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OCTOBER 2017 October 9th

Sales Roundtable

“Voice of the Customer A Strategic Approach”


Rep. Jason Fields (D)

Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R)

Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D)

Rep. Rob Hutton (R)

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.

IBAW Gives input to VP Pence on tax reform

Executive Director Steve Kohlmann President Dan Hansen Secretary Charles Fry Baird Treasurer Tony Palmen Sikich Directors Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Ann Barry Hanneman Von Briesen Law Office

On September 28th, Vice President Mike Pence was in Wisconsin to hear from small business owners on tax reform. The object of the meeting was for those business owners to give their thoughts on what reform was needed and how that might impact their business. IBAW Board Member, Jake Hansen of Jacsten Holdings was invited by the White House to participate in this discussion.

John Weber Hypneumat Jeff Hoffman Boerke Co. Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries Tom Boelkow BSI Design, Build, Furnish Robert Gross Gross Automation Scott Seroka Seroka Brand Development Tom Parks Annex Wealth Management Jake Hansen Jacsten Holding Scott Hirschfeld CTaccess

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

Friday, Oct. 20th

7:00 a.m - 9:00 a.m

POLITICAL PANEL DISCUSSION: Democrats | Republicans Democrats and Republicans at the same table? Is that even possible? It is! The IBAW pulls together the parties for a morning of politics with representatives from the two opposing parties from Madison for a political discussion. Join us for a morning of lively political debates that impacts Wisconsin business. This will be your opportunity to ask your questions about taxes, workforce issues, environmental, education, DNR regulation issues, transportation and other issues.



Rep. Jason Fields (D)

Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R)

Rep. Tod Ohnstad (D) Invited

Rep. Rob Hutton (R)

Register at LOCATION


7:00 AM


7:30 AM


9:00 AM


Taking a Knee - Isn’t For Me Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director

There’s a lot of controversy going on these days with NFL players. They are either taking a knee, locking arms, raising a fist or not showing up at all during the playing of our national Anthem. Unfortunately, this is starting to become a fad and has permeated down to the high school and younger audience. Recently a Pee Wee football team ‘took a knee’ during the playing of the National Anthem. I’m not sure why they did. I’m not sure they knew why either. This all started last year when San Francisco 49er player Colin Kaepernick decided to sit during a the national anthem to protest what he believes is the injustice African Americans. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color," Kaepernick told NFL Media in an exclusive interview after the game. "To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder." Since then, showing some type of protest during the playing of the National Anthem has become the thing to do. For me personally, I would always show respect for our flag and our nation during the playing of the National Anthem. I never served in the military nor have I worn a badge to protect my community. But I have been exposed to a different perspective which came from my parents. My parents immigrated to this country from Germany in 1952 after surviving World War II. Like many people from that era, Mom and Dad never really sat our family down to talk about the war or their struggles to survive it. It was simply too terrible to recount. But every so often you might get a snippet of some horrific event they experienced; starvation, cites bombed to rubble, evading Nazis, witnessing hangings and other war atrocities so brutal they can never be erased from one’s memory. My parents did survived it and they came to this country with very little for a better life for me and my siblings. They came to America to have freedom and opportunities for a better life. And they did. Thankfully, so do I. But beyond my family experience, and more importantly, are all the men and women who have died in defense for our country in defending our freedoms. Countless individuals throughout our history have stepped up and paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can be free. We celebrate our freedom and independence every Fourth of July and remember those who have fallen on Memorial Day. But we should be more aware of the cost of that freedom year round, the playing of the National Anthem is a perfect time to do that. Is it too much to ask to stand up and for two minutes while the National Anthem plays to honor what these brave people fought and died for? I don’t think so. As a matter it’s the VERY least we can do. The very least. We have something truly special in this country and it’s been paid for with the blood of brave individuals. I know that. I hope you do, too.

2017 “Flexing Wisconsin’s Manufacturing Muscle”


For the third year in a row, the IBAW hosted the Wisconsin Manufacturing Summit in the ballroom of the Wisconsin Club. The event featured Wisconsin Secretary of Administration, Scott Neitzel with a update on the Foxconn initiative as well as a panel discussion with Joel Quadracci of Quad Graphics, Chad Severson, CEO of InSinkerator, and Jim Kass, VP of Manufacturing of Allen Edmonds. Over 150 people attended the event!

Special thanks to our sponsors, Bank Mutual, Vrakas CPAs and HNI Risk Advisors!

Sponsored by:

Sponsored by:

Bill Would Give Businesses Freedom to Hire More Apprentices Natalie Goodnow Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty Research Fellow This piece was originally published on Right Wisconsin. “Today’s apprentices will construct the roads and bridges that move our citizens, they will bend the metal and steel that shape our cities, and they will pioneer the new technology that drives our commerce,” said President Trump in a June speech. A new bill in Wisconsin, introduced by State Senator Chris Kapenga, R-Delafield, and Representative Rob Hutton, R-Brookfield, could allow businesses to hire more apprentices by reducing legal burdens on them. Often an alternative path to two- or four-year colleges, apprenticeships are a win-win for both employers and job-seekers. Companies are able to train people to fill their precise skill needs, and job-seekers get a hands-on education and improved employment opportunities and earning potential. As President Trump put it, “Apprenticeships place students into great jobs without the crippling debt of traditional four-year college degrees. Instead, apprentices earn while they learn.” Why Change the Apprentice to Journeyman Ratios Unfortunately existing Wisconsin law makes it difficult for some employers to hire additional apprentices. Using a system of, sometimes complex, ratios, the Department of Workforce Development (DWD) mandates how many apprentices a business can hire. These ratio rules limit the hiring of apprentices relative to the number of journeymen (i.e. skilled employees) employed. The ratios vary by industry and often change with the hire of apprentices. For example, in carpentry, the ratio starts at one apprentice per one journeyman. But, if a company wishes to hire an additional apprentice, they must employ three journeymen per apprentice. Plumbing is more complicated, requiring three journeymen to two apprentices, ten journeymen to six apprentices, etc. Previous research has shown that having a high number of journeymen to apprentices could result in too few apprentices being trained to fill the employment needs of businesses and also drive up the cost to do business. The Yankee Institute, looking at the impact of Connecticut’s ratio laws, noted that “the hiring ratio limits the labor pool, which can drive up wages to workers, but also increases costs to employers and consumers.” According to Paul Breglia, owner of Crest Mechanical Services, “There’s a dearth of journeymen. The older guys are retiring and we need apprentices to train the next generation.” Breglia says Connecticut’s ratio rule restricts him from taking on more apprentices, though. “I would have to hire three more guys to take on one more apprentice.” A report from the C.D. Howe Institute in Canada seems to support his story. The paper looks at apprenticeship ratio impacts in Canada, which has a similar apprenticeship system to the US. It suggests a high ratio of journeymen to apprentices “reduces entry into the labor force and contributes to a shortage of skilled labor in that trade.” The Kapenga-Hutton bill would change the ratio rules for apprenticeships in Wisconsin to make it easier for some businesses to hire apprentices. Under the bill DWD would not be able to “prescribe, enforce, or authorize” apprenticeship ratios that

require more than one journeyman to one apprentice. This bill, which would level the ratios across industries, would allow employers to expand their apprenticeship programs and take on more apprentices. Potential Concerns Opponents will likely argue the bill will lower safety standards and quality of work. One union publication, The Ironworker, covered the topic of apprenticeship ratios and summed up the expected negative impact of insufficient trainer to trainee ratio thus: “The owner will receive a lower quality product due to the lack of experience and knowledge of the workforce. Value to the owner may be reduced due to accidents, injuries, and future rework and repairs caused by poor craftsmanship. Contractors will be forced to deal with lower quality work, rework, injuries and higher employee turnover. Workers will suffer with higher injury rates, work related illness and disease, lower knowledge and skill levels, and higher job turnover which many times results in them leaving the industry.” That’s a dire sounding scenario. Safety and quality should certainly be maintained in order to protect employees, employers, and consumers. The big question is if this bill crosses the threshold into insufficient supervision. Though the bill would lower the ratio of journeymen to apprentices, it wouldn’t give free rein to apprentice programs. Programs would not be able to suddenly have one journeyman to ten apprentices. Oversight from DWD would still be required to make sure safety standards are being followed. A National Trend Other states have led the way toward lowering the apprentice to journeyman ratios. According to the Department of Labor, the occupation with the highest number of apprentices in 2016 was electrician, so I will use that as my comparison point. In 2016, the Michigan legislature changed the state’s ratio rule for the electrical industry to one journeyman to up to three apprentices. Other states with this ratio for their electrical industry include Iowa, Utah, North Dakota, Colorado, and Nebraska. Wisconsin, by comparison, is much more restrictive; the electrical ratio for journeymen to apprentices is one journeyman to the first apprentice, then three to four journeymen to the second apprentice, etc. A shift toward expanding apprenticeship opportunities isn’t just happening at the state level. This June President Trump signed an executive order reducing the federal government’s role in creating and regulating apprenticeship programs. The goal of this order is to give businesses and agencies more freedom to design apprenticeship programs, hopefully increasing the number of apprenticeship slots and helping industries fill their massive need for employees. Just the construction industry and members of Associated Builders and Contractors alone need half a million workers to fill existing jobs. According to Senator Kapenga, Wisconsin’s economic activity – bolstered by Foxconn – places a renewed emphasis on the need for skilled workers in the Badger State. But the current apprenticeship ratio laws deter people from entering certain professions. With this bill, the Wisconsin legislature can fix that.

Sometimes we hear business owners or potential clients compare what we do to real estate brokers. And today, with the advent of selling your own home using technology, some people think you can do the same thing with your business. There are many reasons why selling your home is very different than selling your business. It is never a good idea to sell your business yourself.

When Selling a Business, Confidentiality is Key If you are selling your home, you go to great lengths to make sure that many people know this. You put pictures and videos online and you widely advertise the fact that the home is for sale. When you are selling your business, you cannot advertise that fact to the world because confidentiality is crucial. Confidentiality is crucial because if the world knew your business was for sale, it could be very disruptive to your business and detract from its value. If confidentiality is breached: • it can be scary for your employees • it can cause nervousness with your existing customers • your competitors will use it to sell against you • it can make your lender nervous Because you must endeavor to keep the transaction confidential, you have to rely on the network of your investment banker to market the business. He or she will know your industry and can use that knowledge to bring the right buyers to you on a confidential basis.

When Selling a Business, The Group That Buys It Can Drive Additional Value When selling your house, you generally look to an established set of comparable real estate transactions to set the value. While recent transactions can be of assistance in very large or publicly traded transactions, they generally don't provide a lot of information for the middle market. Your investment banker will work very hard to make sure the right buyers see the business you are selling, because the value of the business can vary significantly based on which buyers come to the table. If, for instance, your banker knows that there are several Midwestern-based businesses similar to yours that are looking for capacity, your banker will make sure they know your plant has excess capacity. They will pay more for your business than someone that does not need capacity. Strategic buyers can bring different characteristics to the table that can encourage them to pay more for your business. Financial buyers may want to invest in the business to bring about enhanced growth. This can cause financial buyers to pay more. Whatever the reason, finding the exact right buyer that can pay an outlying value is what your investment banker strives to do during your transaction. Unlike the "science" of selling a house, selling your business is more of an "art."

There Are No Rules When selling a house, there are established laws and rules that must be followed. The legal documents needed to sell a house are essentially standard forms. Compare that with selling your business. The documents needed to sell your business are very complicated and have to be created from scratch for every transaction. Unlike the one day visit from a home inspector, the due diligence process when buying a business is long and often times contentious. Additionally, real estate professionals go through a tremendous amount of training before they attempt to sell a house. Most real estate agents are intimately familiar with their geography. Compare that with selling a business. Almost no states have regulations on who can sell a business. While it is important to use an investment banker or broker to assist you with the sale, it is equally important to make sure you get a qualified professional with experience in your industry. Get references and match the type of business you have with the experience and skill set of the investment banker you want to use.

Intangibles Can Be a Huge Part of a Business' Value Ok, if you happen to own the house where Frank Sinatra once lived, you probably have a house with a large intangible factor, but most houses do not trade based predominately on intangibles. For the most part, house values are determined by very measurable items such as number of bedrooms or acres of land. Compare that with selling a business, where 100 percent of the value can be related to intangibles. Established brands, for instance, do not need to have any profitability associated with them at all to sell for large values. New or novel technology that addresses a future need can have huge value potential before the company is even fully formed. Making sure that buyers pay for intangible items is something a skilled investment banker will do during the sale process. Do not get lulled into the idea that because you have successfully sold many homes, you can also sell your business. While your house and your business are similar in that they are probably two of the largest assets in your personal portfolio, you need an expert, specializing in the sale of businesses.

-------------Tammie Miller, Managing Director of TKO Miller, has over 20 years of investment banking experience with an extensive background in healthcare, business process outsourcing, manufacturing, industrial services and food ingredients. Prior to forming TKO Miller, Tammie was a Managing Director at Grace Matthews where she was responsible for managing transactions in a variety of industries.  Tammie particularly enjoyed working with family and founder owned businesses.  Tammie’s operating background developed when she acquired 8 companies to create Innovative Resource Group as part of Cobalt Corporation (Formerly Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin) She served as Senior Vice President of Operations at Innovative Resource Group (now APS Healthcare), where she oversaw 400 employees and was responsible for $50 million in revenues. Tammie's prior investment banking experience includes positions at Alex. Brown & Sons, First National Bank of Chicago, Kidder Peabody, and Lehman Brothers. Tammie is a Chartered Financial Analyst and holds a B.A., with High Honors, in Latin American Studies, as well as an M.B.A. with an emphasis in finance, both from The University of Chicago.

At TKO Miller LLC, we are passionate about educating business owners about the process of selling your company in an open and completely transparent manner. If you are a business owner and you want to learn more about investment banking, transaction timing, selling your business, or other frequently asked questions, please visit our Seller's Corner

The Leadership Lesson I Learned Waiting for My Flight to Crash Land As the plane circled the airport burning off fuel, a passenger wearing a pilot's uniform kept fear from boiling over into panic by occasionally napping. Gene Marks - CONTRIBUTOR to the Entrepreneur website where this article originally appeared.

What could the guy next to me possibly be thinking? We were both on the same American Airlines flight. And it was doomed. The flight, which took off on a grey afternoon from Buffalo, New York, was headed to Philadelphia. It was just a short flight and for the most part conditions were fine. I was in Buffalo for a business trip and looking forward to getting home. The plane was one of those smaller regional jets typical for routes like this. The guy next to me was an American Airlines pilot - but relax, we weren't sitting in the cockpit. It was one of those times when pilots take empty seats to "jump" from one city to another in order to make their next assigned flight. He sat next to me a few minutes before the door closed and, after a quick greeting, he tipped his cap over his eyes and settled in for an off-duty snooze. We took off. You know when your plane takes off and you feel it go up and up and then you hear the little "bong" which indicates you're over 10,000 feet and then the flight attendant comes on to welcome you, remind you of the rules and tell you how to use the in-flight internet? Unfortunately, none of that happened. Within a few minutes of takeoff, I noticed something odd. The plane wasn't gaining altitude. It kind of hung around a few thousand feet off the ground. For a while. My curiosity didn't last long. The pilot came on the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen," he said in an even voice. "As you've probably noticed we haven't reached out cruising height. That's because we're having a problem with the landing gear." Uh. Oh. "The landing gear," he continued. " hasn't come up all the way. We think it’s stuck but we can’t be entirely sure. So we're going to fly around for about 45 minutes so that we can..." (and this is the part no one wanted to hear) "...burn off some fuel before we go back to Buffalo and..." (he actually said this) "...attempt to land." Interestingly, my fellow passengers seemed to take this horrific information in stride although there was an obviously strained silence throughout the cabin during those 45 minutes. But what really caught my attention was the guy sitting next to me -- the jump pilot. He just kept napping. He showed absolutely no reaction whatsoever. And trust me -- I wasn't the only one watching the guy. Every set of eyes was on him. I'm assuming if he so much as frowned -- let alone reach for a parachute -- all hell would break loose. But no, he just kept quietly snoozing away.

As you've probably figured out by now, everything turned out fine. The plane landed without incident, albeit amidst a cluster of fire trucks and ambulances with their lights flashing on the runway. As we taxied back to the gate, the jump pilot next to me stirred and tapped me on the shoulder. Showing me his phone he said "Hey, just wanted you to know that I got a message from the airline that this flight will be delayed two hours." "Are you kidding?" I asked him. "That's what you're concerned about? We almost died! Were you even aware of what was going on here?" He paused for a moment. And then he said this: "Sure, I was aware the whole time. And I guess I can tell you now: I was shitting myself." I had no answer to that. But after a minute or two of silence he turned back to me. "But one thing I've learned in this job,” he said with a wink. “You never let the people who are watching you see you sweat.” I hope to never have to have that kind of situation again. But, as someone who runs a company and employs people who are constantly watching me, I took the American Airlines pilot’s advice to heart. I know that other difficult challenges still lay ahead for my business. But whatever those challenges are, I intend to behave like that pilot. My rule is that I will never let my people see me sweat either.

Knowledge and Insights Powering Independent Business

BUSINESS PROGRAMMING • Timely Speakers on Business Issues • A Powerful Resource for You and Your Team

PEER TO PEER NETWORK • Connect With Your Business Peers • Intimate Setting = Meaningful Dialogue

VOICE TO GOVERNMENT • Member Driven Advocacy • Voice on Public Policy Issues

Learn the benefits of membership at

HERE’S WHY...You Always Back Up Sue Kohlmann, Kohlmann Management Group

Always, every day, off site. It’s easy. You can do it! I have a service provider I see every six months who does, in fact, back up every day, off site. And here’s why. On a nice, quiet Sunday evening, his office building caught on fire and his office suffered devastating damage. In fact, there’s no Crest toothpaste ceiling posters any longer because there’s no ceiling. There’s not even a roof! But his business is intact. And here’s why. As he tells it, he was lucky. He belongs to an association who guided him to the proper insurance coverage for his type of business. He has a great network of professionals who steered him to some immediate options. And he has a dedicated staff who pulled together and made it happen. By Friday morning he was open for business in a new location with equipment and phone service and a new appreciation for what he has. All of his electronic files were saved because of the business procedure he implemented. Sure, there are some odds and ends to work out. And the fish in his lobby aquarium didn’t make it. But he is open for business, his patients are still being seen and he thinks he’s lucky. And he is lucky. Smart too!

Ending the Death Tax Should Be An Easy Tax Reform Raymond Keating, SBE Council, Washington D.C. No economic or fiscal reasoning can justify the imposition of an estate, or death, tax. It’s merely a political tool of the class-warfare variety. Ending the death tax should be an easy item to check off the tax reform priority list. It destroys family-owned businesses and wastes vast amounts of resources that could instead be directed toward wealth creation, quality job growth and productive investment. Yet, assorted reports, such as from Reuters, indicate that there are discussions among the White House and congressional negotiators hammering out a tax reform plan that the death tax might stay with us. That would be a big mistake and a missed opportunity to promote fairness and sanity within our tax system. In an August 17, 2017, analysis, SBE Council spelled out “5 Solid Reasons to End the Death Tax.” In that piece, it was explained that the death tax: • Fails to provide any net revenue to the federal government as it “reduces incentives for investing and entrepreneurship, and increases the likelihood of businesses being closed or sold”; • Imposes broad economic costs; • Is an unfair levy, being imposed at death on total assets after a lifetime of paying taxes and fees; • Is rooted in class warfare and envy; • And, ending the death tax would boost private investment, productivity, income and jobs. But tax negotiators seem to be hung up on possible revenue losses to the federal government. Such a conclusion can only come from a static, unrealistic view of how taxes affect decision-making and the economy. The full, real-world economic impact of the death tax should guide such decisions. For example, a study by the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation laid out a comprehensive assessment of the economic ills of the estate and gift taxes, and it was concluded: “The economy, the pre-tax and post-tax incomes of workers, savers, and investors, and federal, state, and local revenue would all be higher if the estate and gift taxes were eliminated.” If tax reform is supposed to be about growth, fairness and simplicity, then ending the death tax is non-negotiable. There is no rationale or benefit to keeping this destructive and wasteful tax.

Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council. Keating’s latest book published by SBE Council is titled Unleashing Small Business Through IP: The Role of Intellectual Property in Driving Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Investment and it is available free on SBE Council’s website here.


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

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

Program Specifics: • • • •

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

• • •

Guided Yearly planning Accountability among peers. Business Results

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

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

• • • • •

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

Program Leader: Steve Bobowski

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

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

Referrals or 3 enrollments

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

Public Hearing on Proposed Mining Bill Wisconsin Business Voice Needed

Republican lawmakers Sen. Tom Tiffany and Rep. Rob Hutton are sponsoring a bill that would lift the state's mining moratorium and plan to hold a hearing on the measure. In a recent interview with Media Trackers, Sen. Tiffany said; “We’re all talking about Foxconn at this point; an enormous economic growth we could see in Wisconsin, bringing a new industry into Wisconsin. Well we have an industry in mining that is basically defunct at this point. As you know we have that miner on our flag here in Wisconsin and we want to put him back to work. We’re calling this bill Mining for America. We remove the mining moratorium language and we put other provisions in the bill to streamline some of the permitting. But we do not change any environmental standards with this bill, just some of the processes. We have one of the greatest nonferrous mineral deposits in the world here in Northern Wisconsin…we have a great opportunity to restart what could be a multi-billion dollar industry. You don’t make those products that Foxconn is going to make out of nothing. You take a Toyota Prius; it contains 64 pounds of copper. Those wind turbines that you see on the east coast of Wisconsin; they take up to 8,000 pounds of copper in them. So we have to have those raw materials in order to be able to have a prosperous society.  And isn’t it better for us to produce them here in our state and in the United States, rather than exporting that to another country that doesn’t have the tough environmental standards that we do?”

Sen. Tom Tiffany

The public hearing is scheduled for Friday, October 13th in Milwaukee. The exact time and location is still to be determined. Rep. Rob Hutton Please let IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann know if you are interested in testifying or are willing to sign a letter of support.

6 Reasons Disengaged Employees Require Your Immediate Attention Scott Seroka, Seroka Brand Development

According to a 2016 Gallup Poll, disengaged employees cost the U.S. approximately $500,000,000,000 (Yes, that’s billion). Some employees disengage for reasons that have nothing to do with their employer or work environment. Illness, injuries or major life events such as losing a loved one, going through a divorce or dealing with any kind of trauma can be distracting enough to prevent anyone from doing their job well. For these employees, empathy, support and time are the three elixirs employers can offer during a troubled employee’s recovery back to peak performance and productivity. The employees requiring the most attention are those who become disengaged based on internal issues and/or working within an unhealthy culture. These employees are actually much more dangerous than many give them credit for, as they are not simply low-productivity team members who Facebook more than they should on the company watch. A single disengaged employee is capable of: • Costing their employer infinite amounts of money due to negligent and careless mistakes. When an employee no longer cares, s/he is less likely to pay attention to details, which is where the devil resides. For manufacturers, failure to pay attention to even the smallest of details can have dire consequences. • Angering customers into the welcoming arms of a competitor. The last thing you need is to have a disengaged employee interact with a customer – especially when an issue needs to be resolved. If customers aren’t feeling the love from that one employee, they may become more agreeable to going on a first date with a competitor, you know, just to keep their “options” open. • Recruiting others to start a movement – an internal resistance to the leadership team. Rarely do disengaged employees keep quiet and operate alone. They confide in others the displeasure, disappointment or resentment they have toward the company or its leadership team and pollute the minds of others. This is precisely how “Us versus them” cultures are formed. • Slowing projects down to a crawl. As disengaged employees rarely have any sense of urgency, they cannot be counted on to meet deadlines or work additional hours when you need them to the most. Also, do not expect them to answer their companyprovided phone or respond to emails off-hours. • Forcing the burden and responsibilities of work s/he is supposed to do onto others. Peers will grow increasingly frustrated each time they need to pick up the slack from those who do shoddy or incomplete work, leading to… • Dragging down morale. If your better performers are forced to work with someone who isn’t pulling his or her own weight, they will grow impatient quickly and turn to leadership to fix the problem. If the problem isn’t fixed quickly, there will be a flight risk among your best people. Disengaged employees turn sour for reasons that need to be identified, and fast. If ignored or dismissed for too long, disengagement can escalate to nefariousness where an employee may begin to seek revenge on his or her employer through acts such as stealing, tampering with systems and equipment, disparaging social media posts, and in extreme cases, acts of violence.

It’s the accountant who embezzles tens of thousands of dollars over the course of a few years. It’s the Director of IT who blocks a network for ransom. Or maybe it’s a customer service rep who sneaks supplies such as ink cartridges and expensive equipment from the supply room to sell on eBay. We hear and read about such corporate revenge all the time. Your best and only defense is to take action on perceived disengagement sooner than later. Look for the following signals: 1. Change in normal behavior/demeanor 2. Indifference, snide remarks or lacking opinions on significant matters 3. Unwillingness to commit to large-scale projects 4. Increases in careless errors or mistakes 5. Taking more personal time off 6. Consistently coming in a little later and leaving a little earlier than others 7. Disconnecting from colleagues 8. Easy loss of temper (a short fuse) 9. Doesn’t participate or take notes in meetings 10. No longer participates in small talk with peers (becomes quieter) 11. Doesn’t ask questions / no longer curious 12. Avoids management 13. Opts out from fun, extracurricular, team-building activities 14. Makes juvenile excuses for non-performance If anyone comes to mind after reading this list, you’ll know what to do.

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

Voice of the Customer A Strategic Approach Jimmy Hansen and Alan Soriano from Mathison Manufacturing share insight as to their ongoing market strategy called “The Voice of the Customer.”   Learn more about how they define prospects and use strategic methods to close the sales gap. They will also discuss their unique War Room and how you can apply it to your own business to stay focused, drive action and get results. The Sales Roundtable is a great way to keep you and your team pumped up and it's a FREE benefit of your IBAW membership! The IBAW Sales Roundtable is a free event open only to members. 

Register at

: 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 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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2017 Membership Committee

Jake Hansen Jacsten Holdings

Charles Fry Robert W. Baird

Mike Poludniak Merrill Lynch

Dan Hansen

Tom Parks Annex Wealth Mgt.

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

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

Magazine Content Needed Consider Submitting an Article!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Contact Steve Kohlmann for details.

Articles submitted by our members & sponsors.

Welcome New IBAW Members!

Meeting Recaps 2014 Wisconsin Manufacturing Knowledge Summit

Power Test

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

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

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

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

Chris Halaska

2 3


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

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

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

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


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

6 Photos courtesy of Tim Townsend.

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

Spotlight on new members

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AT&T ITU AbsorbTech Park Bank Blomquist Benefits HNI Risk Advisors Advantage + Bank Mutual Waddell & Reed Sikich Lauber CFO’s RW Baird von Briesen Vrakas Integrated Health Network of Wisconsin Simandl Law Group, S.C. Boerke Co. Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Crueger Rickert Industries BSI - Design, Build, Furnish

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

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

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

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

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

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IBAW October 2017 magazine  

A publication for the Independent Businesses of Wisconsin.