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Top Ten of 2012:

NE Wisconsin Business

industrial workforce solutions

Innovative programs increase capacity for local manufacturing skills training

January 2013 $3.95


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new north b2b January 2013

22 TOP TEN 18 28


18 COVER STORY ❘ Industrial Workforce Solutions ❘ Innovative programs increase capacity for skills training 22 CULTURE ❘ Art Feeds the Soul ... and the Economy ❘ Economic impact study results spell out value of the arts 28 YEAR IN REVIEW ❘ Top Ten of 2012 ❘ A retrospective on the major business stories from the region in the past year 34 HEALTH CARE ❘ Cost Comparison Updates ❘ Our annual list sharing medical costs across the region


On our Cover

4 From the Publisher 5 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 10 Build Up Pages 16 Around the Boardroom 17 Pierce Stronglove 38 Who’s News 43 Business Calendar 43 Advertiser Index 44 Business Plan Winners 46 Key Statistics

Welding ranks among the leading skills shortages for manufactureres in northeast Wisconsin.



WEDC shouldn’t be a political football WisDems reaction to audit of WEDC an immature act of political posturing

Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2013

Fifty years from now, Wisconsin history books will tell the story of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. as a vital, successful agency that helped bring about the Dairy State’s status as a global innovation leader. Like so many other business success stories, this one, too, had a tale of a rocky beginning in which lessons were learned, adjustments were made, and the entity overcame and trudged forward without ever looking back. It’s a tale that mirrors those of Apple computers, FedEx and a number of other organizations considered to be successful today. At least this is how we hope history will perceive WEDC. The mid-December release of an independent audit of the 18-month-old quasipublic economic development organization identified a handful of shortcomings in its internal accounting practices. But the audit report hardly stooped as low as the Democratic Party of Wisconsin and its leaders who outright described the WEDC’s management practices as scandalous and corrupt. It’s a shameful act of immaturity on the part of WisDems, not only reflecting a lack of comprehension on how to read and interpret a financial audit, but further anchors the state party’s migration toward an extreme anti-business agenda. It’s an unfortunate evolution in philosophy that I know disturbs a number of left-leaning politicians who recognize the value of an enhanced business climate and the inherent risks associated with achieving improvement. WEDC is in its second fiscal year of operation, and like any entrepreneur worth their salt will tell you, there’s often a good deal of finding one’s way during that first year in business. It’s hardly an excuse for the bookkeeping deficiencies highlighted in the WEDC audit, and interim CEO Reed Hall isn’t looking for a crutch for the organization to rest its burdens upon. Instead, the audit provides a roadmap for improvement, and Reed and his management team have already made some of the changes recommended by independent auditor Schenck, S.C. of Appleton. But it’ll take the support of the state legislature to commit to funding computer systems, staff training, and positions for loan officers to help right the ship. WEDC in itself shouldn’t be a political football. While the CEO serves at the discretion of the governor, the agency is established to be a non-partisan agency – like every other

state department – serving the entire state to ensure businesses have the necessary resources to create and retain high-paying jobs here in Wisconsin. Unfortunately, WisDems and even some general news media outlets across the state have distorted the organization as “a pet project” of Gov. Scott Walker, when the fact is that Walker really did nothing more than get the organization going after a commission supported by former Gov. Jim Doyle recommended an organization structured like WEDC as the most productive and effective for the state. The former Department of Commerce model previously in place for decades lacked the teeth and connection to private industry to provide as meaningful economic development services in Wisconsin as WEDC is able. A second distortion of facts is found in calling WEDC “a $19 million failure,” which misrepresents both the status of the loans out to employers across the state as well as the total value of what a financial institution might otherwise report as potential problem loans, delinquent loans or nonperforming loans. At $15 million, more than 75 percent of the outstanding loans from WEDC as of June 30 were forgivable loans, meaning the loans will essentially be considered grants that won’t need to be repaid if the recipient meets certain criteria, often including the creation and retention of jobs. Mercury Marine is an example of a local firm that received a forgivable loan as part of the package crafted in 2009 to help it maintain its manufacturing operations in Fond du Lac. The state Democratic Party seemingly wants WEDC to fail – for nothing more than political reasons – so that it can pin the blame on Walker and use that bidding chip as political currency during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. It’s unfortunate because a failure of WEDC and wishful thinking toward further economic stress in the state means the loss of jobs to Wisconsin residents, a lose-lose scenario for Democrats and Republicans, for business owners and employees, and for government workers and taxpayers. As this next session of Wisconsin’s Legislature takes up business in the coming weeks, real leadership from both sides of the aisle will be those elected officials who can stand up to their state party, call out their party brass for acting immature and selfish, and ultimately to do what’s right for Wisconsin.


Amazing Turn of Events by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Tony Renning


If you have a particular labor/employment law question, forward it to Mr. Renning at If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy.

Reader Question: Did the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals reverse itself as to reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act? Tony Renning: The United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (whose decisions apply to Wisconsin employers) recently reversed itself, finding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) generally requires an employer transfer a disabled employee to a vacant position he/she is minimally qualified for, even if there are other employees who may be more qualified. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. United Airlines, Inc., No. 11-1774 (7th Cir. 2012). The ADA includes “reassignment to a vacant position” as a possible “reasonable accommodation” for a disabled person. However, the Seventh Circuit ruled in 2000 the ADA did not require an employer give preference to a disabled employee seeking a transfer as an accommodation over an employee who was more qualified. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Humiston-

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

Kate Erbach Production

Contributing writers

Robin Bruecker

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

Keeling, 227 F.3d 1024 (7th Cir. 2000). United Airlines involves an employee who became disabled and could no longer perform his job. The employee asked to be reassigned to another job he was qualified to perform. A more qualified employee also applied for the job. United Airlines awarded the job to the more qualified, nondisabled employee, pursuant to established policy. United Airlines had a policy that provided if two candidates are equally qualified, the employee-applicant seeking an ADA accommodation will get the job, but if there is a more qualified applicant, he/she will get the position. The EEOC challenged United Airline’s policy as unlawful, arguing employers are required to award a transfer to a minimally qualified disabled employee as a reasonable accommodation. The Seventh Circuit agreed, stating: “The Supreme Court has found that accommodation through appointment to a vacant position is reasonable. Absent a showing of undue hardship, an employer must

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 2013.

Contact us: P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903-0559 • 920.237.0254

implement such a reassignment policy.” Employers should reevaluate their practices concerning the transfer of individuals with a disability to a vacant position as a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. For counsel concerning reasonable accommodation under the ADA and other unique employment issues, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or 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.

Green Bay

Fox Cities


Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2013 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.

November 21

2004 January 1 – The U.S. Small Business Administration, the Department of Defense, the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration launched an integrated database for small businesses wishing to do business with the government.

2007 January 17 – The city of Neenah learned a planned, $1.5 million reconstruction of the southernmost section of South Commercial Street will be delayed at least a year because of a shortfall in state transportation funds. The state Department of Transportation requested the project be deferred from this summer to 2008 or 2009. The project already had been deferred from 2006.

2010 January 6 – The Wisconsin Family Health Survey released by the state Department of Health Services reported the number of state residents without health insurance held steady at 6 percent from 2007 to 2008. According to survey results, about 11 percent of households were on Medicaid or state BadgerCare Plus programs in 2008.

2011 January 20 – Both the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate passed a bill which would provide a tax deduction for individual investments into health savings accounts. The measure is expected to make health care more affordable for employees and small businesses.


The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin pushed back implementing the new 274 “overlay” area code from the previously scheduled 2014 date, indicating there are sufficient phone numbers remaining in the 920 area code to last through at least the fourth quarter 2017. Initially announced in 2008, the new 274 area code was slated to be implemented this past year, but in 2010 the PSC postponed the implementation to 2014, indicating conservation measures as well as economic conditions have further extended the anticipated life of the 920 area code. An overlay means both the 920 and 274 area codes would serve the same geographic area and all phone calls would require dialing 10 digits.

November 26 Thrivent Financial received federal regulatory approval to convert most of the deposits, liabilities and other assets of Thrivent Financial Bank in Appleton into a member-owned federal credit union. The newly formed credit union has nearly $500 million in assets.

November 28 The City of Omro Water Utility received approval for a 47 percent rate hike as of Jan. 1, the first increase in rates for the utility in 20 years. Rates have remained the same since the last rate hike in December 1992, and the new rate increase is expected to generate nearly $150,000 in additional revenue to offset increased expenses and depleted cash reserves.

November 28 The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved an electrical rate increase of 4.2 percent in 2013 and 2.6 percent in 2014 for customers of We Energies, reducing the utility’s overall electrical rate adjustment request from 5.5 percent in 2013 and another 3.6 percent increase 2014, a cumulative decrease of nearly $60 million in revenues. The PSC said reducing We Energies’ original request was possible as a result of decisions to reduce payroll expenses, disallow cost overruns on the new Oak Creek coal plant, and decrease costs in other areas.

December 4 The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reported state-chartered banks posted earnings of $289 million in the nine months ending Sept. 30, an increase of 28 percent over the same period during 2011. The report indicated more than 92 percent of Wisconsin’s 201 state-chartered banks were profitable through the third quarter and more than two-thirds showed earnings gains over the previous year.

SINCE WE LAST MET December 4 Noted billionaire investor Carl Icahn dropped his bid for specialty truck maker Oshkosh Corp. after he failed to acquire a self-imposed threshold of 25 percent of the company’s outstanding shares by the beginning of December. Oshkosh Corp.’s board of directors had encouraged stockholders not to sell their shares to Icahn out of concern he would strip the company’s assets and retain certain components for the remainder of his industrial portfolio. Icahn indicated that about 22 percent of the company’s shares had been tendered, but none were purchased.

December 4 The state Department of Administration approved the plans by town of Harrison leaders to incorporate the densely-populated Darboy area in the northwest portion of the town as a village. Residents in the area still need to approve the measure in a referendum, which is expected to be scheduled sometime this spring. The nearly 4.6-square mile area under consideration for incorporation includes about 7,400 residents.

December 5 A consultant hired by the City of Green Bay to determine the feasibility of combining the vacant police and fire chiefs positions into a proposed public safety director role recommended against such an administrative union. The consultant said combining the two positions would likely cause significant turmoil and would likely only provide minimal cost savings.

December 7 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 146,000 new jobs were created in November, decreasing the national unemployment rate to 7.7 percent. Employment increased in retail trade, professional and business services and health care.

December 10 The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. selected the Mills Center Industrial site on the western side of the Village of Howard near State Highway 29 as a development-ready certified site. The designation is just the second in northeast Wisconsin in addition to a site in Sheboygan. The relatively new development-ready certified site program is intended to attract businesses by having approved industrial properties that meet certain development criteria, including site size, availability of utility and transportation infrastructure, physical and technical condition, environmental assessments, and quality of labor force.

December 10 The Menasha Joint School District Board of Education approved a $29.9 million borrowing plan to expand and renovate Menasha High School it expects to present to voters in a referendum this April. The proposed construction package would add 46,630 square feet of new educational space through a two-story addition to the southeast side of the school and a one-story addition for music and art programs on the west side. Renovations to existing space include improvements to a gym, locker rooms, swimming pool and the technical education area.

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SINCE WE LAST MET December 13 The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau appointed Pam Seidl as its executive director. Seidl has been with the bureau 10 years as its director of marketing and community relations, and was instrumental in developing its “Wisconsin’s Shopping Place” brand. She has served on the marketing committee of the Governor’s Council on Tourism.

December 13 Lawrence University in Appleton named Mark Burstein, executive vice president at Princeton University, as its next president to succeed Jill Beck, who is retiring at the end of June. Burstein has served in his current role at Princeton in New Jersey since 2004, and prior to that he spent a decade at Columbia University in New York. The inauguration of Burstein as president of Lawrence will take place in late October.

December 14 German-based Viessmann Group CEO Martin Viessmann, Ph.D., and his wife Annette pledged to fund an endowed chair for the new sustainable technology program at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, which will be the university’s first endowed chair. The Viessmann Endowed Chair in Sustainable Technology will support current academic programming, develop programs in engineering technology and renewable energy, and take the lead in developing new international projects focusing on collaborative research in sustainable technology and renewable energy.

December 17 Appleton-based Schenck S.C. presented its independent audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and recommended a series of improvements in its financial reporting processes to remedy its weaknesses and deficiencies. They include: establishing an effective and efficient control system for receipt and deposit of collections and other revenues; establishing procedures to record loan transactions monthly to the control accounts and the individual loans in the separate software systems; and development and distribution of financial reports.

December 18 Humana Inc. announced it will add about 40 customer care jobs to its Green Bay area offices in January to provide customer service support for the company’s medical and specialty benefit products. Humana currently employs more than 3,100 people in its De Pere and Green Bay offices.

December 18 The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development issued a $34,000 award to the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board for exceeding performance standards during the past year in areas such as average earnings, job placement and retention, literacy gains and number of certifications attained. The award was one of six given to workforce development boards across the state through the federal Workforce Investment Act, and the funds can be used to invest in WIA-approved programs serving adults, youth and dislocated workers.


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Build Up Fond du Lac 1

- 565 N. Douglas St., Ripon, Lamers Bus Lines, a 6,280-sq. ft. bus garage, maintenance facility and office. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

2 - 700 Stanton St., Ripon, Alliance Laundry, a 20,000sq. ft. addition for assembly, metal stamping and a press shop. Project completion expected in summer.

3 - 790 Eastgate Dr., Ripon, C

Ripon Medical Center, a

120,000-sq. ft. hospital and medical office building. Project completion expected in early 2014.


- 545 & 600 W. Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, Mercury Marine, an addition to the product development and engineering facility and separate additions to its manufacturing and fabrication plants. Project completion expected in late 2013.


- 385 W. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac, Wells Vehicle Electronics, a two-story, 64,000-sq. ft. headquarters and manufacturing facility.

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C - Indicates a new listing



- 123 E. Larsen Dr., Fond du Lac, McNeilus Steel, a 96,000-sq. ft. industrial coil processing facility. Project completion expected in August. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

7 - 985 S. Main St., Fond du Lac, C, a new office building.

Build Up Oshkosh 8 - 5821 Green Valley Road, town of Vinland, Kwik Trip, a new convenience store and fuel station. Project completion expected in January.

9 - 112 Viola St., Oshkosh, Oaklawn Elementary School, a two-story, 68,000-sq. ft. school building. Project completion expected in August. 10 - 1820 Jackson St., Oshkosh, Cherry Berry Yogurt Bar, a new restaurant building. Project completion expected in January.

11 - 2251 Omro Road, Oshkosh, C Horicon Bank, a new financial institution office. 12 - Pearl & Wisconsin avenues, Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center, a 40,000-sq. ft. meeting facility. Project completion expected in December. 13 - 1210 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh, Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store, a new retail building. Project completion expected in spring. 14 - 2530 W. Ninth Ave., Oshkosh, Wihlm Dental, a 3,510-sq. ft. dental clinic office. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 15

- 4070 State Road 91, Oshkosh, F.N. Sheppard & Company, an addition to the existing industrial facility.

Projects completed since our December issue: • Mid State Amusement Games, 1161 Industrial Pkwy., Fond du Lac. • Advanced Tooling Inc., 210 Kommers St., Mount Calvary.


BUILD UP FOX CITIES Build Up Fox Cities The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly twopage 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, Appleton Alliance Church, a 105,300-sq. ft. addition to the existing church campus. Project completion expected in January.

2 - 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute,

Fox Valley Technical College Health Simulation and Technology Center, a three-story, 60,000-sq. ft. health care and emergency medical services education and training facility.


- 2400 N. Casaloma Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Cities Stadium, a 34,539-sq. ft. addition to the existing grandstands for a banquet facility, added luxury boxes as well as renovations to expand the team locker rooms and clubhouse shop. Project completion expected in April.

4 - W6390 Challenger Dr., town of Greenville,

Outagamie County Regional Airport, an 8,000-sq. ft. general aviation terminal building and a separate 12,000-sq. ft. hangar for general aviation use.

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5 - West Challenger Drive, town of Greenville, Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center, a 93,000-sq. ft. training facility for fire protection and law enforcement personnel. Project completion expected in December 2014.


- 3310 W. College Ave., town of Grand Chute, C multi-tenant retail center to include Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt and Starbucks. Project completion expected in spring.

7 - 1025 W. Navitus Dr., town of Grand Chute, C Navitus Health Solutions, a three-story, 70,000-sq. ft. new office building. Project completion expected in September. 8 - 3211 E. Capitol Dr., Appleton, IPS Testing, a 4,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing test laboratory. Project completion expected in January.

9 - 100 Allegiance Ct., Little Chute,

C Tailwaggers Doggy Daycare, a dog day care center and pet retail store.

10 - 340 Patriot Dr., Little Chute, C Green Stone Farm Credit Services, a two-story, 21,000-sq. ft. office building. 11 - Vandenbroek & Main streets, Little Chute, C Salon Indulgence, a 3,682-sq. ft. salon and spa facility. Project completion expected in late spring. 12 - N110 Brux Road, town of Buchanan, Wagner Family Chiropractic SC, a 3,100-sq. ft. chiropractic clinic and office. Project completion expected in February. 13

- 1870 U.S. Highway 10/114, C Kwik Trip, an addition to the existing convenience store.


- 1050 Zephyr Dr., town of Menasha, St. Mary Central High School, a 22,000-sq. ft. fine arts education center to include a 495-seat auditorium. Project completion expected in April.

15 - 540 Discovery Dr., Neenah, Futek Forms, Tags and Labels, an 18,100-sq. ft. industrial facility. Project completion expected in June. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 16 - 2444 Schultz Dr., Neenah, Plexus Corp., a 473,369sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in late fall.

Since 2011, our actual project costs have been

within 2% of the original estimates.

800.532.4376 |


Projects completed since our December issue: • Fox Valley Technical College Jones Dairy Farm Culinary Theatre, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute. • Pinnacle Cataract & Laser Institute, 4648 W. Spencer St., town of Grand Chute. • Panda Express Restaurant, 3641 W. College Ave., town of Grand Chute. • Valley Tool Inc., 3040 Pointer Road, Appleton. • Hoffman Printing Inc., 2307 E. Glendale Ave., Appleton. • Panda Express Restaurant, N112 Stony Brook Road, town of Buchanan. • Appanasha Pet Clinic, 1205 Wittmann Dr., Menasha.



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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 - 2564 Lineville Road, Suamico, Dorsch Auto Credit, a used auto dealership. Project completion expected in spring. 2

- 2525 Lineville Road, Howard, Fox Communities Credit Union, a 4,452-sq. ft. financial institution building. Project completion expected in March.

3 - 2325 Pamperin Road, Howard, Ace Manufacturing Industries Inc., a 22,434-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 4

- 900 Isbell St., Green Bay, BioLife Plasma Service, a 17,500-sq. ft. medical facility.

5 - 1499 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, Cabela’s, a 100,000sq. ft. retail store. Project completion expected in August.

6 - 2074 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon,

C Green Bay Anodizing, an addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in spring.

7 - 500 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay, Integrys Printing, a 4,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing printing facility. Project completion expected in spring. 8 - 400 N. Washington St., Green Bay, Schreiber Foods Inc., a five-story, 250,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters building. Project completion expected in early 2014. 9 - 835 S. Van Buren St., Green Bay,

St. Vincent Hospital, a 10,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing medical center.

10 - 2851 University Ave., Green Bay, Milo C. Huempfner Department of Veterans Affairs Clinic, a new 192,000sq. ft. outpatient clinic for veterans services. Project completion expected in April. 11 - 1600 Van Ess Road, New Franken, New Tech Metals, a 6,946-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in March. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 12 - 1100 S. Huron Road, Green Bay, Frontline Building Products and Green Bay Overhead Door, a 217,884-sq. ft. industrial facility to include offices and more than 200,000 square feet of warehousing space. Project completion expected in spring. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 13 - 3383 Spirit Way, Ashwaubenon,

FedEx Ground, a 100,000-sq. ft. distribution center and offices. Project completion expected in June. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

14 -

1745 E. Mathew Dr., De Pere, De Pere Cabinet Inc., a new warehouse facility. Project completion expected in spring.

15 - 2121 Innovation Ct., De Pere, Foth & Van Dyke LLC, a 95,000-sq. ft. office building. Project completion expected in fall. 16 - 2260 American Blvd., De Pere, C Metal Storm Metal Fabrication, a new manufacturing facility and offices. 17 - 1900 Enterprise Dr., De Pere, C.A. Lawton Company, a 15,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing foundry facility to include a blast furnace and clean process equipment. Project completion expected in spring. Projects completed since our December issue: • Little Rapids Corp., 2970 Walker Dr., Green Bay. • Oneida Apostolic Church, 197 W. Meadow Dr., Hobart. • Sports Advantage Center. 807 Parkview Road, Ashwaubenon. • Utech Consulting, 1537 American Ct., De Pere.

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14 thru 16




307 The number of U.S. Small Business Administration 504 program loans approved by Wisconsin Business Development during fiscal 2012, ranking it third in the nation. The cumulative total of more than $498 million in SBA 504 loans ranked it No. 5 nationally. Source: National Association of Development Companies

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QUOTEWORTHY “I still think WEDC can be successful.

But I think WEDC needs a short leash.

- Assembly Minority Leader Rep. Peter Barca (D-Kenosha), following the release of the independent audit of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.

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Who wisely purchased BodyGuardz® device protection for his iPad before reviewing marketing communications that make coffee shoot out of his nose, causing him to crush their creators to dust under the full weight of his Birkenstocks.

5 Easy Tips to Lose Customers Losing customers is easier than ever before, and you can do it, too! Everyone has her or his stories for the Customer Service Annals of Horror. A recent favorite is an encounter with an unnamed phone carrier (rhymes with mint). Four call-in attempts, the first three followed by a recording announcing “currently experiencing network difficulties, please try later,” were accepted by a Miss Nancy-ish customer service rep who was multi-lingually challenged, perceptible despite our greasy and crackling connection. Bad connections and poor verbal skills are a lethal combination – even more so if you’re a mobile service provider.

it’s truly anti-Marketing 101. To lose out here, simply talk about yourself instead of your customers’ needs. Assume they need what you’re selling. And never, ever, ever focus on helping them to achieve their goals. Skip the delivery. You only need the sale, so blow off doing what you said you’d deliver, especially those valueadded plusses that helped you win them over in the first place. Instead, keep selling solutions and relationships – like a bad date. Keep doing what you’ve always done. Your market landscapes are constantly changing, so kill yourself by safely “staying the course.” Right: Like a deer in the headlights. Shun technology at all cost. The last thing you want is to accelerate and amplify yourself, so if losing customers is your goal, don’t embrace technology or embrace new tools. No, delivering inferior products/services at an uncompetitive cost is powerful customer losership.

Anyhow, simply practice even one of the following tips religiously to strip your margins down to the bone: Be uniquely indifferent. With social media, texting and 24-hour call centers, instant gratification is at an all-time high for all of us, including your customers. They expect instant responses from you, so be unresponsive. Like the phone carrier stated, call back later. “Feature dump” at every opportunity. This is dangerous territory because so many organizations fall prey to it, but

Behind the façade of Mr. Stronglove is an advertising professional wielding strategic and conceptual stealth in all forms of media (except book jackets). Send comments (or crisp twenties) to To submit work for review, it must be attached as a PDF in Adobe format with no other attachments.



Industrial workforce solutions Innovative programs increase capacity for local manufacturing skills training

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher


COVER STORY Factory orders are on the rise among northeast Wisconsin manufacturers, a strong indication that economic recovery is poised to ramp up in the region. ACCORDING TO THE 2013 Manufacturing Vitality Index released last month from Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance, 97 percent of producers responding to the annual survey indicated they expect their financial health to be either healthy or quite healthy during the next six to 12 months, while 93 percent anticipate increased or level sales receipts for 2013 compared with this past year. It’s great news considering manufacturing still represents 23 percent of all employment in northeast Wisconsin, a figure that could climb closer to a quarter of the local workforce as plants anticipate additional hiring during the first quarter of 2013, according to the vitality index. Despite the promise of industrial expansion, manufacturers in the region continue their struggles to attract qualified, skilled labor, a challenge that threatens the ability of some to fulfill increased demand for their products. The quantity and quality of applicants for positions in welding, computer numerical-controlled machinists and engineers fall far short of the number of open positions many manufacturers have available. In fact, of the companies responding to the vitality index survey – which represents more than 150 of the region’s largest manufacturers – nearly one in two anticipate some difficulty finding local talent in 2013, up from 29 percent in 2011. “Manufacturers may have a market for their products, and in some cases may even have orders to fill, but so often they don’t have the people available to be able to fill those orders,” said Mike Kawleski, public affairs manager for Georgia-Pacific in Green Bay and the chair of the communications task force for NEW Manufacturing Alliance. It’s become a serious issue the manufacturing alliance has recognized and attempted to draw greater attention toward during the past three years. The combination of an aging, retiring workforce with a vast skill set in various aspects of advanced manufacturing along with a relative drought of younger students entering such careers has lead to dire concern among northeast Wisconsin manufacturers. Kawleski said a number of out-of-date, ill-fated stereotypes about manufacturing careers continue to persist among high school students, and often moreover from their parents. “It’s all the “D” words: dirty, dangerous, dusty, dark and dead end,” Kawleski said, citing the mistaken perceptions the alliance is attempting to allay. The misperceptions become an issue human resources staff for area manufacturers continue to battle. “When we go out (recruiting and hiring), there’s still this negative thought about what manufacturing is,” said Scott Kettler, general manager with Neenah-based Plexus Corp., which is currently building a 473,000-sq. ft. new plant and hopes to hire an additional 300 production workers when it opens the facility later this year.

Finding solutions THERE ARE, HOWEVER, innovative approaches to building these skills in the workforce quickly, as well as for the long term. A unique program launched through Fond du Lac-based Moraine Park Technical College late this past year aims to develop a crop of entry-level welders and CNC machine operators in less than four months of training. Dubbed “bootcamps,” the program takes eager job seekers through a 15-week intensive session which pairs them with a partnering employer through an internship. When the participant finishes the program, they earn a certificate from Moraine Park and hopefully a job offer from the employer, said JoAnn Hall, executive dean of economic and workforce development at Moraine Park. “These employers’ intent is to hire,” Hall said. “They really want to be offering jobs.” The program has already enlisted 22 manufacturers from across its service area, most of which have immediate job openings for skilled positions in their facilities. “They’re actually looking for folks with a higher level of skills, but they’re committed to training them for the long term,” Hall said, noting they’ve experienced a good deal of interest for job seekers. These are attractive jobs, she said, with many local companies participating in the bootcamp programs offering starting wages in a range of $15 to $18 an hour. The inaugural CNC machining bootcamp – which wraps up in early January – had 135 applicants that tested to qualify for the bootcamp, which evaluated basic math, reading and mechanical aptitude. From that group, 15 were selected to begin the program this past fall, and 12 are set to graduate with a certificate from Moraine Park in coming weeks. A second CNC machining bootcamp, as well the first welding bootcamp, are slated to begin in February, Hall said. Fond du Lac-based stainless steel transport tank manufacturer Brenner Tank is one of the early partners with Moraine Park on its welding skill development program, and hopes to secure as many as four interns during the inaugural welding bootcamp in February through the Fond du Lac campus, according to Dawn Peterson, human resources manager for Brenner Tank. She said the company recently celebrated a pair of 35-year anniversaries for two of its welders and a 40-year anniversary for another. That’s just a snapshot of the company’s soon-toretire workforce, which the company has been challenged to replace. “We have had difficulty finding the skilled labor at the level where people can come in and be successful right away,” said Peterson, noting it’s a dilemma because business is good for Brenner. “Our orders and our backlog are strong.” Hall said a recent Trade Adjustment Assistance grant from the U.S. Department of Labor will enable Moraine Park to purchase five virtual welding machines to employ in the welding bootcamps, a capital investment the college will fully complete by October. No small cost at $54,000 each, the equipment is similar to patient simulators used by healthcare students – providing immediate reactions and feedback to the student based upon how they use the machine – but doesn’t burn through other material resources like welding gases or metal, keeping program expenses down. The virtual welding equipment offers a realistic simulation, Hall said, all the way down to striking an arc. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2013 l 19

COVER STORY Higher-level skills FOSTERING SIMILAR SKILLS with a bit more training, Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton received a $3 million federal grant this past fall to develop the Advanced Manufacturing Pathways Plus project, which will increase the school’s capacity to train various advanced manufacturing skills. The three-year grant will specifically allow the school to add more class sections, hire additional instructors, and create a variety of mobile applications tied to skill training, said Steve Straub, dean of manufacturing at Fox Valley Tech. Straub said the advanced manufacturing pathways program focuses on providing technical diplomas or associate’s degrees in four different areas: electronics/automation, welding and metal fabrication, flexographic printing and publishing, and machine tooling. Coincidentally, the recently released manufacturing vitality index from NEW Manufacturing Alliance cited CNC machinists, engineers, welders and machine operators among the five leading occupations most difficult to fill among

Manufacturers may have a market for their products, and in some cases may even have orders to fill, but so often they don’t have the people available to be able to fill those orders.

Mike Kawleski, public affairs manager Georgia-Pacific in Green Bay manufacturers in the region. “That’s pretty consistent with the areas of focus that we’re working on here,” Straub said of the program. The local manufacturing workforce skill shortage is illustrated in a recent analysis Straub and his peers conducted which found 2,900 fulltime positions posted in northeast Wisconsin this past October on TechConnect for five high-skill manufacturing-related jobs. Training programs related to those jobs from Lakeshore, Northeast Wisconsin, Moraine Park and Fox Valley technical colleges produced a combined 800 graduates this past year, leaving a severe deficit to replace retiring workers

in these jobs. “There are a lot more job openings than there are qualified job candidates at this point,” Straub noted. Each time Fox Valley Tech has been able to expand its program reach in advanced manufacturing, students have been there to fill the courses, Straub said. The college already has enough students registered for machine tooling to begin a summer section this year, a first for that program. Its graduates land jobs quickly – 100 percent of its Class of 2011 students were employed within six months of graduation, some receiving salaries as high as $43,600 after just six months.

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COVER STORY Elite welders MOST MANUFACTURERS STRUGGLING to find welders with significant experience and high-level certifications often recruit from outside the region because such qualifications are in short supply here in northeast Wisconsin. It’s unfortunate, because importing such skills can be costly, and those skills continue to be in high demand among the region’s marine manufacturers and food processing facilities. Early in 2012, Green Bay-based Northeast Wisconsin Technical College unveiled a four-year welder-fabricator apprenticeship program designed in partnership with the state Department of Workforce Development in response to the needs of Wisconsin’s heavy manufacturing sector. Structured under the objective guidelines of the state’s apprenticeship program, this relatively new endeavor entails 8,000 hours of intense training – including more than 7,500 hours on the job and an additional 440 hours of classroom instruction. Apprentices are paid for both the time working on the job and in the classroom. When they successfully finish the four-year program, they’ll receive a journeyman’s welding card. The program came together following years of requests from private industry to help cultivate more highly skilled welders in the region, according to Todd Kiel, apprenticeship program manager at Northeast Wisconsin Tech. In its first year, the program has a handful of apprentices from an area paper manufacturer. Kiel hopes a second cohort of apprentices can begin the program later this year, but has struggled to find a pool of employers willing to make such a long-term investment in training a welder. Training costs continue to increase as material costs rise. “Employers are asking for more and more hands-on training,” Kiel said. “It’s really a good training model. It works well.” Additionally, Kiel argues the apprenticeship training model engenders a strong sense of loyalty among the employee. It also helps the apprentice build a relative portfolio of credentials and certifications.

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The long road ahead WHILE THE AFOREMENTIONED solutions may provide some human resources reprieve to northeast Wisconsin manufacturers in the next few years, an additional challenge looms out a decade and longer. With Baby Boomers retiring and birth rates falling, demographic trends suggest the issue of replacing skilled manufacturing jobs will continue in the region. Educators and workforce development leaders recognize this trend, and have implemented programs at the high school and middle school levels to expose more students to careers in manufacturing, touting the use of advanced technology, high pay and benefits, and opportunities available right here at home. Some programs – particularly for junior and senior level high school students – allow students to earn dual credit toward a skilled manufacturing diploma so that they can advance through the technical college faster. Despite all the promotion and positive enforcement provided in school, ultimately it’s often mistaken perceptions from parents that attempt to steer their children away from jobs in manufacturing. They’re often the one’s holding on to the D-word stereotypes that illustrated manufacturing in the 1960s and 1970s, but hardly represent the modern, technology-driven industry of the 21st century.

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e d s e f t he t r

s o and the economy ul


Results of economic impact study spell out the value of the arts for the southern Fox Valley Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker WORDS LIKE “HEART,” “LIFEBLOOD” and “soul” often have been used when describing various aspects of communities. Perhaps one could say that a community’s residents form the heart, its businesses generate the lifeblood that sustains it, and its local arts are the soul. Each feeds the other. Companies and other benefactors make donations to local arts organizations, and the arts in turn provide entertainment and cultural enrichment for employees and other community members. 22 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2013

Economic impact PERFORMANCE AND VISUAL ARTS centers support the community’s economy by providing jobs and attracting patrons who use local restaurants, hotels, gas stations and other businesses. “From recent studies, we know arts and culture organizations account for $32.3 million of activity annually,” said Maria Van Laanen, executive vice president of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, which has brought an estimated $178

CULTURE million into the local economy since it opened in November 2002. “With 1.8 million ticket holders visiting the center since opening and even more attending community events, things like paying for dinner, a babysitter and gas can make a real impact. The touring companies add to the regional economy as well, hiring local musicians and stagehands, dining out and shopping at area retailers.” The Fox Cities PAC had a driving role among the organizations in the Greater Fox Cities area – Calumet, Outagamie and Winnebago counties – who worked with the national Americans for the Arts nonprofit group to study the direct and indirect economic impact of nonprofit arts and culture organizations in the region. The results of the Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study were significant: annual direct spending of $21.2 million in the region, plus indirect spending of $11.1 million. “As one of the larger nonprofit arts organizations in northeast Wisconsin, we see it as our role to invest in tools that strengthen the arts and culture industry in our area,” said Van Laanen. “These tools are important to us and important to our neighboring organizations. Intrinsically, we have always known that the arts have a significant impact, and now we have the statistics to prove it. These numbers invite businesses to take a closer look at our industry and see how vital it is to the community they call home.” Van Laanen noted that a previous study was done by Americans for the Arts in 2007 before the recession, so there were guarded expectations for the more recent study. “However, the economic activity numbers remain strong, proving that our community values the arts and are willing to come out and see a performance,” she said. “They are not only purchasing tickets but supporting the local economy with related activities.”

Regional focus The OSHKOSH OPERA HOUSE Foundation Inc., which operates The Grand Opera House, was one of the organizations with a supporting role in the study. Joe Ferlo, president and CEO of the Foundation and director of The Grand, said it had commissioned a separate study by the same group in 2007. “It made more sense, this time around, to focus on a more regional level,” he added. The Grand was closed in 2009-10 for extensive ceiling and roof repairs, but it was still able to contribute to the second study. “It’s extremely valuable to have business-friendly data to share,” Ferlo said of the study results. “Sometimes, we in the arts are not as well-voiced in these areas. Our business is unique, and sometimes difficult to describe in business terms. Studies like this, and the discussions that come as a result, enable arts administrators and the business community to have conversations they need to have, on a recognizable playing field.” Numbers from the Americans for the Arts study are one important tool when showing businesses it’s worth their donations and patronage in support of the local arts. The Fox Cities PAC summed up the Greater Fox Cities region results of the Americans for the Arts’ Arts & Economic Prosperity IV study in a June 2012 news release: The $32.3 million total supports 430 fulltime equivalent jobs and generates local and state government revenues of $1.4 million. The $21.2 mil-

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CULTURE lion portion that was spent by the nonprofits in 2010 went to employee salaries, supplies and services from other businesses, and acquiring local assets. The $11.1 million portion, which excludes event admission, can be averaged to $19.45 per person for each event, which may be spent on local dining, parking fees, souvenirs and gifts, hotel stays, and other eventrelated activities. And 23.9 percent of the patrons came from outside the tri-county region. “Oshkosh and the Fox Valley have tremendously strong cultural institutions that really distinguish this community and region from others,” noted Aaron Sherer, executive director of the Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh, which also participated in the study. “It was not a surprise for us to see that our organizations have a big impact on the economic vitality of the area.”

The business side of things THE ARTS CONTRIBUTE to the local economy in many direct and indirect ways, noted Ferlo. “In the specific instance of The Grand, it brings people downtown, usually in the evening, when increased traffic on the streets and sidewalks is most welcome,” he said. “It’s tremendously valuable to a city center to have ‘people traffic’ as it not only increases the area’s positive energy, but also reduces the negative activity that can happen in less busy areas.” Events often boost sales for area service businesses, particularly restaurants, where patrons will make an entire evening out of an event by dining out and then attending a show.

“When the event is one of more regional interest — Jeff Daniels, Mallory Lewis, John McGivern, for example — that draw extends even further into the region,” Ferlo said. “Certain events can create opportunities for hotel stays. Even locally produced shows spend money in hardware stores, lumber companies, and fabric shops. Van Laanen noted one of the subtler aspects of the arts’ impact on a community is generating activity during slower times of the year for other businesses. “The Wisconsin premiere of Wicked in February 2009 is a prime example because as the economy entered a recession, the center was still drawing more than 63,000 ticket holders to the Fox Cities and generating more than $18 million in economic activity for local businesses,” she said. Major events at the Paine Art Center have attracted a sizeable number of out-of-town visitors. Citing a recent Ansel Adams photography exhibit and room-by-room storytelling scenes called Nutcracker in the Castle, Sherer said that each event drew 10,000 spectators of which two-thirds reported they weren’t local residents and came to Oshkosh specifically for the Paine events. “These people eat at restaurants, shop at stores, and stay in hotels as part of their visit, so their impact extends beyond the Paine,” Sherer noted. Such out-of-town attraction can be critical for the local hospitality industry. Bergstrom-Mahler Museum in Neenah estimated its special four-day Arts of Fire event in 2009 generated more than $60,000 for the local economy by non-local visitors

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CULTURE alone, according to Jen Stevenson, marketing, public relations and development director for Bergstrom-Mahler. The event attracted visitors from around the country, placing hundreds of “heads in beds” at area hotels as well as assisting nearby restaurants and retailers.

Plexus has more than 100 works from local artists throughout its new headquarters building in downtown Neenah. Supporting local arts WHILE NONPROFIT ARTS and culture organizations contribute to the local economy and enrich countless lives, they in turn benefit from corporate and community contributions. Venues like the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center rely on corporate support to provide several community programs. “Ticket sales and other earned income alone do not cover the full costs of delivering the center’s mission and presenting live performances,” explained Van Laanen. “Our business

model relies on donations from both individual and business annual partners to offer programs like our daytime education series, free community engagement activities and subsidized use of the Center by community groups. Van Laanen said 71 percent of its Annual Partner Campaign dollars come from corporate contributions. “That kind of corporate investment makes us unique among our peers nationwide, but, here in the Fox Cities, business leaders get it. They see the value of the arts in their community,” she said. Local companies also rent the Fox Cities PAC for their own business and staff events. “Beyond the companies themselves, we look to engage their employees through group sales, backstage tours, special ticket offers and volunteer opportunities,” added Van Laanen. One staunch supporter in the business community is Darwin Copeman, president and CEO of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company in Neenah, who serves as a board member for the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center. He noted the symbiotic relationship between the center and the nearby restaurants and hotels, and the intangible value of the arts enriching the quality of life in the Fox Cities in various ways such as educational programs that reach more than 23,000 students each year. Additionally, the center is among the recruiting tools that can attract new workforce talent to the region. “These are valuable assets for a multitude of businesses in the area and they should recognize that value through support of the arts as a revenue enhancement and talent attraction



Employers can demonstrate their support for the arts by sponsoring events, purchasing tickets for their employees as incentives or rewards, hosting customers at events or simply making a financial commitment.

Darwin Copeman, president and CEO of Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company in Neenah

for their companies,” said Copeman. “Employers can demonstrate their support for the arts by sponsoring events, purchasing tickets for their employees as incentives or rewards, hosting customers at events or simply making a financial commitment.” Kevin Ralofsky, president and CEO of CitizensFirst Credit Union in Oshkosh, noted investing in the arts can give communities economic growth and a quality of life that attracts diverse individuals. “More and more, people make decisions about where they want to live based on quality of life issues. A city with a lively arts community will attract a higher-quality workforce for the business community,” he said. In addition to attending or volunteering for events or donating money, Ralofsky said businesses also can contribute supplies and serve on boards and committees, and even petition elected officials for increased funding for the local arts from all levels of government. Plexus Corp. is among the annual donors to the Fox Cities PAC and also recently began contributing to a capital campaign.

“The PAC is important to us for several reasons: We like the strong educational outreach program of the PAC and recognize the impact that has on the community as well as the families of our employees,” said Joe Mauthe, senior vice president – global human resources. “We also believe that the PAC is important in the quality of life for our employees and also in attracting new employees and their families to the Fox Cities, and we’ve also used the PAC for team-building and employee recognition.” Plexus also has more than 100 works from local artists throughout its new headquarters building in downtown Neenah. “It’s a great way at making our workspace more attractive and giving recognition and support to some very talented artists in our community,” noted Mauthe. To help keep The Grand Opera House experience at an affordable rate for patrons, the organization aims for an industry-standard 40 percent of its operating budget being achieved through individual, business and corporate support, according to Ferlo. “Whether it’s a major sponsorship, a small-business relationship, or a donation of goods or services, regional businesses are a big part of making the arts successful in our communities,” he said. “One of our 2013 initiatives includes creating, developing, and implementing a program that allows smaller businesses more diverse opportunities to become involved.” Attorney Jim Macy, a partner with the law firm Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. in Oshkosh and Green Bay, is another business leader who recognizes what the arts mean to communities and companies. “Many community downtown sections are comprised of small businesses that provide unique products and services not generally found in the outlying centers,” he explained. “They bring a certain charm and history to each community. They become a gathering point. They exist only to the extent they can remain economically viable. A landmark like the Grand Opera House anchors a downtown community and assures hundreds if not thousands of visitors to downtown Oshkosh. They shop the shops and dine in the restaurants. They keep small businesses viable, which in turn maintains employment opportunities to those that work in them.” Sometimes the bottom line can be about more than money. Said Macy, “While some may think businesses sponsor shows for marketing and name recognition, the reality is that many businesses sponsor shows at The Grand as a benefit to their employees and as pride in their community.” Robin Bruecker has 16 years experience in magazine and marcom writing. Contact her at


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2012 With the recall of Wisconsin’s governor behind us, another vicious presidential campaign in the books, and most critical economic indicators pointing upward once again, 2012 might be considered to be the beginning of a period of recovery and healing. Industry is investing in plant expansions and equipment enhancements at a near decade-high mark, new skilled worker training programs were rolled out across the region, and major transportation infrastructure projects are at or near completion. The developments from the past year have set the stage for tremendous opportunity for northeast


By Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

Wisconsin business in 2013. As we have done each of the past 10 years at New North B2B magazine, we’ve compiled a list of the top state and local news stories affecting the business community in northeast Wisconsin during the past 12 months. These are the topics discussed around the office water cooler, in the break room or at board meetings, and are the issues that are likely to impact the business landscape of the region for years to come. Without further delay, the following is our list of the Top Ten business stories in the B2B coverage area for 2012.

Our top business story of the region for 2012, and perhaps the top story of any statewide, is the failed effort to recall first-term Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Organizers of the recall effort delivered more than 1 million signatures to the state Government Accountability Board in mid-January, just a year after Walker had taken office. Four Democrats threw their hats into the ring for the right to challenge Walker in the recall, forcing a primary on May 8 which was won by Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who squared off against Walker in the November 2010 race that the current governor won by 5 percentage points. In capturing 53 percent of the vote on June 5, Walker not only earned the right to finish out his first term through 2014, but essentially won a statewide referendum supporting the highly controversial measures in Act 10 which required higher contributions from public employee unions toward their health insurance premiums and retirement funds. Walker’s victory over his recall – coupled with a strong showing from Republicans in the state Legislature during November general elections – lead to definitive Republican control of Wisconsin’s executive and legislative branches and an indication from voters that they support a business-friendly agenda.

Failed Recall of Gov. Walker




Medical College Outpost


Fox Valley Tech Referendum

After learning earlier in 2012 that officials for Medical College of Wisconsin planned to establish two outreach satellite campuses across Wisconsin, health care and community leaders in cities throughout the state came together to make their best pitch. In late June, medical college officials announced the selection of Green Bay and central Wisconsin as the sites for two future satellite medical education campuses. By November, medical college officials narrowed their selection in the Green Bay area to the St. Norbert College campus in De Pere, with a plan to begin classes in an expanded science building by 2015. The proposed $23 million investment from Milwaukee-based Medical College of Wisconsin will partner with Green Bay’s four major hospitals to create collaborative residency programs for medical students of the medical college. It will also take advantage of an existing patient simulation laboratory used by students at Bellin College in Bellevue. One of the goals of the proposed campus is to help fill the physician shortage in northeast Wisconsin by training and mentoring more doctors in the region.

It’s been rare in Wisconsin for technical college districts to pursue a grocery list of large-scale capital expansion projects all at once, and even more unusual that technical colleges have reached out to property owners to ask them for additional financial support through increased taxation. Responding to the need for greater capacity to accommodate degree-seeking students on waiting lists to enter career training programs, voters overwhelmingly approved a $66.5 million building referendum this past April by a 2-to-1 margin. The referendum package asked property owners to fund seven separate capital facilities projects aimed at increasing capacity to expand educational and job training programs. The largest project – a $32.5 million public safety training center on the grounds of Outagamie County Regional Airport – broke ground this past fall and is scheduled to open in 2014. Other projects include a health simulation and technology center, an expansion of the general education area at the Appleton campus, an expansion of the existing transportation center, an expansion of the current agriculture center, and property acquisitions in Oshkosh and Chilton. Altogether, the projects are expected to expand capacity for 700 degree-seeking students and 3,500 continuing education students.

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Manufacturing Expansions


Workforce Skills Gap Solutions

We were told in 2012 that industrial production was increasing among northeast Wisconsin manufacturers, and several plant expansion and modernizations projects across the region this past year proved manufacturer confidence. In late January, Green Bay-based contract furniture manufacturer KI began constructing a $3.3 million, 100,000-sq. ft. expansion for its Bellevue facility, a project it wrapped up in June. This past May, contract electronics manufacturer Plexus Corp. in Neenah began construction on a 473,369-sq. ft. plant in the city’s Southpark Industrial Center. The $50 million project is expected to create up to 350 jobs when it becomes operational at the end of 2013. In September, Alliance Laundry Systems in Ripon launched a $23 million expansion project it expects will create more than 260 jobs in the next few years. The project will allow increased production of Alliance’s small chassis washer and dryers once it’s complete this coming fall. Later that same month, Wells Vehicle Electronics in Fond du Lac began construction on a two-story, 64,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters in the city’s Rolling Meadows Industrial Park, which will include engineering and test labs and an automotive tech garage for product development. The company plans to create 73 jobs during the next three years. Other notable industrial facility expansions across the region in 2012 include: • 40,000-sq. ft. expansion, Basic American Medical Products, Fond du Lac; • 96,000-sq. ft. new coil processing facility, McNeilus Steel, Fond du Lac; • a $20 million investment upgrading facilities and expanding capacity, Mercury Marine, Fond du Lac; • 47,700-sq. ft. addition, Muza Metal Products, Oshkosh; • 52,871-sq. ft. expansion, Jay Manufacturing, Oshkosh; • 30,734-sq. ft. expansion, Evco Plastics, Oshkosh; • 19,500-sq. ft. addition, Classic Gears and Machining, Kaukauna; • 37,120-sq. ft. new facility, G&G Machining, Kaukauna; • 28,255-sq. ft. expansion, Mid Valley Industries, Kaukauna; • 19,500-sq. ft. new facility, Amerex Foam Products, Howard; • 25,450-sq. ft. addition, SMT Machine & Tool, Howard; • 22,434-sq. ft. addition, Ace Manufacturing Industries, Howard; • 97,000-sq. ft. addition, Little Rapids Corp., Green Bay; • 217,884-sq. ft. new facility, Frontline Building Products, Green Bay. • 100,000-sq. ft. new distribution center, FedEx Ground, Ashwaubenon.

Bridging skills gaps in northeast Wisconsin’s workforce has been a growing concern in recent years, and educators, industry and government have worked together to identify both long-term and more immediate solutions. In late January, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay unveiled a four-year, welder-fabricator apprenticeship program to respond to the needs of the state’s heavy manufacturing sector. In July, Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac launched a manufacturing skills academy program that can provide an entry level welding certificate or a computer numerical control machine operator certificate in just 15 weeks. The program works with a variety of partnering industrial employers in its district to provide internships to students in the academy.


In September, Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton received a $3 million federal workforce-training grant for its Advanced Manufacturing Pathways Plus program to expand flexible learning options in four advanced manufacturing pathways. Lastly, the University of Wisconsin System unveiled a competency-based degree model of higher education in June that will allow students to earn credit for what they’ve already learned in school, on the job or on their own. The new flexible educational model is expected to make UW college degrees significantly more accessible and affordable, with the ultimate goal of increasing the number of Wisconsin residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher.



Mining Woes


Oshkosh Shareholders Fight Takeover

Despite the promise of hundreds of high-paying jobs in the Northwoods, thousands of jobs statewide, and billions of dollars injected into the state’s economy, executives from Gogebic Taconite dropped plans for a $1.5 billion iron mine near Mellen in March after legislation to improve Wisconsin’s mining regulatory climate died on the floor of the state senate. The decision by Gogebic Taconite, as well as the legislature’s failure to modify mining regulations, were perceived as a black eye on the state’s business-friendly character. Opponents of the compromised legislative bill argued it made the procedure for challenging state regulators’ permitting decisions too difficult, and also jeopardized the environment.

Shareholders of specialty vehicle manufacturer Oshkosh Corp. upstaged two separate takeover bids from noted billionaire investor Carl Icahn during the course of 2012. Community leaders noted that had Icahn been successful, he likely would have merged Oshkosh operations together with his other industrial holdings and – at the very least – eliminate nearly all of the nearly 500 corporate and administrative jobs associated with the company in Oshkosh and the Fox Cities. Icahn’s first effort in late January attempted to place a slate of his own appointees to the publically traded firm’s board of directors during its annual shareholder meeting. Director nominees recommended by the company defeated those nominated by Icahn. In October, Icahn issued an unsolicited bid to purchase any outstanding shares of the company at the price of $32.50 per share, hoping to acquire 25 percent of all outstanding shares of the company and gain greater influence over the company’s board of directors. After failing to acquire 25 percent of the company by a self-imposed deadline in early December, Icahn backed away from his proxy battle and dropped his offer to purchase additional shares.


Green Bay Energy Plant Flip Flop

Oneida Seven Generations Corp., an entity associated with the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, had already began constructing its $23 million alternative energy plant on Green Bay’s north side when the city’s common council decided in October to rescind the permit it issued a year and a half earlier, citing concerns they were previously misled about the plant’s air emissions and potential public health hazards. The proposed 70,000-sq. ft. pyrolytic gasification electricity generation plant – which would incinerate common household trash at extremely high temperatures and convert the byproducts into electricity – had received a $1.1 million federal grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in February to aid the cost of construction. The plant was expected to greatly reduce the amount of trash going into the Brown County landfill, create a number of jobs in the area, and generate enough electricity to power more than 3,000 residences. As a result of the council’s permit revocation, Oneida Seven Generations filed a $4 million lawsuit against the City of Green Bay claiming the common council acted beyond its authority and seeks to recover expenses already incurred for project design, permitting and construction.




As has been the case in recent years, the gradual completion of the nearly half-billion-dollar project to upgrade and expand U.S. Highway 41 to six lanes on much of the stretch between Oshkosh and Green Bay is an important infrastructure improvement toward one of the most important economic development amenities of the region. Once fully complete in 2014, the improved U.S. 41 will allow greater transport of goods in and out of northeast Wisconsin, and easier commuting between communities for its workforce. During the course of 2012, transportation officials: Δ Completed a $29 million reconstruction of the Mason Street interchange and bridge over U.S. 41 in Green Bay, as well as expanding U.S. 41 to three lanes in each direction between 9th Street and Larsen Road. Δ Completed the second stage of the $45 million reconstruction and expansion of the eight-mile stretch of U.S. 41 in Winnebago County between the U.S. Highway 45 and Breezewood Lane interchanges, widening northbound traffic to three lanes. Southbound Lake Butte des Morts Causeway U.S. 41 on the same stretch was reconstructed during 2011. Δ Completed the $57 million project to reconstruct the U.S. 41/Main Avenue interchange in De Pere and expand U.S. 41 to six lanes between Orange Lane and Glory Road in Brown County. Δ Completed the $54 million project to reconstruct the U.S. 41/WIS 21 interchange in Oshkosh and expand U.S. 41 to six lanes between Witzel Avenue and the Lake Butte des Morts Causeway. Δ Completed reconstructions of the Lombardi Avenue interchange in Green Bay and the Breezewood Lane interchange in Neenah. Δ Began work on the $97 million reconstruction of the U.S. 41/WIS 29 interchange near Green Bay, a project scheduled to be complete by October 2014.

U.S. 41 Project Takes Shape

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YEAR IN REVIEW St. Elizabeth Hospital Expansion

In October, officials from Ministry Health Care announced plans for a $108 million improvement project at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. The project is expected to be complete by January 2015. The centerpiece of the project includes construction of a five-story, 90-bed tower. Additional improvements include: • renovations to the cancer center; • renovations to the adolescent behavioral health unit; • demolition of the west part of the hospital built in 1924;

• new entrances to women/families center and surgery; • upgrades to the central utility plant; • and new diagnostic and operative equipment.

2012 Honorable Mention

New Ripon hospital

“Darboy” incorporation

Agnesian HealthCare purchased 20 acres of land adjacent to its clinic in Ripon to construct a replacement for Ripon Medical Center. The 120,000-sq. ft., 25-bed hospital and medical office building is expected to be complete in early 2014.

The Town of Harrison in Calumet County received approval from the state Department of Administration to incorporate about 4.6 square miles in the densely populated area of Darboy into a village. The area’s nearly 7,400 residents must approve incorporation in a referendum sometime in early 2013.

KI Center expansion The City of Green Bay is moving forward on a $19.5 million expansion of the downtown KI Convention Center which will add more than 30,000 square feet to the current 44,000-sq. ft. facility and make it the fifth largest convention center in the state. The project is currently in the design stage, with construction expected to begin in late 2013. The expansion will be funded using half of the additional increment from a 2 percent hike in the county’s hotel room tax, as well as nearly $8 million from the city through tax incremental financing, management fees and proceeds from naming rights.

Fox Cities Stadium upgrade

Alta Resources growth

New regional health plan

Alta Resources in Neenah reportedly added nearly 1,000 jobs during 2012 in customer care, fulfillment, sales and IT positions. It held job fairs during August and December.

Prevea Health and St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay partnered with Madison-based Dean Health Plan to create Prevea360 Health Plan, a new health insurance product based on Prevea’s physician group and its partner hospitals, including St. Mary’s and St. Vincent Hospitals in Green Bay and St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan.

Oshkosh downtown hotel revamped A partnership between the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation and Fox Cities hoteliers Richard Batley and John Pfefferle purchased the ailing City Center Hotel on the Fox River in downtown Oshkosh in February and began a $14 million renovation to modernize and improve the eight-story, 179-room property into a full-service business hotel. The renamed Oshkosh Premier Waterfront Hotel and Ground Round Restaurant are expected to open in spring 2013.

The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers and the Fox Cities Amateur Sports Authority began work on a nearly $6 million renovation project to Fox Cities Stadium that will add a second level to include six new suites and a banquet hall capable of seating 250 people. The project – which is expected to be complete by the start of the 2013 season – also includes improvements to the customer service center, additional restrooms, larger concessions, an expanded team store and enhanced player facilities.

Windhover expansion The Windhover Center for the Arts in Fond du Lac began a multi-million dollar expansion project to nearly double the size of the existing facility to 37,200 square feet. Once complete this coming fall, the new space will include outdoor live entertainment, expanded classrooms, and a new art gallery.

Catalpa Health hatched

Nuclear shut down

Fox Cities health care officials came together to create Catalpa Health, a joint endeavor providing outpatient child and adolescent behavioral and mental health services. A first of its kind organization in the region, Catalpa expects to begin operations this January.

Virginia-based Dominion, which owns the 556-megawatt Kewaunee nuclear power facility along the shore of Lake Michigan, said it will close and decommission the electrical generating plant this coming spring after failed attempts to find a buyer for the facility.



Comparing health care costs The Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center regularly collects and publishes data about charges and services provided by Wisconsin hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. Providing this cost and quality data was part of a state government and WHA initiative to make health care more transparent to Wisconsin patients. Each year since 2002, New North B2B magazine has published average charges from each facility in our readership area for sample services and procedures common to employers. To compare cost figures from other health care facilities or for other procedures, visit Wisconsin’s PricePoint System online at

~ Research conducted by Emily Bodin for New North B2B

Normal Newborn*........................ Discharges St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 998 New London Family Medical Center.......... 122 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah..... 1,035 Appleton Medical Center........................ 1,176 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 614 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............ 774 Bellin Health, Green Bay......................... 1,082 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................. 754 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay..................... 1,506 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................. 650 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh............... 625 State Average..................................................

Median 2012 $865 $1,594 $1,591 $1,526 $1,532 $2,029 $2,017 $2,321 $2,549 $2,922 $3,371 $2,740

Median 2011 $785 $1,543 $1,533 $1,513 $1,420 $1,904 $1,890 $2,205 $2,476 $2,737 $3,341 $2,618

Median 2012 $23,216 $24,224 $27,393 $26,236 $27,426 $27,869 $32,039 $34,024 $45,659 $33,894 $40,190 $41,150 $38,022

Median 2011 $23,162 $24,963 $25,645 $26,059 $26,005 $30,459 $33,228 $35,027 $45,480 $37,222 $39,002 $40,570 $37,106

* Birthweight of 2,500 grams or more

Knee Replacement...................... Discharges Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah........ 169 Appleton Medical Center........................... 451 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 494 New London Family Medical Center............ 57 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 246 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................ 793 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay........................ 173 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh............... 157 Ripon Medical Center.................................. 22 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................. 219 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............ 168 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................. 223 State Average..................................................


HEALTH CARE Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary. Discharges Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah.......... 54 Appleton Medical Center............................. 79 New London Family Medical Center............ 27 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 60 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 105 Bellin Health, Green Bay.............................. 70 Ripon Medical Center.................................. 20 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 61 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................... 38 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay.......................... 82 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................... 41 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac.............. 98 State Average.................................................. Major Bowel Procedure.............. Discharges Appleton Medical Center........................... 191 Theda Clark Medical Center........................ 57 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 121 Ripon Medical Center.................................. 14 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 50 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 61 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay.......................... 83 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................ 169 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac.............. 89 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................... 71 St. Vincent Hospital.................................... 104 State Average..................................................

Median 2012 $7,145 $7,598 $8,210 $9,300 $8,788 $11,459 $9,931 $14,013 $12,090 $13,215 $10,408 $19,204 $13,619 Median 2012 $23,262 $20,463 $23,745 $47,257 $28,277 $30,719 $44,009 $42,416 $41,546 $47,792 $47,611 $43,254

Median 2011 $7,523 $6,990 N/A $8,822 $8,360 $11,671 $9,841 $12,598 $13,200 $15,961 $12,495 $17,193 $13,369 Median 2011 $21,244 $22,223 $20,781 $32,601 $26,560 $25,585 $39,331 $37,566 $43,393 $44,544 $48,851 $42,072

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Angioplasty w/o heart attack..... Discharges Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah.......... 28 Appleton Medical Center............................. 94 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 59 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 28 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay.......................... 27 Bellin Health, Green Bay.............................. 77 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton.................. 58 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................. 194 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac.............. 32 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................. 121 State Average..................................................

Median 2012 $26,463 $28,927 $36,358 $39,944 $48,256 $32,464 $40,614 $47,938 $50,650 $51,097 $50,329

Median 2011 $22,193 $28,902 $38,192 $40,823 $40,154 $34,415 $39,918 $45,629 $46,043 $47,167 $48,375

Vaginal Delivery........................... Discharges Appleton Medical Center........................... 916 New London Family Medical Center............ 80 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah........ 798 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 836 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 504 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh............... 459 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................ 859 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................. 546 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay..................... 1,195 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................. 684 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............ 613 State Average..................................................

Median 2012 $3,325 $3,560 $3,480 $3,811 $3,764 $3,924 $4,144 $5,807 $5,119 $6,424 $6,469 $7,421

Median 2011 $3,299 $3,498 $3,490 $3,540 $3,553 $3,808 $4,228 $5,077 $5,032 $5,582 $6,579 $7,174

Cesarean Delivery....................... Discharges Appleton Medical Center........................... 311 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 171 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................ 237 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah........ 442 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh............... 195 New London Family Medical Center............ 36 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................ 326 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay................. 201 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay........................ 421 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay.................. 112 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............ 217 State Average..................................................

Median 2012 $7,411 $7,619 $7,782 $7,836 $9,124 $8,281 $10,968 $11,497 $13,096 $13,107 $15,009 $14,629

Median 2011 $7,181 $7,352 $7,431 $7,544 $8,758 $8,621 $10,645 $11,449 $12,753 $13,519 $14,868 $14,203


WHO’S NEWS Incorporations New North B2B publishes monthly new business incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.

Brown County

Decal Works LLC, Steve Ferris, 2093 Lost Dauphin Road, De Pere 54115. Green Room Theatre LLC, Michael Yoder, 353 Main Ave., De Pere 54115. Elevation Church INC., Ryan Kibbe, 2195 River Trail Ct., De Pere 54115. The Bee Hive Salon LLC, Huyen T. Vu, 592 Red Bird Circle, De Pere 54115. N.S. Research Design and Consulting LLC, Nicole M. Schneider, 1625 Lost Dauphin Road, De Pere 54115. PRN Locum Medical Services LLC, William Yaw Ansa Otu, 180 E. River Dr., De Pere 54115. Cake and Cookie LLC, Karli Valenta, 5810 North Ave., Denmark 54208. Ciovis Energy INC., Robyn L. Larsen, 6601 County Road R, Denmark 54208. Midwest Omnimedia LLC, Matt Haney, 2495 Newberry Ave., Green Bay 54302. Media Tech Solutions LLC, Christopher James Gillespie, 1361 HillCrest Heights, Green Bay 54313. Dr. Dan Farah LLC, Dr. Dan Farah, 1330 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54303. Mountain Valley Ministries Inc., Danny Hood, 3590 Van Laanen Road, Green Bay 54311. Love On a Leash Pet Care Service LLC, Kim Goral, 2947 Sandia Dr., Green Bay 54313. G & P Delivery Services LLC, Gregory John Pigeon, 1327 Crestwood Dr., Green Bay 54313. Michael Destree, CPA LLC, Michael Destree, 1924 Mac Lane, Green Bay 54311. Yoga360 LLC, Susan Lynn Moran, 2511 Meadow Breeze Ct., Green Bay 54311. Multi Media Channels LLC, Thomas Wood, 621 E. Walnut St., Green Bay 54301. Revolution Transport LLC, Jessica A. Knutzen, 3785 Fairview Road, Green Bay 54313. Titletown Asphalt Repair LLC, Stephen Matthew Debroux, 2961 Gilbert Dr., Green Bay 54311. School House Supplies Corp., Tom Sieber, 770 Willard Dr., Green Bay 54304.

Phoenix Engineering LLC, William Carlin, 449 Terrace Lake Ct., Green Bay 54311. Green Bay Action Sports Organization LLC, Brian Schroeder, 155 Kenney St., Green Bay 54301. Green Bay United Hockey Booster Club INC., Greg Meisinger, 3329 Langdon St., Green Bay 54311. Mary Curran Reiki Master LLC, Mary L. Curran, 4631 Esther Lane, Green Bay 54311-975. Krahn Building and Remodeling LLC, Barry Krahn, 3562 Finger Road, Green Bay 54311. Health Management Partners LLC, Kevan G. Lewis, 2221 S. Webster Ave., Ste. 241, Green Bay 54301. Great Lakes Amusement LLC, Scot A. Miller, 1545 Cornell Road, Ste. 10, Green Bay 54313. Precise Shot Firearms LLC, Michael Erickson, 2574 Ontario Road, Green Bay 54311. Riverside Offices LLC, Herbert Charles Liebmann IV, 2701 Indian Hill Dr., Green Bay 54313. Chicago Hot Grill INC., Ayman Ali Khatib, 2815 S. Onieda St., Green Bay 54304. Backyard Brick Ovens LLC, Steven Paul Chovan, 3457 Edinburgh Road, Green Bay 54311. Gabriel Designs LLC, Angelina C. Santaga, 148 Garden Gate Ct., Green Bay 54313. D & S Hauling LLC, Daniel William Gildernick, 4173 Matuszak Ct., Green Bay 54313. Alfheim Legal Process Service LLC, Jon Arthur Alfheim, 101 S. Military Ave., Green Bay 54303. Handy Daddy LLC, Mark Gerard Thiry, 1336 Lindale Lane, Green Bay 54313. CLC Transcription Services LLC, Cathy A. LeCaptain, 3181 Carnoustie Way, New Franken 54229. Door Pro LLC, William M. Palomaki, 2246 Red Pepper Trail, Suamico 54313.

Fond du Lac County

Armstrong Welding & Repair LLC, Andrew M. Patin, W846 County Road B, Campbellsport 53010. American Hay & Commodities LLC, Kenton Gregory Lambert, W. 4410 Campbell Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Hairworks Salon LLC, Jane M. Fischer, N999 Pleasant Hill Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Scannell Construction LLC, Timothy John Scannell, N1708 Drumlin Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Rossi Logging LLC and Rossi Custom Harvesting LLC, Joseph Rossi, W3160B County Road F, Eden 53019.

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WHO’S NEWS JJ & B Isaac Farm LLC, Jerome D. Isaac, W9530 Rose-Eld Road, Eldorado 54932. Haven Salon LLC, Ambra Nett, 43 S. Main St., Fond du Lac 54935. 6X Cleaning LLC, James T. Eck, 260 4th St., Fond du Lac 54935. Dotyville Appliance and Hardware LLC, Robert Joseph Wendt, W2118 4th Street Road, Fond du Lac 54935. App App Applications LLC, Brett Michael Schmitz, 59 Streeter Ct., Fond du Lac 54935. Fond du Lac Equipment Rental & Repair LLC, Jeffrey Pinno, W8856 County Road T, Rosendale 54974. Sippel Carpentry INC., Frank R. Sippel, N6956 Hillview Road, St. Cloud 53079. Homan Ford INC., Steven Homan, 925 W. Main St., Waupun 53963.

Green Lake County

Haase Law Office LLC, Jeffrey T. Haase, 111 S. Pearl St., Berlin 54923.

Outagamie County

Be Gallery LLC, Shana Joseph-Lucht, 1024 E. Lindbergh, Appleton 54911. Campsbuilt LLC, Carl D. Romenesko, 1818 E. Meade St., Appleton 54911. All American Franchise Group LLC, Andy Joseph Kramer, 930 S. Westland Dr., Appleton 54914. Conduction Studio LLC, Neil Mix, 509 Old Sleigh Lane, Appleton 54913. Intellirx LLC, Lane Sieman, W3855 Highview Dr., Appleton 54913. Rentmeester Transport LLC, Gregory Joseph Rentmeester, 3221 E. Heideman Dr., Appleton 54915. In Extremis Consulting Group LLC, Craig Kubiak, 5605 Waterford Lane, Appleton 54913. Integrity Plumbing Services LLC, Shawn Landstrom, 1208 S. Irma St., Appleton 54915. Yeknom Productions LLC, Denyal S. Garski, 1418 W. Edmund Dr., Appleton 54914. John Miller Carroll Law Office LLC, John Miller Carroll, 226 S. State St., Appleton 54911. SLT Regal Nail Salon LLC, Steve Duong, 3701 E. Calumet St., Appleton 54915. Forward Marketing LLC, Emmie Dexter, 1835 E. Edgewood Dr., Appleton 54913. Electronics Etc. LAX LLC, Electronics Etc. LLC, 257 W. Northland Ave., Appleton 54911. New Age Farms LLC, Paul R. Melchiori, W6235 Contractor Dr., Ste. A, Appleton 54914. Tree Of Life Counseling LLC, Michelle Wisneski, 821 E. First Ave., Appleton 54911. Star Prototypes LLC, John De Bruin, 712 S. Olde Oneida St., Appleton 54915. Painting With Light LLC, Lemuel Fillyaw, 1200 S. Kernan Ave., Appleton 54915. Temp Building Services LLC, Michael Day, 509 N. Superior St., Appleton 54911. Worsfold Law & Title LLC, Thomas Worsfold, W6170 Rawley Point Dr., Greenville 54942. New Directions Learning Community INC., Sharon Rath, 2601 Sullivan Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Homework Construction LLC, Leonard Polczinski, W2201 County Road G, Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County

Mario’s Old House Fresh Mexican Cuisine LLC, Mario A. Nunez, 14 Tayco St., Apt. B, Menasha 54952. FVPR Fireworks LLC, Charles John Krause, 835 Oneida St., Menasha 54952.

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Family Video Movie Club INC., Melissa Klockzien, 540 Shreve Lane, Neenah 54956. Platinum Painting & Design LLC, Jason L. Strassman, 2127 Country Lane, Neenah 54956. World Books, Gifts & Cafe LLC, Sergio Ivan Orozco Salen, 307 W. North Water St., Neenah 54956. Selsdon Transportation and Logistics LLC, Francis K. Donkor, 1750 Dublin Tr., Neenah 54956. Gary’s Home Maintenance & Repair LLC, Gary L. Herring, 114 E. River Dr., Omro 54963. Vantage Conveyor Systems LLC, James Bruce Streblow, 2825 Shorehaven Ct., Oshkosh 54904. Jim Forbes Construction LLC, James D. Forbes, 4143 Alida Lane, Oshkosh 54904. Rhino Emarketing LLC, Todd Kempinger, 2115 Fairview St., Oshkosh 54901. Algoma Algal Biotechnology LLC, Toivo Kallas, Ph.D., 3732 Candlish Harbor Lane, Oshkosh 54902. Valley Ride Direct LLC, Chris S. Pommerening, 1050 Canterbury Dr., Oshkosh 54902. Corbett Eye Care LLC, Colleen Corbett, M.D., 5778 I-Ah-May-Tah Road, Oshkosh 54901. American Workforce Solutions LLC, Lisa Lynn Emmer, 327 Idaho St., Oshkosh 54902.

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B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Panda Express, 859 W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac. $810,241 for a new restaurant. Contractor is Restaurant Specialties Inc. October 18. Metal Storm Metal Fabrication, 2260 American Blvd., $1,500,000 for a new industrial facility. Contractor is First Choice Builders. Oct. 23.

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Sonoco Products, 824 Fort Howard Ave., De Pere. $507,437 for interior alterations to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. Oct. 25., 985 S. Main St., Fond du Lac. $435,245 for a new office building. General contractor is Distinctive Homes and Real Estate of Fond du Lac. October 26. Horicon Bank, 2251 Omro Road, Oshkosh. $980,000 for a financial institution office. Contractor is W.D.S. Construction Inc. of Beaver Dam. Nov. 2. St. Norbert College, 311 Grant St., De Pere. $1,559,544 for interior alterations to the existing educational institution. General contractor is Howard Immel Inc. of Green Bay. Nov. 7.

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Green Stone Farm Credit Services, 340 Patriot Dr., Little Chute. $3,000,000 for a two-story, 21,000-sq. ft. office building. Contractor is Wieland-Davco of Michigan. Nov. 12. Baycare Aurora Hospital, 2845 Greenbriar Road, Green Bay. $427,000 to remodel the pharmacy and medical records departments of the hospital. General contractor is Howard Immel Inc. of Green Bay. November 13. Kwik Trip, 1870 U.S. Highway 10/114, Menasha. $800,000 for an addition to the existing convenience store. General contractor is Market & Johnson Inc. of Eau Claire. Nov. 15.

WHO’S NEWS Biolife Plasma Services, 900 Isbell St., Green Bay. $3,700,000 for a 17,500-sq. ft. medical facility. General contractor is W.D.S. Construction of Beaver Dam. November 20. Tailwaggers Doggy Daycare, 100 Allegiance Ct., Little Chute. $606,000 for a dog day care center and pet retail store. General contractor is Utschig Inc. of Greenville. Nov. 26. Regency East, 433 Main St., Green Bay. $8,105,051 for an interior remodel of 111,834 square feet of office space for Associated Bancorp. Contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. November 27.

New businesses Hometown Pharmacy opened a new location at 1415 S. Commercial St. in Neenah. The store can be reached by calling 920.729.4910.

New services Kimberly-based Capital Credit Union is offering broker-dealer services at each of its 11 offices through VandenBoom Verstegen Wealth Management of Kimberly.

Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of New North B2B. Keller Planners, Architects and Builders of Kaukauna received the Top Volume Award by American Buildings based on purchasing more than 200 million pounds of steel. Mavid Construction Services LLC of Green Bay received a 2012 Excellence in State Contract Award from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. during the 2012 Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development. The Native American-owned construction firm has participated in projects around the state, including work on five University of Wisconsin campuses and a number of Wisconsin correctional institutions. J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. of Neenah received a Workplace Excellence Award from The New North and Right Management Inc. Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin presented 2012 Build Wisconsin Awards to: J. F. Ahern Co. of Fond du Lac in the specialty contractor category for its plumbing work at Clement J. Zablocki Spinal Cord Injury/Disorders Center at the Veteran’s Administration campus in Milwaukee; and to Faith Technologies of Menasha in the specialty contractor – electrical category for its work on the Monroe Clinic.




New hires Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh hired Kelly Fitzpatrick as the administrator for Gabriel’s Villa assisted living complex. Fitzpatrick has 12 years experience in senior services. Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh hired the following new staff: Jonathan Berger, senior business development director; Robin Kasel, donor development manager; Michael Laabs, museum maintenance staff; Kaitlin Mason, events coordinator; Andy Ovans, membership services specialist; Katherine Pecora, marketing and government advocacy assistant; and Kelly Zanders, housing and events coordinator. Merchants’ Choice Card Services LLC of Hortonville hired Mike Schmidt as a representative in the Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas. Schmidt has nearly 20 years of banking experience. Legacy Private Trust Company in Neenah hired Paul L. Kasriel as senior economic and investment advisor and consultant. Kasriel retired as senior vice president and chief economist at The Northern Trust Company. He began his career as a research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and has taught courses in finance at Northwestern University Kellogg Graduate School of Management and at DePaul University Kellstadt Graduate School of Business. Kasriel has also served on the Economic Advisory Committee of the American Bankers Association. He is the co-author of the book Seven Indicators That Move Markets. Oshkosh Area Community Foundation hired Amy Putzer as its director of programs. Putzer previously served as executive director of The Thompson Community Center in Appleton and as vice president of grants and community initiatives at Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. of Neenah hired Greg Conley as its Midwest regional account executive. Conley has more than 20 years of related experience, most recently as a regional director of national accounts for the National Safety Council. Bayland Buildings Inc. in Green Bay hired Chris Lagerquist as a purchasing manager. Lagerquist has more than 20 years of building and general construction experience. He previously worked with Home Acres Building Supply. Catalpa Health in Appleton added Gregory Blume as the clinical manager, Justin Dlugolenski as the manager of finance and operations, and Mark Rovick as the medical director. Blume was a manager at ThedaCare Behavioral Health for nine years, and is a licensed clinical social worker. Dlugolenski previously served as manager of clinic operations for Affinity Medical Group. Rovick is a child and adolescent psychiatrist and recently served as the medical director of Fox Valley Children’s Mental Health Center.





WHO’S NEWS Faith Technologies in Menasha hired Brian Zager as director of engineering and design. Zager has more than 20 years experience in the engineering industry, previously working as a project manager for an Appleton engineering company. Miron Construction Co., Inc. in Menasha hired Josh Salm as a project coordinator and Brian Hopfensperger as a heavy equipment coordinator for Miron’s yard operations. Appleton-based Ledgeview Partners hired Reilly Mitchell as a CRM support consultant and Marc Holliday as a technical sales support consultant. Mitchell has seven years experience as a technology manager. Holliday has 16 years of IT experience. The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha hired Megan Mudge as events coordinator for its Communication Arts Center. Mudge previously served as a cruise director for The Carnival Cruise Lines, as well as an assistant director of the youth staff for Royal Caribbean. Blue Door Consulting in Oshkosh hired Ann Timms-Schlichting as an associate marketing consultant; Bethany Lerch as a writer; and Mark Cyrulik, David Kryzaniak and Jacob Emerick as programmers. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers hired Jenny Smith as banquet facilities manager, Rebecca Sievers as a group sales representative, and Tim Hansen as executive chef. Smith had been general manager of Marriott Residence Inn for the past four years. Hansen previously worked for Good Company Restaurant Group as executive chef for waterfront banquets and kitchen manager for Pullmans Restaurant in Appleton. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin in Menasha hired Kristy Schafer as a talent development specialist and Jaclyn Banda as a financial wellness coach. Banda had previously been the family services coordinator for the Greater Fox Cities Area Habitat for Humanity. The NorthEast Wisconsin Building & Construction Trades Council hired Ted Gumieny as its business development representative. His duties include marketing, research and project tracking for the council’s 26 construction local unions in its 29-county service area. Gumieny has more than 20 years experience in the construction industry, primarily as a union bricklayer.

Promotions Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh promoted the following staff members: Kristin Busse to air tours coordinator; Tom Charpentier to government advocacy specialist; Zach Ludtke to EAA AirVenture Museum operations; Margaret Viola to air tour program manager; and Kathleen Witman to marketing department project manager. Faith Technologies in Menasha promoted Eric Deering to preconstruction manager. Deering has been with the firm since 2001, and became a




senior designer in 2010. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin in Menasha promoted Nathan Wielgosh from IT liaison to SharePoint administrator.

Individual honors Joanne Kluessendorf, director of the Weis Earth Science Museum at the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha, received the 2012 Charles A. Salotti Award for excellence in earth science education presented by the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum Society at Michigan Technological University. Wisconsin Business Development recognized Tom Olejniczak of the Green Bay law firm Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C. with its Darwin Nelson Community Service Award. Olejniczak has practiced business law for more than 35 years and currently serves as president of the NEW Community Shelter, as a board member of Casa ALBA Melanie - Hispanic Community Resource Center of Green Bay, and as a longstanding board member of the Green Bay Packers. He is a former chairman of the St. Norbert College Board of Trustees. Cherie Lindberg, owner of Get Connected Counseling LLC in Appleton, was elected a Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women.

Elections/appointments Bill Calhoun, president of Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, was appointed as the Wisconsin representative to the Council of Regents, the legislative body of the American College of Healthcare Executives. An ACHE Fellow, Calhoun has served on the board of directors for the ACHE Wisconsin chapter, most recently as its treasurer. Wenda Roycraft, senior vice president of First National Bank - Fox Valley in Neenah, was appointed to the board of directors of Wisconsin Business Development. Roycraft has been an advisory member of the organization for two years.

Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to send an announcement to: New North B2B, Attn: Who’s News, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903. For more events, log on to January 3 Business over Breakfast, an event from Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at D.J. Bordini Center, 5 Systems Dr. in Appleton. Cost to attend is $15 and includes breakfast. To register, call 920.735.5709 or email




BUSINESS CALENDAR January 8 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email January 8 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, call 920.303.2266 or go online to January 9 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Paul Mitchell The School, 3450 S. Packerland Dr. in Green Bay. Cost is $5 for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email January 9 Women in Management – Fond du Lac Chapter monthly meeting, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 625 W. Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Program is “State of Fond du Lac” presented by the county executive, city manager and tourism director. For more information or to register, go online to January 10 Fond du Lac Area Businesses on Health 8th Annual Wellness Conference, 7:30 a.m. to noon at Stayer Center at Marian University, 45 S. National Ave., Fond du Lac. Keynote speaker John Harris will present “Effective Incentives and Disincentives to Drive Behavior Change.” Registration is required by contacting Katie at 920.924.3780 or by sending an email to January 10 Women in Management – Oshkosh Chapter monthly meeting, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Sure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. Program is “Eat for the Health of It” by Best Life Health Coaching. For more information or to register, go online to or email Patti at January 11 Legislative Brunch on Workforce Development, an event from the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, 10 a.m. to noon in Michels Commons at St. Norbert College in De Pere. Event is open to chamber members and will involve a discussion of workforce development initiatives in Wisconsin. For more information or to register, call Marilyn at 920.593.3419 or go online to January 15 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Retlaw Plaza Hotel (formerly Ramada), 1 N. Main St. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2 in advance or $5 at the door. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.921.9500. January 17 “Put Worry and Stress into Perspective,” an event from Propel, Oshkosh’s young professionals group, 4:30 to 7 p.m. in Sage Hall at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, 835 High Ave. in Oshkosh. For more information or to register, contact Megan at or 920.303.2266. January 31 Oshkosh Business Expo, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. in Oshkosh. For more information, go online to

Better Business Bureau New Members

Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during December 2012 Ablaze Technologies LLC, Neenah Al Borchardt & Son, Berlin American Advantage Insurance, Green Bay B. E. Crane Estate Group LLC, Oshkosh Brodhagen Dental Care, Green Bay Deyo Disposal Inc., Greenleaf Greg Steger Heating & Air, Plymouth K&B Electric LLC, Suamico RCD Construction, Ripon SAGA Gymnastics, Suamico The Loss Control Group, De Pere

Advertiser Index Advance Business & Manufacturing Center Bank First National 40 Borsche Roofing Professionals 40 Bouwer Printing and Mailing Inc. 24 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin 14 Capital Credit Union 32 CitizensFirst Credit Union . .............................. 7 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 5 Digiprint 46 EP Direct ................................................. 9 Fast Signs 8 First Business Bank .................................... 45 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ................... 16 Fox Valley Savings Bank 23 Guident Business Solutions 24 James J. Calmes Construction 35 J. F. Ahern Co. ................................................. 12 Keller Inc. ................................................... 20 Marian University 27 National Exchange Bank & Trust 2 Network Health Plan . ................................ 47 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council 29 NEW Manufacturing Alliance ..................... 13 NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development 48 Oshkosh Area Community Foundation 39 Oshkosh Business Expo 23 Outagamie County Regional Airport ................ 25 Rhyme 26 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries 10 TNT Adventure 21 UW Oshkosh College of Business 9 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ....................... 8 YMCAs of Northeast Wisconsin 37



Region’s business plans recognized The 7th Annual Northeast Wisconsin Business Plan competition recognized four start ups in the region in December. The goal of the business plan competition is to encourage the preparation of business plans for start-up businesses, for those making significant changes to existing businesses, or those launching new products in northeast Wisconsin.

1 2 3 4

Judges for the competition – coordinated by the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership – selected the four finalists who will share $20,000 in prize money, which is to be used to put the business plan into action within the next year. Here are the 2012 winners:

1st Place - $10,000 prize, Green Bay owner Dave Wears is a scalable, web-based solution that will help small business owners grow, value, market and ultimately sell their business for less cost and a quicker time frame than the current market and national averages. It will also help potential buyers increase the likelihood of purchasing a company and running it successfully.

2nd Place - $5,000 prize DroolWorks!, Hortonville owner Dr. Steve Van Vie DroolWorks! is creating unique home appliances that make pet ownership easier while improving pet health. Founded by an experienced veterinarian, Van Vie developed “Old Faithful,” the first fully-automated device for delivering cold, clean aerated water to indoor pets all day long with no attention required of the pet owner. He anticipates bringing the product to market soon.

3rd Place - $3,000 prize International Business Development Inc., Chilton owner Dani Long International Business Development, Inc. is focused on increasing the sales and profits of small and medium-size businesses by helping them successfully export their products and services. IBD provides a tailored solution to meet business needs from identifying the best target markets to coordinating logistics.

4th Place - $2,000 prize Heavy Pedal Bicycles LLC, Manitowoc owner Ann Holsen Heavy Pedal Bicycles, LLC is a unique retail bicycle shop dedicated to quality new bicycle sales, mentoring and service. In addition to helping customers meet their fitness goals in comfort and style, the shop has also become a local hub for meeting bicycling enthusiasts for rides and conversation.


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KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

December 23 $3.23


$412.4 billion


December 16 $3.28

$3.37 December 2 $3.38 Dec. 23, 2011 $3.29

from October

December 9

Source: New North B2B observations


from November 2011





from October


7.2% 7.0% 8.0% 7.8% 6.5% 6.2%

7.8% 7.6% 8.6% 7.8% 6.7% 6.6%

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

December $0.799


Dec. 2011 $0.831

from November 2011 (Manufacturers and trade)


$1,619 billion


from October

from September

from November 2011

from October 2011


Oct. Sept. Oct. ‘11

6.6% 6.1% 7.6% 7.2% 5.7% 5.7%


from October



(2007 = 100)


fromNovember 2011

Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin


November $0.817 Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)

November October

49.5 51.7

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January 2013  

Regional business magazine

January 2013  

Regional business magazine