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JUNE 2019 June 10th Sales Roundtable

June 21st Monthly Meeting

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.

Executive Director Steve Kohlmann


Dan Hansen

Secretary Charles Fry


Treasurer Tony Palmen


Directors Jim Leef

ITU AbsorbTech Ann Barry Hanneman

Von Briesen Law OďŹƒce

John Weber


Lisa Mauer

Rickert Industries

Robert Gross

Gross Automation

Scott Seroka

Seroka Brand Development

Tom Parks

Annex Wealth Management

Jake Hansen

Jacsten Holding

Scott Hirschfeld


Andy Oliver

Gear Wash

Al Leidinger

Mathison Manufacturing

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

Monthly Meeting Friday, June 21, 2019 | Time: 7:00 am - 9:00 am 

Location: The Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee

Register now at

Sporting Clay Wrap Up Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director

The month of May was a super busy month for IBAW. In the short span of one week, we had three of our best programs - Sporting Clay Shoot, Sales Roundtable, and our Monthly Meeting, featuring the topic of Foxconn, which took place in the ballroom of the Wisconsin Club. I’m proud to tell you the IBAW office was as organized as an air traffic control tower on a busy day. Our 5th Annual Sporting Clay Shoot is our biggest logistical event with registration, promotion, catering, acquisition of door prizes, and the forming of teams. I think it was our best Clay Shoot to date.. Having an event which relies on the weather - in Wisconsin - in spring - is risky business. With the help of many prayers, the weather was indeed spectacular. So was our event. This was our biggest clay event yet with 107 shooters (up from 79 shooters last year). With a great BBQ lunch from Mission BBQ, door prizes galore and pizza after party featuring business networking and stories about how well everyone shot. We received many compliments on how fun and well run this event was this year. Even our contacts at Waukesha Gun Club mentioned how far this event has come leaving us with the comment, “You guys have one of the nicer events we host here.” This event reinforced to me that IBAW is firing on all cylinders and we are hitting our stride as a leading business organization. Much of that has to do with all of you being involved and supporting the IBAW. We can’t do it without your support. I want to thank all our event sponsors (listed below) and our event volunteers Wendy Lapp of CH Coakley, Tom Graybill of Tri-Marq Communication, and Kristen Suhr of The Payroll Company for helping out with the event.

Special Thanks To All Our Sporting Clay Sponsors Sponsors!

SAVE THE DATE! 2020 Sporting Clay Shoot is

MAY 8th!

Sales Roundtable Monday, June 10th, 2019 | Time: 7:30 am - 9:00 am  Location: CTaccess, 740 Pilgrim Parkway, Elm Grove

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM. (Please arrive by 7:25 - we start at 7:30 SHARP. Location: CTaccess Conference Room 740 Pilgrim Parkway, (Lower Level) Elm Grove 

Cost: Free, a benefit of your IBAW membership. Registration is required. This event is only open to IBAW members. Coffee provided by CTaccess, bakery provided by IBAW.

Register now at

This Event: • Sales • Branding • Marketing

Deal Fatigue Cannot Be Cured With Coffee Tammie Miller, TKO Miller And this is not a knock on the magical powers of coffee. Business owners are supernatural in many ways. They have immense wells of strength and passion that have carried them through all the stresses and pressures of owning a business.  When we introduce the concept of deal fatigue as part of a sale process, we are often met with a smirk or a shrug of the shoulder. However, it is important for business owners to know that deal fatigue is different than other forms of fatigue and it can affect you, as well as the decisions around a transaction, in ways you do not expect. Working on a Sale Transaction is Like a Second Full-Time Job The best deal teams will try to make it so that you, the business owner, are bothered only when it's absolutely necessary, because it is so important that the business continue to perform through the sale process.  However, try as they might, there will be many times when you will be needed.  The stress of operating your business, your investment banker telling you how important it is that the business perform flawlessly through the transaction, and preparing that business for sale will bring almost any human being to their knees. There's An Emotional Toll A business owner identifies a great deal with their company.  This becomes magnified if it is a multi-generational family asset.  Selling a business requires a detailed look at all the flaws and warts that every business has, and it can be difficult for business owners to remove themselves from this examination.  Suddenly, the fact that your business lost a customer once in 1987 becomes something worthy of a fistfight.   It's Not Just You Most business owners could probably handle the added roles and responsibilities created by a business sale, but what ends up creating the most deal fatigue is watching the burnout of your colleagues and employees.  What is rough on the business owner can be incredibly stressful for the entire team.  For certain, your CFO or controller will become overwhelmed at some point.  Even your family may feel the stress of a transaction.   Why It Matters Deal fatigue is real.  The trouble happens when it starts to create decisions during a transaction that wouldn't really make sense in a vacuum.  People get so tired and frustrated that they start ignoring important warning bells in their heads. What Can You Do? First, you need to acknowledge that deal fatigue exists.  It is a very real phenomenon that, if you know it's coming, you can avoid in certain situations. Secondly, use your advisors.  When you are ready to just accept the purchase agreement as written even though your advisors tell you there are important points left to negotiate, listen to your advisors.  Even if you are afraid that the other side is getting frustrated and will walk away, your advisors are in a better position to judge when the right time is to concede.  It's usually not when you are at your most frustrated.  Third, set up status calls with your deal team.  A call can help you understand what's happening behind the scenes.  You might even be pleasantly surprised at the movement that has been made without your involvement.  It will also help to resolve seemingly unresolvable issues as a group.   Lastly, make sure your transaction has a timeline.  For example, your Letter of Intent should contain a period of exclusivity and everyone should be working toward an agreed upon closing date.  Without a timeline, deals tend to wander and parties get frustrated.  I have heard clients say that an anticipated closing date "creates fictional anxiety" around a timeline that we could most certainly adjust as a group.  However, that timeline will also keep you sane.  You must have a yard stick to know if things are moving along at the appropriate speed.   Deal fatigue is real and it can have material impacts on a transaction.  Acknowledging that it will happen to even the most hardened entrepreneur is half the battle.  Using your deal team appropriately will help alleviate negative impacts related to fatigue and frustration.

Vos Taking Gas Tax Hike Off Table, Sources Say Matt Kittle, MacIver News

MADISON, Wis. — A gas tax hike now appears to be dead on arrival. Assembly Speaker Robin Vos apparently put the final nail in the gasoline tax increase earlier this week, telling a group of conservatives an increase to the state’s gas tax to fund Wisconsin’s transportation projects is off the table. The Rochester Republican, speaking at a campaign event Tuesday evening for his Assembly colleague, Rep. Rob Hutton (R-Brookfield), said he would prefer the revenue increase because, as a conservative, he believes the government should pay for its priorities without raising debt levels, sources with knowledge of the event told MacIver News Service. Standing united with their brethren in the Senate apparently means Vos and Assembly Republicans are giving up on a gas tax hike. A spokeswoman for Vos said the speaker was traveling Wednesday and could not be reached for comment.  Vos, according to sources, also said the Republican caucuses in both houses remain united in their efforts to rein in Gov. Tony Evers’ massive tax-and-spend budget plan. The Democrat’s $84.2 billion proposal would include an 8-cent per-gallon tax increase on gasoline, which is projected to raise nearly $485 million in new revenue over the life of the two-year budget. Evers’ transportation funding plan also would automatically increase the tax each year, to the rate of inflation, bringing in about $42 million through mid-2021.  Standing united with their brethren in the Senate apparently means Vos and Assembly Republicans are giving up on a gas tax hike.  “I don’t see the tax (increase) right now,” Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald told WisconsinEye during an interview earlier this month at the state Republican Party convention.  Wisconsin’s gas tax is 32.9 cents per gallon, among the top 20 highest fuel taxes in the nation. Evers’ proposed increase would rank Wisconsin in the top 10 list of highest gas taxes among all states. A Marquette Law School Poll last month found a majority of respondents did not support a gas tax hike. Last session, the gas tax question was the main issue of contention between Republicans in the Assembly and Senate, with Assembly leadership pushing for an increase, and Senate Republicans against it. GOP leadership in both houses have said they will not let that happen this time around, that the stakes are too high for anything to divide them in divided government for the first time in eight years.   Instead, sources say Republicans are looking at fee increases to drive transportation revenue.  Steven Walters, senior producer with WisconsinEye, reported earlier this week that Senate Republicans are considering raising: •  $75 annual registration fee for cars and light trucks • Registration fees on heavy trucks, an idea that met with much resistance from the trucking industry and commerce group in the last session  •  Transfer vehicle fees, currently at $69.50 fee One source says Vos told campaign event attendees that Republicans will have to come up with alternative revenue sources to fill the void of a higher gas tax. Vos still expected the budget to be wrapped up by the end of June, and thought there was a “51 percent chance” Evers would veto the Republican-led budget bill, the source said. Capitol insiders expect the Legislature’s budget-writing committee to take up the Department of Transportation spending plan next week.

Listening to Small Business About the Burdens of Regulation Raymond Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C.

As a result of the Trump administration’s efforts to pare back over-regulation, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy has been hosting Regional Regulatory Reform Roundtables.  These gatherings have been listening sessions, with Advocacy staff traveling across the nation to hear from small business owners about what federal regulations are most burdensome. In a recent report covering gatherings in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, Phoenix, Arizona, and Summerlin, Nevada, during the week of April 28, 2019, Advocacy noted the following feedback: From a farmer. “‘All of these rules are burdensome and costly,’ said a farmer in Oklahoma City, describing his concerns with banking, trade, transportation, and environmental regulations. ‘Nobody wants to protect this environment more than a farmer… but all of these regulations are preventing farmers from being able to succeed,’ he continued.” Immigration and Visa Programs. “Another concern heard at these most recent roundtables was the lack of sufficient labor through the Department of Labor’s H-2B work visa program. ‘These workers are our bloodline and our plasma. If DOL doesn’t provide the labor, we can’t get the work done,’ stated a small landscaping business owner in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He suggested that DOL reinstate the three-year policy, where workers who have been brought in consistently for the past three years do not count against the H-2B caps. ‘Our company is only as good as the weakest link in our chain. If our business fails, there will be 35 Americans without a job,’ he said.” Health Care and HSAs. “A health practitioner in Oklahoma City complained that IRS regulations don’t keep up with changing industry practice and new ways of doing business. ‘The IRS code doesn’t fit within our new industry and disqualifies patients who have a health savings account,’ he said. As a direct primary care clinic, they are operating a new business model that just doesn’t work under the current structure. Besides a regulatory fix to this problem, he suggested that it could be solved by passage of legislation that would redefine primary care and help patients stay healthy.” Complying with Dodd-Frank. “Another issue brought up at the Phoenix roundtable was the many burdensome rules that have resulted from the Dodd Frank Act. A real estate broker for over 40 years in the area declared Dodd Frank as ‘one of the worst pieces of legislation ever.’ She told Advocacy that complying with the resulting federal regulations and overwhelming loan paperwork is ‘almost an impossible task.’” Labor Regulations Like the Minimum Wage. “A husband and wife in Las Vegas, Nevada, owners of numerous small retail operations, complained to Advocacy about the many labor regulations affecting their business. The minimum wage rules are of great concern to these business owners. ‘These rules compound the impact on us because every employee’s wage would have to go up,’ they said. ‘The margins in retails are very small and we can’t afford these changes. Raising wages is a job killer and the result will be that payroll hours will be cut.’ As a result of the increasing number of costly rules coming out of the Department of Labor, they say they will soon ‘have to make the decision on whether to automate their business and cut jobs or stick with people. When the regulations increase, we will hire fewer people and be forced to move towards automation.’” Even with the welcome and positive steps that have been taken in terms of reining in some regulatory burdens during the Trump administration, entrepreneurs, small businesses and their employees face seemingly endless unnecessary and costly rules and regulations that have been imposed over many decades. (See SBE Council’s study “Regulation: Costs, Incentives, and the Need for Reform.”) The process of listening to small businesses and then acting to rein in regulatory burdens must be an ongoing process, and given the ill effects that regulations have on economic, income and employment growth, this effort should rank among the federal government’s highest priorities. As Advocacy summed up: “Every part of the country has different concerns and varying impacts related to federal regulations, but one thing is consistently heard at every roundtable: small businesses need help and need it fast.” _______ Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Four Smart Reasons to Redesign Your Website Matt Karge, Northwoods Software Development Search “how often to redesign website” or “why you should redesign your website” and you will find countless blogs with such content listings as:

• You had a family member design your current website • You haven’t changed the content since the last redesign • Your website is not responsive (mobile friendly) • The design appears to be from 1999 or doesn’t match your brand • High bounce rate • Frustrating navigation • No CMS or poor CMS Let’s be honest; these bullet points add up to “well duh.” They’re true, but anyone running a website in 2019 knows them already, and they’re useless in convincing a business owner to pay for a redesign. In 2019, the thinking behind a website redesign must be smarter, more efficient and more forward-looking than in the past to fully realize the benefits of website redesign. For one thing, you needn’t always start from scratch. Content management platforms and technology have progressed; mere updates might lift an existing website from okay to mega successful. How often should you redesign your website? Often enough to stay ahead of competitors and to keep up with ever-changing best practices. When starting the conversation about a redesign, what should you talk about? To make your stakeholders understand why you should redesign your website, note these four crucial items: Accessibility Aren’t the accessibility laws only for government related or funded organizations? We hear that question a lot. The answer: Technically, yes; practically and ethically, no. The internet is far behind on inclusion of individuals with disabilities. Beyond that, providing universal access to your web properties is just plain smart. It limits business risk, expands your audience and often enhances user satisfaction across the board. Over one in four adult Americans are disabled, and more than half of this group access the internet regularly. That’s more than 30 million people. You want to reach them. How is creating an accessible website any different than building a responsive website? A responsive site is a must because a portion of your audience use mobile devices to access your website. You’re going out of your way to give them access. Why not do the same for the disabled audience? A dollar spent or a lead generated from either group is exactly the same. How does an accessible website limit your risk? A B2C business with multiple locations across the Midwest was sued by a user who lived hundreds of miles from the nearest physical location because the website was not accessible. As crazy and frustrating as this may sound, it reminds us that a website is not bound by a physical location. Not sure what to do? Educate yourself. Start with these blog posts: Website Accessibility Standards and Web Accessibility and You: An ADA Compliance Checklist. Privacy Remember this bedrock design question from years ago: “Did the design of your website instill enough trust in the user that s/he would enter a credit card number?” That rule of thumb not only still applies, but has spread to include “Is the user willing to give your website access to her/his browsing behaviors?”

We saw big online businesses, including Facebook, Google, and numerous retailers, suffer massive data theft of personal identification and financial information. The response? Government probes and laws, such as California’s Consumer Privacy Act. Other states could follow California’s lead. Consider a redesign if your website fails to give users complete transparency about the data you collect and how you use it. If it fails to give your user the ability to opt out of data collection activities on your website, think about a redesign. Do you think such problems apply only to the big guys? In a way, you’re right. But how often do you model business practices after the big guys, say in marketing strategies and sales? Whether you’re big or small, it’s good practice to protect your business and your users’ private information. Technical Search Engine Optimization Every business wants to be the first on Google search engine results pages, but most don’t understand what it takes to get there. Many consider SEO to be the practice of seeding keywords into content so amazing that it impresses a search engine. That’s part of it – but only a part. Technical SEO is the other part. It’s opening the hood and tuning the engine for high performance. Tech SEO encompasses everything from how you tag content to how your website communicates with search engines. Conducting a Technical SEO Audit provides a great overview of everything you can optimize to attract search engines to your website. How does Technical SEO factor into a decision on redesigning a website? I’m glad you asked. Many content management systems (CMS) provide site owners with the ability to enhance technical SEO. If your current CMS does not extend this power to you, look for a better platform. Technical SEO is becoming even more important as artificial intelligence devices, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google, expand market share. Several free tools, such as SEM Rush, can help Technical SEO on the content side. Screaming Frog can help on the analytics side, so you really know how well or poorly your website is performing on search engines. Internal Search Internal search matters. A lot. Search is among the most-used features on every website. If you don’t have a search bar at the top right corner of your website, a one! Most don’t realize that the search bar not only helps users find what they want, but also returns valuable analytical data on what your users want. Examine the internal search logs on your content management system to find out whether your users succeed in finding the information they want or if they’re stymied. The internal search logs can also provide data you can use to improve navigation. An optimized search bar results page is also an absolute must for a successful website. Users who cannot find what they want through your internal search quickly become ex-users. Better CMSs offer canonical results tools, with which you can define what shows up first on the results page. This control is essential for raising user engagement and conversions. Check out How To Improve Internal Search On Your Website for a list of the most important best practices to implement. If your platform does not support on-site search or if the search functionality is intractably poor, rebuild on a better platform.

Be Smart Leave the silly reasons for redesigning your website to your competitors. Stand out from the crowd. Take on the most serious problems by adopting best practices as you redesign or build from the ground up. Following through on these four items will lay a great foundation for building or improving your website.


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

Next round begins August 2nd!

For more information, contact Program Leader Steve Bobowski by clicking here.

IBAW May Monthly Meeting

The ballroom at the Wisconsin Club was filled for our May month meeting as meeting sponsor, Jeff Hoffman, of Boerke / Cushman Wakefield briefed the membership on the Racine - Kenosha development corridor. The meetings main speakers were officials from the village of Mount Pleasant who gave a detailed description of the Foxconn development and how things were progressing.

Join the IBAW new ‘Company’ page on LinkedIN IBAW has a new “Company” page on LinkedIn. Click the link below to follow us and keep up to date on all the latest happenings.Since it is fairly new, we’d like to get the word out so please share our page with your business associates. LINK:

Since the new page has only been up for a few weeks, we only have a few followers at this point. Help IBAW out by visiting the page, follow us and help spread the word!

Welcome New IBAW Members! Summerset Marine Larry Chapman Manufacturer of high quality, high performance piers.

5 Alarm Gerry Fleisher Fire fighting equipment distributor.

MSI General John Kutz Design/Build Commercial General Contractor serving Southeastern Wisconsin since 1957.

Unreasonable Refusal to Rehire James Walcheske, Walcheske & Luzi Law Office

Picture this: an employee tweaks his back at work. He goes to Human Resources like he’s always been told to do and tells HR that he hurt himself. HR sends the employee to see a doctor and when he returns the next day, he’s pulled into a meeting and told that he’s fired or perhaps that “The company is going in a different direction.” Seems a bit “odd,” right? Like maybe there’s some sort of law against this sort of thing? Congratulations, this may be the only time you get told today that you are 100% correct! We all know that Wisconsin is an “at-will” state – meaning an employer can terminate an employee for any reason or no reason whatsoever, so long as the termination isn’t unlawful – but this scenario, commonly referred to as an “Unreasonable Refusal to Rehire” claim, is an exception to the at-will doctrine. Under Wisconsin law, if an employer fires an employee or refuses to hire one after he suffers a compensable injury (aka, an injury subject to coverage under worker’s compensation), the employee could be entitled to up to one year’s wages. In order to establish an Unreasonable Refusal to Rehire claim, an employee must prove the following: (1) that he is an employee of the employer; (2) that he suffered a compensable (aka, work-related and covered) injury; (3) that the employer denied rehire to or terminated him; and (4) that the denial or termination was because of his compensable injury. Once these facts are established, the employer can rebut or disprove the claim by showing that the action it took (denial or termination) was reasonable and unrelated to the injury. The purpose of the law is obvious: to prevent employers from/punish them for discriminating against employees who suffer work-related injuries. In this regard, employers must be diligent in ensuring that if an employee suffers a workrelated injury, that employee is not terminated due to or because of that injury. Does this mean that an employee who suffers a workplace injury cannot be fired in any circumstance? No. However, it does mean that if you are thinking about firing that employee, you better have a good (and well-documented) reason to do it that is unrelated to his injury. The timing alone will raise red flags in the employee’s mind and those of others, which has a tendency to lead to quality time with your attorney. **NOTE: These claims are not covered by insurance! Because Wisconsin employers are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance, it often comes as a surprise that Unreasonable Refusal to Rehire claims are not covered, meaning that employers face direct, out-of-pocket liability. Be sure to immediately contact a knowledgeable, Wisconsin attorney (wink) if you get notice of such a claim.

4 Strategies for Consistently Making Better Decisions Steve Bobowski, Dale Carnegie Coach

Dear Carnegie Coach Bobowski; As the new COO, I am expected to make Executive Decisions which have significant ramification on our Company’s growth, profitability and employees. I have been making the decisions on “gut” and have a recently made several costly mistakes. How can I enhance my decision making?   Adam COO (A Wisconsin Based Manufacturing Company)   Dear Adam:   To get better at decision making, you need to have a process.    THE ACTIONS I WANT YOU TO TAKE:    1. Do Not “Trust Your Gut”: Instead of relying on personal experience or antidotal information. Get all the facts in an objective way.   As Herbert E. Hawkes, former dean of Columbia College, told Mr. Carnegie, “If a man will devote his time to securing facts in an impartial, objective way, his issues will usually evaporate in light of knowledge.”   Mr. Carnegie offers two ways to go about collecting facts objectively. You can pretend that you are gathering this data for someone else, so you are less emotionally invested in what you find.   Or, you can pretend that you are a lawyer who is preparing to argue the other side of the issue-so you gather all of the facts against yourself. Write down the facts on both sides of the case and you will generally get a clearer picture of the truth.   With the facts in hand, weigh all the facts—then come to a decision. And, once a decision is reached, act!   2. Get to the “Root Cause” of the Issue or Problem. Leon Shimkin, then General Manager at Simon and Schuster (Later owner) figured out a way to improve his decision making by 75%.   He told his associates that every time they wanted to present a problem at a meeting, they had to first submit a memorandum answering four questions: What is the problem? What is the cause of the problem? What are all possible solutions of the problem? What solution do you suggest?   According to Shimkin, once he instituted this new system, his associates rarely came to him without being prepared and committed to executing the solution. “They have discovered that in order to answer those four questions they have to get all the facts and think they're problem through,” he told Mr. Carnegie. Once they did that, they typically found that “the proper solution popped out like a piece of bread popping out from an electric toaster.”

3. Become Probabilistic: Use the Law of Averages to Simplify Your Decisions. The Law of Averages refers to the probability of a specific event occurring-and you should consult the law to find out if it’s worth fretting about. Chances are good that whatever you are worried about is not likely to transpire. Mr. Carnegie writes that the US Navy employed the law of averages in order to boost sailors’ morale. Sailors who were assigned   to high-octane tankers were initially worried that they would be blown up when the tank exploded. So the Navy provided them with exact figures: Of the 100 tanks that were hit by torpedoes, 60 stayed afloat and only five sank in less than 10 minutes, leaving them time to get off.   4. Join A Peer Advisory Group: Find a Peer group of non-competing executives committed to helping each other be successful such as Vistage.  As President of the General Motors Licensing Agency, I grew the revenues from $950,000 to over $3.5 Billion with the help of an advisory group who was willing to challenge me and my assumptions. My Vistage group helped me make better decisions, more informed decisions, faster decisions and with less risk.   THE BENEFITS TO YOU:  Consistently better, faster, more informed decisions with less risk!

Just Filed Your Taxes, What’s Next? A 2019 Outlook On Taxes Jim Brandenburg, Sikich

With the tax filing season recently completed, it’s time to push tax matters to the back burner. Right? Not so fast. In Washington, tax proposals, policies, and procedures are always top of mind. While not as significant and comprehensive as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), there are still several tax bills brewing now in Congress. Among the proposed legislation circulating in Congress, the following tax bills have a chance of being enacted: 1. Retirement Provisions 2. IRS Reforms 3. Tax Extender Provisions 4. Technical Correction Items from TCJA

RETIREMENT PROVISIONS One major area in the tax law that was left out of TCJA was any significant changes in retirement plans. In 2018, there was a bi-partisan effort to make several tax changes with retirement plans. This effort had support in both the House and Senate, but leadership ran out of time at the end of the year; hence, the measure was pushed over to 2019. The retirement legislation was re-introduced as the “Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement” (SECURE) Act of 2019. The bill has widespread support in the House, and similar bi-partisan legislation is likely in the Senate. The House and Senate leadership will then try to work out differences in their respective bills. As there are few bills that receive significant bi-partisan support, look for this retirement bill to eventually be enacted into law this year (But nothing is final yet and things can change). Several key proposals in this House retirement bill include: • Repeal of the maximum age of 70½ for traditional IRA contributions; • Revised rules concerning election of “safe harbor” Section 401(k)status; • Penalty-free withdrawals from retirement plans for individuals in case of birth or adoption; • Increase in age for required beginning date for mandatory distributions; • Modifications of required minimum distribution rules for designated beneficiaries – a new ten-year distribution payout period on death of IRA owner; • Retirement plan adopted by filing due date for year may be treated as effective as of close of year (currently, the plan must be set up by end of plan year).

IRS REFORMS Also omitted in TCJA were changes in the IRS and how it operates. There was a bi-partisan effort in Congress to make major IRS reforms, but this adoption failed in 2018 and carried over to 2019. Earlier this year, the IRS reform bill, the “Taxpayer First Act of 2019,” navigated through the House, again with bi-partisan backing. There is currently support for IRS reform in the Senate, so this legislation has a good chance at passage this year, but nothing is a certainty in Congress now. Key reform measures include: • Comprehensive customer service strategy by the IRS with taxpayers • A “public-private partnership” to address identity theft tax refund fraud, along with a single point of contact for tax-related identity theft victims

TAX EXTENDERS Over the past few years there has been a collection of tax provisions that have a short “shelf-life” (one to two years). Congress must deal with these provisions on an annual basis, usually occurring late in the year. These items are often referred to as “extender items,” as Congress addresses whether these measures should be extended for another year or allowed to lapse. Many times, items are extended retroactively. There is strong support in the Senate to move these extenders in 2019 but only lukewarm backing in the House. If they are once again extended retroactively for 2018, taxpayers may need to amend their 2018 tax returns to claim an extender item if they have already filed. It is uncertain whether any extender legislation will move in 2019.

TECHNICAL CORRECTION ITEMS FROM TCJA There are several provisions from the TCJA that were inadvertently miswritten when the legislation was drafted. There is agreement in Congress that there were drafting errors with these items, but there is no agreement on how to amend. Congress must still pass a bill to remedy the item, and the fix needs bi-partisan support. One of the major technical correction items that impacts businesses of all sizes and industries deals with the Qualified Improvement Property (QIP). QIP was supposed to be entitled to 100% bonus depreciation under TCJA and thus would permit full write-offs in the year of improvement. However, the QIP drafting error resulted instead in a 39-year write-off. These corrections may eventually get resolved by Congress later this year, but there could be several other unrelated tax provisions, not part of TCJA, included in the fix just to get it passed. For more information on how proposed legislation and other significant tax matters may impact you, please contact a tax advisor.

Jim Brandenburg is a tax partner with Sikich LLP and can be contacted at or 262-754-9400.

: 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

The IBAW Public Policy Committee hosts a Legislative Roundtable every spring and fall featuring representatives from Madison to discuss important issues business owners face. It’s your opportuntity to speak to your elected officials. Past meetings have had representatives State Senator Lena Taylor, Senator Chris Kapenga, Dave Craig, Representative Rob Hutton, Joe Sanfelippo, Christine Sinicki, Samantha Kirkman, Jason Fields, and State Senator Dale Kooyenga. Meetings are 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 as well as crime and the state of Milwaukee Public Schools. Look for the next Legislative Roundtable this fall!

Next Legislative Roundtable is Fall for 2019!

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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2019 Membership Committee

Jake Hansen Jacsten Holdings

Charles Fry Robert W. Baird

Mike Poludniak Merrill Lynch

Dan Hansen

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.

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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

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“ 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.

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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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June IBAW Magazine  

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

June IBAW Magazine  

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

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