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JANUARY 2016 January 11th

IBAW SALES ROUNDTABLE Topic: “What to do when a prospect goes DARK”

January 15th

• Why Trade is Vital To Wisconsin Business • Where to Start the Investigative Process of Export

Inside This Issue:

TANKE: 5 PREDICTIONS FOR TRUCKING RISK IN 2016

KEATING: ECONOMIST’S OUTLOOK 2016: THREAT OF DIMINISHED EXPECTATIONS

OLLENBURG: CEO MUST-KNOWS ABOUT EMPLOYING PEOPLE IN 2016


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 MEDIA LINK Gov. Walker at BIG Event _________________________________________________________

Gov. Walker says 2016 will focus on Workforce Development. Video courtesy of MacIver Institute.

Executive Director Steve Kohlmann President Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Secretary Charles Fry Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc President Elect 2015-16 Craig Coursin MSI General VP. State & National Programs Jeff Hoffman Boerke Treasurer Casey Malek Sikich

To watch, click here.

Directors Bart Adams Sikich Ann Barry Hanneman Simandl Law Group S.C John Weber Hypneumat Dan Hansen Park Bank Richard Blomquist Blomquist Benefits Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries Tom Boelkow BSI Design, Build, Furnish Robert Gross Gross Automation

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


New Law Prohibits Claims Based on Oral Credit Agreements Attorneys David Cisar & Brion Winters, Von Briesen Wisconsin has a new law protecting financial institutions against alleged oral credit agreements. This "New Law" began as Assembly Bill 23 and was signed by the Governor on December 16, 2015 as Act 120. The financial institutions protected include banks, savings banks, savings and loan associations, credit unions and farm credit institutions. The New Law provides financial institutions and their affiliates with protection against claims that a putative borrower relied on oral offers, promises, agreements or commitments by the financial institution to the borrower's detriment. It also

David I. Cisar 414-287-1224 dcisar@vonbriesen.com

prohibits relief typically sought by borrowers in these types of cases under the doctrine of promissory estoppel. The New Law provides that no action may be brought against a financial institution or its affiliate with regard to any offers, promises, agreements or commitments of the financial institution or its affiliate, unless the offer, promise, agreement or commitment:  1

is in writing,

2 3

sets forth relevant terms and conditions, and is signed with an authorized signature by the financial institution or its affiliate and is delivered to the party seeking to enforce such offer, promise, agreement or commitment. 

The types of offers, promises, agreements and commitments covered by the New Law are those: • •

to lend money, to grant or extend credit, 

to renew, extend, modify or permit a delay in repayment or performance of a loan,

extension of credit or other financial accommodation, and to make any other financial accommodation. 

The New Law encourages discussions between financial institutions and borrowers by reducing the chilling effect that, in the past, could have resulted in lender liability lawsuits. It should significantly limit a putative borrower's ability to make such claims or counterclaims against a financial institution. Note, however, that while the New Law will prohibit such "contract" claims, it will not prohibit common law claims for fraudulent misrepresentation. The New Law does not apply to any consumer credit transactions subject to Chapters 421 through 427 of the Wisconsin Consumer Act or to the issuance or use of a credit card.  For further information on the issues discussed in this Commercial Law Update, please contact your von Briesen attorney, or the following attorneys: David I. Cisar or Brion T. Winters.

Brion T. Winters 414-287-1561 bwinters@vonbriesen.com


Friday, January 15th, 2016 Why Trade is So Vital To Wisconsin Business This month we'll be discussing the importance of Wisconsin exporting; how a business can begin the information gathering stage and what it's like behind the curtain of export & import giant China. We'll also hear what it's like to do business in China and the nuances in dealing with business people in China.

IBAW Members: $32.00 Guests: $42.00 Includes plated breakfast • Attire: Business Professional

Guest Panelists: Tom Bentley,CEO, Bentley World Packaging Mr. Bentley's company, Bentley World Packaging is one of the leading companies in the nation to ship large and small scale machinery and other export items around the globe. Tom is an outspoken advocate against the trade deficit with China and will make a case for you to consider why exporting should be a factor for your business, how it can make a positive impact on your bottom line and why it's good for Wisconsin's economy.

Joe Jurken, Principal & Senior Partner, Asian Business Consultants   Joe Jurken is the Founder & Senior Partner at The ABC Group LLC. He has over 30 years of experience operating across Southeast Asia and for the last 12 years has focused his attention towards assisting mid-sized companies more effectively conduct commercial business in Mainland China. In doing so, Mr. Jurken has personally crafted and executed business plans to aid American companies establish qualified supply-chains throughout China so as to remain competitive in a global marketplace. During this time, he has worked alongside companies in multiple industries from automotive to consumer goods. Recently, by recognizing a maturation of China’s economy and increased demand for foreign goods, Mr. Jurken has successfully directed his firm to not only provide supply-chain management services for client but also export assistance for those interested in developing or expanding upon a Chinese customer base. These services which are based on his knowledge and expertise, have offered clients across the country a path to more efficiently operate throughout Asia and increase their competitive advantage over less in tune competitors.

LOCATION

THE WISCONSIN CLUB 900 W. WISCONSIN AVE. MILWAUKEE

7:00 AM

REGISTRATION & NETWORKING

7:30 AM

BREAKFAST & PROGRAM

9:00 AM

PROGRAM ENDS

Registration now open! Click here.


2015: The Year in Review - These are a Few of My Favorite Things Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director

With the start of a new year, it’s traditional to look back at the previous year and note some of the highlights. There was a lot of activity - on many levels - for our organization last year, but here are my personal favorite top highlights of 2015:

Increase In Membership / Sponsorship / Brand Awareness Incoming calls is the Holy Grail of business. It validates what you are doing as a company and your marketing efforts. When customers start calling YOU that’s really good news. And IBAW is experiencing just that. When I started as director in November of 2013, the IBAW had just under 100 members. Today, as of this writing, we have 137 so we’ve experienced some nice growth. But something unique is happening in the growth department; Incoming calls. As IBAW grows and we develop the brand and people are talking us up, we’re getting more calls from people who have seen or heard about us, noticed our logo or have come across our website and want to know more about us. Marketing and branding efforts are paying off and I think this is just huge.

IBAW Informational Videos With the help of IBAW member Scott Seroka of Seroka Brand Development, the IBAW produced a short informational video featuring some of our members sharing what makes IBAW special. I’m finding this video vital as we grow the membership and let the business community know who we are as an organization and what we do. Since then, I made a few more videos and I established a YouTube channel for the IBAW. We’ll be doing more videos as time goes on featuring IBAW members and their business.

LakeView Tech Academy It started with a tip from one of our members: “You should see what they’re doing at LakeView Tech Academy (LTA) in Kenosha.” A big concern of our manufacturing members is how young people are being steered towards college and not to manufacturing or trades. So we were intrigued to learn of a high school that’s in a 40,000 sq. ft. former manufacturing plant with a very unique curriculum as part of their everyday teaching; CNC Machining, Engineering, Bio Medical, Nano Technology, Robotic and other “tech” offerings. We took a tour, had an article written, and that article lead to LTA teacher Matt Schultz going to Washington, D.C. to testify about what they are doing and how it can be implemented in other settings. Since that initial tour, the IBAW has been involved with more tours, most recently with Senator Ron Johnson who heard about LTA through our office. See the video here.

Brand Discovery Exercise Having a strong brand and what it stands for is critical as a business - or in our case - organization grows. Understanding who you are and what you stand for is the very foundation of any marketing and communication you have to do. Once again with help of Scott Seroka of Seroka Brand Development, the IBAW spent a lot of time interviewing members, getting feedback and understanding what makes us unique and how we should apply that uniqueness in our marketing efforts. Thanks to Mary Stark of Waddell & Reed who came up the our new tagline: “Business Leaders, Leading Business”.


The BIG Event How often do you go to a business event that features the Governor, a Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice and a Milwaukee County Judge? High energy, and a great networking experience all wrapped up at the Wisconsin Club, all decked out for the Holidays. The BIG Event is undoubtably the event which is the most work to organize and put on but it’s also my favorite event. Kudos to the staff at the Wisconsin Club who make it easy for us.

Sporting Clay Shoot Often, events of IBAW are brought to us by one of our members. And when one of our members suggested an afternoon of Sporting Clay Shooting I was skeptical. What do I know about shot guns and shooting clays? Nevertheless, an afternoon in May was scheduled for just such an event at the Highland Sportsman Club. The event was a resounding success! About 50 members and their guests enjoyed a first class meal and an afternoon of shooting and camaraderie. In short, it was a blast (pun intended). Save the date - the 2016 Sporting Clay Shoot is scheduled for the afternoon of May 13th!


BIG The

Event Sponsor

EVENT

Event sponsor, Alan Petelinsek of Power Test delivers opening remarks and prayer to the group. Shay Sherfinski, Judge Havas, Kathryn Weber and Lori Highby network at The BIG Event.

Judge Michelle Havas shares her experience with IBAW members. Dan Meyer of Biz Times Media and Dave Spano of Annex Wealth Management.

A full house in the Wisconsin Club ballroom made for a great event just before the Holiday.


Stopping for a quick pose with the Governor.

Gov. Walker catches up with new IBAW member, Dennis Bartenheir of Wisconsin Firearms Training Center.

Governor Walker and Steve Kohlmann share Holiday well wishes.

IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann, chats with Gov. Walker.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Rebecca Bradley shares her experience and philosophy with the audience.

The media was out in full force at The BIG Event.

Special thanks to Paul Gaertner of White Dog Photography for photos and Judi Murphy of Murphy & Associates for media promotion.


CEO Must-Knows About Employing People in 2016 Jessica Ollenburg, CMC,CPCM, HRS CEO

For those who create jobs, a new year creates new opportunities and new threats. While we at HRS highly recommend each CEO to empower a fully functional HR initiative, we simultaneously advocate these 10 areas for highest executive support and visibility before giving up the reins. CEO to CEO… here is the drill-down!

Invest Only into Programs Supported by Data-Driven Metrics While HR earned its seat in the boardroom by producing undeniable results on the Income Statements and Balance Sheets, avoid the assumption that all HR professionals grasp fiscal responsibility and know-how. Dubbed “The Pioneers of HR” in a 2015 Fortune Magazine spread, HRS knows exactly how thin the landscape was in prior decades, and we promise that more are boasting accolade than actually proven. While it’s possible to find a statistic to support any thesis you choose, be certain the statistic is valid and supports a meaningful takeaway for optimum outcome. Statistics can be developed internally or externally at the start, but should be benchmarked internally upon program commencement. Ensure a C-Level Eye on Key Employment Law Changes CEO’s must have a high level knowledge of these laws before properly delegating implementation and due diligence in 2016. Especially if a Chief Human Resource Officer (CHRO) is not in place, the items which cannot disappear from C-level are: handbook policies, ERISA Section 510, HIPAA, anti-harassment, trade secrets, ACA, FLSA, social media, independent contractors and joint-employer relationships, at a minimum. Top tier execs must ask the right questions and provide adequate support and empowerment to the right leaders of these critical initiatives. Bring Salary and Hourly Practices into Alignment With Department of Labor (DOL) proposed overtime changes still embattled until late 2016, a major hike in minimum salary threshold may create unlawful “ivory tower” practices where they previously didn’t exist. Become more mindful of benefits, payroll handling and policy discrepancies between exempt and non-exempt team members. Be proactive. Engage Without Coddling Attracting and engaging the right talent cannot be accomplished without employer branding and a precise amount of ethical bribery, in view of forecasted 2016 shifts. That being said, some novices out there are “over-coddling” and making a pure mess of things. Let’s not forget Maslow’s Hierarchy, ERG motivation theories and that truly happy workers have no reason to work at any stage other than self-indulging self-actualization. Give your employees a reason and the resources to attain corporate goals. Keep HR and Accounting Completely Distinctive Functions at Lateral Vision The keys to success in HR are absolutely neither a subset nor acquired along the accounting career path. These two critical functions each earn a boardroom seat, with critical communication between, and neither gets more leverage. While the HR effort cannot succeed without fiduciary vision and ability to assess proper fiduciary talent, the accounting effort can be tremendously successful with only limited communication from HR. In fact, too much information in the hands of the accounting team yields EEOC and HIPAA penalty risks. Keep Personality Tests in the 1970’s with Mood Rings, Where They Belong Beaten down as unlawful 40 years ago, personality tests are somehow re-emerging for those who didn’t previously see the lightbulb. Throw in ADA protected mood disorders and the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, and personality tests tee up some real risk. Hiring without proper assessment poses even greater risk. Behavioral assessment delivers far more lawful,


meaningful and reliable findings; keeping it job-related, predictive and risk free. Best options are still Simulation Scenarios and In-Baskets. Create a Politics-Free Zone Wherever you sit, divisionary tactics and heated arguments are likely to be found. The workplace is ripe for passionate political arguments that threaten. Other countries already classify politics as protected. Arguing the Bill of Rights from every angle, the U.S. has begun protecting employees against harassment and discrimination due to political affiliation. While the political forum is likely to emerge downright uncivilized for some, an opportunity exists to actually capitalize on the problem by aligning your brand as a safe haven for those who work smart, work hard and respect others. DeBono’s Six Hats of Thinking, after all, requires perspective from all sides. Train, Train, Train! Talent May be Easier to Develop than Find As a guest professor serving 6+ top-ranked institutions, I promise that even the best are concerned with proper education for today’s workplace. The employer who delivers appropriate development tools gains the competitive edge and exponential return on investment. Success is contingent upon corporate training in not only operations, but also workplace behaviors, leadership, organizational communications, problem solving and legal compliance. Avoid “canned curriculum” and deploy a topic expert to deliver on-point discussion and applied Q&A. Not only is it nearly impossible to “pick the right employee off a shelf,” but employees meeting life’s basic costs are willing to give up 15% of immediate pay for development opportunity. While cash can still be king and broken promises crush credibility, consider a well-balanced approach as investment into both employee and employer. Take HIPAA and Anti-Harassment to New Levels 2015’s Q4 reveals new privacy crackdowns, and government fines are being wielded about. Privacy lockdowns are a “bottomup” approach. Meaning, if you’re a CEO… be sure to know very little about employee personal and medical lives, and be certain your leaders are trained to refuse all such information except on a “need to know” basis. Knowing the wrong things about your employees can backfire just as much as knowing too little. For lawful compliance, even an HR department may need 5-7 separate files per employee depending upon the structure, and many items should never leave HR’s gatekeeping. Department managers, accountants, IT and company-wide team members need updated HIPAA training and enforced compliance -- pronto. Hand-in-hand with HIPAA, and with interplay between, Anti-Harassment due diligence needs another escalation. With newly protected classes, increased tension and steeper penalties, the courts are busy, and the courts are expensive! 3rd party experts can provide “affirmative defense” certifications not available through internal or video-based training. Choose Carefully Your Automation Levels and External Partners A well-implemented HR automation system can exceed 300% ROI through vastly improved efficiencies and turnkey statistical decision tools. While this opportunity cannot be overlooked, some are going too far and reversing the benefit. Before we dehumanize human resources, 1) safeguard ability for audience adaptation and case-by-case judgment, 2) recognize that more keystrokes do not improve efficiency, and 3) lock down intellectual property where law allows. Inasmuch as HRS is recognized by the USPTO for world-deployed HRIS automation invention, even we know the boundaries. Don’t let your payroll and HRIS companies sell you the functions at which they fail. And finally, when choosing external partners, look for those who bring track record of success and extraordinary knowledge base, rather than just shiny new things that will become yesterday’s forgotten toys.

As experts in Organizational Development, Employment Law and HR since 1983, HRS empowers business owners and C-suite leaders with fiscally savvy performance management solutions, custom to each unique employer. HRS is available to deliver extraordinary assistance with each action item recommended herein. Representing a wealth of industries, HRS clients range 25-100,000+ employees, start-up and emerging to Fortune-ranked. Headquartered in Brookfield WI, HRS offers locations in Washington DC and Scottsdale AZ plus national satellites. For more information visit AskHRS.com or call 866.HRS.9030. Copyright 12/29/15 by Human Resource Services, Inc. Word version for IBAW use in IBAW magazine and website.


MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: A Conversation with Keystone Click Mary Stark

“QWERTY” CONSTRUCTION How do you build a targeted marketing campaign from the ground up? Just ask Lori Highby, President of Keystone Click… she constructs bottom line results using a keyboard as her exclusive tool in creating a 100% digital marketing solution, and she executes with the purposeful design of an architect. This is first apparent in the name she has chosen for the business that began in the basement of her Oak Creek home back in 2008. Just as the “keystone” is the supportive center of an arch in architectural terms, Lori believes that the website design and digital marketing strategy which Keystone Click delivers to its clients is the foundation of their web presence and overall sales growth. And yes, you read that correctly… 2008 is when she started this business. In the midst of a staggering recession, Lori embarked on a new business journey. Her strong desire to put her own mark on the digital marketing world kept her focused and gave her the strength to withstand the challenges of opening her “webbased doors” in a down economy. Wisely, she knew that if she could develop a business that could survive in bad times, it would also be a business that would flourish in good times… and it has. Keystone Click delivers quantifiable ROI to its clients by recognizing that each project is unique, requiring customization to bring in targeted leads that turn into actual customers for the client. There is no out-of-the-box solution. Utilizing the client’s personal sales data and targeted goals, Lori and her 9 teammates take a deep dive into each client’s marketing objective to deliver a funnel that continuously produces the desired type of prospects for the client. Like a three-legged stool, Keystone Click delivers balanced results through an integrated system of: 1) website design and development, 2) digital marketing, and 3) E-commerce. This integrated approach drives the web audience to actively reach out to her client. It is the consequence of Keystone Click’s detailed research regarding the desired target audience, the client’s competition and the unique value proposition offered. By combining this information with the client’s sales goals and historical data, the Keystone Click architects create the digital solution that produces results. Does this sound more like creating a doctoral thesis than an occupation? Maybe that is because Lori embraces ongoing education for both herself and her team. She holds an Associate’s degree, a Bachelor of Science and an MBA in Marketing. She provides each of her team members with a stipend for continuing their education. She believes that working every day in a field which is constantly evolving requires a dedication to continuous education for everyone on the team, because an organization is only as strong as its weakest link. Her greatest challenge is finding the RIGHT people as her team grows. Success in this industry requires a true passion for the work, to compliment the more mundane requirements of education and experience. Lori has met this staffing challenge thus far, but it is likely to continue because she sees tremendous


expansion opportunities with new clients from the manufacturing sector. Much of this sector is just now realizing the tremendous power in targeted digital marketing, an appreciation that her many clients in the service industries discovered long ago. In spite of all the technological emphasis in the business, Lori believes in keeping the human connection alive with her clients. In fact, most of her growth is attributable to personal introductions, connections and networking in the community. She joined the IBAW to expand her connections, particularly in the manufacturing sector which is now searching for refined digital marketing solutions with real results. The programming and speakers were a great draw as well. She embraces a new challenge and loves finding the customized solution that fits a client’s need perfectly. Her call to action begins on the face of her business card with, “Let’s Talk”, but that is only the beginning of a conversation that can generate ongoing rewards for her clients.

BUSINESS LEADERS...LEADING BUSINESS

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

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

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

Learn the benefits of membership at IBAW.com


5 Predictions for Trucking Risk in 2016 Chris Tanke, HNI 2015 was a solid year for most truckers, yet it was anything but easy. Looking forward to 2016, uncertainty looms large when it comes to the future of our industry. As risk advisors, we look at 3 types of risk when assessing what's likely to happen in 2016.   Hazard Risk: insurance-related perils that could result in a loss today Business Risk: non-insurance risk that could affect your business today Strategic Risk: long-term risk factors  With these 3 types of risk in mind, here are 5 predictions for trucking risk in 2016. 1: Safety technology will become increasingly prevalent (Business & Hazard Risk) Safety technology will continue to improve and will become increasingly prevalent in fleets. While it is not always easy to calculate ROI on accident avoidance, fleets that are implementing some type of safety technology are seeing significant drops in crash rates. Some technology can actually serve as a predictor of pre-crash behavior, which is huge in terms of crash avoidance and even driver retention. Long-term, insurance rates will trend down as losses reduce, while carriers that don't adopt some type of safety technology will begin to see increased insurance rates due to higher crash frequency and severity than their counterparts.  2: Driver recruitment will be even more challenging (Business & Strategic Risk) Driver recruitment will become even more challenging than it is today. Drivers are bombarded with job openings touting new equipment, sign-on bonuses, better pay and home time. Recruiting messages have become so prevalent and so similar that they have become white noise to drivers and have little impact. In 2016, fleets that leverage a strong brand and deliver a unique—but authentic—message will have the greatest success in getting drivers onboard. Never underestimate the power of your brand in helping your recruiting team get more at-bats with potential drivers.  3: Leveraging analytics for decision-making will become a bigger competitive advantage (Business & Strategic Risk) Some signs are pointing toward an economic slowdown in 2016 that will put pressure on rates and profits. Carriers that have mastered getting useful analytics from their (big) data will have a tremendous advantage. The data that is available to most companies today is staggering; those that figure out how to harness and use this critical information to make decisions will continue to reap profits in 2016 and beyond. Companies that continue to guess or use only a limited number of data streams will struggle.  4: Driver pay structures will evolve (Business & Strategic Risk) Methods of driver pay may change in 2016 and beyond. Legislation in California and other states makes it almost impossible to pay a driver solely on mileage; rather, the minimum wage laws in California mandate that a driver make at least minimum wage at all times when working. It is not uncommon for a driver to sit idle for extended periods of time in Los Angeles traffic —on duty, yet not getting paid while there are no miles being run. These laws apply to California carriers as well as trucking companies that run into the state.  Driver pay (even long haul) may begin to move toward an hourly rate, perhaps with a mileage incentive. Companies may have to guarantee a gross minimum wage for the week as other states follow California's lead in 2016.  5: Driver wellness will continue to be a huge opportunity for improvement (Hazard, Business & Strategic Risk) Driver wellness will continue to be a struggle for most trucking companies. Truck driving is a tough life that can result in a shorter-than-average lifespan for drivers. The best trucking companies in 2016 will aggressively address driver wellness in order to improve their healthcare costs and also because it is simply the right thing to do.  Carriers might use technology for creative methods of outreach such as telemedicine, virtual health coaches, and fitness trackers in an attempt to create the greatest impact. Companies that figure out how to best attack driver wellness will ultimately have a healthier, happier and more engaged workforce.    While risk will always play a large role in trucking, how you choose to tackle it can be a competitive weapon that differentiates you from your competitors.   Here's to a happy, healthy, safe and prosperous 2016!


Economist’s Outlook 2016: Threat of Diminished Expectations Ray Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C.

Raymond J. Keating, chief economist for SBE Council, examined key economic trends and the impact of policy on the economy. Keating has several concerns heading into 2016, but also made a point of emphasizing: “The U.S. economy has underperformed for more than eight years now, including the Great Recession followed by one of the worst recoveries on record. Unfortunately, one hears more talk about this being the new normal, or even a poor or sluggish economy being spun as a ‘strong economy.’ Such notions amount to surrender and to denying that anything can be done. In reality, none of this is inevitable, since the underlying problems are poor policy decisions that have increased costs and uncertainties for the private sector, and undermined incentives for investment and entrepreneurship.” Keating adds, “If the U.S. gets the policy mix right, there is no reason that the economy cannot grow at the historic average of 3.3 percent annually, or even the 4.4 percent average achieved during recovery-expansion periods.” Several key points from Keating’s analysis include the following: - During periods of recovery and growth (that is, excluding recessions) since 1950, real GDP growth has averaged 4.4 percent. But during this recovery, growth has averaged half of that at 2.2 percent. If the economy had grown during the current recovery at the normal average recovery/growth rate, then the U.S. economy, as measured by real GDP in 2009 dollars, would be $2.3 trillion larger in 2015. - A key problem has been a lack of private-sector business investment. Specifically, private fixed investment hit a high in the first quarter of 2006, and it took the U.S. economy nine years, until the first quarter of 2015, to get back to that level of investment. - Recent industrial production numbers point to a recession in the industrial sector of the U.S. economy. -Through the first ten months of 2015, both exports and imports were down from the same period last year. Over the past two decades, previous annual declines in exports and imports occurred during recessions. -The number of unincorporated self-employed, a key measure of startups and entrepreneurship, dropped in November, and was down from the intra-year high registered at 9.97 million in May; and far removed from the pre-recession high of 10.86 million registered in December 2006. -If the economy was back to its pre-recession employment-population ratio, then the U.S. would have 9 million more jobs than we do. Rather than adding only 2.8 million jobs since November 2007, the U.S. economy would have added nearly 12 million jobs. -Without substantive tax, regulatory, trade, monetary and government spending policy changes, the U.S. economy will continue to under-perform. And with serious questions about the U.S. industrial sector and trade, there are notable downside risks for 2016. To download the full report, click here. (PDF)


The IBAW Legislative Team

Mike Kuhn G r e g Ly o n s

Jeff Hoffman

The IBAW Legislative Team keeps our members up to date and informed on business issues coming out of Madison and Washington D.C..

Charles Fry

Ann Barry Hanneman

SALES ROUNDTABLE "The ninety minutes we spend together is very valuable. It is a confidential environment where fellow business professionals discuss ideas and insights into effective sales and business-building techniques. I would encourage anyone who is in sales to participate in this program."

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- Scott Seroka, Seroka Branding

Even if you're seasoned in sales, learn what other professionals are doing and some new techniques and skills you might be missing. This is open to anyone at an IBAW member company who would like to share their real world challenges and most successful strategies for growing business.  This Roundtable is meant to serve as a confidential means to learn from your peers in other industries and to help others learn from your experience – good and bad. 

Click here to register for the next roundtable.


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!

Join o

nline! XXXXXXXXX

2015 Membership Committee

Steve Kohlmann IBAW

Scott Seroka Seroka Branding

Charles Fry Robert W. Baird

Mary Stark Waddell & Reed

Get involved with IBAW. Consider joining a committee! Contact Steve Kohlmann for more information.


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

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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.

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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


2015 IBAW Legislative Priorities Now Online! State Legislative Priorities - Tax Reform - WI DOT Funding and Strategic Visioning - Establishing RIGHT TO WORK in Wisconsin - Joining the Lawsuit against the EPA - Advancing WI Education & Workforce Development Reform

National Legislative Priorities - Pro Growth - A National Energy Policy Capitalizing on our Strengths - Limitations on Executive Action and Administrative Regulations - Sustainable Healthcare Reform - Supporting a Free Market Internet

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THERE’S ROOM AT THE TABLE

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January 2016 IBAW magazine  

A publication specifically for small business owners is Wisconsin.

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