matter-of-fact, he didn’t sugarcoat anything and he wasn’t looking for pity. He said, ‘this is my situation, these are my skills, and this
is the kind of job I’m looking for.’ Within 10 minutes I had a really clear picture of his ideal position, so I was able to suggest he call Mike Jones at the Bank of Prairie du Sac. The other thing I really appreciated about his approach was, after he contacted Mike Jones, he kept me in the loop. By
Please see CAREERS, Page 23
10 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Core competency exercise can help to focus your business
H Kay Plantes
is a Madison strategy consultant and author of “Beyond Price: Differentiate Your Company in Ways that Really Matter.” Contact her at kay@ plantescompany. com.
aving too many market opportunities can be as challenging as having too few. Businesses whose products are used by multiple industries often try to be all things to all potential buyers — and thus fail to become best in serving any specific target market. Madison resident Kristin Girvin Redman faced this problem as she expanded her business, Cricket Design Works. Formerly an interactive producer with Planet Propaganda, Redman started her design firm seven years ago. Like many entrepreneurs, Redman took any work that came to her early on. Sustainable success, nevertheless, required identifying the target market(s) where she wanted to build her firm’s reputation. She also needed to define her firm’s value promise — why her target market would choose her firm over the competition — to market and sell effectively. The best place to search for an-
swers was in Cricket Design Works’ core competency. A core competency is a skill (involving multiple parts of the organization) that an organization uses to deliver unique benefits or lowest cost to a target market. Core competencies are hard to copy and are extendable into new markets. Graphic design is not a core competency, though it is part of what Redman’s firm does. Rather, the core competency rests in how Cricket Design Works creates successful visual solutions for clients. I asked Redman to share examples of her firm at its best.* The examples cut across seemingly disparate media: data-rich published reports, signage for wayfinding at UW Hospital and Clinics; an award-winning exhibit on Wisconsin’s fishes and fisheries management; a merchandising solution for selecting the best bike headlight; and all the branding, signage and marketing materials for Fromagination (cheese store) and Sardine (restaurant), two Madison
establishments with distinct looks and ambiance. On one level, this mix might look like the work of a firm confused about what it does. But the breadth was in fact the key to understanding Cricket Design Works’ core competency. The heart of Cricket’s uniqueness is its ability to quickly tease out the essence of a communication challenge and then use visual arts, strategic insight and keen problemsolving skills to tackle it, whatever the medium. Cricket’s target market then became clear: organizations with complex, data-intense information that must be communicated visually (in reports, displays, signage, merchandising solutions) to a lay audience. Research institutes, museums, hospitals, science-based and high-tech businesses, specialty food and trial lawyers (among others) fall into this target market. The company’s value promise also stems from its core competency: “Our creative and mo-
tivating visual solutions ensure your customers find their way through the complexity (in data or physical spaces) to needed information and solutions.” Life is easier for Redman now that she knows where to proactively seek work and better understands which RFPs to pursue. Equally important, she’s identified what skills to further develop, partnerships to secure and design process changes to make to further drive marketplace and financial success. A blog on solving visual communication challenges is in the making. This clarity is a sharp contrast to being a “graphic design firm” or an “ad agency” that serves any market. In today’s challenging economy, every leadership team should engage in a core competency exercise. The target markets and value promises that worked before the downturn are unlikely to be those that work in our slower-growth more uncertain economy going forward. n
Take a few lessons from NFL quarterbacks and fighter pilots
is president of Sakowski Consulting and founder of Selling ExtraNet groups. You can reach her at Jacqui@sakowski consulting.com.
Planning, preparation and practice prevent poor performance! So says the pilots training manual of the British Royal Air Force. When you’re flying a Harrier Jump Jet at Mach 2, you don’t have much time to deliberate before making critical decisions and taking strategic action.
s sales professionals, our decisions and actions may not have the life and death consequences that those of fighter pilots do, but neither are they inconsequential. Our decisions and actions result in livelihood consequences. The decisions we make and the actions we take can improve or undermine the livelihood of all the employees who work at our firm. This is a huge responsibility and a huge opportunity. And we need to be as well prepared as those fighter pilots to instinctively make good decisions and take the most appropriate actions when opportunities and challenges arise. So, planning, preparation and practice are essential components of sales success. As I watched the NFL preseason games, I speculated on how many sales professionals invest that level of preparation into their work. I wondered how many sales managers and business leaders actually practice their game plan before deploying it. I wondered, how much information
does the average sales professional gather and review in order to help them revise and hone their plans? When I first started watching the NFL in fall 1998, I was astonished by how much action takes place along the sidelines while the game progresses on the field. The sideline action is as fascinating to me as what happens on the field. Coaches for almost every position, and for every facet of the game review video of what happened just a few minutes earlier. They leverage the new information to better defend the next attack. They leverage the new information to choose the plays that will more likely gain them the yardage they need when they regain the offensive. They review the opposition field positions during a punt, so they can revise or affirm their own actions. They don’t wait until the game is won or lost to learn and improve. They learn as they go. Sharing information, reviewing ideas and setting up their players for greater success. The kickers practice their field goal attempts and punts along the sidelines, staying supple and focused while they wait for their infrequent opportunities to contribute. The quarterback reviews the actions of the defense to see opportunities to beat them next time. He
reviews the actions of his receivers to see how they interpreted and implemented previously used plays and gives them feedback on any miscommunications. It’s easy to think that because they play only 16 games in a season that NFL teams have plenty of time to prepare. Fighter pilots are not deployed in combat most of the time, so they have time to practice their skills. If they had to deploy their skills five days a week, 48 to 50 weeks of the year they may be as challenged as we are to prepare. But that would be both wrong and missing the point. Every meeting we attend; every phone call we make; every letter or email we compose is a dress rehearsal for the next. What we lack is not the time to prepare and practice — it is the process to review and revise our actions so we can make the changes that we need to be more effective in how we execute our plans. The time for planning, preparation, review and revision is built into the routines of pilots and football players. They know that without this important work, they are less likely to accomplish their goals. They will not be fully equipped to execute their plans when the time arrives. How can you build a little more time for planning, preparation, review and
revision into your routines? Why not begin by simply allowing an extra five minutes at the end of each meeting to do your own sideline review. Before driving out of your client’s parking lot, take a few minutes to review your play book and the results that ensued. Did you gain yardage? Did you get blind sided? Were you forced to punt? Or did you create openings to make it to the red zone? What happened in the meeting that you would repeat? What would you change? When you get back to the office or in your sales meetings, share some of your experiences with colleagues and learn together what works and what doesn’t, how specific tactics work differently in different situations. Practice with your colleagues and your manager until you are ready to face your clients with confidence. Share your most effective practices with your colleagues and ask them to share theirs. You may work alone most of the time, but you are not alone. Like a fighter pilot and an NFL player, you are part of something bigger and must share all the additional skill, energy, talent and commitment to increase your effectiveness and theirs. Planning, preparation and practice prevent poor performance in every field of operation. n
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 11 SMALL BUSINESS
As economy heads into recovery mode, evaluate and take action
he economic downturn that has dogged our economy appears to be transitioning into a recovery mode. Many indicators point toward a modest but steady uptick. My question to you is, are you ready? By that I mean will your business be positioned to take advantage of the recovery? Will you be leading or lagging the process? Those are tough questions but you really need to be taking stock of your busiBud ness assets, Gayhart both material is director of and human. the Center for Look at your Innovation equipment. It and Business doesn’t matDevelopment at ter if you are UW-Whitewater. a restaurant, retail store, manufacturer, service provider or an agriculture-based business. Equipment wears out, needs maintenance, becomes inefficient or lacks the capabilities demanded by your customers. Take the time to assess your equipment and objectively evaluate its functions. If you can honestly say your equipment is “state-of-the-art,” that’s great; if your assessment indicates there are significant areas that need improvement, this may be the time to address those problems. There are several reasons to consider upgrades to equipment. Fixed assets can be depreciated, and a purchase of equipment before the end of the year may provide you with additional tax deductions. Another consideration is the financing of those fixed assets. If you use an SBA guarantee to your business loan (for the fixed asset purchase) there could be another advantage. The SBA is still providing an incentive to both the 504 and 7(a) loan guarantee programs. As part of the stimulus package passed by Congress earlier this year, the application fees for both the 504 and 7(a) loan guarantee programs are being paid by stimulus dollars. When the stimulus funds are exhausted, both the 504 and 7(a) programs revert to their former structure where the applicant pays the fee for processing the loan guarantee. The savings can be significant. Take the case of one of my client companies; the owner is constructing a building and buying equipment. The SBA-backed loan guarantee for
this project has saved him nearly $50,000 in fees. While you are evaluating the fixed assets of your enterprise, take some time to appraise your human resources. Calculate the knowledge, skills and abilities of your employees. Make sure they meet your customers’ needs. If there are gaps, find ways to secure training for employees that will satisfy the needs of the busi-
ness going forward. If you anticipate the need for more people, this may be the perfect time to begin searching. When the economy contracted and businesses downsized or closed, many highly skilled people were left behind. Prudent business owners, like winning sports coaches, recognize that you should select the “best player available.” There are
many “best players” out there right now, and business owners looking to the future will be in a hiring mode well ahead of their competitors. Managing a small business is not for the timid. It requires tenacity to stay the course when difficulty arises. As an owner, you must stay current on trends in your industry and be aware of economic conditions that can
help or hinder your enterprise. As the economy recovers, you have options: You can sit on the sidelines waiting for more signs of improvement; you can take the lead and boldly venture forth to slay the dragons that are still facing you; or you can plot a strategic course. It’s time to take stock of where you are, take time to evaluate your resources, and then take action.n
12 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
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Understanding your market: Percentage of population with an associate degree Capital Regio n Indicators Pages 23-26
COLUM BIA � R publication OCK � LAFAYE of the Wisco TTE nsin State Journal �
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Look both inside and outside the box when hiring employee. Page your next 8
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Madison City Council shouldn’t make hurdles for Edgewater project
s if the Edgewater Hotel project didn’t face a slew of hurdles already, two Madison City Council members want to throw up another one. That would be a mistake. The Madison Board of Estimates voted Oct. 12 to leave in the city’s proposed budget $16 million in tax incremental financing for the Edgewater renovation and expansion proposal, but Alds. Satya Rhodes-Conway and Jed Sanborn have vowed to continue fighting the subsidy. Rhodes-Conway and Sanborn are two members of the sevenmember board, which includes the mayor. That $16 million in TIF could potentially help Edgewater developer Bob Dunn and Hammes Co. pay for public improvements as part of the company’s exciting and job-creating $109 million revitalization plan. The $16 million would not be a handout for the developer. It would be a public investment that would pay off in a big way for taxpayers. The city would borrow up
The $16 million, in the form of tax incremental financing, would not be a handout for the developer. It would be a public investment that would pay off in a big way for taxpayers. to $16 million and use the increased property taxes generated by the dramatically improved hotel to pay off the loan. The developer would use the money to help build a public terrace overlooking Lake Mendota, a grand walkway to the water’s edge, an improved public lakefront and more public parking. The Edgewater proposal still has a long way to go in secur-
ing permission to break ground. Dunn and city officials continue to listen to public input as the project begins to move through a maze of government review boards. And none of the $16 million could be spent until the City Council decides months from now on the validity of the Edgewater’s TIF request. Yet, by keeping the money in Mayor Dave Cieslewicz’s capital budget now, it’s available if needed. City officials would be responsibly keeping the city’s options open. And if the project doesn’t advance, the money won’t be spent. If the $16 million is taken out of the capital budget, a supermajority of City Council members would be required to get it back in. The mayor is right that such a hurdle, on top of all the others, is unnecessary and unfair. The full council will consider the capital budget and the mayor’s $239.4 million operating budget the week of Nov. 10. n Reprinted from the Wisconsin State Journal.
Retailers are smokin ’ mad over the govern or’s proposed $2.02 tax on cigarettes. Page 12
The Hammes Co’s proposed $109 million redevelopment of the Edgewater Hotel in Downtown Madison would result in 230 hotel rooms and new public access to Lake Mendota.
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 13 AS I SEE IT
Madison could learn a lot from IBM-Dubuque partnership
BM recently announced plans to open a technology service delivery center in Dubuque, Iowa. The facility will occupy the renovated Dubuque Building built downtown during the Great Depression. This massive structure formerly housed Roshek’s Department Store and will be rebuilt to the highest environmental and ergonomic standards. It is expected to create 1,300 jobs, but the IBM-Dubuque partnership goes much further than jobs. More recently, IBM has asked Dubuque to become a “Smart City” following a EuroKen pean program Harwood developed by is editor of IBM. The proWisconsin gram allows IBM to use its Development. massive array com, and of technologifounder of FutureWisconsin. cal equipment and expertise com. He is an to improve how alderman in local water, enVerona and ergy and transsits on the portation sysMadison Area tems operate. Transportation Dubuque will Planning Board. become the first U.S. Smart City and the plan suggests that Dubuque will become an international model for environmental sustainability. While researching this project and economic development in our neighboring state for a FutureIowa.com Web site, I found a great deal of cooperation and coordination among all levels of government, the private sector and public education. I was impressed with the ability to put together TIF, state incentives, historical use permits, educational partners and other perks for a project of this magnitude in a very short time span. What I discovered at the heart of the proposal was a fairly comprehensive plan already in place well before IBM came knocking. Madison has had similar opportunities; in fact, we were on the IBM radar screen as they were looking in the Midwest for a site for their center. I question how many state and local officials, developers, UW staff, regional advocates, and press were even aware of their presence, much less working together to lay a package deal on the table. We simply are not doing a good job of promoting our re-
gion and an even poorer job of courting companies that may be looking. Let’s look at the variables for just one corridor in the city, East Washington Avenue. Do we have a good understanding of the existing inventory of brick and mortar and the availability of the buildings? What is the comfort level of the council for TIF and how quickly could we make a firm offer to a compa-
ny interested in the area? What state participation is available and who are the contacts? Could UW play a role? How would existing businesses in the area be involved? In Iowa, when IBM announced they were interested, Dubuque already had many of the answers in hand. They had done the homework before they knew IBM was even looking. Contrast
that to Madison where we wait for a proposal before we even begin the process of approvals and participation — and we see vastly different approaches to attracting business to the area. We need to look at some of the obvious areas for development and do a little pre-planning. In the case of East Washington Avenue, we have a new road, a proposed park, existing
buildings and a plan suggesting what we might like to see. This knowledge presents us with an opportunity to suggest what we may be willing to approve if the right company or project were to emerge. I am not suggesting a rubber stamp, but an opportunity to work with a company or developer with the clear understanding that we want them here and we can get things done. n
14 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Living a fairy tale
Sit back for a story about a traveling salesman and an evil witch
nce upon a time, there was a business traveler (let’s call him Hy Flyer) who had the great fortune to be an executive vice president and top sales-maker in his global widget manufacturing company. He traveled an average of 39 weeks a year on fast-paced sales calls that put him across the desk from the top widget procurement Betty Stark and marketing is a Madison professiontravel industry als in the free consultant and world. There was no stopbusiness travel ping Hy, as he writer with 25 nailed one big years’ experiaccount after ence. She can another. be contacted His boss by e-mail at loved him, and travelingwriter1 Hy loved his @aol.com. traveling life. And the perks, oh, the perks! Hy flew first class all the way; he held platinum memberships at airport clubs; scored full-flat seats on trans-oceanic flights, and when he landed, he slipped with a self-satisfied smile into sleek town cars waiting curbside. At the end of each successful day, Hy shed his elegantly tailored Brioni suit and stowed his Pineider Power Elegance leather briefcase in stunning corner hotel suites that perched majestically on hillsides and hugged harbors in the world’s sparkling Big Cities. Each evening, he reveled in client dinners, rich with awardwinning cuisine, fine wines and smooth-as-silk cognacs — top shelf all the way. Chalk it up to the cost of doing business, Hy’s company bean counters said, and Hy agreed to soldier on. Then one day, while Hy was meeting with an Italian tailor to select fabrics for his spring wardrobe, the Wicked Witch of The West — let’s call her Econ Omy — lurched out of her deceptively pretty gingerbread cottage deep in the forest and went on a rampage. The old girl hurled stock brokerage firms through their 50story window walls and spun stock prices into the ground like giant corkscrews. Banks, the bigger the better, were reduced to
cord wood in her wake, and the housing sector scattered like tiny plastic buildings flicked off an upended Monopoly board. The auto industry shuddered to a herky-jerky halt when she scattered the roadways with telephone-pole-size road spikes. Satisfied with the breadth and width of destruction, Econ Omy straightened her flowing robes and swept back into the woods. Slipping into her cozy cottage, she settled in to a comfy chair next to windows slightly ajar, where she reveled in the haunting cacophony of soft moans, loud shrieks and mournful sobs wafting on the autumn breezes. It’s likely that no one shrieked or moaned louder than our intrepid traveler, Hy Flyer. The day after The Rampage, his company’s head bean counter called him in to discuss the company’s new and drastically altered travel policy. Hy heard phrases like “compliance,” “accountability,” “coach class” and “clean-but-simple rooms.” Client meals, the bean
counter intoned, were to be “modest” and “simple breakfasts” would be preferred. Sleek town cars were out, shared airport shuttles or even (shudder) “public transportation” were the new norm. Airport club dues, dry cleaning and the hotel minibar were now non-reimbursable, and the company-issue BlackBerry would be exchanged for a basic cell phone with limited roaming. Confused and bereft, Hy hung his head and sobbed at the wrenching unfairness of it all. In time, bent but not broken, our intrepid traveler rallied and set out with his trademark single-mindedness to find cost-cutting measures that would keep him traveling, though perhaps not in the style he’d hoped to enjoy indefinitely. He collected tips and resources and (because this is our fairy tale and we can script him to do what we want) he generously offered to share them with others. First, Hy faced the realities of traveling coach class, quickly
educating himself to tactics that might make his trip a tad more bearable. He reviewed frequent flyer and hotel stay programs and program features (http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ frequent_flyer_programs), weeding out his fringe memberships and retaining only those he knew he would use most frequently. He aligned himself with a travel agency that offered sophisticated seat assignment technology so he could avoid the “dreaded middle seat,” a hardship unknown to first-class travelers. For good measure, he bookmarked SeatGuru (www. seatguru.com) on his laptop to help zero in on the most comfortable of the coach class seats. He learned that in recent months, mid-priced hotels have been surging out of the development pipeline all around the country, in great geysers of hip new “lifestyle” concepts. He researched Aloft (www.aloftHotels.com), Hotel Indigo (www.hotelindigo.com), and perennials like Holiday Inn,
undergoing changes globally (www.holidayinn.com/hotels/ us/en/reservation), and now designated with a big green “H.” Though he dreaded the thought of giving up his cushy private car services, Hy Flyer found plenty of resources for airport-to-hotel transportation, like Super Shuttle (www. supershuttle.com) available in over 35 cities nationally and ShuttleFare (www.shuttlefare. com), a site to book home/office to airport shuttles at many destinations. Because Hy frequently flies out of Milwaukee Mitchell Airport, he signed up for the rewards program at the Fast Park and Relax (www.fastparkandrelax. com), thus ensuring he’d have a discounted parking place AND a shuttle to the door of his departure terminal. And, for good measure because he’s a frequent visitor to Seattle, Wash., Hy researched Sound Transit (www.soundtransit. org), the region’s new light rail system that would take him from downtown Seattle to a new transfer station at Tukwila (about three miles from the airport), where he could board a free connector bus to airport terminals. Because Hy no longer had airport club memberships, he was at a loss where to look for diversions as he languished in airports. His research brought him to this USAToday chart (www.usatoday.com/travel/ flights/2009-06-08-restaurantsfavorites-airports_N.htm#chart) that detailed reader’s picks for major U.S. airport restaurants, shops and even onsite hotels, if he should need to stay overnight because of a canceled flight. Though he hoped he would not need the information, he also bookmarked a “sleeping in airports” Web site from Budget Travel, www.sleepinginairports. net. By now, it was clear to Hy that he had perhaps lived a bit too lavishly, and he vowed to rein in his extravagant impulses and become a thoughtful and resourceful traveler. He had simplified his life, and that gave him more time to keep a watchful eye on the wicked Econ Omy. Occasionally, she rustles in the forest, and he’s not about to let her catch him or his company off guard, ever again. n
CAPITAL REGION INDICATORS A MONTHLY LOOK AT STATISTICS THAT AFFECT YOUR MARKET
Interest rate yield curve The interest rate yield curve can be a good indicator of where interest rates may be headed. A steep curve occurs when long-term bonds yield much more than short-term notes, indicating that the market expects rates to rise in the future. A flat or inverted curve, where long-term rates are falling relative to or below the short-term rates, means the bond market expects interest rates to decline in the near future.
Wisconsin milk prices
Wisconsin gasoline consumption and taxes
Price per hundredweight (11.6 gallons):
Gasoline consumption and state gas tax revenues collected, by month:
Sep. 2009: $13.40* $20
TOTAL GASOLINE CONSUMPTION
Unleaded and diesel, in millions of gallons:
In millions of dollars:
Aug. 2009: 291 million gallons
Aug. 2009: $90 million
YIELD CURVE COMPARED TO THREE MONTHS PRIOR AND ONE YEAR PRIOR Sep. 30, 2009
Three months prior
One year prior
J J J
J J 2.0%
J J 1.0%
*Sep. 2009 price is an estimate and may not be final.
S O N D J F M A M J J A S
Wisconsin market index
J J J
J JJ JJ 0% 1 2 YEARS
3 months ago
12 months ago J
Treasury bill 90 day
Treasury bill 6 month
J Treasury bill 1 year
Treasury bill 2 year
J 5 year Treasury note
Treasury bond 30 year
Change from 12/31/08
J TreasuryJJbond 10 year SOURCE: M&I Wealth J Management
The Wisconsin Index, made up of about 70 Wisconsin companies whose stocks are publicly traded and weighted by market cap, is compared against national stock indexes. This Wisconsin Index is measured from a base of 100 as of Dec. 31, 2007.
Index Wisconsin Index
Russell 2000 SOURCE: Robert W. Baird & Co.
A S O N D J F M A M J J A
A S O N D J F M A M J J A
SOURCE: Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Gas prices Average price per gallon for regular unleaded gas. Monthly data taken from the third day of the month.
Data compiled by DEVIN ROSE Graphics created by JONATHAN KLEINOW
J J J
CALENDAR Healthcare Forum: The MidAmerica Healthcare Venture Forum will include 19 early-stage companies from Wisconsin, who will be among the 47 presenting at the forum. The companies, represent a cross-section of biotechnology, medical device, drug discovery and diagnostic firms. The forum unites venture capitalists, private equity firms, corporate investors and investment bankers from around the region. Nov.11-12, Monona Terrace Convention Center, One John Nolen Drive. To register visit www.wisconsintechnologycouncil.com or call Liz at 608-442-7557 extension 27. Business 101 Series: The seventh and final in a series “Positioning Yourself-Mergers & Acquisitions” will be hosted by The Partners of Vision Beloit, for entrepreneurs and small businesses on Nov. 12. Guest speaker is Ronald Gayhart, director of the Center for Innovation and Business Development at UWWhitewater. Free. Vision Beloit, 500 Public Ave. Noon. Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce, 608-365-8835. Breakfast Workshop: Barry Callen is guest speaker for the Sauk County Development Corp. Small Business Breakfast workshop. Callen will discuss the dif-
ference in results between most effective and least effective ads. Nov. 4, 7:30-9:30 a.m., Clarion Hotel, 630 Pine St., West Baraboo. Cost: $15. To register call 608355-2084.
Conventions, trade shows and events
Money Matters: Practical solutions to managing money at home and in business, will be presented to entrepreneurs, business owners or those thinking of starting a business. The Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. along with local development corporations, will sponsor this class. 6-9 p.m., Nov. 5, Law Enforcement Center, 711 E. Cook St., Portage. Cost: $20. To register please call Nancy or Carmen at 608-742-6161. Wealth Builders Workshop: “Stretching your Household Budget” will be presented by Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. and the Financial Center. Free. 6-8 p.m., Nov. 9, Financial Education Center, 2300 S. Park St. Tax Talks: H&R Block is offering free tax talks at three locations. This month’s topic is “Education Expenses.” Nov. 24, 6-7 p.m., 2530 Allen Blvd., Middleton, 1860 E. Washington Ave. and 2618 E. Milwaukee St., Janesville. To reserve a seat, call Sue at 608241-2323. n
STATE JOURNAL ARCHIVES
Verona quarterback Trevor Burmeister (4) scores a touchdown during the WIAA Division 2 high school football championship game played at Camp Randall Stadium on Nov. 21, 2008. Verona lost to Kimberly, 28-14. Dates
Wisconsin Alumni Association first-Year Parents’ Weekend
WIAA Football Tournament
Arrowhead Confs. and Events, Weekend to Remember
Midwest Solar Thermal Conference
Christian Youth Conference
Alliant Energy Center 350
Tax Insight Tax Seminar
Alliant Energy Center 300
Madison Magazine Food and Wine Show
Alliant Energy Center 3,000
Consumer credit score
Madison wages Annual figures compiled from May 2008. This month’s featured occupations: Management/Business and Financial Operations Occupation Management Chief executives General and operations managers Legislators Advertising and promotions managers Marketing managers Sales managers Public relations managers Administrative service managers Computer and information systems managers Financial managers Compensation and benefits managers Training and development managers Human resources managers, all other Industrial production managers Purchasing managers Transportation, storage and distribution managers Construction managers Education administrators, preschool and child care center Education administrators, elementary and secondary school Education administrators, postsecoondary Education administrators, all other Engineering managers Food service managers Funeral directors Lodging managers Medical and health services managers Natural sciences managers Postmasters and mail superintendents Property, real estate and community association managers Social and community service managers Managers, all other Business and financial operations occupations Purchasing agents and buyers, farm products Wholesale and retail buyers, except farm products Purchasing agents, except wholesale, retail and farm products Claims adjusters, examiners and investigators Compliance officers, except agriculture, construction, safety Cost estimators Emergency management specialists Employment, recruitment and placement specialists Compensation, benefits and job analysis specialists Training and development specialists Human resources, training and labor relations specialists Logisticians Management analysts Meeting and convention planners Business operations specialists, all other Accountants and auditors Real estate appraisers and assessors Budget analysts Credit analysts Financial analysts Personal financial advisers Insurance underwriters Financial examiners Loan officers Tax preparers Financial specialists, all other All Madison occupations
Employed Average wage 15,240 $93,930 560 $161,060 3,400 $98,590 260 $28,300 110 $81,720 390 $106,040 1,040 $102,870 250 $78,430 610 $74,400 1,050 $100,590 1,070 $102,410 100 $81,650 140 $74,270 240 $101,600 400 $82,310 220 $85,610 170 $80,050 450 $101,980 150 $43,360 330 $82,470 610 $95,860 110 $68,250 480 $101,990 430 $46,040 40 $56,130 40 $54,110 440 $102,670 240 $111,590 40 $62,300 200 $64,700 310 $53,580 1,390 $95,560 20,390 $56,910 n/a $46,430 240 $45,510 760 $51,770 1,380 $50,430 930 $51,400 680 $64,070 40 $52,230 540 $46,740 620 $46,120 880 $45,920 1,050 $46,300 240 $60,140 2,070 $65,300 200 $40,350 4,030 $59,210 2,860 $60,230 120 $57,180 210 $62,490 140 $46,710 330 $77,340 640 $70,360 740 $53,190 100 $72,660 960 $63,650 230 $42,250 90 $51,340 338,210 $42,940
Credit scores are a numeric representation of financial behavior, based on information found in a credit report. Scores range from 330 to 830, with a higher score indicating a lower credit risk. Figures for October 2009.
Dane County housing starts Single family homes and duplexes in cities and villages, year to date:
Sept. ’09 Sept. ’08
New vehicle sales
September 2009 compared to month of previous year:
0 ▲ 100.0%
2 ▼ 100.0%
0 ▲ 100.0%
0 ▲ 100.0%
6 ▼ 100.0%
Capital Region Source: Reg-Trak
Dane County Regional Airport passengers Boarding passenger totals per month and year, compared to previous year:
MONTHLY TOTALS Aug. ’09
YEAR TO DATE TOTALS Aug. ’09
Source: Dane County Regional Airport
Hotel/motel occupancy Madison’s occupancy percentage and average daily rate for August 2009, compared to previous year:
OCCUPANCY PERCENTAGE 2009 2008 Change August 59.8% 72.9% ▼ 18.0% Year average 52.9% 62.8% ▼ 15.8% AVERAGE DAILY RATE 2009 2008 Change August $83.90 $93.31 ▼ 10.1% Year average $84.81 $89.88 ▼ 5.6% Source: Smith Travel Research
Consumer Price Index
A monthly estimate of manufacturing output in the Seventh Federal Reserve District, which includes Wisconsin, compared to the National Industrial Production Index for Manufacturing. Figures below for August 2009: National Industrial 120 Production Index 97.6
SOURCE: Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
Change ▼ 5.7%
TOTAL COST OF HOUSING STARTS IN DANE COUNTY - YEAR TO DATE Sept.’09
$151,355,500 ▼ 23.7%
Source: MTD Marketing Services
Capital Region county sales tax Columbia Dane
A S O N D J F M A M J J A
SOURCE: U.S. Department of Labor
$323,287 ▲ $3,510,274 $3,609,065 ▲
$392,733 ▲ $169,161 ▲
$436,672 ▲ 15.9% $64,760 ▲ 16.9%
Midwest Manufacturing Index 80.1
Sept. ’08 $270,277
County Midwest urban 205.6
Sept. ’09 $254,997
Monthly sales tax revenue, compared to one year prior:
U.S. city average 215.8
AVERAGE COST OF HOUSING STARTS IN DANE COUNTY - YEAR TO DATE
Chicago Fed Midwest Manufacturing Index
August 2008 through August 2009, not seasonally adjusted:
$865,536 ▲ 10.7%
Wisconsin $23,952,659 $24,722,306 ▲ 3.2% Source: Wisconsin Department of Revenue
Understanding the market
Second-stage companies According to the Edward Lowe Foundation, second-stage companies are enterprises that have grown beyond the start-up stage but have not yet reached maturity. These firms have often reached a position where the complexity of running the company has exceeded the capacity of one owner or CEO. Consequently, more formal operational structures may be needed to continue growth and evolve into the next stage of business. While secondstage companies vary by industry, they typically have 10 to 99 employees and/or $750,000 to $50 million in sales. Based on employment levels, more than 7,200 Capital Region firms might be categorized as second-stage companies. More than 40 percent of these firms are found in the retail, construction and hospitality industries, with professional and technical services, manufacturing and health care/social services accounting for an additional 25 percent. In addition to their existing economic contributions, these firms may provide an important source of regional growth. Nationally, employment in second-stage companies grew by 20 percent between 1993 and 2007. In contrast, jobs in companies with 500 or more employees decreased by 11.6 percent.
—Matt Kures, University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Community and Economic Development Sources: Edward Lowe Foundation, YourEconomy.org and U.S. Census Bureau County Business Patterns.
Home sales for south central Wisconsin and Dane County
Unemployment rates for region, state and nation
Home sales through August 2009
Comparison to state, nation. Not seasonally adjusted. Figures through August 2009.
COLUMBIA, DANE, DODGE, GREEN, ROCK AND SAUK COUNTIES
South central Wisconsin 1,167
Aug. ’08 Change
2,423 ▼ 9.3%
1,150 ▲ 1.5%
$172,000 ▼ 4.1%
13,827 ▼ 6.0%
Median sales price
Total active listings (month end) DANE COUNTY
House and condominium sales: Dane County 581
House and condominium sales:
A S O N D J F M A M J J A
SOURCE: South Central Wisconsin MLS SOURCE: South Central Wisconsin MLS
Aug. ’09 921
1,034 ▼ 10.9%
577 ▲ 0.7%
$221,500 ▼ 4.1%
5,231 ▼ 11.0%
Total active listings (month end)
Aug. ’09 Aug. ’08
4.1% ▲ 109.8%
Madison Lafayette 5.9% Rock
U.S. 9.6% 9%
Aug. ’08 Change
New listings Median sales price
A S O N D J F M A M J J A
18 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Celebrating 50 years
Running a German restaurant is truly a family affair at Dorf Haus in Roxbury By Pamela Cotant
OXBURY — There was a morning about 10 years ago, when family members were getting ready to open Dorf Haus — now in its 50th year — and Rebecca Maier-Frey saw clearly what it meant for them to run the German restaurant together. Her father, Vern Maier, was out in the garden behind the restaurant cutting blossoms off the crab trees for vases inside. Her mother, Betty Maier, was cooking in the kitchen. An older brother, Monte, was getting the bar ready, and Rebecca MaierFrey was setting up the dining room for the 700 customers expected for that Mother’s Day. “That just made me so proud because we were all doing our thing,” she said. “That’s how it is.” The restaurant’s success — patrons waited an hour and a half on a recent Friday — follows more humble beginnings and an unplanned start. At one time, the restaurant was Brownie Breunig’s tavern at 8931 County Road Y, where Vern Maier would stop after work for a beer. One night, Breunig told Maier he wanted to get out of the business, which included a grocery store, and in 1959, the Maiers traded their home in Sauk City for the town of Roxbury business. Vern Maier had a carpentry business and wanted to use the dance hall behind the business — ironically, the location of his wedding reception in 1950 — for a woodworking shop. Later, when Vern Maier needed some compressors, he went to an auction for a diner going out of business. The restaurant’s equipment wasn’t selling so it was put together, and Vern Maier left with more than he expected. About a year after owning the tavern, he was in a bad truck accident, which led him to end his construction business and run the tavern himself. His brother, George Maier, owned the Wagon Wheel in Portage at the time and was serving fish and chicken so Vern Maier brought the tradition to his tavern in 1961 and started serving all-you-can-eat chicken and fish for $1. Over time, the tavern evolved into a full-fledged restaurant featuring German food and became known as Dorf Haus, which in German means a “small village inn.” Seating grew
Vern and Betty Maier, seated, Rebecca Maier-Frey and Monte Maier run the successful Dorf Haus, a German restaurant in Roxbury that has been in business for 50 years. from 25 to about 450. The building has been remodeled as the business has changed and paintings and stained glass help give it the look of a German restaurant. The second floor has office space and living quarters. Betty Maier’s mother, Mayme Anhalt, was one of the family members to live up there for a time and then worked down below as a hostess. While Vern Maier bartended, Betty Maier worked as a hostess, waitress and occasional bartender until the children were grown and then she cooked full time. She retired eight years ago at age 70, but until recently was helping on Mondays by making bread and desserts. The Maiers’ nine children — Mitchell, Michael, Mark, Maurice, Renee, Monte, Roxann, Rochell and Rebecca — worked at the restaurant and all had their wedding receptions there. The kids started with tasks like dishes and busing tables, and moved on to other jobs as they got older. Monte Maier — the youngest son, who is now 51 — remem-
bers stocking the bar with ice and emptying garbage cans when he was about 11. He graduated from Sauk Prairie High School and continued working at Dorf Haus. He tried to quit once but didn’t get the home construction job he was seeking because the company wasn’t hiring, so he came back. When his father had a stroke, Monte Maier knew he was needed at the restaurant where the oldest child, Mitchell, also was working at the time. Vern Maier continued to work fewer hours after his stroke, mainly overseeing operations before he retired about five years later. Working with his father was comfortable, Monte Maier said. The two bartended together during the busy hours and when business slowed, Vern Maier would quit for the night and talk with customers. Monte Maier is now a co-owner and manager, and also runs the bar. Rebecca Maier-Frey also is a co-owner and runs the dining room and banquet business. She also does the bookwork,
marketing and advertising. Their parents remain as partners although the family is working on succession plan. Rebecca Maier-Frey, 39, said she started waitressing as she got older. She graduated from Sauk Prairie High School and went to UW-Madison to study consumer affairs and business. “I, too, thought I’d probably leave for awhile and go do some other things and possibly come back,” said Rebecca Maier-Frey. But instead, she got more involved in marketing at Dorf Haus. Mitchell Maier eventually married and moved out of state. Some of the other Maier children continued to work at the restaurant after high school. A daughter, Renee, worked for 13 years after high school and her husband, Dennis Frey, a cousin of Rebecca Maier-Frey’s husband, Ted, also worked there. Many of Vern and Betty Maier’s 29 grandchildren also come and go from the restaurant. They also have 15 young great-grandchildren. Today, Vern and Betty Maier
live right down the street from the restaurant and stop in often. The restaurant owners meet informally at the restaurant or at Vern and Betty Maier’s home. Rebecca Maier-Frey and Monte Maier’s working relationship benefits from their laid-back styles, and they don’t find much to disagree about. But one issue that caused tension was whether to allow customers to smoke at the bar even though they weren’t allowed to smoke in the dining room or banquet hall (and now can’t smoke anywhere.) “You let it go and then you talk about it another time,” Rebecca Maier-Frey said. Knowing that a law that would ban smoking in restaurants would soon pass in Dane County, which includes Roxbury, Rebecca Maier-Frey decided that rather than pressure her brother, she would wait until the law passed. Monte Maier said the 12-year difference in age has not been a big factor in the way they work together. “It’s worked out,” he said. n
WHERE R U? If you’re somewhere in the city of Madison, you’re 8 minutes from the nearest Group Health Cooperative clinic, give or take. That’s where. And that’s convenience.
Just one more way that you and your health care team are
www.ghcscw.com Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC-SCW)
20 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
A passion for architecture
For Jeff Raasch, it all started atop the Empire State Building about 40 years ago By Patricia Simms
eff Raasch is a principal and architect at Flad Architects, where he leads design teams for construction of hospitals, clinics and office and research buildings. Q. Tell me what you do. A. I have been practicing architecture for almost 25 years. I’ve been with Flad for 10 years, and of those 10 years, I’ve been a partner for five. My primary role is design principal — the lead designer for projects in health care, our corporate segment, and our science and technology segment. Q. You lead a team? A. Our teams tend to be rather large. On the last project — the Shands Healthcare project at the University of Florida in Gainesville — at the peak of design, there were probably 20 members on the team. Q. What’s changed since you graduated from architecture school? A. When I got out of school, everybody had a drafting table and an ashtray, and there was perhaps one woman in a firm of 40 architects. Now, teaching at UW-Milwaukee, I know the demographics of (student architects) is now more than 50 percent women. Q. And the drafting table? A. I still have a drawing table. I will always have a drawing table, in my office and at home. And water color drawings and colored pencils. There’s still something about having a tangible piece of material in front of you that has your idea in reality rather than virtually. Theres something nice about being able to touch that. And even though I’m proficient in CAD (computer assisted design), I still like to sketch by hand. Q. What about those little building models? A. When I came out of school, you took out your X-Acto knife and your paper and you cut and glued it together. Now we have a laser cutter; you take your computer drawing and send it to a laser cutter and it cuts out the paper or wood, and you assemble it. I can probaby do five times the number of models in the same time it took me to craft one paper model. Q. Do you have a personal style? A. I don’t, and I’ll tell you why.
Title: Principal/Architect, Flad Architects Age: 47 Hometown: Milwaukee, WI Family: Wife, Wende; four children, ranging in age from 22 to 3. Education: Master’s degree in architecture, UW-Milwaukee Experience: 27 years in the profession, 10 years at Flad, including the last five years as a partner. A key focus is changing the face of health care to improve the patient experience and improve healing time with environmentally sensitive designs. Designed the first LEED-certified (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System) office building in Madison. His projects around the country include a 260-bed cancer hospital for Shands University of Florida to be dedicated in late October, and in Wisconsin, the St. Mary’s Emergency Center in Sun Prairie and clinics for Affinity Health Systems.
Flad was founded in Madison in 1927 and has operated an architecture, engineering and interiors firm since then. In addition to traditional architectural services, Flad provides strategic facility planning, master planning, landscape architecture, laboratory programming and planning, interior design and structural engineering. Key industries the company serves include health care, higher education, life sciences, technology and corporate offices.
Each project kind of brings with it its own solution, and if you look hard enough, you’ll find it. The last thing we do at our office is try to impose a design style on any project. I think a building is a response to certain conditions — site conditions and the purpose of that building. You really need to understand not only the site, but you also need to understand the use and purpose of that building, and who that building is actually being designed for. It’s really about the lives that are going to inhabit that building. In my mind, that is the great responsibility that architecture has and is sometimes overlooked — we are creating space that has an impact on people’s lives. Q. Is there tremendous change in style? A. Trends change. They tend
Flad Architects has offices in Madison; Gainesville, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Stamford, Conn.; San Francisco; Raleigh, North Carolina; and Atlanta, Ga. Founded: 1927 Address: 644 Science Drive, Madison, WI 53711 Web site: www.flad.com Employees: 291 2008 sales: $73 million
to be in response to the social context in which they are built. Q. What’s hot now? A. Sustainability is probably on everybody‘s tongue right now. Green architecture. Green energy. That would be a perfect example of how a society’s interests or values begin to be reflected in architecture. Probably half of our staff is LEED-certified, with training that teaches you how to craft or create a better building that uses less energy, has less impact on the environment, has less of a footprint. That’s the biggest impact in last 50 years. Q. That wasn’t taught in architecture school when you attended? A. I started in architecture school in 1980. Back then, the closest you got to sustainability design was earth-sheltered housing. Now we have a dedi-
cated core group of people in our office that are continually looking at the most current trends in sustainability, then sharing that with the rest of our groups. Q. What is sustainability? A. In short, sustainability is creating a building that has as little impact on the environment as psosible, that also uses its natural setting to help reinforce the environment. Q. Your own home — is it green? A. I live in Middleton Hills, which was a development centered around the new urbanist idea. There are very small lots. I live on an eighth of an acre of land. I believe I did the first panelized house in Middleton Hills. It was a custom house crafted off site in a warehouse, and all erected on my site within twoand-a-half days. It was enclosed
immediately. It never had rainwater or snow (in it) or any of those issues. Q. Why did you become an architect? A. Unlike a lot of the young kids today who have no idea what they want to do when they grow up, since the time I was probably 7 or 8, I’ve wanted to be an architect. We took a family trip to New York in probably ’68 or ’69. We went to the top of the Empire State Building, and I asked my older sister, “Who does this?” and she said architects do this, and I said, “Well, that’s what I want to do,” and I never faltered from that. I always knew what I wanted to do. Now I teach a design studio as an adjunct professor at the UWMilwaukee Architecture School. That’s an incredible experience because they are young and excited and open to any new idea you can share with them. It’s kind of a thrill to share what I’ve learned, to see that look in their eyes of finding out something new. Q. Do you consider yourself daring? A. I would like to be daring. It’s hard to find clients that are perhaps as daring as I’d like to be. An architect is probably as daring as his clients will allow him to be. Q. What has been your favorite project? A. I like to say that my best project is my last project. I just went down and did a walkthrough of Shands Healthcare (Gainesville, Fla.). That’s a cancer hospital. When you think about the impact that’s going to have on somebody’s family, or somebody with cancer — the idea of the healing environment. You really need to understand the social context of each building and the purpose. Q. What do you want for your children? A. I tell my kids to find something that they are really going to enjoy doing, so it’s not work. When I go into the office, I truly enjoy what I do. The projects change — sometimes a project lasts two to three years in design, sometimes six months. Each one is truly unique. For me, the variety that that brings throughout the year is just amazing. Q. Would you do anything differently? A. I wouldn’t. I honestly wake up every day and thank God for what I have. n
22 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Party fund running low?
Some companies scaling back, but not eliminating, traditional holiday gatherings By Jill Carlson
for Tots, the Salvation Army, the American Red Cross and others. The employees also do a giving tree of needed items to be donated to the local Boys and Girls Club.
he days of the lavish office holiday party with free flowing alcohol and expensive gifts for employees are long gone. Over the past decade, they’ve been replaced by budget-conscious gatherings with far less alcohol. During these difficult economic times, when many companies are experiencing layoffs, will the holiday party be eliminated? “There are certainly some companies that are having layoffs and consequently are refraining from having holiday parties,” explained Betsy Jenkins, president/owner of It’s Your Party, an event design and production company that hosts themed parties. “The biggest trend is that companies are doing more “wait and see.” They are waiting to see what the economy does, as well as their own bottom line before they commit.” Jenkins said her company is continuing to book holiday parties daily. “Many companies are working with scaled-back budgets, yet they are still trying to create a special evening but perhaps less grand than in previous years. Our sense is definitely more of a no-frills season. Clients are targeting most of the available funds into activities such as a Casino Night, Game Show theme, or a stage entertainer whereas in years past, companies have splurged on fresh floral centerpieces and door prizes. Using the facility’s mirrors and candles for table décor and providing drink tickets rather than an open bar are ways companies are keeping costs in check,” she added. During the 23 years that IYP has been in business, Jenkins has worked with companies such as Trek USA, US Cellular, Kraft Foods, Madison Gas & Electric, Famous Footwear, Wisconsin Department of Tourism and many others. Knowing ahead of time what the party budget is helps Jenkins and her team plan and produce an event that will make the best use of the money. “Our customers tend to be pretty frank with what is going on in the company and how much they have to work with. As parties and entertainment can be viewed as discretionary, we are always focusing on being sensitive to our clients’ budgets and pride ourselves in
Party venues cope with trying times
using their dollars to provide the most bang for the buck.”
Building a harmonious work environment Heath Moore, general manager of Anaala Salon at Hilldale Shopping Center in Madison, has seen a huge benefit to employees and managers interacting outside the workplace after a busy holiday season. “It really is the best way to foster a harmonious environment that every owner strives for,” he said. Moore said he’ll budget about $2,500 for the holiday party this year, and that is about the same as last year. Ultimately, the amount is determined by how well the salon does during the holidays. “Since the economic slowdown, we’ve tried to be creative with how these events are paid for, even asking employees to pay a portion of the costs. Most are happy to help out,” he said. Because of the busy holiday season, Anaala holds the holiday party after the New Year, and the company event planner plans
something different each year. Last year, the 30 Anaala employees went to a comedy club and held a reception before the show began. Jeanette Reichers, co-owner of Cornblooms and Madison Sole shoe stores, said she and her husband, Larry, usually take the staff to a local restaurant for a holiday celebration after the busy season is over. “Your employees are working as hard as ever and their efforts drive the business, so it’s very important to recognize their hard work,” she said. The budget varies, depending on where the party is held. Reichers said that often venues will develop a menu around her budget. There are several vegetarians on-staff, so she has to be mindful of choosing a restaurant that has vegetarian menu options. She said the party budget depends on how well the store does during the holidays, as to whether the employees can bring a guest to the dinner. Some larger companies in the Capital Region that in the past have held large holiday parties
off site and include spouses now serve a more modest holiday lunch during the work day. This change was not only for budget reasons but because as the companies grew, the staff became too large for some venues to accommodate.
Thinking of others during the holidays For the past decade, the employees of TDS Telecommunications Corp. have chosen to forgo a holiday party and instead select a charity to receive the money normally set aside for the holiday party. In 2008, employees chose Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin. A donation of $8,500, plus a collection drive at all Dane County TDS offices, generated about 61,700 meals for the nonprofit organization. De Anne Boegli, national public relations manager, said TDS employees will vote soon on which charity to support during the holiday season this year. Last year, TDS employees also volunteered for area nonprofits including Porchlight, Toys
Madison Marriott West general manager Kevin Smith said that through the beginning of October, holiday party bookings are tracking slightly behind last year. He’s seeing businesses planning more holiday lunches rather than dinners and sometimes not inviting spouses to keep costs down. “Businesses are keeping costs down with less food and bar selections and less entertainment. They are also selecting non-peak dates. In some cases when a client selects a non-peak date, we are able to maintain last year’s pricing,” Smith said. He added that the Marriott can work with almost any budget, and the chef can come up with menu selections to accommodate the budget. Jodie Moore, director of catering at the Madison Concourse, said holiday party business is pacing about the same as 2008. “We have seen fewer cancellations in 2009 than we had in 2008, which is favorable in this economic climate. We find companies are still seeing value in a year end celebration as well as a kick off to 2010.” Moore explained. One trend that Moore is noticing is that groups are combining events such as a year-end celebration and an awards banquet into one event. “They may consider a dance with entertainment, desserts and a bar over a full dinner. We also see groups considering mid-week dates for more of an ‘after-work event’ that may not include spouses.” Betsy Jenkins pointed out that many hotels have remodeled in recent years and that there are a variety of new banquet halls available. “Companies tend to develop relationships with their venues as long as they stay satisfied with the quality and level of service. Smaller companies have more venue options available to them and there does seem to be a noticeable degree of price comparison shopping this year. n Jill Carlson is a freelance writer and can be contacted at jilly57@ att.net
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 23
New Business Council aims to focus on solutions, not politics By JR Ross
he Wisconsin Business Council raised a few eyebrows when it was unveiled in the summer. There were already well-established business groups like Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce with an agenda for improving the state’s business climate that focused on lowering the tax burden and cutting back on what they consider to be excessive regulation. The Wisconsin Business Council’s principles, meanwhile, talked about a more holistic approach to the state’s business climate that included things like education and workforce development. To some, that sounded fishy. State Rep. Robin Vos, R-Caledonia, even went so far as to proclaim the WBC a front group for Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle meant to rebuff criticism from the business community over his policies. But WBC executive director Brian Taffora says the group has already shown that’s not the case.
Careers Continued from page 9 the time he got hired there, he must have left me a half-dozen messages about his progress.” Here’s what Mike Jones, Mike Olson’s eventual manager at Bank of Prairie du Sac, had to say: “We put out a generic ad asking for five years’ commercial lending experience, like everyone does. We had several strong bankers interviewing. But Mike brought a different dynamic to the table. He came across so professionally, and he was so convincing about how his CFO background could make him a good banker, that he shook up our thinking. “Mike really differentiated himself by asking very good questions, which piqued everyone’s interest. Mike researched us and asked a lot of probing questions about our culture, and why people would bank with us and not with someone else down the street. “He impressed us, but if he hadn’t shown the persistence and tenacity to take it to the next step, I don’t know if I would have gotten the buy-in to hire him.” And what was that “next step”?
We can’t create a PAC. We can’t do a conduit. We’re not going to endorse a candidate. We’re not going to fund anyone’s campaign. —Brian Taffora, WBC Executive Director The group got to work right away on its agenda of economic development; education and workforce development; infrastructure; and taxes and regulation. That includes a luncheon series in which members mingle with the likes of Doyle as well as the leading Republicans in the Legislature — Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald of Juneau and Assembly Minority Leader Jeff Fitzgerald of Horicon. The WBC is also planning its first symposium in November. The event will tackle the topic of economic development as the group brings together lawmakers with executives from companies that have decided to stay in Wisconsin, those that have left, and those that are on the bubble. The hope is to cull ideas from the meeting that the Business Council can then turn into solid proposals to present to lawmakers
After his interview, he got people in the bank’s market to recommend him for the job. His financial planner, Nathan Brinkman, referred Olson to Dick McFarlane at McFarlanes’ Manufacturing, an important Bank of Prairie du Sac customer. Dick McFarlane said: “Mike impressed me. He seemed very confident but also humble. He asked a lot of good questions and said if I felt so inclined, would I please call Mike Jones to recommend him? I did make that call, and I said that if we had an opportunity to hire someone like that at McFarlanes’, we would.” Olson’s contacts summed up the ingredients of his success in job-hunting: 1. Treat a job search as a fulltime job, with an emphasis on personal networking. 2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, but ask in a way that is targeted to the narrow focus of your job search. 3. Track your networking activities, and keep your contacts informed of your progress. 4. Ask questions that help you understand the position and organization you’re targeting for a job. 5. Don’t just interview for the job, campaign for it by enlisting others to recommend you. n
for their consideration. Taffora said anyone attending WBC events will quickly realize it is just as it bills itself: a group that eschews partisanship and focuses on solutions. The following are some highlights from an interview with Taffora: Q: There have been a number of business groups around for a long time talking about these things in Wisconsin. Do you feel these issues haven’t been well represented or well addressed and that’s why there’s a need for your group? A: I feel we bring a different perspective to the table. The whole nonpartisan, working collaboratively for business in general, is something that not only the business owners wanted, but really the legislators and policy makers want. There are a lot of associations out there, specifically ones like the Realtors and
(the Wisconsin) Bankers (Association) that just focus on that. We really encompass the entire thing. Q: Groups like WMC, the Realtors, the (Wisconsin) Builders (Association) and the Banks have tended to get involved in campaigns also and tend to support Republicans, though not always. Is that different for you, too, trying to be nonpartisan? A: That is exactly what we are. It’s in our bylaws. We can’t create a PAC. We can’t do a conduit. We’re not going to endorse a candidate. We’re not going to fund anyone’s campaign. That’s been a good, I don’t want to say selling point, but that’s been a good part for a lot of our members that we’ve spoken to, to have said if we want to fund a campaign, we’ll do those things on our own. We want our business association to be nonpartisan, collaborative and work with all government officials, all Republicans and Democrats, to really create a better business climate for us. Q: Does the model work better for you guys because it’s all Democrats in charge right now, so if you’re WMC or Realtors, you
might have a harder audience? A: I wouldn’t say that at all. We’ve gotten tremendous feedback from both sides of the aisle. We just had lunch with Scott Fitzgerald and Jeff Fitzgerald. We’ve gotten calls from (GOP Sen.) Ted Kanavas, a lot of Republicans saying, ‘Hey, we’re really excited, looking forward to (working with you).’ It’s just another voice. It’s just another voice for businesses to say, ‘Hey, here’s what’s going on in our lives.’ Q: It seems like some folks like Robin Vos were kind of skeptical about your group when it was first announced, calling it a front group for Doyle and these kinds of things. Have you gotten a skeptical reception from people, in general? A: You know, we hadn’t at first, but there might have been an undertone because of Robin Vos’ (comment). Once Doyle announced (that he wasn’t seeking a third term) … that all went away. We actually got a couple of businesses that we’d been trying to bring in right after that. That kind of put that skepticism to rest. We’re really not there for that. n
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24 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
‘Vision 2020’ foreshadowed effort to link academia, industry
E Tom Still
is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.
ven the best seeds can take a while to germinate. A case in point is the proposal to open seven “emerging technology centers” on UW System campuses to better serve industry while engaging faculty and student research talent. The UW Board of Regents recently accepted a report by a special task force that urged investing $7.7 million in the technology centers, an idea that can be traced back more than six years to “Vision 2020: A Model Wisconsin Economy.” Here is what the Wisconsin Technology Council said in late 2002 in its Vision 2020 report: “Research Centers of Excellence located around the state will be ... organized around large-scale opportunities to build high-technology businesses. The Research Centers will focus on applied research that transfers new, public-sector science and technology to the private sector to solve unique problems of a particular industry. The Research Centers will identify disruptive technology that can be expected to force changes in the competitive landscape for Wisconsin’s leading industries, thereby helping to prepare market leaders for the coming challenges and to create opportunities for new entrants.” The Vision 2020 report even identified unifying concepts built around research disciplines, such as biology, genetics and computer science, that often work together to form inter-
locking commercial clusters. Tissue regeneration, personalized medicine, nanometric systems, pharmaceuticals, extreme materials and electronics were some examples. Roll forward to 2009 and the “Research to Jobs” task force, formed early this year, has recommended launching seven centers and building upon current centers at two more campuses: • UW-River Falls: Tissue and cellular engineering, launched in early 2009. • UW-Platteville: Nanotechnology applications, such as carbon nanotubes and graphene, for use in electronics, aerospace, computer and energy fields. This center was launched in late 2008. • UW-Oshkosh: Super-capacity energy storage for next-generation electric cars and other energy intensive applications. • UW-Stevens Point: Nanowire and nanostructure manufacturing for applications in solar energy, hydrogen sensors and nanoinstruments. • UW-Whitewater: Interactive media and distance learning. • UW-La Crosse: Pharmaceuticals based on medicinal plants and fungi. • UW-Green Bay: Value-added products from waste, such as paper waste. • UW-Stout: Plastics and composite materials, in collaboration with UW-Stevens Point.
• UW-Parkside: Biomedical sciences. What’s the value of these centers to the average Jane or Joe? Economic growth is the long-term answer, assuming these centers do what they’re designed to do: serve the needs of Wisconsin industry. Study after study has established links between academic research and development and job creation through what is called “technology transfer,” or moving ideas from the laboratory to the marketplace. Wisconsin is a state that consistently ranks in the top quartile of states in academic R&D, but it has not matched that performance when it comes to turning those ideas into jobs and economic production. That’s why UW System President Kevin Reilly created the “Research to Jobs” task force and asked Carl Gulbrandsen, managing director of the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, to lead it. Over the past 80 years, WARF has done as good a job as any similar organization in transferring R&D into patents, licenses and economic activity. There are scores of companies in the Madison area that attest to the fact that UW-Madison research has moved from lab to commerce. But most R&D apples don’t fall far from the tree. The national rule of thumb is that most campus spinoff companies land within 50 miles of campus. That’s why WARF spawned
a related tech transfer office, called WiSys, about six years ago to handle inventions from other UW campuses. The Emerging Technology Centers proposal is an effort to accelerate the transfer of technology from those campuses – and to spur economic development in or near those campus communities. Executing the plan won’t be easy. In addition to the UW System investment of $7.7 million over five years, about $3.9 million in industry and private funding will be needed, along with roughly $4.9 million in federal grants. It may turn out that what industry wants doesn’t precisely overlap with the centers. Also, it may be necessary to involve the system’s two doctoral campuses – Madison and Milwaukee – in some, if not many, projects. But the payoff could be big. “We believe that each successful project (produced by an Emerging Technology Center) will result in 10-fold or more returns to the industry and UW,” concluded the “Research to Jobs” task force report. Some critics of the UW System contend its mission is divorced from the needs of private industry in the state. The “Research to Jobs” report is an effort to better align the educational mission of the UW with the needs of industry to stay competitive. It deserves a chance to grow from a seed to a plant that bears fruit for Wisconsin. n
Do you really need Google Analytics? Of course you do!
I Jonny Buroker
is an Internet Marketing Consultant with WSI — We Simplify the Internet, serving south central and southwest Wisconsin. He can be reached at jburoker @wsimarketing. com.
f you don’t have Web analytics on your Web site, get them! Stop reading this article if you don’t have any analytics installed on your Web site. Contact your Webmaster or Internet consultant immediately and have that person install Google Analytics (GA) today. It’s free and it will tell you so much more about the behavior of your site’s visitors, allowing you to make improvements to your site and increase your conversion rate (i.e., turn more visitors into customers).
What is Google Analytics? GA is free software that you can “attach” to your Web site that will provide you with valuable information about the people who are visiting your Web site. Consider this analogy: You are a grocery store owner and you have no idea how many people are visiting your store, what city they are from, how they found you in the first place,
the most popular aisles they spent time in, or if they went through your checkout line. Think about how valuable it would be for the store owner to know how many people came into the store, how many of them were new visitors, where they lived, how they found out about your store, how much time they spent in each aisle and whether they purchased anything. Having GA will provide all of that information and more about your Web site.
Google Analytics basics You don’t have to be a technical guru to understand the analytics for your site. Just knowing what to look for and what the data mean will provide you with enough insight to make improvements to your site and generate more sales and leads as a result. Following are some of the primary analytics to be aware of and a brief description of each: Visitors: This category of data will
let you know how many visits there were to your Web site, how many of them were unique (new) visitors, how many pages they viewed and how much time they spent on your site. Traffic sources: These metrics let you know how your site visitors got to your site. The three primary methods visitors get to your site are: • Direct: These visitors type your Web address directly into their browser to get to your site. This traffic often comes from repeat visitors, word of mouth and advertising (think of “Expedia dot com”). • Referral: This traffic comes from other “locations” that have a link to your site. Those locations include other Web sites that link back to yours (e.g., vendors, chambers of commerce, etc.), pay per click campaigns, e-mail marketing communications, online press releases, etc. • Search: The visitor was conduct-
ing a keyword search on one of the search engines (e.g., Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc.) and clicked on the organic search result that brought up your Web page. Content: These data help the site owner understand the pages that visitors spent time on, the landing pages (the first page they viewed on your site) and the exit pages (the last page they viewed before leaving your site). These data help the site owner understand how far down the sales funnel the visitors went before leaving the site. One of the primary goals of your Web site is to increase your conversion rate. By understanding your visitors’ behavior, you can make changes over time to improve your visitors’ experience and turn more of them into better leads and more sales for your business. Take the first step today: Install GA and start collecting valuable information about your Web site. n
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 25 TECH DIGEST
Two companies recognized for IT Madison-based CUNA Mutual Group again has been named to the CIO 100 and InformationWeek 500, two annual rankings that recognize companies for information technology prowess. The CIO 100 award program, sponsored by IDG’s CIO Magazine, recognized CUNA Mutual’s retirement record-keeping Web system and its fully integrated back-office processing. The company has received the award four of the past five years, according to CUNA Mutual. The InformationWeek 500 program is an annual listing of the nation’s most innovative users of business technology. CUNA Mutual was ranked No. 134 this year, which is its seventh year on the list and the third time it has been ranked in the top 150, the company said. CUNA Mutual’s voice signature technology also was recognized by InformationWeek as one of
the great ideas in technology for 2009. Wisconsin’s Foley & Lardner LLP also again was named to the InformationWeek 500, making it the only law firm in the U.S. to receive the recognition for four consecutive years. The national law firm, headquartered in Milwaukee and with an office in Madison, was honored for developing a program to automate the business intelligence process that its attorneys use for intellectual property litigation.
Janesville-based Data Dimensions is building a new operations facility next to its headquarters in Midlands Office Park near I-90 and Highway 11 that eventually could employ about 250 people, the data management company announced. Chairman Mark Bush said the 20,000-squarefoot building, expected to open in February, would initially employ 50 people. The building will
house a Tier 3 data center, enabling the company to expand its document management services, including digital conversion, data capturing, imaging and indexing, medical records retrieval and transcription services and digital voice recording. Semba Biosciences is getting a $250,000 Technology Venture Fund loan from the state Department of Commerce. The Madison company, established in 2005, said it will use the money toward a $1.1 million expansion of its products and marketing efforts, and it expects to add more than 30 employees in the next three years. Semba develops instruments and reagents to purify materials used in life sciences research. Centrose, a Madison biopharmaceutical company, says tests show two anti-cancer drugs it has developed are not toxic to animals that have had human genes inserted. The new drugs are 100 times more potent at killing cancer
cells than the parent compound from which they were fashioned, Centrose said. Centrose is working on drug candidates attached to sugar molecules. A study has shown that heart cells developed by California Stem Cell, of Irvine, Calif., in combination with the biomarker discovery platform developed by Stemina Biomarker, Madison, can be used to predict whether specific cancer-fighting drugs may result in cardiomyopathy, or a weakening of the heart muscle. Lucigen Corp., Middleton, has received a $750,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to be used over two years to develop enzymes and procedures that could result in faster, lessexpensive ways to unravel DNA sequences. The effort is aimed at personalized medicine, in which physicians will determine which drugs are most likely to have the desired effect on a patient based on the patient’s genetic makeup.
Stratatech Corp., Madison, has received a $1.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a new product aimed at treating skin cancer. The cell-based, gene therapy product would be used after the surgical removal of the tumor. The living skin substitute is designed to stimulate the patient’s immune system to eliminate any cancerous cells that remain after the tumor is removed. The National Cancer Institute estimates more than 1 million cases of skin cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, including more than 62,000 new cases of melanoma. Full Compass Systems recently held a grand opening for its new headquarters at 9770 Silicon Prairie Parkway in Madison’s Silicon Prairie Industrial Park on the Far West Side. The $13 million, 140,000-square-foot building was completed in June. Full Compass, founded in 1977, has 160 employees and sells professional audio, video and lighting products. n
26 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
A year to persevere BUILDINGS MATTER
Take some time to visit these Madison landmarks for inspiration and strength
Derrick Van Mell
is principal of Van Mell Associates, management consultants specializing in strategic facility decisions. He can be reached at derrick@ vanmell.com
will be a hard year, and leaders will need to find courage where they can. So, this column isn’t about space-use efficiency, site selection, or a lease vs. own analysis. It’s about something much more important and rare: seeking out the inspiration and the courage to persevere. This column offers only one piece of advice: Take an afternoon to visit these three magnificent places, not to study them for ideas to use in your own buildings but simply for inspiration. Executives serious about the deep concepts of leadership know they must take time to seek out and then put that new energy to productive work. Lessons How does each of these places make you feel? Do you need to create, somehow, those same kinds of feelings within the people you will lead through 2010? Does it ever make sense to put down the spreadsheets and remind everyone how success simply feels? n
The State Capitol: Traditional and grand Opened 1917. Architect: George Post. On this trip, don’t pay attention to the building’s traditional design or gigantic scale. Look instead at the wide palette of colors, the diffuse and gentle lighting, the strong use of symbols throughout the building: the county names, the heroic figures in the mosaics, and — believe it or not — the five-foot plaster badgers about to leap off the Senate chamber doors. It’s impossible not to be inspired by what Wisconsin’s leaders conceived almost 100 years ago: Why shouldn’t leaders today also make 100-year plans?
The Overture Center: Contemporary and elegant
First Unitarian Meeting House: Intimate and natural Opened in 1951. Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright. While newly and superbly expanded, this visit should start at the original entry on University Bay Drive, and step inside the pyramid that forms the 1951 Auditorium. Forget about Wright’s personality; instead, try to absorb how the soaring, simple shapes affect the spirit. Try to sense how, unlike the Capitol, the human, intimate scale conjures the Unitarian spirit of fellowship and community, and taps the serenity of nature. As Wright said of Taliesin, “No home should be on a hill or on anything, but be of a hill.” How might today’s idea of sustainability create a spirit in your organization of care and commitment?
Opened 2004. Architect: Cesar Pelli. Time will tell if The Overture Center will overcome its budget challenges, but the building is as cosmopolitan and elegant as any in the world. The architect took great pains to make his building seem so simple; he created 24 versions of the glass dome over the entry until he found the shape that was just to his purpose. Look closer to hand than the grand Rotunda Lobby and Overture Hall to examine the details: the hallway light fixtures, the handrails on the stairs, and the careful craftsmanship everywhere. Perhaps everyone in your business already pays as much attention to details, but who wouldn’t be inspired and reminded by the care and quality of these small things?
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 27 A CLOSER LOOK
REAL ESTATE DIGEST
Prairie du Sac company expands Mueller Sports Medicine in Prairie du Sac has broken ground on a $6.5 million, 150,000square-foot expansion. The manufacturing and warehousing space will be used to help the company handle increased production, warehousing and staff needed to keep up with demand, driven in part by increased international sales over the past year, said Curt Mueller, the company’s founder and chief executive. The facility, being built next to several existing warehouses on the Mueller campus and on a former golf driving range, is scheduled to be completed in June. The structural steel building will have 12 shipping and receiving docks and will increase Mueller’s storage by 30 percent. The expansion also will free up space in other buildings to accommodate the nearly 30 employees Mueller has hired in the past 18 months. Mueller has 140 employees and 240,000 square feet of office, manufacturing and warehousing facilities at 1 Quench Drive on the village’s west side. The building was designed by Architecture/CSH Inc. and is being built by Ideal Builders, both of Madison. Mueller Sports Medicine, founded in 1961, makes a variety of athletic braces, tapes and supports, as well as Quench gum.
Real estate taxes high in Wisconsin Data released by the Census Bureau show that Northeast homeowners and those in the Midwest tend to pay the most in property taxes, with Wisconsin ranking ninth among the states, a nonprofit tax research group based in Washington, D.C., said. Wisconsin’s median real estate tax paid for 2008 was $2,963, compared to No. 1 New Jersey’s tax of $6,320 and the national median of $1,897, according to the analysis by the Tax Foundation, which advocates for what it calls “sound tax policy” based partly on its preference for low, broad-based taxes. Data came from the Census Bureau’s 2008 American Community Survey, the foundation said. Foundation Senior Economist Gerald Prante said the rankings changed little from last year’s list.
Final phase begins at Sequoya Commons Developers and city officials met recently to mark the second and final phase of the ambitious,
and sometimes contentious, transformation of Madison’s former Midvale Plaza into a $34 million retail, residential and library center now known as Sequoya Commons. The $18 million first phase of the redevelopment was finished in June 2008 at Midvale and Tokay boulevards. Phase 2 by development partners Joe Krupp and Scott Kelly will cost $16 million and be completed by spring 2011, they said. It will have 10,000 square feet of retail space and a four-story, 100-unit apartment building with underground parking.
CVS Pharmacy to build Downtown
Pharmacy retailer CVS plans to build one of its first Madisonarea stores Downtown, at the former Badger Bus depot, which is being demolished. Greyhound Bus Lines has not yet confirmed a new site for the intercity bus service. Demolition began Oct. 8, Badger Coaches co-owner John Meier said. In July, the City Council approved a mixed-use redevelopment of the depot site at West Washington Avenue and Bedford Street. The project includes 83 apartments and a CVS pharmacy with a drive-up window that the city’s plan commission approved Sept. 14. The apartments should be occupied by next August, Meier said. The 12,000-square-foot CVS won’t open until 2011, spokesperson Joanne Dwyer said. CVS is the largest retail pharmacy in the country, with 7,000 stores in 41 states. The company opened its first store in Dane County last year in Middleton.
M&I Bank has extended its moratorium on home foreclosures through Dec. 31, for customers who agree to work in good faith to reach a successful repayment agreement. First Weber Group of Madison has added two Wisconsin real estate companies to its statewide network of offices. Coldwell Banker Schwab in Oshkosh joined, adding more than 40 agents, and Prudential Premiere Real Estate of Janesville joined, adding 14 agents. First Weber Group Realtors is Wisconsin’s largest independent real estate company, with more than 50 offices and 1,500 professionals covering north central, northeast, northern, south central and southeastern Wisconsin. The company participated in more than 9,700 real estate transactions totaling more than $2.1 billion in sales in 2008.n
Cost of rent in Madison
Lodi Medical Clinic 160 valley drive, lodi
FCM Corp. of Madison
Lodi area residents will soon have a new medical clinic located near the community’s middle and high schools. The new Lodi Medical Clinic will have 15 exam rooms and two procedure rooms. Two family medicine physicians, one pediatrician, two physician assistants and a nurse practitioner will provide full-time primary care. The clinic will also feature physical therapy and occupational therapy, with visiting specialists for audiology, obstetrics and gynecology. “We’re very excited to be able to offer residents a new, efficient and conveniently located clinic, said Ken Carlson, vice president of planning and business development for Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital and Clinics. “Once we get settled next summer, we plan to offer our confer-
ence room for small community meetings and will also provide health-oriented classes there.”
Owner: Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital and Clinics General contractor: FCM Corp. of Madison Subcontractors: To be determined Architect: FCM Corp. of Madison Construction start: Sept. 14, 2009
A slight drop in the office lease rates except for Central Madison where some new higher end space has put pressure upward on the rents. Retail rates remain steady with negligible decrease in Central and East. Office/Warehouse/Flex Space reached an annual low on the West Side of Madison as the economy remains weak for storage space of goods. —Ralph Kamps, Cirex/PropertyDrive Average rent per square foot where tenant pays all or some expenses, by Madison area (as of Oct. 1, 2009):
OFFICE SPACE $13.04 East $17.78 Central $14.41 West RETAIL SPACE $11.52 East $17.97 Central West $14.54 WAREHOUSE, MANUFACT., INDUSTRY $5.77 East $8.71 Central West $6.25
Construction completion: June 2010 East
Height: One story Area: Three acres Usage: Medical clinic Total development cost: $1.8 million Parking: 57 spaces
Two Beaver Dam men and another from West Bend have purchased Wisconsin Harley-Davidson in Oconomowoc from Kirk Topel. Terms were not disclosed. The buyers are Wade Fletcher and Brad Weber of Beaver Dam and Brian Glynn of West Bend, whose partnership is under the name of Loud Pipes LLC. The motorcycle dealership is located at Highway 67 and Interstate 94. Topel will continue to own and operate Hal’s Harley-Davidson in New Berlin. CUNA Mutual Group is selling its majority ownership in The CUMIS Group Ltd., an independently managed affiliate in Canada, for about $214 million, the companies announced. The affiliate is being sold to Co-operators Life Insurance Co., which is a Canadian business partner of CUMIS, and to Central 1, a Canadian credit union. The buyers are to take over full ownership by the end of this year. CUMIS has been an affiliate of CUNA Mutual since 1977, providing insurance and other financial services to the Canadian credit union system. Its assets were almost $1 billion in late 2008, CUNA Mutual said. Based in Burlington, Ontario, the company has more than 360 full-time employees in seven Canadian offices.
An official with a flight attendants’ group says Midwest Airlines will lay off 120 pilots and flight attendants by Dec. 1, along with about 50 other employees. Toni Higgins, president of the Midwest chapter of the Association of Flight Attendants, said the layoffs will start in November. The flight crews were the last employees who staffed the Milwaukee-based airline’s Boeing 717 jets. The planes are being replaced by aircraft operated by Midwest’s new owner, Republic Airways Holdings in Indianapolis. Republic spokesman Carlo Bertolini said the Midwest crews might be brought back once their union has agreed how to combine their seniority list with that of Frontier’s flight crews. The Paddlin’ Shop, formerly known as Carl and John’s Paddlin’ Shop, 202 S. Dickinson St., closed Sept. 15 after 17 years of business. Owner John Haugen-Wente said the business had struggled the last few years and when he had to make a decision on whether to renew his lease, he elected in May to close the business, founded by Carl Busjahn. Pick More Daisies, an antiques and gift store at 1216 Williamson St., has closed. The store, owned by Dawn Hellenbrand, opened in May 1996.
28 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Nominations for Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year awards are being accepted through Dec. 1. Anyone can submit a nomination, and self-nominations are encouraged for the program, which is co-sponsored by Michael Best and Friedrich; Baker Tilly Virchow Krause and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. Up to five top awards will be given, including one recognizing environmentally sustainable practices and the other four based on number of employees. Companies will be judged on benchmarks such as product development, technological advancement, investment in training and community support, as well as three years of financial information. Nomination forms are available at www.wimoty.com. A new joint venture between the state Department of Commerce and the Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership aims to encourage more exports from state manufacturers. Many state manufacturers who export to global markets have weathered the recession better than those who depend entirely on domestic demand, said Michael Klonsinski, WMEP’s executive director. The Department of Commerce and WMEP will combine resources to help small and mid-size manufacturers assess and develop their export potential. The plan includes personal contacts to manufacturers, public workshops and other communications aimed at building awareness, knowledge and capabilities in the area of overseas trade. WMEP is a private nonprofit consulting organization working with state manufacturers. It receives financial support from the state Department of Commerce and partners with many public and private organizations to serve Wisconsin manufacturers.
MTM International, Verona, has changed its name to Naviant. Its sister company, Naviant Group, Minneapolis, will keep its name. Naviant, founded in 1986, has provided services for managing document processing and flow, including paper document and microfilm storage. Naviant Group, established in 2005, is a business process consultant.
Watson Ace Hardware opened recently in Lake Mills. The 11,000square-foot store at 142 E. Tyranena Park Road, is owned by Brian Watson, who recently retired from Virchow Krause & Co., now known as Baker Tilly. The hardware store, on the city’s north side just west of Highway 89 and across the street from the McDonald’s restaurant, employs eight full- and part-time employees.
Learning Express Toys has opened near Sears at West Towne Mall, selling educational items that include games and puzzles, developmental toys, arts and crafts kits, science and nature products, books and dolls. Learning Express has more than 100 locations nationally. Another new store, Francesca’s Collection, was scheduled to open in mid-October. Francesca’s Collection, with stores in 28 states, sells women’s clothing, accessories and gifts. It’s one of two new clothing stores set to open in October at West Towne; Forever 21 was scheduled to open in the former Steve and Barry’s location. Anytime Fitness has opened at Northgate Shopping Center, 1117 N. Sherman Ave. The club includes cardio, strength and weight equipment, showers and lockers, with key cards for 24-hour access. Andy Gundlach of Madison owns the local franchise. He now has eight Anytime Fitness clubs in the Madison area. Visit anytimefitness. com for information.
Nicki Maynard recently opened Nicki’s Diapers at 739 N. High Point Road in Sauk Point Square in the space formerly occupied by Snappy Auctions eBay store. It’s the second brick-and-mortar version of Maynard’s online business that she began in 2003 when she couldn’t find the cloth diapers she wanted. The other location, in New Glarus, remains open. Maynard’s online business, www.nickisdiapers.com, includes swimwear, swim diapers and wet/dry bags for carrying diapers or swimwear.
during this year’s event, one nonprofit organization will be selected to receive a full year of free advice and marketing materials from the agency. Leaders of the Urban League of Greater Madison announced recently that they exceeded their fundraising goal of $4 million to pay for a new building on Park Street and five years of increased programming and an endowment fund. The achievement allows the nonprofit organization to keep a $380,000 challenge grant from the Kresge Foundation and move into its first new home in more than 40 years on Nov. 17. The campaign cleared $4,111,720, with the final $650,000 raised in the last six months and the final $90,000 or so collected in the last few days. Donations for the league’s new home — a $2.8 million, three-story, 36,000-square-foot building now rising at 2222 S. Park St. as part of the Villager Mall redevelopment — came in amounts as little as $25 and as much as a $225,000 gift from the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corp.
The law firm of Michael Best & Friedrich has received the Good Counsel Award from the Respite Center, a Madison-based organization providing child care, crisis intervention, support for parents and a safe place for children. For more than 25 years, the firm — with offices in Madison and four other cities — has provided free legal services and annual charitable donations to the center through an alternative holiday giving program, in which firm members make a donation to a nonprofit Mrs. Fields cookies and other rather than give each other gifts. baked goods will now be sold at East Towne Mall with the addition Savant Capital Management of a kiosk in the center court of Inc. has been named by Barron’s the mall. Mrs. Fields began in Palo magazine as one of the 100 best Alto, Calif., in 1977. independent financial advisers in the country, its third year on the prestigious list in the investPHILANTHROPY Madison-based strategic com- ment advisory industry. Founded munications agency Knupp and in 1986, the Rockford, Ill.-based Watson chosed 14 Dane County company has offices in Madison nonprofit groups for 24 hours of and five Illinois cities: Geneva, free marketing and communica- Hoffman Estates, Freeport and tions services as part of the compa- Chicago, with clients in more than ny’s fifth annual Goodstock event 30 states and nine countries. The in October. The organizations are company was No. 35 on this year’s Ronald McDonald House Chari- Barron’s list, and was one of just ties of Madison, Dane County five Illinois financial advisers to Cultural Affairs Commission, make the list. Savant Capital ManGoodman Community Center, agement offers investment manWisconsin Early Childhood As- agement, financial planning and sociation, Community Ground- family office services. Works at Troy Gardens, The Rainbow Project, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, Common Threads Family Resource Center, Family Connections of Wisconsin, The River Food Pantry, Capital Candlelighters, Walbridge School, Focuscorp and Child Development. In addition,
American Family Children’s Hospital has been ranked second among the top pediatric institutions in the U.S. for its efficient use of electronic health records. An independent research organization, KLAS, conducted the survey.
Madison Gas & Electric has received the U.S. Department of Energy’s Utility Green Power Program of the Year award for expanding its wind and solar power programs, increasing the number of customers paying a premium to help finance renewable power projects and reducing the price of that premium. Ten percent of MGE’s electricity customers pay extra to support renewable energy and the company’s green-pricing program has the second-highest participation rate of all investor-owned utilities in the country, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. MGE is one of three companies nationwide to receive the Utility Green Power award this year. Eight Madison-area companies made Deloitte LLP’s annual Wisconsin 75 list, which ranks the top 75 closely held private and public companies in the state by annual sales revenue. The local companies on the list were four Madison companies: First Supply LLC, ranked No. 42; Gordon Flesch Co. Inc., No. 55; Webcrafters Inc., No. 65; and Placon Corp., No. 71; and four Madison-area companies: Springs Window Fashions in Middleton, No. 24; Electronic Theatre Controls Inc., in Middleton, No. 48; ABC Supply Co. Inc., in Beloit, No. 6; and Quad/Graphics Inc., in Sussex, No. 7. To be eligible, companies must have $50 million or more in annual revenues, with majority ownership by employees, family members or individuals. Excluded from the list were cooperatives, venture capital-owned companies and businesses that provide accounting, tax, legal and consulting services. Four Wisconsin breweries captured five medals from the Great American Beer Festival, which concluded recently in Denver. Capital Brewery in Middleton took home a bronze medal with its Capital Bavarian Lager in the Dortmunder or German-style Oktoberfest category. New Glarus Brewing Co. in New Glarus captured two bronze medals for its Totally Naked beer in the American-style Lager or Premium Lager category and its Raspberry Tart in the fruit beer or field beer division. Titletown Brewing Co. in Green Bay won a bronze for its Dark Helmet beer in the German style Schwarzbier category. The only gold medal from Wisconsin brewers was by Milwaukee’s Rock Bottom Brewery, which won top honors in the German-style Pilsner category for its Milwaukee 106 Pilsner. The Great American Beer Festival is the largest commercial beer competition in the world with 3,308 entries in 78 categories. The competition attracted 132 international beer judges from 10 countries.
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 29 CUNA Mutual Group retiree and credit union pioneer Larry Blanchard will be inducted into the National Cooperative Business Association’s Hall of Fame, the cooperative community’s highest honor. Blanchard, who retired from CUNA Mutual in December after about 15 years as senior vice president and Washington representative, devoted his career of more than 50 years to credit unions and still serves on the board of directors of the National Credit Union Foundation and as a consultant to CUNA Mutual. Described by the Cooperative Development Foundation as a “shaper of today’s credit union landscape,” Blanchard helped guide the enactment of the federal law establishing credit unions.
Mattel, parent company of American Girl, in Middleton, has moved its stock listing to the Nasdaq Global Select Market, effective Sept. 28. Mattel shares have been sold on the New York Stock Exchange. They continue to trade under the ticker symbol MAT.
to FareCompare.com, both carriers added the charge — technically, a fuel surcharge — for most of their fares for travel Nov. 29, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, as well as Jan. 2 and 3. More than 5,000 people applied for about 425 jobs at the new Hy-Vee grocery store that is scheduled to open on the East Side at the end of October. It’s the first Wisconsin store for the Iowa-based company, and human resources personnel came from West Des Moines to help do the hiring. They had some stories to tell, said Rob Budd, the store’s director. The store, which is at 3801 E. Washington Ave., will have 95 to 100 full-time employees, Budd said. Those jobs have medical benefits, vacation time and a 401(k) program and company match. There are also about 300 part-time jobs. The store will be open 24 hours. There will be grocery delivery from orders made online, floral deliveries, catering for homes or businesses, a food court, a Caribou Coffee kiosk, a registered dietitian on staff and a room with a kitchen for classes or meetings. A second Hy-Vee store has been approved at Westgate Mall for possible opening next year.
The board of First Business Financial Services, Madison, has announced a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock of 7 Forward Community Investcents per share, payable on Oct. ments, a Madison organization 15 to shareholders of record at that provides low-cost loans and the close of business on Oct. 1. technical assistance to Wisconsin nonprofit groups, is getting UTILITIES a $1 million grant from the U.S. WPPI Energy has reached its Treasury Department’s Commurenewable energy goal six years nity Development Financial Inearly. The Sun Prairie company stitutions Fund. Salli Martyniak, owns or buys enough power president of Forward Commufrom renewable resources, such nity Investments, formerly the as wind, hydroelectric and bioDane Fund, said the group will gas, to provide at least 10 peruse the money to meet increascent of the electricity bought by ing demand for loans and to its customers. The accomplishbuild its equity base to support ment comes six years ahead of its loans. They are used primarirequirements by the states of ly to develop affordable housing Wisconsin and Michigan for and also for health clinics, food utilities to achieve that standard pantries and other community by 2015. WPPI provides elecagency projects. tricity to 51 customer-owned utility companies in Wisconsin, Madison-based American Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Family Insurance has launched Iowa. new cell phone tools that customers can use to file a claim, MISCELLANEOUS pay insurance bills, check their The Agricultural Research accounts and locate the nearService, part of the U.S. Depart- est agent. The expansion of ment of Agriculture, has signed a customer self-service options partnership agreement with the was designed for Apple iPhone Wisconsin Security Research and Blackberry Storm users and Consortium to make it easier is tailored to mobile devices’ for Wisconsin companies to de- smaller screens and potentially velop and commercialize prod- slower Internet connections, the ucts stemming from the federal company said. The iPhone apagency’s technology. plication is available for download from the iPhone App Store MINNEAPOLIS — American and at amfam.com . The Blackand United airlines have added berry application will soon be $10 surcharges for most of their available from amfam.com and tickets for travel on three busy the Built for BlackBerry store, days around Thanksgiving and the company said. n New Year’s holidays. According
TAKE NOTE Amcore Bank has named Clark Rasmussen regional president for Wisconsin. Rasmussen has been with Amcore since 2003 and was its market president for Milwaukee. Amcore, based in Rockford, Ill., has 73 branches in northern Illinois and Wisconsin and recently announced plans to sell its branches in Argyle, Belleville, Monroe and New Glarus. Jason Tish has been named executive director of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation, the organization’s first director. The nonprofit organization helps preserve the architectural and historical heritage of the Madison area. Dr. Brad Kahl, associate professor of medicine at the UW School of Medicine and Public Health, has been named chairman of the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group, a federally funded network of researchers, physicians and health care professionals. Madison Area Rehabilitation Centers has announced its new advisory board: Timothy Howell, Gero-psychiatrist UW Hospital and Veterans Hospital; Iris Christenson, Christenson & Allex Law Office; Steve Gilles, Department of Public Instruc-
tion consultant for transition and professional development; Gregg Vanderheiden, Trace R&D Center, UW; Steve Pomplun, assistant director for community relations, Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, UW; Brian McIlhone, pharmacy supervisor, Walgreens Co. Madison Opera has announced the appointment of the following new trustees: Carla Alvarado, Dr. Laura Berghahn, Catharine Furay and Patti Lucas. The following individuals have been elected to the following officer positions: Francis Klos, president; Stephen Hurley and Peter Lundberg, vice presidents; Martin Barret, treasurer; Jan Von Haden, secretary.
riculture Farm Service Agency in Washington, D.C. Caruso resigned that position in July and returned to Wisconsin. Carl M. Axness, chairman of the Union Bank of Blair, has been named Community Banker of the Year by the Community Bankers of Wisconsin. Axness started working at the bank in 1973 as an assistant cashier and bought the bank with business partner Dennis Stephenson in 1996.
Madison Community Foundation has a new board chairwoman, Phyllis Lovrien of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. New board members are Joan Burke of First Business Trust and Investments; Frank Byrne of St. Linda Lane has been named Mary’s Hospital; Jim Bradley of chief operating officer of Inde- Home Savings Bank; Bill White pendent Living, 815 Forward of Michael Best and Friedrich; Drive. and Martha Taylor of UW Foundation. The Wisconsin Farmers Union named Doug Caruso of The Institute of Electrical and Middleton as its new president, Electronic Engineers, which has succeeding Sue Carlson. Caruso a Madison section, is celebrating was chief executive officer of 100 years of service. Two memWisconsin Farmers Specialty bers have been named to the Cheese Co. from 2003 until ear- rank of fellow: Susan Hagness lier this year, when U.S. Secre- and Parameswaran Ramanathan, tary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack both professors in UW-Madison’s appointed him administrator Electrical and Computer Engiof the U.S. Department of Ag- neering Department. n
30 n Capital Region Business Journal November 2009
Vegetable gardening 101
New program teaches children how to grow and appreciate fresh food
Sherman Middle School garden club members process herbs and produce with garden coordinator Virginia Hughes, second from left.
By James Edward Mills
esse Kurzicki is one of those rare kids who loves to eat his vegetables. And not just the peas and carrots his mom piles on his supper plate — the seventh-grader enjoys the garden produce he grows himself. “I grew up with gardens,” Kurzicki said. “Strawberry gardens my mom loves so much. And my dad, who lives up north, has a garden with corn and beans and carrots. All the green that comes from them, I think they’re great!” Kurzicki, 12, is a member of the Sherman Middle School garden club, an after-school program that provides a small plot of land for the cultivation of vegetables. There, students can grow everything from tomatoes to broccoli to cucumbers. But in addition to offering a fun out-
door activity, the garden club also helps young people acquire a taste and an appreciation for fresh, nutritious food. “I like peas a lot,” Kurzicki said. “I love them ‘cause they’re sweet and I love to crunch into them.” Started a few years ago with the support of Tory Miller, chef and co-proprietor at L’Etoile restaurant in Madison, the Sherman Middle School garden club aims to correct some of the bad eating habits common among kids today. “I heard about how food like Taco Bell and McDonald’s and Burger King was getting into our schools as part of their regular lunch menu. That just didn’t seem right to me,” Miller said. “So as a chef I wanted to see what I could do to get involved.” Working as a volunteer, Miller
began offering demonstrations to show kids how fun and easy it is to cook. A year later he partnered with the nonprofit Research, Education Action and Policy (REAP) on Food Group to create the garden club at Sherman. Called Cooking Health Options in Wisconsin, or CHOW, the program Miller helped to give kids a hands-on learning experience in what he calls an edible classroom. “Obviously I give them the recipes and the instruction. But there’s something about giving kids fresh produce and fruits and vegetables, things that they’ve never tried before, and letting them make them on their own,” Miller said. “They’re very proud of it and they really want to eat it.” Lisa Jacobson, program manager for the homegrown lunch
program at REAP, said CHOW can help children make better food choices. “Research has shown that exposure to fresh fruits and vegetables can be directly related to increased consumption,” Jacobson said. “It might sound like a no-brainer, but it really helps provide opportunities for kids to connect with the natural world.” Produce is grown at Sherman under the supervision of garden coordinator Virginia Hughes. Formerly a server at L’Etoile, Hughes now helps children understand where their food comes from. “Most of these kids have never seen vegetables growing before,” she said. “A lot of them don’t realize they come from the ground. Most think they come from the supermarket.” Hughes works with teachers
JAMES EDWARD MILLS
at Sherman to incorporate the garden into the school curriculum. Students learn a variety of lessons based on the practice of raising vegetables. “It’s not just about food,” said Miller of L’Etoile. “The kids are out there doing mapping, they’re out there doing their geometry. They’re doing tests on the soil, samples from the compost. They’re learning how to start plants from seeds.” Miller helped start the CHOW program with a grant from a private donor and money he raised in the amount of $13,000. The chef hopes to encourage the district to create similar gardens at other schools around town. “It’s not like it’s not a lot of money, but when you consider the benefits, what you get back from it,” Miller said, “you’ll get that money back in the long run.” n
November 2009 Capital Region Business Journal n 31
Lake Vista Café Monona Terrace Rooftop Garden, One John Nolen Drive
To master leadership, you must master self
Monika Wingate is founder and owner of Fountainhead Brand Consulting.
What makes it a good place for business: Lake Vista Café is a great place to enjoy the outdoors in Downtown Madison without the distractions of heavy pedestrian and car traffic. We enjoyed both the food and the view. It might be better for a casual or impromptu meeting as there is limited service and no covered patio. Of course, since cold weather is already upon us, you will have to put it on your list for spring. What to order: The fare was primarily soups, salads and hot sandwiches, with a nice mix of meat, vegetarian, and seafood choices. They also had a fun mix of beer and specialty drinks for happy hour. I ordered a margarita and fish tacos, and my
colleague ordered a Bloody Mary and Crab Cakes. We felt the food and drinks were good and the portion sizes were just right for a happy hour. About the staff: The staff at Lake Vista were friendly, although the service is very limited. We ordered from a counter and took a number for food to be delivered to the table. They did do a nice job of keeping the tables clean and we didn’t have any trouble with flies or bees, which can sometimes be challenging with outdoor venues. Cost: About $15 a person including tip. Most food items were under $8. Specialty drinks ranged from $6-7, and beer/wine ranged from $4-$6. n
on’t have the patience for a long read? Looking for the high points you can implement right away? This is your book. John C. Maxwell has a long history of writing top leadership books for both seasoned and new leaders. The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader highlights the 21 qualities found in any leader. Maxwell believes mastery of leadership comes from mastery of self, and believes if you can beDana come the leadZurbuchen er you ought to be on the inuses her side, you will be 15+ years in able to become marketing and the leader you advertising to want to be on teach and train the outside. entrepreneurs For those how to efficiently of you who and effectively want the quick market their points, you’re in businesses and luck. Maxwell themselves. For encourages more information readers to pick visit www. up the book danazurbuchen. daily and read com. just one quality. Don’t just read one – implement one. Maxwell encourages readers to go review a chapter and reflect upon it – for several days, maybe longer. Take the time sharpen that quality, to refine and perfect it. Of the 21 Indispensable Qualities, here are some that resonated with me: • Character – how a leader deals with the circumstances of life tells you many things about his character. Character is more than talk, and it is a choice. It brings lasting success with people. A leader cannot rise above
Title: The 21 Indispensable Qualities of a Leader Author: John C. Maxwell Publisher: Thomas Nelson Publication date: 1999 Binding: Hardcover Pages: 176 List price: $19.99 the limitations of his character. Character is about being bigger on the inside than on the outside. • Charisma – charisma isn’t a secret code revealed to a select few. It’s the ability to draw people to you. Those with charisma love life and give people hope. They expect the best of others and give people hope. Focus on others, not yourself. • Commitment – This is where the rubber meets the road. Commitment starts in the heart and pushes you beyond your ability. It is tested by action – do you say the words, or you do live them? Are you a cop-out, hold out, drop out, or all-out? If you think you are a good leader or looking for key areas to improve on, Maxwell’s book is the perfect addition to your library. Implementation is key, so take your time with it. Rome wasn’t build in a day – neither was a top-notch leader. n
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