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MAY 2019 May 10th Sporting Clay Event!

May 13th Sales Roundtable

May 17th 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.

MEDIA LINK No Gas Tax increase needed: The MacIver Institute interviews Rep. Joe Sanfelippo on his idea of shifting sales tax revenue to cover the DOT budget.

Executive Director Steve Kohlmann


Dan Hansen

Secretary Charles Fry


Treasurer Tony Palmen


Directors Jim Leef

ITU AbsorbTech Ann Barry Hanneman

Von Briesen Law OďŹƒce

Click here to watch video.

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.


REGISTER NOW - TIME IS RUNNING OUT… DON’T MISS THE FUN! Newbies Welcome! • You Don’t Need To Be Any IBAW Member To Participate!

Monthly Meeting Friday, May 17, 2019 | Time: 7:00 am - 9:00 am 

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

A project like the Foxconn development doesn't happen overnight and it certainly doesn't happen without a lot of planning and logistics. This month we'll hear from Claude Lois, and Samuel Schultz from the Village of Mount Pleasant on the challenges, solutions and opportunities the Foxconn development brings to the area. - How does this impact the municipality and its residence? - What other business opportunities does this bring to area development? - What challenges does such a large develop put on a municipality and how are those overcome? Join us for an incredible behind the scenes look at one of Wisconsin's biggest business developments. Special thanks to Cushman Wakefield / Boerke who make this event possible.

Register now at

Sales Roundtable Monday, May 13th, 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 

This Event: • Sales • Branding • Marketing

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

Loss of an Icon Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director We lost restaurateur Joe Bartolotta this past week. A huge loss for Milwaukee - and Wisconsin. When you think of the top business people in Milwaukee, Joe Bartolotta immediately came to mind. It’s not just the fact that he had high profile restaurants in the area, but he had a larger than life personality with a sunny disposition. A true asset to the community. Joe was going to be our scheduled speaker at our June meeting. On the Tuesday announcing his passing, I was to be on a conference call with Joe and his staff at 2:00 pm about speaking at the June meeting. Joe had an interesting business story to tell, and I was anxious to hear it. This column is intentionally short this month. You’re going to see a lot of empty space on this page. It will look and feel out of place. Very similar to how it will be in this community without Joe.

The New Wave of Digital Transformation Scott Hirschfeld, President of CTaccess, Inc. Digital Transformation is creating serious disruption in the business world and will continue to have a profound impact on large and small organizations worldwide. To understand the impact of digital transformation, we must first define it in a way that is practical.  Digital Transformation is simply using innovative technology to redefine how you do business. Think Amazon.  Think Uber.  Think AirBNB.  These companies are defined by digital transformation.  If you look at things simply though, Amazon is an online retailer, Uber is a taxi service, and AirBNB is classified ads for rental properties.   Now, it may be hard to relate to Amazon or Uber or even AirBNB, if you are running a local business.  Perhaps you run a construction firm, machine shop, manufacturing company, architectural design firm, or accounting firm and your 20 or 200 or 5000 employee business and these giants seem un-relatable.  The truth is that digital transformation is relevant to every business.  Here’s why… 1. The impact of Amazon is an expectation of immediate web-based self-service, fast delivery, 24x7x365 availability and 1-day or 2-day delivery. This expectation has had its effect on all of us, especially millennials who know little else.  Millennials are our customers, future customers, and employees, so their expectations matter.   2. There is a shortage of workers, and digital transformation creates efficiencies that allow us to do more with less worker time.  Digital Transformation may allow you to increase your sales by 20% or 40% without having to add people to your accounting or HR or customer service teams to support the additional volume. 3. If we don’t do it, our competition will.  Automating how we do things is attractive to everyone.  Things like webbased order tracking, automated order status updates, electronic contract delivery, automated invoice processing, and so much more are attractive and create a significant advantage with customers and suppliers. If we agree that digital transformation is important even to our local business, the next concern is how?  How do we go about exploring the possibilities of digital transformation? Digital Transformation success lies somewhere at the intersection of “It would be awesome if we could…” and “How can we use technology to do this?”.  For this reason, it requires a collaboration between technologists and your people who know your customers best.  The technologists must have a keen understanding of the innovative technologies used to deliver digital transformation and yet not be burdened with the thought of having to implement.  Very often this is not your day-to-day IT team, as they tend to turn down creative ideas, because they see the roadblocks and after all, every new initiative makes more work for them.  The people in your organization who know your customers the best are different in every company.  This could be salespeople or customer service or marketing or even executive leadership.  The key is that whoever you bring together to set a strategy for digital transformation must be able to think beyond the day to day constraints of their work.  They must be able to dream a little and throw out some ideas that seem a bit far out.  Sometimes that far-out-there idea leads you to something that really works.

The temptation when on a path toward innovation is to explore what the competition is doing or bring together the usual crowd involved in daily operations or talk to your line-of-business-software vendor. The problem with this approach is that it will just help you catch up to the status quo.  Though this may be necessary, it is not going to lead you on a path of innovation, but rather down a path that is simply following the current trend of your industry.  Digital Transformation is just that – transformative.  Make sure your ideas are big enough.  Make sure your team is thinking beyond the boundaries of their normal daily job.  Involve someone from outside of your organization, if necessary to help you think bigger.  And, don’t explore the “how do we do that” until you have a good list of ideas.  Often the “how” puts a damper on creativity.  Once you have developed some solid creative ideas, it is time for the second phase where you create a digital transformation strategy.  This is where practicality begins.  But at the same time be careful not to squelch the creativity.  There are lots of developing and innovative technologies to enable the ideas that have been generated (these are a topic for another article).  And, often a stepped approach makes a great path to create value while building something truly transformative.  “What can we do now?”, is one of my favorite questions for taking steps in the right direction. Digital transformation will continue to carry us forward in 2019 and on into the next decade.  Are you already on your way to creating transformation?  What does your plan look like for this swelling wave of change?

7 Reasons Digital Marketing is Vital for Your Business Matt Callies, Marketing Coordinator Gravity Marketing Everyone wants their company to be successful and reach their business and marketing goals, but if you work for a small or medium-size business your marketing budget is usually limited. You may want to start an all-out marketing campaign for your company, but unless your last name is Rockefeller (or Kardashian for those who don’t get the reference), your business probably doesn’t have the money. This is where digital marketing comes in. Digital marketing utilizes social media, email and the internet to accomplish marketing activities for a fraction of the price of traditional marketing and with more accuracy. The beauty of digital marketing is that any business, no matter what size, can do it and use the same basic tools. Obviously, the way you use the tools all comes down to implementation, but when used correctly, digital marketing can help you reach your business goals and more. Here are 7 reasons digital marketing is vital for your business: Access to the Same Tools as Much Larger Companies Remember the kids in school who always had the newest and greatest toys and you always wanted to be them? Well, guess what. You’re still not them. The same thing goes for those big companies with large budgets. You want to do everything they’re doing and be like them, but you simply don’t have the budget to do so. Digital marketing helps to even the playing field and puts your business almost on the same level as the big companies because you have the same resources they do. Sure, they may spend more on Facebook and Google ads, but you can create the same awareness about your company, find your audience and compete in broader areas. Just because you don’t have the budget the big companies do for a massive marketing campaign, doesn’t mean that you can’t use the same tools with digital marketing to be successful. Set Your Company Apart and Become Personable with Social Media The one size fits all advertisement doesn’t generally work today. Being a smaller company, you have to speak to your audience like they’re your neighbor. People want something that speaks directly to them. You’re more likely to listen to someone who you know and trust. Someone who seems to understand you and knows what you like and dislike. This is where social media enters the picture. Facebook, LinkedIn and number of other social media platforms allow you to pick a specific audience to talk to. If you are targeting joggers aged 18-34 in the Milwaukee area, you can make those selections and your ads will be seen by those who fit that demographic. You can tailor your ads specifically for them. You can also create more of a voice and personality for your company with social media. Instead of just being seen as a faceless business like the larger companies, you can seem almost like a friend with posts about or directed at your audience. Make things personal by engaging with your audience when someone comments on a social media post and encourage them to “like” or “follow” your page or product. A “like” or “follow” is just another step in building a relationship and trust with your audience and when someone does “like” or “follow” your page, their friends see it on social media and that can create a whole new relationship with a whole new person. Target Email Marketing Works We all get a lot of emails from a lot of places. But, if the email doesn’t apply to you, you’re just deleting it right away. Larger companies will just blanket an area with emails and not actually look at who they are actually sending it too. As a smaller company, you want to reach a certain group of people who want or need to hear from you and have them read your messages. Many email marketing platforms allow you to track the actions of the recipients. You can tell who opened the email and which links they clicked on and create targeted email campaigns based upon the actions people have on your website. You could follow up with them by sending automated emails based on their actions on the previous email. From there, you know what they like or what they’re looking for and you can put that personalized message right in their inbox. And, if a person finds the email valuable, they can forward it on to another and another. How many times do you hear if “someone got that email with that one deal” and they’ll “forward it over to you?” You can get quite a few marketing miles off of a nicely written email campaign plan.

Costs Less Than Traditional Marketing Do you know how much a super bowl ad costs? Okay, that might be over the top, but television, radio, billboards and print ads are all pretty pricey, they normally pre-charge for an incremental period of time and you can’t really be sure what you’re getting from the deal. Larger companies don’t have to worry as much about their budget so they can spend the cash on a variety of marketing platforms. To get the most bang for your buck and see results, look to social media, email marketing or Google Ad campaigns. Each one of these digital marketing platforms allows you to reach the exact audience you are looking for by entering the demographics you are looking for into their database. You can also see exactly how your ads are performing in real-time and adjust them accordingly. So even if a campaign is performing poorly, you can catch it at the right time and change things up. And, with most digital campaigns, they don’t charge you for a quarterly or monthly total at the beginning, so you’re not stuck with the bill if you caught your declining campaign at the right time. Measuring Results Improves Marketing Strategies You never really know how many people saw that billboard you put up and the whole thing could’ve just been a waste of money, but you can tell exactly how many people clicked on your Facebook ad or how much time someone spent on your webpage by looking at a few analytics. From email opens, to links clicked, and page views, digital marketing platforms track almost everything. These platforms have special areas devoted just to analytics to tell you what you need to know. From analytics, you can determine what part of your campaign is failing. If you’re running an email campaign and have a low open rate, you can try changing the subject line up. If you’re running a social media campaign and have link clicks but a low time spent on your webpage, you can change your webpage content up. Each analytic helps to mold your campaign and tell you exactly what is working and what isn’t. You can then determine what to do with your overall strategy. If social media is more effective for a client, push social. If Google Ads is working, push Google Ads. You can tell exactly where your marketing campaign is by utilizing measurable results. Make Stronger Campaigns with A/B testing Which social media ad should you run? Which one performs better? The big companies may not care much, but you need to. Thanks to analytics you can easily do A/B testing with your two ads and quickly see which one performs better. Once you determine which one is yielding the best results, you can go and just run that one ad. Or, better yet run a number of ads that are pushing out high results and cut the ones that aren’t performing. Think of it as getting rid of the weakest link. Focus On Bigger Picture Items with Marketing Automation There’s only so much time in the day, you have a massive number of tasks to do and you don’t have the marketing staff to help you complete everything. No worries here! That’s where marketing automation steps in. Marketing automation allows you to utilize a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system to automate a plethora of tasks for a project. Want to send your audience a special email on their birthday? Send an automatic reply to someone requesting information on your product? Don’t worry, it’s covered. With the right CRM system, you can quickly and easily change a couple of settings and it’s taken care of. Now instead of adding that attachment and manually sending the same message to everyone who inquires on a form on your page, you can set the system to cruise control and move on to the big picture. If you are already using digital marketing ask yourself, are you doing everything on the list above? If your email marketing is successful are you ready for a more advanced software like a CRM system to help automate tasks? Have you measured your results to find the best possible digital marketing strategy? While your current marketing strategy may be working well, you can always add more to it by utilizing digital marketing tools. Leveling the playing field with competitors, creating a personal relationship with your audience, having measurable results and overall cost efficiency are just a few reasons why your company needs to be using digital marketing. Digital marketing gives you the tools to be successful and if you’re not using them, your company could be missing out. Matt Callies is a Marketing Coordinator at Gravity Marketing in Milwaukee.

IBAW has a 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 days, we only have a few followers at this point. Help IBAW out by visiting the page, follow us and help spread the word!

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IBAW In Photos… The IBAW Board meets April 26 to review the direction of IBAW and to discuss policy issues.

Doug Sawyer, CEO of Universal Welding, and Engineers sports the official IBAW decal during a shop tour. That’s a 1.75 thick steel plate being bent on a 400 ton press.

IBAW members and Board Members meet with Secretary of Revenue Peter Barca after the April meeting. Secretary Barca requested a short meeting to discuss how the DOR could be more business-friendly. Steve Kohlmann, IBAW’s executive director, voiced his displeasure on the lack of response from Governor Evers’ office on having the Governor appear at an IBAW event.


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 Members Score Wine By Giving Referrals IBAW members can get a free bottle of wine every time they refer a business friend to IBAW and that persons joins. We want to grow the IBAW and since we are a member driven organization, we rely on you to help grow the group. Who makes a great candidate for IBAW? Any person or business that has a ‘pro business’ attitude is an ideal candidate. This can include businesses both large and small along with individuals who are entrepreneurs and/or who are free market thinkers! Contact IBAW director Steve Kohlmann for details on how you can invite a guest to a monthly breakfast meeting.

Welcome New IBAW Members! Sandler Training (Link) Tom Carroll Sales and Business Development training for sales people at all levels. Business Development training for non-selling professionals; accountants, engineer, IT, attorneys, architects

Full Sail Leadership Academy (Link) Tim Dittloff Employee Engagement and team building expertise under sail

Drumel Holdings (Link) David Drumel Business Acquisition

Platform Digital & Communications (Link) Matt Walker Digital marketing, targeted advertising & web design. Keller Advisory Group Barry Keller Executive consulting services focused on strategy development, business process improvement, talent development and performance management.

Sanfelippo Plan Could Be Big Boost To Transportation Budget - But At Cost To Big Government Matt Kittle, MacIver News MADISON, Wis. — A graduated revenue shift could raise a half billion dollars annually — and nearly $5 billion total over 15 years — for Wisconsin transportation projects, according to a memo from the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. State Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R-New Berlin), in an op-ed published Wednesday, argues the state doesn’t need to raise its gas tax to fund its transportation needs. Instead, Sanfelippo proposes transferring a portion of the revenue generated from the sales tax on the sale of motor vehicles and related parts and services into the transportation fund. Currently, Wisconsin’s 5 percent sales tax goes to the general fund — including the estimated $1.03 billion annually in state sales and use tax collections from automobile and vehicle-related sales. Gov. Tony Evers and his transportation secretary-designee want an 8-cent-per-gallon increase in Wisconsin’s alreadyhigh gasoline tax to help bring in some $600 million in new revenue over the next two years for the state Department of Transportation. While polls show Wisconsin voters support finding more money to fix the state’s roads and bridges, a strong majority don’t like the idea of hiking the gas tax. “All of the focus has always been, the only way to get additional funding for transportation is by raising taxes. That’s just not the case,” Sanfelippo told MacIver News Service. “If we want to prioritize our spending we can fix the problem without raising anybody’s taxes.” Sanfelippo’s plan would ultimately transfer half of sales tax revenue from auto sales into the transportation fund, but gradually over the course of 15 years. In the first fiscal year, 2019-20, the amount would be 10 percent of the targeted sales tax revenue, rising to 15 percent in 2020-21, 20 percent the following year, and then more gradually to 50 percent by 2033-34. The proposal, in the first few years, would generate considerably less revenue for transportation than Evers’ budget calls for. It would bring in an estimated $103.5 million in the first year, $155.3 million in the second, and $207 million in the third year, according to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo. By fiscal year 2025-26, however, when 30 percent of sales tax money is flowing in, the transportation fund will take in more than $310 million. Annual revenue rises to $517.5 million in fiscal year 2033-34, for a cumulative transfer of $4.97 billion over the 15 years. With an anticipated $1.8 billion in higher combined tax revenue ahead, Sanfelippo said it’s foolish and unsustainable to depend on escalating gas taxes to fund transportation. The governor’s proposal also calls for the return of indexing, tying the gas tax to the rate of inflation. Doing so gets lawmakers off the hook for having to vote on increases — taxation without representation, critics contend. “What we’re saying is, take some of that money that is collected on auto sales and instead of pouring it into the general fund, start over time putting it into the transportation fund,” Sanfelippo said. The southeast Wisconsin lawmaker asserts the revenue shift would put transportation funding on a “sustainable path,” something he said “Band-Aid” fixes like gas tax hikes won’t ultimately do. State Rep. Scott Allen (R-Waukesha) tweeted Wednesday that Sanfelippo has “some great ideas that need legislative support.”

“Graying of WI resident also contributes to less gas consumption — older people drive less. Gas tax is unsustainable source of revenue,” Allen wrote in another tweet. The DOT’s Fund Solvency Report Study, released in December 2016, projected a decline in fuel consumption, in large part because of better vehicle fuel efficiency. “Revenue from the motor fuel excise tax is projected to decrease as gasoline consumption is forecast to decline. Gasoline consumption is estimated to decrease due to a projected 36.4 percent increase in new vehicle fuel efficiency, increasing gasoline prices and modest increases in disposable income,” the report states. Sanfelippo said his plan also would help control growth of state government going forward. That’s where folks on both sides of the aisle get a bit itchy. “We know, unfortunately, no matter who is in charge, that increased revenue from one budget to the next is always being spent on growing government,” the lawmaker said. While Republicans may slow the growth of big government more than their Democrat colleagues, government never stops growing no matter who’s in charge. Even with conservatives in control of the Legislature and the governor’s office during the past eight years, state spending expanded. The GOP’s last budget topped $75.7 billion, a 2.1 percent increase from the previous biennial spending plan, which was an increase from the last two-year budget. Evers’ budget proposal increases spending by more than $6.2 billion, conservatively. The governor’s office did not respond to MacIver News Service’s request for comment. Some Republicans expressed concern that shifting revenue from the general fund would create a budget “hole” for the myriad government programs and services the state provides. Sanfelippo’s proposal would require the Legislature to make some tough decisions, to prioritize with potentially hundreds of millions of dollars less in the catch-all general fund. But it also ultimately pumps in more revenue into an area of government that politicians and a lot of voters believe is a key funding priority. While a recent Marquette Law School Poll shows 57 percent of respondents don’t support a gas tax increase, polls consistently find repairing the state’s transportation system is at the top of Wisconsinites’ priority list. An ongoing concern is the amount of bonding the state uses to fund transportation projects. As of December 2018, the state had a total of $3.346 billion in transportation fund-supported debt outstanding: $1.578 billion in general obligation debt and $1.768 billion in transportation revenue obligation debt, according to the LFB memo. Now factor in principal and interest repayment, and the total climbs to nearly $4.7 billion combined. Still on the horizon, nearly $200 million in remaining general obligation bonds and $210.2 million in transportation revenue obligation bonds that have been authorized but not yet issued. “In addition, as of December 2018, the state also had $879.4 million in transportation-related, general fund-supported, general obligation bonding outstanding,” the Fiscal Bureau memo states. The DOT spent $357.6 million on debt service in the last budget, which equaled 18.7 percent of its transportation fund revenue. Transportation policymakers recommend that level not be allowed to exceed 25 percent. Evers’ transportation budget includes $329.2 million in new borrowing, down from previous budgets but still a money suck. Under Sanfelippo’s plan, debt service would continue to grow on existing bonds during the first four years, but annual savings would begin in the fifth year, growing to $206.9 million by fiscal year 2033-34. With retired debt service, and a proposed moratorium on new transportation-related bonding, annual revenue available for the transportation fund would grow to $724.4 million by the time the full sales tax revenue transfer goes into effect in the fifteenth year. As the LFB memo states, not until fiscal year 2027-28, when available revenue is estimated to top $438 million, would the annual amount of additional transportation cash exceed the annual amount of $418.4 million in bonding authorized over the past decade.

“As a result, less funding for state transportation infrastructure improvements would be available under this proposal than has been provided in recent biennia using existing transportation fund revenues and bonding,” the memo states. “Further, assuming no other revenue increases during his period, no additional revenues would be available to provide increased funding for DOT’s local transportation programs.” However, in the later years of the proposal, when revenue transfers increase and annual debt service declines, “more funds would be available for DOT’s state and local infrastructure development programs than have been available in recent biennia when significant amounts of bonding were needed to fund those programs.” “The amounts of additional revenue would continue to grow each year through 2039-40, when all existing debt is currently scheduled to be retired,” the Fiscal Bureau notes. State Rep. Bob Kulp (R-Stratford), chairman of the Assembly’s Transportation Committee, said he hadn’t read the entire plan as of Wednesday afternoon, but he said Sanfelippo should be applauded for thinking outside the box. Kulp said the proposal could go farther, however. “My first impression was, why only half? Why not the whole automobile tax,” he said. “Goodness, if we can get closer to solving our transportation funding issues using these methods and only taking half of (the automobile tax revenues), that’s a very good approach.” Kulp said he does have concerns about what the revenue shift could mean for local road funding in his north central Wisconsin Assembly district. “We want to make sure we’re accounting for that difference as well,” the lawmaker said. Sanfelippo said his plan is also dependent on reforming a state transportation agency that has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars, according to a 2016 audit. DOT accountability and savings realized through better practices are top of mind for fiscal conservatives who aren’t inclined to reward a transportation department that has been such a poor steward of the revenue it receives. “A combination of stable funding and long-term reforms will make this a sustainable program,” Sanfelippo said. Bill Osmulski contributed to this report

4 Ways to Build a Sales-Driven Culture Scott Seroka, Seroka Brand Development

When CEOs hear the word “culture,” most think about internal metrics like productivity, morale, communication, teamwork and performance. And as important as these metrics are, none on their own can go toe-to-toe with the metric of improving sales. And for the growth-minded company, building a sales-driven culture needs to be the priority metric, because after all, without sales, a company wouldn’t exist. Watch this video learn about the 4 ways you can build a sales-driven culture in your organization. Video link:

Retail Sales Bounce Back in March Raymond Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C.

Retail sales bounced back nicely in March, after a stretch of several sluggish months. This was the largest monthly gain since September of 2017, and it beat market expectations. As reported by the Census Bureau, U.S. retail and food service sales grew by 1.6 percent in March. That was up from a February decline of 0.2 percent. Even after factoring out strong gains in autos and higher gas prices, retail sales increased by 0.9 percent, which again beat expectations. Interestingly, one of the factors for slower real GDP growth during the last quarter of 2018 was a slowdown in personal consumption expenditures. The March data is good news, but it also must be noted that for all of the first quarter of 2019, growth was not strong compared to the previous quarter (+0.1 percent) or the same quarter a year earlier (+2.9 percent). Given the tight labor market and the resulting gains in compensation being experienced, hopefully the March gains will continue in coming months. _______ Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.

Merging Corporate Cultures Into One! Steve Bobowski, Dale Carnegie Coach

Dear Carnegie Coach Bobowski, I am the General Manager of a mid-size IT company, and we have recently “merged/bought out” another company in the area to expand our business. We see this as a prosperous business venture with much potential in our market. However, the corporate culture at each company is very different, and we are having problems uniting the employees. This has resulted in a turnover of employees who are not happy with the change. How can I ease everyone into this transition of becoming one company?   George     Dear George:   This is a common issue for companies when trying to “merge/got bought out”. As you can see, there is not a set management style that is effective for every company. You want the company to grow, and growing sometimes means change. It may be hard for employees to shift to a new culture, but it is doable. Change will not take place overnight.   The Actions I Want You To Take Are:    Communication. Communicating with employees and getting their feedback on issues is the first step to be • taken. This allows you to find out what employees find to be current problems within the company, and how they would like to see them improved. It’s important to let employees know their voice counts, and management is dedicated to coming up with a solution everyone can adapt to.   Identify the Challenges.  Once the listening begins you can start getting to the root of all the problems. • Effective leaders place a high value on understanding, and creating a common ground to resolve issues. This is where you should ask employees what the issues are, what are possible solutions, and finally what is the best solution. This may require numerous meetings with everyone in the company. The key here is compromise, change has occurred and everyone may have to alter the way they are used to doing things.   Implementing Changes.   Once everyone has shared his or her own thoughts and opinions, it’s time for • management put things into effect. A new code of ethics and a mission statement should be devised.  This will encourage employees to all work towards a common goal. Having employees work together in teams to discuss and resolve problems in a complete processes is a way everyone can adapt together. Employees will begin to feel respected and valued, along with being able to trust their new co-workers.   Appreciation: Good leaders realize the importance of their people’s contributions and give frequent and • sincere appreciation.   The Benefits to You:   Improved employee retention. • Increased morale. • Building a united workforce. •       Make It A Great Day!   Steve

: 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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AT&T ITU AbsorbTech Park Bank HNI Risk Advisors Ixonia Bank Advantage + Johnson Financial Group Sikich Lauber Trusted Business Partners RW Baird von Briesen Vrakas Boerke Co. Rickert Industries Bentley World Packaging Merrill Lynch

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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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MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS apply to your entire team. -

Monthly Sales Roundtable - free with membership Monthly 5 Star Breakfast Program C Level Peer to Peer Networking Monthly Digital Statewide Magazine - free with membership Informative Workshops Business Behind the Scenes Tours Legislative Updates and Representation from Madison and Washington D.C.


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IBAW May 2019 Business Magazine  

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

IBAW May 2019 Business Magazine  

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

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