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APRIL 2018 April 9th

April 20th

Sales Roundtable

Monthly Breakfast Meeting!

10 Minutes to a Better Website


Matt Karge

Northwoods Web Solutions

Leah Vukmir

Brett Healy

Candidate U.S. Senate

MacIver Institute

Inside This Issue:




Networking matters

At AT&T, we know that making connections is critical to success. In Wisconsin and across the nation, we link businesses with their customers and the world through our wireless network with access to the nation’s largest Wi-fi network. It’s just another way we help our customers stay connected. AT&T is proud to support the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin.

© 2014 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved.

IBAW thanks AT&T for it’s continued sponsorship.

MEDIA LINK Executive Director Steve Kohlmann

$15 Minimum Wage Workers Replaced By Burger Flipping Robot

President Dan Hansen Secretary Charles Fry Baird Treasurer Tony Palmen Sikich Directors

The Caliburger restaurant chain has begun testing to add a burger flipping robot to replace humans at the grill. Watch the video here.

Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Ann Barry Hanneman Von Briesen Law Office John Weber Hypneumat

IBAW Member HRS Release HR Training DVD Your Firm Can Utilize

Jeff Hoffman Boerke Co. Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries Tom Boelkow BSI Design, Build, Furnish Robert Gross Gross Automation Scott Seroka Seroka Brand Development

It’s no secret that defending your company against suits like these in court can cost $50,000 and spiral upward. That’s why a small investment in the training video Workplace Harassment, Avoidance and Solutions is the best money you and your company can ever spend.

Tom Parks Annex Wealth Management Jake Hansen Jacsten Holding Scott Hirschfeld CTaccess

Learn more...

IBAW Mission: To advance business prosperity through insightful programming, executive networking and member-driven public policy and advocacy.

Sales Roundtable Monday, April 9th, 2017 | Time: 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.  Location: CTaccess, 740 Pilgrim Parkway, Elm Grove

10 Minutes to a Better Website It's a sure bet new clients you're calling on are visiting your website to vet both you and your company. Be sure the information your website offers is working to deliver the proper message. This month Matt Karge and members from Northwoods Web Solutions will review  2 to 3 of your websites and walk through what users like about them...and what they don’t. Along they way they will provide some best practices and tips to help improve your messaging.  We'll also take a look at your competitor's website to see how they compare. The IBAW Sales Roundtable is a FREE event open only to IBAW members. Presenter...

Matt Karge

Northwoods Web Solutions

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Friday, April 20th Event Double Header: Leah Vukmir Plus Brett Healy Leah Vukmir Candidate for U.S. Senate Leah Vukmir is a nurse, military mom, and conservative with a proven record of reform. As a state Representative and Senator, Leah stood with conservatives across Wisconsin to enact some of the most sweeping, pro-job reforms ever enacted, including Governor Walker’s signature Act 10 legislation. In the face of death threats, Leah refused to back down and continues to be one of the leading voices to keep pushing Wisconsin in a more conservative direction. 

PLUS... Brett Healy, Executive Director MacIver Institute The John K. MacIver Institute for Public Policy is a Wisconsin-based think tank that promotes free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government. Mr. Healy will give us an update on legislative items from this past session and what’s on the horizon for the next session. He’ll also discuss items impacting small business and give a general “lay of the land” on what to expect in the next year.

Register at LOCATION


7:00 AM


7:30 AM


9:00 AM


The Giants Are Dying Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director If memory serves me correctly the year was 1980. I had just turned 17 and purchased my very first car - a 1972 Buick Skylark for $300 from my brother. A car in mechanically great shape but could have used some help in the looks department. Nevertheless, it was a car (freedom) and like most teenage boys from that era it was imperative to start working on that car in order to make it as cool as possible. Or at least think it was cool. Of course, without any tools this was nearly an impossible task. So I drove over to my local Sears store to purchase a Craftsman tool kit. One could buy a toolset with a couple of hundred pieces for about $200 bucks. It wasn’t a fully tricked out toolbox but it was better than the knuckle-buster special your dad had in his basement. That is my first real memory of Sears as a consumer. Of course I have been to Sears before with my mom and dad as they purchased things like washers and dryers, refrigerators, stoves, and just about everything under else under the sun. If you needed it for your house and it wasn’t at Sears, you probably didn’t need it. Sears was the go to store. But times haven’t been too good for Sears lately. About 10 months ago my wife Sue and I started getting email special offers from Sears. The offers would be like get $10 dollars off of $10. This, of course, was to get you into the store to purchase more. But being the savvy shoppers that we are, we would just go there and spend $10. And for me, it was still about purchasing tools. I’m in my 50’s now and I have more tools I know to do with but there’s still a few things I can always use. A new set of pliers, an improved screwdriver set and a few other odds and ends like that 10mm socket that is so vital in motorcycle maintenance but always seems to have a vacant spot in the toolbox because someone (me) didn’t put it back after the last job. As the months progressed the deals got better and better. Soon it was $15 off of $20 dollars and each time I would go back to the Sears at Brookfield Square filling in the few gaps of my tool chest. But now another thought had crossed my mind; was this offer to drive traffic or deplete inventory before the store closed? Rumors of Sears closing at Brookfield Square have been rampant for the last few years but somehow that location always seemed to skirt past any closings. But not anymore. With sales falling, Sears has announced they will be closing the Brookfield Square location. A retail giant is heading to extinction, and they aren’t alone. Retail toy giant Toys R Us started in the 1940’s recently announced it will close under billions of dollars in mounting debt, as well as Bon Ton and Radio Shack closing stores. And the list goes on and on. Of course, there are many experts out there doing a postmortem on Sears and why they weren’t able to make it in today’s retail environment. The most common belief of their demise is the rising of another giant - Amazon and internet sales. And there’s probably some truth to that but I don’t think it’s the only answer. I just don’t think that Sears, and some of the others were able to innovate with the times. If you remember Amazon started as a bookstore it was really in trouble at one point. It wasn’t until they began selling EVERYTHING better, faster, cheaper, we they able to save their sinking ship and become a

giant in the retail business. Additionally, Amazon’s biggest competitor, Walmart, was nothing more than a big box store until it embraced the Amazon model and is now giving Amazon a run for their money. So what can we as small business owners learn from this? The one big takeaway from all this comes down the word INNOVATION. Today’s world is so fast past and the competition is fierce. You always have to keep thinking and rethinking how your business is going to stay relevant in today’s market and five, ten and twenty years down the road. Amazon’s original model of being a book seller quickly fell by the wayside when the iPad came out and electronic books became all the rage. Amazon’s plight was simple: “change or die”. I’m no expert but the retail business is going to become more difficult as baby boomers age and as younger generations become more savvy and adapt to online retail. That’s not to say that traditional shopping is going to totally die. I think there’s still something to be said for physically driving to the store to touch and feel a product and get those in-store deals. The smart shopping malls are now creating innovative ways to physically draw in crowds by creating social aspects to traditional shopping, such as music night at the mall or kid movie night at the square. Our world is in constant change and we see it all around us every day. We get old and our joints creak more. Our kids grow up. The weather changes daily, if not hourly, in Wisconsin and thousands of other things as well. There’s no reason to think that our business models shouldn’t change. Innovation is the key.

A once fully stocked Sears tool department is now empty at Brookfield Square.

IBAW Representing Business Around The Town table d n u Ro sion s u c s Di March 16, 2018 Milwaukee IBAW executive director, Steve Kohlmann, attended a roundtable discussion held in Milwaukee hosted by the SBA Office of Advocacy from Washington D.C.. The session invited Wisconsin business owners to tell their stories of federal regulatory issues run amok. SBA officials would take these first hand accounts back to Washington to address the issues. Below is a recap story written by the SBA. ----------

Advocacy Gets a Taste of the Regulatory Problems of Wisconsin Small Businesses When you invite small businesses in Wisconsin to discuss their ideas for regulatory reform, you expect to hear from dairy farms (we did), and cheese producers (we did), and other food producers (we did). But perhaps the business representatives were encouraged by the remarks of SBA Administrator Linda McMahon, who asked them to speak freely. READ MORE...

March 15, 2018 - Brookfield

Attending a listening session with Representative Rob Hutton The IBAW attended a roundtable discussion in Brookfield with Representative Rob Hutton. Issues discussed were workforce training initiatives, transportation issues specifically relating to Moreland Road corridor. Holly Bauer, who owns AmTech Appliance Service, a small appliance repair business in Wauwatosa, told of the high cost of workman’s compensation issues related to her business and that high cost is preventing her business’s further expansion.

FACT: Culture Has NOTHING To Do With Touchy-Feely Stuff Scott Seroka, Certified Brand Consultant Mention the word “culture” to someone, and it may spark a conversation around employer branding, hiring emotionally intelligent managers, teamwork, and strategies behind building a place where people love to come to work every day. You know – all that “touchy-feely stuff” that people (especially those darn Millennials) expect from their employer that distract from the objectives of winning new business and stomping the competition. However, when you think of the world’s most valuable brands – everyone from Apple to Zappos, they all share one thing in common – each one builds and maintains cultures of high-expectations, continuous improvement, operational excellence and of course, service/product leadership. For this elite group culture is a strategy – one that is tactical, and is as deliberate as it is calculating. All of these brands recognized early on that developing a strong culture would be the prerequisite for growth and market dominance. What culture is not Culture is not the nap room, the ping-pong table in the lobby, or the half-day Fridays offered during summer months. These are merely creative and fun ways employers enable employees to take much-needed breaks to reboot and recharge in the spirit of increasing productivity. Culture is not the paid time off employers give to employees so they may contribute to a cause they believe in, such as helping to build homes through Habitat for Humanity. This is simply an example of how a company chooses to live its purpose and/ or give back to a community based on its good fortunes. (Note: When a CEO tells you s/he hires to his or her culture, s/he’s not referring to hiring a good ping-pong player.)

Culture is best defined as the way people in your organization think, act, and perform collectively, as a group. For the poorly managed company, culture is something that just happens on its own as positions are filled with skilled employees, and in the process, little to no consideration given to how they should be managed or how everyone would get along with one another. Employees are expected to “figure things out,” do what they were hired to do, and behave like a team. As you can imagine, these companies suffer from higher than average turnover and customer attrition due to a lack of leadership and structure — or, we could just say due to a crappy culture. For the companies that make their competitors sweat, their cultural infrastructures are well-defined and designed for aggressive growth and market leadership. Much like the components that make up a well-running machine, these employers hire to exacting specifications for every single role within their companies. Technical aptitude aside, these employers screen for traits such as: attitude, leadership traits, life experiences, personal beliefs and philosophies, enthusiasm, empathy, critical thinking, etc. They know and understand that the right mixture of high-quality people is exactly what’s needed to achieve lofty, corporate objectives and win. And for one company to win, another must lose. And there’s nothing soft or touchy-feely about that!


Eldercare at Work - Understanding the Impact on Employees and Employers The complexities of caregiving for both employers and employees present one of the biggest workplace challenges today and in the future. For employees, the demands of work while caring for an elder family member at home are increasingly difficult and can have lasting, negative effects on their income, career mobility, physical health, and emotional wellbeing. While employers face the challenge of supporting employee caregivers in order to maintain productivity. According to studies, as many as 42% of working Americans, more than 54 million people, have provided unpaid eldercare in the last five years. The average age of caregivers, “sandwich-generation” employees, who simultaneously care for children spouses and parents, is 49 – a peak year for earnings and achievement. Women take on slightly more responsibility for care, but men are greatly impacted as well. However, what is often overlooked is that 25% of that 54 million are millennials. Therefore, the impact of caregiving on employees is an issue for employers – a generational one.

Role of the Caregiver The average caregiver who works outside the home spends nearly 20 hours per week providing care for one or more family members. Since most working caregivers (77%) work full-time, caregiving is essentially a second job. It’s also one that can last for several years. On average, care giving is provided for more than four years, with some care extending for decades. In addition, few use paid help, with approximately 76% of working caregivers relying only their families and themselves. So, what kinds of care do family caregivers provide? The types of care range from personal Activities of Daily Living (ADLs), which include bathing, dressing, feeding, and help with toileting, to everyday tasks, or Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADLs), such as shopping, preparing meals, providing transportation, doing housework, handling finances, coordinating services, managing medications, and communicating with health care professionals.

John Becwar Executive Director, Owner, Oasis Senior Advisors

In addition, many employees are balancing caring duties alongside their careers by checking in regularly with an elderly relative over the phone and receiving distress calls from family members and concerned friends, often during working hours.

Impact of Eldercare on Employees While individuals accept care responsibilities lovingly and willingly, the consequences for working caregivers, both personal and financial, can be significant and long-lasting. These may include poorer health, increased stress (both in and out of work), time lost from work, lower productivity, quitting a job to give care, lost employer paid benefits, and lower current and future earnings, including Social Security and pension income. Eventually, 10% of caregivers report quitting their jobs to provide full-time care, resulting in an average loss of more than $303, 880 each in wage, Social Security income and pension income over a lifetime, while 10 million caregivers 50+ who care for their parents lose and estimated $3 trillion in wages, pensions, retirement funds, and benefits. There’s no doubt that caregiving takes a toll on employees and affects both their physical and mental health. In addition to career and financial sacrifices listed above, employees report that because of the demands of caregiving, they feel more tired, exercise less frequently, have less vacation time, get sick more often, and feel personal relationships have suffered.

Impact of Eldercare on Employers That all adds up to a significant impact on employers. It’s only reasonable to expect then that the detrimental effects of caregiving carry over to the workplace and have a significant impact on employers – and it does. U.S. businesses lose up to an estimated $33.6 billion per year in lost productivity from full-time working caregivers. Costs associated with replacing employees, absenteeism, workday distractions, supervisory time, and reductions in hours from full-time to part-time all take a toll. The average annual cost to employers per full-time working caregiver is $2,110. Caregiver absenteeism alone costs the U.S. economy as estimated $25.2 billion in lost productivity (based on the average number of work days missed per working caregiver, assuming $200 in lost productivity per day). Lost productivity is not the only costs employers face. Employer health care costs also increase. In one study, employers paid about 8 percent more for the health care of caregiver employees, an additional $13.4 billion per year--more in health care costs than employees without caregiving responsibilities. In addition, both younger employees (age 18 to 39) and older employees (age 50+) with eldercare responsibilities were more likely to report fair or poor health in general.

Addressing the Issue and Implementing Eldercare Programs for Employees Although many companies are implementing eldercare programs, working caregivers often fear negative reactions from their employers. While the birth or adoption of a child is celebrated and fully supported by most employers with maternity leave and day care programs, employees that struggle with the responsibilities of caregiving for an aging parent can often be perceived by employers to be less committed or competent. The notion that employees are reluctant to tell employers about their challenges is reflected in a National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC)/AARP report that shows only 56% of caregivers report that their supervisor is aware of their caregiving responsibilities. When employees don’t see a support program in place and fear of reprisal, demotion, or loss of potential upward career mobility opportunities, they often report nothing about their challenges. Some practices that employers may want to include in an eldercare program are the following: · Adopt a policy valuing caregiver employees based on job performance rather than holding them to outdated assumptions that they are not committed to their jobs. · Allow workplace flexibility, which provides alternate work arrangements: flex-time, compressed workweeks (i.e., working 10 hour days), part-time or working fewer hours for part of the year, and telecommuting. · Offer eldercare support, resources, and senior advisor/referral services to caregiver employees. By doing so, employers benefit from better worker retention, improved productivity, lower stress, improved moral and physical health among workers.

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Providing access to senior advisor services is an easy and no cost option for employers to effectively support employee caregivers and can serve as a core component to the implementation of an eldercare program or policy. The role of a senior advisor is to discuss, educate, and provide caregivers senior living options for their loved one If a transition to assisted living or memory care is decided to be the best course of action, the senior advisor can help provide the best living options based on the care levels required, financial capability, social and geographic preferences. The senior advisor can also refer the family to other important services, such as: · Veterans Benefits Counselors – Aid & Attendance Pension · Elder Law Attorneys · Senior Moving/ Downsizing/Relocation Specialists · Senior Real Estate Specialists · Financial Planners · Estate Property Cleaning Service Of course, for most seniors remaining at home is the preferred option. If that is safe and appropriate for the senior, some recommendations may be the following: · In-Home Care – Assistance with cares or other activities through a home care agency or volunteer organizations · Adult Day Services – These centers provide social and therapeutic activities for seniors in a safe, supportive environment. They primarily serve seniors suffering from some form of dementia and that cannot be left alone, so an invaluable resource to caregivers · Home Modifications – If the home is suitable for modifications, such as ramps, railings, grab bars, etc., there are companies that specialize in that area. Some even have occupational therapists on staff to ensure the best and safest environment.

Summary The first step for employers is to accept and begin to understand the challenges of their employee caregivers. Many studies have found that flexible workplace policies lead to more productive employees, lower absenteeism, reduced costs, and improved profits. These policies also help employee retention and recruiting, allowing employers to retain a talented and knowledgeable workforce and save the money and time that would otherwise have been spent on recruiting, interviewing, selecting, and training new employees. It’s imperative for human resource departments to get ahead of this issue, first, by acquiring the appropriate knowledge and education about the daily struggles of employee caregivers. Why, because they are not likely openly sharing them with management in the workplace. The issues caregivers face are not much different than those of new parents of young children, yet the perception within most workplace environments is not nearly as supportive. Employers need to publicly acknowledge the challenges of employee caregivers and implement policies to address them. When employers begin to create a supportive environment for this segment of their workforce, the research suggests it will result in both higher productivity and profitably.

Join us for a complimentary employment law briefing. APPLETON – TUESDAY, APRIL 3, 2018

Keeping up with changing laws is a full-time job, and you’ve already got one.



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RACINE – TUESDAY, APRIL 10, 2018 Delta Hotels Racine 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 7111 Washington Avenue Highway 20 Racine, WI 53406 (262) 886-6100

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BROOKFIELD – WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11, 2018 Embassy Suites by Hilton 8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. 1200 South Moorland Road Brookfield, WI 53005 (262) 782-2900

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Over $460 Million in Income Leaves Wisconsin Every Year Ola Lisowski, The MacIver Institute

Thousands of Wisconsinites leave the Badger State every year, taking millions of dollars with them – a bleak trend highlighted by recent Internal Revenue Service data. An average of $463 million left the state annually from 2011 to 2016, according to tax records. Between 2015 and 2016 alone, 5,185 fewer households filed tax returns in Wisconsin. Total adjusted gross income – all the income that Wisconsinites reported – fell by a shocking $461 million in that year alone. Wisconsinites are leaving in droves, and they’re taking their nest eggs with them. From 2011 to 2016, more than $2.3 billion left the state of Wisconsin. A net 35,788 people have left in that time, an average of 7,158 fewer Wisconsin tax filers every year.

If Wisconsin is to succeed in the 21st Century, it must step up its game to become both a regional and a national beacon for new residents and businesses. What Wisconsin lacks in physical warmth, it should make up in the welcoming warmth of our people. We need new ideas to keep our young people here, to attract new talent for our unfulfilled job openings and to keep our retirees from moving south permanently. We new strategies that make it clear that everyone – yes, even those pesky Chicagoans – should move here.

But instead of welcoming new residents, those who are already here are packing up and leaving year after year. Even though the state’s total population is still slowly growing, thousands make the tough decision to pack up “home” one cardboard box at a time and move out of the state. They move out in the hopes of finding a better life and lower taxes elsewhere. It’s not a

new trend – Americans have been leaving the Midwest and East for the South and West for some time. We should not, however, accept it as inevitable. The Walker administration recently passed a $6.8 million initiative to attract young people and veterans to Wisconsin, touting its low cost of living. Clearly, the administration knows that we need new talent in the state to stay competitive and keep growing. With unemployment at record lows, the problem is no longer Wisconsinites finding good-paying jobs, it’s finding talented workers to fill the jobs we have. One way to attract those workers is by continuing to treat them better by lowering the overall tax burden. Texas, which has no income tax, has been a beacon in this regard. The Lone Star State attracts more domestic migrants than any other state, with an average of 519 incoming residents every single day in 2017. From 1992 to 2016, Texas gained almost $47 billion in adjusted gross income. Wisconsin, on the other hand, lost $4.82 billion in wealth. Census Bureau statistics show where Wisconsinites go when they leave, and where new Wisconsinites came from when they arrive. Overwhelmingly, Badgers are moving to Florida, Arizona, Texas, and Colorado, all states with lower tax burdens than Wisconsin. New Wisconsinites – including yours truly – often hail from Illinois, which has the worst fiscal rating in the nation. The numbers in Texas show a similar story. The majority of new residents are coming from high-tax states with poor fiscal health such as California, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. The tax burden isn’t the only reason why people choose to move, but it cannot be ignored. Capital flows to where it is treated best. To welcome new residents to Wisconsin and keep our economy flowing, the state should consider lowering taxes across the board.

Bipartisan IRS Reform and Tax Compliance Relief Ray Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C.

Reforming and modernizing the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in order to reduce complexity and cut the costs of tax compliance is a big priority for American small business. Therefore, it’s good to see bipartisan efforts moving forward in Congress on this front. Why does this matter? In October 2017 congressional testimony, Kristie Arslan, entrepreneur-in-residence for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, explained: “With over 2.4 million words, the tax code is so overwhelming that it is extremely difficult for small business taxpayers to reliably and accurately comply with the breadth of tax regulations. Most especially, the smallest businesses among us who cannot afford an accountant or CFO to consistently monitor the tax code and tax policy are the most disadvantaged. “According to a 2016 Tax Foundation study, Americans will spend more than 8.9 billion hours complying with IRS tax filing requirements in 2016.  The majority those hours was spent complying with business tax regulations (2.8 billion hours) and individual income tax requirements (2.6 billion hours.)  The price tag for this compliance burden was $409 billion last year. “On top of the compliance burden, our tax code has not kept pace with our changing economy.  Technology has been a game changer in the way we do business, evident by the explosion of ecommerce and the sharing economy.  Policymakers need to consider changes to the tax code to bring it into the 21st Century.”

Introduction of the Bipartisan “Taxpayers First Act” On March 26, as noted in a media release from the House Ways and Means Committee, “Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Lynn Jenkins (R-KS) and Ranking Member John Lewis (D-GA) published a discussion draft entitled ‘The Taxpayer First Act.’” According to the discussion draft, this act brings together provisions “from at least 18 different bills, most of them bipartisan and bicameral.” The effort is an attempt “to modernize the agency’s information technology, infrastructure, and services,” and to “return the IRS back to its ‘service first’ mission.” Small business owners certainly like the sound of that. Among the provisions of interest to small business are: The demonstration of probable cause to seize funds. The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requires the reporting of currency transactions exceeding $10,000. However, a “Committee investigation … found that the IRS was seizing funds that appeared to have been structured,” i.e., cash transactions falling below the $10,000 threshold. But “numerous small business owners had legitimate reasons for keeping their transactions under $10,000, such as insurance policies that only protected cash-on-hand up to $10,000.” Under the “Taxpayers First Act,” the IRS would have to show probable cause that payments structured to avoid the BSA “are derived from an illegal source or connected to other criminal activity.” Along these same lines, under The Taxpayer First Act, “if a court determines the government should return funds and interest to an individual whose funds were seized by the IRS based on allegations of structuring, the interest will be exempt from income tax.”  The bill also modifies the rules for seizures of “perishable goods” to only perishable goods. Establishment of the Internal Revenue Service Independent Office of Appeals. The bill proposes that all taxpayers have access to the administrative review process, allowing for their cases to be heard by an independent decision maker. According to the draft, “For the first time, this provision codifies the IRS Independent Office of Appeals and provides for additional Congressional oversight over decisions to withhold taxpayers from the administrative review process.” Taxpayers would also be able to access “the case against them” as opposed to having to go through the time-consuming and complex Freedom of

Information Act (FOIA) process. This provision “would require the IRS to provide the taxpayer with their case file prior to the start of any dispute resolution process.” Limitation on access of non-Internal Revenue Service employees to returns and return information. The legislation would prohibit people from outside the IRS “from examining books, records, and witness testimony as part of an examination other than for the sole purpose of serving as an expert.” In addition, the bill ensures “that only IRS employees or the Office of Chief Counsel are able to question a witness under oath.” The outsourcing of key cases to powerful law firms has been very controversial, with good reason, and can lead to abusive practices where outside firms (and their actions) are not help into account. Taxpayer Rights Strengthened. Various provisions within the “Taxpayers First Act” would also beef up various taxpayer rights as well as IRS efforts to fight identity theft. More Bipartisanship Another bipartisan bill developed by the House Small Business Committee last year also addresses common sense solutions that would modernize the tax system and provide relief for small businesses. SBE Council is a strong supporter of the “Small Business Tax Simplification Act,” H.R. 3717, which was introduced in October 2017. In a letter to House Small Business Committee Chairman Steve Chabot (R-OH) and Ranking Member Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), SBE Council president & CEO Karen Kerrigan wrote: “Some of the thresholds in our tax system have not been updated since the 1950s. Various provisions have not kept pace with technological advancements and the modern economy. Other policies just never made sense.  H.R. 3717 provides simple fixes that reduce costs, complexity and uncertainty. “As proposed in H.R. 3717, SBE Council fully supports the modern thresholds for self-employment income and Form 1099-Misc filings (the latter of which aligns with 1099k reporting requirements); aligning quarterly reporting deadlines; allowing business owners to both offer and participate in cafeteria plans; allowing a deduction for certain health insurance costs for self-employment tax purposes; allowing voluntary withholding agreements and training services between contractors and ‘gig’ entrepreneurs without impacting worker classification; and uniform standards for the use of electronic signatures.” The passage of H.R. 3717 is a key priority for SBE Council as noted in our 2018 Policy Agenda for Entrepreneurs and Small Businesses: Tax System Modernization. The legislation – whether advanced on its own, or as part of a “Phase II” on tax reform being discussed by Republican congressional leaders – would make significant and positive changes for our nation’s entrepreneurs, and also makes sense as the bill’s provisions would also improve efficiency at the IRS. Productive bipartisanship is not dead in our nation’s capital. That is evidenced by these efforts to modernize and reform the IRS. Passing such measures and having them signed into law would be positive steps for U.S. entrepreneurs and small businesses, and therefore, for our economy. __________ Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP:  The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.


As the CEO, President, or Owner you are asked to produce more results with fewer resources, meet and exceed competition, innovate and motivate. This creates very difficult teams and leadership challenges. Leaders must encourage teamwork, bottom-up idea generation, alignment, loyalty and above all commitment. Rather than direct and dictate, leaders must inspire and motivate!

The Presidents Circle: The IBAW and Dale Carnegie Training have developed an exclusive Leadership program for IBAW members only. The Presidents Circle combines peer group engagement and highly targeted executive Dale Carnegie Training among peers to help you achieve significant results. These results will be achieved by providing insights, peer challenges, and developing leadership skills which are aligned with your organization and which will help drive agendas. By combining corporate mission, vision and values with our unique methodology employees will begin supporting a world they helped create.Ultimately, the only sustainable competitive advantage is the innovation, motivation, and creativity of the employees of an organization. Establishing a strong leadership culture provides the environment where innovation and creativity can flourish.

Program Specifics: • • • •

Meetings with other IBAW CEOs/Presidents/Business Owners 10 monthly meetings Dale Carnegie Executive Leadership Training workshop each session. Round Table Issues Discussed and Resolved

• • •

Guided Yearly planning Accountability among peers. Business Results

The President’s Circle will help you achieve results by: • • •

Providing training among peers Creating and sustaining change initiatives Ensure continuous improvement and bottom-line impact

• • • • •

Align the organization behind a common vision Develop a habit of fact-based decision making at every level. Strengthen and implement strategic planning Create a value based culture to ensure loyalty Build energy and trust up and down the organization to insure customer loyalty.

Program Leader: Steve Bobowski

“Knowledge isn’t power until it is applied.” -Dale Carnegie

Commitments: • Attend meetings • No cost for meetings, a benefit of IBAW membership •

Referrals or 3 enrollments

This program is now forming and is limited in the number which can attend. For more information, contact Program Leader Steve Bobowski by clicking here.

Coach’s Corner: Build Rapport with Your Audience Steve Bobowski, Dale Carnegie

It’s never easy being the new person. This should not be viewed as a disadvantage, rather an opportunity to create a great first impression on some senior people in your company. Here are a few ways to build rapport with your audience. 1)

Be grateful– Consider yourself honored to speak – and say so. Give honest sincere appreciation.


Be inclusive– Include the audience by using words like “we”, stay away from using “you”. This will make everyone a part of the presentation.

3) Don’t apologize – If you make a mistake or if you’re stuck, don’t apologize. Most likely, it will not seem as bad as you think and an apology will only call attention to it. 4) Talk in terms of your audience –Always make sure to choose your words carefully. Sometimes your audience might not know jargon; you should use terms that you know they understand. 5) Have a good time – Smile and speak naturally. If you are enjoying speaking, most likely your audience is enjoying listening.

President's Circle Leadership Group Friday, April 6th, 2017 | Time: 8:00 am - 11:30 am  Location: Dale Carnegie Offices, 6737 W. Washington, Suite 3105, West Allis As the CEO, President, or Owner you are asked to produce more results with fewer resources, meet and exceed competition, innovate and motivate.  This creates very difficult teams and leadership challenges.  Leaders must encourage teamwork, bottom-up idea generation, alignment, loyalty and above all commitment. 

Register Now

: S E L A S

2nd Monday of the Month SALES ROUNDTABLE 7:30 am - 9:00 am Free & open to IBAW members only Register at

Sales can be a tough road of ups, downs, potholes and a few bumps. But it can also be fast paced, exhilarating and rewarding. If you’re in sales, you know there are things only other sales people understand; the thrill of scoring the big account, the uncertainty of “let me think about that.”, the frustration of phone calls or emails that don’t get returned. IBAW’s Sales Roundtable is a support and knowledge resource for sales professionals, business owners, marketing and branding experts who are charged with driving sales. Join us to discuss the strategy, tactics, inspiration, and motivation to increase sales. It’s a FREE benefit of your membership! Who should attend: • Sales professionals of any level. • Business owners • Sales Managers • Marketing & P.R. Professionals

“For many years I ran sales meetings for as few as 3 and as many as 22 sales rep’s now I can go as a participant once a month to IBAW’s Sales Roundtable.

BONUS! Join the IBAW Sales Roundtable and get a compact disc with the BEST in Sales Survival Music. Play it to pump you up before that big meeting or to console you if you hit a sales slump. Guaranteed to make life better.

It’s a focused meeting and everyone wants the same thing – to be more effective at selling.” - Jerry Wick, CEO, Custom Data Too Mail

IBAW Public Policy Committee Hosts Legislative Roundtable in Brookfield

On the afternoon of Thursday, January 25th, the IBAW Public Policy Committee hosted a Legislative Roundtable featuring Senator Lena Taylor, Senator Chris Kapenga, Representative Rob Hutton and Representative Dale Kooyenga, held at the offices of Sikich in Brookfield. Welfare reform, excessive business regulations and the ever increasing shortage of a competent workforce were the main concerns of business owners. Additionally, the topic of the present state of the city of Milwaukee - crime, unemployment and the state of Milwaukee Public Schools, became quite heated at times. Look for more Roundtables discussions by the Public Policy Committee in the future.

4th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot! Join the IBAW for an afternoon of fun and fellowship at our 4rd Annual Sporting Clay Shoot at the Waukesha Gun Club. Come by yourself or bring your business associates. Gather up a team of 4 and there's special sponsorship opportunities available. Contact Steve Kohlmann for details. Your fee includes: - Shooting time & shells - Big lunch buffet - 2 drink tickets per person - Special networking afterparty - Door Prize Drawing Ticket Registration is now open! For more information or to register, click here.

New s Shooter e! Welcom

IBAW is on an upward trend of growth and we are actively recruiting businesses just like yours to join! When you join IBAW your entire company is a member - anyone from your team can attend our fine educational and networking events. Help yourself, your business AND your Team Members. Come on in...we’re open for business!

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2018 Membership Committee

Jake Hansen Jacsten Holdings

Charles Fry Robert W. Baird

Mike Poludniak Merrill Lynch

Dan Hansen

Tom Parks Annex Wealth Mgt.

Legislative Fix Moving Ahead for Wisconsin’s New Manufacturing & Agricultural Credit Jim Brandenburg, CPA, MST - Sikich LLP

In IBAW meetings and publications in recent years we have introduced you to Wisconsin’s new tax incentive - the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit (referred to as the “MAC”). The MAC came about in 2011 to provide an incentive for Wisconsin manufacturers and agricultural companies to remain and grow here, and also perhaps to have out-of-state companies move here.  It was scheduled to begin in 2013, and when fully phased-in by 2016 it would essentially exempt any Wisconsin manufacturing and agricultural income from Wisconsin income tax.  The MAC was championed by Representative Dale Kooyenga and Senator Glenn Grothman in the legislature. 

Magazine Content Needed Consider Submitting an Article!

The MAC, however, had some problems for individual taxpayers when it was drafted and this glitch was recently identified. Here is the issue in a nutshell: the MAC would reduce a taxpayer’s Wisconsin individual income tax, but then would trigger a Wisconsin minimum tax for nearly the same amount.  Thus, there may be little, if any, net savings for the MAC in 2013 (a “MAC Attack?”).  The legislature is trying to remedy this situation now so that taxpayers can realize the proper tax savings with the MAC on their 2013 Wisconsin individual tax returns. 

The IBAW magazine is in need of content, we rely on our members and sponsors to supply us informative articles. The digital magazine is sent out to over 650 contacts statewide and the magazine is parked on the web where, on average, it gets over 1100 views.

Legislative Update: It seems that all key legislative leaders are now on board to correct this issue.  It was approved by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week.  The Senate and Assembly will be in session in March and voting on final passage for several bills, one of which is this tax bill with the MAC correction.  It looks like the legislative timetable will have the bill passed near the middle of the March, before going to the Governor.  Thus, a best guess now is that the bill would be enacted into law somewhere in the latter half of March, 2014.    MAC Attack Options:  For any of our individual taxpayers taking advantage of the MAC, this may present some filings logistics.  Here are the possibilities:

1. Best case scenario - in some cases the taxpayer’s share of the MAC for 2013 will be used and not result in a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. A taxpayer in this situation could go ahead and claim the MAC and file their 2013 Wisconsin individual return.  There would be no need to wait for the legislation to pass.  

Consider writing an article on a timely business related topic to your particular field of business. This is an outstanding opportunity for you and your company to gain exposure and increase your brand awareness to a statewide audience. There is no cost to submitting an article.

2. Next, a taxpayer has generated a MAC for 2013, but it will trigger a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. The taxpayer in this case could wait until the law is changed (and then wait a little for the WDR to update its computer processing systems) and then file their Wisconsin tax return and claim the MAC, and not incur the Wisconsin Minimum Tax.  This could present a tight timeline for the April 15 deadline, and you may need to file for an extension.

3. Similar case as #2, but this taxpayer could file their Wisconsin individual return with the MAC, but also incur and pay a Wisconsin Minimum Tax for 2013. Then, once the corrective law is enacted go back and file an amended 2013 Wisconsin tax return to obtain the proper tax benefit of the MAC.  You would not need extend, but you would need to amend. We’ll keep you posted as this legislation moves forward.  If you have any questions, please contact Jim Brandenburg or Brian Kelley at Sikich, LLP in Brookfield (262)754-9400.  

Contact Steve Kohlmann for details.

Articles submitted by our members & sponsors.

Welcome New IBAW Members!

Meeting Recaps 2014 Wisconsin Manufacturing Knowledge Summit

Power Test

On June 20, 2014 the IBAW partnered with the Tool, Die & Machining Association of Wisconsin (TDMAW) to offer Wisconsin manufacturers and their suppliers a unique look at trends within the industry and to also report on some of the challenges the industry faces in the next 5 years.

Power Test, Inc. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and implementation of dynamometers and control systems.

Special thanks to the event sponsor, First Business Bank for their efforts in helping organize this event.

For more than 37 years, Power Test has provided specialized test equipment to manufacturers, rebuilding facilities and distributors globally. Our products can be found in use at these facilities in nearly 100 countries on six continents.

Chris Halaska

2 3


Our headquarters and manufacturing operations are located in Sussex, WI with sales representatives worldwide. Our unparalleled customer service is well known throughout the industry. Power Test employs a dedicated staff of talented machinists, fabricators, electronic technicians, assemblers, designers, engineers, software developers, and administrative and customer service personnel. Our exceptional product life and excellent customer service is well known throughout the industry and has made us one of the industryleading dynamometer manufacturers. Our dedication to the customer and to the advances in powertrain component testing keep us there.

Power Test N60 W22700 Silver Spring Drive Sussex, WI 53089 Phone: 262-252-4301

4 Advanced Waste Services Advanced Waste Services is an environmental services company that provides wastewater recycling and other waste and risk elimination services to manufacturers in all industries.  Each day, AWS helps hundreds of businesses, both large and small, meet their community and environmental obligations.   Annually, we collect, treat and recycle more than 50 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into clean, reusable water and other valuable resources like fuel, steam and electricity.     AWS is constantly helping our clients manage, reinvent and improve their sustainability successes.   For example, we recently partnered with Forest County Advanced Waste Services Potawatomi Community to help Wisconsin food and beverage manufacturers convert 1126 South 76th Street food waste into clean, green renewable energy. Suite N408B   West Allis, WI 53214 Founded in 1993, AWS employs 55 people in the Milwaukee area and a total of 150   people companywide in 5 states.    414-847-7100

Photo Key 1: A full house in the main ballroom of the Wisconsin Club as IBAW & TDMAW members prepare to hear about the state of manufacturing and the challenges the industry faces in the workforce.


2: David Vetta of First Business Bank delivers opening remarks and highlights the importance of a strong relationship between banking and manufacturing working together for success. 3: New IBAW President, John Weber of Hypneumat addresses the change in IBAW Bylaws and calls for voting in new board officers. 4: Kent Lorenz of Acieta gives the main presentation on “Manufacturing Matters” pointing out the trends on manufacturing now and what to expect in the future. 5: Outgoing IBAW President, Steve Van Lieshout receives his award for his efforts as 2013 - 2014.

6 Photos courtesy of Tim Townsend.

6: IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann (Left) presents David Drumel with an award for his service on the IBAW board.

Spotlight on new members

Get Connected. Get Inspired. Get Informed.


Click on their name to visit their website.

AT&T ITU AbsorbTech Park Bank HNI Risk Advisors Advantage + Ixonia Bank Bank Mutual Johnson Financial Group Sikich Lauber CFO’s RW Baird von Briesen Vrakas Boerke Co. Rickert Industries BSI - Design, Build, Furnish

Annex Wealth Management MSI General Contractors BMO Harris Powertest Red Elephant Chocolate Wisconsin Lutheran College Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren, S.C. Hypneumat Mfg Sta Electric Lemberg Electric Olgletree Deakins Sponsor support helps IBAW continue to bring insightful programming to small business owners. Help keep Wisconsin business strong! Ask about becoming a sponsor today!

Thank you to our Corporate Sponsors who make your IBAW programing possible. Click on their logo to visit their website. Senior Sponsors XXXX XXXX XXX XXXX

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As an advocate for small business, the IBAW offers intimate meetings on relevant topics such as Leadership, HR, Sales, and Political Issues. Business Leaders...Leading Business

Join us. “...the sales round table was very informative, Judson will be renewing our membership in the IBAW. Thank you and I look forward to more roundtables!”   Dominic Misasi, Judson and Associates s.c.

“ I almost always come away from an IBAW meeting with useable material that helps me with my business. Many times, a speaker will give me something that applies to ITU AbsorbTech. Other times, it is a conversation over breakfast that gives me value.” Jim Leef, President & CEO, ITU AbsorbTech

“Being involved with a business organization like the IBAW is critical for small business owners in Wisconsin for growth and to have a voice with government.” Rich Meeusen, CEO, Badger Meter.

Education • Networking • Political Advocacy BUSINESS LEADERS...LEADING BUSINESS / 262-844-0333 /


960 Timber Pass Brookfield, WI 53045 Office: 262-844-0333

Membership Application

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IBAW membership is based on the number of full time employees in your company.

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1 - 15 Employees ...............$300.00 16 - 25 Employees ...............$400.00 26 - 49 Employees.................$500.00 50 or more Employees...........$600.00 SPECIAL OPTION: Prepay breakfasts meetings. Get 12 for the price of 10!


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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS apply to your entire team. • Monthly Sales Roundtable - free with membership • Monthly 5 Star Breakfast Program • C Level Peer to Peer Networking • Monthly Digital Statewide Magazine - free with membership • Informative workshops • Business Behind the Scenes Tour • Legislative Updates & Representation from Madison & Washington, D.C. ...AND MORE!

Paying By Check? Please make check payable to IBAW. Want to pay credit card? If you would like to pay by Visa, MasterCard or American Express, you can pay online at or by calling the IBAW office at 262-844-0333.

April 2018 IBAW magazine  

A publication for the Wisconsin business owner filled with insightful articles and valuable information.

April 2018 IBAW magazine  

A publication for the Wisconsin business owner filled with insightful articles and valuable information.