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Top Ten of 2013

NE Wisconsin Business Year in Review

Great Places to Launch Your Business Spectacular locations for start ups across northeast Wisconsin

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Intelligent Business Reporting for the New North

new north b2b January 2014

24 16



16 COVER STORY ❘ 7 Great Places to Launch Your Business ❘ Spectacular locations for start ups across NE Wisconsin 24 LEADERSHIP ❘ Trailblazing Women ❘ Fox Cities executives say inspiring others to succeed a role not taken lightly 28 YEAR IN REVIEW ❘ Top Ten of 2013 ❘ A retrospective on the major business stories from the region in the past year 34 EDUCATION ❘ Dean of Tuition Reimbursement ❘ Green Bay employer builds leadership through continuing education


On our Cover

4 From the Publisher 5 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 10 Build Up Pages 38 Who’s News 44 Business Calendar 45 Advertiser Index 46 Key Statistics

Productive office space doesn’t have to come with Substantial overhead. Photo illustration by New North B2B.



Indicators point to a positive 2014

Local economic trends should inspire risk and investment in the coming year

Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014

Those business owners who live and die by the thermometer of economic indicators felt a bit of thawing during 2013. As such trends are expected to continue upward into at least the near term, the coming year could prove to be an opportune window to make critical investments to your business while interest rates are still low and the cost of many capital goods and construction materials remains below historical values. Critical watermarks were eclipsed recently in two national trends from the Key Statistics department at the back of this issue of B2B, illustrating the returning confidence of two sectors catering to consumer demand. The first indicator – national housing starts – climbed back above the 1 million mark during the month of November for the first time since June 2008. Housing starts had routinely hovered around 2 million per month leading up to the start of the recession in 2007, but fell sharply through 2008 and 2009 to less than a half-million in most months. The second indicator – industrial production in the U.S. – topped its 2007 pre-recession average for output for the first time since the five-year revision to the production baseline was established in 2010. Closer to home, the data from the New North region has proven just as promising. During December’s annual New North Summit, regional economic development officials reported total employment in the region recently reached 592,000 jobs, a high point since January 2009 as employment numbers were sliding downward in response to the recession. Those employment numbers have been trending consistently upward for about two years, and could be well on their way to approaching pre-recession levels of nearly 610,000 jobs in the region. At the same New North Summit event, the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance rolled out its annual manufacturing vitality index, indicating producers of goods from the region continue to maintain a positive outlook for the coming year. The 2014 Manufacturing Vitality Index survey found 92 percent of responding manufacturers from the region expect their financial health to be either healthy or quite healthy into the year ahead, while 66 percent expected sales to increase in 2014 compared with just 51

percent who actually reported an increase in sales during 2013. Such financial health is important in that it’s encouraging investment risk to help produce greater quantities of higher quality product. The index revealed half of surveyed manufacturers were planning some level of capital investment to modernize their plants during 2014, up substantially from two years ago when just 36 percent of New North region manufacturers were reporting plant modernization projects. Supporting such a forecast in output growth, one in three manufacturers participating in the 2014 survey plan to hire additional employees during the first six months of this new year, a valuable economic boost to the region as manufacturing still represents nearly one in four jobs. A final measuring stick of the region’s economic health – the 2013 First Business Economic Survey of Northeast Wisconsin conducted by First Business Bank – also offered an optimistic view of the year ahead. While a number of businesses participating in the survey acknowledged 2013 didn’t quite live up to the expectations set a year earlier, an overwhelming 77 percent of survey participants are projecting improved financial performance for themselves in 2014 compared with last year. This First Business Economic Survey included more than 300 different businesses across the region representing a diverse array of industry sectors. What does all this seemingly ethereal data mean to your business? It means your competitors and neighbors are expecting even bigger and better results in the coming 12 months, and they’re more than likely willing to make the investments to secure business growth. With interest rates on capital borrowing expected to rise and price inflation creeping upward, isn’t it about time your business prepares to take similar risks before it’s too late? For detailed results of the two regional surveys mentioned here, go online for full reports on each. A summary of the 2014 Manufacturing Vitality Index can be found at, while the executive report for the 2013 First Business Economic Survey can be found at


Be careful with employee arrests 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: When do the circumstances of a conviction relate to the circumstances of the job? Can I terminate an employee because of the stigma of the allegations against an employee? Tony Renning: Generally, an employer may only terminate an employee based upon the employee’s conviction record if the circumstances of the employee’s crimes are substantially related to the circumstances of the employee’s job. In Knight v. Wal-Mart Stores East LP, the Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) concluded that Walmart discriminated against Knight – a forklift driver at one of its warehouses – when it fired him after discovering he had been convicted of sexual assault, first degree reckless endangerment of safety and false imprisonment. The convictions stemmed from a violent incident involving Knight and his girlfriend at Knight’s home, in which his girlfriend attempted to break up with him, Knight threatened her with a knife and gun, and had sex with her against her will.

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

Kate Erbach Production

Contributing writers

Larry Avila Michael Bina

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

The LIRC concluded the circumstances of Knight’s convictions were not substantially related to the circumstances of his job because Knight committed his crimes at home and in response to his relationship with his girlfriend (circumstances not present at work). In Kraemer v. Milwaukee County, Kraemer was arrested on allegations of sexually abusing a minor, physically abusing a minor and having child pornography stored on his computer. As a result, Milwaukee County suspended and ultimately terminated him. Kraemer was never charged. The LIRC held that since Kraemer was never charged, had no pending charge, and therefore the substantial relationship test referred to above was not available. Moreover, the LIRC concluded Kraemer’s suspension and termination were actually motivated by Milwaukee County’s fear of the stigma and scandal that could arise from his arrest and the nature of the allegations against him. The LIRC deemed this rationale to be unlawful discrimination

under the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act. Given the LIRC’s narrow interpretation of the substantially-related defense, employers should undertake this analysis carefully. For advice and counsel concerning labor and employment law issues, and specifically issues related to arrest and conviction record discrimination, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is a shareholder with Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 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

NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at La Crosse, 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 2014.

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

Fox Cities


Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 5


Since we last met Since We Last Met is a digest of business related news occurring in the greater Green Bay, Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas in the one month since the previous issue of New North B2B.

November 26

2005 January 4 – State officials launched the Wisconsin Angel Network, a program designed to spur the growth of early-stage investing in Wisconsin by linking entrepreneurs with seed-stage equity investment dollars in Wisconsin companies.

2006 January 16 – NEW Capital Fund partners announced the creation of the new $10 million venture capital fund to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors in northeast Wisconsin. The fund includes 75 investors, and plans to invest in 10 to 12 projects within the next five years.

2008 January 22 – The Federal Reserve Board held an unscheduled meeting to lower its target for the federal funds rate by 75 basis points from 4.25 to 3.5 percent. The Fed took this action in view of a weakening economic outlook. January 30 – The Federal Reserve Board lowered its target for the federal funds rate 50 basis points to 3 percent, the third such slashing since mid-December 2007 when the rate stood at 4.5 percent. In making its decision, the Fed said these cuts should help to promote moderate growth over time and to mitigate the risks to economic fallout.

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.


Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions reported state-chartered banks increased net income by nearly 19 percent in the first three quarters of 2013 compared to the same period last year. Citing data from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the agency indicated 97 percent of Wisconsin’s 193 state-chartered banks were profitable through the first three quarters of 2013, compared to 91 percent compared to the same period a year ago. Cumulatively, statechartered banks in Wisconsin reduced past-due loans ratio to 2.6 percent, down from 3.8 percent as of Sept. 30, 2012.

December 2 Twin City Catholic Educational System said it will build an $11 million middle school adjacent to St. Mary Central High School in the Town of Menasha to replace Seton Catholic Middle School in Menasha. The proposed 55,000-sq. ft. school would serve 300 students once it opens, with construction slated to begin this summer with completion expected by the start of the 2015-16 school year. School officials have already raised $6.5 million toward the project, and have asked the five parishes served by the school to contribute an additional $3 million prior to construction. The remaining $1.5 million toward the cost of the project would be raised through individual and corporate gifts.

December 5 Community officials in Green Bay broke ground to officially kick off the nearly $23 million construction project to expand the downtown KI Convention Center an additional 35,000 square feet, nearly doubling its size to 75,000 square feet. The bulk of the project costs are funded by an increase in the hotel room tax rate in Green Bay and surrounding municipalities, as well as a $2 million state grant, a $2 million naming rights deal with KI, and tax incremental finance support from the City of Green Bay. The project is slated for completion in early 2015.

December 6 Oshkosh Public Museum received a $28,250 Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for its upcoming In Company with Angels exhibit which includes seven Tiffany stained-glass windows featuring angels from the Book of Revelations. The exhibit runs from February to May and is expected to generate an economic impact of nearly $1.75 million from visitor spending.

December 6 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 203,000 new jobs were created in November, effectively lowering the

SINCE WE LAST MET national unemployment rate from 7.3 percent to 7.0 percent. Employment increased in transportation and warehousing, health care and manufacturing.

December 6 Gov. Scott Walker signed Senate Bill 274 which increases state funding for vocational rehabilitation services by $4.2 million over the course of the next 18 months, allowing the state to maximize federal funding of more than $15.5 million during the same period. The additional funds will support nine positions within the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development which will enable it to serve an estimated 23,000 jobseekers with disabilities during the next two years.

December 9 The Board of Education for the Appleton Area School District approved a Feb. 18 referendum asking voters to borrow $25 million for capital projects as well as a separate question asking voters to exceed revenue limits by $5 million for next fiscal year and for each year thereafter. The package of proposed capital improvements includes renovations and additions to various schools in the district for enhanced science and technical education space; reconfigured building entrances and classroom space for improved building security and function; mobile technology devices for all high school students as well as shared devices for middle and elementary students; and replacement of school building windows, generators and electrical service to improve function and energy efficiency. The request seeking an additional $5 million each year in operating revenues would support $3 million to replace basic technology and infrastructure, $1.5 million for building maintenance, and $500,000 to hire five positions to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom. The annual tax impact of approving both referenda would add 78 cents for every $1,000 of equalized property value, or an additional $78 on a home valued at $100,000.

December 10 The City of Green Bay Redevelopment Authority narrowly approved a petition to continue Walmart’s option to purchase 15 acres of the former Larsen Canning Company property on North Broadway to construct a proposed 154,000-sq. ft. supercenter. The deadline had passed for a development agreement, which had run into roadblocks as city officials disapproved of Walmart’s proposed design concept and asked for a smaller-scale urban contemporary design. The development still requires the approval of the city’s common council before it can move forward.

December 10 The governor signed Senate Bill 331 into law which will award grants of $1,000 per participating pupil to Wisconsin school districts that promote career and technical education certification programs beginning in the 2014-15 school year. The state Department of Public Instruction, Department of Workforce Development and Wisconsin Technical College System will annually determine high demand careers and approve programs available through schools eligible to receive the grant.

December 11 The National Collegiate Athletic Association announced it will continue holding the Division III baseball championship tournament at Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Appleton through at least 2018. The five-day tournament has been held at the stadium for the past 14 years. It typically attracts about 23,000 visitors to the Fox Cities, generating an estimated $400,000 in tourism revenue.

December 11 An early-morning fire in downtown Ripon destroyed three buildings on the 300 Block of Watson Street, damaging four businesses and five apartments and displacing 22 people. The fire was determined to be accidental.

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SINCE WE LAST MET December 11 West Corp. announced it would create 65 new positions at its two Appleton locations to accommodate increased demand from clients in telecommunications and health care. The wages for the positions range from $10 to $14 per hour and include benefits.

December 11

What makes

PAMCO Unique Inclusive-Inclusive-Inclusive! Services included in the rent: Reception services, 1-10 line digital phone, 1 phone line, 1 paid monthly phone bill, T1 high speed Internet access for 1 furnished suite if needed, door and directory service, use of our equipment, 8 hours of free conference room usage a month, use of kitchen with all the amenities, use of reception area for our clients, private mailbox, mailing, Fed-X & UPS services. We answer your phone with the name of your company, greet your clients when they come in and announce when they arrive. All these services for one low cost of $700-$800 a month depending on suite size. This is what makes PAMCO unique, and the only one of it’s kind in the Valley.

Call Pam at 0 920-968-460

The governor signed a law increasing state historical preservation tax credits from 10 to 20 percent, a measure that matches Wisconsin with the federal tax credit incentive for developers restoring and preserving historical structures built before 1936. The new law is expected to lessen the burden of increasing renovation costs and encourage developers to consider such restorations as opposed to demolition and rebuilding projects.

December 15 The Oneida Tribe of Indians met in general council and voted to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corp., the company created in 1995 to promote economic development for the Oneida. A petition seeking the general council vote on the matter indicated many tribal members were critical of the company’s operations, including a failed attempt to develop a trash-burning pyloric gasification electricity-generating plant in Ashwaubenon and in Green Bay.

December 16 Officials from the Port of Green Bay reported year-todate shipments exceeded the 2 million ton mark for 2013 and were up 15 percent from the same time a year ago. The increase was aided by a November increase of more than 100,000 metric tons compared with November 2012.

December 16 The Board of Education for the Green Bay Area School District approved an April 1 referendum asking voters to borrow $20 million for capital improvements to two middle schools and four elementary schools. The proposed spending package includes $6.7 million for renovations and to replace the heating and cooling system and remove asbestos at Washington Middle School; another $7.2 million to update mechanical systems and other projects at Franklin Middle School; and remaining funds to support various improvements at Fort Howard, Tank, Nicolet and Chappell elementary schools. The annual tax impact of approving the measure would add 35 cents for every $1,000 of equalized property value, or an additional $35 on a home valued at $100,000.

Coming Pamco ExEcutivE SuitES 4650 W. Spencer Street Appleton


to B2B in February Industrial Development

Emerging and expanding industrial parks across NE Wisconsin

SINCE WE LAST MET December 17 The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. awarded a $500,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to T. Wall Enterprises LLC for its development of the $12 million CityDeck Landing at the foot of the Main Street Bridge over the Fox River in downtown Green Bay. The six-story, mixeduse project will include 76 apartments and 7,000 square feet of retail space on the ground floor. The grant will reimburse T. Wall Enterprises for eligible environmental remediation costs associated with removing and disposing of contaminated soil at the site.

December 17 The Board of Trustees for Marian University in Fond du Lac extended the agreement with Interim President Robert A. Fale to remain in office through June 2016. The retired CEO of Fond du Lac-based Agnesian Healthcare, Fale was appointed interim president last June following the resignation of Steven DiSalvo, with the intention that a presidential search would result in a new president selected to take office this coming July.

December 18 University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden announced he will resign his post later this year to spend more time with family. Harden has 35 years experience in higher education, including 14 years as a top academic official. He became chancellor at UW Green Bay in June 2009, and

since then the school has experienced a number of graduating classes, growth in enrollment of returning older adults, and an increase in minority students. UW System officials indicated they would immediately begin a national search for a new chancellor. Harden said he plans to return to teaching in 2015.

December 19 The U.S. Department of Defense Office of Economic Adjustment awarded a $837,316 Defense Industry Adjustment Program grant to the East Central Regional Planning Commission to help fund regional economic development initiatives in response to defense funding reductions to Oshkosh Corp. The federal funds will be accompanied by local matching funds to accomplish a handful of strategic regional economic development initiatives.

December 20 Gov. Walker signed a special session bill into law extending certain federal Medicaid coverage initially turned down by the state earlier in 2013 by another three months in response to what state officials have called the failed federal rollout of the Affordable Care Act. The law extends previous coverage for Wisconsin citizens under several medical assistance programs and the Health Insurance Risk-Sharing Plan until March 31, allowing state residents more time to make a well-informed health care transition and ensure no gap in health care coverage.

80 Years and Going Strong We began as Kimberly Credit Union back in 1934, offering affordable loans and savings options for the Kimberly Mill employees. Today Capital “makes it happen” for more than 34,000 members with the best rates around for loans, great rates on savings and a variety of convenience services. Before you shop for that new car, truck, snowmobile or even a home, see us first or visit and let Capital “make it happen” for you!

920.731.3195 | 866.731.3195 (toll free) | NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 9


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6 C - Indicates a new listing


Build Up Fond du Lac



- 790 Eastgate Dr., Ripon, Ripon Medical Center, a 120,000-sq. ft. hospital and medical office building. Project completion expected in January.

2 - 800 Block W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac, Panda Express, a new restaurant building. 3 - 1315 S. Main St., Fond du Lac, C

Roberts Homes, a new office building. Project completion expected in June.

1060 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac, C Walgreens, a new retail building and pharmacy.

5 - 1674 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac,

Con-way Freight, a 47,000-sq. ft. freight terminal and service center. Project completion expected in March.

6 - 321 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac Regional Clinic South, a 50,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing medical clinic to expand podiatry services, therapy and orthopedic care, and to centralize pain medicine services. Completion expected in late fall.

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...and more

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C - Indicates a new listing

Build Up Oshkosh 7

- 1090 N. Washburn St., Oshkosh, Kwik Trip, a new convenience store, fuel canopy and car wash.

8 - 639 Witzel Ave., Oshkosh, City of Oshkosh Public Works Building, a municipal operations facility and yard.

Projects completed since our December issue: • Mercury Marine, 545 & 560 W. Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac. • Excel Engineering, 100 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac. • University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center, 625 Pearl Ave., Oshkosh.

9 - 3321 County Road A, Oshkosh, C A.P. Nonweiler, a 16,100-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.

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W2518 Cty Rd JJ Appleton WI 54913 920.687.8782

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BUILD UP FOX CITIES Build Up Fox Cities C - Indicates a new listing

1 - W6400 County Road BB, town of Greenville, Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center, a 93,000sq. ft. training facility for fire protection and law enforcement personnel. Project completion expected in December.

7 - 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Valley Technical College Student Success Center, a two-story, 96,750-sq. ft. academic building. Project completion expected in the fall. 8 - 734 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton,

The Free Market,

a new retail/commercial building.

2 - 2380 Holly Road, Neenah,

9 - 1718 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton,


10 - 2120 E. Edgewood Dr., Appleton, Kwik Trip, a 9,821sq. ft. convenience store, fuel station canopy and a 2,790-sq. ft. car wash. Project completion expected in February.


11 - N2749 French Road, Freedom, St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church & School, a 34,655-sq. ft. addition to the existing church and school for new classrooms, kitchen, cafeteria and offices. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

C Aerial Work Platforms, a 12,500-sq. ft. office and warehouse. Project completion expected in April. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. - 3600 W. Prospect Ave., Appleton, Butte des Morts Country Club, a new swimming pool with a 4,774-sq. ft. attached bar and restaurant. Project completion expected in March. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. - 3000 W. College Ave., Appleton, C Kolosso Automotive, a 49,000-sq. ft. dealership facility. Project completion expected in June. General contractor is Keller Inc.


- 301 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Gordon Food Service (GFS) Marketplace, a 15,757-sq. ft. grocery store building.

6 - 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Valley Technical College Transportation Center, a 43,486-sq. ft. addition to the existing transportation education center. Project completion expected this spring.

NEW Printing, an

addition to the existing industrial facility.

12 - W2520 County Road JJ, town of Vandenbroek, C Ken’s Sports, an 18,000-sq. ft. addition for the Honda service center and a separate 19,000-sq. ft. boat showroom. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 13 - 2700 Northridge Dr., Kaukauna, Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local 400, a two-story, 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing training center to include a weld shop and plumbing lab. Project completion expected in January. 14 - 3601 Electric City Blvd., Kaukauna, Albany International, an addition to the existing industrial facility.


15 - 3600 Electric City Blvd., Kaukauna, C Holland Cold Storage, a 42,615-sq. ft. addition to the existing warehousing facility for more cold storage. Project completion expected in April. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 16 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, a five-story, 90-bed patient tower, as well as renovations to the cancer center and behavioral health.

17 - 601 S. Commercial St., Neenah, Galloway Company, a 29,077-sq. ft. addition to the existing dairy processing facility. Project completion expected in January. Manufacturing x Industrial x Commercial 3 year warranty on workmanship and subcontractors Family owned business over 50 years


18 - W647 Knight Dr., Sherwood, Dick’s Family Foods, a 20,598-sq. ft. grocery store building. Project completion expected in March. General contractor is Bayland Buildings Inc. of Green Bay. Projects completed since our December issue: • Water-Right, 1900 Prospect Ct., town of Grand Chute. • Brycon LLC, 2505 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton. • Bergstrom Fiat, 2937 Lawe St., Kaukauna. • Goodwill Stores, 906 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah. • Kundinger Fluid Power, 2437 Progress Ct., Neenah.


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Take the first step toward a professional, quality built construction project...

Building Quality Communities Contact us or visit our Web site for a full listing of your local construction professionals.

9 2 0 . 7 3 3 . 3 1 3 6 y 866.966.3928 y NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 13

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

1 - 5201 Glendale Ave., Howard, Cellcom/Nsight Teleservices, a 32,000-sq. ft. logistical operations center. 2 - 2522 W. Mason St., Green Bay, Oneida Mason Street Casino, an 8,000-sq. ft. expansion of the existing facility to accommodate an on-site restaurant. Project completion expected in May. 3 - 1616 W. Mason St., Green Bay, Michaels Arts & Crafts, an addition to the existing retail center for a new store. 4 - 411 S. Military Ave., Green Bay, Fox Communities Credit Union, a 4,400-sq. ft. credit union branch office. Project completion expected in March. 5 - 333 E. Main St., Green Bay,

C KI Convention Center, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing convention center facility. Project completion expected in spring 2015.

6 - 100 E. Main St., Green Bay, C CityDeck Landing, a six-story, mixed-use development to include 76 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. 7 - 400 N. Washington St., Green Bay, Schreiber Foods Inc., a five-story, 250,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters building. Project completion expected in spring. 8 - 1830 Cofrin Dr., Green Bay, Frehse Transportation, an addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected this spring. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 9-

2530 S. Hemlock Road, Green Bay, Handling & Conveying Systems, a 33,000sq. ft. manufacturing facility including 6,000 square feet of office space. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Bayland Buildings.

10 - 1001 Auto Plaza Dr., Green Bay, Gandrud Nissan/Collision Center, a 4,155-sq. ft. addition to the existing collision center. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 11 - 3282 Eaton Road, Bellevue, C Community First Credit Union, a 6,705-sq. ft. financial institution office. 12 - 2014 Lime Kiln Road, Bellevue, a multi-tenant commercial building including retail space and a dental clinic. 13 - 2618 Monroe Road, Bellevue, Kwik Trip, an addition for a diesel and natural gas canopy. Project completion expected in January. 14 - 2020 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon, Oneida Main Casino, an expansion and renovation of the existing casino to accommodate another on-site restaurant and additional gaming. Project completion expected in April. 15 - 1921 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon, Jet Air Group, a 32,375-sq. ft. storage hangar with additional office space and a repair center. Project completion expected this spring. General contractor is Bayland Buildings Inc. of Green Bay.



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- 3355 Commodity Lane, Ashwaubenon, Vibrant Impressions, a 13,400-sq. ft. addition to the industrial facility.

facility to house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus. Project completion expected in spring 2015.

17 - Label Drive, Ashwaubenon,

20 - 3101 French Road, town of Lawrence, Kelbe Brothers Equipment, a 6,600-sq. ft. warehouse building and offices. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Bayland Buildings Inc. of Green Bay.

Green Bay Packaging Inc., a 240,000-sq. ft. coated products manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in late fall.


- 506 Butler St., De Pere, C De Pere Christian Outreach, a 1,265-sq. ft. addition and renovation of the existing retail store. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

19 - 100 Grant St., De Pere, St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, a 150,000-sq. ft. education and research

21 -

2249 American Blvd., De Pere, Infinity Machine, a 39,060-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.

Projects completed since our December issue: • Hattiesburg Paper Company, 2641 Packerland Dr., Howard. • Fairchild Trust, 2325 Hutson Road, Green Bay. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 15



Great Places to Launch Your Business

Spectacular locations for start ups across northeast Wisconsin

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher


COVER STORY It’s no secret that getting a business off the ground can be an expensive, time-consuming and all-encompassing process. Many pursue the inexpensive route of working from a home office – which works out for some – while others find themselves still in their pajamas unshaven at noontime. Presenting a professional image is as much a function of the space one works from as it is their business card, brochures or web site. If you’re a business that provides a service – or even a light manufacturer or food caterer – getting set up in the right location doesn’t have

to be among the plethora of other start-up headaches most all entrepreneurs suffer. Incubators, co-working centers and office suites with shared services help make the task of getting a business off the ground much more about the business itself, rather than worrying about facilities, office furniture, IT infrastructure and having a presentable board room to meet clients. Northeast Wisconsin has its share of such physical locations for entrepreneurs, and we’ve put together a list of those most appropriate for start ups in B2B’s 7 Great Places to Launch Your Business showcase.

Advance Business & Manufacturing Center Green Bay One of the longer-running business accelerators in the region, this start-up hotbed also houses local offices for all the intangible assistance a new entrepreneur could want. Economic development officials, SCORE counselors, Small Business Development Center staff and financing consultants are right down the hallway and available at no cost for advice on all aspects of business management, according to Elizabeth Slade, program manager for the incubator center. The facility itself features 44 offices, each with approximately 160 square feet of space, office furniture and a shared receptionist in the lobby, all for between $250 to $300 per month. Conveniently located at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College’s main campus just minutes off of U.S. Highway 41 in Green Bay, tenants have access to NWTC’s Wi-Fi network at no additional cost. Tenants may also use many of the standard amenities offered at the space, including a conference room, video-conferencing equipment, shared printer and other office equipment, kitchenette and lounge. Advance Business Center offers virtual memberships as well, for those small businesses who simply need a place to pop into

Submitted photo

A manufacturing bay at Advance Business Center in Green Bay.

on occasion as opposed to requiring dedicated, permanent office space. For two different options ranging from $50 to $95 per month, entrepreneurs can come in for the day with their laptop, have access to most of the same amenities as regular tenants, and then pack up with everything they brought when leaving at the end of the day, Slade said. Recent tenants use the center for a wide variety of business needs, such as transitioning from a home office to a commercial office, or an established company setting up a satellite office. A unique offering at the Advance Business Center are the five manufacturing bays, which allow small industrial start ups to begin production for $999 a month, a fee which includes 1,000 square feet of industrial space, utilities (including 120volt and 3-phase 440-volt electricity), reinforced concrete foundations and air compression capabilities. Two of the bays with exterior access have overhead doors, while the other three can access a common area loading dock and overhead door set up to accommodate shipping and receiving from a semi-truck. There’s also a shared forklift available for those who are certified. “(The manufacturing tenants) are looking for a place that is affordable, and that has the power sources they need, as well as the on-site business resources,” Slade said. Name: Advance Business Center Location: Green Bay, 2701 Larson Road Number of offices: 44 offices/ 5 manufacturing bays Size range: 160 s.f. for offices / 1,000 s.f. for manufacturing Price range: $250 to $300 per month for offices/ $999/mo. for manufacturing Virtual members: Yes, from $50 to $95 per month Services/amentities: Shared reception, shared office equipment, furniture, parking, WiFi Internet access, boardroom, videoconferencing, kitchenette/ vending, access to business development consultants Website: NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 17

COVER STORY Pamco Executive Suites – Fox Cities For more than two decades, Pamco Suites have been an option for start-ups and smaller businesses needing firstclass, all-inclusive professional office space in the Fox Cities. Today the company boasts two locations conveniently positioned near U.S. 41 in the Fox Cities: one in Appleton’s Northeast Business Park near the Ballard Road exit and the other just south of Fox River Mall in the town of Grand Chute. Pamco founder and CEO Pam Baumann said both buildings are currently full, with her longest tenant holding office for 19 years and the average tenancy at 13 years. A third building with more than 20 offices is currently being leased by another larger company, and Baumann is preparing to sell it altogether. Different from most traditional incubators, Pamco provides each of its clients a litany of services and amenities that are all inclusive, such as dedicated phone lines and hardwired Internet service, a fulltime receptionist to greet clients and take tenant’s phone calls, contemporary furnishings and shared

Submitted photo

Pamco Executive Suites location on West Spencer Street in Appleton.

office equipment with no additional charges for printing and copying up to a limited number each month. A serial entrepreneur herself, Baumann said she created Pamco’s business model based on tenants not feeling “nickeled and dimed for additional services. “Everything is included in the price of a suite,” Baumann said. “It’s easier for tenants to budget, and it’s easier for us to bill.” Another unique offering is that Pamco allows tenants to share suites with another business, citing as an example a consultant who uses the office by day and a counselor who meets with patients during evening hours. Virtual tenant options are available starting at $200 per month for home-based or journeyman businesses who want mail collected at a business address, as well as use of a conference room and office equipment. Name: Pamco Executive Suites Locations: (2) Fox Cities northeast, 2800 E. Evergreen Dr.; Fox Cities west, 4650 W. Spencer St. Number of offices: 59 Size range: 230 to 310 s.f. Price range: $700 to $800 per month Virtual tenants: Yes, starting at $200 per month Services/amentities: Shared reception, dedicated telephone answering, shared office equipment, furniture, parking, telephone service, dedicated wired Internet access, boardroom, videoconferencing, kitchenette Website:

Brown County Culinary Kitchen – Green Bay If food is your business, be it catering, candymaking, bakery or any other pursuit, the nearly 3-year-old Brown County Culinary Kitchen offers all the amenities of a fully equipped, commercially-licensed kitchen without any of the overhead. This shared-use kitchen incubator located at the campus of N.E.W. Curative Rehabilitation on Green Bay’s far northeast side is available to reserve and use fully for just $15 an hour, according to Slade, who also manages the culinary kitchen through its partnership with Advance. Each person who uses the facility must be licensed to prepare food, Slade said, but the one-time $150 intake fee users pay includes assistance navigating the relatively quick and inexpensive process to become licensed. The kitchen includes most of the equipment and some of the utensils chefs would need. There’s a convection oven, commercial stoves, refrigerators, freezers, mixer, dishwasher, stainless steel work tables and baker’s racks. 18 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014

“There’s very little equipment that you would need to bring in,” explained Slade, noting there are storage bins available for regular users of the kitchen incubator to store any personal utensils and other materials. A few examples of entities using the facility include a food truck, chocolatier, cupcake maker, salsa maker, a spice blend processor and other confectioners. The culinary kitchen uses an advanced reservation scheduling system and is available 24 hours a day.

Name: Brown County Culinary Kitchen Location: Green Bay, 2900 Curry Lane What: Shared-use kitchen incubator Price range: $15 per hour Services/amentities: Fully equipped, commercially licensed kitchen Website:

COVER STORY Center for Enterprise Development Fond du Lac

Submitted photos

The conference room at the Center for Enterprise Development in Fond du Lac, above, and the Brown County Culinary Kitchen.

Conveniently located downtown within the offices of Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp., The Center, as it’s known, has become a destination for startups, nonprofits and out-of-the-area businesses working out of Fond du Lac just a few days a month. Open just shy of three years, the space was designed to unlock imagination with its distinct lounge outfitted with a creative toy box, comfortable furnishings and even a chess board. The four roughly 100-sq. ft. offices it holds are full and have been full much of the past year. Yet, its other spaces – like the lounge mentioned earlier and its boardroom – have some appeal as popular destinations to rent for other start ups, smaller businesses and other organizations in the community. With a rental cost of $125 for a half day, some smaller manufacturers that don’t have much office space use it for conducting job interviews or employee training, according to Jo Ann Giese-Kent, director of entrepreneurship and business intelligence for Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. Other companies have rented it for a half-day employee retreat. Like the Advance Business Center in Green Bay, The Center in Fond du Lac offers its tenants ready access to the breadth of professional business development skills and expertise its economic development staff offers, including some resources

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COVER STORY for basic market research. More complex data capabilities to research market expansion possibilities are available for as little as $50 an hour, Giese-Kent said. The Center can even provide tenants with more advanced IT requirements, such as a server at a nominal monthly rate. “It’s a very reasonable way to have a presence (in the Fond du Lac market), and have an office,” Giese-Kent said. Name: Center for Enterprise Development Location: Fond du Lac, 116 N. Main St. Number of offices: 4 Size range: 90 to 108 s.f. Price range: $100 per month plus telecommunications charges Services/amentities: Shared office equipment, WiFi Internet access, boardroom and videoconferencing (additional charges), administrative support, access to business development consultants Website:

The Avenue HQ - Appleton Launched just this past summer, The Avenue HQ in downtown Appleton reaches out to the creative-class entrepreneur eager to collaborate with others in an open, flexible setting. The wood and glass interior inspires productivity, and a wall-sized chalkboard in the common area lounge encourages creativity. “It’s worth mentioning that all of our desks and tables are made out of repurposed bowling lanes, which goes really well with stained concrete and the general relaxed and industrial feel of the place,” said Matthew Straub, community manager and a co-founder of The Avenue HQ. Four offices can each accommodate up to four workstations, and start at a cost of $450 per month. Reserved desks are available for as little as $150 per month. Shared office equipment is available to all co-workers, as is the conference room and the kitchenette. Co-working memberships start at $75 per month.

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Ahern has over 115 certified/licensed service technicians. Submitted photo

The conference room at The Avenue HQ in downtown Appleton. 800.532.4376 |


COVER STORY Name: The Avenue HQ Location: Appleton, 120 N. Morrison St. Number of offices: 4 Size range: 180 s.f. Price range: $450 to $600 per month for offices Memberships: Yes, from $75 per month Services/amentities: Shared office equipment, WiFi Internet access, boardroom, kitchenette Website:

Submitted photo

The common co-working area at The Avenue HQ in downtown Appleton.

Regus – Appleton Established recently this past October, Regus brings its international franchise model of executive office solutions to a convenient location a stone’s throw from the College Avenue interchange with U.S. 41. The Appleton office was established as a number of Regus clients from other Midwest offices began requesting a location in the Fox Valley to serve their business growth into northeast Wisconsin. With more than 1,700 locations in North America, members have access to a Regus office no matter which city they travel to for business. That can be a powerful tool for a business to expand into new geographic markets without the risk of additional overhead. The Appleton location includes 72 offices, as well as a handful of “cul de sacs,” separately-locked suites of two to three offices with a private waiting area. Regus bases its business model on flexibility for its tenants and members. The base price for a permanent office, virtual office or membership can be augmented with a broad menu of options such as phone service, Internet, telephone answering service, even full-fledged server hosting. “With Regus, we recognize that not every business operates the same and not every business has the same needs,” said Michele Barnes, general manager for Regus in Appleton. Regus offers its members administrative services in as little as 15-minutes blocks for a cost of less than $1 a minute.

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COVER STORY Its Refresh beverage lounge offers an inviting place to choose from a variety of coffees, teas or cappuccinos while catching the latest market updates from the television news. Members don’t even need to worry about doing their own dishes. Because of its size, Regus offers a scope of business services a number of others simply can’t provide. It has an on-site Staples store to provide immediate, on-demand office supplies. A distinguishing hallmark of Regus, it offers core I.T. service to help tenants troubleshoot minor issues and connect seamlessly into their own virtual private network. That I.T. prowess is on display in a server closet exposed to the entire facility behind glass doors and accented by futurist blue neon lights.

Submitted Photo

The business lounge at Regus in Appleton.

“We are an extension of your business,” Barnes said. “People can come in with their laptop and plug and play.” Tenants are easily able to transition into larger offices or suites as they grow, or transfer their leases to Regus locations in other cities as the geographical demands of their tenants’ business services change. “It’s the safest way to expand your business,” Barnes said. Name: Regus Location: Appleton, 4321 W. College Ave. Number of offices: 72 Size range: 90 s.f. up to 500-s.f. multi-office suites Price range: Starting at $525 per month for a full-service office with phone and Internet Virtual offices: Yes, with options starting at $169 per month Services/amentities: Shared reception, dedicated telephone answering, shared office equipment, modular furniture, parking, telephone service, dedicated wired Internet access, boardroom, videoconferencing, kitchenette/ vending, beverage lounge, day offices Website:

The Docking Station – Green Bay An inviting spot to collaborate with other creative entrepreneurs in Green Bay’s chic Broadway District, the 3-year-old Docking Station offers convenience and comfort at an affordable price. Its five offices and three reserved desks are full, but the owners are planning a small-scale interior renovation project for January to repurpose the space and create room for at least two additional offices. It’s had a waiting list to get into one of the offices among its other co-working members for some time, said Dana VanDen Heuvel, who co-founded The Docking Station along with partner Peter Nugent. Co-working memberships start at $55 a month and allow members many of the same amenities of the space as tenants are entitled. Name: The Docking Station Location: Green Bay, 111 North Broadway Number of offices: 5 Size range: About 100 s.f. Price range: $425 to $575 per month Memberships: Yes, from $55 per month Services/amentities: Shared reception, shared office equipment, contemporary furnishings, WiFi Internet access, boardroom, videoconferencing, kitchenette Website:

The concept of co-working was relatively new to Green Bay when The Docking Station opened in 2011. Since then, the tenant roster has come to include a financial services firm, insurance agent, attorney, fundraising company and property management firm, among others. VanDen Heuvel said even with such a diverse array of entrepreneurs, nearly everyone has discovered value in the day-to-day conversations with fellow co-workers that have lead to better business management decisions. “The proximity to people and the ambient motivation that went along with that was exactly what we expected to have happen,” VanDen Heuvel said.

Submmitted photo

Collaborative co-working at The Docking Station in Green Bay. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 23


Submitted Photo

Fox Valley business leader Joyce Bytof posed a few years ago with the automobile available through the

United Way drawing as a means to drum up support for the campaign.


women Long-time Fox Cities executives say inspiring others to succeed a role not taken lightly



When someone walks into a room and immediately draws a large crowd around them, if that person is someone you don’t know, make it a point to introduce yourself. In the long run you’ll be glad you did. Story by Larry Avila In the past three decades, numerous Fox Cities business professionals built names for themselves through career accomplishments and community activism but a handful took it a step further, setting examples for others to follow and proving no obstacle was too great to achieve success. Among accomplished Fox Cities business women, a few names often mentioned by other professionals include Kathi Seifert and Cheryl Perkins, who both enjoyed long careers and served management roles with consumer products giant KimberlyClark Corp.; Susan May, president of Fox Valley Technical College; and Joyce Bytof, a beloved community activist who led Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group between 1988 and 2013, building it into the largest residential real estate firm in northeast Wisconsin. Bytof passed away in late October following a long bout with cancer. What these women share in common is a passion to make others around them find what they must within themselves to overcome any hurdles they face to achieve their dreams. “(Joyce) just had a tremendous amount of energy,” said Chuck Peeters, president of Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group. He worked side-by-side with Bytof for 25 years. Peeters said it wasn’t uncommon for Bytof to put in a full day in the office, then spend a few hours after work attending a community event or volunteering time with one of the numerous organizations or causes she was involved with through the years. Some of those groups included Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry, United Way Fox Cities and Wisconsin Realtors Association. Her professional approach and passion for building a stronger community to preserve it for future generations served as an example that was passed on to all Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group employees as well as Fox Cities residents, Peeters said. “She was a person who just never gave up, no matter how big or small the task,” Peeters said. “She always faced challenges head on and always moved forward and did it graciously when she did it.”

Setting an example

Seifert recalled when she was in college, few women considered careers in business. She grew up in an era where women who choose to work were steered toward teaching, nursing or secretarial professions.

Seifert recognized early in her professional life it was time to break tradition. Early in her career at Kimberly-Clark, Seifert said her mentors were men, mostly because there were few women professionals she could seek advice. Jack Besser, a vice president of sales at the company, was among the first people to help her. “(Jack) had been in the business for many years and really treated me like a daughter, giving me advice on how to be a presenter and teaching me about the importance of understanding customers needs,” Seifert said. Wayne Sanders, former chairman and CEO at Kimberly-Clark, also mentored Seifert during her time at the company. Seifert During her 27-year career at KimberlyClark, Seifert championed efforts to change the company culture, encouraging diversity to open doors for other women. She said as more women were given opportunities and showed they could succeed, it just grew from there. Seifert’s career achievements and initiatives she led to bring about change in the workplace were highlighted by Forbes magazine in 2001 and Fortune magazine in 2002. “When I was moving up at K-C, I felt a deep responsibility to help other women achieve success at the company,” said Seifert, who retired from the tissue and consumer products converter and marketer in 2004. “Helping people be successful can also drive business results.” May said while she followed a traditional career role for her generation, she achieved much success including being the first woman to serve as president at Fox Valley Technical College. She was promoted to the role in 2008. May, who has been with Fox Valley Tech for 30 years, said the workforce shift became apparent in the past 20 years. She said it took the efforts of many women who pursued careers once considered male dominated to drive change and break stereotypes. “There were many women who were in those non-visible roles, who were willing to step out of the traditional roles across (many professions),” May said. “As more women succeeded in those roles once male dominated, it encouraged other women to follow and try it for themselves.”



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Helping others succeed

Before Perkins launched Innovationedge in 2007, a Neenah-based consulting firm, she spent 22 years with Kimberly-Clark. Perkins was the firm’s chief innovation officer when she left in 2006. Perkins said many people have influenced her professional life through the years but her family and friends provide a constant source of inspiration today. Her personal growth also is enhanced by the people she meets throughout her global business travels. When she mentors others, Perkins said she leverages her background, knowledge and experiences to guide the development of the mentee to help them define innovative ways to reach their personal and professional goals as well as manage any challenges that may arise along the way. “I personally have found that mentoring Perkins others is very rewarding as well,” Perkins said. “I have worked with many talented individuals and have enjoyed helping them advance their own development and guide their careers.” How to be an effective leader is a common topic often explored by experienced professionals and those new to the role. Perkins said leadership is about the ability to influence the thoughts, emotions and actions of others. “Leaders are passionate about visions and beliefs and they have the ability to get things done and make progress themselves and through others they influence,” she said. She said effective leaders exhibit strong communication skills, have focused passion, tolerate mistakes, and are able to inspire others. “I work with many leaders across (many) industries in my current role and find that they are able to raise the performance of others to a higher level than existed before,” Perkins said. “They inspire and motivate others to enable them to do what they do well.” May follows a similar approach. She encourages an entrepreneurial cultural at FVTC, May said, meaning she listens to her staff, asking what resources they need to succeed and keeping barriers to a minimum on their path to success. “You’re always listening and staying in touch with opportunities,” May said. “The culture has to be supported and May encouraged.” As faculty and staff develop programs to best meet students’ needs, students then take what they learn to be successful at what they decide to pursue. “I like to help people think anything is possible in terms of what they are trying to accomplish,” May said. May said she has been active with the Wisconsin Leadership Development Institute, a leadership development program for the state’s technical college system. Those she has worked with through the program often ask her advice on personnel

LEADERSHIP management. “People dynamics and how to get people to work effectively in teams are some common things people ask about,” May said. “I’m often asked for examples of things I may have dealt with.” Seifert, who launched Appleton-based consulting firm Katapult LLC after retiring from Kimberly-Clark, maintains an active professional career. She is co-chairperson for The New North Inc. and is a member of many boards of directors including Appleton-based Appvion and cosmetics maker Revlon. She also serves on the boards for numerous civic organizations including Fox Cities Performing Arts Center and Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region. Seifert said she has helped dozens of people achieve professional success throughout her career. “I really want to help someone achieve their full potential,” she said. Her life experiences have also been helpful for high school students around the Fox Cities. For several years, Seifert has mentored high school girl basketball players in Menasha and recently began working with girls in Kaukauna. “I don’t coach, I mentor,” Seifert said. “I help them build self confidence and realize the importance of teamwork and being committed to winning.”

Remembering a leader

Peeters said Bytof, who was also his mother-in-law, never sought attention for the things she did for the betterment of the community or her business. Seifert said people living in the Fox Cities today and future generations can learn from Bytof’s business and philanthropic accomplishments “She just took a lead on so many initiatives to help many organizations succeed and flourish,” Seifert said. “She was just an incredible role model for all of us and showed that every person can make a difference.” Perkins said Bytof had the ability to look beyond “what is today” and quickly articulate “what could be tomorrow.” “She would then share her knowledge and experiences to help others advance their agenda and do the best that they could do to deliver their vision,” Perkins said. May said Bytof’s passion she brought to her business and willingness to give it her all in everything she did offers many valuable lessons. “She showed people that they just shouldn’t quit at whatever they are trying to accomplish,” May said. “That’s something everyone can learn from. If you’re going to be successful, you have to bring passion and dedication to the effort and (Joyce) certainly did that.” Larry Avila is an award-winning business journalist based in Appleton.





The news and developments from the year gone by have set the stage for tremendous opportunity among northeast Wisconsin businesses in 2014. In the footsteps of our annual tradition at New North B2B, we proudly present our list of the Top Ten business stories affecting the region’s business community during the past 12 months.

By Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher


KI Convention Center expansion

The now-underway expansion of downtown Green Bay’s KI Convention Center captured the top spot on our top business stories of 2013 list, particularly because of the complex path taken to arrive at the point in which construction finally began last month. The proposal to add more than 35,000 square feet of space to the existing 44,000-sq. ft. facility faced a variety of hurdles to financing the estimated $21 million price tag and working out an agreement with the Clarion Hotel across the street – which was in receivership at the time – and was an integral component to the footprint of the development. In late February, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt reported the governor pledged $2 million in the state’s 2013-15


capital budget toward the expansion project, which will make KI Convention Center the fifth largest convention center in the state. Additional funding came from 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. In an attempt to control its own destiny, the city put in a bid to acquire the nearby 146-room Clarion Hotel out of receivership, and its $2.85 million bid was awarded in late March. The city retained the incumbent management company for the hotel, but ultimately wanted an investor to acquire the hotel and provide a few million dollars in needed upgrades to the property. Such an opportunity cropped up two months later when the management group, American Hospitality Management, pitched a $6.7 million deal to purchase it from the city and provide needed improvements to the hotel, along with the agreement to allow the city to expand the KI Convention Center to the hotel using space above its parking lot. The deal appeared ready for approval, until an unexpected suitor approached city officials in June with plans for a $33 million, 16-story riverfront hotel, restaurant and marina on the site of the Clarion property. The proposal from Michigan-based development firm Edgewater Resources LLC was ultimately turned down by the city’s common council in favor of an upgraded bid from American Hospitality to purchase the hotel for $2.7 million and commit to an additional investment of $5.3 million in upgrades to the hotel. With the remaining loose ends of financing and permitting wrapped up this fall, city officials finally broke ground on the convention center expansion in early December, with plans for the improved facility to open in spring 2015.

YEAR IN REVIEW Readers may have noticed New North B2B’s popular Build Up pages were chock-full of projects during 2013 as a number of manufacturers, commercial developers and retailers constructed new buildings or additions to their existing facilities. The development represented pent up demand for new space which many business owners held off on building until the certainty of an economic turnaround became more evident. Particular growth in new construction occurred in De Pere, which issued permits for 35 commercial, industrial or institutional building projects totaling nearly $29 million. Notable projects from 2013 included: D a $95 million, 240,000-sq. ft. coated products plant for Green Bay Packaging Inc. in Ashwaubenon; D a 47,000-sq. ft. freight service center for Con-way Freight in Fond du Lac; D a 120,000-sq. ft. replacement hospital in Ripon; D a three-story, 70,000-sq. ft. office facility for Navitus Health Solutions on the north side of Appleton; D a 95,000-sq. ft. office building for Foth in De Pere; D a 48,000-sq. ft. industrial facility for Washworld Inc. in De Pere; D a 48,00-sq. ft. addition to AK Pizza Crust’s existing manufacturing facility on Green Bay’s east side; D a 41,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility for Eagle Plastics in Little Chute; D a 50,000-sq. ft. department store for Gordmans in Ashwaubenon; D a 150,000-sq. ft. Costco store in Bellevue; D a 39,000-sq. ft. addition to Infinity Machine’s existing manufacturing facility in De Pere D a 29,000-sq. ft. addition to Galloway Company’s existing dairy processing facility in Neenah; D a 32,000-sq. ft. logistical operations center for Cellcom in Howard; D and a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing training center for Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local 400 in Kaukauna.

Explosive construction growth



Probably the most memorable story of the year was the buckling and eventual closure of the Interstate 43 Leo Frigo Bridge spanning the Fox River in Green Bay on the morning of Sept. 25. State Department of Transportation officials immediately shut down the heavily-traveled highway on Green Bay’s north side to investigate the cause of the sagging bridge, which was ultimately determined to be corrosive steel pilings at the base of two support piers upholding the bridge that sank nearly two feet when the concrete footings buckled. Gov. Scott Walker declared the bridge a disaster, which set in motion the process to receive federal funds to help cover the costs of repairing the bridge. In late October the DOT awarded a Waukesha-based contractor its $7.7 million bid for the repair project, which came in far lower than the initial $50 million estimate transportation officials forecast in late September. Most of the cost of the repairs is expected to be covered by federal transportation funding. Though the bridge closure caused several million dollars in economic losses by rerouting heavy freight and commuter traffic through and around Green Bay, transportation officials expect to have the bridge repaired and reopen to vehicular traffic by Jan. 17.

Leo Frigo Bridge




Thilmany Papers merger


New job creation

Large-scale creation of new jobs always makes headlines in northeast Wisconsin, and 2013 was no different as a variety of employers pulled the trigger on increasing productivity by hiring more employees. Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. added nearly 100 jobs at its Outagamie County Regional Airport facility in Greenville to support work on large-cabin aircraft. In February Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac hired 80 more employees for machining and die-cast positions, adding to the more than 1,000 positions it’s hired since 2011 after merging production from a manufacturing facility it closed


During an era in which Wisconsin’s long heritage of papermaking had been dwindling and its mills sold to foreign investors, this is a story with a positive outcome of a state investment group bringing together four of the largest mills in central and northeast Wisconsin. The result was a newly formed company called Expera Specialty Solutions, which manufactures specialty paper products for the food packaging, industrial and pressure-sensitive release liner segments, and preserved more than a 1,000 high-paid jobs at Thilmany paper mills in De Pere and Kaukauna. In late April Packaging Dynamics Corp., the Chicagobased parent company of Thilmany Papers operations, announced a tentative agreement to sell its De Pere and Kaukauna mills to Expera, a newly organized company controlled by the investment group KPS Capital Partners L.P., which previously agreed to purchase Wausau Paper Corp.’s specialty paper mills in Mosinee and Rhinelander. The agreement required ratification of a new collective bargaining agreement between Expera and the United Steelworkers representing employees at Thilmany, who quickly came to a new four-year labor agreement in early May. With federal regulatory hurdles cleared, the acquisition was completed on May 20, creating a specialty paper manufacturing conglomerate with roughly 1,800 employees at four historic Wisconsin paper mills.

in Oklahoma. In November the marine engine manufacturer announced plans for a $30 million investment which could create an additional 300 jobs at its Fond du Lac operations. Convergys hired 145 additional employees for its office in Greenville to accommodate growing demand from clients in the telecommunications and technology industries, while Alliance Laundry Systems in Ripon announced a $46 million expansion that could create 150 additional jobs. Numerous other employers across the region announced initiatives to hire at least 40 or more employees to accommodate their growth during 2013.



School Specialty bankruptcy


Layoffs across the region

Publicly-held companies based in northeast Wisconsin have been particularly strong in the past decade, leaving many observers surprised when School Specialty Inc. in Greenville filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Jan. 28. The marketer and distributor of educational products sold nearly $495 million in assets to repay $395 million in debt, as well as froze salaries for employees, mandated multiple-week furloughs, and suspended its 401(k) matching program. Shares of School Specialty stock fell to 12 cents on the day of the bankruptcy filing, down 80 percent from its previous day close of 58 cents per share, and down 97 percent from the previous year high of $4.03 achieved in March 2012. The Nasdaq Stock Market delisted School Specialty the following week, and the company began trading its securities over the counter. On June 11 the company successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In doing so, School Specialty was able to obtain more than $320 million in financing from a handful of institutional investment firms.

Even with all the job creation to celebrate when economies improve, there are still employers succumbing to other forces often outside of their control which force layoffs in order to remain competitive. In April Oshkosh Corp. announced plans to lay off nearly 900 employees from its defense division as it approached the end of a multi-year, multi-billion-dollar contract with the U.S. Defense Department to provide military transport vehicles for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The job cuts didn’t amount to nearly as much, as the company saved manufacturing jobs by insourcing work previously conducted by vendors and won other military contracts during the course of the year. The decrease in work from Oshkosh Corp. impacted many of its local vendors as well, driving AxleTech International to lay off 65 employees from its Oshkosh heavy-duty vehicle axle manufacturing facility. Consolidation had an impact on layoffs as well. R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. closed its Greenville printing plant in April, effectively laying off its 47 employees. Other large-scale layoffs included cuts of at least 225 jobs at Ministry Health Care, the parent organization of Menasha-based Affinity Health Care, as a result of declining patient volumes and a reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates. APAC Customer Service Inc. in downtown Green Bay trimmed 282 positions from its call center operations due to the loss of business from a major wireless communications provider.


School referenda supported

Though more notable in other years as a result of larger districts approving larger building projects, the referenda passed by voters in a few northeast Wisconsin school districts during 2013 were nonetheless important infrastructure improvements within their respective communities. In Menasha, voters authorized a $29.9 million package to expand and renovate Menasha High School. The project includes two separate additions totaling more than 46,000 square feet of educational space for science, music and art programs. The improvements are expected to be complete by September 2015. In the nearby Hortonville Area School District, residents passed a measure to borrow $25.4 million to construct a new primary grade school in Greenville, as well as smaller projects to build a new transportation facility, expand the middle school and renovate the high school. All construction efforts are expected to be complete in time for the start of the coming 2014-15 school year. Voters in Pulaski finally approved one of four measures to improve its schools after two previous requests were denied. Voters narrowly approved borrowing $4.4 million for building repairs and security upgrades across the district, but emphatically turned down three other referenda totaling almost $22 million related to a new swimming pool, new technology, building and classroom renovations, and enhanced spending authority for regular operations. In November 2012, Pulaski voters overwhelmingly rejected a $33 million spending plan which packaged all of the items together into one singular request.




A perennial entry on our list for the past few years, progress on the multi-year, half-billion-dollar improvement plan to northeast Wisconsin’s transportation aorta is entering the fourth quarter with an eye on completion in two years. The 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 2013, transportation officials: z Completed the $54 million project to expand U.S. 41 to six lanes across the Lake Butte des Morts Causeway near Oshkosh. z Began work on the reconstruction of the Lineville Road interchange near Howard and Suamico, a project slated for completion by May 2015. z Began work on the reconstruction of the Interstate 43 and Velp Road interchanges in Green Bay, both projects scheduled for completion by December 2016. z Continued efforts on the $97 million reconstruction of the U.S. 41/WIS 29 interchange near Green Bay, a project scheduled to be complete this October. z Began work on the reconstructions of the WIS 172 interchange in Ashwaubenon, which will continue until mid-2015. z Demolished and began reconstruction of the Hansen Road overpass in Ashwaubenon. z Continued mainline improvements to six lanes between Grant Street in De Pere to 9th Avenue in Green Bay.


U.S. Highway 41 project moves forward

State surplus higher than expected

As early as last January, the state’s Legislative Fiscal Bureau projected Wisconsin state government would end its two-year fiscal biennium on June 30 with at least a nine-figure surplus, a 180-degree turnaround from the more than $3 billion deficit Wisconsin faced just two years earlier. By May, a revision to that forecast from the Legislative Fiscal Bureau projected the surplus to be as large as $543 million. When the state Department of Administration finally released its Annual Fiscal Report for Wisconsin’s 2012-13 fiscal year in late October, it reported a surplus of $759 million, an indication that an improving economy was helping generate higher than anticipated tax revenues. As a result of the unexpected windfall, state officials deposited $153.2 million into the state’s rainy day fund, the largest contribution to the fund in state history, making the balance in the fund at $278.5 million, also the highest balance in the history of the state. Less than a week later, the state legislature approved a measure to provide $100 million in property tax relief, which was applied to all property tax bills mailed out this past December.



2013 Honorable Mention

Proposed Fox Cities Expo Center moves ahead

The uncertainty surrounding the centerpiece of the proposed Fox Cities Expo Center in downtown Appleton became a bit clearer as the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel emerged from receivership with its new owners committing to an extended operating agreement. In January Miami-based real estate investment firm LNR Partners purchased the hotel for $17.8 million and the Holiday Inn Neenah Riverwalk for $2.8 million through a sheriff’s auction. LNR had been the lead investor for both of the distressed properties. By August, the investment group reached an agreement with Fox Cities Exhibition Center to operate the proposed expo center for 25 years, a critical component of the overall development.

Harrison incorporates as a village

A new municipality was born in northeast Wisconsin this past year when residents of the Town of Harrison voted to incorporate a northwest portion of the town known as Darboy into a newly-chartered village. The measure passed in a referendum by a 9-to-1 margin and follows nearly two years of legal battles with neighboring municipalities and a review from the state. Residents elected Jim Salm as the Village of Harrison’s first president.

Affordable Care Act woes

Known to most critics as ObamaCare, the embattled Affordable Care Act continued to face rough waters in 2013, which cast even more uncertainty for employers who will pay the majority of the federal health insurance plan’s cost. In early July, the U.S. Treasury announced it’s delaying implementation of the provision of the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to provide health insurance for workers or pay a penalty from the end of 2014 until the end of 2015. Then in early October, the highly publicized failure of the enrollment website left millions of Americans doubting the federal government’s ability to run a nationalscale health insurance program.

Mining efforts move forward

Hotly contested during 2012, efforts to streamline the permitting process for iron ore mining in Wisconsin were legislated early this past year and finally signed into law by Gov. Scott Walker in March, paving the way for Gogebic Taconite to develop an open-pit mine in Ashland and Iron counties which is expected to create 1,000 jobs statewide with an annual economic impact of $1.2 billion.

Downtown Green Bay Walmart battle

A heavily discussed topic later in the year, Walmart’s proposal to construct a store on the site of the Larsen Green industrial complex in Green Bay’s Broadway district would have made the Top Ten if more would have happened, but so far there’s been no movement either way on the development. Backed by Mayor Jim Schmitt, a contingent of shop owners in the On Broadway district have vowed to fight the development through the city’s permitting processes. Others support the proposal as a means of rejuvenating commerce for downtown residents. Both sides continue to discuss the matter with Walmart officials.

Oneida Seven Generations dissolution

Oneida Tribal members voted in December to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations Corp., a company created to promote business and economic development for the Oneida, after several key tribal leaders became critical of the company’s operations, including a failed attempt to develop a trash-burning pyloric gasification electricity-generating plant in Ashwaubenon and in Green Bay. More than 350 tribal members signed a petition back in September seeking the referendum to dissolve the organization.

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Photo by Michael Bina

Bob Dean, chairman of the board of Dean Distributing, Inc. in Green Bay.

Dean of tuition reimbursement

Green Bay employer builds company leadership by creating a culture of continuing education Story by Michael Bina



CFO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and then they leave us? CEO: What happens if we don’t and they stay? His title was summer helper. He drove a truck and delivered beer. Last month, Ken Eggen’s title became president of Dean Distributing Inc. in Green Bay, the giant Budweiser distributor serving much of northeast Wisconsin – a long row to hoe for the former summer help.

Finding direction

After high school, Eggen drove off to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire like many of his classmates. It didn’t last long. “I really didn’t know what I wanted to do at college besides… drink beer?” Eggen joked. He turned around and headed home to enroll at UW-Green Bay the following spring. He still didn’t know what he wanted to do, but at least he was closer to some home cooking. That summer, Eggen enrolled at Dean U. and his real education began. As a summer helper, Eggen had a good job with a growing company. He was after all, The Beer Man – a heady title for any young person. The patch on his sleeve said it all: Bud Man. Not only was he doing honest work by delivering fresh product to thirsty people, he was also learning a lot about the real world. He did not return to UW-Green Bay for the fall semester. As a young, ambitious employee in a growing business, Eggen had many opportunities to do a lot, learn a lot, and look for even more to do. About the same time, Dean Distributing was also looking to do more and grow. To help matters, it was a time when higher education programs at many campuses started preparing for the coming wave of returning adults. After his four-year hiatus from schooling, Eggen returned to UWGB. Slinging beer all day, he started slinging books from 6 to 9 p.m. at night school. “I always wanted a degree,” he said. The timing wasn’t quite right for continuing his education right out of high school, but as his career continued advancing in the real world, he realized the time for more education became right.

Smart investment

To grow the business and reach its goals, the Dean family knew it would be important to make continuing investments in developing its people. It’s one thing to invest in a truck or two and a new warehouse on Green Bay’s east side, but the

family made a commitment to invest in its collective business intelligence. And not just invest by throwing a few dollars into it, but by encouraging a culture of education throughout the organization. “I had just returned to school myself,” said Bob Dean, who last month stepped aside as president and handed the baton to Eggen, though he continues to remain active with the company as chairman of the board. “And at the same time, we finished a complete reorganization of the business. We flattened it out so we weren’t so top-down and realized that we were going to need smarter people to run it – and grow it.” The Dean boys – Bob and his brother, Jimmy – were sensitive to the legacy their father Russell created. To sustain the business – and grow it successfully into the future – the Dean boys got busy about education, developing a robust tuition reimbursement program. “We had a lot of good people, but not a lot of college degrees,” Dean said of his staff a few decades back. “Kenny (Eggen) and a couple of guys recognized the opportunity we presented, and they ran with it. Kenny carried it through all the way. He was our star at that.” Eggen took full advantage of Dean’s educational reimbursement dollars and organizational support. At a point 20 years after he dropped out of college, Eggen graduated with a bachelor’s degree from UW-Green Bay. He wasn’t finished. After a brief hiatus from the classroom to “catch my breath,” Eggen enrolled in the master’s degree program in management at UWGB. Three years later, he proudly hung his master’s degree on the wall. Today, he’s president of the company.

Continuing the tradition

At the same time Eggen was growing and expanding his knowledge and skills, Dean Distributing was growing, too – from 15 to 115 employees during that span, it also expanded into 12 counties in northeastern Wisconsin and distributed more than 3 million cases of product each year. Eggen is a huge proponent of the Dean education philosophy. “We want our people to grow personally and professionally,” Eggen said. “And the adult degree program – at UWGB anyway – is aligned with that.” As president, Eggen is a cheerleader for education and mentors employees on the benefits of continuing education and what it might mean for them personally and professionally, as well as what it means for Dean, too. “Now that Kenny is president,” Bob Dean said, “I assume he’s going to push it, and he’s in a position now to push it.” Eggen also has the unique experience to know what it takes to NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 35

EDUCATION get the degree and the empathy to know how difficult it is to work a job, go to school, raise a family, and have a life. “There is a fear factor in going back to school,” Dean said. “‘Can I do this? Am I college material? Will I better myself? My family? My job?’” The new president of Dean Distributing – the first nonfamily president of Dean – has some good answers to all those questions.

Helping working adults get degrees

Christina Trombley is director of the adult degree programs at UW-Green Bay. “We focus on the competencies and skills employers tell us are in demand – critical thinking, creativity, communication – skills that help turn employees into problem solvers,” she said. It all appears to be a good fit for employers’ needs. “Adults are going back to school,” said Eric Craver, director of external relations at UW-Green Bay. “The economy is part of it, but there is a significant shift in the workforce. We’re also seeing many younger workers starting to return to school.” UW-Green Bay’s adult degree program graduated 22 students in 2003. This year, 149 students will graduate with a bachelor’s degree. Part of the reason for the growth is that going back to school has become so much more convenient. “We’re doing a better job promoting the program,” Craver said. “We’ve partnered with the technical (college) campuses. We’ve increased course offerings and we’re 95 percent online. The first time some of our students step on our campus is the

Photo by Michael Biina

From left: Dean President Ken Ebben, Director of Human Resources Kathy Van Hemelryk, IT Director Molly McGee and Sales Director Joshua Dean. day they graduate.” UW-Green Bay graduate Erica Plaza is the marketing and recruitment director at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, and earned her master’s degree in management at the same time as Eggen. They worked on many class projects together. “It was a personal goal to get my masters, but I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the financial support of my employers,” she said. “They helped me greatly.” Plaza was also grateful for the school’s strong support of her studies.

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EDUCATION “The faculty at UWGB gave me the flexibility to make my program applicable to my current role,” she said. Eggen concurred. “We had projects at Dean that ran perfectly parallel to the program,” he said. “Dr. Harris’ focus on organizational development and organizational change was certainly applicable in today’s changing business environment. In Dr. Russ’ class on strategic management, I drew up a succession plan for Dean.” For his master’s thesis, Eggen created the corporate emergency plan for Dean Distributing. He enlisted all six department heads at Dean to help him create it. Obviously, investing in Eggen’s education was an excellent investment for Dean Distributing.

A worthwhile investment

Kevin Quinn is associate academic dean at St. Norbert College in De Pere. “In the New North, many businesses offer tuition reimbursement as a significant employee benefit,” he said. “Employers realize that an employee who is bright enough, motivated enough and hard-working enough to want to further their education is exactly the kind of person most likely to contribute meaningfully to the organization’s goals. Tuition reimbursement is an important benefit and employers understand that it is an effective tool to attract and keep them.” Jaci Stephan is a recruiter at Aerotek Commercial Staffing in Appleton, where she manages of group of recruiters as well as several clients in northeast Wisconsin. This spring, Stephan will graduate with her bachelor’s degree in general studies from Western Illinois University with a minor in marketing. “The degree wasn’t required for my position, but it’s something I always wanted,” she said. “It’s important because when I tell my two daughters that they need to go to college, it will give me something to stand on.” After Stephan finishes her last four credits – all of which have been online – she is toying with the idea of pursuing a master’s degree in instructional design and technology. She wants to use the training to help her company develop internal training and education programs. Aerotek will be there to help her with a reimbursement check. “This won’t be a surprise to readers of this magazine,” Quinn added, “but business leaders have a clear sense of obligation to our communities. One way this manifests itself is by supporting employees’ education. Not only is a better educated employee more productive, it makes for a better community. Promoting professional and personal development is practicing both good business and good social responsibility.”

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Giving back at Dean

The community is benefiting from Eggen’s education. He gives back to the university as an active member of the executive committee of the school’s alumni association. He’s also a vocal proponent of continuing education within the organization and within the community. After affording so many employees the opportunity to earn a college degree, Bob Dean himself is finally well on his way NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014 l 37


Tuition reimbursement is an important benefit and employers understand that it is an effective tool to attract and keep them.

Kevin Quinn, associate academic dean, St. Norbert College to getting his degree in communications, although he joked he probably won’t be reimbursing himself for his tuition. Like Eggen, Dean dropped out of school to drive a truck, raise a family and grow the family business. He too, eventually, became president. Does the president of a hugely successful company really need a degree after the fact? “I made a promise to my wife and my kids,” Dean said. “It’s challenging and stimulating for me, and with Kenny as president, I have less to do around here. I’m thinking I might even get my master’s degree after I graduate.” “Ours isn’t The Dean Family Education Program,” he said, “but I know my nephews Josh and Kyle will take advantage and get their master’s degree paid for by the company. My kids will, too, if they join Dean. However, this program is for our entire Dean Distributing family. We need educated, skilled people to grow in the future.” That sentiment was perhaps best summarized during December’s New North Summit by keynote speaker Ed Gordon,

a nationally-renown expert on workforce issues. “Skills are the new currency,” Gordon said. “We need more well-educated and well-skilled Americans. For the first time in history, the generation retiring is better educated than the generation that follows.” Employers, and their employees, hope to turn that trend around one credit at a time. Michael Bina took a more traditional route. Four years after high school, he graduated from UW-Madison. He spent the next 30 years in the real world as both an employer and an employee in the public relations world. Today, he shares his broad experiences as a CyberProf in UW-Green Bay’s adult education program. He teaches Intro to Communication as well as Principles of Public Relations and Corporate Communication, both online.

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

Brown County

Sports Convention INC., Scott Van Den Heuvel, 940 Oak St., De Pere 54115. Beno Delivery INC., Jason Beno, 1778 Geneva St., De Pere 54115. Liquid Designs LLC, Troy Retzlaff, 4651 Sportsman Dr., De Pere 54115. Evolution Machine Works LLC, Daniel Paquette, 4248 Monroe Road, De Pere 54115. Wisconsin Marketing Resources and Publishing LLC, Dolph C. Popp, 1601 Swan Road, De Pere 54115. DSD Custom Freight LLC, Crystal L. Wood, 3703 W. County Road BB, Denmark 54208. DJ CNC Repair LLC, David M. Jahnke, 2389 Josten Park Dr., Green Bay 54311. Done Right Construction LLC, Brian Allen Schmulske, 509 Phoebe St. Lower, Green Bay 54303. Quality First Home Building LLC, Michael Kolar, 3494 Mardon Lane, Green Bay 54313. Bay Insulation Systems INC., Arnold W. Schmidt, 2929 Walker Dr., Green Bay 54308. Glassfed Gallery LLC, Jedd Andrew Jones, 1339 Lawe St., Green Bay 54301. Artisan Floorworks LLC, Patrick John Casey, Jr., 2575 Pecan St., Green Bay 54311. Zastrow Chiropractic Office LLC, Michael L. Zastrow, 1624 E. Mason St., Green Bay 54302. Statt Payee Services LLC, Stacy Lynn Dallaire, 1190 Mount Mary Dr., Green Bay 54311. Hucek Home Services LLC, Jay Joseph Hucek, 1319 0ak Crest Dr., Green Bay 54313. Flip-Side Homes LLC, Timothy T. Cook, 1015 Challenger Ct., Green Bay 54313. Wiinamaki Design LLC, Jess T. Wiinamaki, 3205 Howard View Lane, Green Bay 54307. New Hope Counseling Services LLC, Lisa Marie Woznick, 2701 Larsen Road, Green Bay 54303. Mavid Construction LLC, Edward N. Martin, 1642 Western Ave., Green Bay 54303. Therapeutic Relaxation Massage By Misty LLC, Misty Marie Derenne, 1270 Main St., Green Bay 54302. Freedom Bay Media LLC, Thomas M. Verboncouer, 101 S. Military Ave., Green Bay 54303. Aim Marketing Group LLC, Jeff Larson, 3647 Glenbrooke Lane, Green Bay 54301. Appliance Parts Anywhere LLC, Scott W. Schartner, 1668R Morrow St., Green Bay 54302. Quality Computer Fix LLC, William I. Harter, 2659 Trojan Dr., Green Bay 54304. My Fat Bike Tours LLC, Andy Kaye, 5157 Edgewater Beach Road, Green Bay 54311. Mari Rimple CPA LLC, Mari Rimple, 1039 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54303. Petroleum Testing Services LLC, Michael Patrick McDonald, 4840 Isabella Cir., Hobart 54155. Centered Massage LLC, Carolyn Mary Tordeur, 3011 Holland Road, New Franken 54229. Sweet Changes Construction LLC, Mark M. Beerntsen, 1173 Coventry Ct., Suamico 54173. 40 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014

Grey Dog Textile Company LLC, Design A La Mode INC., 1756 Riverside Dr., Suamico 54173.

Fond du Lac County

Laconia Youth Basketball Club INC., Deanna Theyerl, W13278 State Road 44, Brandon 53919. The Corner Bar LLC, Michelle Ina Clark, 580 N. Lockin, Brandon 53919. Zimmerman’s Motorworks LLC, Anthony C. Zimmerman, W2855 County Road H, Eden 53019. Mielkeway Educational Services LLC, Ann Marie Mielke, 759 Glenwood Dr., Fond du Lac 54935. Inferno Hydroprint LLC, Patrick James Riley, 241 Weis Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. The Voice And Acting Studio LLC, Theresa Menting, 76 Western Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. J&L Willow Farm LLC, John Zeleske, W6262 Willow Lawn Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Bob And Bonnie’s Donuts LLC, Daniel Fishelson, 54A Halbach Ct., Fond du Lac 54937. Carlone’s Bar LLC, Michael Carlone, N8301 Abler Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Koenigs Electronic Processing Services LLC, Kari Koenigs, W2697 Golf Course Dr., Mt. Calvary 53057. The Classic Chauffeur LLC, Jay Dee Graff, 18 Taylor St., Waupun 53963.

Outagamie County

Marquette Jewelry By NPR LLC, Natalie Parfenoff Rechner, 1819 E. Marquette St., Appleton 54911. Pickett Farms LLC, Ag Investors LLC, Berg Farms LLC and Fairway Acres LLC, Steven K. Wieckert, 3033 W. Spencer St., Appleton 54914. United States National Defense Force Support Command INC., Chong Kao Xiong, 121 E. Norfolk Pl., Appleton 54911. Missionaries Of The Word INC., Peggy J. Duemling, 536 W. Lingbergh St., Appleton 54911. Lynne M. Krebs CRNA S.C., Lynne M. Krebs, 200 E. Washington St., Appleton 54912. App Development INC., Brian Murray, W6110 Aerotech Dr., Appleton 54914. Pagonis Restaurant INC., Cayetano Husbaldo Dominguez Silva, 1930 S. Telulah Ave., Appleton 54915. Van Asten Lawn Rolling LLC, Pamela V. Schiedermeyer, W2882 Oakridge Dr., Appleton 54915. Sweet Smiles Family Dentistry LLC, Andrew J. Rossmeissl, 800 N. Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. Wilson Financial LLC, Timothy Wilson, N509 Duck A Way Ct., Appleton 54915. Valley Medical Billing LLC, Sara A. Sickels, 528 E. Fremont St., Appleton 54915. Peerless Design Studio LLC, Cassidy Evers, 903 W. Lorain St., Appleton 54914. Hunan 1 INC., Meng Kui Wang, 220 E. College Ave., Appleton 54911. RN Partners On Call LLC, Shannon Beth Paulson, 311 N. Casaloma Dr., P.O. Box 72, Appleton 54912. Accurate Home Maintenance & Repair LLC, Richard A. Hall Jr., 1838 W. Pine St., Appleton 54914. Pencils & Pixels LLC, Nicole Marie Argall, 309 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton 54913. Tri-County Volunteer Rescue Squad INC., Timothy J. Stutzman, 520 Jefrey St., Combined Locks 54113. Fox Valley Family Eye Care S.C., Matthew Schuller, N2801 State Road 55, Freedom 54130.

WHO’S NEWS Affordable Rental & Storage LLC, Michael J. Gonnering, W7941 Grandview Road, Hortonville 54944. Howard Piano Industries LLC, Steve Howard, W8918 Spring Road, Hortonville 54944. Fox Valley Trucking LLC, Justin Noel, W2290 Block Road, Kaukauna 54130. X-Treme Transport LLC, Travis Nelson, 2001 Hyland Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Byproduct Recycling LLC, George J. Fickau, W. 239 Deering Lane, Kaukauna 54130. Serenity Home Health Agency LLC, Tracie Houa Hang, 816 Schelfhout Lane, Kimberly 54136.

Winnebago County

Baar Flooring LLC, Charles Andre Baar, 1008 Claude St., Menasha 54952. Impact Martial Arts LLC, Christopher T. Baardsen, 2606 Grassy Lane, Neenah 54956. Angell Mechanical LLC, Don Angell, 1386 Harvestmoon Dr., Neenah 54956. Stoneybridge Stables LLC, Jennie Griese, 1485 County Road JJ, Neenah 54956. Thomas Miller Marketing LLC, Robert W. Holliday, 327 Overland Tr., Oshkosh 54904. Numisma Publishing LLC, Mark Ferguson, 1100 Merritt Ave., Oshkosh 54903. Karni Pier Manufacturing LLC, Barb J. Perzentka, 901 S. Main St., Oshkosh 54902.

Building permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Walgreens, 1060 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac. $2,149,012 for a new retail building and pharmacy. General contractor is North Central Construction of Fond du Lac. October 22. Holland Cold Storage, 3600 Electric City Blvd., Kaukauna. A 42,615sq. ft. addition to the existing warehousing facility for more cold storage. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. November 1. Curwood Wisconsin, 2301 Industrial Dr., Neenah. $13,000,000 for major interior renovations to all floors of the existing industrial facility and offices. General contractor is C.R. Meyer of Oshkosh. November 4. Roberts Homes, 1315 S. Main St., Fond du Lac. $726,000 for a new office building. Self contracted. November 6. A.P. Nonweiler, 3321 County Road A, Oshkosh. $1,100,000 for a 16,100-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is C.R. Meyer of Oshkosh. November 6. Jet Air Group, 1921 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon. $1,235,215 for a 32,375sq. ft. aviation hangar with additional office space and a repair center. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. November 14. Community First Credit Union, 3282 Eaton Road, Bellevue. $1,800,000 for a 6,705-sq. ft. financial institution office. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. November 25.

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WHO’S NEWS Mergers/acquisitions


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Faith Technologies in Menasha acquired CSS Power, a Verona-based provider of critical power and infrastructure solutions. The more than 20 CSS Power employees have become part of Faith Technologies.

Name changes Appleton-based Stellar Blue Web Design, LLC changed its name to Stellar Blue Technologies, and also changed its web address to www.

New locations Batley CPA, LLC moved its Neenah office from South Green Bay Road to the Jersild Building at 333 N. Commercial St., Ste. 175 in Neenah. Waterstone Mortgage opened a new location at 356 S. Koeller St. in Oshkosh.

New products/services

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Independent Printing in De Pere is offering custom packaging solutions under the name Independent Packaging, focusing on mid-range production of paperboard packaging for specialty manufacturers. Products include folding cartons; shirt, tote and tuck boxes; product sleeves; and custom packaging creations. Visionary Business Solutions, Inc. in Ashwaubenon launched its Time Center software application enabling business owners to manage employee time sheets and overall productivity through clock in/clock out procedures. The web-enabled, client/server-based software can use cell phone, biometric, password or PIN-tracking methods to generate various employee productivity reports.

Family Owned Commercial Cleaning and Building Maintenance Provider

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Business honors J. F. Ahern in Fond du Lac received the following industry recognitions recently: ranked No. 14 on Plumbing & Mechanical magazine’s annual list of Pipe Trades Giants, in addition to ranking fourth largest in both the fire protection and water/wastewater categories; ranked No. 7 on Engineering News-Record magazine’s list of the Midwest’s Top Specialty Contractors, in addition to ranking fifth largest in both the mechanical and sheet metal revenue categories; and ranked No. 127 on ENR’s list of Top 200 Environmental Firms and was the top Wisconsin-owned firm on the list.

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WHO’S NEWS Kondex Corp. in Lomira received an AE50 Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers for its draper drive roller improvements. The annual award is given to 50 companies worldwide that present innovative designs in engineering products or systems for the food and agriculture industries.

New hires Network Health in Menasha hired Mark Bradley as its commercial product development manager. Bradley has 27 years of insurance experience, most recently as director of product development for USAble Life/Life Ventures in Little Rock, Ark. Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. hired Nathan G. Hurlbut as an attorney in the firm’s corporate practice group in the Green Bay office. While at the University of Wisconsin Law School, Hurlbut worked with the UW Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic providing legal services to small businesses and entrepreneurs. Spark Advertising in Neenah hired Aaron Graff as its creative director and Chase Baker as a graphic artist. Graff comes to Spark with 10 years of agency experience, including a previous position with Spark. Baker has experience with typography, sketching, illustration and video animation. The Schaefer Behnke Financial Group in Oshkosh hired Megan Kok as its business development and marketing manager. Kok most recently served as member relations manager for the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Appvion, Inc. in Appleton hired Matt Denton as senior vice president and general manager of the company’s carbonless and security papers business, and Jason Schulist as vice president of continuous improvement. Denton has more than 25 years of strategic and financial management experience in the paper industry including vice president roles with RockTenn Company, Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. He is a certified public accountant. Schulist most recently served as director of major enterprise projects for DTE Energy in Detroit for the past three years. He also spent 12 years with General Motors leading various improvement efforts. Directions Marketing in Neenah hired Lisa Gaupp as an account executive. Gaupp has 14 years of account management experience, most recently with Marriott International and Thrivent Financial. Choice Bank in Oshkosh hired Bill Kahl as assistant vice president - compliance officer. Kahl has 29 years of experience in the banking industry, having previously served as director of compliance services at FIPCO. He is a certified regulatory compliance manager.




Touchmark in Appleton hired Rachel Watkins-Petersen as a life enrichment/wellness director. She previously worked as a teacher and ran an in-home daycare. Bank First hired Bill Bradley as vice president of business banking for its Oshkosh-Fox Valley region office. Bradley has more than 15 years banking experience in the region. Faith Technologies in Menasha hired Stephen Stubbs as director of total rewards, Josh Brown as vice president of preconstruction, and Michael Thompson as automation and process controls group manager. Stubbs has more than 20 years experience working in human resources, most recently as director of compensation and benefits for an automotive finance company. Brown has 39 years of industry experience, most recently as vice president of instrumentation and industrial services for Sachs Electric Company. Brown also owned a control systems firm, which he sold to Sachs. Thompson has 18 years of industry experience in systems engineering with a specialty in automation and process controls. Get Connected Counseling, LLC in Appleton hired Jodi Gonzales as an art therapist. Gonzales most recently served as a primary therapist and art therapist at a residential treatment facility for women and adolescents with eating disorders, and has worked in several day shelter programs for adults with developmental disabilities and mental illness. Schenck hired the following new employees: Ashley Basom at the Appleton office as a scheduling and workflow coordinator; Cheryl Dickman at the Fond du Lac office as director of first impressions; Kelsey Guth at the Fond du Lac office as an administrative assistant; LeeAnn LeDuc at the Green Bay office as an associate accountant; and Scott Thomas at the Appleton office as a service desk technician. Breakthrough Fuel in Green Bay hired Kelly Williams as vice president for business development. Williams previously worked as a general manager for national accounts at Schneider National, Inc. in Ashwaubenon. BCI Burke in Fond du Lac hired Randy Flint as vice president of sales and marketing. Flint has nearly 20 years of sales and management experience in the recreational market, having most recently served as director of global sales for Waterplay Solutions in British Columbia.

Promotions Directions Marketing in Neenah promoted Deborah England to accounting supervisor. St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton promoted Heather Schimmers to vice president of patient care services. Schimmers has been a nurse for





BUSINESS CALENDAR 17 years and previously directed operations for Perioperative Services, Women and Families, Pain Clinic at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh. Appleton-based A-mazing Events, LLC promoted Autumn Grimm to marketing and events designer. Faith Technologies in Menasha promoted Courtney Johnson to director of talent management and Bob Graves to director of estimating. Johnson has been with Faith Technologies since 2007 and most recently held the role of senior human resources business partner. Graves has been with Faith Technologies since 1986 and most recently held the role of regional estimating manager.

Elections/appointments Sherry D. Coley, an attorney with Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. in Green Bay, was elected chairperson of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Board of Governors for a 1-year term. Coley is a member of Godfrey & Kahn’s litigation practice group.




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 7 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email January 8 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at The Marq, 2310 Lineville Road in Suamico. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email




The Face of a Keller Customer Our Valued Customer.

Without them we would be nothing. This is the face of our company we treasure most. The big smile on the face of someone we just helped to expand their business, remodel their office or build them a business where they can be more productive, effective and happy. People like Al Zierler, CEO of Capital Credit Union, who has chosen Keller for 12 building projects across Northeast Wisconsin. Al has a face we love, not only because it has a big smile, but because time and time again he trusts the design/build experts at Keller to put that smile on his face. We are Employee-Owned, Design/Build Experts. But don’t just take us at face value, call today and experience for yourself the difference that is Keller, Inc.

Al Zierle r, CEO Capital C redit Un ion

Construction Excellence Since 1960

1.800.236.2534 l Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau 44 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2014


FACE of Keller

BUSINESS CALENDAR January 8 Women in Management – Fox Cities Chapter monthly meeting, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fox Banquets & Rivertyme Catering, 111 E. Kimball St. in Appleton. For more information or to register, go online to www.wimiwi. org or email

January 23 A.M. Oshkosh, a morning networking opportunity from Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Oshkosh Public Museum, 1331 Algoma Blvd. in Oshkosh. Cost to attend is $2, and registration is required by going online to or calling 920.303.2266.

January 9 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 on social media. For more information or to register, go online to or email Patty at

January 30 Labor Management Council of Northeast Wisconsin - Health Care Options Seminar, 8 to 11:30 a.m. at Plumbers & Steamfitters Hall, 2700 Northridge Dr. in Kaukauna. For more information, go online to www. or email

January 14 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

February 4 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email

January 14 Imagination Network of Wisconsin, 5 to 7 p.m. at Elks Club, 33 Sheboygan St. in Fond du Lac. No cost to attend. For more information visit www. January 15 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Regus, 4321 W. College Ave., Ste. 200 in Appleton. For more info or to register, call 920.734.7101 or go online to January 16 Oshkosh West Side Association annual meeting, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at La Sure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. Event will include a panel of area developers sharing current trends in commercial, retail and residential growth. No cost to attend, but registration is required by emailing or calling 920.424.4260.

Better Business Bureau New Members

Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during November 2013

CertaPro Painters of Northeast Wisconsin, Green Bay Howie Voigt’s Appliance Service Center, div. of VanVreede TV & Appliance, Inc. , Grand Chute Kee Construction, Neenah Nick Holtger Construction Corporation, Oconto Falls Open Road Harley Davidson, Fond du Lac Pilgrim Recycling, Inc., Kaukauna Security-Luebke Roofing, Inc., Kaukauna Shefchiks’ Energy Services, Green Bay Van Vreede TV & Appliance, Inc., Appleton

Advertiser Index ASB Fragmental Projects 39 Alberts & Heling CPAs 37 Bank First National 26 Bayland Buildings 14 Better Business Bureau 41 Borsche Roofing Professionals 42 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin 11 Capital Credit Union 9 CitizensFirst Credit Union . ............................ 22 Clean Image Janitorial 42 Coldwell Banker The Real Estate Group 36 Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 5 Fast Signs 41 First Business Bank .................................... 20 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ................... 19 Fox Valley Savings Bank 21 Guident Business Solutions 26 Horicon Bank ............................................. 37

J. F. Ahern Co. ................................................. 21 Keller Inc. ................................................... 44 Marian University 38 National Exchange Bank & Trust 2 Network Health ......................................... 47 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council 13 NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development 48 Oshkosh Business Expo 39 Oshkosh West Side Association 39 Outagamie County Regional Airport ................ 27 Pamco Executive Suites 8 Pioneer Credit Union 30 R&R Steel Construction Company Inc. 12 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries 10 Thome Benefit Solutions 7 UW-Oshkosh College of Business 46 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ..................... 36


KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

December 22 $ 3.16

December 15 $3.15

$3.13 $3.17 Dec. 22, 2012 $3.23 December 8 December 1

Source: New North B2B observations




from October


from November 2012 November FY2014

$1.272 billion


from November FY2013


$432.3 billion


from October


from November 2012

October Sept. Oct. ‘12

Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin

(2007 = 100)




from October


from November 2012 (Manufacturers and trade)


$1,691 billion

0.7 %

from September


6.9% 6.6% 7.3% 6.6% 6.0% 5.7%

7.2% 6.7% 7.4% 7.1% 6.4% 5.9%

7.0% 6.5% 7.9% 7.7% 6.1% 5.9%

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

December $0.745 November $0.761 Dec. 2012 $0.799 Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)

November October

57.3 56.4

from October 2012

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January 2014  

Regional business magazine, marketing, business news, information

January 2014  

Regional business magazine, marketing, business news, information