JUNE 2017 June 16th
“The Wisconsin Construction Boom” “Open Discussion” Bring your toughest sales & marketing problems! Special Panel Discussion
Inside This Issue:
NON QUALIFIED DEFERRED COMPENSATION PLANS: BALANCING EMPLOYER & EMPLOYEE GOALS
FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN THE UW SYSTEM
DID POLITICS TRUMP GOOD POLICY IN SELF-FUNDED INSURANCE DEBATE?
a is B
SPORTING CLAY WRAP UP!
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.
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IBAW thanks AT&T for it’s continued sponsorship.
IBAW MEDIA LINK Senator Lankford (R-OK) on Removing Regulatory Burdens: “Cumulative Burden is Crushing Small Business”
Executive Director Steve Kohlmann President Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Secretary Dan Hansen Waukesha State Bank President Elect 2016-17 Craig Coursin Stier Construction VP. State & National Programs Charles Fry Baird
To watch, click here.
Treasurer Casey Malek Sikich Directors Ann Barry Hanneman Von Briesen Law Oﬃce John Weber Hypneumat Jeﬀ Hoﬀman Boerke Co. Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries Tom Boelkow BSI Design, Build, Furnish Robert Gross Gross Automation Scott Seroka Seroka Brand Development
IBAW Mission: To advance business prosperity through insightful programming, executive networking and member-driven public policy and advocacy.
Independent Business Association of Wisconsin
The Construction BOOM!
Wisconsin’s construction sector has been RED HOT with the new Buck’s arena, NML tower, The Corners in Brookfield, massive expansion in Racine and Kenosha counties not to mention all the apartment construction. Will it continue? For how long? What impact does all this have on the job market for the trades? What does the construction sector look like for the next 5 years? Join us for a special panel discussion with industry leaders from different construction sectors.
Register at IBAW.com LOCATION
THE WISCONSIN CLUB 900 W. WISCONSIN AVE. MILWAUKEE
REGISTRATION & NETWORKING
BREAKFAST & PROGRAM
President’s Circle IBAW / DALE CARNEGIE PRESIDENTS CIRCLE A LEADERSHIP PROGRAM FOR CEOs, PRESIDENTS, AND BUSINESS OWNERS
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.
Sales Roundtable Monday, June 12th, 2017 | Time: 7:30 am - 9:00 am Location: CTaccess, 740 Pilgrim Parkway, Elm Grove
Back by popular demand we'll have this meeting as an open discussion. Use this opportunity to talk about your biggest sales or marketing challenges or float new tactics with the group and get honest feedback.
Register at IBAW.com
BIER...With ED Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 | Time: 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm Location: Cafe Hollander at the Corners of Brookfield, 20150 Union St., Brookfield, WI 53045
Join IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann for a private bier tasting at the new Cafe Hollander with IBAW's newest member, The Corners of Brookfield. We'll get a sampling of some to the finest biers offered in southeastern Wisconsin. At 5:45 will get an exclusive walking tour of The Corners of Brookfield project with Chelsea Roessler and Dave Olson of the Corners of Brookfield. Guests are welcome when accompanied by an IBAW member. This is a free event courtesy of The Corners of Brookfield.
Register at IBAW.com
Lessons from the Airlines Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director Perhaps this is unusual but I like airline flight. Now I don’t fly all that much, if I’m on a plane a few times over the course of several years that’s probably a lot. The few times I do fly, I’m amazed that you can walk into a metal tube, sit down in relative comfort and be just about anywhere in the country in only a few hours. The phrase “relative comfort” has been harder to come by as the airlines swap legroom for more seats. I’m 6’5”, and while legroom is certainly an issue for me, I always go for the low fares - because I’m cheap. The trade off is I have to fold up my long legs and stuff myself into a tight seat and endure for the flight. The flying experience has taken an ugly turn over the last several months. United Airlines dragging one of its passengers off the plane has dominated the news. Captured as it happened by cell phone camera, this incident showed the dark side of the airline customer service experience. United Airlines took it on the chin (pun intended) when the video went viral on the internet and nightly news. Late night talk show hosts had a field day with it at United’s expense; “United Airlines - we don’t beat the competition, we beat you” and “Please remain seated until violently dragged off”. Funny and not funny at the same time. Delta had its own brush with bad service, again caught on camera. That video showed a Delta flight attendant challenging a mother of a young child about storing a stroller in the overhead compartment. In that case, another passenger stepped forward ready to do battle with the flight attendant. Things escalated quickly between the two and almost came to blows. Customer service in the airlines industry has been eroding for years. I’m old enough to remember when flying was considered a luxury - people actually dressed up to fly. To compete with train travel, airlines offered amenities such as full meals, wide seats and yes...legroom. “Fly the friendly skies” was more than a slogan, it was true.
“Can you imagine how luxurious flying will be in the year 2017?”
“Dear God, don’t let them kill me.’’
What’s the big take away from all this? Customers are why we are in business and everything must be done -within reason of course - to give them a positive experience leading to many happy returns. A bad experience can quickly spin out of control and end up on a social media site for all the world to see. There’s an old business saying that goes like this; “In order for a business to be successful it has to take care of two things: The product and the customer. If you take care of the product, it doesn’t come back. If you take care of the customer, they do come back.” It’s just that easy. And it’s just that hard.
Legislative Update State Representative Rob Hutton, 13th Assembly District
Rep. Hutton Statement on Signing of the Project Labor Agreement Bill MADISON - I want to thank the Governor for signing this important piece of legislation today, said Representative Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield.) This legislation removes another artificial government barrier to competition on publicly funded projects. By opening up the bid process for public works projects we promote greater competition. More competition results in higher quality and lower costs on taxpayer funded projects. Project Labor Agreements often required contractors to enter into collective bargaining agreements, as a condition to bid on public works projects. This prevented those firms, who are otherwise well qualified to compete, from bidding on many public projects while inflating the overall cost.
Legislative Update Currently, there are five bills that I have introduced that are working their way through the Legislative process. Below is a brief description of two of those bills. Please feel free to call my office or lookout for my next E-update for more information on other proposals. Government Leasing Practices AB 205 ñ This bill would add transparency and additional protective measures to the way Government handles leasing for property to house State Agencies. This measure is intended to protect taxpayers from lease agreements that have gone unchecked in the past causing Government to severely overpay for its housing needs. The bill is in the State Affairs committee where it has received a public hearing and executive session where it passed on a vote of 11-4.
Adoption AB 208 ñ This bill fixes a loophole in our tax code in regards to families that are able to claim a deduction after adopting a child. Current law allows for Wisconsin families who finalize their adoption in a Wisconsin court, whether adopting a kid in state, out of state, or out of country, to claim a tax deduction. However, if adopting out of state, some states require that you finalize the adoption in their court which does not allow the family to be eligible to claim Wisconsin s deduction. AB 208 clarifies that as long as the adoption is finalized whether in this state or another the adopting Wisconsin family can claim Wisconsin deduction. The bill is scheduled to receive a public hearing in the Children and Families Committee on Wednesday May 31st. I have also submitted this as an item to be considered to be included in the biennial budget.
Town Halls Over the past two months I have held listening sessions throughout the 13th Assembly District to discuss the Governor s proposed budget and hear your feedback. Thank you to everyone who came out to share their thoughts and insights on the many different proposals contained in the budget. The Joint Committee on Finance started voting on the proposed budget and the many different motions that are offered at the beginning of this month. Once voting has concluded we will have a budget constructed by the legislature that will go before the Assembly and Senate floors for approval. Please feel free to continue contacting my office during this time to voice your position on the Governor’s budget and the motions that JFC is voting on.
MESSAGE FROM THE BOARD
You’re Either at the Table or You’re on the Menu
There are no shortage of challenges that face a small business owner on a daily basis. Trying to find your next revenue stream, growing your talent base, navigating employee health coverage or simply making payroll are all tasks that a courageous entrepreneur touches in a day of work. In addition to the day to day responsibilities of simply keeping the lights on, all too often government makes the process of growing a business that much more difficult with incredibly complex regulations, an archaic tax code, and a bureaucracy that demands time and resources to navigate. Time and resources that a small business owner simply does not have. I have been on the Board of Directors for the IBAW since 2008 and had the honor to serve as the President of the Organization from 2008 -2010. I have been involved with many different business organizations throughout my career and the IBAW unequivocally has a unique value proposition compared to alternative options. 1.) Insightful monthly programming that allows you to think outside the box of your business and see what is going on in the world around you. The IBAW consistently has successful entrepreneurs, C Level publicly traded executives, or government officials speaking at our monthly meetings 2.) High level connections with movers and shakers within the business community. I have developed numerous long term relationships with people that I met at an IBAW meeting. In addition to getting business done we are also now good friends. 3.) Small Business Advocacy which focuses on improving the local , State and National public policy positions in order to facilitate an environment that makes it easy to grow a business, hire people and expand the economy. Small business owner’s that are involved with the IBAW are not looking for a hand out from the government, they simply want the opportunity to know that the government will not serve as an impediment to the growth of their company. A mentor of mine once told me, “You’re either at the table or you’re on the menu”. Being an active member in the IBAW gives you a front row seat at the table which is going to help you grow your business.
More information at MKELeaders.com
S AV E T H E DAT E ! BUSINESS LEADERS...LEADING BUSINESS
BUSINESS PROGRAMMING • Timely Speakers on Business Issues • A Powerful Resource for You and Your Team
PEER TO PEER NETWORK • Connect With Your Business Peers • Intimate Setting = Meaningful Dialogue
VOICE TO GOVERNMENT • Member Driven Advocacy • Voice on Public Policy Issues
Learn the benefits of membership at IBAW.com
Non Qualified Deferred Compensation Plans: Balancing Employer & Employee Goals Using Benefits to attract and retain key employees Rob Kieckhefer, The Kieckhefer Group
The race for talent – particularly management and leaders of critical functions – is a constant issue facing employers. This important lever is used by businesses to innovate and generate growth. The question is whether your organization has an employee benefit that targets this group of key employees, helps further organization’s goals – and at the same time helps top talent address their own financial goals. Businesses can sponsor a plan for key employees to defer compensation – to supplement retirement planning or other savings needs – on a tax deferred basis. A non qualified deferred compensation plan (NQDC) can allow key employees to defer a portion of salary and/or bonus income, based upon plan design. Employer-sponsored qualified plans are a clear first choice to defer current income for retirement. There are, however, testing and contribution limits. Particularly with smaller firms, higher wage earners may be constrained as to how much they are allowed to put into a 401(k) or other qualified plans. Sponsoring a voluntary NQDC plan offers select employees an opportunity to defer compensation in excess of qualified retirement plan limits on a pre-tax basis. They can work with their personal financial professionals to determine the appropriate amount of income they want to defer, and when they want to take distributions based on savings needs or other tax planning issues. The elections to defer compensation must be made in advance of earning the income and there are regulations on applicable distribution events. NQDC plans also have limited ERISA protection so the employer has a contractual obligation versus a fiduciary obligation. Imagine a benefit that allows top employees to decide how much and what type of income to defer, and also determine when and how that income will be paid out. This can increase their chances of a successful retirement, or help save for larger financial goals (like helping with children’s college education or a second home) while working. All while reducing their current taxable income and providing flexibility for managing income while working and in retirement. It’s time to go beyond imagining – consider a NQDC plan that lets you round out a competitive benefits package and helps you attract and retain key employees. And, the opportunity to offer this plan on largely cost neutral basis for your organization. Working with your Rob Kieckhefer at the Kieckhefer Group, this scenario can be reality. For more information contact: Rob.Kieckhefer@KieckheferGroup.com
Rob Kieckhefer is a financial service representative of the Kieckhefer Group and a Registered Representative of and advisor of LPL Financial. Principal National, Principal Life and Princor are members of the Principal Financial Group, Des Moines, Iowa 50392.
Freedom of Expression in the University of Wisconsin System Richard M. Esenberg, President & General Counsel, Clyde Taylor, Associate Counsel, Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty
Question: What do these four individuals all have in common: Ben Shapiro, Charles Murray, Ann Coulter, Heather MacDonald? Answer: In the first five months of this year they have all had their speeches on college campuses disrupted or been prevented from speaking at all. One event resulted in a concussion for the event moderator. What is another thing these individuals have in common? They are all conservatives. In December 2015, in reaction to free speech controversies at the University of Missouri and elsewhere, the University of Wisconsin Regents adopted a policy on freedom of expression intended to protect freedom of speech, articulate when and how that freedom could be limited, and define the extent to which protests will be permitted. That policy was a good first step but contained no methods (or requirement) for enforcement. And there is some indication that students inclined to protest know the policy is not enforced, which only ensures disorderly protests continue. To her credit, UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank has expressed her support for freedom of expression on campus, including, most recently, the right of Charles Murray to speak on campus. But despite that support, organizers of Murray’s talk were concerned that they could not safely hold the event on campus and instead hosted it at a Charles Murray speaking at Middlebury College, March 2, 2017 (photo credit Middlebury College)
Due to the importance of this issue and growing incidents of speakers being “shut-down”, Governor Scott Walker included a provision that would codify principles of freedom of expression within the UW system in his 2017-2019 budget proposal. Governor Walker’s proposal closely resembled the Regents statement, but was stripped from the budget, along with all other “non-fiscal” items. Since then legislators have introduced two bills that would codify principles of free expression in the UW System, as well as sanctions for violating them. On April 26, 2017, Representative Jesse Kremer, along with Representatives Vos, Murphy, and Senator Harsdorf introduced the “Campus Free Speech Act.” (AB 299) The Kremer bill follows – but does not completely track - model legislation proposed by the Goldwater Institute. The Kremer bill would require the Board of Regents to adopt a policy on free expression specifying, among other things, that campuses and public forums are open to all invited speakers, that speech may not be prohibited because some might disagree with it or find it offensive. The bill directs the Regents to formulate
and enforce rules preventing the disruption of speech, but also seeks to protect the right of protest. Kremer’s bill would create a Council on Free Expression to annually report on speech-related activity and discipline on campus and encourages the university to be neutral on the public controversies of the day. State Senator Leah Vukmir and Representative Adam Jarchow have also introduced a bill taking a slightly different approach toward the same objective. Among other things, the Vulmir-Jarchow would require that university administrators be neutral on public policy. The Kremer and Vukmir bills are both a good start, but neither should be adopted in their current form. Each bill has language that must be modified to better protect speech (including the right of protest) and to avoid constitutional challenge. In particular, the language on disciplining members of the community for disrupting speech should be made more clear and narrow. University administrators – or the university as an institution – should not be compelled to remain silent although both should be prohibited from requiring students to affirm any particular point of view. We have released a report outlining these and other salutary changes in greater detail. The authors of both bills have expressed their willingness to consider amendments. Freedom of speech and expression on college and university campuses is under assault nationwide. Speakers have been disinvited, shouted-down, and attacked. Events have been cancelled because organizers could not be certain that the safety of the speaker and audience could be assured. Across the country, these efforts at exercising a heckler’s veto have been supported by an ideology – advanced by some faculty and administrators as well as students – that regards the expression of certain ideas as “violence” and as somehow impairing the ability of those who disagree with them from expressing their own views. The list of speakers and points of view that this ideology would silence is long and the categories of speech that must be silenced is quite capacious. This ideology is fundamentally at odds with the very notion of a classically liberal democracy. Legislators ought to act to ensure a robust freedom of speech and association on campus. While their bills need a bit more lawyering, Senator Vukmir and Reps. Kremer and Jarchow are to be commended for taking steps to ensure that the free flow of ideas essential to the “sifting and winnowing” that should be at the core of the UW’s mission continues. For more information, please read our recent report, “On Freedom of Expression in the University of Wisconsin System,” available here: http://www.will-law.org/wp-content/ Marquette Professor John McAdams who was suspended for blogging about a graduate instructor’s refusal to allow a student to speak against gay marriage in her class.
Richard M. Esenberg, President & General Counsel
Clyde Taylor, Associate Counsel
Why Integration is Essential to the
Onboarding Process Scott Seroka,
It’s Dave’s first day. He’s finally here. The Account Manager’s position has been open for more than six months and by all indications, Dave is the answer to everyone’s prayers. There is a sigh of relief now that he’s on board – Dave has a proven track record of success, his people skills are sharp and witty, and he has a knack for building relationships, winning new business and growing stale accounts. And as much as everyone is watching his every move to make sure he was an intelligent hire, Dave is also watching everyone else, looking for reassurances that leaving his prior employer of eight years and starting from scratch with a new company was the right move for his career and family. Unfortunately, Dave resigned in less than eight weeks. No, he’s not a Millennial. At the age of 46, he’s in the prime of his career. He was on-boarded in the traditional way – meeting everyone on his team to understand their roles, spending time with HR to fill out all necessary paperwork, and completed the company’s two-week training program, with honors. So, what was the problem? Dave was never properly integrated into the culture of the new company. Sure, he understands the industry and how it works, he understands the uniqueness of the company’s brand, and he understands the mechanics of his job. However, no one
Seroka Brand Development Consulting / Strategic Communications
ever thought of explaining how things “really worked” at his new company. Unwittingly, Dave was set up to fail. Integration Defined Integration involves bringing new hires, even at the C level, into the fold on cultural norms and expectations, helping them to clear the two tallest hurdles they will face in their first year: cultural and political challenges. As cultures vary widely from company to company - even those in identical industries, new hires should not be expected to figure things out on their own. On the contrary, they need to know how the gears of the organization are calibrated, how decisions are made, who to see for what, and who to tap into to get things done. Integration must also include an overview of each of the company’s customers, their history, personality, politics, and who owns the relationships at various levels. Companies recognizing the value of integration often have permission from their employees to share each other’s personality profiles (such as DiSC), which detail how people make decisions, handle stress, work within teams and interact with others. After all, people are not software – they are emotional, volatile, sensitive, reactive and carry baggage. Understanding one’s colleagues to such a finite level of detail can be advantageous to an organization’s culture, its quality of communication and minimizing
conflict. The goal? To make new hires fully functional members of a team as quickly and efficiently as possible. Politics The term “politics” is typically burdened with a negative connotation. When used in a corporate context, it is often associated with cliques, Us versus Them cultures and a leading reason for drags on performance. However, when politics is orchestrated around a common goal, it can be a company’s biggest asset if managed well. Why? As soon as you put two or more people together and they figure out each other’s personality, they adapt their behaviors to get the most out of the relationship. In this scenario, politics becomes productive – not destructive. Getting Started If your onboarding infrastructure lacks a process for integration, it can be as simple as creating a mentorship program for new(er) hires. Good mentors possess the following traits:
1. Patience 2. Strong active listening skills 3. A keen attention to detail 4. A good coach 5. Well respected among peers and leadership 6. Well connected 7. An influencer 8. Exhibit notable leadership skills
In my opinion, every organization should have an established mentorship program. We’ve all heard time and time again that technical skills can be taught. However, understanding people is critical to everyone’s success. In addition to a mentorship program, schedule time for new hires to spend informal (non-work related) time with their colleagues in one-on-one and group settings. It’s a non-threatening way for everyone to understand group dynamics and witness how everyone works together. One of our clients indoctrinates new hires by having them build a bike with their peers that is later donated to a child in need in their community. As an observer, one can see who
takes charge, who isn’t afraid of getting their hands a little dirty, who possesses mechanical skills, how the group critiques or supports one another and most importantly, it reveals if the new hire is a team player or a soloist. Or, you can always just let new hires fend for themselves after orientation to see if they sink or swim.
The Global Cyber Attacks: A Critical Reminder for Small Business Susan Solovic, SBC Council, Washington D.C. The recent cyber attacks around the globe are alarming, but many small business owners and entrepreneurs don’t believe it could happen to their firms. The facts: small businesses are particularly vulnerable, and surviving a cyber attack is difficult and expensive. According to the U.S. National Cyber Security Alliance, 60 percent of businesses that suffer a cyber attack are out of business within six months. Without sophisticated IT support, small companies are easy picking for cyber-criminals. THE Small Business Expert and SBE Council Advocate Susan Solovic reminds small business owners that they can take simple steps to avoid being the victim of a cyber attack, or cyber-criminals who are trying to steal your data or hold your business hostage. Solovic recommends the following steps small businesses can take to minimize the threat: Create Strong Passwords Don’t use the same password over and over, and don’t use one that is easy to guess. The longer your password the better, because it’s more difficult for a cyber-criminal to hack. The experts recommend a minimum of 12 characters if the site allows. Make sure you store your passwords safely. If you want to store them manually file them somewhere away from your computer. It’s best to write down a clue rather than the actual password as another protective measure. However, the most secure way to store your passwords is to download a password management program. Log-Off One of the simplest ways for a cyber-criminal to access your proprietary information is from your computer or mobile device when you forget to log off. Think about how many times you leave your computer or mobile device unattended while you’re still logged-on. A cyber-criminal can easily and quickly access account information, log-ins, and even financial information. So before you leave your computer or devices unattended for more than a few minutes, take a few seconds to log-off to protect your information. Update Systems Cyber-attackers are really smart folks. I wish they’d put their intelligence to work for a good cause rather than criminal activities, but unfortunately that’s not going to happen. What you need to realize is that as soon as you have updated your anti-virus software, web browser and operating systems, the cyber-criminals are already devising new methods to steal your information. To protect your business, you need to make sure you’re regularly updating everything. This should be a priority, not something that falls to the bottom of your “to-do” list. Back-up Regularly Even when you do everything right, there is still a risk of becoming the victim of a cyber-attack. Make backup copies of all important business data such as financial information, word documents, electronic copies of legal documents, databases and customer account information. If possible set your systems to back-up automatically, and if not make it a process to do it at least once a week. Regularly back up your data, preferably every day. There are services specifically, that will back up data for up to 90 days and save numerous versions of your files. This will help your company recover files even after ransomware takes hold.
Limit Employee Access Not everyone on your team needs access to the same information so limit your critical data access to those who truly need it to do their jobs. Require employees to have unique passwords that are changed at least every 90 days. And don’t allow any employee to install a software program without your permission.
Prevent Ransomware Attacks • Do not open any e-mail links or attachments, even if it is from someone you know. Or at least heavily scrutinize and scan any attachments before opening. • Use a browser extension that shows when a website might be malicious. • Use both antivirus and firewall software. • Avoid public Wi-Fi unless using encryption software or a virtual private network (VPN). Train Employees Make sure everyone on your team is properly trained on how to detect and deter a possible cyber security risk. Sometimes an innocent mistake can be the most costly to your business. You or your business does not have to be a victim of a cyber attack. Take action TODAY! To speak with Susan Solovic, or to book her for an interview, please email: email@example.com.
ABOUT SUSAN SOLOVIC Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert and Advocate for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Her forthcoming book, THE Once Percent Edge, will be published in January 2018. For updates and sneak peeks of the book’s content, please click here. Susan is an award-winning serial entrepreneur, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com Top 100 and USA Today best-selling author, media personality, and attorney. To learn more about Susan and the small business resources she provides, please click here.
The Issues Impacting Wisconsin Business One of the hallmarks of the IBAW is to keep business owners informed on important topics coming out of Madison in Washington D.C.. The IBAW has released topics we feel are important to you and give you the challenges and opportunities for each. Many of these issues can be complex. It’s IBAW’s job to distill down issues and present them in a manner that’s easy to understand and quick to read. Read these White Paper Issues at our website: IBAW.com.
• REGULATIONS • TAXES • WORKFORCE • ENERGY • HEALTH CARE
Did Politics Trump Good Policy in Self-Funded Insurance Debate? Perspective by Chris Rochester, MacIver Institute Communications Director At long last, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee will have to make a decision on whether to adopt a self-funded insurance system for state employees’ health insurance. The bad news is that Governor Walker’s proposal to make the switch and save $60 million is all but dead in the state Legislature. On Monday, the Group Insurance Board submitted contracts with thirdparty administrators for a self-insurance system. Those contracts spell out in black and white at least $60 million in savings over the biennium that’s on top of $22 million in possible savings if Obamacare and its obscene tax burden is repealed. With the contracts in hand, JFC now has about three weeks to convene a meeting and make a decision. “Since taking office, we have sought to reform government to make it more accountable and cost effective to the hard-working taxpayers,” Walker said in a statement on Monday. “Moving to self-insurance is one of these reforms and we urge the Joint Committee on Finance to approve these contracts and invest these savings into the classroom.” Unfortunately, it appears that JFC is prepared to leave this windfall for taxpayers on the table. Why? We’ve heard a carousel of arguments against self-insurance that have all stalled, but the final stand for selfinsurance naysayers might boil down to pure politics. Early arguments by opponents of self-insurance breathlessly claimed that the move would gut state workers’ health insurance plans. Ignoring how out of step these lavish plans are compared with their private sector counterparts, it quickly became clear this doom-and-gloom claim had no basis in reality - especially after the actual proposals were received. Next, the self-insurance doom-mongers portrayed the switch as a journey down a long, dark tunnel. The fact is that there’s nothing mysterious or scary about selfinsurance; Wisconsin already partly self-insures its dental plan and its pharmacy plan. At least 20 states completely self-fund their state employee health plans, including Minnesota, which moved to 100 percent self-funded insurance in 2002. Also, 46 states use self-insurance in some way. In the upper Midwest, no states are fully-insured, meaning none completely rely on private insurance and all are self-funded at least in part. More than 90 percent of all large employers, companies that employ 5,000 or more employees, also use self-funded insurance. To say adopting this system would be risky and experimental is diametrically untrue. In fact, it would be routine and economical. Critics then moved on to prophesizing that the switch could pose a potentially catastrophic financial risk to the state. True, the state would be directly assuming the risk rather than putting insurance companies in the middle. But barring an unprecedented epidemic sweeping state office buildings, the risk factor has been greatly hyped.
The risk would actually be low because of the sheer size of the state's workforce, which means total annual payouts would be predictable and fluctuations minimal, according to insurance expert Dean Hoffman, who recommended the switch to the Governor's Commission on Government Reform last May. Legislative Republicans are also uncertain about the future of Obamacare, which imposes a variety of taxes and fees on the insurance marketplace that would be absorbed by taxpayers in Wisconsin. JFC co-chair Sen. Alberta Darling cited Wisconsin’s relatively low premium increases at a Tuesday press conference. “Why would we want to shift out of that and into uncertainty at this point?” she asked. Caution isn’t unreasonable, but moving to self-insurance would actually protect Wisconsin taxpayers from uncertainty. Taxpayers should be the focus, not protecting insurance companies from change. Obamacare hits the insurance market, and thus taxpayers, in two big ways. The reviled Obamacare Cadillac Tax applies an exorbitant 40 percent tax on all employee benefits exceeding $10,200 annually for an individual, $27,500 for a family. Sadly, the AHCA healthcare bill that passed the House last week retains the Cadillac Tax, pushing it off until 2026. Selfinsurance would help mitigate that cost by eliminating the HMOs’ profit margin built into the value of current plans. Then there’s the insurer tax, a special levy charged to private insurance companies that’s tied to the insurer’s premiums collected in the previous year. In 2016, the insurer tax ranged from 1.5 to 3.5 percent, with future rates yet to be decided. As the state's deputy commissioner of Employee Trust Funds, Lisa Ellinger, pointed out last year, the state pays out about $1.4 billion annually in premiums. Self-funded insurance systems are exempt from this tax. Quick cocktail-napkin math shows that switching to self-insurance would conservatively save tens of millions on top of the $60 million outlined in the contracts. Despite ongoing uncertainty about Obamacare, keeping the status quo is precisely the wrong decision. Assuming Obamacare’s taxes are here to stay and seizing the $60 million moment would be responsible management of taxpayer dollars. Keeping the status quo and hoping Washington politicians do the right thing would not. Instead, legislative leaders are considering “finding” $60 million in savings within the existing system. “We’re not saying no to savings. If we do that we’re going to find a similar amount of savings in some way, shape or form,” said JFC co-chair Rep. John Nygren on Tuesday. If that’s actually possible, it begs the obvious question: how much taxpayer money has been wasted by not finding these supposed savings years ago? With most of the arguments against self-insurance out of gas, opponents’ final stand may betray the truth: self-insurance is good policy, but protecting private insurance companies is even better politics. Perhaps defending the status quo is really about keeping well-heeled, politically connected insurance companies’ bottom lines thickly padded with taxpayer money. Immediately after adopting self-insurance, the profit margin of HMOs offering plans to state employees would instead go to the taxpayers’ bottom line, and that’s a problem for well-heeled special interests like the health insurance lobby. The fact that self-insurance is good policy is evident from how many states and large employers use it successfully. But sometimes good policy takes a back seat to politics, and preserving the bottom lines of insurance companies seems to be a top priority. The likely end result is that Wisconsin taxpayers will get a watered-down half-measure that goes through the motions of saving taxpayer money while keeping the existing system in place. That’s too bad.
3rd Annual... Sporting Clay Shoot
The 3rd Annual IBAW Sporting Clay Shoot is in the books and the event was a HUGE success. Over 71 shooters took to the course. We had ideal weather conditions with overcast skies and temps in the low 60â€™s.
Thanks to everyone that participated and special thanks to all those that sponsored the event or donated door prizes.
1: Jeff Kerlin of Tailored Label takes home the Grand Prize of the $500 Pistol Giveaway. 2: Mike Poludniak wins 4 Packer tickets, lunch and transportation to and from the game donated by CH Coakley. 3: Nichole Coffey of Bank Mutual proves her dead eye skills at an elevated shooting station. 4:Luke Will of Waddell & Reed wins the certificate from Wisconsin Firearms Training Center for a 4 Hour Handgun Class.
5: Steve Styza of The Boerke Co. gets a $50 firing range certificate from Wisconsin Firearms Training Center.
6:Joel Becker of Hunzinger Construction takes home a Galaxy tablet. 7: Bill Curtis of Wisconsin Lutheran College won a $100 Gift Certificate from ITU AbsorbTech. 8: Kate Ross, of Xorbix who was Best Dressed last year, awards Nate Hoffman of Carrus Group the Best Dressed this year.
9: Nate Hoffman knocks them out of the sky at Shooting Station #2. 10: Katie Ross & Lisa Fetzer discuss strategy at Station 11.
11: Al Leidinger wins $50 worth of range time from Wisconsin Firearms Training Center.
12: Jeff Weber wins a beer cooler and swag from Waddell & Reed. 13: Zack Trepanier of HNI was awarded Best New Male Shooter. 14: Best New Shooter in the Womenâ€™s Class: Andrea Knopp of Carrus Group. 15: Dan Hansen of Waukesha State Bank won a Trail Cam and SD Card donated by 360 Direct. 16: Andrew Oliver of Gear Wash will enjoy beer from Raised Grain Brewing. 17: Best Dressed from last year, Katie Ross of Xorbix won a $50 Von Maur Gift Card donated by the IBAW.
See you next year!
: 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 IBAW.com
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 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...weâ€™re open for business!
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2017 Membership Committee welcomes Jeanie Brown, Katie Ross and Mike Poludniak as new committee members!
Scott Seroka Seroka Branding
Charles Fry Robert W. Baird
Mary Stark Waddell & Reed
Dan Hansen Waukesha State Bank
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.
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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.
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Welcome New IBAW Members!
Meeting Recaps 2014 Wisconsin Manufacturing Knowledge Summit
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.
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.
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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
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