JULY 2016 July 11th
“Mitchell International: Ready for Takeoff” Ismael Bonilla, Executive Director Mitchell International Airport
The Art of Negotiation
Inside This Issue:
ZIMMERMAN: ARE PAPERS AND SPREADSHEETS HOLDING YOUR BUSINESS BACK?
KEATING: REGULATORY REFORMS TO HELP SMALL BUSINESS FINANCING
BRAULT: EEOC PUBLISHES NEW EMPLOYER WELLNESS PROGRAM RULES
At AT&T, we know that making connections is critical to success. In Wisconsin and across the nation, we link businesses with their customers and the world through our wireless network with access to the nation’s largest Wi-fi network. It’s just another way we help our customers stay connected. AT&T is proud to support the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin.
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IBAW thanks AT&T for it’s continued sponsorship.
IBAW MEDIA LINK Brown County Officials: Act 10 is Working _________________________________________________________
Elected officials share how Act 10 has helped them balance budgets, improve services.
Executive Director Steve Kohlmann President Jim Leef ITU AbsorbTech Secretary Dan Hansen Waukesha State Bank President Elect 2015-16 Craig Coursin Stier Construction VP. State & National Programs Charles Fry Baird
To watch, click here. Video courtesy of MacIver Institute
Treasurer Casey Malek Sikich Directors
Best to Worst Tax Systems for Entrepreneurship and Small Business _________________________________________________________
Our friends at SBC Council in Washington D.C. put together their annual report on tax systems throughout the nation.
Ann Barry Hanneman Simandl Law Group S.C John Weber Hypneumat JeďŹ€ HoďŹ€man Boerke Co. Richard Blomquist Blomquist Benefits Lisa Mauer Rickert Industries Tom Boelkow BSI Design, Build, Furnish Robert Gross Gross Automation Scott Seroka Seroka Brand Development
To use the interactive map, and read the full report, click here. IBAW Mission: To advance business prosperity through insightful programming, executive networking and member-driven public policy and advocacy.
Friday, July 15th, 2016 Mitchell International Airport: Ready for Takeoff Ismael Bonilla, Executive Director, Mitchell International Airport Plain-spoken and gregarious, while also possessing the no-nonsense demeanor of someone who spent 20 years in the U.S. Air Force, Ismael Bonilla has no illusions about attracting new service to a medium-size city like Milwaukee. Mitchell is already served by the four airlines that control more than 80% of the U.S. market. Attracting more international service is a goal of Bonilla's. Mitchell's top destinations are New York; Orlando, Fla.; Phoenix; Denver; and Las Vegas. What other plans are in the works for Mitchell International? Join us and find out.
10 MINUTES WITH Jim Pugh Vice President & Treasurer, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce
THE WISCONSIN CLUB 900 W. WISCONSIN AVE. MILWAUKEE
REGISTRATION & NETWORKING
BREAKFAST & PROGRAM
IBAW Members: $32.00 Guests: $42.00 Includes plated breakfast • Attire: Business Professional
Registration now open! Click Here.
Passing Icons Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director
Weissgerber’s Gasthaus in Waukesha is closing. By the time you read this, they will have permanently closed their doors for good. The european styling of the building will be razed giving way to a Panda Express and multi-tenant retail center. Classy stuff. I can appreciate owner Hans Weissgerber’s position. You have an aging owner who’s worked all his life, paid his dues and is now sitting on a piece of commercial real estate on one of the busiest corners of an area that’s booming. Someone wants to give you a big pile of money for it. Still, it’s sad to see the beautiful architecture of the Gasthaus being replaced by a Panda Express with a drive thru. As someone who sits on a town board, these things come up from time to time and can throw you for a loop in your decision making process. You love the old place but understand new developments always come into play. I enjoyed the atmosphere of dark wood, the accordion player softly playing music at dinner and German beer. They had the best goulash with spaetzle and a fantastic Friday Fish Fry served in an all you can eat family style. Bring your aluminum foil along. (Only true Germans will get that aluminum foil reference.) I grew up in a very German influenced household. As you can imagine, I’ve had my share of sauerkraut, and polka music. Of course, this isn’t the first iconic place to be taken over and razed. We all have our favorite. Remember the Fruit Ranch on 76th & Bluemound? Now it’s a CVS Pharmacy. But back in the day it was the place to be Sunday morning after church. We’d go there for hot ham and fresh Italian bread, potato salad (German, of course) and yes, fruit. Flashback: I can still remember the layout of Fruit Ranch and all the smells (fruit and cardboard boxes) and the giant bin of salted peanuts with the jar stuck in the middle of it asking for 1 cent per peanut sample. I’m a free market type of guy and this is certainly free market working. I suppose it’s the price we pay for that free market system. He who lives by the sword dies by it as well. What’s the one place that you used to go to and isn’t around anymore?
Check it out: While cleaning out my dad’s workshop, I found this pencil which now resides in my workshop.
Repor t n e Ev
IBAW members and their guests were exposed to a new event last month as we kicked off “...with ED”. The event was hosted by IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann (ED) This premier event was a tour of the 128th Air Refueling Wing at Mitchell International Airport and was titled “JETS!...with ED.” IBAW members toured the facility and were treated to full access to a KC 135 Refueling Tanker and were able to sit in the cockpit and try to squeeze down into the refueling boom access area to experience what it’s like on a mission. An unexpected treat was to experience a multi-million dollar simulator where we were able to try our hand at refueling a fighter at 20,000 feet. What was that like? Click here. Colonel Daniel Yenchesky, Commander of the 128th Air Refueling Wing, gives an overview of the mission and scope of the 128th to IBAW members.
We wrapped up the tour with beer and brats provided by the 128th Air Refueling Wing. Watch for more “...with ED” events in the future. They are meant to be a free or nominal cost benefit of your IBAW in a more relaxed and casual setting.
Members climb the stairs of a KC 135R Stratotanker. During missions in the Middle East, it’s not uncommon for temperatures within the tanker to reach 140 degrees.
Dave Hynek of Business-Fitness, refuels a fighter at 20,000 feet inside the BOSS Boom Simulator used in training flight personal for refueling operations. Click here to experience the simulator.
Sue Kohlmann gets a first hand look at what life is like as a boom operator. Conditions are tight and claustrophobic as the area holds three mission specialists.
Outside the simulator, members watch as IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann, tries his hand at refueling a fighter inside the simulator.
Event review from some that attended...
I thought the event was great. It was very educational and I enjoyed having the opportunity to interact with the National Guards men and women, as well as some of the vets that were in attendance. Thanks, LYNN SIGFRED - First Business Bank - Milwaukee
It was great, very interesting and an informative tour! We all live life, go through our daily routines and take this for granted but to see first hand on what our service people do and the passion they have for it is tremendous! These military areas be it the Air Refueling Wing or the National Guard are in our backyards and I'm sure not many people even realize that. So with that being said it was a privilege to tour the base, have a hands on with the equipment and meet with a number of people and hear their stories. An experience I will never forget Well done! Thank you, Tom Braun Daco Precision -Tool
I was impressed with the organization of the event and to see three different areas of the base in a short time frame. The guides explained the dual role of the guard: Supporting the active duty mission of the military but also being at the governor’s call to use their manpower and equipment to support Wisconsin disasters/emergencies. Perhaps the neatest thing I experienced was being able to climb down into the boom operators position on the bottom of the plane and look through the glass windows to the rear of the plane and then later see in the simulator how the boom controls work and the coordination required between the receiving plane and the tanker plane to refuel while in flight. We had some prior service fighter pilots along on the tour and it was great to hear their perspective on their time in the service with what’s changed and what’s still the same. Very enjoyable and I’d do it again. DENNIS SAMPSON - First Business Bank - Milwaukee
Tiara Cole, Milwaukee Business Journal
Lawmaker, economic development leader push business growth at IBAW annual meeting An audience of about 80 high-level CEOs, chief financial officers, chief operating officers and entrepreneurs engaged in discussion with U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson of Wisconsin and Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. secretary and CEO Mark Hogan on the importance of growing their businesses at the Independent Business Association of Wisconsin's annual meeting at the Wisconsin Club, 900 W. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee. Sen. Johnson received the Bart Adams Legislator of the Year award as he encouraged IBAW members to continue to grow their business by hiring citizens despite their past.
U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson and WEDC's Mark Hogan respond to audience members' questions.
“Give these people a chance,” he said. “There aren’t many people who understand what a business is. You have the highest level of credibility.” Hogan of the WEDC, the state's economic development agency, presented a slideshow of budget plans and responded to audience members' ideas. “Our mission is fairly simple. It’s to advance and maximize opportunities in Wisconsin for businesses, communities and people,” Hogan said. IBAW in Brookfield is a statewide, nonprofit organization formed in 1973. Members have careers in manufacturing, service, distribution, health care, technology, financial, consulting and more. Business owners engage in conversation relating to legislation which impacts costs of businesses throughout Wisconsin. “This annual meeting gives good representation of who we are as an organization. It keeps business owners engaged at both the state and federal levels," said Steve Kohlmann, executive director of IBAW, in a press release. IBAW’s mission is to advance business prosperity through insightful programming, executive networking and member-driven public policy and advocacy.
Seroka Added to IBAW Board Steve Kohlmann, IBAW Executive Director
I am very pleased to welcome Scott Seroka of Seroka Brand Development to the IBAW Board of Directors. Scott is has been a member for several years and is a huge advocate for the IBAW. He rarely misses a meeting and participates in many of the workshops, roundtables and other events IBAW offers. Scott has been a big help to the IBAW as we grow the organization. As only one of 29 Certified Brand Strategists in the U.S. he has helped us with the marketing and communications portion of what we do. In particular last year he facilitated a branding exercise which continues to help us with our future direction and growth of the IBAW. Welcome Scott!
Who helped WISCONSIN BUSINESS advance the most last year?
While political candidates spend your contributions on media attack ads, mailers or robo calls, IBAW invests contributions to help businesses like yours. Our monthly meetings, sales roundtable discussions, white papers, web development or video messaging keeps you, your business - and your team - informed, updated and inspired. Last year, IBAW tackled issues such as workforce development, employee retention, restrictive business regulations, sales, marketing, human resources, leadership, manufacturing logistics, and Wisconsin exporting. Your support of IBAW through membership, sponsorship and other financial contributions helps Wisconsin business at a grass roots level.
: S E L A S
2nd Monday of the Month SALES ROUNDTABLE 7:30 am - 9:00 am aFree & open to IBAW members only Register at IBAW.com
Sales can be a tough road of ups, downs, potholes and a few bumps. But it can also be fast paced, exhilarating and rewarding. If you’re in sales, you know there are things only other sales people understand; the thrill of scoring the big account, the uncertainty of “let me think about that.”, the frustration of phone calls or emails that don’t get returned. IBAW’s Sales Roundtable is a support and knowledge resource for sales professionals, business owners, marketing and branding experts who are charged with driving sales. Join us to discuss the strategy, tactics, inspiration, and motivation to increase sales. It’s a FREE benefit of your membership! Who should attend: • Sales professionals of any level. • Business owners • Sales Managers • Marketing & P.R. Professionals
“For many years I ran sales meetings for as few as 3 and as many as 22 sales rep’s now I can go as a participant once a month to IBAW’s Sales Roundtable.
BONUS! Join the IBAW Sales Roundtable and get a compact disc with the BEST in Sales Survival Music. Play it to pump you up before that big meeting or to console you if you hit a sales slump. Guaranteed to make life better.
It’s a focused meeting and everyone wants the same thing – to be more effective at selling.” - Jerry Wick, CEO, Custom Data Too Mail
Are Papers and Spreadsheets Holding Your Business Back? Megan Zimmerman, Xorbix Paper documents and spreadsheets, they are everywhere in your organization! Paper: Piled on your desk, stacked in drawers, filed in cabinets, scanned, mailed, paper-clipped, and Post-It noted. Spreadsheets: Stored on multiple computers, sitting in emails, on the cloud and do I have the latest one with me? Who knows! All of these mounds of paper/spreadsheet can prevent business processes from operating efficiently. Errors are caused by manual data entry, documents are misplaced, invoices are sent late, and the list goes on… These paper problems are a source of major headaches and loss of revenue. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, finding a lost document will cost a company $122 on average. It is also estimated that 7.5% of all company documents are lost completely. Let’s assume your company works with 10,000 documents – an extremely light figure. That would mean, about 750 of those documents are doomed to be lost, ultimately costing your company around $91,500. Plus, if you had to recreate any lost documents, the time and supplies involved would make that number jump well over the $100,000 mark. Taking your papers and spreadsheets to an automated process can provide significant benefits and a competitive edge to your organization. Here are some of the benefits of paperless automation: Increased Productivity: Every organization is looking to maximize productivity. Taking a paper/spreadsheet process and automating it can increase productivity by allowing an organization to manage more documents efficiently, eliminating errors and reducing staffing needs. Example: A leading mid-size insurance provider had a paper and spreadsheet based renewal process requiring multitude of tasks tracked via combination of Post-it notes, spreadsheets and tasks list. By fully automating the renewal process through a custom software solution, the renewal process time was significantly reduced. As a result, the organization processed higher volumes of renewals without increasing staff headcount. Improved Service: As organizations grow, processes that were implemented initially require re-evaluation and improvement to accommodate the organization’s growth, efficiency and service. Example: A large manufacturer had a paper and spreadsheet based quoting process for custom manufacturing jobs. The process was time consuming and laborious allowing the manufacturer to only focus on big orders while consistently missing out on small order quotations. By designing an automated quoting system through custom software development, small order quotes were generated within 24 hours resulting in additional $5-7 million in yearly revenue. Reduced Costs: All organizations focus on increased revenues and reduced costs initiatives. Automating manual processes provides consistent opportunities for reduced cost, improved efficiency, and increased productivity. Example: A large hospital system mailed 100’s of pages of Physician’s compensation reports monthly to their 400+ physicians. This process required printing, postage and support staff answering physician’s calls regarding accuracy, clarification and explanation of compensation. Through custom software development, all reports were converted into an online portal with detailed compensation explanation. As a result all expenses relating to paper, printing, postage and support staff were eliminated. No matter what industry you belong to, there are opportunities around you everyday to improve your paper and spreadsheet processes. When is the last time you evaluated your current paper/spreadsheet processes?
EEOC Publishes New Employer Wellness Program Rules Mark Brault, HNI
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published the final versions of two new rules regulating employer-sponsored wellness programs. Two main provisions of these rules go into effect in 2017 while all of the other new provisions are effective immediately. The EEOC stated that most of the new regulations are merely a "clarification" of existing law. Therefore, they are immediately (and, technically, retroactively) effective which causes confusion and concern. Other than the ridiculous stance taken by the EEOC with respect to the “retroactive” effective dates, these rules do provide clarity to employers on wellness programs and how they are offered. Some of the new provisions do differ from current court decisions, including the recent Flambeau case which held that employers could condition eligibility in the group health plan on participation in the wellness program. Besides the confusion over retroactive effective dates, some of rules of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA), and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) all overlap and even contradict. Now the EEOC has published its own opinions and interpretations of these rules and some further overlap and contradict other agency’s regulations. What is a wellness program? In general, the term “wellness program” refers to a program or activity offered by an employer to encourage its employees to improve their health and to reduce overall healthcare costs. Wellness programs must have a reasonable chance of improving the health of, or preventing disease in, its participating employees. They also must not be overly burdensome, a pretext for violating anti discrimination laws, or highly suspect in the method chosen to promote health or prevent disease. Most employers tie their wellness plans to their major medical plans although a wellness plan can be offered to all employees. Regardless of how a wellness plan is structured, the EEOC regulations will apply if the plan includes any disability-related inquiries or medical examinations. This leads one to assume that even a basic blood draw would be a medical exam or a disability-related inquiry since basis information is asked during these blood draws. Wellness Programs Must Be Voluntary The EEOC has mandated several requirements that must be met in order for a wellness program to be considered voluntary. •
An employer cannot deny coverage under a major medical plan if an employee refuses to participate in the wellness plan's inquiries.
An employer cannot condition an employee's enrollment in a "better" health plan (e.g., lower deductible, better network) upon an employee agreeing to certain participation in a wellness program.
Employers must also provide their employees a notice that clearly explains what medical information will be obtained, how it will be used, who will receive the medical information, any restrictions on its disclosure, and the methods the employer will use to prevent the improper disclosure of medical information.
The EEOC has indicated that it will provide a sample notice by mid-June.
No Safe Harbor Exists Many employers have relied on an ADA "safe harbor" for "bona fide benefit plans" as a way of ensuring that they can ask medical-related questions of employees. The safe harbor has been upheld in several court cases, including Seff v. Broward County. These EEOC regulations provide that this safe harbor is simply inapplicable to wellness programs. Therefore, an employer which wants to ensure compliance with the ADA must follow these new regulations. I expect there to be future litigation on this matter since it directly conflicts with existing case law. What are the incentive caps? Under the new rules, the offering of limited incentives will not render a wellness program involuntary. If a wellness program is open only to employees enrolled in a particular plan, then the maximum incentive an employer can offer is 30% of the total cost for self-only coverage of the plan in which the employee is enrolled. Compare this to the prior HIPAA rule which provided that an employer generally can offer up to 50% of the total cost of family coverage as an incentive to participate in a wellness plan. This difference in the price break could easily be thousands of dollars per year. The new rule also explains that employers who do not offer their health insurance to certain employees may still offer them incentives to participate in wellness programs. These incentives are capped at 30% of the cost that a 40-year-old nonsmoker would pay for self-only coverage under the second-lowest cost Silver Plan on the state or federal health care Exchange in the location that the employer identifies as its principal place of business. GINA Incentives for Employers Under GINA, similar incentives are now available for employers to offer employees whose spouses are covered under the employer health plan, receives health or genetic services offered by the employer (including as part of a wellness program), and provides information about his or her current or past health status often as part of a health risk assessment or biometric screening. The incentive levels under the GINA rule are consistent with the ADA rule. That is, the same maximum incentive of 30% of the total cost of self-only coverage under the group health plan in which the employee and family members are enrolled is available. This rule does not apply to incentives related to an employee's spouse engaging in certain activities that do not require obtaining information about current or past health status such as attending a weight loss or nutrition class, or exercising a certain number of times each week. The new GINA regulations do require an employer to obtain a spouse's "knowing, voluntary and written authorization" before collecting the spouse's health information. The authorization form must be written and easily understood; describe the information to be obtained; the purpose(s) for which it is used; and describe any restrictions on the disclosure of the information. Unlike the ADA regulations where the EEOC has promised a model notice, no such model notice will be provided by the EEOC for these GINA regulations so employers and vendors are on their own for preparation of this notice if spousal information is collected. These regulations also clarify that a spouse's health history is genetic information. Employers are prohibited from requiring employees (or their spouses) to agree to the sale exchange, transfer, or other distribution of their genetic information or to waive the confidentiality of the same as a condition for receiving an incentive or participating in a wellness program. The new rule also explains that employers who do not offer health insurance to employees may still offer them rewards to participate in wellness programs. If an employer does not offer health insurance, then the maximum incentive for the spouse to provide health information is 30% of the total cost to a 40-year-old non-smoker purchasing coverage under the second-lowest cost Silver Plan available through the state or federal Exchange in the location that the employer has identified as its principal place of business.
New confidentiality requirements now exist for ADA & GINA. There are two new requirements under the ADA confidentiality rules. First, the regulations state that only nonidentifiable information may be shared with the employer, unless the employer needs more information to administer the wellness program. An employer which never receives any identifiable health information for its wellness program will have little more to do in terms of confidentiality. If the employer receives identifiable information, the employer will need to follow additional steps. It appears a wellness vendor which holds this information will also need to follow these steps. Therefore, employers and wellness vendors may need to implement all of the confidentiality measures, some of which differ from the HIPAA privacy and security rules. Second, employers may not require their employees to agree to the disclosure of their medical information or to waive the ADA’s confidentiality protections as a condition for participating in a wellness program or receiving an incentive. This rule also applies to spouses under GINA. The EEOC also clarifies that a spouse's health history is genetic information. As a result, there is a process for a wellness program to still collect this information. What is the effective date of these rules? The final GINA rule for the health plan used to determine the level of incentives permitted and the ADA rule concerning the notice requirements to employees regarding what medical information will be obtained, how it will be used, and the limits on incentives applies prospectively to employer-sponsored wellness programs as of the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. All other rules are effective immediately.
What Happened to the Sports Authority Brand? Scott Seroka, Seroka Brand Development
Playing in the middle never seems to work very well for corporate brands, and the story nearly always ends with a “Going Out of Business Sale.” Sports Authority closing its doors reminds me of the days when other once famous retailers announced they were going out of business - customers showed up early the following day waiting in line to buy whatever remained on the shelves at deep discounts. From my experience and from what others have expressed, it would be easy to conclude that the primary reason Sports Authority failed was because of subpar customer service. However, I believe the reason goes deeper. I believe Sports Authority failed because it had a blurry brand and hence, forced to play in the middle, and didn’t do anything very well, or better than any of its competitors. The company was a small step up from what Walmart or Target offered customers, but it wasn’t as good as Dick’s Sporting Goods or some of the higherend sporting goods retailers that targeted different specific interests such as REI for camping, biking, scaling mountains and higher-end apparel, and Cabela’s for hunting and fishing enthusiasts that also sold higher-end apparel. Online retailers like amazon.com were also winning market share from Sports Authority. In the big box sporting goods retail space, Dick’s Sporting Goods would be perceived to be a close competitor Sports Authority. However, there are some rather significant differences which explains Dick’s success versus Sporting Authority’s failure. Two factors, both focusing on the customer experience were referenced in a recent article published in Forbes: 1. Include Store-Within-A-Store-Shops: Dick’s is partnering with major sportswear brands to offer store-within-astore shops. Its Nike Field House and Under Armour All-American stores not only serve as destinations that increase store traffic, but also offset operating costs, as the brands pay for some of the interior design and fixtures. The approach has proved to be so successful, Dick’s has plans to test Nike Air Jordan and Polo Sport store-withina-store concepts. 2. Open New Store Formats: To address rising real estate costs and declining appeal of big box store environments, Dick’s is experimenting with smaller, specialty stores. It has opened around 20 Field & Stream stores, focused on hunting and fishing gear, next to existing Dick’s locations. And last year it opened a standalone Chelsea Collective store targeting the female customer. The walk-in retail industry isn’t going away anytime soon, even with amazon.com selling anything one can think of that can now be delivered in some markets on the same day. People still want to walk into a building staffed with knowledgeable salespeople where they can ask questions, touch and see products and have them in their hands as they leave the store. I don’t think that desire will ever go away. What we are witnessing is retailers who have figured out that customers want an experience and a destination, and that they are willing to pay a little extra for the human-to-human interaction with a trained person on the floor. When you reflect on brands that no longer exist, such as Comp USA, Circuit City, Linens ‘n Things and Borders, you will probably recall they didn’t take their game high enough to be able to successfully compete. I suppose you could think of all these “playing in the middle” retail failures as the natural way for the industry to cleanse itself.
Regulatory Reforms to Help Small Business Financing Ray Keating, Chief Economist, SBE Council, Washington D.C.
During and in the immediate aftermath of the financial meltdown that hit in 2008, the contradictory political and policy message was to both blame and bailout large banks. The contradictions continued with the Dodd-Frank financial regulation measure, signed into law by President Barack Obama in July 2010. The legislation was billed as a fix, including a preventive against future bailouts. In reality, though, Dodd-Frank failed to address the problems that provided the foundation upon which the 2008-09 credit mess rested, such as federal “affordable housing” policies creating a disconnect between home ownership and economic reality, quasi-government entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac privatizing profits and passing off losses to the taxpayers, along with loose monetary policy creating further distortions in the marketplace. Dodd-Frank cranked up regulatory burdens and costs, and actually increased the odds of future bailouts. In addition, loose monetary policy has been raised to unprecedented levels, and taxpayer exposure in the credit markets and in terms of bailouts has expanded. Small Banks Hit Hard The aftermath of the financial crises and the response to it (Dodd-Frank) has left many entrepreneurs and small businesses still without the capital they need to invest in, operate or expand their businesses. Speaker Paul Ryan believes there’s a “Better Way” to regulate, which will help small firms and our economy grow. And while Dodd-Frank’s regulatory reach was supposed to be focused on so-called big banks, a new regulatory regime inevitably covers an entire industry, and in fact, small, community banks have suffered accordingly. For example, a study published in February 2015 by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government, titled The State and Fate of Community Banking and authored by Marshall Lux and Robert Greene, looked at the role of community banking in the marketplace, including its vital role in small business financing, and the impact of Dodd-Frank financial regulation law on these small banks. The authors note that while the community banks share of U.S. banking assets declined during the 2008-09 financial crisis, a far larger decline – about twice the rate –occurred after Dodd-Frank’s passage. For good measure, community bank consolidations ramped up after Dodd-Frank’s passage, with the authors noting widespread agreement that “larger banks are better suited to handle heightened regulatory burdens than are smaller banks, causing the average costs of community banks to be higher.” “Collapse” in New Bank Entry Also, a March 2015 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond noted that the sizeable decline in the number of community banks from 2007 to 2013 – shrinking by 41 percent – was not only about community bank failures, but about “an unprecedented collapse in new bank entry.” It was pointed out: “This collapse in new bank entry has no precedent during the past 50 years, and it could have significant economic repercussions. In particular, the decline in new bank entry disproportionately decreases the number of community banks because most new banks start small. Since small banks have a comparative advantage in lending to small businesses, their declining number could affect the allocation of credit to different sectors in the economy.” A key reason? “Banking scholars also have found that new entries are more likely when there are fewer regulatory restrictions. After the financial crisis, the number of new banking regulations increased with the passage of legislation such as the Dodd-Frank Act. Such regulations may be particularly burdensome for small banks that are just getting started.” Another study from George Mason University’s Department of Economics – “How Are Small Banks Faring Under DoddFrank? ” by economists Hester Peirce, Ian Robinson, and Thomas Stratmann – surveyed 200 banks with less than $10 billion
in assets across 41 states. The message was clear: Dodd-Frank, in fact, increased regulatory compliance costs for small, community banks, and forced banks to reconsider various product and service offerings. A “Better Way” to Approach Regulation These considerable problems have not been missed by everyone in Washington. “A Better Way to Grow Our Economy” – a regulatory reform agenda from the “Relieving Regulatory Burdens” Task Force led by U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) – seeks to address many of the regulatory burdens plaguing financial institutions and, therefore, small business financing. The report also highlights the considerable costs of financial regulation gone awry, such as: -“Regulatory costs on credit unions have increased by $2.8 billion since Dodd Frank was adopted, with a disproportionate cost being borne by credit unions with less than $100m in assets. Furthermore, now one in every four employees is devoted to regulatory compliance rather than core business functions. In addition, higher regulatory compliance costs force companies of all sizes to pass those costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices and diminished credit availability.” -“According to a survey by the Independent Community Bankers Association (ICBA), 73 percent of community bank respondents said regulatory burdens are preventing them from making more residential mortgage loans and 44 percent said they originated fewer first-lien residential mortgage loans in 2014 compared with the year before.” -“Access to non-mortgage consumer credit has also declined sharply in the post-Dodd- Frank period. In the case of credit card lending, intrusive regulation by the CFPB, Basel III capital standards, and credit card ‘reforms’ enacted by the Democrats in 2009 have combined to deny millions of Americans the benefits and convenience offered by these products, while hiking the costs of those who are fortunate enough to still qualify for credit.” “According to the FDIC’s National Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Households released in October 2014, 7.7 percent of American consumers were unbanked and 20 percent were underbanked in 2013. One of the main obstacles for these groups in obtaining a checking or savings account is the fees associated with the accounts, which have gone up since the passage of Dodd-Frank.” -“Dodd-Frank codifies ‘too big to fail’: Far from ending bailouts, the Dodd-Frank Act codified them—in the form of the ‘Orderly Liquidation Authority’ set forth in Title II of the Act. Under the Dodd-Frank regime, the largest financial institutions in America remain ‘too big to fail;’ in fact, they are even bigger now than they were before the crisis. -“Dodd-Frank’s regime for designating ‘systemically important financial institutions’ (SIFIs) anoints a new generation of ‘too big to fail’ financial firms, signaling to market participants that these firms will benefit from government support in the event of their financial distress. In the words of Richard Fisher, the president of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank, ‘as soon as a financial institution is designated systemically important . . . it is viewed by the market as being the first to be saved by the first responders in a financial crisis. SIFIs occupy a privileged position in the financial system.’ That implicit guarantee allows the bank to borrow more cheaply than its smaller competitors.” The House regulatory reform agenda actually serves up assorted financial regulation reforms that deserves serious consideration and implementation. For our purposes here, though, let’s highlight 6 reform measures related to what we’ve focused on this piece, and meant to enhance the economic soundness, transparency, and accountability of financial regulation: 1) “Turn CFPB into a bipartisan, five-member commission that’s focused on enforcing the law and creating financial opportunity for Americans. The [Dodd-Frank created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau] is headed by a single Director who serves a five-year term and may be removed by the president only for cause—that is, “for inefficiency, neglect of duty, or malfeasance in office”—rather than at will. Rep. Randy Neugebauer, chairman of the Financial Institutions Subcommittee, sponsored H.R. 1266, the Financial Products Safety Commission Act, which makes the CFPB a stand-alone agency governed by a five-member, bipartisan commission.”
2) “Subject CFPB to congressional appropriations to bring accountability and transparency to their operations. The bureau is exempt from the checks and balances of the budget and appropriations process, which means that its director can spend hundreds of millions of dollars with no oversight. At a minimum, the bureau must be subject to the same oversight as other product regulators. The Taking Account of Bureaucrats’ Spending Act, H.R. 1486, sponsored by Rep. Barr, places the CFPB on budget and restores Congress’s constitutional oversight role.” 3) “H.R. 2896 – Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill levels the playing field by allowing regulators to tailor their regulations to fit a bank’s or credit union’s small size and business model.” 4) “H.R. 1195, introduced by Rep. Robert Pittenger, creates a small business advisory board to ensure that job creators have the opportunity to weigh in on matters of concern, and for the CFPB to learn about market conditions affecting these businesses. H.R. 957, Rep. Steve Stivers’ legislation, ensures greater accountability at the CFPB by creating an independent Inspector General for the CFPB.” 5) “Task Force Solution: A new regulatory paradigm offers highly-capitalized, well-managed financial institutions an option for relief from excessive regulatory complexity. House Republicans support the option for strongly-capitalized financial institutions to qualify for significant relief from duplicative and overly burdensome regulatory mandates, thereby promoting a more resilient financial sector, simplifying an overly complex regulatory system, and reducing the power and influence of Washington bureaucrats. Put simply: If you are strongly-capitalized, you should only have to comply with a simple set of regulations rather than dozens of complicated and conflicting rules. 6) “Banks will opt in to this new regime only if it lets them better serve customers at lower prices – in other words, to become more competitive. This approach does not require anybody to raise a dime of new capital. Rather, it allows banks to choose to operate in a regulatory environment in which the governing principle is market discipline – not bureaucratic complexity – and in which equity investors stand in for taxpayers the next time a ‘too big to fail’ firm collapses.” 7) “House Republicans will protect hardworking taxpayers by ending Wall Street bailouts and ‘too big to fail’ (TBTF). We support repealing Washington bureaucrats’ ability to declare big financial companies as SIFIs that receive special government protection. “House Republicans also support repealing Title II of Dodd Frank and replacing bailouts with enhanced bankruptcy. The House passed the Financial Institution Bankruptcy Act—H.R. 2947 sponsored by Rep. David Trott—to create a new subchapter of the Bankruptcy Code tailored to address the failure of a large, complex financial institution. In addition, H.R. 4894, sponsored by Rep. Lynn Westmoreland, repeals Dodd-Frank’s ‘Orderly Liquidation Authority’ to protect taxpayers from having to pay the costs of bailing out large financial institutions or their creditors.” Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, also released a sound reform plan to modernize the financial services regulatory framework and fix the serious flaws of Dodd-Frank. SBE Council President & CEO Karen Kerrigan voiced strong support for this effort, and we will provide a deeper dive into the Financial CHOICE Act next week, which mirrors some of the reforms offered by the GOP task force. Make no mistake, the ability of small businesses to get financing is directly affected by the regulatory burdens and mandates placed on financial institutions. For good measure, as taxpayers, small businesses pay the price of taxpayer bailouts. The 2008-09 credit and economic mess should have reinforced the basic lesson that politics makes for a poor substitute for sound economics and finance. Unfortunately, though, regulatory agencies are doubling down on more regulation and politics. The House regulatory reform agenda led by Speaker Ryan is trying to move matters in the right direction. _______ Raymond J. Keating is chief economist for the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council.
Welcome to our newest IBAW Members! Tevetron Tom Uyehara 15350 W. National Ave. Suite 112 New Berlin, WI 53151 VaxPro, LLC Jay Plavnick 11516 N. Port Washington Road Mequon, WI 53092 www.vaxpro.com JSA / Metaline Corop Steve Schneider 10620 North Port Washington Road Mequon, WI 53092 JSD Professional Services Rich Wagner N22 W22931 Nancys Court Suite 3 Waukesha, WI 53186 www.jsdinc.com
PNC Bank Danny Fromstein 411 E Wisconsin Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53202 www.PNC.com Waukesha State Bank Dan Hansen 151 E. St Paul Avenue Waukesha, WI 53188 www.waukeshabank.com Xorbix Katie Ross PO Box 180403 Delafield, WI 53018 www.xorbix.com
Friday, July 8th - Business Behind the Scenes: Amazon Fulfillment Center 10:00 am - 12:00 pm Open only to IBAW members.
On the next two pages are screen shots from the State of Wisconsinâ€™s website, WORKnet. showing the top growth sectors for the near future as well as the occupations with the most job openings.
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The IBAW Legislative Team
Mike Kuhn 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..
G r e g Ly o n s
Ann Barry Hanneman
State National 2016-17 Legislative Priorities
Tax Reform DOT Funding EPA Regulations Healthcare Reform Corporate Tax Reform DOL Fiduciary Standard No Minimum Wage Increase
Legislative Priorities 2016 - 17
A Strategic Vision of Sustainable DOT Funding - STATE While the passage of a constitutional amendment in 2014 requiring revenue generated by the use of Wisconsin’s transportation system marginally addressed the structural problems facing our transportation fund, the fact remains that there is a sizable gap between funds available, and funds required for vital infrastructure investment. Budget shortfalls created the suspension of five projects around the state in 2015. Governor Scott Walker had previously asked for $1.3 Billion in bonding, which was negotiated down to a $500 million level with additional money to be released at a future date. The IBAW believe a modern and efficient infrastructure system is the foundation of the state and local economy. Funding our infrastructure development through bonding alone is unsustainable and this alone will not solve the long term challenges facing Wis DOT. While Wis DOT needs to continue to advance efficiencies within its organization and become much more judicious in funding projects, these measures alone are not enough to close the gap. The IBAW is in favor of prioritizing key projects surrounding vital economic hubs in the near term. In the long term, a mix of increased user revenues such as gas taxes, registration fees, and tolling needs to be considered to ensure that Wisconsin’s businesses have access to a robust infrastructure network. Tax Reform - STATE The current administration has made notable strides in increasing the competitiveness of the state income and property tax code for individuals and businesses, however more must be done. According to the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, 35 other states have a more competitive tax code than Wisconsin. Additional national rankings do not look any better. The Institute on Taxation & Economic Policy ranked Wisconsin 43rd and 46th for those at the middle ($50,000) and high ($150,000) income threshold. These two groups encompass many entrepreneurs who are looking to grow the economy. In an increasingly globalized and competitive world a punitive tax policy will continue to present a headwind for job creators making job creation efforts more difficult. The State must continue to advance Tax relief across the board to enhance economic competitiveness.
Wisconsin against the EPA - Part 2 The EPA recently proposed significant changes to carbon levels that will necessarily drive up the cost of energy within the State of Wisconsin and cost consumers and small businesses billions of dollars. The IBAW supports Attorney General Brad Schimel and the State of Wisconsin in the opposition of the “Clean Power Plan” which as estimated by the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin will cost as much as $13 Billion. Wisconsin is heavily dependent on manufacturing, which requires the kind of reliable, affordable energy produced by our clean coal burning power plants. Since 2000 Wisconsin has already invested $11 Billion in reducing our carbon emissions. These repeated attempts by the EPA to impose illegal regulations on state utilities, regulated by the states themselves, are specifically anti-small business. Given that offshoring of manufacturing jobs has been a hot button issue in the 2016 campaign, the United States can assure itself of a continued migration of producers to lower costs areas around the globe should the EPA standards be upheld.
Corporate Tax Reform Eaton Corp, Pfizer, Mylan, Medtronic, and now Johnson Controls. The list of U.S. Companies acquiring foreign corporations and re-domiciling abroad grows seemingly by the month leaving behind at the very least gaping holes in national income tax revenue streams, and more often than not, job losses along the way. This also jeopardizes longstanding relationships of many small businesses that supply and service the corporate entity. It is time Congress and the Executive Branch to recognize the highly competitive global environment that defines the multinational corporate landscape. Directors and Officers of corporations have a fiduciary duty not only to shareholders, but to the business entity itself, and if significant tax savings can be had through an inversion to a country with a lower corporate tax rate such as Ireland at 15%, it should come as no surprise that U.S. Corporations are increasingly considering this alternative. The IBAW supports comprehensive corporate tax reform that puts US employers on a level playing field in a hyper competitive global economy.
Sustainable Healthcare Reform The 2016 Election will present a definitive turning point for healthcare systems across the United States. As a Country, we will choose the path of increased costs and decreased competition that has been the hallmark of “Obama Care” or we will continue to progressively reform the greatest healthcare system in the world. Small businesses are rightfully concerned about the following facts: • Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage reached $17,545 this year, up 4 percent from last year, with workers on average paying $4,955 towards the cost of their coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Education Trust 2015 Employer Health Benefits Survey • “Obama Care” Premiums have been kept somewhat in check by Risk corridors and Reinsurance being established for the insurance companies. Taxpayers are currently backstopping the insurance companies for spending more on higher risk customers and these programs both expire on January 1st, 2017. Insurance consumers will then be paying for the increased risk pool. • Plans that were considered noncompliant plans thorough the letter of the law of ACHA were granted a waiver of additional requirements through January 1st,2017. This consumer group is estimated to be nearly 1.5 millions policy holders. The IBAW believes that progressive healthcare reform includes repealing and replacing “Obama Care” . Immediate corrective actions include: • Permanent repeal of the Medical Device Tax • Changing the definition of a Full Time Equivalent Employee (FTE) from 30 hours of work per week to 40 hours of work per week • Allow States to opt out of the ACHA requirements and create a system where consumers that do not have coverage provided by an employer can still qualify for federally funded tax credits if the plan is approved by the State • Allow States to enter into cross State competition for insurance providers U.S. spending on health care increased 5.3 percent last year – topping $3 trillion overall and health care funded by the federal government rose by 11.7 percent, to nearly $844 billion. The path of “Obama Care” is leading to a misallocation of resources and a competitive disadvantage for Small Businesses. Continued
No Increase in Minimum Wage There’s a growing drumbeat by politicians to increase the minimum wage. When government gets involved, politics is the reason and politicians should have no part in determining cost factors of business, especially when it comes to labor. Government mandating business to increase wages will force businesses to slow their growth and to look at other methods of efficiencies. Technological advances have given all employers an ability to forgo entry-level hires in favor of low-maintenance, non-taxed innovative devices and/or software will surly eliminate entry level jobs (order kiosks at McDonalds as an example.) Furthermore, artificially increasing the minimum wage for low skilled workers hinders them for future advancements keeping them in a low skilled / low pay setting. The harm of government mandating a minimum wage increase is evident in the cities of San Francisco and Seattle. A paper by researchers at the American Action Forum* found growth in restaurant employment in cities that raised their minimum wage in 2015 was slower than in their respective states as a whole. Restaurant jobs since the spring of 2015 in Seattle’s metropolitan area have grown a mere 0.6 percent since , while jobs grew by 6 percent across Washington state. Additionally, San Francisco restaurant jobs rose by 1.4 percent compared to 3.4 percent in the surrounding area. (Seattle’s minimum wage rose by more than $1.50 to $11 an hour stepping its way to $15, while San Francisco’s is now $12.25, up from $11.05.) The preliminary data indicates a slowing of restaurant employment growth. The sharp increase in the minimum wage is a likely cause of the stagnation and decline in the Seattle area restaurant jobs this year as compared to Washington state is clear. Business is facing large employment deficits as aging baby boomers leave the workforce to retire. The need to staff - and pay - qualified workers has never been greater as the largest workforce in American history leaves. There’s never been a better time, or bigger demand for an entering a workforce. The IBAW’s position is to let the free market determine how high wages should increase and not the government. Mandating a minimum wage increase to $10 or 15an-hour would put us at undesirable risk, unintended consequences and uncharted waters. * Report by American Action Forum, 2015 Local Minimum Wage Increases and Restaurant Employment Trends, By Ben Gitis November 20, 2015
Opposing the Proposed DOL Fiduciary Standard - NATIONAL The Department of Labor has proposed sweeping changes to the definition of Fiduciary under ERISA dramatically affecting the treatment of 401(k), Simple IRA and Sep IRA plans. Businesses of all size utilize 401(k) plans to attract and retain key talent. Simple and SEP IRA plans are in particular heavily used by small to medium sized independently held businesses. The proposed rule would force investors into advisory or fee based investment solutions entirely eliminating the availability of commission based retirement plans, which tend to be more affordable for consumers. No one would argue that a fiduciary standard is a basic level of service that must be upheld, but these sweeping requirements would inevitably result in an undesirable tradeoff; costs for small businesses and individual investors would increase with a corresponding decrease in access to education and plan choice. We at the IBAW encourage the department of labor to consider the unintended consequences that will impact retirement planning for a small business and individual investors alike.
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2016 Membership Committee
Craig Coursin Stier Construction
Scott Seroka Seroka Branding
Charles Fry Robert W. Baird
Mary Stark Waddell & Reed
Dan Hansen Waukesha State Bank
Legislative Fix Moving Ahead for Wisconsin’s New Manufacturing & Agricultural Credit Jim Brandenburg, CPA, MST - Sikich LLP
In IBAW meetings and publications in recent years we have introduced you to Wisconsin’s new tax incentive - the Wisconsin Manufacturing and Agriculture Credit (referred to as the “MAC”). The MAC came about in 2011 to provide an incentive for Wisconsin manufacturers and agricultural companies to remain and grow here, and also perhaps to have out-of-state companies move here. It was scheduled to begin in 2013, and when fully phased-in by 2016 it would essentially exempt any Wisconsin manufacturing and agricultural income from Wisconsin income tax. The MAC was championed by Representative Dale Kooyenga and Senator Glenn Grothman in the legislature.
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The MAC, however, had some problems for individual taxpayers when it was drafted and this glitch was recently identified. Here is the issue in a nutshell: the MAC would reduce a taxpayer’s Wisconsin individual income tax, but then would trigger a Wisconsin minimum tax for nearly the same amount. Thus, there may be little, if any, net savings for the MAC in 2013 (a “MAC Attack?”). The legislature is trying to remedy this situation now so that taxpayers can realize the proper tax savings with the MAC on their 2013 Wisconsin individual tax returns.
The IBAW magazine is in need of content, we rely on our members and sponsors to supply us informative articles. The digital magazine is sent out to over 650 contacts statewide and the magazine is parked on the web where, on average, it gets over 1100 views.
Legislative Update: It seems that all key legislative leaders are now on board to correct this issue. It was approved by the legislature’s Joint Finance Committee last week. The Senate and Assembly will be in session in March and voting on final passage for several bills, one of which is this tax bill with the MAC correction. It looks like the legislative timetable will have the bill passed near the middle of the March, before going to the Governor. Thus, a best guess now is that the bill would be enacted into law somewhere in the latter half of March, 2014. MAC Attack Options: For any of our individual taxpayers taking advantage of the MAC, this may present some filings logistics. Here are the possibilities:
1. Best case scenario - in some cases the taxpayer’s share of the MAC for 2013 will be used and not result in a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. A taxpayer in this situation could go ahead and claim the MAC and file their 2013 Wisconsin individual return. There would be no need to wait for the legislation to pass.
Consider writing an article on a timely business related topic to your particular field of business. This is an outstanding opportunity for you and your company to gain exposure and increase your brand awareness to a statewide audience. There is no cost to submitting an article.
2. Next, a taxpayer has generated a MAC for 2013, but it will trigger a Wisconsin Minimum Tax. The taxpayer in this case could wait until the law is changed (and then wait a little for the WDR to update its computer processing systems) and then file their Wisconsin tax return and claim the MAC, and not incur the Wisconsin Minimum Tax. This could present a tight timeline for the April 15 deadline, and you may need to file for an extension.
3. Similar case as #2, but this taxpayer could file their Wisconsin individual return with the MAC, but also incur and pay a Wisconsin Minimum Tax for 2013. Then, once the corrective law is enacted go back and file an amended 2013 Wisconsin tax return to obtain the proper tax benefit of the MAC. You would not need extend, but you would need to amend. We’ll keep you posted as this legislation moves forward. If you have any questions, please contact Jim Brandenburg or Brian Kelley at Sikich, LLP in Brookfield (262)754-9400.
Contact Steve Kohlmann for details.
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Welcome New IBAW Members!
Meeting Recaps 2014 Wisconsin Manufacturing Knowledge Summit
On June 20, 2014 the IBAW partnered with the Tool, Die & Machining Association of Wisconsin (TDMAW) to offer Wisconsin manufacturers and their suppliers a unique look at trends within the industry and to also report on some of the challenges the industry faces in the next 5 years.
Power Test, Inc. is an industry leader in the design, manufacture and implementation of dynamometers and control systems.
Special thanks to the event sponsor, First Business Bank for their efforts in helping organize this event.
For more than 37 years, Power Test has provided specialized test equipment to manufacturers, rebuilding facilities and distributors globally. Our products can be found in use at these facilities in nearly 100 countries on six continents.
Our headquarters and manufacturing operations are located in Sussex, WI with sales representatives worldwide. Our unparalleled customer service is well known throughout the industry. Power Test employs a dedicated staff of talented machinists, fabricators, electronic technicians, assemblers, designers, engineers, software developers, and administrative and customer service personnel. Our exceptional product life and excellent customer service is well known throughout the industry and has made us one of the industryleading dynamometer manufacturers. Our dedication to the customer and to the advances in powertrain component testing keep us there.
Power Test N60 W22700 Silver Spring Drive Sussex, WI 53089 Phone: 262-252-4301
4 Advanced Waste Services Advanced Waste Services is an environmental services company that provides wastewater recycling and other waste and risk elimination services to manufacturers in all industries. Each day, AWS helps hundreds of businesses, both large and small, meet their community and environmental obligations. Annually, we collect, treat and recycle more than 50 million gallons of contaminated wastewater into clean, reusable water and other valuable resources like fuel, steam and electricity. AWS is constantly helping our clients manage, reinvent and improve their sustainability successes. For example, we recently partnered with Forest County Advanced Waste Services Potawatomi Community to help Wisconsin food and beverage manufacturers convert 1126 South 76th Street food waste into clean, green renewable energy. Suite N408B West Allis, WI 53214 Founded in 1993, AWS employs 55 people in the Milwaukee area and a total of 150 people companywide in 5 states. 414-847-7100
Photo Key 1: A full house in the main ballroom of the Wisconsin Club as IBAW & TDMAW members prepare to hear about the state of manufacturing and the challenges the industry faces in the workforce.
2: David Vetta of First Business Bank delivers opening remarks and highlights the importance of a strong relationship between banking and manufacturing working together for success. 3: New IBAW President, John Weber of Hypneumat addresses the change in IBAW Bylaws and calls for voting in new board officers. 4: Kent Lorenz of Acieta gives the main presentation on “Manufacturing Matters” pointing out the trends on manufacturing now and what to expect in the future. 5: Outgoing IBAW President, Steve Van Lieshout receives his award for his efforts as 2013 - 2014.
6 Photos courtesy of Tim Townsend.
6: IBAW Executive Director, Steve Kohlmann (Left) presents David Drumel with an award for his service on the IBAW board.
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Published on Jun 30, 2016
A business publication for the small, independent business owner in Wisconsin. The magazine is filled with insightful articles and business...