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Locally Grown Chains

Retailers unlock the key to success beyond the initial start-up location

Mining for Momentum Battling Mental Illness at Work

December 2011 $3.95


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new north b2b December 2011

28 22



22 COVER STORY ❘ Locally Grown Chains ❘ Retailers unlock the key to success beyond the initial start-up location

28 SAFETY ❘ Cutting Out Accidents ❘ Successful safety plans help employers minimize worker’s compensation claims

32 HEALTH CARE ❘ Hidden Obstacles ❘ Identifying and treating mental illness among staff can increase productivity

36 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ Working Against the Grain ❘ Woodworker shifts entrepreneurial gears

Departments 4 From the Publisher 6 Since We Last Met 10 Corporate Earnings 14 Build Up Pages 20 Around the Boardroom 21 Pierce Stronglove 40 Professionally Speaking 42 Who’s News 48 Business Calendar 48 Advertiser Index 49 Guest Commentary 50 Key Statistics

On our Cover

Cover illustration by Don Stolley’s Advanced Photography class at the University of Wisconson-Oshkosh. Please see page 5 for more information.



Mining industry sports a black eye in the state from turmoil more than a decade ago

Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher

Mining for momentum

As the mantra of job creation politics sweeps across Washington and Madison in resounding fashion during this past few years, it’s striking that so little energy and attention has been funneled into the proposed Gogebic Taconite iron ore mine in northern Wisconsin. Currently the project – which could possibly create more than 1,000 jobs and generate an estimated $1.2 billion in economic activity each year – sits on the backburner as the state’s legislature reviews antiquated laws which invite hurdles and delays in mine development. Wisconsin residents haven’t faced much controversy in the mining industry since the late 1990s when Earth First! members protesting the proposed Crandon Mine handcuffed themselves to the front door of the mining company’s offices in downtown Crandon. In a response of support, the legislature imposed an unnecessary moratorium on metallic mining in 1998 and didn’t leave thenGov. Tommy Thompson much choice other than to sign it into law. Since that time, metallic mining in Wisconsin has sported a black eye that never really seemed to heal. That’s unfortunate, particularly as the proposed Gogebic Taconite project has emerged, because the two projects are completely different, and offers a chance for one of the most poverty-stricken areas of the state to grow their economy during a historic period when it’s perhaps needed most. As a young cub reporter for the only daily newspaper covering Crandon during the late 1990s, I had the opportunity to write about every small detail of the proposed copper and zinc mining operation – as well as all the peripheral turmoil – that developed during those years. Even though the project hailed the benediction of the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the state Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, I was amazed how it continually fell victim to the incoherent ranting of a handful of unshowered, out-of-work, Madison area college graduates. These kids didn’t have to raise a family and run a household in one of the poorest counties in the state, where unemployment rates are routinely among the highest in the state and entrepreneurial opportunities are few and far between.


Fortunately, those voices haven’t emerged as loudly in 2011 surrounding the Gogebic Taconite project, a proposed open pit mine on nearly five miles of land in Iron and Ashland counties. This project calls for far less strenuous methods of extracting minerals from the ground as well as from the surrounding rock, and won’t create wastewater discharge in the manner it was proposed in the Crandon project. But just as with the Crandon project, the Gogebic mine would provide an economic boon to a region of the state in desperate need. Ashland and Iron counties rank in the top 10 highest for unemployment among Wisconsin’s 72 counties. Both counties also support an average household income 25 to 30 percent less than the state average. The mine is expected to create an average salary and benefits of $83,000 a year – more than the cost of purchasing an average single-family home in that region – with an estimated total payroll of $58 million in its first year of operation. And it’s anticipated the iron deposit is large enough to support 35 years of operations, enough for nearly two generations in the workforce. The nagging question for the rest of us in northeast Wisconsin – perhaps not too much unlike those Madisonian environmentalists who quite literally threw themselves into the Crandon Mining discussion 14 years ago – is why should we care about economic prosperity in the far reaches of the Northwoods? After nearly a half-decade of recognizing the shared benefits of successes within a regional economy, we’ve also come to realize that success in neighboring regions has a tendency to spill our way as well. Less state and federal resources would be necessary to help residents of the Lake Superior region lead self-sustaining lives, and they’ll continue to generate more taxes for their local governments. With a renewed entrepreneurial climate that often comes from an economic injection like the opening of a new mine, their businesses, residents and agencies would buy even more goods and services from the rest of the state. We can develop momentum for the Gogebic Taconite project along with the state’s regulatory bodies, and we can do so with a solution that protects the people, economy and environment or the region.


On the cover This month’s cover for New North B2B represents the work of a unique endeavor between our publication and the students in Don Stolley’s Advanced Photography course at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. Stolley, who’s done the artwork for more than 70 B2B magazine covers during the past 10 years, hatched the idea early this past semester to allow students to work with the real-life applications of commercial photography. The 12 students in the class were broken up into three groups of four each, and were given the task of developing a concept design for the “Locally Grown Chains” cover story featured in this edition. Students were provided details of the cover story nearly six weeks in advance of the deadline, and asked to develop a single illustration of the story while accounting for our need to position the mailing label, B2B banner at the top of the cover, and descriptive copy on the cover to promote content inside. The B2B staff evaluated the three design concepts earlier in November and selected one to grace the cover of this edition. The students involved in the group designing this month’s cover include Angela Piechocki, Megan Tyjeski, Yeng Vang and Andy Waugh. The design concepts developed by the other two groups appear at the right. On behalf of the B2B staff, we humbly thank Don Stolley and all the students in the Advanced Photography class for their hard work and creativity in developing a truly unique cover design.

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

John Furkin

Graphic Designer

Contributing writers

Robin Bruecker Cheryl Hentz Lee Marie Reinsch

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. A single complimentary subscription is offered to all members of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Printed by Digicorporation, 120 Lake St., Neenah, WI 54956 POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at Oshkosh, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2011.

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Green Bay

Fox Cities


Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l DECEMBER EMBER 2011 l 5


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.

October 20 Officials from the federal Department of Veterans Affairs broke ground on a new 161,000-sq. ft., $60 million veterans health clinic on the far northeast side of Green Bay. Once complete in 2013, the clinic will replace the much smaller Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic and will serve area veterans who sometimes travel to Milwaukee or Madison for certain health care services. Once open, the new clinic is expected to employ 200 people.

October 24 The Appleton Board of Education approved a $174 million budget for the 2011-12 year, down more than 5 percent from the $184 million budget set a year ago. The budget levies $64.5 million on district taxpayers, slightly less than a year ago, but sets a tax rate of $9.17 for every $1,000 of equalized property value, up 8 cents from the 2010-11 tax levy as a result of a nearly 2.5 percent reduction in the district’s overall property valuation.

October 24 Neenah Mayor George Scherck rolled out his proposed $53.3 million budget for 2012, down less than a half percent from a year. The proposed budget would set a tax rate of $8.68 for every $1,000 of assessed property value, up 16 cents from the 2011 tax rate. The budget asks the common

council to consider borrowing $6.4 million to fund a variety of capital expenditures throughout 2012.

October 24 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Sec. Scott Baumbach resigned his post to pursue an undefined opportunity. Gov. Scott Walker immediately appointed DWD Deputy Secretary Reggie Newson. He is the third person to hold the cabinet post since Walker took office earlier this year, and the fourth leader of the department since the beginning of 2011.

October 26 Humana Inc. announced plans to add nearly 95 jobs to its Green Bay-area operation, part of a larger plan to add about 130 jobs in Wisconsin. Most of the positions will be in the health insurer’s service operations and technology teams, with a focus on technology application developers and architects.

October 26 Appleton-based Air Wisconsin Airlines Corp. received a $600,000 award from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to help reduce its lease at Outagamie County Regional Airport over the next seven years. Terms of the award require Air Wisconsin to maintain 242 jobs in Appleton through 2015 in order to have the principle and accrued interest forgiven.



December 8 – Gov. Jim Doyle signed into law a measure that will provide an income tax credit to Wisconsin manufacturers equal to the sales tax they pay on energy used in the manufacturing process.

December 6 – WPS Resources Corp. shareholders formally approved the sale of the company to Chicagobased Peoples Energy Corp., and approved a name change of the merged company to Integrys Energy Group, Inc. The new ticker symbol on the New York Stock Exchange is TEG.

2005 December 13 – The Federal Reserve Board raised its target for the federal funds rate another quarter point to 4.25 percent, marking the 13th straight meeting the committee recommended a quarter-point bump since the rate stood at 1 percent in early 2004.


2007 December 18 – Officials from both the Appleton Police Department and the Outagamie County Sheriff’s department have been considering a merger of their departments with the Town of Grand Chute Police Department.

SINCE WE LAST MET October 31 The Fond du Lac Board of Education passed a 201112 budget that holds the tax levy steady at $32.1 million – exactly the same as a year earlier – and raises the tax rate just 8 cents to $9.27 for every $1,000 in equalized property valuation. In crafting the final version of the budget, the board did use more than $365,000 from its debt service fund to help keep the levy even with a year ago.

October 31 State administrators learned Wisconsin won’t receive $45 million from the federal Department of Health and Human Services it was expecting to reimburse past medical costs that the state had paid because of federal mistakes in disability programs. The funds are included in the $220 million in savings the Walker administration hopes to identify in programs providing medical care for children and families, nursing home care for the elderly and disabled, and prescription drugs for seniors.

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October 31 The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance reported the state ranked No. 9 among the highest taxed states, with state and local taxes claiming 11.2 percent of personal income in 2009, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s up two spots from a year earlier, when Wisconsin ranked as the 11th highest taxed state, but reported state and local taxes claimed 11.7 percent of income. The 2009 decline in tax burden reflects a temporary increase in federal stimulus funds used to replace state tax dollars. When combining various user fees along with state and local taxes, Wisconsin ranked No. 11 at 14.4 percent of personal income, up from No. 15 the previous year.

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November 1 Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen, two of the nation’s top 20 CPA firms, announced plans to merge in January 2012. The new firm, called CliftonLarsonAllen, will boast more than $550 million in combined revenue, include more than 500 partners, and will operate from 25 states.

November 1 The Wisconsin Department of Justice reported more than 120,000 people downloaded concealed carry permit applications on the first day that the state’s new law took effect allowing citizens to carry hidden weapons.

November 2 Milwaukee-based private equity company Mason Wells announced it acquired a majority stake in Pacon Corp., the Grand Chute-based paper converter which employs about 400 people at four facilities across the Fox Cities. Company officials said the new partnership allows Pacon additional financial resources to help continue its growth.

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The Federal Reserve Board opted to maintain its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent, likely holding the historically-low rate through at least the end of 2011. In making its decision, federal bankers said there continues to be weakness in overall labor market conditions and the housing sector remains depressed, though it acknowledged household spending has increased at a faster pace in recent months and that business investment in equipment and software has continued to expand.

November 2 The Winnebago County Board of Supervisors approved a nearly $155 million budget for 2012 which uses $400,000 in airport reserve funds to purchase land for the proposed Wittman Regional Airport industrial park.

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The U.S. Department of Labor reported nearly 80,000 jobs were created in October, leaving the national unemployment rate relatively unchanged at 9.0 percent. Modest job growth continued in professional and businesses services, hospitality, health care and mining, while government employment continued to trend down.

November 7 The Brown County Board of Supervisors approved a nearly $279 million spending package for 2012 which keeps the tax levy steady at about $81 million. The levy sets the resulting county tax rate at $4.58 for every $1,000 of equalized property value.

November 7 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation fully reopened the 9th Avenue interchange with U.S. Highway 41 in Oshkosh, marking the completion of the $53 million first phase of the US 41 expansion project in Oshkosh. The project included construction of three traffic lanes in each direction on a six-mile section between Witzel Avenue and State Road 26, as well as the reconstruction of the interchange, which had closed in February.

November 9 As part of the city’s 2012 budget discussion, the Appleton Common Council approved $3.4 million in capital improvement funding toward the proposed Fox Cities Exhibition Center. The proposed convention facility has been recommended to be built adjacent to the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton.

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The Green Bay Common Council approved a $100 million budget for 2012, a decrease of nearly 4 percent from a year earlier, but it still raised the tax rate 15 cents to $9.01 for every $1,000 of assessed property value. The city currently

SINCE WE LAST MET has a hiring freeze on any staff positions which become vacant, a measure which the budget forecasts will save the city about $2 million in the coming year.

November 15 The Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors approved a 2012 tax levy of $38.8 million which will set the tax rate at $5.69 for every $1,000 of equalized property value. The 2012 budget for the county includes $2 million toward the construction of an underpass of the Canadian National Rail crossing at Pioneer Road/County Road VV.

November 16 Fox Valley Technical College officials announced they will seek an April 2012 referendum to support funding as many as seven proposed capital projects totaling $65 to $85 million. Citing facilities space demands and a 30 percent enrollment growth during the past three years, college administrators proposed a $32.5 million, 91,600-sq. ft. public safety training center located at the south end of ATW Airport property in Greenville. Public hearings on the proposed capital expansion projects are scheduled for December.

November 16 Lawrence University in Appleton received a $5 million gift from alumni Tom and Julie Hurvis to construct the 5,500-sq. ft. Hurvis Center for Interdisciplinary Film Studies. The fully

functional film production studio will be built next year by renovating the lower level of the former Downer Commons, and will include a 2,000-sq. ft. performance  and screening venue.

November 16 Gov. Scott Walker signed Assembly Bill 179, which allows municipalities to work together to create tax incremental financing districts across municipal and town jurisdictions. The measure has been at the forefront of regional economic development efforts as a tool to help regions better pitch local resources to larger companies to possibly move their operations into Wisconsin.

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Top Ten of 2011



Once each quarter, New North B2B runs a digest of quarterly financial reports from local publicly traded companies, or from out-of-the-area parent companies with significant operations in the Fox Valley.

Associated Banc Corp.

Illinois Tool Works Inc.


3Q 2011

3Q 2010

$34.0 million

$6.9 million

s 393%

Revenue $4.58 Billion $3.94 Billion

s 16%

20 cents

4 cents

s 400%



EPS The Ashwaubenon-based financial institution indicated total loans were up 3 percent for the quarter with growth in each major segment of its portfolio. Commercial and business lending grew by $198 million during the quarter while commercial real estate lending increased by $108 million. Associated also repurchased the remaining nearly $265 million in federal TARP funds during the quarter, primarily through a stock offering.

3Q 2011

3Q 2010 8%




$458 million

$489 million







The manufacturer of consumer paper and tissue products with significant operations in the Fox Cities achieved record third quarter sales, following on the footsteps of record second quarter sales of $5.3 billion. Quarterly sales in the company’s personal care segment increased 9 percent to $2.4 billion, while revenues in its health care segment climbed 11 percent to $400 million. Company officials also indicated key cost inputs inflated nearly $150 million compared with the third quarter 2010, including $110 million for raw materials other than fiber, resin and other oil-based materials and $20 million for energy costs.

VF Corp. 3Q 2011

3Q 2010

s 20%


80 cents

s 25%

$2.75 Billion $2.23 Billion s 23%


$301 million

$243 million

s 24%



s 21%

The parent company of Jansport operations in the Fox Cities acquired rugged bootwear maker Timberland during the third quarter, which added more than $163 million in revenue. The company reported 37 percent sales growth during the quarter in its outdoor & action sports coalition, which includes Jansport operations.


4Q 2011

4Q 2010 $556 million

$18.3 million $26.6 million 52 cents

65 cents


▼ 31% ▼ 20%

The Neenah-based contract electronics manufacturer reported full fiscal year 2011 sales of $2.23 billion, up nearly 11 percent from 2010, as well as full year earnings of $2.30 per share. During its last fiscal quarter of 2011, the company reported winning 24 new programs in its manufacturing solutions group it estimates will generate $182 million in annualized revenue.

Bemis Company Inc.

3Q 2011

3Q 2010

Revenue $1.36 Billion $1.29 Billion



▼ 11 %


Revenue EPS

$422 million

Revenue $538 million s

$508 million

The parent company of Miller Electric Manufacturing operations across the Fox Cities reported its global welding segment – which includes Miller – experienced 20 percent growth during the quarter, with North American revenues increasing more than 26 percent. It noted key end market growth for the welding businesses was in oil and gas as well as heavy equipment manufacturing.

Revenue $5.38 Billion $4.98 Billion EPS

3Q 2010

Plexus Corp.

Kimberly Clark Corp.

3Q 2011

$56.2 million $62.8 million 53 cents

56 cents

5% 5%

The Neenah-based supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials reported volumes decreased in nearly every market category, primarily driven by food price inflation which has forced grocery prices higher in 2011. Expecting the trend to continue into the fourth quarter, the company announced plans to reduce its workforce by closing several of its small plants around the globe.


Brunswick Corp.

3Q 2011

3Q 2010

Revenue $876 million

$815 million



$4.7 million

($7.2 million)

s 165%

5 cents

(8 cents)

s 163%



The parent company of Mercury Marine operations in Fond du Lac reported sales in its marine engine segment increased 9 percent during the third quarter to $467.2 million. Company officials said they expect marine market conditions will remain challenging for some time into the future.

Income EPS

Humana Inc.

3Q 2011

3Q 2010

$2.2 million


s 127%

83 cents

38 cents

s 118%

3Q 2011

3Q 2010

Revenue $9.30 Billion $8.35 Billion

s 11%

Income EPS

First Business Bank

The commercial-oriented financial institution serving Madison, Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin indicated its non-performing assets declined more than 25 percent from a year ago to $29.1 million. The bank also reported its interest income increased 11 percent to $9.1 million during the third quarter.

$698 million

$622 million

s 12%



s 15%

The health and benefits company with extensive operations in the Green Bay area reported enrollment in its individual Medicare Advantage plan increased 10 percent from the third quarter 2010 to 1.6 million members. Enrollment in its individual stand-alone prescription drug plans increased 47 percent over a year ago to nearly 2.5 million members, primarily as a result of the company’s low-price Humana-Walmart plan.



Oshkosh Corp.

4Q 2011

4Q 2010

Revenue $2.12 Billion $2.11 Billion Income EPS



$37.5 million $116.6 million ▼ 68% 41 cents


▼ 68%

The manufacturer of specialty vehicles reported full fiscal year 2011 revenue of $7.58 billion, down 23 percent due to the completion of the initial 8,000 vehicles under the U.S. Army contract earlier this year. For the full year, the company reported income of $273 million, or $2.99 per share, down from income of $793 million, or $8.72 per share, during fiscal 2010. During its fourth quarter, Oshkosh reported its defense segment sales decreased nearly 12 percent to $1.17 billion, while its access equipment segment sales increased 61 percent to $620 million primarily as a result of demand for replacement equipment in North America and Europe.

Integrys Energy Group Inc.

3Q 2011

Revenue $939 million Income EPS

The employee-owned producer of thermal papers reported sales of thermal papers were up 9 percent on the quarter, while sales of carbonless papers were down nearly 6 percent. The company used $23.2 million from a litigation settlement during the quarter to reduce its debt to the lowest level since 2007.

$36.9 million $20.4 million 47 cents

26 cents

3Q 2011

3Q 2010

Revenue $175 million

$162 million



$6.7 million

$4.1 million

s 63%

42 cents

30 cents

s 40%



The papermaker with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported sales in its technical products segment increased 13 percent to $107 million on the quarter, though it noted operating income was negatively affected by significantly increased costs for latex, pulp and energy that could not be fully offset by higher selling prices.

Alliance Laundry Systems

3Q 2010 $998 million

Neenah Paper


3Q 2011

3Q 2010

s 81%

Revenue $114 million

$104 million

s 10%

s 81%


$2.5 million

s 36%

$3.4 million

The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. operations across northeast and northcentral Wisconsin experienced a decrease in regulated electric utility margins primarily due to differences between the current WPS rate order and the previous rate order.

The Ripon-based manufacturer of commercial and residential laundry equipment reported its sales increase of nearly $10.5 million was primarily attributed to increased revenues from the U.S. and Canada of $9.3 million.

R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co.

Dean Foods

3Q 2011

3Q 2010


$2.7 Billion

$2.5 Billion


$158 million $53.3 million


83 cents

25 cents



$3.1 Billion



Income ($1.5 Billion) $22.0 million

▼ >1,000%

s 232%


▼ >1,000%

Appleton Inc. 3Q 2011

3Q 2010


$217 million

$215 million



$18.0 million

($1.5 million)

s >1,000%


Revenue $3.4 Billion

3Q 2010

s 196%

The printing company with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported its substantial earnings increase included the recognition of previously unrecognized income tax benefits of $77.4 million. Sales in its U.S. Print segment increased 6 percent to $2.0 billion, while the company’s international sales grew 12 percent to $704 million.

3Q 2011


13 cents

The dairy-based foods company with extensive operations in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay area, wrote off a $1.9 billion goodwill impairment charge on the quarter related to the goodwill it’s carried on its balance sheet over the years as its Fresh Direct Dairy segment acquired other businesses in the fresh milk processing industry. During the quarter, that segment’s milk volumes were essentially flat, beating the industry average which suffered nearly a 1 percent decline compared with third quarter 2010 data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


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1 5

4 2


C - Indicates a new listing

Build Up Fond du Lac

December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

3 - 217 E. Larsen Dr., Fond du Lac, Tru-Fire, a 17,900-sq.

6 - 1045 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac, CitizensFirst Credit Union, a 4,100-sq. ft. new credit union office. Project completion expected in December.

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ft. office and warehouse facility. Project completion expected in

5 - 430 E. Division St., Fond du Lac, Agnesian Healthcare St. Agnes Hospital, a build out of the fourth through sixth floors of the South Tower for private patient care rooms.


- 336 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac, Basic American Medical Products, a 40,000-sq. ft. expansion of the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.



4 - 855 Martin Ave., Fond du Lac, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, an addition and interior alterations to the existing daycare. Project completion expected in December.


1 - 145 N. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac, Winnebago Oral Surgery, a 2,730-sq. ft. oral surgery center. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.





C - Indicates a new listing



Build Up Oshkosh

7 - 606 E. Murdock Ave., Oshkosh,

Muza Metal Products, a 45,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. General contractor is Frontier Builders of Kaukauna.


- 600 Block of Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a five-story, 340-bed residence hall.



11 -

4000 State Road 91, Oshkosh, AP West Shore, an addition to the existing industrial facility.

12 - 3159 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh, Volkswagen, a new retail automotive dealership.



13 - 450 Ripple Ave., Oshkosh, C Evco Plastics, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in March.

10 - 2045 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh,

14 - 500 W. Waukau Ave., Oshkosh, Oshkosh Corp., a 7,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility.

- 1190 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh, Olive Garden, a new restaurant building.

Jay Manufacturing, a 52,871-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.



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. C - Indicates a new listing

1 - 2693 W. Grand Chute Blvd., town of Grand Chute, C Appleton Alliance Church, a 105,300-sq. ft. addition to the existing church campus.

2 - 3335 N. Lynndale Dr., town of Grand Chute,

6 - 800 S. Lynndale Dr., Appleton, Wisconsin Electric Power Co., a new service utility garage. 7

- 800 Midway Road, Menasha, C R.R. Donnelley & Sons, a 3,950-sq. ft. addition to the offices of the existing printing facility. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

8 - 1135 Appleton Road, Menasha, C Dollar General, a new commercial/retail building. 9

- 101 Main St., Neenah, C Affinity Health System, a two-story, 31,400-sq. ft. medical clinic building.

C Our Shepherd Child Care and Family Ministry Center, a 13,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing child care center. Project completion expected in May 2012.


3 - 1700 Stephens St., Little Chute, C Heartland Business Systems, a remodel and addition to the existing office building. Project completion expected in the spring of 2012. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

11 - 1100 Harrison St., Neenah, Wisconsin Central Railroad Co., a 5,500-sq. ft. rail yard office building.

5 - 558 Carter Ct., Kimberly,

C U.S. Venture, a 12,000sq. ft. addition to the existing office building. Project completion expected in April 2012. General contractor is Keller Inc.

12 - 1645 Bergstrom Road, Neenah, Menasha Packaging Folding Carton Group, a 20,000-sq. ft. addition to the manufacturing facility for a new sheeter. Projects completed since our November issue: • Timbercrest Dental Center, 4082 N. Richmond St., Appleton. • Building Services Group, 1500 Lamers Dr., Little Chute. • St. Elizabeth Hospital, 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton. • Gustman Suburu, 310 S. Lynndale, Dr., Appleton. 2010.3.5X4.75_Insight 1/17/10 2:35 PM Page 1


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4 - 2551 Northridge Dr., Kaukauna, C Classic Gears and Machining, a 19,504-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in spring. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

- Two Plexus Way, Neenah, Plexus Corp., a twostory, 20,000-sq. ft. training and development center. Project completion expected in the summer of 2012.





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BUILD UP GREEN BAY Build Up Green Bay The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly twopage spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Green Bay area. C - Indicates a new listing

1 - 2555 Lineville Road, Howard, Anduzzi’s Sports Bar, an 11,669-sq. ft. restaurant and bar facility. 2 - 2348 Lineville Road, Suamico, Midwest Expansion, a 15,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing multi-tenant retail center. 3 - 1520 Brookfield Ave., Howard, The Solberg Company/ Amerex Foam Products, a 19,494-sq. ft. manufacturing facility and corporate office headquarters, as well as a separate 5,976sq. ft. research and test laboratory. Project completion expected in spring 2012. 4 - 2300 Woodman Dr., Howard,

Menard’s, a 214,000-sq. ft. retail store and offices and a separate 42,352-sq. ft. lumber warehouse.

5 - 2740 W. Mason St., Green Bay, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, a 7,000-sq. ft. addition and alteration to the existing education institution.

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6 - 1230 Hurlbut St., Green Bay, Oneida Energy Gasification, a 70,000-sq. ft. pyrolytic gasification electricity generation plant. 7 - 1077 W. Mason St., Green Bay, C Tower Clock Surgery Center, a new ambulatory surgery center. 8 - 300 Block of N. Washington St., Green Bay, Watermark, a six-story, 70,000-sq. ft. mixed-use development which will house Hagemeister Park restaurant and Children’s Museum of Green Bay. Completion expected in early 2012. 9 - 501 Eastman Ave., Green Bay,

Proctor & Gamble Paper Division, a 20,000-sq. ft. cold storage facility, as well as remodel of five other industrial buildings on the campus. Project completion expected in January.

10 - 2800 University Ave., Green Bay, C Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic, a new 192,000sq. ft. outpatient clinic for veterans services. Project completion expected in the spring of 2013. 11 - 2845 Greenbriar Road, Green Bay, Aurora Baycare Medical Center, an addition to house a linear accelerator and supporting equipment. Project completion expected in Janaury. 12 - 2502 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Western Racquet & Fitness Club/ Prevea Medical, a two-story, 28,418-sq. ft. addition to the existing fitness center and a new health care clinic. Project completion expected in January. 13 - 2385 Holmgren Way, Ashwaubenon, Jos. A. Bank Factory Outlet Store, a 3,711-sq. ft. retail building. 14 - 1010 Centennial St., Ashwaubenon, C Laser Form, a 9,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 15 - 100 Grant St., De Pere, St. Norbert College Michels Commons, an addition to the existing student commons and cafeteria. Project completion expected in May 2012. 16 - 1455 Lawrence Dr., De Pere, Culver’s Restaurant, a new restaurant building. 17 - 352 High St., Wrightstown, Village of Wrightstown Municipal Office Building, a 10,000-sq. ft. office building. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our November issue: • Community First Credit Union, 2949 Riverview Dr., Howard. • Mattress Firm, 2422 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon. • Kwik Trip, 871 Hansen Road, Ashwaubenon. • Menard’s, 1313 Lawrence Dr., De Pere.


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75 The percent of public school districts in Wisconsin that maintained or reduced Kindergarten to grade 3 class sizes for the current 2011-12 school year compared with a year ago, before Act 10 took effect. Source: Wisconsin Association of School District Administrators

Title: Concise Guide to Workplace Safety and Health: What You Need to Know, When You Need It Author: Gary Chambers Publisher: CRC Press; Spi edition (2011) Pages: 409 List Price: $79.95 Why Buy: Concise – just like is says in the title … approach is useful for people who know next-to-nothing about the safety and health field … definitely useful and accurate.

QUOTEWORTHY “Order new business cards for Mark. We need to change his title to CEO.”

A 2006 email from Skogen’s Festival Foods Chairman Dave Skogen to his assistant. He cc’d his son, Mark, on the email, his way of informing his son he had been promoted to president of the grocery chain. Mark Skogen shared the story during his keynote address at the Marian University Business & Industry Awards Dinner in early November.




Serious Fun nstead of fancying how, in some way, garden-variety health care communications would break through to people, Thedacare has launched a campaign against itself – and is happily failing.

Wally A. Polyp® is the star of the show, mocking Thedacare’s advice to people over age 50. He pokes fun at common – and some not so common – excuses for avoiding a colonoscopy: v I don’t have time. v I feel fine. v I don’t have a ride home. v Too many toilet flushes during the prep wastes water. v I never schedule bowel exams on days that end in Y. For some, the excuses are recognizably asinine, but alongside the shady character’s humor, Thedacare’s straightforward and nonthreatening primary message is powerfully and factually delivered in a way that normalizes the simple procedure: “Colonoscopy. It can save you in the end.”

“Thedacare wanted to break through the clutter of healthcare marketing and get people’s attention,” said Megan Wilcox, corporate and public relations specialist at Thedacare. “And we are. We did a similar smaller campaign last year and increased colonoscopy rates by almost 10 percent.” You can’t argue with results like that. The social media campaign includes a sound-chipped card with Wally’s sketchy voice encouraging recipients to skip colonoscopy. The card also has a toll-free phone number, QR code for easy scheduling through Wally’s and Thedacare’s shared microsite, Colonically-inspired recipients will also find playfully serious ecard reminders for their family and friends – and an option to “like” Mr. Polyp on Facebook. A series of voicemail denial messages from Wally follows the card. Not interested? The card also wisely offers opt-out information. Even over her nightly “toot” – a concoction of freshly pressed Gourmet Lavazza Grand Espresso Beans, Phillips® Milk of Magnesia (a wonderfully refreshing stand-in for half & half!), triple Kahlua®, and a secret measure of Kauffman Luxury Private Collection Vintage Vodka by which she swears for any spirited woman’s “daily dozen,” – Mother Stronglove is not amused by her otherwise uninhibited 50-year-old son. “Don’t be an ass, my lamb. I look at it as an at-home, Beverly Hills-caliber colonic lavage – with a wonderfully relaxing next-day sedative. And with Medicare? Well, that’s just icing on the cake for more mature joy-seekers like me.” Thanks Thedacare, for sending your talking polyp our way for comment. It flew through the Crap-O-Matic® filtration system without a snag. No doubt it takes some gumption to put your work out there – surely more than it takes to pick up the phone and schedule a potentially life-saving appointment. 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. You can contact him at To submit work for review, it must be attached as a PDF in Adobe format with no other attachments.







ll y

GrownChains Retailers unlock the key to success beyond the initial start-up location Building a business from the ground up is rarely easy. And when the business owner becomes comfortable enough with the success of one location to branch out and start another, such an expansion can often come with a whole set of different issues from starting up in the first place. So go the lessons for business owners who grow retail and service chains from an unknown start-up to brand names most of us recognize as we drive around northeast Wisconsin. As a business expands locations, consistency of processes, style of service and character of the environment become all

The clean look of The Barbershop’s salon. 22 l NEW NORTH B2B l DECEMBER 2011

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

the more important to guaranteeing the intended customer experience. While change can be good for any business, sticking to what works can sometimes prove more difficult than expected. Northeast Wisconsin boasts a variety of its own homegrown retail chains that started in the area and eventually opened new locations outside of the communities in which they started. Here’s the story of three diverse businesses as they grew from start-up to their current status.

The Barbershop Appleton resident Todd Degner has fond memories of growing up in Rhinelander and his father taking him to Walter’s Barber Shop on a Saturday morning for a trim. He’s found it to become a bygone tradition of father-son quality bonding time that’s difficult to find in the 21st century. As an adult, Degner routinely went to get his own hair trimmed at various salons across the Fox Valley, and noticed the price kept increasing for his relatively simple, 15-minute cut. He had to book out a month or more just to make an appointment. The salon always smelled a bit funny, like feminine beauty supplies and hair product solution. And the only magazines to read in the waiting area were Cosmo and Good Housekeeping. There wasn’t much to help make a male customer feel masculine about going to the salon.

COVER STORY Those thoughts and the memories of going to the Barbershop with dad while growing up helped spark the entrepreneurial endeavor Degner and his wife hatched back in 2003 while he worked fulltime in the information technology industry and was looking to start a small business as an investment. If a salon were designed exclusively for males – from the barrels of peanuts and Sports Illustrated magazines in the waiting area to televisions at each hair station and stylists who work almost exclusively with men’s hair – would people come? What if it included a neck massage, shampoo and scalp massage, all for a $10 bill? ‘Cool idea, but it’s never going to make it,’ was a phrase Degner heard often from those close to him to whom he’d share the new business concept. He and his wife refined the concept, crafted a solid business plan, and worked to recruit stylists out of the boutique-style salons in the area. By July 2005 they opened their first The Barbershop – A Hair Salon for Men, on the west side of the Fox Cities. The concept caught on like wildfire with customers. Within the first three months of being open, revenue and customer demand were exceeding projections. A second location was opened in Neenah before the end of 2005. Within three years of opening the first location near Fox River Mall in Appleton, the Degners would open ten stores across northeast and northcentral Wisconsin. They all remain open to this day. At first, the immediate success came as a bit of a surprise to Degner. “All we’ve done is taken a haircut that’s been done for centuries and repackaged it,” he said. The critical difference, Degner believes, is the culture of

Name: The Barbershop, A Hair Salon for Men

Owner: Todd Degner

Year started: 2005

Locations: 10 stores in Wisconsin, including Green Bay, the Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac; the Degners have franchised the business since 2009 and their partners have five locations in Minnesota, two in North Carolina, and one in Indiana.

Employees: About 180

Web site:

customer service that evolved and remains the hallmark of The Barbershop to this day – they view themselves in the hospitality industry more than they do the beauty industry. The average male gets his hair trimmed every four to six weeks, so it’s crucial to develop an experience that customers keep coming back for time and again. Otherwise, there’s plenty of alternatives customers can investigate. “We’re going to keep taking it further in that we’re going to continue to make a connection with the customer,” Degner said. With about 180 employees at his 10 locations, Degner said paramount to customer satisfaction is ensuring his staff of stylists enjoy what they’re doing and look forward to coming


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into work each day. In an industry where clients tend to follow a favorite stylist around from employer to employer, Degner has worked hard to design an atmosphere and compensation and benefits package that attracts experienced talent and keeps them on board. As a result, The Barbershop has had a high rate of employee retention, and boast more than half of its managers have been with the company as long as their respective store has been open. Degner would occasionally come in on weekends and evenings to sweep hair from the floors, pay the bills and manage some of the higher-level marketing. His managers accomplished all of the day-to-day operations while he continued to work his fulltime job in IT sales. And while not initially intending his business would become his career, Degner left his employer and jumped into The Barbershop fulltime in 2009. By this time, the business had started to develop franchise partners in Minnesota, and soon would launch another franchising arrangement in North Carolina. Now with their own 10 stores holding steady and “hitting their stride,” as Degner said, focus has shifted toward developing the franchise and expanding it further into midsized markets across the country. At this point, Degner said he’s averaging about three inquiries a week from prospective franchisees looking to develop a market for The Barbershop on their own. It’s been a challenging learning experience to craft the franchise model, but Degner said there’s been sufficient help from his accounting partners along the way. He and his wife still plan to grow their own portfolio of stores they own into the Milwaukee market in the next few years, hoping that might open the door for a potential franchisee in northern Illinois.

Run Away Shoes Nothing beats building a successful business like having a well-identified, well plugged-in customer base. The running community throughout northeast Wisconsin is a relatively tight knit group, who tend to be particular about the shoes that cradle their feet, and even some of the clothing and accessories that make keeping one’s body temperature


constant just a little more comfortable. They like to shop from people who know what they’re talking about when it comes to running, and that’s not the same kind of customer service one might expect from any run-of-the-mill shoe store. “It’s a very small world when you get into the people who run the store, the shoe reps,” the coaches and the runners themselves, said Ross McDowell, a former star mid-distance runner in high school college who turned his passion for running into a career. A month after graduating from the University of WisconsinOshkosh in 2004 with a business degree in marketing, McDowell opened his first store in downtown Oshkosh. It was technically a franchise of another running store in the Madison area for whom he worked during college, learning the back end of the industry relative to managing inventory and setting up the stores. He ultimately would split apart from his former employer, striking out on his own with the Run Away Shoes name and business model in 2006, then opening a second store in Ashwaubenon a year later. It became the soft skills of talking to his customers and finding the right shoes to match their feet that has kept his customers returning every 1,000 miles. He half-heartedly refers to his staff – all runners themselves – as “stewards of the foot.” McDowell said walkers now account for about 30 percent of his customer base. He hopes to continue Name: Run Away Shoes to expand into the Owner: Ross McDowell realm of casual Year started: 2004 runners, those who run Locations: Green Bay, Appleton regularly for exercise and Oshkosh but don’t necessarily Employees: 15 run in the various road races across northeast Web site: Wisconsin. Just before hitting the ripe age of 30 last year, McDowell opened his third store on Appleton’s east side. It’s a far cry from the 15 or 20 stores McDowell said he hoped to have after coming out of college, but it’s also part of a vision that perhaps has matured as McDowell gained more entrepreneurial experience. “Over time, I started to realize (that if he expanded too fast) you lose your connection to the customer,” he said. In the next 10 years, McDowell hopes to double in size. He doesn’t know if that will be accomplished by opening new stores, but increasing the awareness of Run Away Shoes in the

community will continue to play a critical role. Running has become more popular than ever before, and it’s also become more organized, McDowell said, through better marketing of sanctioned community races or clubs that go out for casual group runs during the evening. Run Away Shoes has some visibility at each of those events, whether it’s serving on a committee for Green Bay’s Cellcom Marathon or conducting a lunch-and-learn presentation on proper running regimens for a local employer’s wellness council. Invariably, McDowell said, those participants eventually tend to seek out Run Away Shoes when they’re hunting down their next pair of running shoes.

McDowell half-heartedly refers to his staff as “stewards of the foot.” That’s good news to McDowell, who finds that most of his first-time customers leave satisfied, and bring along a running buddy the next time they come in for shoes. “Each customer, to me, is a potential three (new customers),” McDowell said.

Eaton’s Fresh Pizza With a total of four locations between Oshkosh and Fond du Lac, Eaton’s Fresh Pizza had always been a bit ahead of its time in a food business. In the late 1970s, before take-and-bake pizzas even emerged as a trend, the small little Eaton’s grocery market at the corner of Hickory and Johnson streets in Fond du Lac became a

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COVER STORY popular destination for households in the community to make up a special treat for dinner, simply having to stop to pick up a pizza on the way home from work. Eaton’s patriarch Dale Hochstein and his partner invested in real estate properties in West Bend and Fond du Lac during the 1970s. When the Eaton’s grocer that leased their Hickory Street building struggled to remain in business in 1980, the two property owners bought the business. As consumers shifted to shopping at larger supermarkets in the community which carried a variety of selection in every product category, small neighborhood grocers struggled to stay in business. “It kind of became obvious there was no future in being a little grocery store, but there certainly was in the pizzas,” said Jason Hochstein, Dale’s son, who now owns the two Oshkosh Eaton’s Pizza locations along with his wife, Michele. From that point on, Jason’s parent’s changed the format of the small grocery store into a full service take-and-bake pizza shop. They eventually bought out Dale’s real estate partner, who also ran a second Eaton’s location in West Bend. At its peak in the late 1990s, Eaton’s boasted six retail locations between Oshkosh, Fond du Lac and West Bend, all run by Hochstein family members with a striking similarity of service and experience between stores. Hochstein’s parents were avid readers of business management books, he said, and readily consumed stories about Ray Kroc’s success growing his McDonald’s chain and how process, standards and consistency in everything from food preparation to customer service helped grow the brand recognition of arguably the world’s most popular retail chain. That consistency has become a hallmark of the way Eaton’s

Name: Eaton’s Fresh Pizza Owners: Dale, Jason and Michele Hochstein

Year started: 1980

Locations: Two stores in Fond du Lac and two in Oshkosh

Web site:


are operated. As a kid growing up in the shops with his brother and sister, Jason recalls “a lot of family meetings.” “For a while there, we were having meetings every week,” he said. But those meetings were integral to keeping all staff on the same page as the business changed and grew. In 1982, Eaton’s began offering submarine sandwiches, long before popular national retail sub Fixing up a pepperoni pizza at shops emerged in northeast Eaton’s in Oshkosh. Wisconsin. Eaton’s also developed deli meat and party trays about the same time, foreshadowing a trend that would eventually become a staple for the deli departments at large supermarkets. Two years ago, Jason and his wife, Michele, purchased the two Oshkosh Eaton’s locations from Jason’s father, Dale, who continues to hold the two Fond du Lac stores. Since then, they’ve implemented a few unique changes not in line with their father’s stores, such as fresh soups each day. They’ve also taken to conducting fundraisers for local schools and youth groups, which has helped pave the way into new markets, Michele said. But above all, Eaton’s hasn’t changed the mozzarella it procures from a nearby cheese maker or the distinctive zesty pizza sauce – its signature ingredient which helped Eaton’s make a name for its pizza back in the late 1970s. “We haven’t tampered with that,” Hochstein said. “People really seemed to like it.” The lesson here for any aspiring retailer – don’t mess with a good thing when you know that it’s what customers want.

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Cutting out accidents Successful safety plans aim to prevent workers from falling short in the fingers-and-toes count – or worse

Story by Robin Bruecker

Safety is something we’re taught from a young age. Look both ways before crossing the street. Wear a bike helmet. Dad’s or mom’s power tools aren’t toys. Fasten your seatbelt or this car isn’t going anywhere. In the workplace the safety awareness continues, with the health of both employees and the company in mind. Common sense can help keep us safe in the workplace, but it takes more than that to reduce the risk of a serious injury or even death that impacts the worker, his or her family and coworkers, and the company itself. It takes planning, training, communication and dedication all around to protect productivity, finances and, above all, employees. A well thought-out and implemented safety plan is important for every business, be it small, medium or large. Northeast Wisconsin communities have safety councils that increase the safety resources of smaller employers by providing networking, activities and programs. Like the Oshkosh Safety Council through the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, these community councils make health and safety a priority. Council President Allen Bergles, who works his day job as general manager of Neenah-based Morton Safety LLC, noted the National Safety Council reported an average cost of $38,000 for a single lost-time injury. “Now take that to the stratosphere and look at a child whose parent is now either dead, in a wheel chair, or generally is not the same person, and you quickly realize there is not a monetary system in the world that can make that right,” Bergles said. The Oshkosh Safety Council’s meetings are open to all businesses, whether or not they are a member of the council. “We have dedicated safety professionals on the board that know safety pays for itself tenfold, so those principles are easily conveyed in every meeting and every event,” said Bergles. This encourages networking among council members, chamber members and other attendees seeking answers to health and safety questions or advice on a related situation. The council also regularly brings in knowledgeable speakers to address timely safety topics. One free and valuable resource available to members and non-members alike are the connections of the council board members. “We are six safety professionals that are well-connected with a myriad of resources to solve or satisfy any safety concern,” said Bergles.

The Fond du Lac Area Safety Council

Fox Valley Safety Council

Northeast Wisconsin Safety Council Oshkosh Safety Council


SAFETY Well worth the cost and effort The council gets safety questions from a fairly even split of small and large businesses. Bergles said the Council board members are a good reflection of the types of members in general: a member of a municipal safety office, a couple of coordinators from businesses with 150 to 200 employees and one from a larger company with about 20,000 workers, a safety distributor, and a safety decision maker from a chemical-production company. When it comes to setting up a workplace safety program to prevent accidents, Bergles said the time it takes to implement it and the cost are relative to the size of the company. Most of the cost comes from writing a site-specific program tailored to the company, training, instilling the safety elements into every hazardous or potentially hazardous workplace activity, and purchasing safety products. “The cost of NOT having a good safety culture far outweighs the cost of having one,” noted Bergles, pointing out that the benefits go beyond simply avoiding injuries and OSHA fines. “If you look at a company of any size without a firm, visible safety culture, they possess many, many more issues like low morale, production bottlenecks and general low productivity per employee.” Not surprisingly, larger employers are more likely to have safety programs with staff dedicated to them. “If you take those injury/illness dollar figures and then spread that risk over, say, 1,000 people instead of 50, your prospect of an injury is exponentially greater, so you can appropriate more resources to supporting a fulltime safety staff,” explained Bergles. “Smaller companies can do it far less expensively internally with a current position assuming the role of safety coordinator. ” Even for much smaller employers, starting a safety program might not be as daunting as you think. “A good, intelligent person, using a good safety supplier and OSHA’s Web site can put a strong program together in about a week or two, maybe a little more if starting from scratch,” said Bergles. Implementing the program and providing the necessary training can take several weeks – for example, through eight to 15 one-hour segments and a couple of two- to three-hour ones.

OSHA fines climbed significantly in FY 2011 By Tricia S. Hodkiewicz, J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. The “new sheriff in town” – as U.S. Department of Labor Sec. Hilda Solis once called the federal Occupational Safety & Health Administration – is clearly handing out significantly greater penalty amounts. The agency just posted its preliminary data on the most frequently cited OSHA regulations for fiscal year 2011, which ran from October 2010 through September 2011. While the number of total citations dropped 6 percent to 86,776 (a decrease of about 5,600), total penalties increased 40 percent, or $45.4 million, above FY2010 figures for a grand total of $158.9 million. Looking at just the average cost per citation, dollar amounts jumped 49 percent from $1,228 to $1,831 per citation. Reviewing the top 10 citations in the table provided below, you’ll see the same lineup as last year, with minor reshuffling. Fall protection citations took the number one spot from the long-reining scaffolding citations. However, the greatest penalty rates went to fall protection and machine guarding in the group. OSHA cited 4 percent fewer violations in the top 10 (39,608 to 38,017), but clobbered these violators with nearly double the penalty amounts, increasing from $36.6 million to $72.9 million. The overall penalty rate in the top 10 also surged 107 percent from $924 in FY2010 to $1,916 in FY2011. OSHA’s General Duty Clause - Section 5(a)(1) of the OSH Act – was cited 1,154 times for a total penalty of just over $4.2 million, which calculates to a penalty rate of a whopping $3,644 per citation. This rate is an increase of nearly 35 percent from $2,701 in FY2010. General Duty Clause violations are used for citing safety and health hazards not tied to a specific regulation. For top-cited standards beyond the top 10, enter ALL in the SIC field and then click submit at Note that the data is subject to change as inspections for FY2011 are closed. Also, penalty comparisons made in this article are based on preliminary numbers pulled in October 2011 and October 2010. Tricia S. Hodkiewicz specializes in workplace safety and environmental compliance issues as an editor for J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc., an OSHA, EPA, DOT, and HR regulatory information service provider based in Neenah. For more information, visit 29 CFR:





Rate rank:


Fall protection












Hazard communication






Respiratory protection












Electrical wiring












Powered industrial trucks






General electrical






Machine guarding









Totals in top 10


SAFETY Once the program is completed, the company culture transforms and the number of incidents drop, workers compensation insurance premiums drop, morale rises, and sooner or later there’s a return on investment.

Success stories Menasha Packaging Company’s safety program goes “beyond legal compliance,” according to Keith Kling, the company’s environmental, health and safety manager, and involves the entire company in providing feedback. That feedback comes through weekly audits, scheduled observation walk-arounds and safety committee reviews, but the employee-involved Safety Snags program produces a good amount on its own. In this program, workers are encouraged to watch for and report potential safety risks in their respective work areas. Once removed, the risks are tracked to ensure ongoing improvement. “The program has been in use for several years at Folding Carton Neenah and was rolled out to all of Menasha Packaging at the beginning of this year,” said Kling. “Employee response has been highly engaged. Within the first six months of company-wide launch, employees reported more than 2,200 snags.” Those included reports of an intense sunbeam that could blind a forklift driver when it hit the right spot on an air vent, brake lights out on a truck, a parking-lot hedge that needed trimming for a better view of pedestrians, and splinter-prone wood supports that were replaced with oak. Lean and decentralized, Menasha Packaging – a subsidiary of Neenah-based Menasha Corp. – has one safety person in the corporate office and another at each location. In addition to safety, each handles environmental, human resources or quality. “There is a strong reliance on safety committees and other production-level employees to implement safety issues,” said Kling. “Written program and policies are built from standardized templates, but each plant reviews them to make them effective for their location.” Menasha Packaging’s safety resources include Web-based training tools from Safety Matters Inc., a cataloging and tracking tool for chemicals from 3E Company, J.J. Keller’s online EHS system, and updates, seminars and peer guidance from safety councils in each state where Menasha operates. The company’s efforts have paid off. “Our primary objective, from President Mike Waite on down, is to make sure every person has a safe workday every day, and cost is seen as an outcome rather than a goal,” said Kling. “That said, there has been a reduction in worker compensation costs from 2001 to the present time in the range of 66 percent. Direct savings based on this have been several millions of dollars. Indirect costs, such as lost production, extra overtime, training to backfill jobs and light-duty provisions are probably four to five times as much as our tracked costs.” For its efforts, Menasha Packaging’s Folding Carton Group was awarded the 2011 Chairman’s Safety Award by the Paperboard Packaging Council for its outstanding safety record and achieving more than 475,000 safe hours.


SAFETY Safety in the field The Boldt Company in Appleton has received seven awards from the Wisconsin Safety Council as well as accolades from Associated General Contractors of America, National Constructors Association and Wisconsin Health and Safety Congress for having an incident rate well below the national average for the construction industry. Boldt was also named one of America’s Safest Companies by EHS Today magazine in 2008. Like Menasha, Boldt involves employees in workplace safety on a large scale. “Our Continuous Safety Improvement (CSI) Program has had a positive impact on our success,” said Jeff Schilleman, corporate safety director. Employees are rewarded for their involvement in the safety process by reporting safety issues and ensuring a correction is made right away. CSI reporting increased from 927 items in 2008 to more than 11,200 in 2011. Schilleman said that while it may seem odd to track near misses, or incidents that almost happened but didn’t, “we learn so much. We learn what practices should be avoided and what behaviors to correct.” A communications campaign called ‘Safety: A Way of Life’ keeps safety foremost in employees’ minds. Safety roundtables bring together the entire staff to discuss issues. Boldt has also done away with the intimidating “safety cop” persona, so employees don’t feel like they’re being policed by safety personnel but instead feel comfortable bringing up a safety issue. It’s also helped to focus on success rather than failure, opening safety meetings with positive results rather than chiding employees for incidents. Plus, Schilleman said, “we have regular safety training and safety managers on every job site. Every day on every job site starts with a safety meeting that plans out the day’s activities and critical functions such as extremely heavy lifts.” The number of safety staff increased from two in the 1990s to the present-day 21, with a fulltime safety professional at Boldt’s larger sites and a dedicated lead person elsewhere, and all of them overseen by a corporate safety director. Another person handles the safety training, which is done mostly in-house. Other training may be done by equipment vendors. “There’s absolutely no price on human safety,” said Schilleman. “As far as Boldt is concerned, safety is the only option. Outside of the human element, safety has a bottom-line benefit. Our safety record reduces our insurance costs — we pass those reduced costs on to our clients. “As for our clients, many if not all look at a company’s safety record when selecting a construction manager. In our case, our safety record was a significant factor for many recent jobs.”

Recent resources According to Bergles, an employer’s worker’s compensation insurance carrier is one resource that tends to be overlooked for safety information and advice. Since the insurer foots an injury bill up front, with the employer paying later, they often have industrial hygienists who can look at safety needs with the client. “But the [in-house] programs still must be written and training must occur,” said Bergles.


GOTODIE It’s more than a haircut.

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Guidance can also come from a safety distributor. These are fairly recent resources.

Green bAy - eAst 920-468-3499

“Years back there were few dedicated safety suppliers, and to insurance companies workplace safety was not even really on their radar,” said Bergles.

Green bAy - West 920-405-3770

While employers may be wary about having OSHA reps visiting their sites, the agency does have an effective outreach program and its Web site contains training segments that can be accessed anonymously, Bergles noted. “My company uses portions of OSHA’s written PowerPoints in some of our safety training programs.”

neenAh 920-729-7060 oshkosh 9 2 0 - 2 3 3 - 18 9 5

Robin Bruecker has more than 15 years of experience in feature writing and marketing communications. Contact her at NEW NORTH B2B l DECEMBER 2011 l 31




Often invisible in the workplace, mental illness can be a source of lost productivity and decreased job satisfaction. If properly diagnosed and treated, employers might discover several benefits to their bottom line. Story


Lee Marie Reinsch

You’re a business leader, not a babysitter. Your job is to run a company, not coddle your employees. If your goal were to make people happy, you would have launched a clowning company. As long as your workers are doing their jobs, their level of psychological contentment is none of your beeswax. Or is it? According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, undiagnosed mental illnesses cost more than $100 billion per year in the United States, and by 2020, major depression will be the biggest cause of disability for women and children. “If you aren’t paying attention to mental health in your workplace, then you are losing money,” says Fox Valley resident and National Alliance on Mental Illness activist Mike Williams. Williams is a former manufacturing company executive who now serves as president of a group that promotes mental-illness awareness in the workplace. The group, Diagnostic Organization LLC, of De Pere, argues that money is leaking right out of your bottom line if you aren’t cued in to what’s really going on with your employees.

You think you’re doing enough, but you’re not Even if employers provide mental health coverage in their insurance plans and offer the services of an employee assistance program – or EAP, for short – it still may not be enough to attend to all of those employees who need help to actually seek it. “Our idea is this: the thing that keeps people from getting help for a mental illness is the stigma and the fact that it costs money,” Williams said. “No one stands around the water fountain talking about mental illness - and there’s no casserole for it. If you have a


HEALTH CARE By the numbers

• Mental illness affects 26 percent of the U.S. population (ages 15-44) annually. • 50 percent of employee mental illness is unrecognized by the employee or employer. • Of the 50 percent that is recognized, only 30 to 50 percent receive even adequate treatment. • Several decades ago, there were few treatments for mental illness and none worked very well. Today, modern research-proven treatments for mental illness work 85 to 95 percent of the time. • Profit breakdown: Research predicts employers assisting employees suffering from mental illness could net a return of 3 to 5 percent of annual payroll. For example, a company of 100 employees with a $6 million inclusive annual payroll should expect to net $180,000 to $300,000 per year, each year after the company’s affected employees are diagnosed and treated. Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness Diagnostic Organization heart attack, everyone comes over and brings a casserole, but nobody brings a casserole if you come down with a (debilitating) mental illness.” What people tend to do, Williams said, is find fault and lay blame. They say the ill person is lazy or weak; or they’ll blame the spouse, parents or friends of the ill person. Or they’ll act as if the illness (depression, etc.) were a moral failing or a choice, rather than the medical condition that it is. Mental illness is a “no-fault disease,” according to Dr. William “Brad” Lyles, psychiatrist and founder of Diagnostic Organization. He’s also the author of a book by the same name. He cringes when he hears the term “mental health.” To his ears, it implies that it’s a state that anyone can achieve with enough willpower or effort. “There’s no diet or special exercises that can give you mental health,” he said. But why is this your problem as a business owner or manager? You’re the head honcho, not the head shrinker. “Mental illness has a major impact on productivity,” said Dan Bergman, cognitive behavioral therapist with Aurora Behavioral Health in Green Bay. “People have known it for a while but probably never admitted it in the boardroom.”

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HEALTH CARE Symptoms of major depression can include procrastination, decreased energy, fatigue, difficulty making decisions, feelings of pessimism, insomnia, irritability, or loss of interest in activities. “All of these lead to difficulty in getting the job done,” Bergman said. People with mental illnesses earn on average 40 percent less than those who don’t have mental illnesses, Bergman said. The lost earnings are due to either losing a job, being inefficient in the job, or keeping a job but not earning as much due to absences or lack of confidence and motivation. A serious mental illness is one that impairs one’s ability to function for more than 30 days in one year, according to Bergman. Major depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bipolar disorder (previously known as manic depression) are the three biggest productivity drains, according to Lyles. They’re also three conditions Diagnostic Organization concerns itself with for that reason. Those with ADHD aren’t necessarily hyper. Sufferers of major depression don’t necessarily have to be depressed all of the time, and someone with bipolar disease doesn’t necessarily have to be manic, Lyles said. “By 2011 this should be something everybody knows” yet they don’t.

An arm and a leg and a bunch of baloney Common misconceptions on the part of business is that mental illness is a cost center and that it’s poppycock, according to Lyles. “The business person will automatically have several as-

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sumptions pop into their head: ‘It’s going to cost me money and it’s a bunch of mealy-mouthed, milquetoast, namby-pamby, fuzzy-wuzzy baloney that I don’t really want to waste time interacting with or even thinking about,” Lyles said.

If you aren’t paying attention to mental health in your workplace, then you are losing money.

Mike Williams, president Diagnostic Organization LLC Diagnostic Organization isn’t peddling happy pills or trying to sell mental health insurance policy riders. “We want the employer to do what it takes to get the employees to self-identify and self-refer, and de-stigmatize the working environment” through means such as education, newsletter articles, discussions, basic cheerleading and encouragement, Lyles said. He envisions a workplace PR campaign something along the lines of ‘Got Depression?’ as a takeoff on the ‘Got Milk?’ campaign for milk. “People actually do have a marked increase in self-referral,” in conjunction with such workplace awareness campaigns, Lyles said. “They suspect themselves or look across the table at their buddy and say, ‘You seem down; are you feeling OK?’”

‘Everybody loses’ At any given time, despite the access to mental health services, parity in insurance coverage and wider visibility of mental illnesses, 10 to 20 percent of the workforce has an undiagnosed mental illness, Lyles said. But instead of referring problem employees to counseling or treatment, employers often just fire them. “Most organizations have an HR procedure whereby they give you a verbal warning and two written warnings…and then you are out,” Williams said. Bergman counseled someone who lost a job due to depression and trauma suffered upon seeing the suicide of a sibling. “That is why it is so important for the employee to get the help they need,” Bergman said. “If you are depressed and you lose your job, guess what? You are even more depressed, and people start to question their value and whether they want to live.” Because depression is an intermittent condition, it’s not something that employers can screen for. And symptoms can range from general grumpiness to fatigue, so colleagues looking for depression as the cause might not find it. “You hire them and everything is fine and then all of a sudden, they start irritating other coworkers, not showing up for work, having poor performance,” Williams said. “When this happens, management has to do something, and their approach has been not to get to the root cause of why the person is suddenly not showing up, but to invoke the policy of one verbal and two written warnings and out the door. You have invested all this time

HEALTH CARE and money in this person and everybody loses.” Having to fire an employee isn’t necessarily easy for the employer, either. It’s usually a multi-step process that involves paper trails and procedure; plus, retraining and re-hiring take time, money and effort, too. Bill Kime of Menasha Packaging Corp. has had decades of experience leading large plants, most of which used the “progressive discipline” method of handling difficult employees. Two severely depressed employees stand out in his memory. One was found with a bottle of liquor and a .45 handgun. “He did not succeed in committing suicide but he came close,” Kime said. The employee eventually never showed up for work. “We lost one of our best first-line supervisors.” The other employee, a talented programmer, was going through marital problems and became distraught after finding his wife with another man. “He slowly spiraled into deep depression, and his work suffered,” Kime said. The company had to terminate the programmer. “This is a position that is very difficult to replace – we never recovered from the loss of his genius in programming.” Had there been an awareness campaign in those workplaces, things might have turned out differently, said Kime, who’s become active in helping Diagnostic Organization promote its cause. “If you know the warning signs, rather than giving verbal and written warnings and then firing, you would look at the (employee) and say ‘This isn’t normal for this person,’” Williams said. “We want employees to recognize these things in themselves and their families.”

A heart-felt effort to remove stigma The American Heart Association successfully educated the general public about heart attack symptoms and the need for routine blood pressure screenings via its “high blood pressure as the silent killer” series of public addresses several years ago. The same can be done for mental illness, say mental health advocates. “The main thing is public education,” Lyles said. “What I am recommending is no more, no less than what we have done with blood pressure screening and persuading people to get evaluated.” As with medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension, environment and biology play roles in mental illness, Bergman said. “Even though there are environmental bases for a lot of mental illnesses, in terms of whether there have been things like abuse and trauma and certainly high levels of stress that are at the root of them, there is a biological component, and there has been much research that shows the genetic link between depression and ADHD and a lot of other mental health disorders that show the biological component,” Bergman said. “Much like diabetes, there is a biological component and an environmental component as to are you keeping your weight down. It’s the same with mental health. “I would like to get to the point where there is no more stigma to depression than there is with diabetes.” Lee Reinsch writes and edits from Green Bay.




Small Business


A cce n t C ustom C ompo n e n ts

Working against the grain


Woodworker shifts entrepreneurial gears between custom cabinetry and kitchenware True craftsmanship in custom woodworking is a dying art, but for Larry Melberg, owner of Accent Custom Components in Appleton, it’s the only way he believes in crafting products for his customers. Founded in 1987, Accent’s primary product was custom cabinetry and other woodworking products, something Melberg did for about five years. Though he loved being his own boss, there are certain securities that come with being someone’s employee. So he sold most of his equipment and went to work for someone else. But after only two years he began longing for the independence and flexibility that comes with being self employed, so he started the company up again. This time around he focused primarily on making pizza peels. What exactly are pizza peels, you ask? It’s a question Melberg gets asked quite a bit. Accent Pizza Peels are flat, smooth, shovel-like tools used to slide pizzas and yeast breads onto and off of a baking stone or baking sheet in an oven. They are handcrafted and designed with beveled edges to easily and without mess “peel the pizza off of the baking surface,” said Melberg. The word “peel” is also used because the products are made from peeled, natural and untreated basswood. Soon after he started back in business for himself, Melberg made a connection with someone who advertised in one of the same publications he did. That connection helped him hook up with a restaurant supplier, who subsequently gave him a significant order for several hundred pizza peels per year. With such a sizeable order, Melberg began buying large, capital equipment once again in 1997, including a CNC router, a computerized, numerical controlled machine that assists with production.

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE “With a machine like that, you don’t have to have as many employees on a regular basis,” he said. But, as luck would have it, once the volume for the pizza peels became even larger, the buyer decided to give the business to an overseas entity where the production costs were considerably less and he could make a greater profit. “We were left without any of the sales volume, so what we ended up doing was talking to a few people and some of my own connections here in the Valley that I had from my custom cabinet work. That brought me some more custom cabinet work.” So he’s now back doing cabinets as well as pizza peels. “I always enjoyed making any kind of wood products, whether it was a bookcase or a cutting board,” Melberg said. “I never really thought I’d be doing custom kitchens, but it kind of evolved into that.”

A one-man band As you may already have gathered, Melberg, like so many small business owners, has had the usual share of ups and downs in business, but overall he has seen volume grow. With that growth, he has had some employees over the years – as many as seven at one time – but now prefers to keep it limited to just himself and his family. Currently his two sons, Nathan and Andrew, are helping him part-time in the business, something they’ve done since they were about 14 or 15 years old. Beyond that, Melberg outsources certain jobs. That works out best for him, at least for now.

Peanuts. Flat screen. A remote.


“It just seems like everyone has their own methods of doing things,” Melberg said, adding that other approaches don’t always mesh with the way he wants to do projects. Since his name and reputation are on the line, he prefers to do the work himself. “If you try to bring people in who don’t have any experience, you get them trained and then it seems they go someplace else. And the guys that are already semi-skilled, they’re always looking for a better opportunity, too. So you take on a workload to support the number of people you have and then when they leave, you have no people or fewer than normal and you’re having to work a lot of extra hours to make up for the people you lost.” “The cabinet industry has really gotten to be more of an outsourced industry anyway,” he continued. “There’s still a lot of people in the Valley who build cabinets piece by piece, but there’s also places out there where they’ll call themselves cabinetmakers. But if you walk in there, their warehouse is clean; there’s no tools, because all they do is buy the pieces and parts and assemble them.” Melberg’s current product line in the Fox Valley consists mostly of custom cabinet work for kitchens or offices, or other rooms in a home where cabinets and woodworking is desired. The work he does runs the gamut from work in average single-family homes to high-end, luxurious homes. But no matter what kind of home he works on, he tries to give customers the best use space and the best value for the money. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a small 1,000-square foot ranch or a 5,000-square foot (mansion),” he said. “We always try to make sure we’re conscious of their budget according to their needs and make sure that they get what they pay for.” While he will probably always do some amount of custom cabinetry work, Melberg said he really wants to make the pizza peel line his primary business,

It’s more than a haircut.

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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE mainly because between the labor situation and the way the cabinetry industry has become less of an artisan skill and more of an assembly-type of a commodity, it has become harder to make a profit doing custom cabinetry work. “I always like doing it because I like the creativity of it, but it just seems like because it’s become a lost art it’s tough to find the customer base that really appreciates true custom cabinetry,” he said.

Reaching out in retail On a national level, Melberg sells the pizza peels, “which we’d like to be able to expand to also include utility type cutting boards.”

retail consumer market, not exactly the same set of skills as woodworking. Accent Pizza Peels can be found at Cook’s Corner in Green Bay and The Wire Whisk in Appleton. Melberg also has a Web site where he sells the pizza peels and would like to find other ways to market them, but finding the time is a challenge. “When you’re a one man operation you’re always either building product or buying materials to build the product,” he explained. “So that leaves you little to nothing for time.” The owner of Cook’s Corner has told Melberg as soon as he’s ready he can get him national exposure and a national rep. About three years ago, Cook’s Corner helped him make a connection with a purchasing representative from a Chicago

“The sky’s the limit on where I’d like to see it go. It’s a very easy product line to build and there’s less variables involved in it than there is with custom cabinet work,” he said, adding that he’d eventually like the pizza peels to be about 80 percent of his business and custom cabinetry about 20 percent. “But it’s just the opposite right now.” He understands as his pizza peel business grows, he will likely have to hire employees again, but “I believe it’d be easier to find people to do work on pizza peels than on custom cabinet work. Because you can standardize your methods of production and create a systemized approach to manufacturing.” Building his pizza peels business means reaching out to the


A bookshelf Melberg made from birch in a client’s home.

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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE wholesaler who sold them to Crate & Barrel. That relationship led to Melberg making 4,800 in 2009 and more than 10,000 peels for them during the course of a six-month period.

P r ofil e Business: Accent Custom Components

“But because there was also a difference of opinion with the distributor in Chicago as to how the items would be paid for and when, we decided to discontinue the agreement.”

Web site:

Location: Based in Appleton

Melberg said his Web site helped him attract opportunities to produce private-label pizza peels for other distributors.

Started: 1987 Owner: Larry Melberg

Family: Wife, Kay, for 24 years; two sons, Nathan, 20, and Andrew, 18 Where did he develop the passion for woodworking? “When I was in about 6th or 7th grade, my dad overheard my brother and I saying we wanted to earn some money and he said ‘Well, there’s plenty of tools in the basement. Go downstairs and make something.’ We asked him what we could make and he suggested making game pieces like those used in a dice game called Shut Box. We also made cribbage boards. My dad worked out of town, so when he would go away for work he’d stop places, show the game boards and tell people there that his kids were making them. People usually said ‘Well, bring me a few and we’ll try to sell them for you.’ The next thing you knew we were making enough of them to keep us busy as kids.” Balancing business with home and family: “It can be challenging at times, but being that I’m self-employed I can leave when I need to leave. For the most part I try to work as diligently as I can during the week so I can have my weekends off.” How about those peels? Accent Pizza Peels come in about a dozen different sizes – long and short. The shorter peels have an 8-inch handle designed primarily for in-home use. The longer peels – with handles ranging from 18 to 20 inches in length – are mostly used in commercial settings. Not only are they great for fetching those delicious, crisply-baked pizzas from the oven, but they can be used to serve the pizza, too. When not in use, they can hang from the wall, beautifully complementing the décor of any kitchen, Melberg said. For an added touch, a family pizza recipe can be engraved on the hardwood peels or they can be customized for commercial use with a business’s name, address and phone number. They can also be purchased at Cook’s Corner in Green Bay and the Wire Whisk in Appleton.

“For example, I’m producing a peel for a company out East, but it’s considered their product,” he said, adding there are smaller Wisconsin-based companies getting some peels from him right now. Vermont Rolling Pins ordered pizza peels from him and had the product laser engraved with their logo. He hopes to get back into Crate & Barrel again in the future. “Some days it seems it would be easier to go to work for somebody else again and just punch a clock,” he summarized. “But when I see customers that are pleased and they give me referrals – whether it’s for pizza peels or a custom cabinet job – and I get such satisfaction because the customers are happy, that means I’m doing something right and that makes it all worthwhile to me.” Cheryl Hentz is a freelance writer from Oshkosh with nearly 30 years of professional writing experience. In addition to individual and corporate writing, her  articles cover a variety of  topics including business and economic development, government and politics,  family pets and animal rights, minority and women’s issues, finance  and education. She can be reached at 920.426.4123,  via email at, or through her blog at

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Is health care reform law constitutional?

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@ If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy.

Reader Question: What is the status of litigation pertaining to the health care reform legislation enacted in 2010? Tony Renning: Since the health care reform legislation passed, employers have had a dual focus. Their immediate focus has been amending their health care plans to comply with provisions in effect (e.g., lifetime dollar caps). At the same time, employers have been preparing for changes that are not in effect (e.g., the availability of premium subsidies) and whether it makes sense to offer health care insurance. Employers’ desire for certainty about the health care reform legislation will have to wait until the United States Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the legislation. The Supreme Court will decide four issues with a decision expected by June 2012: First, does Congress have the authority to require individuals to purchase health


insurance (the “individual mandate”)? Under the legislation, those who do not have at least minimal coverage by 2014 are required to pay a penalty on their 2015 federal income tax returns. Second, if the Supreme Court decides that the “individual mandate” is unconstitutional, does the rest of the law survive? It may not if the individual mandate is deemed to be so intertwined with the law. Third, is it unconstitutional for Congress to require states to expand, and pay for, Medicaid health coverage for those too poor to afford it on their own? The legislation requires states to offer Medicaid coverage to individuals and families with incomes equal to or less than the 133 percent of the federal poverty level. Finally, is it premature to even address the first three questions? Those challenging the health care reform

legislation argue the noncompliance penalties amount to a tax. If so, the Supreme Court may wait until someone has to pay the tax in 2015. For counsel as to the health care reform legislation, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or trenning@ 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.


What drives the market crazy? by Reinhart Partners Inc. It’s in the news everyday. The U.S. Economy Sees Worst Downturn Since the Great Depression. S&P Downgrades U.S. Debt for the First Time in History. The U.S. Deficit Seems out of Control. With all the negative news on our economy, it’s no wonder investors large and small, are apprehensive, nervous, even fearful about the future, which causes even more market volatility. The political gridlock on critical economic issues is also exacerbating the problem. The market clearly lacks direction right now. Good, bad or indifferent, we need decisions to come out of Washington on issues such as healthcare, taxes and budget compromise. Whatever the decisions, as a nation, we will work with them, we just need AN ANSWER. The stock market will rally and grow again. People will regain confidence in the market. Corporations will make plans and move forward – once those decisions are made.

Greg Pierce


Unemployment continues to be a serious issue, which the federal government is attempting to address with jobs programs. The current unemployment rate of 9.1 percent is well above our 50-year average of 6 percent, and is not expected to drop back to that level any time soon. In fact, when those who are underemployed or have stopped looking for work altogether are factored in, the actual unemployment rate is closer to 16 percent. As a result, people have cut back on spending and begun to save more of their income. It’s a rational decision, but the lack of spending also fuels our economic problems. With more living-wage jobs available, people will no longer have to worry about whether or not they are going to have a job next week. They can stop living in fear and return to normalcy. Despite the factors that are driving the market crazy, all is not doom and gloom. Actually, our economic situation has markedly improved since 2008. Leading

economic indicators are improving and expected to continue nominal growth for the next 2 to 6 years. Overall, corporate America is doing great. On average, corporate balance sheets of companies in the S&P 500 show 22 percent cash reserves with robust profits. Eventually, corporate cash reserves will be used for things like capital projects, new products and expansion, which will result in new jobs. Banks are better capitalized, and interest rates are starting low and staying low which will enable individuals and businesses to get cash for purchases, furthering economic growth. We remain positive that the next decade will be a good period to be an owner of equities, domestic and foreign alike. Greg Pierce, Partner and Financial Advisor at Reinhart Partners Inc., is well known and respected in the investment industry nationwide. You can reach Greg at 920-230-6850 or


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Incorporations New North B2B includes a monthly list of new incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Brown County West Side Slam Volleyball Club Inc., Dennis Eggener, W402 Hillside Dr., De Pere 54115. Complete Property Solutions LLC, Nickolas Moore, 1810 N. Sunkist Cir., De Pere 54115. De Pere Family Dentistry LLC, Cyril J. Van Sistine, 1001 N. Broadway, De Pere 54115. Heavenly Housekeeping LLC, Joely M. Yeadon, 1971 Scheuring Road, Apt. 10, De Pere 54115. Diversified Maintenance LLC, Bruce Joseph Bain, 2922 Noah Road, De Pere 54115. Paroubek Insurance Agency Inc., Lorri Kieff, 926 Willard Dr., Ste. 234, Green Bay 54304.

Great leaders open the door to effective communication, building collaborative networks that unleash creativity and innovation and drive results. Moraine Park’s Leadership and Communication Performance Solutions help you develop great leaders across your organization, provide the training needed to successfully grow and retain top talent and strengthen your competitive advantage. • Leadership Development • Business Communication • Change Management • Customer Service • Emotional Intelligence • Team Building Take your business to the next level. Call or e-mail today: 920.924.3449 •

Young Woman Fashion Models LLC, Donald Joski, 161 Roselawn Blvd., Green Bay 54301. Family Shooting Academy LLC, Michael J. Shea, Sr., 3535 Nicolet Dr., Green Bay 54311. Kelly Rail & Custom Fabrication LLC, Patrick Kelly, 4825 Pine Lane, Green Bay 54313. Be Well Whole Health Services LLC, Danielle L. Morantez, 1430 Grignon St., Green Bay 54301. Service Delivery LLC, Paul Howard Glowinski, 3120 Holmgren Way, Green Bay 54304. Bay Foam Products Inc., Arnold W. Schmidt, 2929 Walker Dr., Green Bay 54311. Cancer Vaccine and Cancer Immunotherapy Institute LLC, Clifford Stuart Pukel, M.D., 2824 Timber Lane, Green Bay 54313. Badger Maintenance and Supply LLC, Shawn D. Bowers, 2304 Main St., Green Bay 54311. Manly Gift Baskets LLC, Andrew Jon Zawacki, 1718 Kalahari Dr., Green Bay 54313. ABC Auto Sales LLC, Cash 4 Cars LLC, 1022 N. Irwin, Green Bay 54302. Tower Clock Surgery Center LLC, Matthew Thompson, M.D., 1087 W. Mason St., Ste. 1, Green Bay 54303. Wonderwerkz Publishing Company LLC, Tina Lutz, 1263 Main St., Green Bay 54302. Orthosport Solutions LLC, Dan A. Behnke, 1268 Canterbury Road, Green Bay 54304. Bolt Led LLC, Better Business Brands LLC and Titletown Party Rentals LLC, Jesse Nelson, 1294 Carole Lane, Green Bay 54313. Ultraviolet Technologies LLC, Nicholas Todd Sturdivant, 531 Brookridge St., Green Bay 54301. MMM Cold Storage LLC and Laack Arpin Cold Storage LLC, Mark J. Laack, 1111 N. Broadway St., Green Bay 54303. Simply Exquisite Cheesecakes LLC, Kim M. AvestruzLaufenberg, 1498 Keystone Ct., Green Bay 54313.

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Universal Windows Direct of Greater Wisconsin LLC, Jeffrey F. Jaekels, 417 S. Adams St., Green Bay 54301.

WHO’S NEWS Children’s Palace of Green Bay LLC, Nicole Marie Klopotek, 316 S. Broadway St., Green Bay 54303. Wagner Bros. Lockout and Light Service LLC, Lewis J. Wagner, 1252 Western Ave., Green Bay 54303. CLM Show Lambs LLC, Carolyn A. Green, 1913 Wayside Road, Greenleaf 54126. Packerland Liquidators LLC, Thomas J. Juza, 1330 S. Sedona Cir., Oneida 54155. All Seasons Insulation LLC, Lance Waller, 3620 S. Timber Trail, Suamico 54173.

Art From Marvin LLC, Marvin Lee Paulin, 560 Vine St., Fond du Lac 54935. DB Designs LLC, Dawn L. Baker, 242 Sheboygan St., Fond du Lac 54935. Farmfill Ag Services LLC, Scott J. Meyer, N8078 Liberty Cir., Malone 53049. KSF Advisors LLC, Kenneth Solomon Folberg, CPA, 108 Watson St., Ripon 54971. Specialty Promotional Administrative Resource Center LLC, Tracy Vinz, W11699 Olden Road, Ripon 54971.

Quick Whipple’s Cleaning LLC, Jeremiah Whipple, 207 W. Calumet St., Apt. #6, Appleton 54915. Ponys Pallets Inc., John J. Wolters, 1800 W. Rogers Ave., Appleton 54914. Complete Home Solutions LLC, Corey C. Johnson, 616 N. State St., Appleton 54911. Schuh Industrial Supply LLC, Jeffrey T. Schuh, W4311 Mackville Road, Appleton 54913. Premier Remodeling LLC, Jeffrey P. Bader, 4311 W. Broadway Dr., Appleton 54913.

Bellevue Self Storage LLC, Mark A. Wachal, 1057 S. Wyndrush Dr., Suamico 54173.

A Peppler The Backstage Studio LLC, Annette Marie Peppler, 633 Washington St., Ripon 54971.

Diego Hardwood LLC, Richard Stiles, 3415 Commerce Ct., Appleton 54911.

Fond du Lac County

Big G’s Handyman Services LLC, George J. Pfeffer, Jr., 100 W. Main, Waupun 53963.

Century Oil LLC, Roshankumar K. Patel, 1306 S. Oneida St., Appleton 54915.

Ragspun Studio LLC, Rhonda Lynn Horvath, 172 E. Main St., Brandon 53919.

AP Solutions For You LLC, Valerie M. Youngs, 438 Jackson St., Waupun 53963.

Ann’s Gluten Free Foods LLC, Ann M. Mongin, 1731 S. Mohawk Dr., Appleton 54914.

Outagamie County

3rd Gospel Heating and Cooling LLC, Lucas Raymond Strasburg, 2506 N. Oneida St., Appleton 54911.

FDL Multiracial Community Center and Citizen Action Council of Fond du Lac City and County Inc., H. D. Haywood, Sr., 158 Ruggles St., P.O. Box 242, Fond du Lac 54935. Prestige Marketing Group Inc., Adam Krump, 17 Forest Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. High Performance Painting LLC, Michael S. Loehr, 146 E. Scott St., Fond du Lac 54935.


Exterior Construction Services LLC, James Heinz, 1122 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54914. Select Painting & Drywall Company, Gina M. Vollmer, 1001 W. Lawrence St., Appleton 54911.

Performance Powersports LLC, David Elliott Satorius, 3215 W. Tillman St., Appleton 54914.

Fero Software LLC, Arterisystems Corp., 400 S. Linwood Ave., Appleton 54914.

JJ’s Housekeeping Service LLC, Jenna Lee Johann, 1235 W. Eighth, Appleton 54914.

Protecting your people. Protecting your business.

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Designed Images LLC, Barbara Jean Satorius, 3215 W. Tillman St., Appleton 54914.



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WHO’S NEWS Better Business Bureau New Members

Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during October 2011 Allouez Rare Coin Gallery, Allouez BTA Construction, Green Bay CertaPro Painters of Sheboygan, Sheboygan Kip Gulseth Construction Company Inc., Manitowoc Lakeshore HVAC & Solar Inc., Sheboygan Mr. Handyman of the Fox Cities, Appleton Performance Plumbing LLC, Marinette Quality Welding Service Inc., Suamico, Appleton Specialty Auto Sales LLC, Green Bay Tara Rudy Photography, Oshkosh Valley Contracting Solutions LLC, Menasha Vanden Langenberg Construction LLC, DePere Wilson Auto Collision Inc., Niagara Wisconsin Spray Millet Corp., Wild Rose

Richard Salm, DDS LLC, Richard Salm, Jr., 415 S. Olde Oneida St., Apt. 1, Appleton 54911. Jambalayas Authentic Cajun Catering LLC, Rodric Dale Brady, Jr., W3212 Westowne Ct., Appleton 54915. C and C Anesthesia LLC, Jessica Lee Appl, 420 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54911. Rockland Construction LLC, Brent Richard Maxam, 1102 E. Northwood Dr., Appleton 54911. Dennis Peters Band LLC, Dennis M. Peters, 2020 Regency Ct., #6, Appleton 54915. Gentleheart Therapies LLC, Chris M. Anderson, N5360 State Road, Black Creek 54106. Jungle Gym Fitness LLC, Wendy Lee Tate, 663 Arnie St., Combined Locks 54113. Sick Tinting II LLC, David Lee Stroble, N1880 Julius Dr., Greenville 54942. Quiltworks LLC, Ramona Jane Frederickson, 140 Crystal Springs Dr., Hortonville 54944. Pretty Neat Organizers LLC, Jennifer Perrin, 2100 Chesterfield Ct., Kaukauna 54130. Designerz Ink LLC, Michael Leroy Bray, 103 E. 2nd St., Kaukauna 54130.

Winnebago County Big Daddy Games Leasing Inc., Eric J. Jacobson, 1223 Appleton Road, Menasha 54952. JP Inspections LLC, John David Pack, 1270 Wittmann Park Lane, Apt. #1, Menasha 54952.

Attention Employers! Enhance Your Employees’ Health & Productivity! EAP programs enhance employee health and productivity through prevention, identification and resolution of personal and family issues that might interfere with work. Benefits of an EAP Program • Reduced absenteeism • Lower healthcare utilization/costs • Improved retention • Reduced use of sick leave • Reduced accidents at work

Homeaid Health Care LLC, Kathleen McCarthy, 1463 Kenwood Dr., Menasha 54952. The House Patrol LLC, Mya Lyn Volkman, 726 Keyes St., Menasha 54952. Schommer Concrete Construction of the Fox Valley LLC, Michael Talamanco, W5156 State Road 114, Menasha 54952. Advanced Foundry Specialists International LLC, James S. Luebke, 1435 Midway Road, Menasha 54952. Neenah Marketplace LLC, Umer Sheikh, 130 W. Franklin Ave., P.O. Box 91, Neenah 54956. Valley Popcorn of Michigan LLC, Carl Frank Freundl, 6172 Dixie Road, Neenah 54956. Nevitt & Associates LLC, Valerie Nevitt Pfeiffer, 1016 Pembrook Dr., Neenah, 54956. Kasuboski Family Farms LLC, Mary A. Kasuboski, 3335 State Road 116, Omro 54963. Skippys Garage LLC, Shawn Richard Pick, 8317 County Road E, Omro 54963. Multi-Cultural Diversity Radio Inc., Samir Abumayyaleh, 1528 S. Koeller Road, Ste. #138, Oshkosh 54902. Kalimo Software Development LLC, Charles E. Leroy, 1359 Rahr Ave., Oshkosh 54901.

Employee Assistance Program Contact: Ann Schneider • (920) 926-4893


Devlin’s Shamrock Inn LLC, Christina M. Devlin, 7986 County Road D, Oshkosh 54963. CT Fast Freight LLC, Charles T. Pingel, 1234 Bowen St., Oshkosh 54901.

WHO’S NEWS Building Permits Bay Park Square Mall, 303 Bay Park Square, Ashwaubenon. $626,520 to re-roof a portion of the shopping center. Contractor is Nations Roof North. October 7. R.R. Donnelley & Sons, 800 Midway Road, Menasha. $515,000 for a 3,950-sq. ft. addition to the office at the existing printing facility. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. October 12. Affinity Health System, 101 Main St., Neenah. $7,500,000 for a two-story, 31-400-sq. ft. medical clinic building. Contractor is Hoffman Corp. of Appleton. October 12. Tower Clock Surgery Center, 1077 W. Mason St., Green Bay. $1,560,000 for a new ambulatory surgery center. General contractor is Smet Construction of Green Bay. October 13. Appleton Alliance Church, 2693 W. Grand Chute Blvd., town of Grand Chute. $13,570,223 for a 105,300-sq. ft. addition to the existing church campus. General contractor is Boldt Construction Co. of Appleton. October 14. Laser Form LLC, 1010 Centennial St., Ashwaubenon. $400,000 for a 9,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Heyrman Construction Co. of Green Bay. October 14. Bergstrom Volkswagen, 3139 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh. $2,500,000 for a retail automotive dealership. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. October 20. Jay Manufacturing, 2045 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh. $1,806,244 for a 52,871-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Builder is JML Contracting. October 31.

New Businesses St. Bernard’s Animal Medical Center opened at N8545 Ridge Road in Van Dyne by veterinarian Kim Everson. The company employs a staff of four and received start-up assistance through a $40,000 loan through Fond du Lac County’s revolving loan fund. St. Bernard’s can be reached by calling 920.923.6608 or going online to www.petvet1. com. Aegis Aesthetics of BayCare Clinic Plastic Surgery opened at 2069 Central Court in Bellevue. The clinic offers a full range of cosmetic, non-surgical services such as Botox, skin exfoliating treatments and microdermabrasion, among other services. The clinic can be reached by calling 920.569.1506.

Mergers/Acquisitions Hyatt Hotels & Resorts officially took over for the former



Hotel Sierra Green Bay and changed its name to Hyatt on Main, Green Bay. The hotel can be found online at www.

Business Honors The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce recognized the following organizations during its recent annual awards evening: Jacob Shapiro Elementary School and Oshkosh Community YMCA, PALs Award; Oracular, Small Business of the Year Award; and Miles Kimball Company, Stephen Mosling Commitment to Education Award. Sure-Dry Basement Systems of Menasha received an honorable mention from Better Business Bureau of Wisconsin in its 2011 Torch Award for Business Ethics and Integrity. The Boldt Company of Appleton received a 2011 Build Wisconsin Award from Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin for its work restoring the 125-year-old Grand Opera House in Oshkosh. The project also received the Project of the Year Award from Midwest Construction magazine and was named one of the top projects of 2010 by The Daily Reporter.


The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation received the Partnership Award from Wisconsin Park & Recreation Association. The Paperboard Packaging Council presented Gold Awards to Great Northern Corp. of Appleton for a package design it created for Well’s Dairy Enterprises and to Menasha Packaging’s Folding Carton Group for a package it designed for Williams-Sonoma. Great Northern also received an Excellence award for a package it created for Matthews, Inc., while Menasha Packaging received three separate Excellence awards for packages it designed for AnheuserBusch and Medestea.

New Hires


Kurka Reimer

Alta Resources in Neenah hired Steve Hyde as its vice president and chief information officer. Hyde has 15 years of IT experience, most recently as the director of digital technology and services at Manpower Group, Inc. First National Bank-Fox Valley hired Jason Kilgas as its director of business technology and Steve Michaelson as vice president of commercial banking. The newly created technology position was designed to deliver banking solutions that are efficient and easy for customers. Kilgas has 11 years







WHO’S NEWS of experience with Gannett Wisconsin Media. Michaelson is based in the bank’s Appleton office.



Appleton-based White Heron Chorale hired Jeanie Kurka Reimer as its first executive director and Phillip A. Swan as its artistic director. Kurka Reimer has more than 20 years of nonprofit experience, most recently as executive director for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Her background includes work in organizational development, donor contact, fundraising, nonprofit governance and regional/national leadership. Swan is responsible for ensemble development, artistic programming and conducting the chorale. He is a tenured associate professor of music and member of the Lawrence University Conservatory for the past nine years. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hired Dan Terrio as youth development manager, leading the Brown County Teen Leadership and Partners in Education Drug Alliance programs. Terrio has more than 10 years experience in youth leadership development, prevention education and youth advocacy, including a role as a youth lobbyist for United National Indian Tribal Youth Inc. and as the prevention education director for the Stockbridge-Munsee Tribe. Rehab Arisces in Fond du Lac hired Kim Swanson as an occupational therapist seeing patients in the Fox Cities.



Gardan, Inc. of Hortonville hired Chris Sawall as a material handling and logistics coordinator, Stephanie Kuettel as a wire processing technical leader, and Bob Griesbach as a project manager and sales estimator. Sawall has 15 years of inventory/distribution management experience, and Kuettel brings years of experience in wire harness processing.



R.A. Smith National in Appleton hired Diego Silva as a civil engineer in its transportation division. Silva has three years experience in transportation and utility design, surveying and construction services for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and local government. Image Studios in Appleton hired Aaron Randerson as a senior video producer for Image Video Production. Randerson previously was an independent video producer. Luke Tremble, MD, joined ThedaCare Physicians-Pediatrics in Appleton, specializing in asthma, allergies, acute illness, preventative medicine and well care, and Amy Schmidt, MD, joined Women’s Health Specialists, S.C. in Neenah as an OB/GYN physician. Dr. Schmidt’s areas of interest include infertility evaluation and basic treatment, contraceptive selection and pregnancy management. Victoria Neuman also joined ThedaCare Physicians-Pediatrics in Appleton as a family nurse practitioner. Neuman has eight years experience as an emergency room nurse. The College of Business at the University of WisconsinOshkosh hired Cathy Huybers as the executive director of the Wisconsin Family Business Forum. Huybers most recently worked at Fox Valley Workforce Development Board as a business service manager. Pinnacle Consulting Group in Green Bay hired Jennifer Ziech as a manager and an advanced certified QuickBooks professional advisor. A certified public accountant, Ziech has 17 years experience providing financial consulting to a broad range of businesses and nonprofit organizations.




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WHO’S NEWS Skyline Technologies, Inc. in Green Bay hired Kenny Young as a practice director for its custom solutions team as a Practice Director. Young previously worked for Air Wisconsin Airlines where he led the applications and planning team. He is a co-founder of the NEW Agile Users group and serves as the group’s treasurer.



Northern Electric, Inc. in Green Bay hired Jim Vercauteren as its controller and chief financial officer. He comes from a mechanical contractor and has more than 30 years of construction experience. Di Renzo & Bomier, LLC in Neenah hired Michelle Swardenski as an attorney focusing on family law, guardian ad litem, real estate and general civil litigation and appeals. She worked as a staff attorney in the circuit courts of Dane and Outagamie counties, and also served as a prosecutor for Green Lake, Waushara and Marquette counties. Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region hired Peri Tyink as its executive director. Tyink most recently served as the director of development for the Boys and Girls Club of the Fox Cities.

Promotions Atkins


Amy Henselin was promoted to audit partner with Grant Thornton LLP in Appleton. She was previously a senior audit manager. Henselin serves as the leader of Grant Thornton’s not-forprofit industry team as well as the firm’s Women’s Initiative for the Wisconsin practice. She has been with the firm for 12 years. Gardan, Inc. of Hortonville promoted John Dennis to vice president responsible for business operations and new business endeavors. Dennis joined the company in 2008. J. F. Ahern Co. in Fond du Lac promoted Travis Moser to human resource manager. Moser joined the company in 2008 as a recruiting specialist, and has since held the positions of HR generalist and assistant director of HR.


Joyce Atkins was promoted to assistant campus dean for student services at the University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac. Atkins was most recently director of the Upward Bound program at MPTC. She previously served as the assistant campus dean for student services at UW-Sheboygan.

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Individual honors


The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce recognized the following individuals during its recent annual awards evening: Dennis and Karlene Leatherman, Alberta Kimball Community Service Award; Darlene Darrow, Ambassador of the

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BUSINESS CALENDAR Year; Nicole Peterson, Outstanding Chamber Volunteer; Jim Janes, Distinguished Service Award; Bill Wyman, Lynne Webster Leadership Award; and Margie Harvey, Woman of Achievement Award. Rick Griesser of Automated Records Management Systems, Inc. in De Pere was awarded the Double Diamond Individual Performance Award from the Association of Information Technology Professionals. Griesser is the senior information management & security consultant for A.R.M.S. UW-Fond du Lac Student Services Coordinator Melissa Luedtke received the 2011 Nora McGuire Outstanding Professional Award from the Wisconsin College Personnel Association. The award is presented each year to recognize an outstanding professional in the student affairs field. J. F. Ahern Co. Divisional Safety and Claims Manager Jim Lange was recognized as one the ‘40 Under 40 Rising Stars of Safety’ by the National Safety Council.

Elections/appointments Patrick D. Riordan, president and CEO of Nsight and Cellcom in Ashwaubenon, was elected chairman of the board of directors for Cellular Telecommunications and Internet Association. He will serve a one-year term in the role. Riordan has served on the association’s board since 1993.

Business calendar December 1 “Social Media/Networking,” a Breakfast Briefing seminar through the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 8 to 9:30 a.m. at Hilton Garden Inn, 1355 W. 20th Ave. in Oshkosh. Presenters Mark Yokom and Tom Moniz of Davis & Kuelthau will discuss the legal risks employers and employees face as they explore social media/networking sites such as Facebook, MySpace and LinkedIn. To register, call 920.303.2266 or email December 2 “Coffee Conversation,” an event from the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Little Chute Village Hall, 108 W. Main St. in Little Chute. Invited guests include municipal administrators from Little Chute, Kimberly, Kaukauna and Combined Locks to discuss their fiscal health and upcoming budgets. For more information or to register, contact the chamber at 920.766.1616 or go online to www. December 7 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at A&E Jewelers, 131 S. Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, call the AC at 920.921.9500 or go online to December 7 New North Summit, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Radisson Hotel & Conference Center, Green Bay. For information or to register, go online to www. December 13 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information or to register, call 920.303.2265.


December 15 “Accounting Update for Financial Institutions,” a no-cost Webinar presented by Clifton Gunderson LLP, 1 to 2 p.m. This session is designed for financial and accounting professionals at banks and credit unions and will cover updated guidance for troubled debt restructurings; new disclosures related to credit quality TDRs; and developments in lease accounting and fair value measurement. Registration is required by going online to

Advertiser Index Accupro Business Solutions, Inc. ............ 18 Agnesian Healthcare 44 Baker Tilly 7 Bank First National 24 Bank Mutual 39 Barber Shop (The) 31, 37, 47 Boldt Company 41 Breakthrough Solutions 8 Builders Exhange of Wisconsin, Inc. 7 Capital Credit Union 30 CitizensFirst Credit Union . ............................ 11 Culver’s 27 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 40 Dermatology Associates 2 Digiprint 9 DiRenzo & Bomier 16 Fast Signs 35 First Business Bank .................................... 50 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ..................... 8 Great Harvest Bread Co. 27 Green Bay Botanical Gardens 27 Guident Business Solutions 24 J. J. Keller 43 Keller Inc. ................................................... 38 Lombardi’s Steakhouse 27 Marian Universisty .................................. 33 Moraine Park Technical College 42 Network Health Plan . ................................ 51 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council 46 Nsight 13 Outagamie County Regional Airport ........... 15-19 Oshkosh Business Expo 34 Oshkosh Country Club .................................. 27 Oshkosh Downtown 27 Reinhart Partners Inc. 41 R. J. Albright Inc. ........................................... 16 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries 14 Stellar Blue Web Design 26 Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. . ......................................... 25 Stolley Studio 40 TEC ............................................................ 20 Thomas James Real Estate 52 UW-Oshkosh College of Business 23 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management .................... 35


Churning away

Analyzing the ups and downs of Wisconsin’s recent economic news

Tom Still President Wisconsin Technology Council

Instead of “Forward,” perhaps the state motto should be amended to “Two Steps Forward, One Step Back and One Sideways.” So goes the up-and-down news about the Wisconsin economy, which one day includes encouraging reports about jobs, expansions or investments but is followed the next with announcements of layoffs or a shrinking pool of private-sector jobs. This seemingly contradictory mish-mash of news may reflect what many observers call economic churn, or what economist Joseph Schumpeter first described as “creative destruction” nearly 70 years ago. It’s the notion that healthy capitalist economies are in a state of constant transition, with new products, industries and jobs necessarily crowding out the old. Of course, if you lost a job that was creatively destroyed in the past three years, you’re probably in no mood to discuss economic theory. But the paradox of good news sandwiched with the bad speaks to the fact that maybe – just maybe – the Wisconsin economy is looking for an excuse to get back on its feet. The state Department of Workforce Development announced last month that Wisconsin lost 9,300 private-sector jobs in October, the fourth straight month of decline. That’s on a base of about 2.7 million Wisconsin jobs, so the loss could be explained away as statistically minor. But it’s not insignificant if the trend continues to chip away at job gains made earlier in the year. The state has lost about 5,200 professional and business service jobs in the last year, including nearly 3,800 in the high-paying science and technology sector. Accuray, which acquired Madison-based TomoTherapy, announced in mid-November it will shed about 50 jobs. Smaller tech companies continue to struggle as they search for angel and venture capital. Wisconsin has also lost 3,700 finance and insurance jobs over the past year, sectors that have long been important to the state. The latest blow came when Fidelity National Information Services, which bought the former Metavante financial technology company two years ago, announced about 100 job cuts in Milwaukee. The good news: Manufacturing continues a modest rebound. Generac is adding 300 to 400 jobs in Waukesha, Whitewater and Eagle, as well as 50 to 60 jobs at its Magnum

Products subsidiary in Berlin. Ruud Lighting expects to add 469 fulltime jobs over four years as part of a $24.5 million expansion in Sturtevant and elsewhere. Supercomputer maker Cray Inc. expects to add manufacturing workers in Chippewa Falls now that the University of Illinois has awarded Cray a contract to take over a stalled $300-million supercomputer project. Companies such as Husco, which makes highly engineered hydraulic systems and controls, continue to add jobs in southeastern Wisconsin. Virtually all of the manufacturing expansions of late have involved companies that are leveraging technology and engineered solutions, a talent that speaks to Wisconsin’s knack for innovation when times get tough. Other encouraging signs include strong earnings reports by Wisconsin companies such as Rockwell Automation and Brady Corp., and continued growth in food processing and other farm-related sectors. As food safety and security become bigger issues, Wisconsin researchers and processors are positioned to help provide market-based solutions. The latest State Monitor report by BMO Capital Markets Economics, which is tied to BMO Harris Bank, suggests the Wisconsin economy is actually expanding at a moderate pace – despite the latest jobs report. Wisconsin exports grew by 15 percent yearover-year through August, BMO reported, and the state continues to regain manufacturing jobs lost during the recession. Foreign direct investment has also strengthened the state’s economy by bringing much-needed bursts of capital and by opening global sales channels. A recent example is the purchase of Thiel Cheese & Ingredients of Hilbert by the Irish Dairy Board. Hundreds of Wisconsin companies have grown over time thanks to investments from abroad, primarily companies in Canada, Europe and Japan. What’s it all mean? Perhaps the economy is still bouncing along the bottom. Or perhaps the theory of creative destruction is not just a theory, but the sometimes painful way a modern economy works. In a world that never stands still, today’s halting steps forward and stumbling steps back may be how Wisconsin’s economy finally gets back on track.   Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. NEW NORTH B2B l DECEMBER 2011 l 49

KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. November 20 $3.37

$3.37 November 6 $3.37 October 30 $3.37 Nov. 20, 2010 $2.92 November 13

Source: New North B2B observations




from September


from October 2010 October


from September


from October 2010


$397.7 billion


from September


Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin

Sept. Aug. Sept. ‘10 8.5% 8.9% 8.1% 8.9% 9.6% 10.1% 8.0% 8.4% 7.1% 7.6% 7.0% 7.3%

8.6% 8.3% 9.6% 8.7% 7.3% 7.1%

from October 2010 (2007 = 100)




from September


from October 2010 (Manufacturers and trade)


$1,533 billion

Unch. from August

Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm.

November $0.856 October

$0.729 Nov. 2010 $0.864 Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)

October September

50.8 51.6


from September 2010

If there are indicators you’d like to see in this space, contact our office at 920.237.0254 or email

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3483 Jackson Street, oshkosh

For lease 2,600 SF or 5,200 SF Each unit has a showroom/office 18’ ceiling heights & overhead doors

For sale 21,608 SF building + 1.1 acres of excess land. Floor plan includes offices/showroom/warehouse owner will consider selling building & land separately

For sale, 25,000 SF industrial building Lease, 4,875 SF to 19,000 SF in building 6 loading docks - 12 overhead doors

cLaSS a rESTaUraNT/Bar

aBoUT 15 acrES of EXcESS LaND


215 W. murdock avenue, oshkosh

5850 State road 76, Vinland

2308 Jackson Street, oshkosh

For sale 4,845 SF building 3 dining areas seat 115 - bar seats 25 Great location next to Walgreens

For sale or lease 11,500 SF restaurant/bar 3,000 Sf of basement storage

For sale or lease 3,928 SF retail/office building Great corner location

oN hWY 41 EXIT hWY 45-S 2 mIN

fIrST fLoor offIcE coNDo


1936-B algoma Blvd., oshkosh

600 S. main Street, oshkosh

For lease 1,400 SF suite 4 offices, waiting area, shared kitchenette professional office setting

For sale 2,950 SF office condo Open office space, private offices, conference room, lunch room 1,100 Sf of basement storage

1820 - 1936 - 2008 - 2016 Grove Street, oshkosh

For sale multi-family apartments comprised of a 16 unit and three 4 units owner will consider selling three 4 units separately from the 16 units.

Tom Scharpf ❘ 920.379.0744 ❘ ❘

commercial land available in oshkosh starting at $79,900

commercial land available in oshkosh starting at $79,900

Tom Scharpf

December 2011  
December 2011  

Regional business magazine