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No longer business as usual Companies across the New North have learned from the Great Recession and developed strategies to move forward
Getting well in ‘Well Cities’ Health Care
Kickin’ it into Gear Small Business Profile
Mission Possible Pierce Stronglove
November 2010 $3.95
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Lessons of the Great Recession As we work ourselves out of the economic calamities from late 2008 into the earlier part of 2010, there are lessons to be learned by reflecting on the excesses and inefficiencies that led to the recession of 2009. We share how some local companies changes strategies to avoid similar mistakes down the road.
It’s getting easier being green Next Month
As more meeting planners request green meeting venues and items, the increased demand has not gone unnoticed in the region.
Pioneers of 2010 In a year where history will recall our economy crawling back from recession, there were several earthmoving leaders of business and groundbreaking initiatives that blazed new pathways to future prosperity. In December, we’ll highlight those people and their efforts that shifted paradigms and operated outside the box of conventional wisdom.
Kicking it in Gear
Fond du Lac footwear retailer has been rising up the Inc. 5,000 list the past two years. Inside, the three brothers’ unique approach to success.
Small Business Profile
Departments On our cover
B2B cover illustration by Kate Erbach of New North B2B.
From the Publisher ...................................4 Professionally Speaking .......................5, 40 Since We Last Met . ..................................6 Build Up Pages .......................................12 Around the Boardroom ...........................18 Pierce Stronglove . ..................................19 Health Care.............................................30 Guest Advice...........................................34 Who’s News ...........................................42 Business Calendar ..................................47 Advertiser Index .....................................48 Managing Editor’s View ..........................49 Key Statistics .........................................50
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 3
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Yet another business publication
B2B offers a storied tradition of valuable support for small business in the region
Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher
After celebrating the plateau of our 100th issue last month with the October 2010 edition of New North B2B, it’s with tremendous pride that we announce the expansion of our nearly 9-year-old regional business publication into the Green Bay area. Our long-time readers in the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas have come to know B2B as a definitive voice for small businesses in the region, providing insightful information and best practices to help business owners and management better execute nearly every aspect of their dayto-day operations. With our growth into the Green Bay area, we have no plans to abandon the intimate content and coverage of which you’ve become accustomed. That’s evidenced in this thicker edition of B2B offering as many pages as we’ve ever published. For Green Bay area business professionals, B2B will provide you with a different perspective on the growing regional business environment than you’ve experienced to date. We’ve started out by providing a no-cost subscription to each member of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. We recognize that you’ve already been reading a variety of quality business publications tailored to your community for the past few years. But B2B is different. So before you sigh and murmur “yet, another business publication,” I’d like to ask you to take the time to allow us to show you why. First off, the content in B2B is carefully structured and edited as a resource for small business owners and executives across the region. We’re not targeting vice presidents and CEOs in northeast Wisconsin’s largest, publicly traded employers, though we do count many of those individuals among our regular readers. Every edition of B2B is chock full of valuable information to help you take your business to new heights of efficiency, revenue and profitability. Our popular Build Up pages, found in this issue on pages 12 to 17, identify commercial and industrial expansion projects currently under construction throughout our coverage area. Our Incorporation listings, found on pages 42 to 44, identify new business organizations filed each month through the State of Wisconsin. Readers have used both of these departments to target new business opportunities. Our Since We Last Met department – a
4 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
staple of all 101 editions of the magazine – offers readers a digest of business developments occurring throughout the region since the last issue of B2B. In about 10 minutes, you can catch up on the leading business and government news highlights in Brown, Fond du Lac, Outagamie and Winnebago counties during the past month. The monthly Pierce Stronglove column appearing in our Around the Boardroom department takes a fun, yet enlightening approach to improving your firm’s marketing efforts. In addition, our four or five feature length articles in every issue illustrate examples of success, pride and humble lessons learned from the trials of our neighbors in the New North business community. And our editorinvited Guest Commentary columns provide professional perspectives on crucial issues in the business community to which you might not otherwise be exposed. We know that growing stack of business publications on your office bookshelf occasionally goes straight to the recycling bin before you get a chance to harvest the useful information in its pages. But we promise not to waste your valuable time. If you read B2B from cover to cover every month, I guarantee you’ll find at least one compelling morsel of information in each edition. That’s what we strive for – to compel our readers. I’m not asking for your money, but I am asking for your time to read through B2B each month. Pass the magazine around the office. If you read a tidbit you find interesting or valuable, share it with your friends and colleagues in other industries. Or email that colleague a link to our online page-flip version of B2B magazine at www.newnorthb2b.com. And if you’re hungry for updates on the region’s business community more often than just once a month, please subscribe to our blog at newnorthb2b.wordpress.com, where myself and B2B Managing Editor Bob Warde provide daily updates on important business developments and upcoming events in the New North region. There’s no cost, but the value is priceless. Lastly, let us know if we’re doing something right in B2B, or if there’s changes we could make that you believe would improve upon B2B’s promise to its readers. It’s the most direct way to make this the publication serving YOUR business community. www.newnorthb2b.com
Adopting a Policy for Social Media Use
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: Should we be adopting a social media/networking policy and, if so, what should we incorporate into the policy? Tony Renning: Companies increasingly are using Twitter, FaceBook, MySpace, YouTube and other social media/networking sites to promote their products and services, find employees, disclose information, receive customer feedback and respond to negative publicity. If your company is using social media, then it should adopt a social media policy that is clearly and regularly communicated to employees and regularly updated to keep abreast of new developments, opportunities and evolving legal guidelines. Your social media/networking policy should, at a minimum, address the following: n A clear statement that misuse of social media sites, whether on or off duty, may be grounds for discipline, up to and including discharge. n The policy should state that employ-
Publisher & President
Cheryl Hentz John R. Ingrisano
Chief Financial Officer
Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA
ees have no expectation of privacy in any statements made over the employer’s electronic-communication system, including laptops, employer-provided cell phones, PDAs or remote-access computer networks. n A prohibition on disclosure of the employer’s confidential, trade secret or proprietary information. n Limitations on posting or blogging during business hours without prior written approval. n A prohibition against using company email addresses to register for social media sites. n An affirmative acceptance of the policy’s terms. Once you have adopted a social media policy, it is important to train employees so that they understand the policy. You should also implement a monitoring program to ensure that your social media policy is being complied with and ensure your company is not violating any laws or the terms
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 2010.
Contact us: P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903-0559 • 920.237.0254 www.newnorthb2b.com
and conditions of any social media site. For counsel as to the lurking legal issues associated with social media/networking as well as the development of a social media policy, 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 NOVEMBER 2010 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.
September 21 Oshkosh Corp. chairman and CEO Robert G. Bohn announced he will retire effective Dec. 31. Bohn joined Oshkosh Truck Corp. in 1992 and became president and CEO in 1997. During his tenure, the company completed more than 15 acquisitions and grew its annual revenue from about $750 million in the mid-1990s to more than $5.3 billion in fiscal 2009. Bohn will be replaced by current COO Charles L. Szews, who will beBohn come president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2011. September 23 Local community banks in Wisconsin have been allocated up to $21 million in federal funds through the State Small Busi-
2003 November 12 – Wisconsin enacted a law making its Technology Zone Tax Credit Program accessible to limited liability companies. The law will allow technology companies in the start-up phase to compete equally for over $35 million in tax credits.
2006 November 17 – The Forbes magazine list of the country’s largest private companies included U.S. Oil of Combined Locks at No. 266 with $1.43 billion in revenue and Appleton Inc. at No. 378 with $1.05 billion.
2008 November 6 – The Wisconsin Public Service Commission approved an overlay for new cellular and telephone customers in the 920 area code, who will receive a 274 number starting in late 2011. Existing customers will keep the 920 number. The change means callers will be required to dial 10 digits to make any call.
6 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
ness Credit Lending Initiative to increase lending to small businesses. The initiative allows for the creation of innovative loan guarantee programs or Capital Access Programs that offer loan loss reserves to give small businesses access to more capital in order to generate economic growth and jobs. September 24 The U.S. Small Business Administration awarded $600,000 to the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Network and the Defense Alliance of Minnesota to partner in creating an Advanced Defense Technologies Cluster. The program is part of the Innovative Economies Pilot Initiative, which centers on regional clustering of high-technology enterprises, providing them with educational training opportunities and connecting them with related technology development programs managed by the U.S. Department of Defense. The Defense Alliance of Minnesota, one of three groups concentrating on defense technologies, has decided to initially focus on Wisconsin and the Dakotas and selected WEN to contribute to the effort. During 2009 alone, WEN and its partners helped companies receive over $15 million in federal awards to help accelerate technology transfer. September 24 A report issued by Coldwell Banker realtors on average home prices indicated Fond du Lac and Green Bay are among the most affordable communities in the country for home ownership. The report examined the costs of four-bedroom, two-bath homes in nearly 300 communities nationwide, and found that Fond du Lac was the 11th most affordable with an average price of about $120,000, and Green Bay was 34th at $164,000. Appleton was also in the top 35 percent of communities, ranking 102nd with an average price of $218,000. September 24 Clearwater Paper Corp. said it would buy Cellu Tissue Holdings – a Georgia company with a plant on North Lake Street in Menasha – for about $500 million. The Menasha plant employs about 300 people. The company makes tissue for customers selling and distributing private-label products. A spokesman for Clearwater said no job cuts were planned, and that the deal was expected to be completed by the end of 2010.
September 27 The Kaukauna School District Board of Education approved a measure to sell the former Nicolet Elementary School to developers Pete Lemke and Mike Parina for $99,900. The pair plans to convert the building into an adult education facil-
SINCE WE LAST MET ity. The sale is contingent on the school district repairing the building’s roof and helping the buyers get the boiler system and electrical system operational. The Kaukauna Historical Society will move from the building, though the Cooperative Educational Services Agency offices will remain.
added 200 construction jobs, an increase of 3 percent; Fond du Lac added 100 jobs, an increase of 3 percent; Green Bay added 400 jobs, an increase of 6 percent; the Oshkosh-Neenah area added 200 jobs, an increase of 6 percent.
September 28 Joining a growing number of retailers and manufacturers seeking to lower property taxes on their facilities, KimberlyClark Corp. asked the state Department of Revenue to cut in half the $45.6 million assessed value for two properties it holds in the Town of Menasha. Both its Winnebago County Road II and North Lake Street manufacturing facilities are currently not operational. K-C’s accounting firm, Ernst & Young out of Milwaukee, filed objections on K-C’s behalf earlier in September, claiming the 2010 values exceed the fair market values. If successful, the company could save about $112,000 in property tax assessments.
September 29 A report conducted by AECOM for the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District indicated total direct and indirect impacts of the Green Bay Packers and its Lambeau Field renovation were $282 million and supported 2,560 jobs in 2009. Those impacts included $124.3 million in earnings and $15.2 million in tax revenue. The Packers rebuilt the stadium and its atrium in 2003, adding seven restaurants, the Packers Pro Shop and Hall of Fame. The study also identified the potential for Lambeau to host other events such as concerts to generate additional revenue, though it was noted that such a strategy would likely take away opportunities from other venues in the community.
September 28 Associated General Contractors of America said construction employment expanded in 56 out of 337 metropolitan areas between August 2009 and August 2010. More cities added construction jobs during the past year than at any point since September 2008, according to the report. Wisconsin had nine areas rank in the top 25 of construction employment gains, led by Eau Claire, which added 600 jobs (19 percent) and ranked second among 337 areas nationwide. Appleton
September 30 Village of Hortonville Administrator J. Everett Mitchell retired after serving in the village’s top office since 2002. Mitchell had been considering resigning for several months, and said the past 12 months were a long year. Mitchell was involved in developing the village’s second business park by securing 12 companies, and also presided over completion of a new fire station and creation of a fulltime police department. The village board has not yet decided on how to proceed in filling the position.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 7
SINCE WE LAST MET
Year-end payroll and planning webinar Please join us for a year-end tax planning webinar to discuss a range of payroll and retirement plan topics surrounding the changed regulations for 2011. Date: Thursday, November 11, 2010 Time: 8:30 am - 10:00 am Cost: Complimentary To register visit www.bakertilly.com/payrollwebinar
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October 1 Schneider National Inc., Green Bay, and four other trucking firms announced support of a bill in the U.S. Senate that would force interstate trucking firms to install electronic equipment to record drivers’ hours, replacing currently used log books, which critics say have often been falsified. Schneider said last year it would begin fitting its trucks with the electronic gear, and other major trucking firms have taken similar steps. October 1 Atlas Tag & Label Inc., Neenah, was acquired by Texasbased Ennis, Inc., a manufacturer of printed business products and apparel. The division will continue to operate under the trade name Atlas Tag & Label. The majority of Atlas employees have been offered positions with Ennis, according to an announcement from the company. No changes to the day-to-day operations have been made and Atlas will continue to operate in the same facility. October 1 Bergstrom Automotive acquired Racette Ford of Oshkosh and renamed it Bergstrom Ford of Oshkosh. The Ford dealership will remain at 3355 Jackson Street and offer new and certified used vehicles, service and parts departments, quick lube and a body shop. Bergstrom is the largest auto dealer in Wisconsin and the 48th largest in the U.S. October 5 An enrollment trend report from Fox Valley Technical College indicated about 20 percent of high school students from its five-county service region enroll directly into the school after graduation. The number of 18 year olds enrolling at FVTC has grown 75 percent in the past five years. Overall enrollment has increased 28 percent during that same time. The college said much of the growth stems from an increasing number of credit transfer agreements between technical colleges and universities, making it simpler for students to earn a bachelor’s degree wherever they chose to attend school. October 6 The federal government awarded a $2.4 million contract to build a causeway to Renard Isle in Green Bay to Nuvo Construction Co., Milwaukee, despite receiving competitive bids for the project submitted by two Green Bay-area companies that were each about one-third the cost of Nuvo’s bid. PTS Contractors of Green Bay submitted a bid of $684,046 and Advance Construction of Howard bid $763,602, making the two firms the only bids initially submitted for the project. But the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers required the contractors be located within a Hub Zone – of which there are none in Brown County – and actively sought out the bid from Nuvo to build the 850-foot causeway that will be used to haul material to eventually cover contaminated Fox River sediment.
IT’S ABOUT CONFIDENCE. YOURS.®
8 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
October 7 Innovative Machining Inc., Neenah, received a $2.09 million Industrial Revenue Bond allocation through the state Department of Commerce. IRBs are free of federal tax and the interest www.newnorthb2b.com
SINCE WE LAST MET rate is generally below the going prime rate. Innovative Machining is expanding its existing production facility and plans to create 20 additional jobs. The total project cost is $2.7 million. October 8 The U.S. Department of Labor reported the nationwide job situation remained flat in September, as a small increase in private employment offset the loss of government jobs. The national unemployment rate remained at 9.6 percent, with 14.8 million people unemployed – nearly unchanged from the previous month. Employers shed 95,000 jobs overall in September, with private employers adding 64,000 jobs, but the further elimination of temporary Census jobs and increasing cuts by state and local governments caused the loss of 159,000 government posts. October 8 The U.S. Health and Human Services Department awarded Fox Cities Community Health Care Inc. in Menasha with more than $618,000 and N.E.W. Community Clinic in Green Bay with more than $421,000. Fox Cities Community Health Care received $208,324 to deal with increased demand for services and $410,335 for capital improvements, while N.E.W. Community Clinic was given $127,947 for increased service demand and $294,030 for capital improvements. October 8 City of Oshkosh Manager Mark Rohloff submitted his 2011 budget proposal which increases spending $185,000 to $65.9 million, but would increase the tax levy and tax rate nearly 3 percent to offset other revenue declines. As proposed, the budget would increase the tax levy to $29.6 million, up from $28.8 million a year ago, and would raise the property tax rate from $8.40 to $8.65 per $1,000 of assessed value. Rohloff indicated about $1 million in savings through the city’s self-funded health insurance plan helped close the difference between revenue and expenses. October11 LaserNet, Green Bay, a document processor for the health care industry, was acquired by Minnesota-based Apex, which plans to operate both LaserNet offices in Green Bay and Milwaukee, employing about 35 people. LaserNet provides printing, designing of electronic statements and designing systems for storing electronic documents services. October 11 Appleton-based ThedaCare Inc. and Shawano Medical Center agreed to merge organizations, with ThedaCare committing to building a new hospital in the community. ThedaCare had already committed to spending up to $2.8 million to install its electronic health records system at Shawano Medical Center in 2011. Shawano Medical Center, which is licensed for 25 beds, has operations that employ 400 people, including Shawano Community Hospice and Riverside Clinic. ThedaCare employs 5,400 people in the Fox Valley. October 11 The Green Bay School Board approved a $244.2 million
budget for the 2010-11 school year that will increase the tax levy by 4 percent to $79.5 million, increasing the property tax rate for schools from $9.07 per $1,000 of equalized property value for 2009-10 to $9.70 per $1,000 of equalized land value in 2010-11. The budget represents a 0.8 percent increase in spending from last year’s $242.4 million budget. October 11 The Menasha Joint School District Board of Education approved a preliminary 2010-11 budget of $53 million, a 2.5 percent increase from last year. The expected property tax rate will drop three cents from $9.38 to $9.35 per $1,000 of equalized property value. General fund spending will decrease about 1 percent to slightly more than $40 million. October 13 Outagamie County Executive Toby Paltzer submitted a $209.8 million budget proposal which sets a tax levy of $61.3 million, a nearly 2 percent increase over this past year and the lowest in the last eight years. The proposed budget would set a tax rate of $4.63 for every $1,000 of equalized property value, an increase of 8 cents above the 2009 tax rate. Total
Better Business Bureau - New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during August 2010
Advanced Roofing Specialists, Green Bay Al’s Roofing Service LLC, Green Bay Apex Heating & Air Conditioning LLC, Green Bay Arndt Construction LLC, Suamico Assorted Trim & Door Inc., Green Bay Construction Solutions LLC, Neenah Dempsey Roofing & Siding, Appleton E-Z Digital Solutions LLC, New London Engels Commercial Appliance Inc., Green Bay Graphic Management Specialty Products Inc., Oconto Hunter Security & Surveillance Systems, Greenville Internet Marketing Solutions, Sheboygan KJR Enterprises, Eden Larry’s Roofing & Home Services, Brussels Lewis & Van Sickle LLC, Green Bay Logan Express LLC, Abrams Miller’s Landscaping & Lawn Service LLC, Sheboygan Original Outdoor Creations LLC, New London Paragon Builders LLC, Brillion Provident Financial Consultants LLC, Oshkosh RTFT Construction, Green Bay Schley Buildings LLC, Clintonville Sheboygan County Budget Auto, Plymouth SPS Roofing Systems, Appleton Staged N Style, Brillion Steve Musial Plumbing Inc., Green Bay Thad Brown Construction Inc., Appleton The Sprinkler Co. Inc., De Pere Van De Hey Refined Roofing LLC, De Pere Van Horn Hyundai of Fond Du Lac Inc., Fond du Lac Warner Commercial Roofing LLC, Kimberly Wisconsin Document Imaging, Green Bay
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 9
SINCE WE LAST MET proposed spending is up $4.5 million from the 2010 budget.
12.03.10 Kolf Sports Center,
UW Oshkosh • Keynote address from President and CEO of the Green Bay Packers, Mark Murphy • CEO Panel of Winning New North Companies • Featuring new interactive networking breakout sessions
Register online at www.newnorthsummit.com sponsorship opportunities available — details on website
10 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
October 14 The Outagamie County Regional Airport re-opened the airport’s fixed-base operator after purchasing it from a privately-held company, renaming it the Platinum Flight Center. The fixed-base operator is the primary provider of general and corporate aircraft services such as fuel, hangar storage, air charter and maintenance. Airport staff developed a two-year plan to build a new environmentally friendly Platinum Flight Center building. Express Air Services has partnered with the airport to support the FBO services, and Tailwind Flight Center will operate the flight school. October 19 Five New North companies received a total of $6.85 million in funding from the state energy program to invest in their manufacturing operations and create 83 new jobs in the region. Synchrotek Inc., Ashwaubenon, received a $500,000 loan to manufacture and commercialize a 100-kW generator. The project is expected to create 13 new jobs. Oneida Energy LLC, De Pere, received a $2 million loan for a proposed energy recovery project that will convert landfill, farm and other bio-organic waste to energy. The project will create 22 new jobs. Wisconsin Film & Bag Inc., Shawano, received a $1.8 million loan to create an industrial plastic film-recycling center. The project will create 29 new jobs. C.A. Lawton Co., De Pere, received a $1.3 million loan to purchase equipment to produce large-energy windcastings. The project will create 10 new jobs. Greenwood Fuels WI LLC, Green Bay, received a $1.25 million energy loan to purchase equipment to expand production capacity at its Green Bay operation. The project will create 6 new jobs. October 20 St. Norbert College, De Pere, received a $7 million gift from the Michels family, owners of Michels Corp., Brownsville, to renovate the school’s Sensenbrenner Memorial Union into a state-of-the-art commons and dining facility. Michels Commons will include a ballroom, reception spaces and outdoor patios. The award came on the heels of the college receiving just over $1 million from Michael Ariens, chairman of the board of Ariens Co., Brillion, to create the Ariens Family Welcome Center for prospective students and families. The project will double the size of the existing admission facility with a new reception rotunda, presentation room, gallery and offices. October 20 The Wisconsin Department of Commerce awarded Arla Foods of Kaukauna $275,000 in economic development tax credits and Belmark Inc. of De Pere $263,000 in similar tax credits. Arla Foods is undergoing an $8.9 million, 6,200-sq. ft. expansion project in Kaukauna to expand its specialty cheese production and create 41 jobs. Belmark is undergoing a $9.0 million project to expand its production capacity and install new equipment, in which it expects to hire 55 new employees.
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BUILD UP FOND DU LAC 3
C - Indicates a new listing
Build Up Fond du Lac 1
- 240 W. Arndt St., Fond du Lac, Sadoff & Rudoy Industries, a new industrial facility to house steel shearing operations.
HealthCare Fond du Lac Regional Clinic, a 5,350-sq. ft. health care clinic, as well as separate offices for Mt. Calvary Dental.
4 - 541 Martin Road, Fond du Lac, C
Fond du Lac County, an addition and renovation to the existing exposition building at the fairgrounds.
2 - 90 W. Second St., Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Family YMCA and Boys & Girls Club of FdL, a 115,000-sq. ft. expansion of the existing YMCA facility. Project completion expected in December.
5 - 1739 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac, City of Fond du Lac,
- 100 Evergreen Road, Mount Calvary, Agnesian
Commercial Real Estate Services Since 2001
a 60,000-sq. ft. industrial spec building. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of
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923 S. Main Street – Oshkosh For Lease At Only $995 Per Month
2,450 SF Warehouse/Distribution Space With A Finished Office Lease Rate Includes Utilities, real,estate taxes, snow removal, common area janitorial services and any interior and exterior maintenance repairs
Deb Scharpf ❘ 920.379.2591 ❘ email@example.com ❘ www.tjrsite.com 12 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
BUILD UP OSHKOSH
C - Indicates a new listing
Build Up Oshkosh
6 - 3465 Moser St., Oshkosh, GNC Oshkosh/ StrataGraph, a 14,510-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.
7 - 800 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh,
University of WisconsinOshkosh, a four-story, 191,000-sq. ft. academic building for the College of Business Administration. Project completion expected in fall 2011.
8 - 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh, C University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a 17,185-sq. ft. biodigestor energy plant.
9 - 4200 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, Fox Valley Technical College, a 27,216-sq. ft. building to house the Advanced Manufacturing Process Center. Project completion expected in late fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our October issue: • Lyons Den, 760 W. Sixth Ave., Oshkosh. • Oshkosh Corp. e-coat paint facility, 333 W. 29th Ave., Oshkosh.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 13
BUILD UP FOX CITIES
C - Indicates a new listing 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. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts.
1 - 2986 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute, C
Bergstrom Mini, a 10,291-sq. ft. addition to the existing auto dealership.
- 3935 N. Lightning Dr., Appleton, Associates, a new medical office building.
8 - 3600 Electric City Blvd., Kaukauna,
Kaukauna Cold Storage, a 44,800-sq. ft. cold storage warehouse. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
9 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, an addition and interior remodel of the third floor of the existing hospital.
2 - 1280 N. Hard Dr., town of Grand Chute, Gold’s Gym, a 25,981-sq. ft. fitness center.
3 - 133 N. Mall Dr., town of Grand Chute, Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern, a 14,687-sq. ft. multi-tenant commercial building to include the restaurant and other leasable tenant space.
4 - 1928 W. College Ave., Appleton, St. Vincent DePaul Society, a new 4,992-sq. ft. warming shelter and short-term housing facility. 5 - 1815 W. Spencer St., Appleton, Foremost Farms USA, a remodel and renovation of three separate manufacturing facilities on the site. Project completion expected in April 2011. 6
- 3010 N. Conkey St., Appleton, Endeavor Electric, an 11,287-sq. ft. new industrial building. Project completion expected in November.
14 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
- 1108 Province Terrace, Menasha, C NeenahMenasha Fire Rescue Station No. 36, a 7,910-sq. ft. municipal services building. - 1050 Cold Spring Road, town of Menasha, Kimberly-Clark Corp., a 129,150-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility to expand production and warehousing for its adult care products. Project completion expected in March 2011.
- 1815 Marathon Ave., Neenah, Curwood, a twostory, 19,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. General contractor is C.R. Meyer & Sons Co. of Oshkosh. Projects completed since our October issue: • Innovative Machining, 550 Commerce Ct., Neenah.
BUILD UP FOX CITIES 7
4 5 9
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 15
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. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts. We encourage building owners and contractors to help maintain the high quality of updated information appearing in our Build Up department by submitting information on current construction projects. When submitting material for our Build Up pages, please include the address of the building, the owner of the building, its intended use, size in square feet, the anticipated time the project will be completed, and the general contractor. Information can be emailed to the attention of “Build Up” to firstname.lastname@example.org. C - Indicates a new listing
1 - 12781 Velp Ave., Suamico, Village of Suamico Municipal Center, a new municipal services building. Project completion expected in January. 2
- 2465 Lineville Road, Howard, C Piggly Wiggly, an 11,200-sq. ft. addition to the existing grocery store.
- 200 Packerland Dr., Green Bay, Fox Converting, a
32,400-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.
4 - 503 Monroe Ave., Green Bay, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, a new 6,374-sq. ft. child advocacy center. 5 - 1722 Main St., Green Bay, C O’Reilly Auto Parts, a new auto parts store. 6
- 130 Winchester Way, Green Bay, New Hope Presbyterian Church, a 9,750-sq. ft. addition to the existing church.
- 3050 Walker Dr., Green Bay, Alive & Kicking, a 19,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
- 3146 Yeager Dr., Green Bay, C Yeager Properties, a 75,332-sq. ft. office and warehouse building. Project completion expected in May 2011. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.
9 - 1315 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, a new multi-level community center. Project completion expected in late summer 2011. 10 - 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon, C PCM Employees Credit Union, a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office.
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11 - 803 Pilgrim Way, Ashwaubenon, Hobby Lobby, a new retail store. 12
- 2700 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Broadway Automotive, an addition and interior alteration to the existing auto dealership.
13 - 2740 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Wesco Distribution, a 35,198-sq. ft. industrial facility. 14 - 2000 Lawrence Dr., De Pere, C Encompass Early Education, a new child care center. 15 - 633 Heritage Road, De Pere, Belmark Inc., an addition to the existing industrial facility.
16 - 860 O’Keefe Road, De Pere, Wild Blue Technologies/ Karman Development, an 18,971-sq. ft. commercial office building. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our October issue: None
16 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
BUILD UP GREEN BAY
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NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 17
AROUND THE BOARDROOM
Title: Negotiate Anything! Author: Tom and Lynn Wilson Publisher: Saxony-Coburn (2010) Pages: 266 Paperback List Price: $19.95
The percent budget increase in student spending by public school districts for 2008-09 in the state of Wisconsin. Source: Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance SchoolFacts
Why Buy: Negotiate Anything! is the culmination of a 30-year study of customer service. For consumers, it presents secrets to make companies treat them fairly. For businesses, it teaches them how to pull ahead of the competition by providing excellent customer service through its 12 Success Criteria. The causes of deteriorating customer service are reviewed and a clear and pragmatic plan is presented that can be implemented by any size business or organization. Neenah-based authors Tom Wilson, former global sector president at Kimberly-Clark Corp., and his wife, Lynn, who has more than a decade of front-line customer service experience, co-founded The CareGiver Partnership in Neenah, a national direct to consumer retailer of home medical supplies.
...to improve business profitability
Looking for ways to increase your company’s earnings? Here are five tips to improve profitability:
Expand your product line. Increase whatever it is that you are selling or providing to current customers. For example, if you market cute little 6-inch bears for babies, add a second line of 12-inch bears for older children. Or add themes, faces, or costuming different from what you already have. Customers who enjoy your products now often remain loyal and will continue to buy products, as well as recommend them to friends and relatives. In addition, those who have had no need for existing products may decide you now have something they can use.
Update your client base. If you initially contacted 5,000 customers in the area when you opened your business five years ago, it may be time to add another 2,000 names from surrounding areas. Or you may decide to try another technique for racking up more customers, such as cold calling, direct mailing, or media advertising. If you want to grow, you will probably need more customers, so develop a plan to go after them. The important thing is to broaden your exposure to reach more customers.
Overhaul your market plan. If you’ve been using the same print ad that runs in the local newspaper for five years, the positive side is that you have a niche and a logo. The down side is that people may tend to view
18 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
you as old fashioned or less “cutting edge” than your competitors. It may be time to meet with a copywriter or graphic designer to update your image. In addition, consider trying a new approach. If you have 5,000 customers that were added by direct mail advertising, you might want to try a business-to-business letter to get other companies to buy and sell your products for you.
➍ Push the boundaries. If your customer base to date
remains largely a local clientele, look into going regional into surrounding counties or cities. Word of mouth from existing clients may suggest that your products are starting to get a good name, so push further into an extended territory to see if a market might be cultivated. But be prepared to provide adequate service to a new round of customers who might result from expanding your business.
Build a name for yourself. Publish short newspaper articles. Offer interviews. Arrange in-store demonstrations or samples. Become visible to potential customers, since marketing strategies suggest that people like to buy a “person” rather than a “product.” An attractive, neat, knowledgeable individual can sell a higher volume of business than an invisible face on the Web or voice in a letter. Source: Pagewise.com
AROUND THE BOARDROOM
o, Piercemeister! You totally rock, so we want to check your read on the mission statement our management team wrote after a paintball session at our annual meeting last month. We’re giving a major sales pitch at our office next week and want to make our new statement into a ginormous laser engraving for our waiting area, so if you’d kindly pull your finger out, look at our website and give us your feedback, we’d appreciate it! Signed, Not a Nitwit Dear Not: I can’t tell if you’re 15 or a boomer who’s struggling to grow his raw number of Facebook friends, but MY friends call me Pierce. Feel free to call me Mr. Stronglove. Lucky for you (and any readers who plaster their mission statements and similar detritus on every communiqué emanating from their organization), Mother Stronglove has taken Doo to the Gifted Primates Renaissance Fair for the entire day, so Im feeling unusually unfettered and charitable. As with so many business culture fads (think “Dress for Success,” Deming, management by objective, reengineering, knowledge management, thought leadership, etc. ad nauseam), businesses have been pressured to embrace the Mission of Mission Statement – if only temporarily – in order to maintain an appearance that they, too, are locked in step with the latest best practices. But a mission statement’s aftermath is often composed of little more than self-serving platitudes and doublespeak – uselessly populating the inside front covers of annual reports and newsletters, masterfully etched or presented in relief upon a host of premium hardwoods and minerals, and wrongfully placed among home-page main navigation bars under the misnomer of “About Us.” Mr. Not, you are not alone. The following statements were apparently crafted with the intent to focus the purposes of their respective organizations: v Our goal is to continuously exceed the expectations of our consumers, customers, shareholders and business partners.
Mission Possible v We recognize that each grower’s needs are unique. v We will grow by building leading brands that excite consumers around the world. v We will offer new and innovative products that benefit home owners [sic] and contractors. v Focused on constant innovation, we will use deep research and insights, combining art and science to create products that inspire loyalty. v We will responsibly and efficiently manage a complex supply chain spanning multiple geographies, product categories and distribution channels. v We will help our packaging partners win with consistently solid execution and outstanding service. v We will continually find ways to improve our performance and generate bottom line results. As most of us have tacitly observed, wasted mission statements 1) say what any liker of their organization would expect in the first place, and 2) with the exception of an occasional SIC-specific term, could be easily lifted – er, reengineered – for use by anyone else. Maybe Office Max should sell them. Like those fun refrigerator word magnets, they’d be easy to make. Easy to forget and implement, too. If you want something more productive than stock niceties, then think, discuss, and find your mantra: what is the meaning of your business? How are you making the world a better place? Instead of a long, boring, “me-too” statement irrelevant to your publics – not just customers, but also employees, community, stockholders, etc. – say something relevant. Hit me where I live. And to shine even more brightly, title your mantra with something better than “OUR STATEMENT OF MISSION.” So ask, Not, your laser engraver to keep his shirt on. Consider using an Etch A Sketch® for the interim. You have work to do. Behind the façade of Mr. Stronglove is an advertising professional with more than 25 years of award-winning industry experience. A graduate of the University of Wisconsin – Madison, he has wielded his strategic and conceptual skills and talents in all forms of media (except book jackets) for small independent businesses as well as Fortune 500 companies, both consumer and trade, from local to global. Send comments to email@example.com. To submit work for review, it must be attached as a PDF in Adobe format with no other attachments.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 19
Companies across the New North have learned that in the Great Recession, it’s no longer business as usual. Several developed strategies to move their businesses forward.
Story by Bob Warde New North B2B Managing Editor
FOR MANY BUSINESSES, the last year or two has been tough. If the slow economy hasn’t dampened sales, the psychology surrounding it sure has. As companies adjusted to the so-called “new normal,” some took steps to not only shore up their businesses and get by, but to thrive. These are some of the stories of companies moving beyond and the lessons they’ve learned.
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COVER STORY Providing resources, divesting assets After credit markets began to seize up in 2008, many small business operators couldn’t get the financing they needed. Truck drivers, often operating independently on behalf of a freight hauler, are on the road most of the time. That can complicate their lives. Green Bay-based Schneider National, a large, privatelyheld trucking and logistics company, introduced a no-creditcheck lease-purchase program to reduce the barriers for drivers looking to become owner-operators. The program is offered through Schneider Finance, a truck-financing affiliate of Schneider National, and is offered in addition to existing Schneider financing programs. “When an experienced driver is considering a new career or resuming a former career as an owner-operator, Schneider Finance takes the time to understand the entire story. Many people experience bumps along the road when it comes to credit history. Schneider understands what it really takes for an owneroperator to be successful,” said Steve Crear, general manager of Schneider Finance, in announcing the program in August. The program can be used to finance Schneider’s fleet of used trucks and help recruit drivers to get them in the game and, ultimately, to the next level. “It is challenging to recruit and hire drivers in today’s environment, and programs like this one do set us apart from our competitors and attract good candidates,” said Schneider National spokesperson Janet Bonkowski. The privately held company declined to say how many no-credit-check leases have been completed, but did say there has been significant interest in the program. Schneider Logistics, another division of Schneider National, agreed in June to sell its freight forwarding and customs house brokerage business in the United States and China to Norbert Dentressangle, a European transportation company based in France. The decision is part of what the company said is a routine evaluation of its operations in order to maximize its return on investment. “There are only so many priorities a company can focus on at any given time. When the economy is robust, businesses have more opportunities and resources for exploring opportunities and taking calculated risks. When the economy is in a no-growth mode,
Schneider National’s distinctive orange trucks on the roadway. organizations refocus on core operations and cost management, which often means that new business ventures are put to the side due to limited resources. That reality, in turn, limited the opportunities for this sector and lead to the decision to sell,” Bonkowski said. Companies need to stay focused in such an environment, she said, adding, “Great time, attention and resources would be needed to grow and expand the freight forwarding business, and the decision was made to instead maintain focus on core services.”
Continue to invest in employees MENASHA-BASED FAITH TECHNOLOGIES made a big investment in change management in 2009 to cut costs and spur growth down the road. Faith Technologies, an electrical and specialty systems contractor with more than 1,500 employees at 15 divisions in six states, created a newfound role and department by establishing a Chief People Officer position who manages a six-member team overseeing the company’s learning and development initiatives. Faith hired Terri Luebke, who spent three years with the company as a consultant and several years running her own firm before she signed on fulltime. “The most striking thing is that Faith Technologies is choosing to invest in learning and development. It seemed counterintuitive. But, this was actually the perfect time for
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COVER STORY companies to be doing this work, when business is slower,” said Luebke. The company’s learning and development department – found at many established Fortune 1,000 companies – is an isolated investment in the construction industry. Faith Technologies’ L&D department began working on a variety of near- and long-term programs for corporate management and field employees, focusing on leadership, employee development, trade, business development, high potential employees, wellness, safety and computer training. Luebke and her team – a director of instructional development, an instructional designer, two learning consultants, a technical training consultant and a learning coordinator – are also instrumental in the development and implementation of the company’s Faith Performance Advantage initiative. Rooted in lean philosophies, the program works to bring those same principles from the office to the jobsite. Adapting a concept such as lean – which was created for the manufacturing environment where workers are stationary while the product moves from station to station – has been a challenge in the construction trade because every product is unique, noted Mike Schmaling, director of productivity at Faith. “Additionally, our product is stationary, in which the workers must continuously move labor and material throughout the building to the point of installation. This is a reverse process to the manufacturing industry. The concept of lean can be applied to the construction industry by identifying areas in which we can minimize the amount of material handling and strategically stage the material at the point of installation just before it is needed. This is a fluid and dynamic process because there are many variables which are directly tied to many facets of the installation process like customer-initiated changes, conflict with other trades, material availability, variation in manpower and skill levels. Each variation in these facets can create a ripple effect throughout the entire installation process,” he said. The company has improved other processes and procedures, including: v Pre-fabrication department, which mass produces like items or assemblies in a controlled off-site setting and then labels, packages and ships the “prefabbed” material to the site just in time for installation. This reduces the amount of onsite labor because one hour spent in PreFab saves three hours in the field. v Pre-construction services is a resource employed during the bid process to work directly with the customer in streamlining and refining their expectations and requirements by using design/build services, building information mapping, computer-aided drafting and detailing. “By identifying many cost-saving techniques, this contributes to a more efficient process from bid award to project deployment. Most cost savings can be identified and acted upon earlier in the process as opposed to later stages, which increase costs dramatically,” Schmaling said. “Everything we do, every decision we make, we are piloting,” said Luebke. “We haven’t found an existing model that could be successfully implemented to a construction site.” The strategies Luebke and her team are developing take into account gender and generational diversity, as well as the diversity of temperament, thoughts and behaviors. Those differences can
22 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
COVER STORY create barriers to learning. Because the initiative is still being developed, hard financial results are hard to come by, according to Schmaling. “We have statistical data proving that if certain productive behaviors are in place, it tends to create safe and productive projects. The productivity time study process challenges the status quo and complacent behaviors that may come with experience by identifying areas of improvement and proactively chasing process improvement,” he said. Luebke and Schmaling agree the current economy forces organizations to reflect internally to see what they can do to improve their processes to gain any economic advantage possible and save costs for themselves and their customers.
Invest in equipment MUZA METAL PRODUCTS had a good business going into the recession, said Dan Hietpas, president of the Oshkoshbased contract metal fabricator and machining company. “We are somewhat fortunate in that a good part of our customer base was insulate from the recession,” he said. “What we have been able to do, and have done in the last few recessions, is get more aggressive and take market share from competitors.” Hietpas said the company’s approach of targeting market leaders in their industries has provided a customer base better equipped to be progressive and sustain their growth, which, in turn, helps Muza maintain its growth. “We also like to offer services to customers they can’t easily do themselves and are not likely to pull back in house,” Hietpas said. The company invested about $1.5 million between two machines that increased the company’s productivity and improved quality. Muza relies heavily on laser robotics and other automation. The approach has paid off. The company,
which ended its 2010 fiscal year at the end of September, saw revenue grow by 30 percent over fiscal 2009.
Offer new services NEENAH-BASED STEP INDUSTRIES, a not-for-profit company offering transitional employment to people who have had alcohol and drug addiction challenges, took notice of the slowing economy and the potential drop in sales for its traditional packaging and assembly services. A chance meeting by one of its executives led Step Industries to begin offering disassembly of electronics such as computers and monitors and recycling their contents. “We were looking for something we had control over. Most of what we do is outsourced to us from other companies and has a deadline and a lifecycle to it. We were looking for something we could do in house and have some control over so that when we had dips in work from other clients, we would have something we could keep people busy doing until the next project came in,” said Michelle Devine Giese, Step Industries’ president. In doing some research, Giese said they knew Wisconsin was about to enact its e-recycling law that would require electronics to be kept from landfills and be recycled. The company’s business development manager happened to attend an expo where she met a member of a non-profit out of Illinois that was already recycling computers in that state. “We went to tour their facility and they shared their tricks and information with us and we went from there,” Giese said. To kick off the effort and secure electronics to store so that employees could begin work on them, Step Industries held a drive in August where it collected three semi-trailer loads of computer parts. As workers needed tasks to keep them busy, the computers are taken apart and segregated into different materials for recycling. The
What we have been able to do, and have done in the last few recessions, is get more aggresive and take market share from competitors.
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Dan Hietpas, president Muza Metal Products NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 23
COVER STORY materials are then turned over to recyclers that buy them from the agency, creating additional revenue. “It’s been great to have something that can be shelved and employees can stop and start as the needs of our other clients ebbs and flows. The employees like it because it’s new and different. I also believe we’re filling a need for the community. Just about every day we have a couple of people drop off computers or parts that have been a problem for them,” Giese said. “It’s an easy solution for everybody.” The next level for Step Industries is to begin drives with businesses during which a company would pay Step to collect either its old computers or allow employees to bring their personal computers into work for recycling. They are also investigating expanding the electronics they recycle to include televisions, VCRs and others.
Morph your business focus BRAD BECKMAN’S Appleton-based Alpine Concrete was hit hard by the recession. The company was primarily doing flatwork – driveways, garage slabs and patios – when the downturn in the real estate market hit. It became so bad that Beckman decided he either had to change what he was doing or close his doors. Beckman decided to focus on the specialty concrete work that had been a small part of his business and abandon the flatwork altogether. “About three years ago, we could see what was on the horizon and the slowdown in the housing market and that the economy was going to slow down. We decided we had to do something to change the scope of the business,” he said. Alpine Concrete changed its focus to existing homes because Beckman could focus on the specialty concrete services he offered, including concrete countertops in remodeled kitchens and polished concrete floors in basements. “A lot of people were investing in their homes instead of buying new homes and that gave us a new market to approach,” Beckman said.
All the changes Beckman made has led to Alpine Concrete tripling its sales. His years of experience in the business taught him that garage floors – because people don’t look at them every day – are often neglected, while laminate countertops in a kitchen become scratched, develop cracks and are seen by the homeowner every day. Consequently, that’s where many homeowners choose to spend their money, even in a recession. “Spending $6,000 on a garage floor isn’t going to get you that money back in the sale price, but spending that on a remodeled kitchen or basement will get you that money back,” Beckman said. “It’s an investment instead of maintenance.” The change has paid off for Beckman. “These past three years have been tough, but I haven’t been happier. It’s really rewarding. We get a lot more satisfaction out of the creativity involved with the decorative work than we ever did just pouring a garage floor.” 24 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
Soliciting commercial work, including bar tops and polished floors, has also helped, as has increasing the geographic area he serves. He and his crew have gone as far south as northern Illinois, west to Madison and north to the Upper Peninsula and even Minnesota. “We had to cast a wider and wider net,” he said. “Anyone who is a small business owner and a service provider like we are, especially in this economy, is going to struggle to find enough business in just one isolated area.” Beckman recently completed work for a large sports bar in Milwaukee. He’s hoping to get referrals from the job, which he said turned out well. The changes haven’t been completely pain free, though. Beckman said he used to run an eight-man crew when he was offering the flatwork, but scaled back to a three-man crew in order to properly train the core personnel who were educated and experienced in what they were doing. Now he’s back to where he can hire starting at the beginning of the year, provided business continues to be strong. All the changes Beckman made has led to Alpine Concrete tripling its sales.
Key takeaways IN TIMES LIKE THESE, smaller companies should act a bit more like larger ones, in that they should build up their cash reserves, draw down inventory, or pare back product lines, said Gregory Pierce, a partner and portfolio manager with Reinhart Partners Inc. in Oshkosh. He’s noticed a number of small businesses taking action as mergers and acquisitions have picked up and spending on research and development and capital expenses are on the rise. “What you’ll see happening is that, as well-capitalized companies with good balance sheets manage their costs well, they are able to take advantage of this by picking off the weaker competitors and gain market share and, as the economy improves, they’ll gain some pricing power,” Pierce said. Locally, Pierce still sees many business owners who are concerned about deploying capital and maintaining cash flow. “My message is that, if you’ve built up a war chest, now is a good time to follow through and invest in your business while some of your competitors may be down. Look at what you can do to deploy some of that capital if you have it,” he said. With interest rates low, Pierce said it may be a good time to take on some leverage to grow your business when others are not. “It’s a good time to invest in your business and grow and prepare for the recovery. You want to be in a position to take advantage of that. This is a time of transition from survival to ‘Let’s see if we can actually make some money instead of simply keeping the doors open.’” Pierce does see a need for business owners to be strategic about the moves he or she makes. “You have to look for targeted opportunities. You can’t just look at anything and hope it works. You have to closely consider who you are as a business and what it is that you do great and invest capital to take advantage of that.” The main point, according to Pierce, is to become bigger and better at what you do well.
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The Heidel House Hotel and Resort is set in picturesque Green Lake. Green meetings helps it fulfill its brand promise of a natural setting.
It’s becoming easier being green As more meeting planners request green meeting venues and items, the increased demand has not gone unnoticed in the region
Story by Bob Warde B2B Managing Editor
MEETING PLANNERS INCREASINGLY SEARCH out opportunities to “green” their meetings by seeking venues that take steps to offer green alternatives, offering green promotional products, and even holding meetings closer to their operations in order to decrease their companies’ carbon footprint. Demographic changes tend to reinforce the trend and portend it strengthening in coming years. According to a survey conducted by Meetings & Conventions magazine, 56 percent of meeting planners inquire about green initiatives for meeting venues, while another 15 percent say they intend to start. With this kind of interest, venues across the New North are developing programs to meet that sustainability requirement for meeting planners. Heidel House Resort & Spa in Green Lake, in addition to being certified by the state Department of Tourism’s Travel Green Wisconsin program since 2007, is participating in the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, achieving a 4 Green Key rating. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program ranks, certifies and inspects hotels and resorts in North America based on their commitment to sustainable “green” operations. The program was originally developed for the Hotel Association of Canada by an environmental engineering firm specifically for hotel operations. The program is an environmental audit. The group running the program says it allows each participating property to benefit via cost savings, increased bookings from environmentally conscious consumers and meeting planners, and responsible corporate citizenry.
26 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
MARKETING More consistent offerings STARWOOD HOTELS, owner of the Aloft Hotel in Green Bay, is in the process of introducing sustainable meeting guidelines for its properties that will be standard in all its hotels globally in 2011. Starwood’s guidelines are intended to standardize green practices for all of its North American hotels. The guidelines cover five areas, including: paperless meeting planning, sustainable meeting services, sustainable food and beverage practices, impact assessment tools, and socially conscious efforts. Among the five components are what the chain calls 18 cost-effective and efficient practices that will be incorporated into every on-site event. They range from sustainable menu choices and alternatives to bottled water, to energy-efficient digital signs and potted plants in place of fresh-cut flowers. The hotel group also will offer a Meeting Impact Report, an online client tool that details the environmental impact of each meeting. Some of Starwood’s sustainable meeting offerings are: ❧ When using printed material, post-consumer recycled paper products are incorporated into the meeting and double-sided printing is available; ❧ Recycled content paper flip charts and environmentally friendly non-paper supplies are available; ❧ Use of non-paper resources such as LED signs and white boards; ❧ Offering a selection of either potted plants or organically grown flowers; ❧ Access to green transportation services; ❧ Recycling bins provided in all meeting spaces. Though anecdotal evidence is that interest in green meetings is growing but not yet the majority of inquiries, hotel managers see a variety of benefits in offering them. First, they can save money in their operations. Bulk water for refreshment can be less expensive and more sustainable than bottled water, as an example. Michelle Van Kirk, marketing manager at the Heidel House, said their green certification efforts help the resort and conference center deliver on its brand promise. “We are in an area that is not highly populated and on Green Lake. It’s quiet and beautiful and increasing our sustainability helps us keep up with that,” she said. “Our goals at Heidel House are to reduce waste, improve energy efficiency, and conserve natural resources. The Green Lake area and Heidel House Resort & Spa are surrounded by natural beauty and wildlife. It is up to us to make sure that these resources are here for years to come,” said Heidel House General Manager Scott Krause. Van Kirk added that general interest and demand for green meetings has increased over the past few years. Attaining its 4 Green Key status also helps market to those meeting planners who are searching for greener venues. In fact, Wisconsin Department of Tourism officials include a designation next to directory listings in print and online for those venues certified in its Travel Green Wisconsin program. Heidel House also includes those symbols in all its marketing materials.
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NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 27
MARKETING Here to stay
GREEN MEETINGS are likely not just a fad. “Green meetings are here to stay. There are varying levels of concern for the environment and a growing number of meeting planners are seeking some element of a green meeting,” said Lisa Marshall, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Marshall noted there isn’t one definition of a green meeting, but rather a spectrum of items and approaches to sustainability from which meeting planners can choose. She noted one venue in southern Wisconsin has added charging stations for hybrid vehicles. Autumn Hill, president of Autumn Hill Creative in Kimberly, started a marketing agency focused on green marketing more than six years ago. As she and her mother, co-owner Yvonne Kehl, began planning events for their clients, they noticed they were making choices that weren’t necessarily green, despite the clients’ desire to green their own efforts. “We saw them making choices, like giving out plastic bottles or serving water at meetings in plastic,” Hill said, adding clients would also hand out plastic bags at conventions and trade shows. That incongruity, combined with early inquiries from a handful of clients, prompted the women to begin another division called Viva El Verde, or “long live green.” Viva El Verde offers an entire catalog of sustainable promotional products ranging from aluminum water bottles to canvass tote bags to an insulated paper bag that keeps beverages cool. Promotional items and gifts made of recycled petroleum products are also available. One of the top ways to green a meeting is through minimizing transportation. A growing number of meeting planners
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Organizations and companies are increasingly aware of the environmental consequences their actions have, and as such ‘green meetings’ are becoming more and more common. A key aspect of such meetings is the manner in which food and beverages are served. Using the Green Key Eco-Rating Program as a benchmark, here’s a few considerations for your meeting’s food and beverage service: ❧ Ensure that only reusable dishes and drinkware, cutlery, straws, stir-sticks, napkins, etc. are used for coffee breaks or meals. Styrofoam, plastic and/or paper plates and utensils should not be used. ❧ Food items such as sugar, cream, butter, jam, ketchup, etc. should not be served in single-portion packets. Single serving drink boxes should also be avoided when possible. ❧ Ask whether the hotel offers organic and/or locally grown food options. ❧ Are useable leftover food items donated or provided to hotel staff rather than being disposed of? Are unusable leftovers composted/sent to local farms for consumption by livestock? ❧ Food signage (i.e. mini tent cards describing a buffet item) should be printed on a reusable surface or on recycled paper. Source: www.greenkeyglobal.com
Promotional items offered by Autumn Hill Creative. ¡Viva el Verde! pen is 100percent post-consumer recycled material (paper and plastic). The 100 percent Cotton Tote Bag is reusable and recyclable. Note books are recycled with elastic pen loop and elastic band closure. The pen included with the set has a recycled paper barrel with wooden clip. schedule their events at venues closer to the office or plant to reduce the effects of travel on the environment. Autumn Hill also takes distance into account when ordering promotional giveaways and other event materials for her clients. “We use local sourcing as often as we can. We try hard to use local manufacturers and printers whenever possible,” she said. Local sourcing is also used for food, when possible. While demand was somewhat infrequent when she first started Viva El Verde, Hill has seen a steady increase in the number of planners either making casual inquiries or including green requirements in their requests for proposals. “We now get calls from out of the blue. That’s fun,” she said.
Standard in meeting proposals PROPOSALS FROM AUTUMN HILL CREATIVE always include green aspects, whether in promotional products, venues or other aspects, Hill said. “Often, planners see the green component and a light bulb goes off. They appreciate the thought of having a green offering and many say their attendees are likely to appreciate it as well.” One concern for meeting planners is cost. According to the aforementioned Meetings & Conventions magazine survey, 13 percent of planners indicated green meeting practices are a priority even at a higher cost; 31 percent said they might spend a little bit more to be green, and 24 percent said they would not consider any green policies that add to the cost of the meeting. In many cases, the promotional products Hill offers through Viva El Verde are about the same cost or just a few cents more expensive than traditional items not made from sustainable materials. But cost may not be the only consideration. Marshall from the Department of Tourism said green efforts are successfully used to differentiate a venue from others as well as enhance its image as a good corporate citizen. It also saves the hotel or meeting place money on energy use and other expenses, including items like containers. There are two trends that seem to be gathering steam and are likely to increase the popularity of green meetings. First, Marshall said that tools are being developed to measure the “return on green,” or the amount of money saved by conducting green meetings. The second, as Hill pointed out, is that younger generations are much more concerned with ecology and preserving the resources existing on the planet. These trends combined are creating a powerful value proposition for green meetings to continue to grow in popularity.
Walking the walk
Heidel House Resort & Spa in Green Lake earned certification under both the state’s Travel Green Wisconsin program and the Green Key EcoRating program. Some of the green highlights and accomplishments used to earn the ratings for Heidel House are: ❧ Guest rooms equipped with signs offering guests the option to reuse linens and towels. ❧ Chemical cleaners phased out and replaced with environmentally friendly alternatives. ❧ Meeting rooms equipped with recycling bins. ❧ Energy Star higher efficiency appliances and/or equipment purchased. ❧ Higher efficiency light bulbs installed in guest rooms, public areas and back of the house areas. ❧ Water conserving equipment installed in guestrooms. ❧ Donate barely used amenities and towels/linens to charities or staff. ❧ Energy demand is reduced by programmed control, use of motion sensors and timers, dimmer controls and natural lighting to the greatest extent possible. ❧ Most notepads and paper products are purchased with at least 30 percent recycled content. ❧ Conference schedules, menus, contracts, etc. are communicated via email to clients when possible. ❧ Reusable white boards are available to eliminate the need for flip charts. ❧ Reusable linen napkins replace disposable paper napkins. ❧ Decorative centerpieces are reused or donated.
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Getting well in ‘Well Cities’
Fox Cities, Oshkosh working hard to build coalitions to improve employees’ health and attain the Holy Grail – lower health insurance costs
Story by Cheryl Hentz MORE THAN 75 PERCENT OF EMPLOYERS’ healthcare costs and productivity losses are related to employee lifestyle choices, according to the Centers for Disease Control. People who engage in unhealthy habits such as smoking, having a poor diet and not getting enough exercise turn out to be less productive on the job, new Dutch research shows. Unhealthy lifestyle choices also appear to translate into a greater need for sick leave and longer periods of time off from work when sick leave is taken. The findings were reported in the Sept. 28 online edition of the journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine. “More than 10 percent of sick leave and the higher levels of productivity loss at work may be attributed to lifestyle behaviors and obesity,” said Alex Burdorf, of the department of public health at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues noted in a news release from the journal’s publisher. Between 2005 and 2009, Burdorf and his associates surveyed more than 10,600 people who worked for 49 different companies in the Netherlands. Among obese workers, 83 percent said they had developed at least one disease, compared with 75 percent of overweight workers and 69 percent of normal weight men and women. With respect to productivity, 44 percent felt they performed less than optimally in the day before taking the survey. It is for these reasons that wellness programs have become an important component to companies’ employee improvement programs, and an almost necessary factor in reducing healthcare costs. One of the most effective wellness initiatives is the Well City program. Well City USA is a concept created in 1991 by the Wellness Council of America, a national non-profit organization and
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leading resource for health and wellness promotion. Well City challenges local business communities to work together toward building healthier communities, starting in the workplace. Achieving a Well City designation requires that 20 percent of a community’s working population must be employed by Well Workplace recognized companies or organizations. What makes them so successful is that Well City programs take the wellness efforts of individual companies to a new level by creating synergies, sharing best practices and providing shared education and support. There are Well City programs all across the United States but one of the newest is in the Fox Cities. Barbara Van Gorp, vice president of employee benefits for McClone Insurance in Menasha, became one of the driving forces behind Well City – Fox Cities, after attending a continuing education program last year where one of the speakers was representing Well City – Milwaukee. “I was encouraged by this for a couple of reasons. First, I’ve been selling health insurance for 33 years and during that time I’ve seen that nothing really works to curb the rising cost of healthcare. Insurance is expensive because healthcare is expensive. It just seemed to me that if we could make people healthier by the things that are lifestyle-driven, and about 70 to 80 percent of the diseases out there are a result of the poor lifestyle choices that we make, that would help,” she said. “The second thing was, I’ve been involved in wellness programs for years as a broker and an employee and they usually are tied to your insurance carrier or your healthcare system. But if your employer changes your carrier or your provider panel, you have to start all over again. This way at least, the healthy things people do can remain constant.”
BOTTOM - LINE RESULTS
Hitting the ground running WITHIN SIX WEEKS OF RETURNING FROM MILWAUKEE, Van Gorp and the other organizers had 29 CEOs from local companies on board and in May 2010 Well City – Fox Cities was accepted by WELCOA. As of late October there were 52 companies participating representing more than 30,000 employees, and they’re working to recruit more. Each participating business has until 2013 to be designated as a Well Workplace. When businesses and organizations agree to participate, they commit to developing and implementing results-driven, best practice employee wellness programs. This means following WELCOA’s “road map to wellness” – seven well-defined benchmarks that guide employers through the process of building a successful wellness program. Those seven benchmarks include: 1) capturing CEO support; 2) creating cohesive wellness teams; 3) collecting data to drive health efforts; 4) carefully crafting an operating plan; 5) choosing appropriate interventions; 6) creating a supportive environment; and 7) carefully evaluating outcomes. Well City provides business owners, wellness representatives, and human resources personnel with training, resources, and support to develop and deliver worksite wellness programs to help meet the Well Workplace criteria. “This is a very data-driven, measurement type tool. It’s not just a bunch of weight loss programs and pedometer challenges. It’s very scientific, and you can show measured improvement by following those seven benchmarks,” said Van Gorp, adding that there are several benefits to employers who participate. “In some cases they may see lower insurance premiums, but overall the benefit that everybody can reap is a more productive workforce. There’s a lot of data out there that shows if people can focus on their work because they’re not distracted by their health or stress, or emotional issues, they’ll be more engaged when they’re at work. It can also positively impact your retention and recruitment efforts. Healthy people want to work with similar people. It can also impact other insurance like disability and worker’s compensation just because people are taking better care of themselves.” Rollie Stephenson, president/CEO of Faith Technologies in Menasha, is a devout believer in wellness programs. His company has been a crucial driver in development and implementation of the Well City program among Fox Cities’ employers and he was among the first to join. But he’s been building a culture of wellness at Faith for several years. “Becoming healthier involves your whole person. It starts with your mind, getting rid of stress and so forth. The second thing is body movement, getting exercise, and number three is nutrition,” Stephenson said. “If we can get people into a healthy mindset and take away from stress we find that everything else works better.” Wellness courses are offered for all employees and are structured with the goal of promoting a healthy work organization and employee wellness. And at its various offices around the country, Faith Technologies overhauled its food options by replacing many of the “non-healthy” vending machine items with healthier fare at a discounted rate. At each location, oatmeal and tea is provided for free while employees can snack on fruit for 25 cents, as well as other healthy options such as bottled water and Kashi Bars for 50 cents. The company
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NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 31
HEALTH CARE A different path
Though not part of a Well City effort, Healthy Lifestyle Cooperative in Green Bay is another type of collaborative effort that is seeing positive results in improving health. Formed in January 2007, this health insurance purchasing cooperative offered through the Green Bay Chamber of Commerce has a wellness component built into it. The mission is to stabilize health insurance rates through three basic tenets: Cooperative purchasing where employers can come together to purchase healthcare in a non-profit way; personal accountability; and healthier lifestyles. “The cooperative is unique in that it is the only cooperative that currently bases its healthcare and the rates the employees pay not on their experience but on how much they exercise, whether they take advantage of health risk assessments, etc.,” explained executive director Randy Connour. “Because those are the kinds of things that drive rates for our members.” The cooperative thus far has been “dramatically successful in some ways,” Connour said. “In the Fox Cities, as in much of Wisconsin, average increases have been between 10 and 15 percent per year for same plans that are renewing. Our average increase has only been a little over 6 percent and this year both of our pools just achieved a maximum 6 percent increase for Jan. 1, 2011. We’ve reduced risk. Our health risk assessment scores have increased; they’ve gotten better virtually every year,” he said. “We’re still looking for ways that we can change the whole mindset of the insurers, though. We’re reducing risk over time, but even though we’ve reduced the cost to our members, our overall costs are still increasing just like they are for everybody else.” The Healthy Lifestyle Cooperative has about 100 employers involved but they need a lot more employers driving health and fitness in order to have a dramatic decrease in cost, said Connour. “We’re still moving toward that. And like with any wellness program, there has to be support from the CEO on down the ladder,” Connour said. “There is a return on investment, but only if you do the right things. If you don’t have a plan and a system where you’re going to attack and drive participation from several different avenues, or you don’t measure results, there’s virtually no chance you’re going to see a return on investment.” – by Cheryl Hentz
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has also implemented healthy guidelines when ordering food for meetings, training sessions and special events. In addition, the company offers health club and recreational sports team reimbursements, as well as money back for participation in activities such as run/walk or bike events. Faith also offers a variety of incentive programs. “Charging Forward,” for example, is a three-month, online-based program that allows employees to track their exercise activities to earn points towards Faith Technologies apparel. Another program, “Healthy Rewards,” is a lifestyle merit plan where employees can track 12 different health-related activities and earn up to $150 in cash per year. And a third incentive program, “Healthy Holidays,” is a contest held during the winter months where teams of four (employees and spouses) weighin once a week to win cash prizes. During the 2009–10 holiday season, 132 participants across the company dropped more than 650 pounds. And in 2009, a total of 1,318 Faith employees and 735 spouses completed health risk assessments. For employees, completing an HRA meant saving $142 to $435 on monthly insurance premiums on their medical coverage plan. Likewise, over the last four years, Faith Technologies’ has experienced single-digit increases (approximately 6 percent per year) in health care costs as compared to a double-digit national trend. The Faith Technologies health plan cost in 2009 was $7,913 per employee, compared with an average health plan cost of $10,130 per employee.
Constantly working to improve “You have to constantly look at things and constantly work on improving things. Over time it seems to pay off,” Stephenson said. “It’s a soft science, but you do eventually see results. Plus I think it’s a good morale booster that your employees know you care about them and their health.” J.J. Keller of Neenah may be the only company in the Fox Valley that has its own WELCOA certification. They’re serving as a mentor to other companies participating in the Well City program and have offered best practices, particularly for those companies that have not had a wellness program before. Part of their mission is holding Learning Circles that are open to other companies. Learning Circles are about 90 minutes in length and are held every other month. A speaker usually comes in to discuss one of the WELCOA certification benchmarks. Representatives from participating companies then talk about activities they’ve done, which sparks conversation amongst all the attendees. “Most of the companies already have wellness programs and they’re going to start going through the application process for their WELCOA certification. So they want to know what to expect, how their wellness program maybe compares to ours, and what gaps they may need to fill in before they apply,” said Tim Pingle, health and wellness manager at J.J. Keller. “For the new ones that are just beginning, we try to team them up with another company that is either of a similar size or has similar demographics so they can get a wellness program started.” “The big thing in trying to encourage a lot of the small companies is a lot of times it’s about keeping wellness on the forefront and on everybody’s mind so that they understand
HEALTH CARE the importance of wellness and that it is part of the company’s culture,” he continued.
A consistent message Van Gorp said they’re also working with area school districts to get them signed up for the Well City program. “One of the benefits to the community we’re going to see from that is that parents at their workplace and kids at their school are going to be receiving the same message,” she said. “A lot of the wellness changes that people need to make start at the kitchen table and in the living room. So parents and kids will soon be hearing the same message so they’ll be speaking the same language.” All these efforts are having a snowball effect. Some of the local restaurants are putting out fresh vegetables and more salad bars in exchange for the businesses involved in Well City to help get the word out. Festival Foods will be attending an upcoming Learning Circle meeting to talk about the New Val system. “They’re the first grocery store to put in place a system where all the foods in
the store will eventually have a rating of 1 to 100 with 100 being the healthiest,” said Van Gorp. “Even convenience stores are trying to put very fresh and healthier items in their stores, especially the ones near schools so if kids run over there on their lunch hour they can get something that has some nutrition to it. So all these different things that are happening, we’re putting in newsletters and on our Web site so everybody can see it and patronize those businesses that are trying to be a little healthier.” The enthusiasm also is spreading to others in the New North region. Business leaders in Oshkosh are so motivated from Well City – Milwaukee and Well City – Fox Cities that they are working on trying to get the Well City designation for 2011. In February, Oshkosh employers held a CEO breakfast for executives from area businesses to explain the proposal and what’s involved in becoming a Well City and a Well Workplace. According to one of the organizers, Susan Boettcher, human resource manager at Miles Kimball Co., there was great response from
the CEOs, so a core group of organizers have been building a strategic plan with the goal of submitting it to the Wellness Council by this November. “If they give us the Well City designation for 2011, we’d be looking at having a kick-off in the February timeframe to let companies know what we’re hoping to accomplish, to share with people who’s already on board and then, of course, to try recruiting additional companies. But even if Well City tells us ‘no,’ we’re probably going to keep going because we’ve had enough interest,” said Boettcher. Cheryl Hentz is a freelance writer from Oshkosh with more than 25 years experience. Her articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines, both in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the country, and cover a wide range of topics, including business and economic development, minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, politics and women’s issues. She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or via email at email@example.com.
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I am a face of Keller and not only am I in your community, but a part of it. I am an Employee Owner, Project Manager, and Design/Build Expert. But don’t just take me at face value, call today and experience for yourself the difference that is Keller, Inc.
Celebrating 50 Years of Construction Excellence See Dave’s work at the following local businesses: St. Paul Assisted Living, Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church, Capital Credit Union, Victor Allen’s Coffee, Good Company, Matthews Tire and Auto Service Centers, Salon CTI, Unison Credit Union, and Apple Tree Connections to name a few.
Dave Project Manager Co-Owner
1.800.236.2534 l www.kellerbuilds.com Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 33
Landmines of social media As use of social media in the workplace evolves, it’s a good practice to implement policy
Dean R. Zakos General Counsel Megtec Systems, Inc.
Social Media. As we come to understand it, use it and enjoy it, we also need to appreciate that it comes with its own set of legal issues. Logging on to MySpace, Facebook or LinkedIn, among other sites, presents both opportunities as well as legal risks. As an employer, here are some things to think about in living and working in a “virtual community.” Legal Evidence. Content created on social media can have enormous distribution potential – often without the content creator’s control – and be retained permanently in digital form, give public exposure to private thoughts, and serve as irrefutable evidence of potential legal liability, such as defamation or trademark infringement. Intellectual Property Issues. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine who owns the content posted on social media. Generally, the original author owns the copyright, unless it can be considered a “work made for hire,” i.e., the author’s content was paid for by another. There may be liability if you create a username identical to or confusingly similar to another’s registered trademark, or if the username “dilutes” the value of another’s trademark. Additionally, trade secret or confidential information should be a concern. Such information can be easily leaked, and once made public, could lose much or all of its value. Defamatory Statements. Defamatory statements must be (a) false, (b) harm another’s reputation, and (c) be “published.” A posting on a social media site is considered public. An exception may exist if such a posting is on a password protected site and distribution is controlled and limited. In most cases, traditional defamation law will apply. Typical cases seen in the last few years involve tenants trashing landlords or employees bashing bosses online. Use of Social Media to Hire or Fire. It is likely permissible, since the content is publicly available. However, there are risks. An employer searching for and using such information may be violating the terms of a collective bargaining agreement, or the employee’s right of privacy, or the terms of its own internal policies. Private employers generally have greater flexibility than a governmental entity regarding searches and use of information. Employee Use at Work. Most employers recognize that reasonable, controlled use of social media by employees is akin to talking on the telephone – some personal time is almost always tolerated so long as it is not abused.
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Moreover, the value and potential benefits social media may bring to the workplace is gaining acceptance. Monitoring Employee Use. Under state and federal discrimination laws, an employer has a duty to take prompt and effective measures if it becomes aware of discrimination in the workplace. Although you may not have an affirmative duty to monitor sites, if you do, or if you become aware of discriminatory content on a social media site regarding your employees, you may need to take action. Also, the number of companies that do monitor social media sites is increasing. It allows them to monitor for violations of their trademarks or disclosure of confidential information. And, it may provide them with additional information about what is happening in their own workplaces. Political Speech. There have been several cases where an employee published a comment expressing a personal political belief which reflected badly on the employer, and where the employee was identified closely with the employer. Here a balancing test is used. The courts will look at why the posting was made, and whether it had a particularly “personal” component to it, and attempt to balance the employee’s free speech rights with the employer’s interest in controlling that speech to protect its credibility or reputation. Protected Activity of Unions. Employers are generally prohibited from engaging in spying on union organizing activities. If an employer were to access a secure Web site to review private conversations between employees and union representatives, that would constitute an unfair labor practice. Moreover, an employer could not prohibit its employees from using social media to discuss their wages, benefits or other terms and conditions of employment. There is much to consider when it comes to social media. You may want to implement a social media policy if you have not already done so. Such a policy can sharpen the focus of potential issues, and can provide a roadmap for you and your employees regarding acceptable conduct. Dean R. Zakos is an attorney whose practice focuses primarily on business, commercial and corporate matters. He was formerly “of counsel” with Dempsey, Williamson, Kelly & Hertel LLP in Oshkosh. Zakos currently serves as general counsel at Megtec Systems, Inc. in De Pere, a global design, engineering, manufacturing and services company. www.newnorthb2b.com
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NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 35
P R O F I L E
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE
Kickin’ it into Gear
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JGear’s three brothers run a unique footwear business...and thrive
Story by John R. Ingrisano
AT JGEAR’S SOLE FOOTWEAR STORE in Fond du Lac, the Braganza/Baganz brothers found that they could save about 50 cents on each pair of boots they shipped by switching from boxes to bags. Their getoutside-the-box thinking (in this case, literally) is just one example of how the three brothers have built their retail footwear business from scratch in 1997 – yes, actually starting in one of the brothers’ garages – into a projected $7 million enterprise in 2010. Still, they have only one brick-and-mortar location, do not yet sell internationally, get the bulk of their business from individual sales, continue to do more business in their Fond du Lac retail store than from online orders, and live in three different locations (one in Fond du Lac, one in Stevens Point, and one in Houston, Tex.) In short, they do it their way, not so much defywww.newnorthb2b.com
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ing conventional wisdom, but more like relentlessly looking for good, better, best ways to do business. “Our philosophy is to always test the boundaries and move away from the norm,” said Barry Braganza, who had to think a bit about his title and finally decided “it’s probably chief marketing officer. “We test ideas constantly. We test everything, including our philosophies,” Barry said in an interview from his Texas home. Though they have a Web site, they are not a virtual company. Instead, JGear has one location, a super-size warehouse outlet in Fond du Lac, where they stock 40 brands and more than 4,000 styles of footwear. “We’re a brick and mortar business,” said Barry. “We do sell on the internet, but most of our sales are from our Fond du Lac location.” In the past, he explains, approximately 80 percent of sales came from the store and 20 percent from Internet orders. Today, the mix is about 70 percent from the store and 30 percent online. The driving force behind the company is big brother Shane, who began working for Merrill-based Weinbrenner, a footwear manufacturer, when he was in college. Weinbrenner primarily sold to large companies. Shane saw an opportunity to take advantage of individual sales. To avoid a conflict of interest, his brother Jodi began JGear as a part-time enterprise, operating out of his garage. Today, the majority of JGear sales still come primarily from individual orders.
From garage to the Inc. 5,000 FROM THE PART-TIME, GARAGE-BASED BUSINESS in 1997, JGear grew to $1.6 million in revenue in 2006 and then to $4.3 million in 2009. Projected 2010 sales, estimated Barry, are pushing the $7 million mark. They also rank 1,834 on the Inc. 5,000 list of the country’s fastest-growing companies. When asked to explain the company’s explosive growth, especially from just one store, Barry said that “repeat customers have fueled our growth. We keep customers. We have one of the lowest costs out there for our footwear.” They also do repairs at the warehouse outlet. “We have an A+ rating for service with the Better Business Bureau. So, I guess you could say that our success has been built on low cost, wide selection
The brothers do things their own way For example, Barry changed his name from the Americanized Baganz back to the original Portuguese, Braganza. He also points out that “I haven’t been back in Wisconsin since 1991,” choosing instead to work out of his home in Houston, Texas. He puts in 60 to 70 hours a week and seems to think that’s typical. Jodi Baganz is involved today only peripherally, preferring his fulltime job as a firefighter in Stevens Point, helping out when he has time on his days off, working mostly on Internet security. Shane Baganz runs the hands-on, day-to-day operation, the only one of the brothers who lives near the retail outlet in Fond du Lac.
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE
A wide variety of boots line the aisles at the retail store for Bootbiz in Fond du Lac.
The right place at the right time President & CEO Shane Baganz worked part-time for Merrill-based Weinbrenner, a footwear manufacturer, when he was in college and eventually managed its retail and international sales. At the same time, explains his brother, Barry Braganza, who has an MBA from Monaco in Europe, “Shane went to school with the guys who started East Bay, “who eventually sold their business to Foot Locker for $100 million. We studied and modeled our business on theirs.”
and customer service. As I said, we keep our customers. Our customers come back.” Even the recession hasn’t slowed them down. “A number of our competitors on the Internet have gone under,” said Barry, who gives full credit for their business efficiency to his brother Shane. “Shane is so determined to save a buck that he always analyzes how we can save money by either procedures or different ways of working to save or make more money. “We were making those cuts before the recession hit,” he added, allowing for net margins to be higher even with significantly lower prices. “We’re also investing in shipping technology to save time and money. So, we don’t have to cut employees.” In fact, he said , “we’re actually hiring.”
PROFILE Name: Business: Location: Year started: Employees:
Barry Braganza,42, chief marketing officer Shane Baganz, 48, president & CEO Jodi Baganz, 44, founder & part-time participant Shane Baganz JGear (www.bootbiz.com), retail sales of work boots and work shoes, western boots, uniform and safety footwear Fond du Lac 1997 13 Jodi Baganz
38 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE JGear depends heavily on word of mouth for sales. Still, they do some marketing, including billboards and online advertising. They also study the competition, including stores like Rogan’s shoes.
Business in their blood EACH OF THE BROTHERS has his own business style. While Jodi is a fulltime firefighter in Stevens Point, he goes to the store on his days off and also handles server security. Barry logs about 60 to 70 hours a week, working out of his home in Houston. “I work hard at finding balance between work and family time,” he admits, and appreciates his wife’s patience. He added, however, that his brother Shane is much worse. “Shane works long hours. Last year he got a hotel room next to our business in the winter. I don’t think he went home for a week…and he doesn’t live that far away. When asked what motivates him, Barry admits that the question stumped him at first. “It’s just what I do,” he finally admitted. When it comes to the perils and pitfalls of business, his response is similar. “I guess I’ve been doing it for so long, I really don’t give it a thought. It’s just what I do. Our parents were in business, as is a sister.” He also said that he doesn’t worry all that much. “If there’s something to do, do it,” he said. “If not, don’t worry about it.” Shane is the opposite, he said. “Shane, on the other hand, will worry about everything. But to give him credit, that helps him come up with ideas and solutions.”
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What’s next? THE BROTHERS HAVE A THREE-YEAR PLAN, said Barry, adding that business changes too rapidly these days for fiveyear projections. “We don’t want to get too many irons in the fire.” However, he does say that plans for the future likely include more on the retail end, possibly additional outlets. He also expects online sales to grow and says they are discussing having Web sites in other languages, part of a goal of going international in their sales. As part of that, JGear has added a customer service manager, Stacy Jones, and a retail manager, Ed Burns. “These people have made a difference,” Barry said. “They have turned us into a more stable company, with real managers. Now Shane can actually leave for a day or two and it won’t fall apart.” “I have a number in my head,” he said, “that I want this company to achieve in sales. That number,” which he declined to share at this time, “is actually on my wall. I’ll let you know when we hit it.” It would be no surprise if they hit that number soon and kept right on going. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call (920) 559-3722.
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NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 39
401(k) is Evolving. Is Your Plan Current? by Independence Financial, LLC
Many years ago when defined benefit pensions were commonplace, employees did not have investment risk. They were focused on a specified monthly income that their employer would provide them upon retirement. Times have changed and most pensions have disappeared and been replaced with 401(k) plans. Most employees now bear the responsibility of planning for retirement on their own. This can be empowering for those employees who desire this responsibility. However, it can be a dangerous situation for most employees who admit they are not investment gurus and lack the experience required to make informed decisions about their retirement investments. Their expertise is in their given line of work – not investment allocation and retirement planning. Fortunately we are seeing significant improvements offered in 401(k) plans that allow participants to more easily manage their retirement investments in an effective manner. Portfolio Funds: Most plans have added target date funds, risk-based funds, or managed accounts that relieve the employee from
the responsibility of creating a properly diversified portfolio, monitoring, tweaking, and rebalancing their funds on a regular basis. This simplifies things tremendously. It is still critical for the plan representative to provide ongoing education to the plan participants to encourage participants to save enough to meet their retirement goals as well as make informed decisions about new plan features. Roth 401(k): Many plans have added the Roth 401(k) option to allow participants to save on an after-tax basis so they can grow their investments tax free and withdrawal them tax free in retirement. Participants like the idea that once they contribute money to the plan, they will never have to pay tax on it again, regardless of how much it grows. This makes their planning much more manageable knowing they won’t have to determine how much of their retirement savings will be lost to income tax. Lifetime Income Solutions: Plans with Lifetime Income Solutions allow plan participants to protect their retirement income when the market goes down, participate in the upside potential of the stock market, and provide
920.236.6587 them with a retirement paycheck they can’t outlive. This is available only on the most up to date 401(k) plans. There has been a lot of interest in these types of solutions because they ultimately allow participants to receive a statement telling them exactly what they will have for a monthly income in retirement. If the market does well, that monthly income can increase, but it will never decrease regardless of what the market does. It is very important that 401(k) Plan Trustees meet their fiduciary responsibility of reviewing the plan on an annual basis. A comprehensive review will include a discussion of not only fund performance, but also a review of all plan fees as well as the significant improvements available in the 401(k) marketplace mentioned above. For an objective third party review of your 401(k) plan, contact Michael Scott, CLU, CFP®. Mike is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner with Independence Financial, LLC, an Oshkosh firm for 78 years. (920) 236-6587 or Michael@ IndependenceFinancialLLC.com. A0JC-1015-10
The Community Benefit Tree presents
L I F E Awareness Night Wave Bar & Ballroom
2350 N Casaloma Dr, Appleton Thursday, November 12, 2009
$40.00 per person in advance/ $45.00 at the Door 6:00 p.m.– Cash Bar/ Interactive Game of LIFE/ Silent Auction & International Food Buffet of Area Restaurants 8:00 p.m.—Presentation & Door Prize Drawing The Community Benefit Tree Inc. is a 501 (c ) (3) nonprofit organization that assists individuals and their families within the community during their medical crisis. We assist through support, resources, education and financial support through Celebration of Support Events (aka individual benefits).
To make reservations or to learn more about this event call
Heidi at (920) 422-1919 or visit our website at www.communitybenefittree.org
40 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
Strengthening Education for the Future of Nursing by Marian University Nursing professionals are abuzz over the recent release of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation/ Institute of Medicine (RWJF/ IOM) report on the Future of Nursing. Four key points were stressed by the committee that wrote this landmark report. One that speaks specifically about nursing education is that “Nurses should achieve higher levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic progression” (IOM, 2010). This report is timely for many reasons. One in particular is that there is a growing shortage of nursing faculty across the nation, which impacts the ability of nursing schools to expand enrollment in pre-licensure programs. Despite the fact that there has been an increase in advanced practice nurses (nurse practitioners, nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists) educational programs for these advanced degrees do Dr. Julie Luetschwager
not generally include key content necessary for the advance practice nurses to assist in the education of our future nurses. In an effort to address the shortage of nurse educators and meet the key point of seamless academic progression addressed in the RWJF/IOM report, Marian University School of Nursing has developed a fully online postgraduate certificate in nursing education program. The initial development of this new certificate program was supported by a $190,000 grant from the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Congressionally-Directed Grants. The School of Nursing was recently notified that they are a recipient of a second award from the Office of Postsecondary Education’s Congressionally-Directed Grants in the amount of $200,000. This grant will enable the School of Nursing to continue the development of this strategic endeavor to enhance the transition of clinical experts to the role of nursing faculty.
800.262.7426 Information regarding the Postgraduate Certificate in Nursing Education - Online can be found at http://www.marianuniversity.edu/nursing. Citation: Institute of Medicine (October, 2010). The future of nursing: Leading change, advancing health (Report Brief). Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences. Dr. Julie Luetschwager is the dean for the School of Nursing at Marian University. Dr. Luetschwager has used her more than 25 years of nursing experience to advance educational quality in nursing. “Professionally Speaking” is a promotional spot for business professionals to share their expertise with New North B2B readers.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 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 The Junction Bar LLC, Jennifer Tingle, 3049 County Road EE, Abrams 54101. ABC Junction Child Care LLC, Amanda Jean Mortier, 4660 Winding Creek Tr., Abrams 54101. Truttmann Hearth Ware LLC, Alison M. Van Lanen, 3795 Shirley Road, De Pere 54115. Main Street Mall LLC, Matthew Olson, 1201 O’Hare Blvd., De Pere 54115. A-Pro Sound LLC, James H. Constine, 127 N. Broadway, De Pere 54115. Spirit of the Owl Healing Arts LLC, Roxanne R Perillo, 708 Main Ave., De Pere 54115. Law Office of Eric R. Wimberger LLC, Eric Richard Wimberger, Esq., 1146 Pine St. Upper, Green Bay 54301. Innovative Printing LLC, Frank J. Van Langendon, 1136 Contract Dr., Green Bay 54304. Mather Heights Neighborhood Assn. Inc., Robert Heroux, 611 Wilson Ave., Green Bay 54303. Cutting Edge Lawn Care LLC, Mark Borter, 2301 Santa Barbara Dr., Green Bay 54313. Innovative Machinery Solutions of WI LLC, Shannon T. Archambo, 1942 County Road C, Green Bay 54313. Trail Sign Products LLC, Rick T. Holewinski, 2740 S. Oneida St., Ste. A, Green Bay 54304. Straubel Converting Inc., Mark D. Carrick, 1531 Amy Joy Ct., Green Bay 54313. DMW Mountain View Apartments LLC, Wade T. Micoley, 2360 Dousman St., Green Bay 54303. Nys Fencing Company LLC, Adam J. Nys, 1205 Gross Ave., Green Bay 54304. Integrative Health of Green Bay LLC, Aimee Hamilton, 2331 Velp Ave. Ste. C/D, Green Bay 54303. LF Transporting LLC, Jill M. Pruski, 1060 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54303. Arrowhead Trucking LLC, Jamie L. House, 3334 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54313. Anderson Campbell Educational 42 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
Teaching & Consulting LLC, Amy Lynn Campbell, 1515 6th St., Ste. 101, Green Bay 54304. Doc’s Plumbing LLC, Michael D. Strege, 5304 Glendale Ave, Green Bay 54313. Subsurface Exploration Services LLC, Vladimir Wojnar, 530 Baird Creek Road, Apt. 6, Green Bay 54311. Fallen Feather Films LLC, Eric Martin, 1930 Spring Creek Ct., Green Bay 54311. Krahn Plumbing & Septic LLC, Evan J. Krahn, 2714 Glendale Ave., Green Bay 54313. Dean Snyder Construction Co., Frederick L. Schmidt, 231 S. Adams St, Green Bay 54305. PHE Architecture LLC, Carolyn M Glime, 1263 Main St., Ste. 213, Green Bay 54302. Badger Steam Cleaning LLC, Barry Kaul, 1253 Marian Lane, Green Bay 54304. Ascent Creative Marketing Management LLC, Rebecca Marie Weber, 2619 Sage Dr., Green Bay 54302. Burton Motorsports Marketing LLC, Charles Burton III, 801 Broadview Dr., Green Bay 54301. P.M. Early Learning LLC, Linnea Berg, 1435 E. Mason St., Green Bay 54301. Keebler Tax & Wealth Education Inc., Matthew C. Zuengler, 200 S. Washington St., Ste. 401, Green Bay 54301. N.E.W. Mobile Welding Service LLC, Donald Mark Stewart, 760 Meadowbrook Ct., Green Bay 54313. Secure Home Healthcare LLC, Boua Xee Thao, 2000 Emerald Dr., Green Bay 54311. Creative Concrete of the Fox Valley LLC, Paul G. Cappelle, 2914 Mill Road, Greenleaf 54126. Subsurface Instruments Inc., Joseph Weiland, 931 Thornberry Creek Dr., Oneida 54155. The Right Hand Dairy LLC, Loretta V. Metoxen, N6308 Van Boxtel Road, Oneida 54155. Hecal and Jecal Marketing LLC, Gerald Calnin, 421 Main St., P.O Box 333, Wrightstown 54180. Earth Works Septic & Excavation LLC, Ernest John Schumacher, 345 Sharla St., Wrightstown 54180. Business Plan Advisors LLC, Jason Muenster, 543 Meadow Lane, No. 1, Wrightstown 54180.
Calumet County Sentinel Builders LLC, Ryan Matthew Grohman, W5106 Naturesway Dr., Sherwood 54169.
Fond du Lac County KC Mead Aviation LLC, Brian P. Johnson, 817 W. Main St., Brownsville 53006. Orlow’s Agronomy LLC, Todd Michael Orlowski, N686 Moraine Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Club Olympia Judo Inc., Lynn Roethke, 101 Camelot Dr., Ste. 5, Fond du Lac 54935. Bates Bakery LLC, George Thomas Bates, 18 E. Division St., Fond du Lac 54935. Nancy’s Five Star Cleaning LLC, Nancy L. Kaiser, 520 Pearl Lane, Fond du Lac 54937. PC Savant LLC, Garland Barber, 247 S. Park Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Affordable Automotive LLC, Jeffrey Brown, 40 4th St., Fond du Lac 54935. Eco-Aluminum Alloys Inc., Kevin Richard Anderson, 1026 New Haven Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Al’s Taxi Service LLC, Marie Ann Klebs, 1113 Michigan Ave., North Fond du Lac 54937. Carly’s Nailworx LLC, Carly A. Kastein, 314 S. Division St., Waupun 53963.
Outagamie County Premier Accounting Solutions LLC, Deirdra D. Porretto, W2854 Schmalz Cr., Appleton 54915. Captain’s Cleaning & Maintenance LLC, Gerald H. Blessing III, 1124 E. Woodland Ave., Appleton 54911. Daycaresquare LLC, Derek Ross Olson, 1720 W. Reeve St., Appleton 54914. Willow Road Photography LLC, Erin Walker, 706 E. Lindbergh St., Appleton 54911. Alternative Center For Education Inc., Anne K. Schauman, 101 W. Edison Ave., Ste. 215, Appleton 54915. Rice Fitness LLC, Larry L. Rice, 1726 N. Ballard Road, Appleton 54911. Massage Evolution LLC, Jason R. Rieckmann, 4070 W. Spencer St., Appleton 54914. Nail Forum & Spa LLC, Jenny Huynh, N162 Eisenhower Dr., No. 200, Appleton 54915.
WHO’S NEWS BB Finish Carpentry & Cabinetry LLC, Brian J. Berg, 1218 W. Bell Ave., Appleton 54914. Sports Broadcast Solutions LLC, Steven P. Krause, 15 Park Pl., Ste. 500, Appleton 54914. All Around Roofing & Siding LLC, Joshua J. Ostrowski, 4019 Towne Lakes Ave., Apt. 4116, Appleton 54913. Shine On Salon LLC, Patti Zeske, W6041 Jessica Lane, Appleton 54915. Power Sports Rental Network LLC, Eric Eickhoff, N206 Hank Dr., Appleton 54915. Really Handy Construction Services LLC, Charles A. Gruber, 1331 E. South River St., Appleton 54915. Master Electrical Solutions LLC, Kevin Marvin Hietpas, W5940 Sweet Clover Dr., Appleton 54915. Push Personal Fitness LLC, Derick Daniel Bielmeier, 3845 E. Calumet St., No. B, Appleton 54915. Fox Valley Densified Fuels LLC, Walter Louis Nocito, 2907 E. Rail Road, Appleton 54915. H. L. Tax Services LLC, Hector Leon-Bustamante, W6036 Sweet William Dr., Appleton 54915. Calmes & Rohm Construction LLC, Brian Matthew Calmes, 411 High Ridge Lane, Black Creek 54106. Averity Chiropractic LLC, Kate E. Petersen, N1739 Lily of the Valley Dr., Greenville 54942. Greenville Storage LLC, James Wolf, N2004 Greenville Dr., Greenville 54942. Dairy Business Resources LLC, Roger Meads, DVM, W8498 Grandview Road, Hortonville 54944. Spacemakers Junk Removal LLC, Shane D. Roberts, N3187 State Road 15, Hortonville 54944. 4J’s Transport LLC, John B. Dercks, 206 W. 10th St., Kaukauna 54130. Holschuh Family Farm LLC, Lawrence W. Holschuh, 7783 County Road D, Kaukauna 54130. Van Handel Heating & Cooling LLC, Nicholas J. Van Handel, N4170 County Road E, Kaukauna 54130. Stumble In LLC, Kelly J. Krueger, 142 W. 3rd St., Kaukauna 54130. Greenville Doors LLC, Chad Schmidt, 1319 Crooks Ave., P.O. Box 406, Kaukauna 54130. Laureljohn Trucking LLC, John Warren Proffitt, 310 W. Division St., P.O. Box 768, Kaukauna 54130. Circle E Equestrian Stables LLC, Patricia Eisenreich, 6640 Shady Road, Seymour 54165.
Winnebago County Martha S. Scheer, CPA, P.C., Martha S. Swanson, 1981 Midway Road, Ste. A, Menasha 54952. United Music Supply LLC, Terry Godier, 1455 Tullar Road, No. 9, Neenah 54956. Lone Wolf Landscapes Inc., Andrew Dale Knaack, 206 Clairmont Ct., Apt. 1, Neenah 54956. Pro Inspect LLC, James A. Weyenberg, 743 Cleveland St., Neenah 54956. Valley’s Simply Catering LLC, Ross Andrew Kleinmann, 1697 Gateway Pl., Neenah 54956. Nature’s Best Produce LLC, Karen A. Dar, 1994 Oakridge Road, Neenah 54956. Sharon Radtke Insurance Agency LLC, Sharon Radtke, 662
Network. Learn. Grow.
Entrepreneur’s Connection 2010 Tuesday, November 16 • 4:30-7:30 p.m. Oshkosh Convention Center Cost: $30 per person
Featuring Richard Bergstrom President Bergstrom Corporation
• Launch your business idea or grow your existing small business. • Learn to put together an effective business plan. • Connect with other entrepreneurs. • Attend seminars on the following topics: • Financing • Social media and e-commerce • Networking • Area resources • Elevator pitches
Learn more by contacting Annette at (920)929-2928, email@example.com, or log on to
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 43
WHO’S NEWS La Quinta Ct., Neenah 54956. National Marketing Inc., Keith W. Hueffner, 1068 American Dr., Neenah 54956. Appleton Flats Development Co. LLC, Randall Stadtmueller, 244 E. Doty Ave., Neenah 54956. Pura Vida Yoga LLC, Crystal M. Rohde, 691 S. Green Bay Road, No. 207, Neenah 54956. Hargrave Dairy LLC, Joel Robert Hargrave, 3220 Quarry Dr., Omro 54963. Clean Slate Health Center LLC, Sarah Jean Kaehny, 1624 Jefferson St., Oshkosh 54901. Iridium Consulting LLC, Gary S. Rodman, 1765 Crestview Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Bruce D. Berndt CPA LLC, Bruce Donald Berndt, 4060 Windermere Lane, Oshkosh 54902. Creative Lawns LLC, Benjamin James Peterson, 170 Westbrook Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Oshkosh Glass & Mirror LLC, Daniel Ralph Sitzberger, 1615 Oregon St., Oshkosh 54902. Bob’s Mini-Mart LLC, Robert M. Poehlman, 2012 Clairville Road, Oshkosh 54904. Discount Auto Repair LLC, Mark Mayer, 1023 N. Main St., Oshkosh 54901. Badger Sportsman Magazine LLC, Jason Hirschberg, Esq., 601 Oregon St., Ste. A, Oshkosh 54902. McGinnis Chiropractic Office Inc., Timothy O. McGinnis, 11 N. 6th Ave., Winneconne 54986.
44 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Wisconsin Department of Transportation – Brown County Field Office, 1940 W. Mason St., Green Bay. $498,000 for interior alterations to remodel the existing commercial building. General contractor is DeLeers Construction of Green Bay. August 5. Ashland Ave LLC/Wesco Distribution, 2740 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon. $1,446,660 for a 35,198-sq. ft. industrial facility. General contractor is Best Built Inc. of Green Bay. August 30. Encompass Early Education, 2000 Lawrence Dr., De Pere. $800,000 for a new child care center. General contractor is DeLeers Construction of Green Bay. September 10. GRS LLC/Fox Valley Technical College, 4200 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh. $1,544,000 for a 27,216-sq. ft. building to house the Advanced Manufacturing Process Center. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. September 10. University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh. $1,800,000 for a 17,185-sq. ft. anaerobic biodigestor energy plant. General contractor is Boldt Construction of Appleton. September 10.
WHO’S NEWS William Perrigoue/O’Reilly Auto Parts, 1722 Main St., Green Bay. $428,529 for a new auto parts store. Contractor is BDH Contracting. September 14. City of Green Bay, 1215 Bay Beach Road, Green Bay. $936,000 for the Zippen Pippen roller coaster structure. General contractor is Miron Construction of Neenah. September 16. Hobby Lobby Stores, 1118 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh. $420,000 for an interior remodel of the existing store. Owner listed as contractor. September 16. Bergstrom Mini, 2986 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute. $1,375,000 for a 10,291-sq. ft. addition to the existing auto dealership. General contractor is Miron Construction of Neenah. September 21. Fond du Lac County, 541 Martin Road, Fond du Lac. $1,309,275 for an addition and renovation to the existing exposition building at the fairgrounds. General contractor is Cardinal Construction of Fond du Lac. September 22. Piggly Wiggly, 2465 Lineville Road, Howard. $640,000 for an 11,200-sq. ft. addition to the existing grocery store. Contractor listed as Wisconsin Land Development. September 28. Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, 130 Second St., Neenah. $550,000 for a renovation of the first floor breast center. General contractor is Boldt Construction of Appleton. September 28. PCM Employees Credit Union, 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon. $1,560,000 for a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office. General contractor is LaMacchia Group of Milwaukee. October 15.
Mergers/acquisitions Winnebago Community Credit Union of Oshkosh acquired Members United Credit Union of Neenah. The acquisition was completed Oct. 1. Winnebago Community Credit Union is open to residents who live and work in Winnebago, Outagamie and Fond du Lac counties and has more than 6,900 members. Spancrete Group of Waukesha is selling its American Concrete Pipe Co. division, including its Green Bay operation at 2448 Century Road and a plant in Milwaukee, to County Materials Corp. Spancrete officials said it will move its bridge production capabilities in Green Bay to another Spancrete location in the next two years.
New locations The Advance Business Center in Green Bay added six tenants to its business incubation program. A new division of Amerex Corp. of Alabama will focus on the testing and development of portable extinguishers and engineered suppression systems. AFF Research LLC, a second firm locating in the facility, offers consulting to companies in areas relating to diversity including the assistance with certification for minority and women-owned businesses. Machinex Trading LLC, an authorized international distributor of used light and heavy
machinery equipment and spare parts, also took an office. The fourth new tenant is Kelly Business Advisors LLC, which provides business coaching, consulting and success training. Banshee Brothers LLC is a maker of tomato pies, meatless and dairy-less pizza created with a special sauce. Lastly, Disability Rights of Wisconsin, a non-profit serving as the designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Wisconsin, moved into the office facility. Bennett Family Insurance Agency LLC, Oshkosh, an agency for Farmer’s Insurance, has moved its office to the first floor of 100 N. Main St.
New products/services Credit Coach Inc., Kaukauna, introduced a fully automated, Web-based consumer credit management product available through financial institutions. Several banks are currently testing the product. Credit Coach will generate revenue by charging financial institutions a fee each month based on use. The service is free to consumers.
Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of the New North B2B. The St. Agnes Hospital Center for Physical Rehabilitation in Fond du Lac received a national “Top Performer Award” from the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation organization, ranking the center in the top 10 percent of patient outcomes and quality of inpatient rehabilitative care in the United States. Ledgeview Partners, Appleton, a firm specializing in customer relationship products and services, was named to the 2010 President’s Club for Microsoft Dynamics for the second consecutive year. Heidel House Resort & Spa, Green Lake, achieved a 4 Green Key rating in the Green Key Eco-Rating Program that recognizes the resort as a hotel showing industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices. Work by Hoffman LLC, Appleton, for the Holy Wisdom Monastery in Madison received a 2010 Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Award of Merit from the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. received an Excellence in Economic Development Award from the International Economic Development Council for its efforts to keep Mercury Marine headquarters in Fond du Lac. Faith Technologies, Menasha, an electrical and specialty systems contractor, ranked 10th in Midwest Construction Magazine’s 2010 list of Top 100 Specialty Contractors, the third consecutive year the company has earned a top 10 ranking. Work by Boldt Co., Appleton, for the Lawrence University
NEW NORTH B2B lNOVEMBER 2010 l 45
WHO’S NEWS Warch Campus Center in Appleton resulted in the 2010 Sustainability and Energy Efficiency Leadership Award special citation presented by the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance. Two additional Boldt projects were recognized as “Best of 2010” by Midwest Construction Magazine, including the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, recognized with a project of the year award in the Best Renovation/ Restoration category, and Encircle Health in Appleton, with a merit award in the healthcare category. The Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin named Bergstrom Automotive, Neenah, one of the winners of its 2010 Business Ethics Torch Awards. DealerFire, Oshkosh, which offers online marketing platforms for automotive dealers, received a Pinnacle 2010 Automotive Website Award for search marketing. Great Northern Corp.’s Consumer Packaging & Display division, Appleton, won the platinum award for best in show in the drugstore category with its floor display for IMS Gatorade in this year’s Design of the Times competition at the Shopper Marketing Expo in Chicago. Great Northern also won seven gold awards for: Kleenex Hand Towels carton, Kaytee Nature’s Benefits pet food line, and displays for Mattel, Nintendo and SC Johnson. A Great Northern display for 3M earned a bronze award. Michels Corp., Brownsville, was named the 3rd largest pipeline contractor in the U.S. by Engineering News Record in its annual ranking of utility industry contractors. Michels was also named the No. 4 contractor in transmission lines and cables, No. 5 in transmission and distribution plants, and No. 12 in petroleum by ENR.
New hires Bank First National hired Mei Bloechl as vice president of private banking and retail banking serving the Fox Valley market. Bloechl has more than 30 years of banking experience, most recently serving as the vice president of private banking at Associated Wealth Management in Oshkosh for the past 13 years. Prior to that, Bloechl was employed at U.S. Bank. On Broadway Inc., Green Bay, hired Olivia Lowery as its events manager. Lowery previously served as the event director for Steel Bridge Songfest in Sturgeon Bay, the Midwest’s largest all original music festival. Fastsigns, Appleton, hired Bob Thomas as project manager. Thomas previously owned and operated Inkjet Ideas, a wideformat digital printing business. His primary role will be managing large accounts and sign projects. Menn Law, Appleton, added Bruce K. Schmidt in an “of counsel” capacity, to serve as a mediator and arbitrator for civil cases and for family law mediations. Schmidt most recently served as a judge for the Winnebago County Circuit Court for the past 19 years. Prior to that elected role, he served as a circuit court commissioner and a family court commissioner, both for Winnebago County. Deborah Henschel joined First National Bank - Fox Valley as a mortgage/private banking officer at its Calumet Street branch in Appleton. She has 16 years of mortgage lending experience in the Fox Valley. Great Lakes Agency, Green Bay, an office of MetLife, hired Allan Wondrash as a financial service representative. Wondrash has worked in the financial services industry for more than 40 years.
46 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
WHO’S NEWS Orthopedic surgeon Kenneth Kleist, MD, joined ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus at Appleton Medical Center. Dr. Kleist provides patients with solutions for knee and other joint issues.
Promotions Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, Appleton, announced the promotions of 11 staff members. Tim Potter of the private client group has been promoted to tax director. He has been with the firm since 1984. Jennifer Voigt of the private client group has been promoted to strategic tax manager. She has been with the firm since 2007. Jennifer Pomrening of the retirement plan solutions group has been promoted to senior benefit specialist. She has been with the firm since 2006. Julie Krull of the private client group has been promoted to senior accountant. She has been with the firm since January 2008. Greg Seidl of the manufacturing/distribution team has been promoted to manager. He has been with the firm since 2005. Peter Wick of the retail team has been promoted to manager. He’s been with the firm since 2005. Tucker Burr of the commercial services team has been promoted to senior accountant. Burr has been with the firm since 2006. Jennifer Thomas of the commercial services team has been promoted to senior sccountant. She has been with the firm since 2007. Andy McCarty of the commercial services team has been promoted to senior accountant. He has been with the firm since 2008. Angela Horn has been promoted to senior marketing associate. She’s been with the firm since 2008. Ben School of the construction and real estate team has been promoted to senior accountant. He has been with the firm since 2008.
Elections/appointments Current, the young professionals network for the Green Bay area, named the following new officers for its upcoming year: Ashley Groskreutz, chair, of Schreiber Foods Inc.; Chad Heath, vice chair, of Alliance Insurance Centers LLC; Kristin
Kent, secretary, of WFRV Channel 5; and Lisa Christensen, event planning chair, of Wipfli LLP.
Certifications Jim Taylor, a physical therapist at Rehab Alliance LLC, Fond du Lac, received his Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist certification from the American Physical Therapy Association. To receive this designation, a physical therapist must complete 2,000 hours of clinical practice, 10,000 hours of direct patient care in orthopedics, and pass an eight-hour examination.
Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to send an announcement to: New North B2B, Attn: Who’s News, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903. For more events, log on to www.thenewnorthevents.com. November 3 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Promotions with Pizzazz! 74 S. Main St. 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. November 4 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business after Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Silton Seifert Carlson, S.C., 331 E. Washington St. in Appleton. No cost to attend for chamber members, or $10 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, call 920.766.1616 or go online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com. November 9 “A Family Company with a Soul – James J. Keller,” a lunch and seminar event presented as part of the Excellence in Leadership series, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. in Oshkosh. Keynote will be from James J. Keller, president and chief operating officer of J. J. Keller & Associates Inc. in Neenah. Registration is $35 before October 10, or $40 after that date. Send check to: Excellence in Leadership, P.O. Box 2602, Oshkosh, WI 54903-2602. For more information, call 920.223.0520 or go online to www.eilgroup.org. November 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, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920.303.2265. November 10 Mercury Marine Company Tour, an event for Young Professionals of Fond du Lac, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Mercury Marine, 545 N. Pioneer Road in Fond du Lac. Steve Cramer, vice president and CFO, will provide a snap shot of Mercury Marine. No cost to attend for YPF members, or $10 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, go online to www.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 47
BUSINESS CALENDAR fdlac.com or call 920.921.9500. November 16 E-Connect, a seminar and networking event for entrepreneurs, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. in Oshkosh. Keynote speaker Dick Bergstrom will accent an evening which will include break out sessions on financing, social media, networking, developing an elevator pitch, and resources for starting and growing a business. Cost to attend is $30. For more information or to register, contact Annette at 920.929.2928 or email email@example.com. November 16 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 150 S. Brooke St. in Fond du Lac. Cost is $2 if pre-registered or $5 at the door. For information or to register, go online to www.fdlac. com or call 920.921.9500.
Advertiser’s Index Anthem www.anthem.com............................................................ 25 Bailiwick Workshops www.bailiwickworkshops.com............................ 37 Baker Tilly www.bakertilly.com......................................................... 8 Bank First National www.bankfirstnational.com.................................. 16 CitizensFirst Credit Union www.citizensfirst.com . .............................. 7 Community Benefit Tree . ....................................................... 40 Culver’s www.culvers.com............................................................ 35 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. www.dkattorneys.com..................................... 5 Dermatology Associates www.dermwisconsin.com............................ 44 Digicorporation www.digiprint.biz.................................................. 41 E-Connect www.econnectevent.com................................................. 43 Epiphany Law www.epiphanylaw.com. ............................................ 52 Faith Technologies www.faithtechnologies.com.................................... 8 Fast Signs www.fastsigns.com....................................................... 37 Fox Banquets – Rivertyme Catering www.michielsfoxbanquets.com...... 39 Guident Business Solutions www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com............ 36 Hilton Garden Inn www.oshkosh.hgi.com. ....................................... 22 Horicon Bank www.horiconbank.com. ............................................. 22 Independence Financial www.independencefinancialllc.com.................. 40 Keller Inc. www.kellerbuilds.com ................................................... 33 Lombardi’s Restaurant www.radisson.com...................................... 35 Marian University www.marianuniversity.edu..................................... 41 Moraine Park Technical College www.morainepark.edu..................... 31 National Exchange Bank & Trust www.nebat.com............................. 2 Network Health Plan www.networkhealth.com . ................................ 51 New North www.thenewnorth.com................................................... 10 Outagamie County Regional Airport www.atw.com......................... 15 OuterEdge www.outeredge.com...................................................... 35 Pullman’s Restaurant www.pullmansrestaurant.com............................ 35
November 17 “Estate Planning Valuation Issues – Identify Risks to Protect Clients,” a no-cost online Webinar presented by Clifton Gunderson LLP, from 1 to 2 p.m. Valuation expert Timothy Muehler will discuss key valuation drivers; methodologies to value a company; buy-sell issues related to valuation; and presale issues. Registration is required by going online to www. cliftoncpa.com/Resources/Events/Details. For more information, contact Kathy at 608.662.8679 or Kathy.Kiedrowski@ cliftoncpa.com. November 18 “Improve Your Business by Improving Your Clients,” a Business & Breakfast event from the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, 7 to 8:30 a.m. at F.K. Bemis Center at St. Norbert College, 100 Grant St. in De Pere. Presenter Mary GuldanLindstrom of FOCU$ CPA will discuss how businesses can take a proactive approach in selecting and choosing their clients, as well as improving client relations. Cost to attend is $18 for chamber members or $35 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, go online to www.titletown.org or call 920.437.8704. December 3 New North Summit 2010, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kolf Sports Center, 792 High St. in Oshkosh. An annual report and update on the progress of New North, in addition to a keynote address by Mark Murphy, president of the Green Bay Packers. Cost to attend is $55 before Nov. 12, or more after that date. For more information or to register, go online to www.newnorthsummit.com. December 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, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 920.303.2265.
Businesses incorporated in Wisconsin and foreign corporations that have nexus with the state are subject to a 7.9 percent tax on the income of the corporation. That flat 7.9 percent rate has not been changed in the past 20 years. Source: Forward Wisconsin
Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. www.stifel.com . ......................................... 28 TDS Metrocom www.tdsvoip.com. ................................................. 11 TEC www.tecmidwest.com. ............................................................ 50 Thomas James Real Estate www.tjsite.com............................. 12, 21 Thome Benefit Solutions www.thomebenefitsolutions.com.................... 27 Venture Center www.venturecenterwi.biz.......................................... 28 Winnebago County Solid Waste Mgmt. www.co.winnebago.wi.us/solid-waste/container-rental-program. ..................... 27 48 l NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010
MANAGING EDITOR’S VIEW
Celebrating the entrepreneur Venture Center has reached an important milestone in helping prepare business owners
Bob Warde Managing Editor New North B2B
Barry Moltz is a funny guy. During his keynote address for the Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center’s fifth anniversary celebration at the end of September, Moltz had the audience of several hundred people laughing out loud with his stories about being an entrepreneur. Moltz was instrumental in the founding of at least three businesses: The first went bankrupt; he was forced out of the second business by his partners and the third he sold for, well, a lot of money. In essence, he knows failure as well as success, having been an entrepreneur for more than 15 years. According to his biography, after successfully selling his last operating business, Moltz branched out into a number of entrepreneurship-related activities. He founded an angel investor group, an angel fund, and is a former advisory member of the board of the Angel Capital Education Foundation. He’s also written three books on running a business. His first, “You Need to Be A Little Crazy: The Truth about Starting and Growing Your Business,” describes the ups and downs and emotional trials of running a business. His second book, “Bounce! Failure, Resiliency and the Confidence to Achieve Your Next Great Success,” shows what it takes to comeback and develop true business confidence. His third and most recent book, “BAM! Delivering Customer Service in a Self-Service World,” shows how customer service is the new marketing. He’s a member of the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame and has taught entrepreneurship as an adjunct professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology. But for all the expertise and experience Moltz brings to the entrepreneurial table, it’s his humor that can really hammer a lesson home. Some Barry-isms he shared during his speech include: n “A lot of people come to me and say, ‘Barry, I want to start a business because I want to make a boatload of money.’ And I tell them that if they want to make money in the next couple of years, they should find themselves a job, because you actually make more money the first couple of years working for someone else than working for yourselves. The only reason you should go out there and start your own business is because you have
passion, because deep down inside you want to see your ideas succeed and you’re willing to let your ideas fail,” he said. n “Let’s face it, the No. 1 reason people start a business in the United States is because they hate their boss. I actually started my business when I left IBM because I hated my boss. When you have your own business, you actually have more bosses. You’re vendors become your boss, your customers become your boss and your employees become your boss. And it feels like having your own business is like driving a clown car and all those bosses come with you. You drive along this winding country road, which is the market, banging into guardrails and you hit all the potholes. What’s worse – you’re spouse is in that car with you, except he or she is in the back seat, facing backward and blindfolded. If you don’t know where you’re going, then they have absolutely no idea where you’re going.” n Ok, this one isn’t so funny, but it sure is poignant: “You have to let go of the failures. There may be something to learn from them, but sometimes failing just sucks. You have to let them go regardless of whether there is something to be learned from it or not. This will give you entrepreneurial confidence and allow you a greater chance at success.” The Venture Center was launched through FVTC to educate entrepreneurs and provide them with networking opportunities. Since its inception, it has: v Helped launch or expand more than 200 small businesses. v Those businesses have created more than 500 jobs. v The center has provided 2,630 hours of one-on-one technical coaching, instruction and technical assistance. v It has also hosted 1,615 high school students at its annual Youth Entrepreneurship summits. It is critical that young people be exposed to entrepreneurship as a career option as well as the importance entrepreneurship has to New North’s economy. Experts say five years is an important milestone in the life of an organization. The five years that the Venture Center has helped educate the region’s entrepreneurs is exciting and one can only hope there are many more to come.
NEW NORTH B2B l NOVEMBER 2010 l 49
KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
$2.84 October 17 $2.83 October 10 $2.80 October 3 $2.68 Oct. 24, 2009 $2.66 October 24
Source: New North B2B observations
from September 2009 September
from September 2009
from September 2009 (2007 = 100)
Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin
August July Aug. ‘09 9.6% 9.9% 9.4% 9.6% 10.2% 10.5% 9.2% 9.3% 7.9% 7.8% 7.7% 7.8%
Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm.
from September 2009 (Manufacturers and trade)
11.0% 11.1% 11.9% 10.7% 8.9% 8.6%
$0.741 $0.728 $0.714
Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)
from August 2009
If there are indicators you’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 NOVEMBER 2010
Network Health Plan members now have more options than ever, including access to Affinity Medical Group and ThedaCare Physicians. For a complete list of providers, visit us at networkhealth.com.
Estate Planning Simplified *Why would a business law firm run an ad for estate planning? Well, itâ€™s pretty simple: As part of our business focus we have been doing complex estate planning and succession planning for business owners since inception. Thus, we have already developed the same straight-forward, cost effective systems and processes for estate planning that our business clients have always valued. In addition, we, unfortunately, have heard a lot of negative feedback from both clients and referral sources about other attorneys in the area who offer estate planning (and everything else). Common complaints include inexperience, unpredictable pricing, poor work product and the inability to speak with the attorney. After hearing request after request to open up our estate planning practice to non-business owners, we have relented. Thus, we are pleased to announce that Epiphany Law is now accepting clients and referrals for estate planning of both the business and non-business persuasion.
Kevin L. Eismann
4211 N. Lightning Drive Appleton, WI 54913
New North B2B regional business magazine