Understanding Blending together attitudes and work ethic from multiple generations in your workforce
Second Stage and First Rate Economic Development
Entrepreneurship Uncaged Small Business Profile
August 2011 $3.95
PRSRT STD US POSTAGE PAID PERMIT NO. 66 OSHKOSH, WI
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Appleton Bellevue Chilton De Pere Fond du Lac Grafton Green Bay Kenosha Manitowoc
Marinette Neenah New London Oconto Falls Oshkosh Port Washington Shawano Sheboygan Falls Sturgeon Bay Wausau
new north b2b August 2011
18 COVER STORY ❘ Understanding Generation Y ❘ Blending attitudes and work ethic from multiple generations
24 GOVERNMENT ❘ Senate Seat Struggle ❘ Local candidates in recall elections weigh in on state budget issues
30 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ❘ Second Stage and First Rate ❘ A look at Wisconsin companies to watch
36 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ Entrepreneurship Uncaged ❘ Neenah business turns recession into opportunity
Departments 4 From the Publisher 5, 40 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 10 Build Up Pages 16 Around the Boardroom 17 Pierce Stronglove 35 Firefighters Progress Report 42 Who’s News 48 Business Calendar 49 Advertiser Index 50 Key Statistics
On our Cover
Generation Y cover illustration by Kate Erbach of New North B2B.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 3
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Breaking the misinformation campaign Where the Democrat’s script about tax breaks to big corporations falls short
Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
The political wrangling that’s reared its ugly head during this special election recall season is rife with well-scripted partisan mantras. It seems perhaps even more so than in the past, partisan agendas in the summer of 2011 are casting a dark shadow over candidates’ ability and desire to stand independently of tutored rhetoric to present original, creative approaches to move Wisconsin forward. There’s a genuine opportunity out there for a Democrat to step aside from the party’s strategic misinformation campaign and sound intelligent about the economic issues that affect Democrats and Republicans alike. Unfortunately, such instances have been rare. All too often during the past two months, we’ve heard radio and television advertisements and read direct mail literature filling the mail boxes at our homes condemning the recently enacted 2011-2013 biennial budget as offering “tax breaks to big corporations” – as Democratic script-writers have penned it – illustrated in such a way that one might think of these tax breaks as country club gala door prizes. Much to the contrary, the tax break components of the budget referred to in Democratic attack ads benefit owners of small local business, those of us who create jobs in northeast Wisconsin, buy goods and services from other businesses here in the region, and sell to customers near and far, bringing new dollars into the New North economy. So when small business owners struggling to make payroll and stay afloat hear about “tax breaks to big corporations,” many sigh in frustration because those roughly $80 million in tax cuts are aimed at helping them create better lives for the families of their employees, not for lining their pockets with money from heaven. The largest portion of those tax dispensations included in the recent budget stem from the income and franchise tax deductions passed by the legislature in January which provides for a deduction of up to $4,000 for every new employee that’s hired by companies grossing less than $5 million annually. The actual amount of that deduction is based upon the salary paid for the new position, and requires a certain amount also be spent on training and development for that new employee. And the position needs to be filled for a certain length of time in order to be eligible for the tax break.
In our April 2011 issue, we highlighted how Oshkosh-based DealerFire used the initiative to help it expand, grow its workforce, and increase its payroll here in northeast Wisconsin. It’s an investment taxpayers will find returns to them several-fold through an enhanced economy. The second largest portion of the tax breaks cited in Democratic attack ads allow those contributing to their health savings accounts to take a state income tax deduction, another new bit of legislation passed earlier this year which falls in line with the federal income tax deduction for health savings account contributions and matches what 48 other states provide their citizens. Health savings accounts are hardly a tool for big corporations and the wealthy. Quite the opposite, it’s perhaps the most productive tool available to those of us who haven’t had their health care insurance completely paid by a public-sector employer. For those of us who pay 100 percent of our health insurance costs, or for any employee on their company’s group-sponsored health plan, the ability to make tax-free deposits toward future health care expenses makes HSAs an attractive option and the best way to accept personal responsibility for one’s health and wellness without having to pay all medical bills completely out of pocket. I had an HSA for years – with no relief from the state of Wisconsin – and discovered it’s perhaps the best solution for those thousands of would-be entrepreneurs working for someone else who are reticent to go out on their own simply because they’re worried about losing the health insurance plan so generously provided by their current employer. It’s been my opinion – and we’ve written editorials to this effect for years – that government ought to do everything reasonable it can to sway Americans towards an HSA model, both for the health of our nation and our economy. Lastly, the third largest tax relief barked about this recall election season isn’t technically a break at all – it’s simply a deferment. The measure merely delays the payment of capital gains taxes. It doesn’t lessen or eliminate the responsibility to pay those taxes. If any Democrat wants to stand out from the pack and appeal to more conservative voters in the next few weeks, there’s plenty of opportunity by sounding more intelligent when talking about the economy.
Concealed Carry Law: Employer Challenges by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Tony Renning
If you have a particular labor/employment law question, please forward your question to Mr. Renning at info@ newnorthb2b.com. If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy.
Reader Question: What impact will Wisconsin’s Concealed Carry Law have on employers, if any? Tony Renning: 2011 Wisconsin Act 35, the “Concealed Carry Law” as it is commonly referred to, was signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker on July 8, 2011. Most of the law’s provisions become effective November 1, 2011. The Concealed Carry Law eliminates the current prohibition against going armed with a concealed weapon where an individual obtains the proper permit/ license. Moreover, the Concealed Carry Law adds general prohibitions against carrying weapons into a number of public places (e.g., police stations, courthouses, beyond security checkpoints in an airport, etc.). Finally, the Concealed Carry Law provides immunity to employers and property owners from liability for their decision to allow concealed weap-
Publisher & President
Robin Driessen Bruecker John R. Ingrisano Lee Marie Reinsch
ons at the work place or on their property under certain circumstances. The Concealed Carry Law provides that employers may prohibit the carrying of a concealed weapon in the course of an employee’s employment. However, an employer may not prohibit an employee with a permit/license from carrying a concealed weapon in the employee’s vehicle, whether or not the vehicle is used in the course of the employee’s employment or is driven or parked on property used by the employer. The Concealed Carry Law also provides that an employer that allows employees with a permit/license to carry a concealed weapon on the job is immune from any liability that results from that decision. However, an employer that prohibits employees with a permit/license from carrying a concealed weapon on the job does not enjoy such immunity. It is important for employers to understand how the Concealed Carry Law
NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. A single complimentary subscription is offered to all members of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Printed by Digicorporation, 120 Lake St., Neenah, WI 54956 POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at Oshkosh, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2011.
Contact us: P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903-0559 • 920.237.0254 www.newnorthb2b.com
affects them, carefully and thoughtfully consider safety, immunity and public relations issues and decide how best to comply prior to November 1, 2011. For advice and counsel as to the impact of the Concealed Carry Law on employers, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or trenning@dkattorneys. com or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.
Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 5
SINCE WE LAST MET
Since we last met Since We Last Met is a digest of business related news occurring in the Green Bay, Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas in the one month since the previous issue of New North B2B. June 21 The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers awarded Roen Salvage of Sturgeon Bay the $2.1 million contract to dredge 108,000 cubic yards of silt, sand and organic material from Green Bay Harbor. The project began in late June and is expected to be completed in August. The dredging will ensure cargo ships will be able to transport full loads of bulk commodities such as coal, limestone, cement and lumber, among other cargo. June 22 The Fond du Lac City Council approved a purchase option agreement with J. F. Ahern Co. for 50 acres of land in its Fox Ridge Business Park. Ahern could exercise the option to purchase the land if it decided to expand its manufacturing operations in the future. June 22 The Federal Reserve Board decided to maintain its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent, noting the economic recovery is continuing at a moderate pace, though more slowly than expected. In making its decision, the committee noted labor market indicators have been weaker than anticipated, but that inflation has picked up in recent months, reflecting higher prices for some commodities and imported goods.
2006 August 1 – The Oshkosh Plan Commission approved a plan to purchase about 40 acres of land for $400,000 to expand the Southwest Industrial Park. The land is adjacent to Clairville Road and 20th Avenue in the town of Algoma.
2009 August 12 – Gov. Jim Doyle declared a state of emergency in 41 counties suffering from drought conditions, including Outagamie County. The declaration expedites requests from farmers for temporary irrigation permits to divert stream or lake water to irrigate crops.
6 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
June 23 The state’s Unemployment Insurance Advisory Council urged Wisconsin lawmakers allow jobless people to collect another three months of federal unemployment benefits, enabling the state to qualify for about $90 million allocated through the 2009 federal stimulus bill. If approved, the extension would translate to $363 per week for an unemployed individual. June 27 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work on a $15.5 million project to convert the final 4.6 miles of U.S. Highway 45 in Winnebago County between Oshkosh and U.S. Highway 10 to a freeway. The project includes constructing frontage roads along the highway and replacing three at-grade intersections with bridges crossing over U.S. 45 and connecting local roads. The intersections at Breezewood Road and Grandview Road were closed in early July. The project is expected to be finished in fall 2012. June 27 The state Government Accountability Board discarded 26 signatures from the senate recall candidacy petition filed by Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), leaving him shy of the necessary signatures to appear on the ballot in the recall race against Sen. Dave Hansen in the 30th Senate District. The result of the ruling eliminated the need for a Republican primary against Republican challenger David VanderLeest. June 27 The Village of Howard Board of Trustees approved $1.6 million in tax incremental financing for Menard’s to construct a 162,340-sq. ft. store on 18 acres of land near Woodman’s Food Market and U.S. Highway 41. The development will also include a separate 42,352-sq. ft. lumber warehouse. Menard’s officials expect to begin construction later this year. June 27 The Kaukauna Area School District Board of Education approved changes to its employee handbook that helped reverse the district’s fortune from a projected $400,000 budget deficit for the 2011-12 operating budget to an operating surplus of $1.5 million. The changes require staff to pay 12.6 percent of their health insurance, contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, cut sick days from 10 to five, and eliminates teacher pay for emergency school closings. District administrators said the changes would allow all but five of the staff members laid off in May to return to the classroom, and should result in lower class sizes for the coming school year. A portion of the surplus will institute $300,000 in merit pay to staff for the coming school year.
SINCE WE LAST MET June 28 Nashco Hospitality Group, which owns City Center Hotel in downtown Oshkosh, paid past due property taxes of nearly $43,900 just days before it would have lost its liquor, restaurant and hotel licenses, which would have effectively shut down the hotel, restaurant and bar. The delinquent tax bill included past-due hotel room taxes from February and April. July 1 The state Public Service Commission approved an 11 percent rate increase for the Village of Hobart water utility which will raise its rates from $3.90 to $4.35 for every 1,000 gallons of water. The rates have been among the lowest in Brown County for the past decade. The increase brings Hobart’s rate closer to the average rate among municipal water utilities in the county. July 5 Small engine manufacturer Briggs & Stratton of Milwaukee committed $80,000 to reinstate and help continue the Engine Research and Development Technician associate’s degree program at Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac. The program had been suspended in May as a victim of Moraine Park’s budget shortfall. Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac also pledged to provide scholarship funds to boost enrollment in the program, as well as additional funds to help market the program. Students in the program have experienced nearly a 100 percent employment placement upon graduation.
July 5 A preliminary report released by the Governor’s Waste, Fraud and Abuse Commission identified $266 million in annual savings in Wisconsin if the state would crack down on fraud in public assistance programs, adjust overtime policies and implement efficiency ideas developed by various state agencies. The commission found $177 million per year of fraud in assistance programs such as FoodShare and Medicaid. The seven-member commission is continuing its work and will release its final report in January 2012. July 5 Gov. Walker signed a new state law prohibiting lawsuits against trucking companies for negligence or misconduct on the part of suppliers. July 7 The federal Department of Veterans Affairs selected Summit Smith Healthcare Facilities, a division of C.D. Smith Construction Inc. of Fond du Lac, as the development team for a proposed 161,525-sq. ft. veteran’s health care clinic at 2800 University Ave. on Green Bay’s east side. The decision paves the way to begin construction of the estimated $60 million facility later this year. The new clinic is expected to open by early 2013. July 7 Frontier Airlines announced it will cease service to Outagamie County Regional Airport near Appleton in September,
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SINCE WE LAST MET citing rising fuel costs. Frontier had merged with Midwest Airlines in 2010, which had served ATW Airport since its inception. The decision does not affect Frontier service to Austin Straubel International Airport near Green Bay, where it recently added more flights. Frontier accounted for about 6 percent of Outagamie County Airport’s annual passenger boardings. July 8 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 18,000 new jobs were created nationally in June, leaving the unemployment rate relatively unchanged at 9.2 percent. Employment in most major private-sector industries changed little during the month, while government employment continued to trend down. July 11 The J. J. Keller Foundation provided a $50,000 grant to the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry for operating funds. The donation marked a milestone of the Keller Family, having donated more than $30 million to community initiatives during the course of their giving history. July 12 Voters in the Omro School District approved a $1 million maintenance referendum which will cover roof replacement and repair projects at the district’s elementary and middle schools, as well as various smaller building and equipment upgrades for the high school. The cost of the referendum to taxpayers will be roughly 9 cents for every $1,000 of equalized property value.
8 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
Voters in Omro rejected two previous referendums earlier this year and in 2010 for a more expensive list of projects. July 13 Green Bay Metro Transit Director Tom Wittig unveiled a plan to overhaul bus service on the west side of the metro area to save the system money on fuel and decrease travel times for many of the system’s riders. The proposal would abandon the system’s longstanding single-hub structure and provide three routes that would circulate on the west side from Bay Park Square in Ashwaubenon without returning to the downtown hub. Green Bay Metro officials hope to implement the new route structure in September. July 13 U.S. District Judge William Griesbach of Green Bay ruled that paper company Appleton Inc. is no longer liable for any further costs associated with the multi-billion dollar Fox River clean up, denying a request from state and federal environmental regulators that the company continue a third year of dredging through the 2011 season. Appleton Inc. will have paid about $300 million of the cleanup costs as of the end of 2011, according to company officials. The total cost of the nearly decade-long project is estimated near $1 billion. Funding for future cleanup remains tied up in the courts. The cleanup project involves removing and treating harmful PCB sediment from the discharge of chemicals into the Fox River by carbonless copy paper producers from the 1950s to the 1970s.
SINCE WE LAST MET July 13 The Oshkosh Area School District Board of Education reviewed a proposed 2011-12 budget of about $112 million, a 6 percent decrease in spending from this past year. If eventually approved, the budget would set a tax rate of $8.85 for every $1,000 of equalized property value, up nearly 3 percent from the $8.63 mil rate assessed to taxpayers for the 2010-11 fiscal year. One-year labor agreements approved by the district’s teaching staff and other unions included pay freezes and increased contributions toward health insurance premiums and pensions, which decreased expenses by nearly $5.2 million.
October. About 150 people were employed at the property at the time of the announcement.
July 14 The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents increased tuition for the coming school year by 5.5 percent – the maximum allowed under state law – which increases the average in-state undergraduate tuition at a four-year UW school by $381 to $6,543 each year, up $381 from last year. In the area, students at UW-Green Bay will see a $311 increase in tuition, while students at UW-Oshkosh will pay $315 more for an annual tuition cost of $6,090. Annual tuition at UW-Fox Valley in Menasha will increase $235 to $4,503 starting with the coming fall semester. While tuition at the UW System’s 13 four-year campuses increased by 5.5 percent each of the past four years, tuition rates have remained frozen for each of the system’s two-year campuses – such as UW-Fox Valley – until this year.
July 15 State transportation officials reopened all ramps on the Scheuring Road interchange with U.S. Highway 41 in De Pere, which had been closed since late February to rebuild the entire interchange and replace the overpass. The bridge remains under construction through mid-September as part of the $14.7 million project.
July 14 Oshkosh Corp. received an order for an additional 400 MRAP All-Terrain Vehicles from the U.S. Army valued at more than $207 million. The order is part of a larger multi-billion dollar contract in which Oshkosh has received orders to deliver more than 8,700 M-ATVs. Delivery of the heavy-duty military vehicles is expected to be complete by November. July 14 Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced an agreement to purchase the 241-room Hotel Sierra in downtown Green Bay from Kansas-based LodgeWorks L.P. and convert it into a full-service Hyatt hotel. The deal for the property, which is adjacent to the KI Convention Center, is expected to be complete by
July 15 Affinity Medical Group announced plans to build a twostory, 30,000-sq. ft. medical clinic on 1.5 acres of the former Glatfelter paper mill site in downtown Neenah. The $9 million clinic would replace Affinity’s existing clinic at 411 Lincoln St. in Neenah and will house 11 physicians and advance practice providers and 55 support staff. Construction is expected to begin later in 2011.
July 19 Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) easily survived a recall election against Republican challenger David VanderLeest in collecting 66 percent of the vote. Hansen is one of three Democratic senators from the state facing a recall because they fled Wisconsin for three weeks in late February and early March along with another 11 Democratic colleagues to prevent a vote on the state’s budget repair bill for 2011. July 20 Ripon College President Rev. David C. Joyce announced he will leave the school following the fall 2011 semester to pursue a similar position at Brevard College in North Carolina. Joyce has served as the 12th president of the institution for the past nine years. Gerald Seaman, vice president and dean of faculty at Ripon College, will take over as the interim president.
Clarifications Wells Fargo is an additional financial institution participating in the Brown County Microloan Program. This was omitted from information originally provided to New North B2B for the feature article in our July 2011 edition.
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9 2 0 . 7 3 3 . 3 1 3 6 y 866.966.3928 y www.newbt.org NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 9
BUILD UP FOND DU LAC
4 3 2
C - Indicates a new listing
Build Up Fond du Lac
3 - 430 E. Division St., Fond du Lac,
4 - 1045 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac, CitizensFirst Credit Union, a 4,100-sq. ft. new credit union office. Project completion expected in December.
- 1155 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac, Rolling Meadows Development, renovation of a former nursing home building and an addition to the fourth floor shell for a 101room hotel and conference center. Project completion expected in the spring of 2012. - N6425 Stanchfield Dr., Fond du Lac, Wausau Equipment Company, a 6,300-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
Agnesian Healthcare St. Agnes Hospital, a build out of the fourth through sixth floors of the existing South Tower of the hospital for private patient care rooms.
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BUILD UP OSHKOSH
C - Indicates a new listing
Build Up Oshkosh 5
- 800 High Ave., Oshkosh, University of WisconsinOshkosh, a four-story, 191,000-sq. ft. academic building for the College of Business Administration. Project completion expected in August.
6 - 600 Block of Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a five-story, 340-bed student residence hall. Project completion expected in mid-2012.
- 2541 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company-Oshkosh, a 6,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in September. Projects completed since our July issue: • Kornelli’s Mobil, 919 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac. •Cobblestone Inn, 1515 Planeview Dr., Oshkosh.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 11
BUILD UP FOX CITIES The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Fox Cities area.
6 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, a 6,370-sq. ft. addition as part of the ongoing campus revitalization project.
C - Indicates a new listing
1 - 4082 N. Richmond St., Appleton,
Timbercrest Dental Center, a 3,594-sq. ft. dental office. Project completion expected in the fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
- 2701 Winslow Ave., Appleton, C A to Z Machine Company, a 38,855-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.
3 - 2351 Northridge Dr., Kaukauna, C
Andres Machine Service, a 16,800-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
4 - 1111 DeLanglade St., Kaukauna, Badger Utility Inc., a 13,340-sq. ft. addition for offices and additional truck maintenance and repair space. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 5 - 1500 Lamers Dr., Little Chute, Building Services Group, a 4,430-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in the fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
- 310 S. Lynndale Dr., Appleton, Gustman Subaru, a 2,793-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing car dealership building to accommodate a new showroom and customer service area. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
- Two Plexus Way, Neenah, C Plexus Corp., a twostory, 20,000-sq. ft. training and development center. Project completion expected in the summer of 2012.
- 901 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, CVS Pharmacy, a 13,225-sq. ft. new retail store. Project completion expected in August.
- 913 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, Kwik Trip, a 5,800-sq. ft. convenience store, fuel station and car wash. Project completion expected in August.
- 1035 Breezewood Lane, Neenah, Webex Inc., a 12,120-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in August. Projects completed since our July issue: â€˘ Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, 130 Second St., Neenah.
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Fox Cities: 920-734-1800 Oshkosh: 920-231-2400 Green Bay: 920-435-5442
BUILD UP FOX CITIES 1 3&4 2
8 9 & 10 11
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 13
BUILD UP GREEN BAY The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Green Bay area. C - Indicates a new listing
- 300 Block of N. Washington St., Green Bay, Watermark, a six-story, 70,000-sq. ft. mixed-use development which will house Hagemeister Park restaurant and Children’s Museum of Green Bay. Completion expected in early 2012.
8 - 930 Main St., Green Bay, CVS Pharmacy, a new retail store and pharmacy.
2 - 1520 Brookfield Ave., Howard,
9 - 1960 University Ave., Green Bay, Family Dollar, a new retail store.
- 2400 Block of Lineville Road, Suamico, C Auto Zone, a 7,575-sq. ft. automotive retail store. The Solberg Company, a 20,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility and corporate office headquarters, as well as a separate 6,800-sq. ft. research and test laboratory. Project completion expected in late fall.
3 - 2949 Riverview Dr., Howard,
Community First Credit Union, a 6,705-sq. ft. credit union office.
10 - 626 Pinehurst Ave., Green Bay, Martin Elementary School/Green Bay Area School District, a 2,050-sq. ft. addition to the existing elementary school building. Project completion expected in late August.
4 - 2806 Riverview Dr., Howard,
11 - 1315 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, a new multilevel community center. Project completion expected in August.
- 2600 Larsen Road, Green Bay, Donald & Patricia Schneider Education Center at Green Bay Botanical Garden, a 13,000-sq. ft. education and training facility.
12 - 1330 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay, JBS-Green Bay/ Packerland Packing Company, 18,000-sq. ft. of existing industrial space for a lunch room, locker rooms and restrooms.
6 - 1461 W. Mason St., Green Bay, Rabideau Auto Mart, a
Dermatology Associates of Wisconsin, a 7,552-sq. ft. dermatology clinic. Project completion expected in August.
new automotive retail building. Completion expected in August.
- 2502 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Western Racquet & Fitness Club/ Prevea Medical, a two-story, 28,418sq. ft. addition to the existing fitness center and a new health care clinic.
14 - 871 Hansen Road, Ashwaubenon, C Kwik Trip, a new convenience store, fuel station and car wash facility.
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15 - 1160 Ashwaubenon St., Ashwaubenon, Circle Business Center, a 9,643-sq. ft. industrial facility. Project completion expected in August. 16 - 100 Grant St., De Pere, St. Norbert College Michels
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Commons, an addition to the existing student commons and cafeteria, as well as the Ariens Family Welcome Center. Project completion expected in May 2012.
- 1313 Lawrence Dr., De Pere, C Menard’s, a 162,340-sq. ft. retail store and warehouse space as well as a nearly 50,000-sq. ft. covered lumberyard.
18 - 352 High St., Wrightstown, C Village of Wrightstown Municipal Office Building, a 10,000-sq. ft. office building. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our July issue: • PCM Employees Credit Union, 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon. •SparkNet Interactive, 1121 W. Main Ave., Ashwaubenon.
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BUILD UP GREEN BAY 2
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17 & 18
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AROUND THE BOARDROOM
100 The job placement rate the past two years for all 24 students completing the FABTECH training program, a diesel service training partnership between Fox Valley Technical College and FABCO/ Caterpillar. Source: Fox Valley Technical College
Title: Birthing the Elephant: The Woman’s Go-For-It! Guide to Overcoming the Big Challenges of Launching a Business Author: Karin Abarbanel, Bruce Freeman Publisher: Ten Speed Press (March 1, 2008) Pages: 224 List Price: $15.99 Why Buy: Abarbanel and Freeman identify four stages of birthing a business: starting your start up; running your own show; achieving breakthrough; and finding your business rhythm. Concentrating on each stage’s feelings and coping strategies, the authors are bluntly honest: expect self-doubt, performance anxiety, and a lack of a life outside of eating-working-sleeping. Identifying and avoiding pitfalls enable women to sidestep potential issues.
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Ready, Fire, Aim
ne of the best ways to compete more effectively is to streamline your marketing communications. You might be surprised how few companies have a good written plan. “Good” doesn’t necessarily mean a large volume with complex spreadsheets that’s finalized, approved and shelved before your new year begins. It’s living and working objectives, strategies and tactics – logically flowing in a specific, inextricably linked order. You identify strategies based on your objectives, then (and only then) devise tactics that will deliver on your strategies and objectives. Sounds simple, but it somehow eludes many. They dive straight into tactics (“We need a Facebook presence and more PR!”) without having a clear understanding of why they’re spending their time and money doing them. They get very busy and work very hard. Later, they scratch their heads wondering why they didn’t achieve what they had hoped for at the beginning of the year. It’s upside down. Grrr. Better to start with a good foundation: a clear understanding of your brand and its history, a clear picture of the competition, an objective assessment of your brand’s strengths and weaknesses, and a very deep understanding of customers and the market. Here’s a simple but clear example to demonstrate the difference between objectives, strategies and tactics – an understanding central to better marketing communications: • Objective (a goal): Raise my cholesterol to 220. • Strategy (an idea): Consume more saturated fat. • Tactic (an action): Pig out at a Sheboygan brat fry. Or, to make it more marketing relevant: • Objective: Increase premium monkey food trials by 10 percent. • Strategy: Encourage trial among the emerging capuchin segment. • Tactic: Distribute monkey food coupons at the annual Capuchin Aficionado Show.
You need a written, working plan in the wurst way. Conceptualizing how your goal could be achieved, a strategy is a “what-if?” idea of HOW your objective COULD be achieved. At its best, a big and solid strategy will not be confined to your marketing department. It usually has an impact on other disciplines – like research and development, operations, finance and human resources. A lofty objective often requires multiple supporting strategies. Likewise, any given strategy will require multiple tactics. It’s easy to fall into the rut of updating a list of tactics every year and calling it your strategy. Note: tactics fail without strategy, but a great strategy can deliver an objective – even with mediocre tactical executions. (Still, I recommend most-stellar-possible execution of your tactics.) That this topic needs to be discussed in this day and age almost sunk my battleship. Then again, it never hurts any of us to revisit the building blocks for better performance and payout. Please aim before firing. Behind the façade of Mr. Stronglove is an advertising professional wielding his strategic and conceptual stealth in all forms of media (except book jackets). Send comments (or crisp twenties) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 17
Lessons to help blend together the attitudes and work ethic of multiple generations in your workforce
Story by Lee Marie Reinsch Why do your coworkers act the way they do? With retirement age being pushed back, it’s conceivable that you work with people whose ages differ by several decades – from the Silent Generation (1922 to 1945) to the Baby Boomers (1946 to 1964) to Generation X (1965 to 1979) and Generation Y (1980 to the mid- to late-1990s). “Your growing up years define your work style to some extent,” said Judy Ruhl, management development consultant and trainer with Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. Cultural factors from war to the economy affect how one views the world, and the workplace, Ruhl said. Of course, multiple generations working together isn’t a new phenomenon. What’s new is the scope of the changes society has made in the past 50 years, said Dan Schroeder, president and owner of Brookfield-based Organization Development Consultants. “Older people in the workforce have always asked the ques-
18 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
tion, ‘What is it with those young people anyway?’” While your company may not show signs of blatant tribal warfare, every workplace has its “What the Hell Are They Thinking?!” (WHATT?!) moments. Here’s a glimpse into a few common WHATT?! moments and what generational factors might be feeding them.
Newbies in the office
What the Hell Are They Thinking Situation No. 1: The newbie doesn’t seem remotely impressed with (or grateful for) the new job. Schroeder recalls a story about a talented young new professional who acted like he thought he knew everything, including how everyone else should do their jobs. He also believed he deserved a much higher salary right away. When his boss told him to show some respect, the young man indicated the company needed him more than he needed his job. The boss fired him but
COVER STORY later regretted it because the firm lost a talented employee who eventually could have made some great contributions. “Generation Y often seems to expect mid-career level salaries and perks right away,” Schroeder said. So when they get beginners’ wages and cruddy hours, they aren’t impressed. Generation Y – also referred to as the Millennial generation – came of age during a time of a lot of violence. And due to advances in technology, not only do they tend to be tech savvy, but they had to grow up fast. “They had more information thrown at them about how the world really works,” Ruhl said. The attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Unibomber and other violent crimes happened, and Generation Y learned about it in school. “We would have been sheltered from things like that,” said Ruhl, herself a Baby Boomer. If they come off as cocky, it’s because their self-esteem is pretty high. Their generation was the first entire generation whose parents had access to multiple forms of birth control. Translation: “This is the most wanted generation,” Ruhl said. Their parents let them know how special they were by enrolling them in violin camps, language lessons and private sports. “They have the expectation that they will be tended and cared for – maybe that’s how they’ve been raised,” Schroeder said. They offer their opinions freely because they’re accustomed to having input. “Their parents negotiate with them. They ask them what kind of bike they want and what color,” Schroeder said. “Back in the day, your parents went to the hardware store and brought home a bicycle and said ‘Here is your bike.’” What can organizations do about such a mindset? Show those employees what a career path at your company looks like. “New-employee orientation is an on-boarding process where you culturally assimilate these folks and say ‘Here’s what to expect.’ It’s almost a quid pro quo. If they give us their labor, what do we give them in return?” Schroeder said. New entrants to the workforce are more mobile and expect to make more job changes than their parents did. “What they have been learning over the past 20 years is (that companies and jobs are) here today, gone tomorrow, with mergers, acquisitions, downsizing. They know more than one person who has lost their job. So their attitude is ‘What’s in it for me?’ They are not going to be used by the company; they are going to use the company,” Schroeder said. “If we are not giving our talented young people reasons to work for us, they won’t work for us.”
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Issues with training
WHATT?! Situation No. 2: Young employees don’t seem to be getting the information and training required (and offered) by your company. It could be that it’s the format in which the info is delivered, according to Ruhl. It might be time to reassess some of the more traditional training mechanisms. “The old teach-as-you-were-taught” method of lecturing a group doesn’t always work anymore, Schroeder said. It’s hard for today’s generation to sit still for two hours in a meeting or class. When Faith Technologies in Menasha noticed poor attendance among its field employees at safety workshops, the com-
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 19
COVER STORY pany was understandably concerned. But by looking at how to bring the information to the employee rather than to expect the employee to seek out the information, Faith turned that situation around. “We started making the workshops available online,” said Jill Hermans, director of learning and development for Faith Technologies. “Because our employees are out in the field, getting them to come in for training was rather challenging,” Hermans said. “We created an environment where they can log in and access the classes that apply to their job role. We’re making it more accessible for them and we’ve used different formats to present information,” such as video and audio clips, podcasts, etc.
Use of social media
WHATT?! Situation No. 3: Brittany seems to be texting and checking Facebook an awful lot at work. Before assuming all at-work social media use affects productivity, figure out if that’s really the case. “If she’s not performing and not meeting deadlines, that’s another story,” said Anjali Seefeldt, who works with Appletonbased Strategic Solutions Consulting, a firm founded by her mother, Shipra Seefeldt. Seefeldt knew of one case in which an employee’s social media use angered the management until they realized it didn’t negatively affect the employee’s job performance. The employee still did her work quickly and efficiently and completed projects faster than anyone else.
“We grew up multitasking. We’re used to having five things going on at the same time” rather than focusing on one thing, said Seefeldt, a Millennial herself. Generation Y grew up with computers, and their minds think in “random access types of ways,” Schroeder said. “They are more nimble and able to switch back and forth from task to task. They can be working on one thing, park it and switch to another, store it in their memory and switch back. To sit in a board room and be talked at for two hours – you are killing them.”
Quality of life
WHATT?! Situation No. 4: “These twenty- and thirtysomethings leave at 5:01 p.m. and are not eager to work holidays and weekends, even for bonus pay.” Money isn’t always the great motivator for Generation X and Y. Quality of life factors such as balance between work and life, working from home or from a remote site, being allowed flexibility in scheduling to attend family events and, of course, time off, speaks just as loudly. “My generation is motivated by more vacation time, whereas the older generations would want to see how their career would progress and be motivated more by accomplishing certain things in a job setting,” said Seefeldt. Generation X and Y grew up with both parents working – the term “latchkey kids” came about during X’s growing-up years, Ruhl said. Both generations watched their parents work their butts off and get downsized from their jobs anyway and there-
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COVER STORY fore may not be as willing to sacrifice everything for a career. They’re striving for more of a balance between work and life – they want to do their best for their employers and still have time and energy for fun. “They will work really hard in order to afford time off to have quality time and to have money to do the things they want to do,” Ruhl said of Generation Y.
The older generation sees (desk time) as much more valuable and thinks more highly of people being physically present from 9 to 5 five days a week.
Flexible work time
WHATT?! Situation No. 5: Jake strolls in whenever he feels like it, leaves whenever, and doesn’t seem to ‘get’ the whole 40-hour-a-week thing. Generation Y wants to be judged by the work they do and not the hours they work, Ruhl said. “We are much more willing to work whenever we may need to, at all hours, answering emails from home or being on our BlackBerrys late at night than we are to being glued to a desk chair,” said Seefeldt. “The older generation sees (desk time) as much more valuable and thinks more highly of people being physically present from 9 to 5 five days
Anjali Seefeldt, Strategic Solutions Consulting in Appleton
a week,” even if they are just staring at their computer screens.
WHATT?! Situation No. 6: “These young employees don’t last more than a year, anyway, so why are we spending all this money on training them?” Companies that have trouble retaining employees should view it as a red flag, Ruhl said. In the first place, Generation Y is more likely than previous generations to have several different careers over the
course of a lifetime, let alone work for a single employer for several decades. And if they don’t see much hope at one workplace, they aren’t likely to stick it out. “If the employee sees that the only growth pattern here is ‘when the guy above me retires in 11 years, I can move up a notch,’ then they are not going to stay,” Schroeder said. “They have a nonlinear mindset – they play that out in their private lives, and they are hoping to play that out in their professional lives.”
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COVER STORY Companies can get their young employees more invested in the company by giving them hope in the form of “career pathing, succession planning, talent development and basically showing young employees how to make fuller contributions to the company,” Schroeder said. The old company hierarchy doesn’t make sense to them. Generation Y doesn’t see much value in the kind of slavish devotion their parents showed to their places of work. “We see how it has negatively impacted them in the long run, and it has made us open to job hopping and looking for opportunities beyond the organization we may be working with,” Seefeldt said. But don’t confuse devotion to a single employer with loyalty as a character trait. “Generation Y is more loyal to a certain person rather than to a certain corporation,” Ruhl said. That’s why when one employee leaves a company, several others may follow him or her to the next company.
So their attitude is ‘What’s in it for me?’ They are not going to be used by the company; they are going to use the company.
Daniel Schroeder, president, Organization Development Consultants
WHATT?! Situation No. 7: Tina, a GenXer, tends to not keep people posted on how her projects are progressing or what she’s doing when. Blame the parents again. Generation X grew up during a time when many institutions were breaking down. Nixon was impeached, John Lennon was shot to death, an assassination attempt was made on the life of President Ronald Reagan, the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster happened, the Berlin Wall
22 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
came down, divorce rates rose, many kids came home to an empty house as moms pursued careers. “This created a generation of skeptical people who are quite comfortable working independently,” Ruhl said. “They don’t need anyone looking over their shoulder.”
Lack of initiative
WHATT?! Situation No. 8: (The flip side of No. 7) Ashley does what she’s told, but she can’t seem to start anything on her own. “One issue is that Generation Y has had their time and priorities scheduled for them by their parents,” so they aren’t as accustomed to working independently as other generations might be, Ruhl said. This generation grew up with music lessons, language camps, organized sports and a dearth of unscheduled time. “More than any other generation, their parents showed up at school to resolve their conflicts for them,” Ruhl said. “We might have to set their priorities for them. If you set clear expectations of who does what, they will do it, but until you do so, they are perfectly content to watch their mother do it for them,” Ruhl said. Generation Y is also more accustomed to working in groups, in teams and a lot more collaboratively than their predecessors did. “I don’t believe that means we can’t work individually, but I think the older generations are more used to working individually,” Seefeldt said. But while having more people putting their minds together can be a good idea, it’s not always the best. “The flip side is group think,” Seefeldt said. “If everyone is going off one idea and they’re really excited about it and somehow everyone misses one side of it, it can be a huge disaster, too.”
WHATT?! Situation No. 9: Ralph the Boomer seems to need a lot of face time -- whenever you email or text him, he calls or shows up at your desk instead of responding electronically. Or the converse: Brittany the Yer emails or texts when she could call or talk in person.
COVER STORY Aaah, the modern-day curse/blessing of intra-office messaging. For Gen Y, it’s seeing the person they just texted show up in person. For Boomers, it’s colleagues who message from the next desk over. “There still is a bit of a disconnect between (older and younger) generations, with things like preferred communication styles,” Seefeldt said. “Generally, the older generation prefers face-to-face conversation or making a phone call because it’s a lot more personal.” Texting instead of talking may sound cold or rude but it’s all about efficiency, she said. Generation Y wants to get the message to the other person without spending time on chit chat or voice mail. “I can text someone and he can respond without my taking more of his time,” she said. “A lot of it is trying to get each other to see the value in the other’s way.” Electronic communication is only going to increase – not decrease – as more companies allow telecommuting, more business gets done remotely, and more job functions get outsourced to remote areas, Schroeder said. “That’s just the nature of how we carry out our work today – we are more isolated. We don’t know one another.” While technology has its benefits, it can’t replace relationships. “A lot of what we do is based on relationships, and a lot of our referrals are from people who know our work and trust us and with whom we’ve built good relationships,” Seefeldt said. “I don’t see that being able to happen if we were just communicating via email. There needs to be a balance between the two.”
Complacency to change
WHATT?! Situation No. 10: Ralph the Boomer doesn’t seem to want to try anything new. It’s human nature to be suspicious of the unknown, and the more risky we think something is, the more suspicious we are of it, whether it’s learning a new technology or marketing a new product line. “The older generation wants the status quo because they feel this is what made (them) successful,” said Shipra Seefeldt, the founder of Strategic Solutions Consulting. “They are for tradition and for what is tried and true because that is what helped them grow,” she said. “The younger generation is more into buying the latest (technology or equipment, etc.) and is more into risk-taking, and there is a lot of push and pull.” Boomers and the Silent Generation value stability, and they put great importance on being reliable and dependable, Ruhl said. “They are service-oriented and used to meeting the needs of others.” When they entered the workforce in the 1960s, the Boomers were seen as the me-first generation and the rebels who questioned the establishment. “But now they are pretty much the establishment,” Schroeder said. “When it comes to work ethic, they look an awful lot like their parents and grandparents.” Lee Reinsch writes and edits from Green Bay.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011l 23
Local senate recall candidates weigh in on state budget issues affecting Wisconsin’s business climate
Forward by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B Publisher
he events that transpired in Madison and across Wisconsin in the wake of the passage of the state budget repair bill in March ignited much of the electorate, regardless of where one stood on the political spectrum.
In a historically unprecedented episode, Democrats who felt their elected officials didn’t listen to their concerns before voting on Act 10 recalled six of their Republican senators across the state. At the same time, Republican constituents irate that their representation in the capitol crossed the border to Illinois and skipped out on work for three weeks without a doctor’s excuse recalled three of their Democratic senators. Of those nine state senate seat recalls, four affect districts within the New North B2B magazine readership area. One of those races has already been determined, as Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) held on to his 30th Senate District seat, winning the July 19 special election. The fate of three other seats will be determined when voters in various areas of northeast Wisconsin go to the polls Aug. 9 to either reinstate or recall Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Allouez) in the 2nd Senate District, Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon) in the 14th Senate District and Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) in the 18th Senate District. Because of how polarized the electorate has become during the last six months – as well as the nature of the recalls – the issues are seemingly more simple than in regular general elections: position on the budget repair bill and position on the recently enacted biennial state budget for 2011 to 2013, as well as how to bridge the divide in Madison moving forward. As we have every two years since October 2002, New North B2B asked candidates in our area Wisconsin Senate recall elections to respond to three questions about the aforementioned topics affecting the business climate in the state, providing our readers with a greater understanding of their perspective. One candidate, Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo), who is challenging Sen. Olsen, declined to participate in the forum. What follows are the unabridged, unedited responses from participating candidates. You may also find their responses online at www.newnorthb2b.com. 24l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
GOVERNMENT PROFILE Name: Professional: Political experience: Education: Web site:
Sen. Rob Cowles (Rep.) Former director of an alternative energy division for a communications construction company. Fulltime legislator since 1982. Assembly Rep. for the 4th district from 1982 to 1987; State Senate for 2nd district from 1987 to present. Bachelor’s from University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. voterobcowles.com
PROFILE Name: Professional: Political experience: Education: Web site:
Nancy Nusbaum (Dem.) Retired in 2005 as Director of Crime Victim Services for the State of Wisconsin. Mayor of De Pere from 1988 to 1995; Brown County Executive from 1995 to 2003. Bachelor’s in English education from University of Wisconsin-Madison. nancyforsenate.com
2nd Senate District Includes portions of Green Bay, Ashwaubenon, Hobart, Oneida, Kaukauna and northern Outagamie County Question #1 Cowles - The budget-repair bill was a critical first-step to achieving my long-term goal of a truly-balanced budget. Quite simply, in order to cope with reductions in state aid, we needed to give local governments the necessary tools to balance their books. As reported by several media outlets, the collective bargaining reforms included in the budget-repair bill are already working for several school districts. Perhaps the best example is with the Kaukauna School District, which is located in the southern portion of my district. There, because of the reforms we implemented at the state level, the Kaukauna School District is turning a $400,000 deficit into a $1.5 million budget
surplus. Even better, the school district is using this money the right way – shrinking class sizes and instituting a merit pay plan that helps reward the best and brightest teachers. More recently, contrary to the doomsday scenarios predicted by some, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that most school districts are avoiding large layoffs and drastic cuts this fall, thanks largely to the changes instituted by the budgetrepair bill. Among other things, the bill requires most public employees to contribute 5.8 percent of their salary to their pension and pay 12.6 percent of their healthcare premiums. Compared to benefits available in the private sector, these are modest reforms. Nusbaum - Everyone understands that we all must share in the sacrifice to get Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order and balance the budget. Working folks have agreed to do their part when they agreed to increased pension and health care contributions – that was the right thing to do.
Recall Election 2011 Questions asked of the candidates 1. All 2011 recall elections in Wisconsin were prompted in one fashion or another by Act 10, the budget repair bill, either as a response to votes in favor of the measure or in response to the actions of senators who left the state to avoid voting on the bill. If you’re a sitting senator, please defend your vote for Act 10 or defend your decision to leave the state. If you’re a challenger, please discuss whether you would have supported or opposed Act 10 and explain why.
2. The recently enacted state budget bill for the 201113 biennium also appeared to polarize sitting senators and their challengers in the upcoming recall election. As a sitting senator, please defend your vote for or against the current budget in place for Wisconsin. If you’re a challenger, please discuss what you would have supported or opposed in the current budget and explain why.
3. The status of Wisconsin’s state legislative politics is arguably as disjointed as it’s been since the mid-1980s. Moving forward, what plans would you have for bringing citizens, special interests, political parties and legislators closer together to work on a more bi-partisan agenda for advancing Wisconsin’s interests? Or, do you favor the divisiveness and hope to accomplish as much as possible during periods in which your respective political party holds a legislative majority. NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 25
GOVERNMENT The budget repair bill was extreme – a needless overreach. The legislation was rammed through with no oversight, transparency or work together. Besides being unfair, the bill fails to offset the deep cuts to education, local aids, health care and transportation that local communities face in this dangerous budget – causing serious budget challenges for local communities that will have fiscal consequences for years as well as real impacts on quality of life. The City of De Pere, where I served as mayor for seven years, will face a budget shortfall of $666,000, on top of the $3.1 million cut to the De Pere School District. The fact that supporters refused to listen to constituents, refused to talk, is an indication that this was a flawed bill. We go further when we go together. We need to sit down and work together to solve problems. That’s the Wisconsin way, and that’s the way I have always balanced budgets as a mayor and a county executive. Question #2 Nusbaum - This radical budget and its underlying priorities do not reflect our shared Wisconsin values. At a time when we need shared sacrifice to solve our problems, this extreme budget forces middle class and working families to make all the sacrifices, while the wealthy and corporations share in all the benefits. This budget: • Gave $2.3 billion in tax breaks primarily to the privileged and large corporations while providing nothing for working Wisconsin families. • Increased taxes on tens of thousands of seniors and lowincome working families by $70 million by reducing the Homestead and Earned Income Tax Credits. • Increased property taxes by $483.8 million on Wisconsin families. • Cut $1.6 billion for Wisconsin’s K-12 public school children. • Cut $500 million in health care through Medicaid and other health care programs. • Reduced public safety through shared revenue cuts that impact local police and fire services. • Failed to protect the popular, successful SeniorCare prescription drug program from funding raids. • Pushed $338 million dollars in state debt off into the future – costing us taxpayers an additional $89.9 million in interest. Cowles - I’ve long been a strong advocate for fiscal responsibility in Madison, and I’ve opposed big-spending budgets by both Democrats and Republicans. State government needs to balance its books just like any family has to do. Last session, Gov. Doyle and his liberal allies in Madison increased taxes and fees by a staggering $4.7 billion. This includes a tax on the sick (hospital tax), an increase in the nursing home bed tax, and a new phone tax. These tax and fee increases squeezed middle-class families at a time when they could least afford it. Job creators felt the pinch as well, with major Wisconsin employers like Briggs & Stratton and HarleyDavidson sending jobs to more business-friendly states.
26 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
Despite all these tax increases, the Doyle budget still left us with a large structural imbalance. That’s because instead of making the tough decisions, it relied on one-time federal stimulus money to fulfill ongoing expenses. As a result, Wisconsin was saddled with a $3.6 billion deficit. As a responsible legislator, I could not support kicking the can down the road any further. Simply stated, to get out of debt we need to reduce spending. That’s exactly what this most recent budget does, and that’s why it had my support. Because this budget does make the tough decisions that Gov. Doyle refused to make, Wisconsin now faces its first budget surplus in more than a decade. That’s good news for job creators, and good news for northeast Wisconsin taxpayers. Question #3 Cowles - I’ve already mentioned how I’ve voted against bigspending budgets authored by both Democrats and Republicans. To me, it’s always been more important to do what’s right than to do what’s right for my party. To cite another example: I have long touted my strong commitment to the environment. I think that a clean environment is important to helping foster job creation. That’s why I’ve worked across the aisle on issues like the passage of the Great Lakes Compact, which will help protect our beautiful Great Lakes for future generations. More recently, I was one of the leading advocates to oppose the cut of community recycling grants from the state budget, and I’m pleased that these grants were partially restored in the final bill. It’s because of this commitment to protecting our natural resources that I earned the endorsement this summer of two leading environmental groups: the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters and Clean Wisconsin. Mother Nature knows no party affiliation, and I am the only Republican in the summer elections to receive the endorsement of either group. Despite these environmental successes, there remains a great deal of work to be done in Wisconsin, especially in regards to job creation. As co-chair of the Legislative Audit Committee, I stand ready to work with anyone, regardless of political affiliation, who shares my vision of creating jobs by cracking down on waste, fraud and abuse in government. The taxpayers of northeast Wisconsin deserve nothing less. Nusbaum - We go further when we go together. We need to sit down and work together to solve problems. That’s the Wisconsin way and the way I’ve always approached balancing budgets. We need to move away from the hyper-partisanship that has gripped our state, while standing up for real Wisconsin values. I’ll never stop fighting for what I believe is right, but I’ll never let rigid adherence to ideology stand in the way of working across the aisle to get things done for the people of Wisconsin.
GOVERNMENT PROFILE Name: Sen. Luther Olsen (Rep.) Professional: Partner in farm supply dealerships. Fulltime legislator since 1994. Political experience: Berlin Area School Board 1976 to 1997 and board president from 1986 to 1995; Assembly Rep. for the 41st district from 1994 to 2002; State Senate for 14th district from 2004 to present. Education: Bachelor’s from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Web site: lutherolsen.com Rep. Fred Clark (D-Baraboo) declined to respond to New North B2B’s request for information.
14th Senate District Includes Hortonville, Berlin, Ripon and western portions of Fond du Lac County Question #1 Olsen - Going into this fiscal year Wisconsin faced a $3.6 billion deficit. Multiple raids of the segregated funds and the spending of one-time stimulus money left Wisconsin in a fiscal crisis. Something needed to be done. We were faced with a couple options. We could raise taxes or we could stop the out-of-control spending. With businesses and families already paying high taxes, we chose the latter. Looking at all the pieces of the state budget, it became quite clear that the largest expense to state government was personnel. We could have done what other states all across the country are doing, which is laying off thousands of public employees. With Wisconsin’s unemployment rate already over 7 percent, we knew that simply was not an option. Instead we asked our valued, public employees to pay a little more towards their pension and health care costs. In doing so we avoided thousands of layoffs. Question #2 Olsen - For the first time in decades, Wisconsin has a balanced budget. This was done with no accounting gimmicks, cheap tricks or tax increases. This was good honest budgeting. In a time when businesses and families are doing more with less I believe state government needed to do the same. While
cuts were made to almost every aspect of state government, we still prioritized what was important for Wisconsin. Spending for education remains the number one expenditure with over 40 percent of general purpose revenue going towards education. We protected the most vulnerable like our seniors by making sure we properly fund senior care and other programs that assist the elderly. Lastly, we implemented a state wide property tax freeze. Last November folks from all across Wisconsin told us they simply can’t afford to pay more taxes. We listened and delivered! Question #3 Olsen - Since my time in the state legislature, I have worked hand in hand with members of both political parties to advance policies that benefit the state of Wisconsin. The interesting thing about politics is that bi-partisan policies rarely get any coverage from the media because there is no controversy. The overwhelming majority of bills passed through the legislature pass with bi-partisan support. You just won’t hear about it because it doesn’t make for very interesting news. However, we do have to ask ourselves some very basic questions. Do we want the size of government to increase or decrease? Do we want higher taxes or lower taxes? I believe the majority of the citizens of the 14th Senate District want smaller government and lower taxes. Consequently, on issues such as these I will not waiver. Fred Clark did not respond to our request for information.
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GOVERNMENT PROFILE Name: Professional: Political experience: Education: Web site:
Sen. Randy Hopper (Rep.) Owner and operator of Mountain Dog Media, a family of radio stations in the Fond du Lac and Sheboygan areas. Fulltime legislator since 2008. State Senate for 18th district from 2008 to present. Bachelor’s in history from Denison University, Granville, Ohio; Master’s in business from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. votehopper.com
PROFILE Name: Professional: Political experience: Education: Web site:
Jessica King (Dem.) Owner and founder of Compass Law and a member of the Chapter Trustee Panel for the Eastern District of Wisconsin federal bankruptcy court. Oshkosh City Council from 2007 to 2011. Bachelor’s from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; Juris Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego. jessicakingforsenate.com
18th Senate District Includes Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, as well as most of southern Winnebago and Fond du Lac counties Question #1 Hopper - Over the last few years we have witnessed a recession that has devastated Wisconsin’s economy. Over 150,000 people in our great state lost their jobs and our unemployment numbers are not recovering fast enough. In order to move our state forward, I believe state government must change the way we do business. For over a decade, the Wisconsin budget has faced multimillion dollar, and most recently, multi-billion dollar deficits. One-time stimulus funding, massive tax increases, and reckless spending has done nothing to improve our budget situation. Our citizens have made it very clear; now is the time to take the necessary steps so Wisconsin can be prosperous once again. I voted for Gov. Scott Walker’s budget adjustment bill because we are at a crossroads in our state. After years out-ofcontrol state spending, we simply cannot afford the wage and benefit packages that are currently provided to government workers.
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By asking these dedicated and hardworking employees to pitch in we will avoid tax hikes, immediate layoffs for thousands of workers, furloughs that equated to a 3 percent wage cut, or the elimination of necessary services for 194,000 children, 92,000 adults, and 16,000 blind or disabled persons. I, along with my Republican colleagues, will prove to the State of Wisconsin that this bill was not an assault on public employees, but rather an investment. An investment to help Wisconsin prosper; an investment I know our children and grandchildren will one day appreciate. King - I believe the state legislature must be transparent and people should have time to review proposed legislation and understand the impact of the legislation. Act 10 was introduced as a 144-page document on a Friday. It was scheduled for a vote the next week. As a local elected official, it was difficult for me to gain information as to how this legislation would impact the City of Oshkosh. While the legislation was called the “Budget Repair Bill,” it contained non-budget provisions. It granted Gov. Walker the ability to add 32 additional political appointments. I believe this additional appointment power to the governor should not have been included as a policy item in Act 10.
GOVERNMENT As far as the budgetary priorities included in Act 10, everyone understands that we all must share in the sacrifice to get Wisconsin’s fiscal house in order and balance the budget. Working people agreed to do their part when they offered concessions to increase pension and heath care contributions in order to retain their ability to have input in their workplace conditions. The methods used to adopt Act 10 were extreme. There was no input from local officials, the Walker administration attempted to pass the legislation which jeopardized Oshkosh’s federal transit funding, and it was a blatant attack on local decision making. As a former local elected official, I recognize the importance of local control because local elected officials are more accessible to the public, and the public can hold them to a higher level of accountability. Question #2 King - I have always believed the budget document must have a relationship to a community’s vision, values and priorities. Wisconsin has been a leader in the nation because of our strong commitment to sound physical infrastructure, quality public educational opportunities, healthy community environment and large skilled workforce. This budget had different priorities. It gave $2.3 billion in tax breaks to corporations, which creates an unfair advantage for small and local business which do not receive similar treatment. The budget increased property taxes by $483.8 million for Wisconsin families, directly impacting fixed income seniors and single parent households. It cut $1.6 billion for Wisconsin’s K-12 public school children. The University of Wisconsin system’s budget was cut $250 million, which will force campuses to raise tuition making higher education less accessible for our children. The same is true for the technical college system as its budget was also reduced by 30 percent. Additionally, the budget reduced public safety through shared revenue cuts that impact local police and fire service. The budget does not protect SeniorCare, a prescription drug program, from future segregated fund attacks. In the end, this biennium budget actually continues to increase spending over a billion dollars over the next biennium, but it’s unclear what benefits will be derived from the increase in spending. Hopper - This budget is about responsible budgeting. Finally, Wisconsin is NOT spending more than it takes in. In fact, this budget takes a $3.6 billion deficit and turns it into a $300 million surplus, and it does so without raising taxes. At the beginning of this session, Republicans vowed to focus on getting Wisconsin citizens back to work, and passing this budget is a major step towards creating 250,000 private sector jobs. The budget makes great strides in generating a job-creator friendly environment in Wisconsin. The creation of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation – a publicprivate partnership, whose main focus is private-sector job creation – a permanent property tax freeze; reforms in capital gains taxes, including a deferral for capital gains re-invested in Wisconsin businesses; and no tax increase, all help to change the economic climate in Wisconsin. And we have accomplished all of this while still providing for our vulnerable citizens. We preserved SeniorCare, we provided
$10 million for emergency placements for Family Care. We also gave $5 million to shore up the Veterans Trust Fund and fulfill the promises we made to those who risked their lives to protect our freedom. I am proud to have voted for a budget that will put Wisconsin in the best fiscal shape in 15 years. Question #3 Hopper - I will continue to work in a bipartisan fashion when it comes to non-partisan issues like getting our economy back on track. Here are just a few examples of where I have reached across the aisle during my tenure as state senator: • 2011 Wisconsin Act 12 creates an exception from the usual submission deadline that applies to creation of a tax incremental financing (TIF) district for a TIF district in the City of Milwaukee known as the Bishop’s Creek Redevelopment. If the bill wasn’t passed, $1.2 million in borrowing would have had to be repaid from Milwaukee’s general fund. A bill authored by a Democrat, I – as chair of the committee – scheduled a vote even though Democrats had left the state during the budget repair bill debate. The bill passed 19-0 on floor of the senate. • 2011 Wisconsin Act 26 authorizes the state Department of Commerce to increase the number of enterprise zones to no more than 20. The bill passed 26-7, and I voted “yes.” • 2011 Assembly Bill 13 creates a development opportunity zone in the City of Beloit effective for 60 months. The bill was authored by Rep. Amy Loudenbeck (R-Clinton), and Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) was later added as the lead senate cosponsor. The bill passed 33-0, and I voted to support it. I will continue to reach across the aisle and work with all of my colleagues to create a positive economic environment here in Wisconsin. King - State senators should advocate on behalf of their districts in order to sustain and grow the economy. We need to work in a collaborative fashion with local elected officials to ensure that communities are enabled to prosper. During my two terms on the Oshkosh Common Council I worked hard to increase transparency, so that citizens had a clear understanding of Oshkosh’s Strategic Plan. As a member of the Common Council, I encouraged efforts to engage community stakeholders to develop shared priorities for successful growth. As your state senator, I will work with local elected officials to enact good public policy that reflects Wisconsin values. As a local elected official I worked with stakeholders regardless of their partisan affiliation to achieve results that were in line with Oshkosh’s strategic plan, and I would continue to maintain this practice as a state senator.
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Second stage and first rate Awards program honors Wisconsin’s small businesses in the next level
Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker
Regardless of which rung of the career ladder we’re on, it’s always nice when our hard work, good ideas and dedication get noticed. The same goes for companies as a whole, from start-ups to long-established players in the big leagues. One awards program aims to provide recognition to promising young private companies in Wisconsin that have reached second-stage status with six to 99 employees. Created by the Edward Lowe Foundation in Michigan, Companies to Watch is a national program offered in individual states. According to Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network Director Gayle Kugler, in Wisconsin the second-stage companies comprise only about 10 percent of the nearly 420,000 registered businesses yet they provide 37 percent of the jobs. “As small and growing entities, they are past the start-up phase and this recognition gives them a boost in attracting talent, finding the best vendors and gaining new clients,” explained Kugler. “The Edward Lowe Foundation’s studies have shown second-stage companies are the ones who generate jobs and economic growth in their communities.” Appointed in 2007 as the state director for WEN and the Small Business Development Center network, Kugler heard about the Companies to Watch program from Michigan SBDC State Director Carol Lopucki and approached the Edward Lowe Foundation to bring the program to Wisconsin. Kugler herself has a background in entrepreneurship and understands the particular challenges faced by small businesses. “Most smaller companies do not yet have departments of people, let alone specific job titles. The owners and their employees become involved in every area of the business, from being out on the shop floor to sales to hiring to pushing a broom.” All of that can mean there isn’t much time left for public relations and getting the word out in the community about products or services. “The Edward Lowe Foundation recognizes that many second30 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT stage companies fly under the radar of typical awards programs,” noted Kugler. “Companies to Watch is specifically designed to seek out businesses from a wide range of industries representing all areas of the state, not just those in major metropolitan areas. In addition to an evaluation on past growth and projected success, applicant companies are judged according to their special strengths. These strengths revolve around innovative products and business practices, special use of technology, work within the community and more.” The foundation hosts the Companies to Watch Web site, takes nominations, structures the evaluations and organizes the judging. On the state’s end, Kugler said that “as hosts, we are asked to find companies and encourage them to self-nominate or Wisconsin companies and economic development groups are asked to provide nominations. Additional judges from across the state agree to seek out worthy candidates and fundraise to support the costs of the year-long activity associated with the program and the celebration event.”
Tip of the hat Among the 33 Wisconsin winners for 2011 were three northeast Wisconsin companies: Aurizon Ultrasonics LLC of Kimberly, Liveyearbook Inc. of Neenah and Cherney Microbiological Services Ltd. of Green Bay. Aurizon Ultrasonics spun off from Kimberly-Clark Corp. just two years ago in August 2009, outfitted with technology, assets and key employees from Kimberly-Clark, said Paul McCann, CEO of the company. He said close ties remain with Kimberly-Clark as the new company fulfills the ultrasonic needs of the consumer-products manufacturer and of other clients in North America and Europe. “The Aurizon Ultrasonics team is engaged in the research, development and commercialization of novel, high-power ultrasonic process solutions for industrial applications,” explained McCann, adding that the company “leverages an estimated $30 million and 25 years of ultrasonics research and experience into the continued development and commercialization of new innovations.”
The company uses high-power ultrasonic energy to bond materials including non-wovens, films and laminants, and also to process liquids for spraying, mixing and emulsifying. “We have a very talented team that is dedicated to developing our three ultrasonic technology platforms into highvalue solutions for our customers.” McCann said the company has enjoyed some results since being named a Company to Watch. “The Wisconsin Companies to Watch recognition gives us exposure to Wisconsin-based companies who are looking for innovative partners to solve their technological challenges,” noted McCann. “We have seen interest from personal care products companies, food packaging customers, papermakers, researchers, and nano-materials experts all looking to improve their processes with our equipment. With all of these markets being served by Wisconsinbased companies, it is natural for them to identify a ‘neighbor’ to work with.” Don Noskowiak, president of Liveyearbook Inc., said his company offers
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an edge over the “one-size-fits-all, print-only book model,” providing a personalized product with flexibility for the students and eliminating risk and loss for the school. Spring activities – which generally occur after the press deadline for a school’s yearbook – can be added without a special supplement. “We had one of our high schools comment that this is the first year in the history of the school that they captured prom in the yearbook,” Noskowiak noted. “In addition, schools have no further risk of loss because we don’t require a minimum order quantity.” A personal touch can be added by parents and students through two free pages of custom content provided with each person’s yearbook. In addition, students can purchase a printed copy and get the electronic version free, or buy the digital yearbook at less than half the cost of the printed copy. Noskowiak said he and his team appreciate being counted among “an elite class of companies.” “Most companies selected have been around for quite some time and have had the test of time to substantiate their existence, said Noskowiak, whose business started up in mid-2010 after winning the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Competition earlier that year. “We are very new and being a start-up has its own challenges of gaining customer interest and acceptance in a competitive, resistant-to-change market. So I don’t know that we can measure up to the same level as the other award recipients. We are excited about being part of the group because it provides another source of validation and testament that we can use to gain traction with our model, not to mention the press has always generated more contacts.”
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Last year was the first year the Companies to Watch awards were given out in Wisconsin. Organic apparel company green 3 LLC in Oshkosh was among the inaugural list of honorees. After more than 20 years in corporate apparel during which she sourced and developed products globally, Sandy Martin struck out on her own in 2006 to design, source and market products that are environmentally friendly and made in the U.S. After being back on the job hunt when Oshkosh B’Gosh was sold, Jim Martin pitched in at his wife’s apparel and accessory wholesale company. “Five years later I am still helping her, and this has become our fulltime business,” he said. Green 3 products are carried nationally by more than 600 specialty stores and several catalog retailers including Sundance, Uncommon Goods and Acacia. The company recently expanded its physical location, moving to new digs on State Road 44 in Oshkosh boasting more than 10,000 square feet. In addition to offices and the distribution center, the new facility features the green 3 company store, its first retail store open to the public. This store carries the full line of products currently available, as well as those on sale and clearance. “Mixed in with our full offering will be additional unique items that complement the lifestyle represented by green 3,” added Jim. Both of the Martins were excited and honored to be named one of Wisconsin’s Companies to Watch in 2010. “For our business it has meant personal satisfaction, knowing that our hard work is not going unnoticed within the state,”
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT said Jim. “But it also has benefited us as we meet with other local and statewide organizations who have expressed interest in our company. The Companies to Watch recognition serves as an endorsement from the state that what we are doing is unique and special.” Besides receiving the award itself, winners from Wisconsin and the Companies to Watch programs in other states are treated to a free three-day leadership retreat in Michigan, courtesy of the Edward Lowe Foundation. “The facilitated peer-learning retreat is created specifically for leaders of second-stage, growth-oriented companies and gives them the opportunity to tap into the collective wisdom of the group,” explained Kugler. Sandy Martin attended the retreat in Michigan last summer and found many of her peers were willing to share their own experiences in growing a small business. “The small business community is really open and willing to share ideas and help other businesses grow,” she noted. “This is a big departure from my corpo-
rate background where information is tightly guarded, even between co-workers. I also was encouraged by how many attendees had been in business for many years, and brought a wealth of experience. I was concerned that there might be many ‘overnight’ success stories. “On the contrary, these were businesses that had worked hard for years, and had steadily grown throughout that time. What was really helpful was hearing how other businesses had either experienced, or were experiencing, some of the same challenges we were experiencing. Being able to share those experiences in a casual setting was great.” As Martin discovered, the benefits of sharing work both ways. “I also learned that I brought a lot of value to the process as well,” said Sandy. “Many of the attendees commented later that our experiences as a business were valuable to them as well.” McCann and Noskowiak were unable to attend the retreat this past June due to other commitments. Another perk of winning provides entrepreneurs with even more time to
On the Web wisconsin.companiestowatch.org learn from each other and grow their businesses. Since 2005, the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce have hosted PeerSpectives, another program sponsored by the Edward Lowe Foundation. A peer learning roundtable group, PeerSpectives has eight roundtables in the state at present, led by the Small Business Development Center network, and Companies to Watch award winners are invited to join. Learn more about Wisconsin Companies to Watch at wisconsin.companiestowatch.org. Robin Driessen Bruecker has more than 15 years of experience in feature writing and marketing communications. Contact her at robindb41@sprint. blackberry.net.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 33
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FIREFIGHTERS PROGRESS REPORT
Firefighters of northeast Wisconsin Getting a handle on differentiating factors Following nearly four months of working along with SM Advisors, Green Bay-based IT Connexx and DVM Connexx co-owners Kevin Scholz and Brian O’Shaughnessy are fine tuning a strategy they believe could take them in an entirely new direction. “We had the opportunity to redesign our business, our message, our market and our friendships,” O’Shaughnessy said. “After two months of meetings, homework, brainstorming, late nights, planning and significant soul searching, a solid plan is coming together.” Using the Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream Process developed by SM Advisor’s founder and president Steve Van Remortel, the two co-owners began Scholz the exercise believing all of their strategy challenges were sorted out, Scholz said. Moving through the process, Scholz noted their lack of direction became evident. We O’Shaughnessy now knew we had bigger challenges ahead of us. “As we sat down and started to put fingers to keys, we found new direction and new life to our thought process,” Scholz said. “Today we know that strategy is a process that can never end and we have only started.” O’Shaughnessy explained that “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream” starts with interviews of key staff to build a planning team. That planning team completes a behavioral assessment aimed at helping the group learn how to openly and honestly communicate with each other. He said it also sheds light on each individual’s motivators
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and decision-making style. “Steve and SM Advisors have created a template that forces the planning team to dig deep, to look in the mirror, to define uniqueness, and make the changes required to maximize that differentiation,” O’Shaughnessy said. “The process has forced us to evaluate everything we do and how we do it.” To date, that’s included redefining the mission and vision statements and shaking up the organizational charts for the two businesses. It’s also Van Remortel encouraged the two owners to review their logos, positioning statements and the message they take to the market to scrutinize each facet of marketing and modify each as needed. The two also report having newly defined goals, action plans and deadlines to hold them accountable. “More than anything, we have a renewed purpose, a more clear view of the future, and burst of energy to get there,” O’Shaughnessy said. While becoming immersed in Van Remortel’s Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream Process, both business coowners concur that differentiation is key to generating and retaining business. “We need our business to be unique and well understood to our target market,” Scholz said. “It is easy for us to understand what we do, but what matters is whether our customer knows what we do and wants it.”
On the Web
SM Advisors www.smadvisors.com
Methodology New North B2B kicked off its inaugural Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin initiative in April 2011, aimed at assisting those northeast Wisconsin small business owners who feel as if they’re constantly burning the candle at both ends, putting out fires, spinning their wheels, but intent on finding a way to improve. We put out a call for nominations back in January. In the end, our staff selected two businesses: IT Connexx of Green Bay, an IT contractor for small to mid-sized companies throughout the region, and Action Painting & Carpet Care of Appleton. Through the generous help of Steve Van Remortel of SM Advisors in Green Bay and Gary Vaughan of Guident Business Solutions in Appleton, the two dedicated-to-improve businesses are receiving four to five month’s worth of consulting at no cost to help their owners work on the strategy of growing their business rather than regularly attending to problems. B2B is providing a monthly update on the progress of their efforts in each issue of B2B leading up to September 2011. In between issues, additional updates will be provided online at our blog newnorthb2b.wordpress.com.
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P R O F I L E
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE
Cages by Design owner turns recession into opportunity
Story by John R. Ingrisano
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Between grandfathers who started Neenah-based Cummings Electric and J. J. Keller & Associates, as well as family real estate ventures, Adam Keller has business flowing through both sides of his family tree. “At the dinner table, the conversation was always business,” said Keller, founder and president of Neenah-based Cages by Design and a handful of other businesses. This is perhaps why, when the recession brought his business to its knees several years ago – down by 40 percent almost overnight – he regrouped, retooled, and reinvented a major portion of his business that custom builds bird and reptile cages and aquariums. Today, Cages by Design is re-emerging on a solid path for renewed growth and remains the country’s top buildto-order animal cage provider. “When I was a kid, I built habitat cages and had animals of every kind,” Keller said in a recent interview with New North B2B. “When I left for college to study architecture, I put an ad in the paper and sold them all.” Discovering that he preferred business to college, he began building and selling more cages from his apartment. That was the beginning of what is now a multi-million dollar business – peaking at $3 million before 2008, and now back up to annual sales of more than $1.5 million – that currently employs 12 fulltime employees. www.newnorthb2b.com
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE It just seemed natural to go into business. “My grandfather founded J. J. Keller,” he explained, adding that his father now runs the company, and his brother and sister work there as well. On his mother’s side of the family, his grandfather started Cummings Electric. Plus, “my mother has been building and managing apartment rentals since before I was born,” he said. “It’s in my family. We’re always talking business. It’s who we are.” Among the more famous customers of his own business, Cages by Design partnered with Jack Hanna and the Columbus Zoo in 2007 to completely renovate their holding room for promotional animals. The company also had a claim to fame on MTV, “tricking” out a terrarium for the backseat of a customized car on the show, Pimp My Ride. Keller has also helped create custom habitats in several episodes of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. Other customers include actors Nicholas Cage and Will Smith, as well as several professional football and hockey players. Business has been good, but Keller has had his share of hurdles to clear along the way.
And then came the recession…
minum interiors. Keller realized these high-end products were especially vulnerable to economic declines. So, he added a lower-price product line called Cages Under $500. These products are simply imported and re-sold. However, Keller went beyond just a new product line. He reviewed revenue sources and ended up looking into totally new opportunities.
… and Serenity Aquarium Services “We came up with a strategy to get into the service end.” In a direction away from simply providing another product, Keller launched Serenity Aquarium Services, which places large bird cages and aquariums in business and office lobbies. Keller designs and sets up the cages and aquariums, also providing the animals and the food. It’s a perfect addition to a waiting room area or work environment that adds personality and character to any room. The client has almost no maintenance responsibilities. “We don’t just sell a cage and we’re done. This is a monthly service business,” Keller said.
“When the economy sank, sales dropped 40 percent overnight,” Keller said. “Our cost structure was too high. I was used to doubling my numbers every year.” Keller admits he was stunned, completely caught by surprise. “I had to go through all my numbers and make tough decisions.” He leased out one third of his total square footage and admits that he “cut costs we would not have had the nerve to cut years ago.” One of the toughest choices was to pare down his payroll from 17 employees to seven. As part of retooling the business, Keller explained, “We did strategic thinking, numbers playing.” Under his previous business model, Keller sold custom-built animal cages. The company sold its products across the country and internationally, doing business in Panama, South Korea and Lebanon, often selling cages for thousands of dollars each. His top-of-the-line brand of cages, Majestic Enclosures, are for people who “want a furniture piece that will match their end tables and China cabinet.” They are made of solid wood, with fully-lined aluPROFILE Name: Adam Keller, president Business: Cages by Design and Serenity Aquarium Services Location: Neenah Year started: 1998 Employees: 12 Web sites: www.cagesbydesign.com www.serenityaquariumservices.com
A model of the Serenity Aviary enclosure. NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 37
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE With bird enclosures, for example, “we come in every three months to clip nails, give shots, check the animals’ health, and clean the cages or tanks,” Keller explained. They also replace birds as needed. “We do it all for one monthly price.” Each project is customized. “We let the customers tell us what they want. Then we build it.”
You would not believe how therapeutic these aquariums are for the children...this is the best part of what I do.
It’s a business model that works – Keller now has a hundred accounts throughout six states in the Midwest. “We are mostly in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, lawyer’s offices, bank lobbies, dentists’ offices, hair salons, anything with a lobby,” said Keller. It takes time to build this type of fullservice business, and they are seeing positive results. “Today, we have five employees servicing this end of the business, and we’re growing.” Though it is labor intense, Serenity Aquarium Services has also evolved into a labor of love. Financially, the key benefit to this service business is that it creates ongoing, monthly income flow for the company. However, Keller found that this new business endeavor is about much more than just turning around his sales numbers.
“There was a testimonial I received after I installed an aquarium in a home for developmentally challenged kids. There was a little boy in a wheel chair. He is blind and cannot talk and had never walked. He entered the room and the first thing he hears is the bubbles in the aquarium, and he stands up for the first time. “You would not believe how therapeutic these aquariums are for the children. That’s why I personally love installing units in nursing homes for people with limited mobility. This brings a little bit of happiness to them. They light up. This is the best part of what I do.”
The entrepreneurial instinct How does Keller promote and market his businesses? The cages are mostly sold through the Internet, he explained. “We used to do direct mail, but less and less these days. Without the Internet, this business would not be possible. We were the first, and now we have the brand.” Even with business turning around, Adam Keller isn’t immune to many of the same pains other entrepreneurs face. What keeps him up at night? “When the economy was bad, that kept me up,” he admitted. “Now it is mostly that I always have ideas running through my head. I’m always thinking about the next thing, the next project.” Keller acknowledges he is never content “being where we are. People who are that way, well, they never grow.” Keller thrives on work. When he is not working, even his hobbies turn into side businesses. For relaxation, he bought an airport bus and converted it into a fully-equipped Packer bus. Then he converted a bigger one. Before long, he added a driver and now rents them out through a separate business, Keller Coaches (www.keller-coach.com).
A model of the Serenity Reptile enclosure. Submitted photo
38 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE Heroes Who are Adam Keller’s heroes? With a family of entrepreneurs, it was no surprise that he could not name one person, but an entire family. “My successful family members inspire me to do big things,” he said. “I watched them do it and it inspired me.”
He also invests in real estate. “I guess I take after my mother,” Keller said. “I build shop spaces and mini-storage units.” Still, his core business centers on animal cages and aquariums. “I’ve had every imaginable reptile, parrots, snakes, two sixfoot iguanas, geckos, water dragons, as well as rabbits and turtles.” Ironically, Keller added, he currently lives in a condo, which limits pets. However, he is preparing a hobby farm, where he will be able to have a number of animals. Even though his family has experienced a good deal of success in business, Adam explained the Keller family is about more than just making money. “My family is also very charitable,” Keller said. “When my grandfather died, his assets went into a foundation, which is still going. We believe in giving back.” This also explains his own personal philosophy, which as his grandfather said, is to “do more good than harm.” “I have to be honest, to strive for quality. No matter what you do, do your best,” Keller said. What other advice does Keller have to offer other business owners? “Follow through. Take your ideas to completion. Also, take calculated risks.” Mostly, he stressed, get good advisors. “Get advisors who are successful. They can save you a lot of money. Listen to them. Then follow through. You can’t ever give up.” Good advice, which Keller took himself, turned around his Cages by Design business when the recession gutted it … and turned his setbacks into new opportunities.
John Ingrisano is a Wisconsin-based business journalist, marketing strategist and public speaker. If you would like John to review your company’s needs or do a presentation for your business group, contact him at john@ thefreestyleentrepreneur.com or call 920.559.3722.
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Live at Lunch 2011
Through August 10 · Noon to 1 p.m.
Enjoy food and music every week in downtown’s Opera House Square August 3 Joe & Janice Marie Food by Lara’s Tortilla Flats
Thank you to our major sponsors
August 10 Nicki Sims Food by New Moon
For more information on Live at Lunch, log on to www.oshkoshchamber.com/live_at_lunch or call the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce at (920)303-2266.
The Oshkosh Chamber would like to thank everyone who attended and supported Live at Lunch this year.
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 39
Project Manage Like a Pro by James J. Calmes & Sons, Inc.
As a seasoned construction professional, I’ve come to notice one skillset that has remained crucial to achieving success onsite: knowing how to effectively manage a project from kickoff to completion. The term “project management” takes into account every facet of planning, managing, implementing and overseeing a project from start to finish. Effective project managers – in the construction industry or elsewhere – know how to expertly fit these individual pieces together in order to create a finished product that exceeds customer expectations. They keep a project flowing on-time and on-budget, all the while ensuring their staff remains productive and happy. So, what truly makes a project manager successful? I’ve come to notice three key skills: 1. Knowing when to shift course. Experienced project managers recognize that a project won’t always go as planned. When something starts to go awry, they swiftly adapt and make quick and strategic deci-
sions to ensure the project continues on course. And, most importantly, the client feels no residual stress as a result. 2. Recognizing what to communicate and when. Many projects can involve a variety of people and departments from an organization. Savvy project managers are excellent communicators who realize what information needs to be shared, with whom and when. This ensures a project’s flow is kept consistent and remains in budget. Additionally, it’s also helpful if managers are organized in documenting communication, especially when past decisions may need to be referenced. 3. Keeping a level head during crunch time. During a high-stress construction project, there are a lot of decisions to be made by the site manager – decisions that involve many people at varying responsibility levels. Great project managers in any industry know how to stay calm amidst the constant flow of information, nimbly combining the information received with their expertise to correctly allocate both hard and soft re-
sources. Although these are the top three traits I’ve noticed in the construction industry, they are by no means the end-all-be-all of excellent project management staples. Whether you’re on a construction site or in a boardroom, successfully managing a project will ultimately come down to knowing the ins and outs of company communication, as well as keeping up on internal and external relationships. Because, knowing who you’re doing business with is often at the root of effective project management. When you concentrate on maintaining and growing your professional relationships, that’s when the real project results are reached. Todd Wendt is a Project Manager and Estimator for James J. Calmes & Sons, Inc. He has 29 years of industry experience, working on a wide range of commercial construction projects across the U.S. He can be reached at Todd@JamesJCalmesConstruction.com or (920) 766-7940.
AUGUST CONCERTS www.waterfest.org
The BoDeans Patrick Sweany Band Gregg Waters and The Broad Street Boogie
Big Head Todd and The Monsters Susan Cowsill Band ❘ The Dead Horses
Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone Road Trip ❘ The School of Rock
The Tubes starring Fee Waybill Cherrie Pie ❘ 6 Figures
2 for 1 Admission before 6PM
2 for 1 Admission before 6PM
The Doobie Brothers Copper Box ❘ Mighty Short Bus
Gates Open early 5PM Special Wednesday Waterfest Finale For more information log onto www.waterfest.org or call 920-303-2265 ex 22.
email@example.com ❘ 920.303.2265 ext. 22 40 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
How much monthly income is in your nest egg? by Independence Financial, LLC Only 13 percent of Americans are confident they will have enough savings to carry them through their nonworking years, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) 2011. Many of those that are not confident about their retirement have not had the opportunity to learn about what to expect in retirement and how they can best prepare for it. Many years ago when pension plans were common place, retirees knew exactly what monthly income they could depend on in retirement. As traditional pensions have become too costly for most employers to provide, Baby Boomers have focused their attention to the account balance in their 401(k) plan. The account balance is not nearly as helpful to understand as a specific monthly income from a pension. Boomers tend to have a magic account balance mind that they want to achieve before they retire. “Once I hit “X” dollars in my 401(k) I will have enough to retire. Unfortunately, this number is usually just
an arbitrary number picked out of thin air. J.P. Morgan released a 2011 study where they surveyed 1,000 401(k) participants nationwide. Two thirds of respondents admitted that they don’t even know how much they should be saving for retirement. Nearly half of respondents are scared that they will outlive their retirement savings. They do not know how to convert that lump sum into a pension style income they can rely on throughout retirement without the fear of running out of money. The businesses we work with have boosted their employee’s confidence about retirement by having us conduct Worksite Workshops on various topics. Baby Boomers within a half dozen years of retirement have found it especially helpful to attend a program tailored to address concerns of those nearing retirement. They get an overview of Social Security and how to help maximize Social Security benefits for their situation. We also teach them how to use their 401(k) to create retirement income that will last a lifetime. According to recent
920.236.6587 research from J.P. Morgan, the majority of Americans say they want and need income replacement projections but most have neither access to that data nor an understanding of how to translate their 401(k) savings into a stream of retirement income. If you are an employer who wants to make use of Worksite Workshops to address the retirement concerns of your employees, or if you are within a half dozen years of retirement and you are interested in help optimizing your retirement portfolio and creating lifelong retirement income, give the experts at Independence Financial a call. Mike is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner and an owner of Independence Financial, LLC, an Oshkosh firm for 79 years. (920) 236-6587 or Michael@IndependenceFinancialLLC.com. Registered Representative of, and Securities and Investment Advisory services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., (HTK), Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC, 1030 W. Higgins Rd. Suite 212 Park Ridge, IL 60068 Phone (800) 607-3300. Independence Financial, LLC is independent of HTK. A1JC-0718-01
What’s Your Mobile Strategy? by Skyline Technologies Inc.
Having a mobile strategy for your business goes beyond simply having an app for that. While native apps for smart phones are all the rage there may be an alternative, even more cost effective, way to deliver your mobile strategy. Think back to the late 90s when it became almost mandatory for every business to maintain a Web presence. Now fast forward to today and we are quickly reaching a similar mandate - just add “mobile” to your Web presence. It is being predicted that in the next three years more people will access the Internet from their mobile phones than from their desktop computer. As a result up to 50 percent of those users may never return to a Web site if it offers a poor mobile experience. So what does this really mean for your business? If you currently maintain a Web presence now is the time to start “mobilizing” it. With recent technological updates to the languages of the Web (HTML, Ja-
vaScript and CSS) you’re probably already using the right tools to make this happen. Your most important decision is what to mobilize first. Every business should at least offer a mobile friendly version of their homepage with supporting about and contact information. This, at the very least, will allow your mobile consumers to know who you are, what your business is and who to contact for more information. If your current Web site is used for commerce you need to strongly consider making this a top priority as shoppers will continue to choose technology driven solutions over their human based counterparts. For businesses that mainly leverage intranet or B2B style Web applications, don’t forget about them. The tablet market is exploding right now, which leaves more opportunities to use mobile internally and across business relationships. Sales staff could use a mobilized version of a Web application to complete orders
920.437.1360 remotely, access product specifications or demonstrations. Executives may want a reporting dashboard accessible from their smart phones for keeping track of daily financials. Explore your creative ingenuity as you apply mobile to the enterprise. Bottom line is the time to start creating your mobile Web presence is now. The mobile Web site is quickly becoming the new Web site. Will your business be prepared? Brian Mahloch is a Senior Software Engineer at Skyline Technologies, Inc. He is a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer with expertise in software and mobile development. Brian earned his degree from UW-Stevens Point and has been with Skyline for seven years. “Professionally Speaking” is a promotional spot for business professionals to share their expertise with New North B2B readers. NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 41
WHO’S NEWS Incorporations New North B2B includes a monthly list of new business incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Brown County D&Y Janitorial LLC, Doria E. Castillo, 1581 Silverstone Trail #6, De Pere 54115. Design Angels Inc., Gretchen H. Loch, 317 Main Ave., De Pere 54115. Cheeseheads Restaurant LLC, Jay T. DeCleene, 818 Winding Waters Way, De Pere 54115. Snail Sisters Sportswear LLC, Susan Kay Paape-Rolain, 2335 Hopf Lane, De Pere 54115. Seidl Dairy Cattle Sales LLC, Michael L. Seidl, 4982 Langes Corners Road, Denmark 54208. Green Bay Tundra Fast Pitch Softball Association Inc., Juli H. Adams, 704 S. Taylor St., Green Bay 54304. Forever Dance Company LLC, Tiffany Engels, 4079 Reforestation Road, Green Bay 54313. Northern Recruiting LLC, Peter M. Platten IV, 905 N. Taylor St. #17, Green Bay 54303. Odyssey Advertising and Design LLC, Nathan Ray Dantoin, 3010 Roundabout Ct., Green Bay 54313. Children’s Paradise Learning Academy LLC, Nichole Angelic Brown, 316 S. Broadway, Green Bay 54303. Door County Opera Festival Inc., Robin Toohill, 3301 Delahut St., Green Bay 54301. Pay It Forward/Ethiopia Inc., Patrick Joyce, 613 Melrose Ave., Green Bay 54303. Wellness Providers Inc., Susan Frain, 860 Hansen Road, Green Bay 54304. Genesis Video Enterprises Inc., Ntaj Nomtsa Vwj, Sr., 3723 Catalina Dr., Green Bay 54311. Ivy Janitorial LLC, Norma K. Castillo, 1677 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54303. Mo-Yoga LLC, Morgan R. Fisher, 1510 St. Agnes Dr., Green Bay 54304. Beyond Building LLC, James J. DeLeers, 1735 Sal St., Green Bay 54302. Beach Lane Shipping Inc., Wanda Mae Sieber, 1773 Keehan Lane, Green Bay 54311. National Dental Integrators of Green Bay LLC, Brad Kerr, 108 Packerland Dr., 42 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
Ste. C-1, Green Bay 54303. Ricky Lemmen Motorsports LLC, Ricky Lemmen, 3350-F Commodity Lane, Green Bay 54304. Bay Universal Weld & Tube Inc., Arnold W. Schmidt, 2929 Walker Dr., Green Bay 54311. AJ’s Kettlebell Training LLC, Adam Edward Jagodinsky, 842 Ash St., Green Bay 54313. Navarro Cleaning Services LLC, Horacio Navarro, 1331 Bellevue St., Lot 542, Green Bay 54302. Almig USA Corp., Daniel Fritz, 907 N. Military Ave., Green Bay 54303. Northwoods Veterinary Clinic LLC, Corey P. Gallagher, 3061 W. Tanager, Green Bay 54313. Universal Designs Beauty Supply LLC, Kimyatta Ratliff, 1120 Marshall Ave., Green Bay 54303. GT Vehicle Rentals LLC, Todd Allen Nault, 844 Ontario Road, Green Bay 54311. Green Bay Jersey Store Inc., Sheri Tanner, 1931 Holmgren Way, Green Bay 54304. Native Handy Man Services LLC, Travis Lee Huff, 1310 North Road, Green Bay 54313. Tall Pines Therapy Tools and Toys LLC, Cynthia Tiesling, 1499 6th St., Ste. 101, Green Bay 54304. Spotlight Technologies LLC, William R. Challoner, 1789 Maidstone Circle, Green Bay 54313. Grateful Gardens LLC, Kevin F. Patnode, 1594 W. Marhill, Green Bay 54313. Somali Community Center in Green Bay Inc., Hussein Ahmed, 1674 Shawano Ave., #20, Green Bay 54303. J. Machek Trucking Inc., John Michael Machek, 1115 Porlier St., Green Bay 54301. R&J Ginseng LLC, Ryan Steve Ross, 2818 Snowbird Ct., Green Bay 54313. Tigers Den Sports Pub LLC, Timothy Carpenter, 4749 Sol Ct., Hobart 54155. Dorner Equipment Sales and Service LLC, Wesley J. Dorner, 2783 County Road P, New Franken 54229. Oneida Chamber of Commerce Inc., Tana Aguirre, N7210 Seminary Road, Oneida 54155. B Mayflower Farm, LLC, Gregory P. Archambault, 719 Winding Trail, Oneida 54155. Vandehei Construction Corp., Rodney
James Vandehei, N6225 Van Boxtel Road, Oneida 54115. Midwest Scrap Metal LLC, Bruce A. Haws, 3641 Flintlock Road, Suamico 54173. O’Brien Treatment Services LLC, Amanda O’Brien, 413 Patricia Lane, Wrightstown 54180. Joe’s Roll N’ Go Tobacco LLC, Joseph Lambert, 547 Songbird Ave., Wrightstown 54180.
Calumet County Geriatric Mobile Massage LLC, Kathryn E. Rose, W438 Margaret Ct., Sherwood 54169.
Joe Schmidt Carpentry LLC, Joseph Gerald Schmidt, N1755 Sunset Lane, Campbellsport 53010. K & J Sealcoating & Home Repair LLC, James Brooks, 478 W. Scott St., Apt. B210, Fond du Lac 54937. 2nd Time Around Resale Shoppe LLC, Kristy Anne Medina, 27 N. Main St., Fond du Lac 54935. Future Marketing Solutions LLC, Cynthia Gaspar, 92 Forest Ave., # 310, Fond du Lac 54935. Fox Learning Center II Inc., Jodi A. Fox, 443 Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac 54935. Fastrac Racing LLC, Anthony Scott Moyer, N7615 Autumnwood Trail, Malone 53049. Dreher Collision Concepts Inc., Bob Fisher, W8064 W. Clark Road, Oakfield 53065. The Center for Art and Innovation Inc., Frances Hill, W1568 Sandstone Ave., Ripon 54971. Tea Shirt Company LLC, Laurie Kasuboski, 426 E. Fond du Lac St., Ripon 54971.
Oconto County Purely Renewable LLC, Shawn E. Frewerd, 3124 Wiedenheft Lane, Abrams 54101. Buttercream Queens Custom Cakes and Pastries LLC, Sharon Blaser, 7810 County Road D, Abrams 54101. Arndt Masonry & Tile LLC, Sara Louise Arndt, 339 Madeline Lane, Little Suamico 54141.
Outagamie County Senior Living Referrals of The Fox
WHO’S NEWS Cities LLC, Lynn Billings, 2601 N. Nicholas St., Appleton 54914. Michaels Controls Inc., Michael Kryszak, 3716 S. Boyd Ct., Appleton 54915. Platinum Fitness Promotions LLC, Derick Bielmeier, 3309 S. Kernan Ave., Appleton 54915. Door County Gift Baskets Inc., Andrew Wagener, W6260 Communication Ct., Appleton 54914. Peak Performance Training Center Inc., Tracey Jenks, N218 Stoney Brook Road, Appleton 54915. Roger Roth and Son’s Construction LLC, Joe Roth, 419 E. Longview Dr., Appleton 54911. Jens Family Farm LLC, Ross M. Jens, N4159 County Road PP, Appleton 54913. University Lounge LLC, Chris Ebben, 3217 S. White Birch Lane, Appleton 54915. Mallard Motel LLC, Mark Peter Welhouse, 3601 Commerce Ct., Ste. 4, Appleton 54911. Evers Electric LLC, Kyle E. Evers, N3898 Shamrock Circle, Appleton 54913. Thiel’s Yardcare LLC, Leon M. Thiel, 3411 N. Northridge Lane, Appleton 54914. Tara Jane’s Hair Design LLC, Tara J. Schmidt, N3109 Jamie Ct., Appleton 54913. Forever Young Family Yoga LLC, Shannon Lynn Callies, Sr., 114 E. College Ave., Appleton 54911. J&R Marketing LLC, John F. Murphy, 2222 E. Tuscany Way, Appleton 54913. HLR Massage Therapy LLC, Hannah Le Ryan, 2500 E. Enterprise Dr., Appleton 54913. Drake Homes LLC, Scott Dewitt, 463 Albert Way, Appleton 54915. Facials Wherever You Are - A Mobile Spa LLC, Elizabeth Hotchandani, 709 E. Roosevelt, Appleton 54911. Open Education Inc., Jason Altekruse, 1115 W. Fifth St., Appleton 54914. Phocus Music LLC, Curtis Steve Scott, Jr., 2003 S. Driftwood Lane, Appleton 54915. Legal Tax Services Inc., Mai Xiong, 1137 W. Bell Ave., Appleton 54914. Weldco LLC, Bruce Truskowski, 1400 N. Rankin St., Appleton 54911. Murphy Law Firm LLC, Erin Murphy, 2800 E. Enterprise Ave., Ste. 13,
Appleton 54913. Sculpture Valley Inc., Rob Neilson, 316 E. Lawrence St., Appleton 54911. Healthy Solutions Chiropractic LLC, Eric C. Read, 2123 W. Jonathon Dr., Appleton 54914. Hog Pen Cycle Parts & Powder Coating LLC, Robert Fulcer, 1822 E. Randall Ave., Appleton 54911. Little Sparrow Photography LLC, Vincent F. Salvia, 4021 E. Benvalley Dr., Appleton 54913. J & E Cleaning and Maintenance Services LLC, Evan J. Kelly, 611 N. Lynndale Dr., Ste. E, Appleton 54914. Able’s Cleaning Service LLC, Gloria Silva, 1319 W. Summer St., Appleton 54914. Donaho Carpentry & Construction LLC, Joshua Donaho, 407 S. Washington St., Combined Locks 54113. Kari Deimer Answer to Cancer Corp., Renee C. Deimer, W6601 Cedar Lane, Greenville 54942. Wisconsin E-School Network, Inc., Constance Radtke, N1586 Greenwood Road, Greenville 54942. Serious Burger Inc., Marc C. Waltzer, N1755 Medina Dr., Greenville 54942. ELA Therapeutic Massage, LLC, Amy Joneson, W6712 Windward Dr., Greenville 54942. Black Coffee Designs LLC, Amanda Lynn Granato, W6185 Rawley Point Dr., Greenville 54942. Act Wealth Management LLC, Andrew Christopher Tengblad, 377 W. Nye St., Hortonville 54944. Frontier Builders & Consultants Inc., Jeffrey J. Stodola, 2204 Crooks Ave., Ste. 8, Kaukauna 54130. VH&V Trucking LLC, Jesse Vosters, W1970 Industrial Dr., Kaukauna 54130. Great Lakes Beverages LLC, Richard Knutson, 3101 Progress Way, Kaukauna 54130. Zingin’ Dealz LLC, Philip R. Golding, 1500 Stephen St., Ste. E, Little Chute 54140. MLS Futures Group LLC, Keith Gonnering, 715 Depot St., Little Chute 54140.
Up to 5 Years!
Winnebago County Indian Summer Farm LLC, Cheryl Kibler, 5098 Oakridge Road, Larsen 54947. Rent Monthly Websites LLC, Brian
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 43
WHO’S NEWS Strasburg, 8608 Hickory Ave., Larsen 54947. Great Products 4 Low Prices LLC, Laura J. Ziegler, 905 E. Airport Road, Menasha 54952. I Get Around Remodeling LLC, Patrick Terry Fitch, Sr., 432 2nd St., Menasha 54952. N.E.W. Mental Health Connection Inc., Peter C. Kelly, 1455 Midway Road, Menasha 54952. Island Wax LLC, Anne Marie Knapp, 515 Broad St., Unit 101, Menasha 54952. Jay Stulo Technology Services LLC, Jason A. Stulo, 1481 Racine Road, Menasha 54952. Himalaya Petroleum LLC, Buddi S. Subedi, 3045 Winnipeg St., Menasha 54952. Noumena Research LLC, Jeffrey Mark LaFortune, 1081 N. Lake St., Neenah 54956. Esther Inc., Gwendolyn Gibson, 140 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah 54956. Innovative Product Ideas LLC, Tim Houselog, 1500 Meadowbreeze Circle, Neenah 54956. Charlie’s Pizza Co. LLC, Charleen M. Davis, 1525 W. American Dr., Neenah 54956. Wilzville Farms LLC, Jeffrey Bertelsen, 5716 Springbrook Road, Omro 54963. Gloria and The Handyman LLC, Edwin F. Davis, 5430 Reighmoor Road, Omro 54963. Elite Nutrition Appleton LLC, Cathleen M. Schellinger, 3151 Senn Road, Omro 54963. Straight Forward Consultants Inc., Larry D. Kamholz, 331
Mason St., Oshkosh 54902. Blue Dawg Trucking LLC, Karl J. Baker, 3486 Sand Pit Road, Oshkosh 54904. GIS Earth Mapping Solutions LLC, Jennifer Tovar, 842 Hennessy St., Oshkosh 54904. C3 Detective Agency LLC, Christopher C. Catania, Sr., 1760 Alexandra Court, Oshkosh 54902. J.E. Roofing LLC, James H. Ewing, 1215 Walnut St., Oshkosh 54901. Aeries Salon LLC, Erik Gialdella, 1021 Eastman St., Oshkosh 54901. Strategic HR Partners LLC, Elizabeth Ruth Heuer, 1610 Maricopa Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Davis Mail Services Inc., Phillip Steinbeck, 1648 Thorton Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Wheel Systems International Inc., Martin A. Medley, 1314 Oak St., Oshkosh 54901. Xpressive Apparel LLC, Patti Stang, 6741 Mountain Road, Pickett 54964.
Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Menard’s, 1313 Lawrence Dr., De Pere. $10.4 million for a 213,000-sq. ft. home improvement retailer complex that will include 162,340-sq. ft. of retail store and warehouse space as well as a nearly 50,000-sq. ft. covered lumberyard. General
Oshkosh’s Commercial Real Estate LEadER Specializing in Commercial Real Estate since 1967
O f f i c e ❘ i n d u s t r i a l ❘ r e ta i l ❘ i n v e s t m e n t
Dennis Schwab 920.233.4184 firstname.lastname@example.org 44 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
Grant Schwab 920.203.1917 email@example.com
Dick Casey 920.216.0115 firstname.lastname@example.org www.newnorthb2b.com
WHO’S NEWS contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. June 3. Green Bay Area Public Schools, 615 Ethel Ave., Green Bay. $844,000 for a remodel of Elmore Elementary School. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. June 6. A to Z Machine Co., 2701 E. Winslow Ave., Appleton. $1,000,000 for a 38,855-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. June 30. Donald & Donna Zunker, 1555 Dousman St., Green Bay. $1,500,000 for a 9,200-sq. ft. addition to the existing facility. Contractor listed as Community Living Solutions. June 30. Kwik Trip, 871 Hansen Road, Ashwaubenon. $2,000,000 for a new convenience store, fuel station and car wash facility. Contractor listed as self. June 30. Gustman Subaru, 310 S. Lynndale Dr., town of Grand Chute. $506,000 for a 2,793-sq. ft. addition and alteration of the existing car dealership. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. July 11. Appleton Art Center, 100 W. Lawrence St., Appleton. $520,000 for an interior remodel of the offices for the art center. General contractor is Hoffman LLC of Appleton. July 19.
New businesses A Touch of Class Pet Resort opened at 2275 Omro Road in Oshkosh as a full-line pet store, boarding and dog daycare. The new business is owned by B.J. Wittenberg, former owner of The Dog House in Oshkosh, and Amy Chellow-Huberty, owner of A Touch of Class Pet Spa. The pet resort will also offer several levels of obedience training classes for dogs. Green Bay Floor Restore opened in Green Bay by Jamie Strohmeyer, providing advanced services to clean and restore tile and grout at residences and businesses across northeast Wisconsin. For information, go online to www.gbfloorrestore. com, call 920.664.1288 or email email@example.com.
New locations SRC Technologies plans to move from the Business Assistance Center in Green Bay to new offices at 3148 Mid Valley Dr. in the town of Lawrence in September. Ledgeview Partners, LLC moved into a 10,000-sq. ft. office space at 14 Tri Park Way, Building 1 in Appleton.
Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of New North B2B. Tri-County Community Dental Clinic received a Corporate Friend of Education Award from the Oshkosh Area School District for its efforts to provide no-cost dental health screening and care services to 570 underprivileged children enrolled in the school district.
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and Cale Pulczinski as a field engineer. Hintz prepares and processes subcontracts, purchase orders, change orders and evaluates contracts and insurance requirements. In addition, she assists in legal matters including collecting necessary documentation, tracking dispute resolution activity and researching legal questions. Pulczinski oversees project documentation and information and subcontractor work. He has nine years experience in construction.
Graphic Composition, Inc. of Greenville received ten Graphics Excellence Awards from Printing Industries of Wisconsin, including a Best of Category honor for its Tranquility Spa Services menu and two Best of Division awards for its Seura “Defining Image” brochure and for a Graphic Composition self-promotion campaign. The firm also received recognition of its work for American Orthodontics, Oneida Bingo & Casino, Johnsonville and Grande Cheese.
Principal Financial Group in Appleton hired Lisa Dunbar as a senior client service manager. Dunbar has 11 years of employee stock ownership plan administration experience, having previously worked for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates in Virginia.
Joe Williamson was hired as director of sales for Best Western Bridgewood Resort & Conference Center in Neenah and the CopperLeaf Boutique Hotel & Spa in Appleton. Williamson has 33 years of hotel sales experience, and previously worked for Montclair Hotels and Bergstrom Hotels in the Fox Valley.
Alta Resources in Neenah hired Kris Schwartzbauer as its director of business development. Schwartzbauer has 15 years of business development experience, most recently with CCI/CoakleyTech in Hartland. He also has held account executive positions at Teuteberg, Inc. and J. J. Keller & Associates.
Sara Hyde was hired by Malcore Funeral Homes & Crematory in Green Bay as director of family services. Hyde is a licensed life insurance agent and has experience in the cemetery industry.
The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Business hired Kathleen Hagens as its MBA program director. Hagens has worked as a marketing executive and manager for American Medical Security, Inc. in Howard, Banta Corp. in Menasha, ICG Commerce, and most recently, Analysts International Corp. She is responsible for all operational aspects of the MBA program.
Skyline Technologies, Inc. in Appleton hired RaeAnn Blom as an office assistant; Erik Dempsey as a senior SharePoint systems engineer; Ian FitzGerald as a software engineer; and Tim Stevenson as a software engineer. Dempsey has 12 years of IT and SharePoint experience, most recently serving as a systems administrator at PAI. FitzGerald previously worked for Humana as an applications engineer and consultant. Stevenson has experience developing software and serving as a consultant, most recently having worked at Omni Resources as an IT consultant.
Fox Valley CPAs in Appleton hired Jennifer Wolf, CPA as a staff accountant. Wolf provides services including payroll processing and cost accounting for businesses. She worked for the past five years with Stafford Rosenbaum LLP as a litigation paralegal. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin hired Jennifer Krebs as a vocational coordinator for its Vocational Support Services program in Menasha and Wendy Chevalier as an area team leader at the Grand Chute retail store. Krebs was previously a job developer with Todd Stevens and Associates, Inc. of Oshkosh, and Chevalier worked as a sales manager with Dick’s Sporting Goods in Appleton.
On Broadway, Inc. in Green Bay hired Jeff Tilkens as events coordinator and Heather Goodwin as marketing and communications coordinator. Tilkens has event planning and management experience with Montage, Bayfest Live and Celebrate DePere. Goodwin has held various positions in hospitality and retail in the Door County area. Immel Construction in Green Bay hired Lauren Hintz as a contract administrator and legal assistant, Hannah Smits as an administrative assistant,
46 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
Water-Right, Inc. in Appleton hired Emily
WHO’S NEWS Mattson as a marketing assistant. Mattson has nine years experience in marketing communications, graphic design and pre-press production. WOW Logistics in Appleton hired Howard Kamerer as its president and CEO. Kamerer has nearly 20 years experience in several areas of executive management and leadership, most recently serving as CEO of Kamerer Consulting in the greater Chicago area. He also had been president and CEO of Startec Global Communications, president of Allied Telesys, and CEO and founder of RedEye Networks. Grant Thornton LLP added Jeff French as an audit partner in its Appleton office. French has 23 years experience working with firms in the manufacturing, distribution, service and technology industries. Master Fleet, LLC of Green Bay hired Tom Anderson as its vice president of finance and operations. Anderson has 26 years experience in the transportation and logistics industry, most recently as senior vice president of operations and finance at Genco Inc. in Green Bay for the past eight years. 44º North Advertising & Design in Oshkosh hired Andrea Mueller as an account representative. Most recently Mueller worked as a sales representative for Mountain Dog Media in Fond du Lac. BrownBoots Interactive in Fond du Lac hired Stephen James as a graphic designer and re-hired R. Scott Blamey as its director of development. James previously worked for a T-shirt design/ manufacturing company in Seattle. Blamey first joined BrownBoots as a developer in 2004, and left the firm to pursue an MBA degree out of state. Upon graduation, he returned to the agency in this new role to help broaden its services to include mobile Web sites, applications development and mass-market projects. MBM in Appleton hired Chris Klein as a government sales representative in the Fox Cities area and Aaron Gurney as a sales representative covering parts of Brown and Outagamie counties. Gurney has been in the print management industry for several years.
The law firm of Steinhilber, Swanson, Mares, Marone & McDermott in Oshkosh hired Rebecca Westphal as its business manager and Heather Saladin as an attorney’s assistant. Westphal is responsible for accounting and finances, human resources, marketing and facilities management. She previously worked for Fox Cities Construction in Oshkosh and Clifton Gunderson LLP. Saladin has seven years experience in the legal field, most recently with Sorenson Law Office in Ripon.
Promotions Citizens Bank promoted Bruce Karnitz to branch manager of its Oshkosh office. He previously served as the branch manager for its Kiel location. Karnitz has three years experience in the banking industry. Alta Resources in Neenah promoted Dave Richter to vice president of the sales business unit and promoted Paul Makurat to managing director of Wisconsin Care Teams for the customer care business unit. Richter has been with Alta more than 10 years, and most recently was managing director for the customer care business unit. Richter is responsible for integrating all of Alta’s business solutions: sales, customer care, eBusiness and fulfillment. Makurat has 14 years experience at Alta and has been crucial in driving the company’s strategic mandates. Menasha Packaging promoted Jonathan A. McKellips to general manager of its Neenah complex, which includes corrugated manufacturing facilities in Neenah, Green Lake and Hartford. McKellips joined Menasha Packaging in 2005 as an account manager and was promoted to sales manager for the Neenah plant in 2007. J. F. Ahern Co. in Fond du Lac promoted Rick Hext to executive vice president of the company’s Madison region and promoted Dave Leisses to Northwest regional manager for its Menomonie office. Hext joined the company in 1991 and has more than 30 years of industry experience. Leisses joined the Company in 1998. The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha promoted the following faculty members: Hilary Engelhart to associate professor of world languages with tenure; Rachel Knighten to associate
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 47
WHO’S NEWS professor of world languages with tenure; Evan Kreider to associate professor of philosophy with tenure; Ahilan Savisamy to senior lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, Engineering, Physics and Astronomy; Andrea Butler to senior lecturer in the Department of Business and Economics; and Will Curl to senior lecturer in the Department of English. Principal Financial Group in Appleton promoted the following staff members: Kevin Rettler to senior client service manager II; Renee Stadtmueller to manager of client services; Melissa Pezzuto and Pam Themar, both to assistant managers; Ryan Kuchta and Amy Kozloski, both to assistant managers serving employee stock ownership plan clients; Sandy Welhouse to client service manager serving employee stock ownership plan clients; Tracy Hencley to client transition manager serving employee stock ownership plan clients; and Stacy Huettl to senior client service associate serving employee stock ownership plan clients. Michels Power, a division of Brownsville-based Michels Corp., promoted Mark Harasha to general manager and Troy Schneider to senior line manager. Harasha joined Michels in 2004 after working 17 years with Alliant Energy in roles such as chief line technician and construction manager. Schneider also worked for Alliant Energy before joining Michels as a project manager in 2009.
Individual awards Rebecca Deschane, youth development manager of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and program director of the Partners in Education Drug Alliance, received the American Athletic Institute’s 2011 Prevention Specialist of the Year Award. Deschane was recognized for her efforts co-chairing and facilitating the Wisconsin “Life of An Athlete” State Training program at Lambeau Field in April. Mike Merbach, an electrical education instructor at Fox Valley Technical College, received an Education Award for 2011 from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. Women in Management Inc. - Oshkosh Chapter presented its annual Mentor Award to Wendy Hielsberg, executive director of the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau. Hielsberg began with the Oshkosh CVB in 1999 and has been instrumental in the renovation and upgrade of the Oshkosh Convention Center and the completion of the Oshkosh Sports Complex. She is currently president of the Wisconsin Association of Convention & Visitors Bureaus.
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Business calendar For more events, log on to www.thenewnorthevents.com. August 3 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at FDL Blueline Family Ice Center, 550 Fond du Lac Ave. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, go online to www.fdlac.com or call 920.921.9500. August 5 “Meet Your Legislators,” a monthly local government event from the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Little Chute Village Hall Community Room, 108 W. Main St. in Little Chute. Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere), Sen. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay), Rep. Al Ott (R-Forest Junction), Rep. Jim Steineke (R-Kaukauna), Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton) and Rep. Michelle Litjens (R-Oshkosh) have been invited to discuss state regulatory issues and challenges Wisconsin businesses face. There’s no cost to attend, but registration is appreciated by calling the chamber at 920.766.1616 or going online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com. August 8 Luncheon event with Eighth District Congressman Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) presented jointly by Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce and Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Liberty Hall Conference Center, 800 Eisenhower Dr. in Kimberly. The event will include a panel discussion with area business leaders, as well as invited guest
Better Business Bureau New Members
Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during June 2011 1 Design Source, Sturgeon Bay Aither Electric LLC, Campbellsport Aluma-Guard Seamless Gutters, Waupaca Armor Insurance Services LLC, Appleton Bill Badtke Contracting LLC, Neenah Clean Image Janitorial LLC, Little Chute Excellence Electric Inc., Little Chute Fox Valley Air, Oshkosh Law Office of Timothy P. Dewane LLC, Green Bay Maple Valley Mutual Insurance Company, Lena Mischler & Sons LLC, Appleton Mow Blow & Go Lawn Care Services LLC, Hortonville Northern Comfort Industries Inc., Kaukauna Northstar Contracting, Little Chute Quality Furniture 4 Less, Neenah Rabas Garage Inc., Maribel Salm Plumbing Inc., Appleton Schreiber Electric LLC, Combined Locks Spiegl Construction, Appleton Wisconsin College Planning LLC, De Pere Wisconsin Special Properties LLC, Princeton
BUSINESS CALENDAR Andrew Card, who served as U.S. Secretary of Transportation under President George H. W. Bush and as the White House Chief of Staff under President George W. Bush. Cost to attend is $25. Register by calling the chamber at 920.766.1616 or going online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com or www. foxcitieschamber.com. August 9 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2265. August 11 Women in Management – Oshkosh Chapter monthly meeting, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at LaSure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. Program is “Gender and Generations: How Expectations Differ in the Workplace.” For more information or to register, go online to www.wimiwi.org or contact Nicole at firstname.lastname@example.org or 920.267.0300. August 16 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Keller Inc. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, go online to www.fdlac.com or call 920.921.9500. August 18 “Hot Topic: Inclusion in the Workplace,” an event presented by Young Professionals of Fond du Lac, 12 noon to 1 p.m. at Aurora Health Care, 210 Wisconsin American Dr. in Fond du
Lac. Presenter Paula Stettbacher will discuss behaviors that foster inclusion in the workplace. Cost to attend is $5 for YPF members or $10 for nonmembers and includes lunch. For more information or to register, go online to www.fdlac.com or call 920.921.9500. September 13 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2265. September 13-14 21st Annual Worksite Wellness Conference, presented by the Wellness Council of America-Wisconsin, at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. Pre-Conference Summit on Sept. 13 followed by the conference on Sept. 14. For more information, call 414.291.9355 or go online to www.wellnesscouncilwi.org.
Coming to B2B in September Commercial/Industrial Real Estate The bubble seems to have burst in the northeast Wisconsin commercial real estate market. Who will pay the price, and does anyone stand to benefit?
Advertiser’s Index Accupro Business Solutions, Inc. www.accuprobusiness.com. ............ 45
James J. Calmes & Sons, Inc. www.jamesjcalmesconstruction.com....... 40
Anthem www.anthem.com............................................................ 34
Keller Inc. www.kellerbuilds.com ................................................... 21
Bank First National www.bankfirstnational.com.................................. 14
Milwaukee School of Engineering www.msoe.edu.......................... 32
Breakthrough Solutions LLC www.breakthroughsolutionsllc.net.............. 39
Moraine Park Technical College www.morainepark.edu..................... 23
Capital Credit Union www.capitalcu.com........................................ 43
Network Health Plan www.networkhealth.com . ................................ 51
CitizensFirst Credit Union www.citizensfirst.com . ............................ 50
NEW Building & Construction Trades Council www.newbt.org............ 9
Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. www.dkattorneys.com..................................... 5
Oshkosh Live at Lunch www.oshkoshchamber.com....................................... 39
Dental Associates www.careplusdentalplans.com................................. 7
Outagamie County Regional Airport www.atwairport.com. ........... 11-15
Dermatology Associates www.dermwisconsin.com.............................. 2
Sadoff & Rudoy Industries www.sadoff.com................................... 10
Digiprint www.digiprint.biz.............................................................. 8
Skyline Technolgies, Inc. www.skylinetechnologies.com. ..................... 41
Epiphany Law www.epiphanylaw.com. ............................................ 52
Stellar Blue Web Design www.stellarblue.net................................... 22
Fast Signs www.fastsigns.com....................................................... 19
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. www.stifel.com . ......................................... 19
First Business Bank www.firstbusiness.com. .................................... 12
TEC www.tecmidwest.com. ............................................................ 33
First National Bank ~ Fox Valley www.fnbfoxvalley.com. ................... 32
UWO College of Business www.mba.uwosh.edu.............................. 20
First Weber Group/Schwab Realty www.firstweber.com..................... 44
Venture Center www.venturecenterwi.biz.......................................... 16
Guident Business Solutions www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com............ 31
Waterfest www.waterfest.org......................................................... 40
Independence Financial LLC www.independencefinancialllc.com. .......... 41
Winnebago County Solid Waste Management
J. F. Ahern Co. www.jfahern.com. ................................................. 45
NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011 l 49
KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
$3.65 July 17 $3.63 July 10 $3.62 July 3 $3.54 July 24, 2010 $2.68 July 24
Source: New North B2B observations
from June 2010 June
from June 2010
from June 2010 (2007 = 100)
from June 2010 (Manufacturers and trade)
1.0% from April
Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin
May April May â€˜10
9.0% 8.7% 8.4% 8.0% 10.1% 10.0% 9.1% 8.8% 7.4% 7.3% 7.4% 7.4%
10.2% 9.4% 11.2% 9.6% 8.0% 8.2%
Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm.
$0.766 June $0.773 July 2010 $0.836 July
Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)
from May 2010
If there are indicators youâ€™d like to see in this space, contact our office at 920.237.0254 or email email@example.com.
50 l NEW NORTH B2B l AUGUST 2011
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