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Business Intelligence for the New North

ten of


the new north

Perspectives and reflections on the past decade of regional economic development efforts across northeast Wisconsin

Vitality Index 2015 Manufacturing Top Ten of 2014 Year in Review

January 2015 | $3.95


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Business Intelligence for the New North

January Features 16


The New North at 10

Perspectives and reflections on the past decade of regional economic development efforts across northeast Wisconsin


Vital Signs

2015 report shows region’s manufacturers poised for growth, but still struggle with workforce issues



Top Ten of 2014

Our list of the Top Ten stories affecting the region’s business community in the past year


Comparing health care costs

Our annual chart of procedures common to employers in the region





Departments 4

From the Publisher


Since We Last Met

10 Build Up Pages 37

Professionally Speaking

38 Who’s News 43 Business Calendar 44 Advertising Index 45 Guest Commentary 46 Key Statistics

NNB2B | January 2015 | 3

From the Publisher

A Better Bottom Line in 2015, too? With economy clearly improving, Walker’s focus for the next term is on enhancing state’s workforce, not just growing it Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made job creation the rallying call of his 2010 campaign. When he pursued his second re-election campaign this past fall, Walker tweaked his battle cry for more skilled workers in Wisconsin. Not that job creation isn’t still important. But after taking lumps from Democrats about the failure to live up to his campaign pledge of creating 250,000 jobs in the state by the end of 2014, Walker realized in late 2013 that a quality workforce was better than having a plethora of high-caliber jobs in the state that might go unfilled if there aren’t sufficient job applicants to fill such positions. It’s a sentiment Walker echoed during one of his first visits to northeast Wisconsin following his November re-election to address the New North Summit on Dec. 2. “Four years ago I would have said jobs, jobs, jobs. I take that a step further – now I say workforce, workforce, workforce,” Walker said. “We don’t have a jobs problem. We have a work problem. And a skills problem.” The trend in state and regional unemployment numbers speak for themselves during the last 18 months, indicating jobs are much more readily available now in Wisconsin than at any time over the past six years. Now many employers are asking, “Where are the job applicants?” In the past few months I’ve heard from dozens of business owners who can’t find dependable people to fill open positions at their growing companies. Many of those jobs aren’t necessarily even skilled positions. “I just need 20 bodies with a pulse who can pass a drug test,” one manufacturer told me in mid-December. Another service industry business owner told me his trials of finding good candidates to fill open jobs at his business. “They look good on their application (or resume.) They interview well. And then they can’t pass a criminal background check.” Those concerns don’t even rise to the level of being considered “soft skills,” representing an entirely different set of impediments to economic growth from the sorely lacking soft skill sets lamented by industry leaders in this year’s Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Vitality Index. Manufacturers across the New North region say hiring for work ethic, work attendance, teamwork and communication ability is as high now as ever before, yet a sound majority of those participating in the index’s most recent survey say filling general labor positions is becoming as difficult as filling skilled positions requiring higher education or other technical training. Read about this year’s manufacturing 4 | January 2015 | NNB2B

index more in depth in the article appearing on page 22 of this issue of New North B2B. With these significant challenges in mind, Walker’s attention to making 2014 the “Year of A Better Bottom Line” resulted in a variety of new workforce training and enhancement solutions offered to employers statewide through $15 million in Fast Forward program funding. Those training dollars not only helped employers strengthen the skills of their existing workers, but created greater opportunity for people with disabilities to participate more fully in the workforce. So what tasks can state residents expect to be on Gov. Walker’s agenda for 2015?

“Four years ago I would have said jobs, jobs, jobs. I take that a step further – now I say workforce, workforce, workforce.” Gov. Scott Walker, during the New North Summit in December

With the re-election bid behind him and a critical two-year budget up for discussion and scrutiny during the next six months, business owners should anticipate more dollars available for workforce development in Wisconsin. The issues employers face finding qualified, dependable workers are only beginning to demonstrate their impact on economic growth. Programs to enhance technical skills - in addition to soft skills and teaching basic employment expectations - will become more critical as workforce gaps inflate. Gov. Walker will deliver his fifth State of the State Address later this month from Madison. Expect to hear more about continuing to enhance the technical skills of Wisconsin’s employers so that our companies can be more competitive in a growing global environment. And with unemployment rates approaching 5 percent again, it’ll be imperative that we maximize workforce participation across the state. Expect to hear more about funding for programs that will create flexible work opportunities available to veterans, students and individuals with disabilities. Building upon the successful programs implemented this past year, Wisconsin can experience an even better bottom line for our companies and our workers in 2015. n

Sean Fitzgerald Publisher & President x Carrie Rule Sales Manager x Kate Erbach Production Contributing writers Rick Berg Robin Driessen Bruecker Chief Financial Officer Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA


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Since We Last Met

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 24 HSHS St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Green Bay received a $50,000 grant from the St. Baldrick’s Foundation, a charity which raises money for childhood cancer research. The St. Vincent/Prevea Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Clinic in Green Bay is one of only five pediatric oncology clinics in Wisconsin and is the primary treatment center for children diagnosed with cancer in northeast Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The funds will enable greater availability of pediatric cancer clinical trials in Green Bay. November 24 Wisconsin Department of Transportation officials approved a $266,751 project to design the reconstruction and realignment of the parallel taxiway to the main east-west runway at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh. The project also includes upgrading the taxiway and runway lighting at the airport. The project will be funded through $240,000 from the Federal Aviation Administration, and $13,338 each from both the state and Winnebago County.

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 4 – Gov. Jim Doyle signed Assembly Bill 464 which expands the definition of brownfields to include residential properties, assisting cities and counties in the cleanup and restoration of contaminated properties to productive use. The governor also signed Senate Bill 290, which makes tax credits for early stage seed and angel investments easier to administer. 2009 January 28 – The U.S. House of Representatives approved the $819 billion economic stimulus package which includes an estimated $544 billion in federal spending and an additional $275 billion in tax cuts for individuals and businesses.

6 | January 2015 | NNB2B

December 1 The Oshkosh Police Department sent a news alert out to businesses across the community warning of a string of nearly 30 burglaries that occurred at businesses during November, primarily at retailers and restaurateurs along the east side of the U.S. Highway 41 corridor. Business owners were warned to remove all cash and credit card receipts, as well as to leave lights on and remove any obstructions from exterior windows. December 2 The City of Neenah Common Council approved a $150,000 package to help Fox Valley Energy Center terminate its land lease and demolish its idle waste-to-energy plant at the south end of Little Lake Butte des Morts near downtown Neenah by the end of 2015. Previously known as Minergy, the plant which converted paper mill sludge into glass aggregate and steam, shut down operations in June 2013. City officials don’t have specific plans for the property at this point, but anticipate determining more about any development of the property later this year.

2011 January 4 – Less than 24 hours after being sworn in as Wisconsin’s chief executive, Gov. Scott Walker presented drafts of five legislative bills aimed at jumpstarting the state’s economy. The five bills include: tort reform legislation to curb frivolous lawsuits brought against manufactures and retailers as well as setting a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice; legislation to create a tax credit for income deposited in a health savings account; a bill to exempt businesses from income and franchise taxes for two years for firms that have done business in Wisconsin for 10 years or longer; a bill to increase funding for economic development tax credits from $75 million to $100 million; and lastly, legislation to require a super majority from both houses of the legislature to pass any bill raising taxes. 2014 January 5 – The Wisconsin Department of Transportation reopened the Interstate 43 Leo Frigo Bridge in Green Bay to traffic following a more than 100-day closure since one of the support piers unexpectedly sank on Sept. 25, 2013, causing the highly traveled span over the Fox River to sag. The contractor hired to repair the bridge completed the project 12 days ahead of its deadline, earning it a $750,000 incentive under its state contract.

December 2 Wisconsin Public Service announced plans to construct a 400-megawatt combined-cycle natural gas turbine on the site of its Fox Energy Center near Wrightstown. The facility is already home to two combined-cycle units generating nearly 600 MW of electricity. WPS plans to file its application with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin in January, and expects the regulatory review process and public hearings to last through much of 2015. Construction would likely begin during spring 2016. Once fully online, the new generator is expected to create 10 new fulltime positions at Fox Energy Center. December 5 The U.S Department of Labor reported 321,000 jobs were created in November, leaving the national unemployment rate relatively unchanged at 5.8 percent. Job gains were widespread, led by growth in professional and business services, retail trade, health care and manufacturing. December 9 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development made nearly $4 million in worker training grants available to 57 employers through Wisconsin’s Fast Forward initiative, including the following local grants: $293,915 was allocated to Fincantieri Marine Group for training at its Marinette Marine Corp., ACE Marine in Green Bay and Bay Shipbuilding Company in Sturgeon Bay; a transportation grant was allocated to RGL Specialty Services in Green Bay for $193,000; and $113,750 was allocated to Schneider Finance Inc. of Ashwaubenon.

III under 30

Is there a 20-something you know who just knocks your socks off? An entrepreneur or elite business professional under 30 years old with uncanny leadership maturity for their age? Nominate them for B2B’s 3 Overachievers Under 30, coming in our May 2015 edition. New Noth B2B will recognize three of northeast Wisconsin’s most impressive young professionals still in their 20s. To make a nomination, send an email to with the nominee’s age, profession and brief paragraph outlining their accomplishments. Nominations will be accepted until April 7.

December 10 The City of Oshkosh Common Council created a new revolving loan fund for economic development purposes in the community, seeding it with $2.4 million in cash balances remaining from closing three successful tax incremental finance districts. The fund will be managed by the newlyestablished Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. and will provide loans from $50,000 to $200,000 for businesses producing high-income jobs through projects that expand, attract or retain those jobs. Such projects can include land acquisition, building construction, fixed equipment purchases, inventory purchases or need for working capital. Editor’s note: New North B2B Publisher Sean Fitzgerald is an elected member of the Oshkosh Common Council. December 14 International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 1947 representing more than 1,600 production workers at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac ratified a five-year extension to its current labor agreement which will carry through 2021. The existing contract approved in 2009 wasn’t set to expire until 2016. Mercury employs about 2,800 people at its Fond du Lac headquarters, including nearly 1,200 salaried positions.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 7

Since We Last Met December 16 LNR Partners, the Florida investment group who owns Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton, did not accept the closing bid of $17.6 million for the property from an online auction held earlier in December. Hotel officials indicated the auction helped determine market interest in acquiring the 388-room, full service hotel, but ultimately the top bid did not meet the set reserve price. The fact that the auction was not consummated in a sale is not expected to derail plans for the proposed Fox Cities Exhibition Center, which would be built next to the hotel and is proposed to be operated by hotel management.

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December 17 The Brown County Board of Supervisors decided against holding an advisory referendum in April which would have allowed voters to weigh in on whether the county should create a new sales tax to replace the existing 1/2 percent sales tax created in 2001 to finance improvements to Lambeau Field. That sales tax, which generates more than $20 million annually, is set to expire this coming September and has raised funds in excess of the debt obligations related to the Lambeau expansion and renovation. Supporters of continuing a sales tax argue the funds could be used for county capital improvements, debt relief, economic development and workforce development efforts that might otherwise be funded through property tax increases. December 18 A report from Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance indicated Wisconsin’s state-local tax burden fell from 11.3 percent to 11.1 percent of personal income in 2014, but the total tax burden rose from 30.4 percent to 31.3 percent of income, chiefly because federal collections from state taxpayers jumped 8 percent to an estimated $46.4 billion. The increase was due to a combination of economic expansion and federal tax increases. Despite some corporate income tax cuts implemented in 2014, collections of corporate income taxes in Wisconsin rose 4.5 percent to $967 million. December 18 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development made $430,952 in worker training grants available to 24 employers through Wisconsin’s Fast Forward initiative, including a $61,467 customer service training grant allocated to UnitedHealth Group of Howard and Schneider National and West Corp., both in Ashwaubenon. December 19 Virtus Holdings LLC, a holding company created by employees of Appleton Coated, purchased the Combined Locks-based freesheet coated papermaker from French owner Sequana SA. Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. aided the Virtus management team with a $4 million loan to purchase equipment. Terms of the loan require Appleton Coated to maintain its existing 570 jobs and create 27 new jobs. Up to $1 million of the loan may be forgiven depending on how many jobs are created and retained during the next five years. n

8 | January 2015 | NNB2B

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Build Up Fond du Lac

1 2 3


Build Up

Indicates a new listing

Fond du Lac 1 - 1210 W. Scott St., Fond du Lac Ultratech Tool & Design Inc., an addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in January. 2 - 859 W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac Panda Express, a new restaurant building. Project completion expected in January. 3 - 77 N. Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac Hampton Inn, a three-story, 73-room hotel facility. 4 - 625 W. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac



5 - 55 Holiday Lane, Fond du Lac Holiday Inn Express, an 86-room hotel facility. 6 - 305 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac Agnesian Healthcare, a 50,000-sq. ft. dialysis center. Project completion expected in January. 7 - 300 Block of Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac Grande Cheese Company, an 87,000-sq. ft. new corporate headquarters and research center. Project completion expected in early 2016.

Holiday Inn, a nearly 5,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing conference and banquet facility. Project completion expected in spring.

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9 2 0 . 7 3 3 . 3 1 3 6 y 866.966.3928 y 10 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Build Up Oshkosh




Indicates a new listing

Build Up



8 - 3500 N. Main St., Oshkosh Bemis Healthcare Packaging, a 162,790-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacting facility and office complex. Project completion expected in late 2015. 9 - 1530 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh Noodles & Company, Sports Authority and Ross Dress for Less, a 42,200-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 10 - 1500 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh FloorQuest, a multi-tenant retail building to include a flooring store. 11 - 2601 Badger Ave., Oshkosh Tube Fabrication & Color, a 7,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Frontier Builders & Consultants of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our December issue: • Holiday Ford, 390 N. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac. • Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store/Subway Restaurant, 191 W. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac. • Agnesian Healthcare/Fond du Lac Regional Clinic South, 321 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac. • City of Oshkosh Public Works, 639 Witzel Ave., Oshkosh.


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NNB2B | January 2015 | 11

Build Up Fox Cities Build Up

Fox Cities

Indicates a new listing 1 - 719 Industrial Park Ave., Hortonville Piping Systems Inc., a 65,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 2 - N1043 Craftsmen Dr., Greenville F.C. Dadson, a 38,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial warehouse. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 3 - 2925 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute Bergstrom Automotive Used Car Supercenter, a 42,474-sq. ft. body shop and car dealership office. Project completion expected in February. 4 - 4001 W. Spencer St., town of Grand Chute Bay Area Granite & Marble, a 5,250-sq. ft. showroom and office. Project completion in January. General contractor is James J. Calmes & Sons Construction of Kaukauna. 5 - 2445 W. College Ave., town of Grand Chute Bergstrom Kia, a 23,064-sq. ft. new automotive dealership. 6 - 3925 Gateway Dr., Appleton Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology, a 60,000-sq. ft. cancer treatment facility. Project completion expected in summer 2015. 7 - 1735 Nixon St., Little Chute Shapes Unlimited, a 31,430-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 8 - 930 Evergreen Dr., Kaukauna Exclusive CPA, a 2,564-sq. ft. commercial office building. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 9 - 1101 Gertrude St., Kaukauna Kwik Trip, an 8,721-sq. ft. convenience store and fuel canopy. Project completion expected in January. 10 - 1200 Maloney Road, Kaukauna Team Industries, a 29,140-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 11 - 222 Lawe St., Kaukauna Kwik Trip, an 8,777-sq. ft. convenience store and fuel canopy. Project completion expected in January. 12 - 3200 E. Calumet St., Appleton Auto Zone, a new commercial retail building. 13 - W5298 State Road 114, Harrison Countryside Auto Transport, a 7,260-sq. ft. addition to the existing service center. Project completion expected in February. General contractor is James J. Calmes & Sons Construction of Kaukauna. 14 - N8770 County Road LP, Harrison Lake Park Sportzone, a 32,000-sq. ft. indoor athletic facility to include basketball and volleyball courts. Project completion expected in early 2015. Project completion expected in February. 15 - 420 7th St., Menasha Menasha High School, two separate additions totaling 46,603 square feet of educational space, as well as interior renovations to the gym, locker rooms and swimming pool. Project completion expected in summer. 12 | January 2015 | NNB2B

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16 - 600 Racine St., Menasha Boys & Girls Club of Menasha, a 33,000-sq. ft. community center for children. Project completion expected in May. 17 - 1050 Zephyr Dr., town of Menasha St. Mary Central Middle School, a new educational facility. Project completion expected in June. 18 - 916 Byrd Ave., Neenah Cross & Oberlie/Aquecs Inc., a 4,940-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.

Projects completed since our December issue: • Jansport/VF Outdoor Inc., N850 County Road CB, town of Grand Chute. • TML Auto, 3250 N. Mayflower Dr., town of Grand Chute. • St. Elizabeth Hospital, 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton. • Citgo/JB of Menasha, 901 Appleton Road, town of Menasha. • Third Street Market, 403 Third St., Menasha. • Galloway Company, 601 S. Commercial St., Neenah.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 13

Build Up Greater Green Bay area 1 thru 3 4




7 to 9 10





17 13 18 21 19 & 20


Build Up

Greater Green Bay area

Indicates a new listing

1 - 2700 Lineville Road, Howard Lineville Intermediate School/Howard-Suamico Schools, an indoor swimming facility. Project completion expected in June.

4 - 2714 Riverview Dr., Howard Bellin Health, an addition and interior remodel of the existing health care clinic.

2 - 2455 Lineville Road, Howard Zesty’s Frozen Custard & Grill, a new commercial restaurant building.

5 - 1010 S. Military Ave., Green Bay Broadway Pre-Owned, Broadway Hyundai and Broadway Ford, three separate dealership facilities.

3 - 11820 Velp Ave., Suamico Culver’s Restaurant, a 4,000-sq. ft. new restaurant building. Project completion expected in January 2015. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

6 - 857 School Pl., Green Bay Bay Valley Foods, a 25,000-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Consolidated Construction Company of Appleton.

14 | January 2015 | NNB2B

7 - 301 E. Main St., Green Bay KI Convention Center, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing convention center facility. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 8 - 100 E. Main St., Green Bay 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. 9 - 110 S. Adams St., Green Bay Initiative One, a complete refurbishment of the 10,500-sq. ft. former commercial space for new offices. 10 - 617 S. Roosevelt St., Green Bay Bellin Home Care Equipment, a 5,400-sq. ft. addition and interior remodel of the existing retail facility. 11 - 1820 Main St., Green Bay Fox Communities Credit Union, a new financial institution branch office. Project completion expected in May. 12 - 840 S. Huron Road, Green Bay Kwik Trip, a 500-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing convenience store and fuel station. Project completion expected in January. 13 - 2601 Development Dr., Bellevue Lakeland College, a 15,032-sq. ft. satellite educational campus. Project completion expected in February. 14 - 839 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay Bank of Luxemburg, an 11,444-sq. ft. bank branch and office. 15 - 2077 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon Austin Straubel International Airport, an extensive renovation of an existing 6,098-sq. ft. building to accommodate U.S. Customs operations.

16 - 2626 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon Osco Pharmacy, a 7,767-sq. ft. multi-tenant commercial retail building. 17 - 810 Parkview Road, Ashwaubenon Astro Industries, a 19,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 18 - 506 Butler St., De Pere De Pere Christian Outreach, a 5,116-sq. ft. addition to the existing retail store. Project completion expected in summer. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 19 - 2000 American Blvd., De Pere a new commercial office building. 20 - 825 Pamela St., Wrightstown Farm Products LLC, a 4,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Consolidated Construction Company of Appleton. 21 - 100 Grant St., De Pere St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, a 150,000sq. ft. education and research facility to house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus. Project completion expected in spring. 22 - 1850 Enterprise Dr., De Pere ARMS Inc., a 20,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing warehouse for storage and offices. Project completion expected in May. Projects completed since our December issue: • Cellcom, 1620 W. Mason St., Green Bay. • Bank Mutual, 2730 E. Mason St., Green Bay. • Green Bay Packaging Inc., 1 Label Dr., Ashwaubenon. • Unison Credit Union, 900 Main Ave., De Pere.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 15

Cover Story


at New North Inc. has largely met its initial task of developing a regional economic brand, but it has also made impressive strides in creating strategic alignment with local economic development groups in the region. Story by Rick Berg When Jerry Murphy took the reins as New North Inc.’s first executive director in January 2006, he and the organization’s board of directors knew the first order of business was to develop a brand identity that would define northeast Wisconsin as a viable and cohesive economic region. Now entering its 10th year of existence, most would say the organization can lay claim to a high degree of success. Just as challenging was the task of bringing together a diverse assortment of more than a dozen local economic development organizations – ranging from rural areas like Florence County to urban settings like Green Bay and the Fox Cities. Owing to the understandable differences in priorities and agendas in each locale, regional collaboration remains a work in progress. 16 | January 2015 | NNB2B

However, most agree progress is real and definable. Sam Perlman, economic development manager for the Door County Economic Development Corp., said organizations like his were unsure when New North launched how it would impact their work, but concerns have faded over the past decade. “We provide the boots on the ground, so to speak, for day-today economic development activities, so we wanted to make sure there were clearly defined roles for what we do and what New North would do,” Perlman said. “That’s worked out well, but it continues to be a challenge that we work on.” “We’re very close,” Murphy said.

“I would say we’re almost there, and in some ways we are there,” said David Thiel, executive director of Waupaca County Economic Development Corp. As an example, Thiel points to a new initiative – Global New North – created to help local economic development organizations leverage global trade opportunities for their business stakeholders. Global New North evolved out of a $200,000 regional study, partially funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration. The initiative is designed to spur more global trade in the region – especially among businesses with the capability of working globally, but who may lack the resources and expertise to do so.

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“The next step is to start educating businesses and economic development professionals on global trade,” Thiel said. “It’s definitely more complicated than doing business domestically and requires more resources.”

Finding common ground Thiel also noted the challenge of coordinating efforts between a regional player such as New North and local organizations like Waupaca’s is understandable. It’s a challenge he and his colleagues in the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership (NEWREP) have faced since that group was formed in 2002. “I think we’ve come a long way,” said Thiel. “It wasn’t just New North; it was NEWREP also. We’re all in separate organizations, paid by those organizations to represent their interests. But we also knew we had to come together to do some things for the greater good to benefit us all.” That shouldn’t be surprising to anyone, according to Murphy. “It shouldn’t be that earth-shattering to understand that local economic development organizations are not inherently mission-driven to act collectively,” Murphy said. “The more local an entity is, the more local their focus is going to be. They’re going to be focused on issues, challenges and opportunities very specific to their communities. That’s not a criticism. That’s just the way it is.” Perlman noted despite the local imperatives, economic development professionals in the region recognize the need for collaboration. “NEWREP came out of an initiative from the U.S. Department of Commerce Technology Zone grant program, and even though that program is long gone, we’ve continued to look for ways to work together, because we recognize the value of working regionally,” Perlman said. Rob Kleman, senior vice president for economic development at the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, said collaboration is not simply a regional imperative and challenge.

“The New North is not just a thumbtack on a map, it’s an identity, and that takes a lot of time and work.”

Jerry Murphy, executive director, New North Inc.

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Cover Story “Economic development is never a single entity at any level,” Kleman said. “It’s always a collection of stakeholders, even at the local level, and those stakeholders don’t always have the same priorities. So we always have to find ways to identify common goals and work together.”

Buying into the brand Urban areas like those on the Highway 41 Corridor have a relatively obvious need for regional collaboration and external

marketing. With or without New North, they would be driven to attract new industry and talent to the region. That doesn’t mean the less urban counties have nothing to gain, Murphy said. “Some economic development organizations in the New North specifically choose to not do a lot of external marketing. They take their limited resources and plow them into business retention and expansion services very oriented to those communities,” Murphy said. “Door County, for example, has a very successful, blended,

The New North The New North encompasses 18 counties: Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee and Waushara. 2004: At the behest of the Fox Valley and Bay Area Workforce Development Boards, David Ward and Dennis Winters of NorthStar Economics undertake an economic study of northeast Wisconsin to come up with recommendations for strengthening the regional economy. Out of that effort they produce the Economic Opportunity Study, which becomes the springboard for what becomes New North Inc.

November 2004: a newly formed group of business leaders calling themselves Northeast Wisconsin Collaboration on the Regional Economy held the first Northeast Wisconsin Summit on Economic Development.

2014: New North launches Global New North, an initiative designed to expand the ability of northeast Wisconsin companies to do business internationally.

December 2005: The New North name and logo are unveiled at the first New North Summit. At the same event, Jerry Murphy, formerly executive vice president at New York’s Buffalo Niagara Enterprise, is announced as New North Executive Director.

18 | January 2015 | NNB2B

2007: New North launches Wisconsin Wind Works, a consortium of what is now nearly 300 wind power supply chain companies.

diversified economy based on tourism and manufacturing, so most of their work is focused on building strength in their existing business base and growing that as a strategy,” Murphy added. “There are lots of counties like that, and New North is in a position to represent the value proposition for those counties.” Perlman agreed, noting “Door County is unique in how we do economic development. We rely much more on entrepreneurship and business retention. The business attraction we do is through marketing to our seasonal residents. For a variety of reasons, including logistics and environment, we’re not looking to attract the same kinds of companies as Manitowoc or Sheboygan or Brown County. We’re 45 minutes from an airport, 45 minutes from an interstate, 45 minutes from a rail line, and we don’t have the population radius to draw from for a workforce. “ Even so, Perlman added, “we still recognize the importance of the region. Fifty percent or more of our visitors come from within the state of Wisconsin. As the region succeeds, that directly impacts economic opportunities and economic development in Door County.” Regardless of how actively some local organizations participate in New North activities, most have bought into the branding efforts, according to Murphy. “I think the reason for that is that the brand was not something imposed by New North,” Murphy said. “It’s actually the other way around. The New North brand really comes

out of the value stream that people in the region consider important – things like quality of life and a reliable workforce.” To help local organizations promote the brand, New North creates printed and digital collaterals like its Business Locator Guide for distribution. “We want to reinforce the value message and make sure we’re all singing from the same songbook,” Murphy said.

Landscape, scale and aligned strategies

Compared to local organizations, New North’s advantage in economic development is its broader landscape and its ability to scale projects much larger than would be possible on a local level, Murphy said. “And by landscape I mean not only the real estate, but also the resources and assets of the region. Because of that broader landscape there are opportunities to scale and in most cases those opportunities are strategic,” Murphy said.


Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership was created in 2002, representing economic development groups across northeast Wisconsin. Part of NEWREP’s mission, according to the organization, is to find “collaborative solutions that can result in real, regional impact. By working together, we can achieve broader economic and business development objectives, enhancing the entire region’s economic and business development environment and our overall quality of life.”

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Cover Story

For the name of New North to become as potent as, say, Silicon Valley or the North Carolina Research Triangle will take a lifetime of work to get to that level of awareness. However, he added, “just having a larger landscape does not make for a strategy or an outcome. People have to be willing to work together and you have to have aligned strategies. It requires collaboration and partnership to be able to mutually leverage what others are doing. I think we’re getting very close to being very good at that.” Murphy cited Wisconsin Wind Works, which New North launched in 2007, as one of the best examples of a scaled, strategic regional project. The organization now boasts nearly 300 wind energy supply chain members. New North has also coordinated other regional industry initiatives, including a defense industry diversification initiative and a shipbuilding industry cluster. “All of that affords us an opportunity to add scale and leverage resources that already exist,” Murphy said. “Individual communities and businesses have their own agendas and that’s fine. That’s practical and pragmatic,”

Murphy said. “But what you find is that at the state level (with Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.), the regional level and the local level you’re going to find consistently aligned objectives. You’ll have a business development track, an entrepreneurial track, some version of a talent track. So, the alignment is already there, but the resources may not yet be connected.”

Communication is the key

Perlman said the relationship between local economic development groups, NEWREP, the New North and WEDC has worked because everyone has focused on maintaining communication. “We have a lot of active engagement between the organizations,” Perlman said. “We have active mutual representation on the boards for New North and NEWREP and we have a New North/NEWREP executive group that meets on a regular basis to make sure everyone is on the same page. The idea is to make sure communication channels are maintained, that communication protocols are followed, and

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that information flows appropriately in all directions – from the local level up and from the WEDC down through New North to the local level. We’ve worked hard at that and we continue to work at it.” Kleman agreed. “The challenge and the opportunity we have is that we have all these major players in economic development and they all have a major role to play. To capitalize on the strengths we all have, we have to continue to enhance communication so everyone is headed in the same direction and that we understand what the roles are. For the most part we’ve been able to accomplish that, and that’s part of the reason northeast Wisconsin is such a thriving region.”

A lifetime of work

“The New North is not just a thumbtack on a map,” Murphy said. “It’s an identity, and that takes a lot of time and work. For the name of New North to become as potent as, say, Silicon Valley or the North Carolina Research Triangle will take a lifetime of work to get to that level of awareness. But in the interim, there’s a lot of work that continues to be done.” “It has taken some time for all of us in NEWREP and the New North to get on the same page,” Thiel said. “It takes some time to build trust, but I think we’ve gotten to the point where we do trust each other and we believe in doing things together to build the region as a whole. It might seem weird that it took 10 years to get there, but that is the nature of human beings.” n

David Ward : Ten Years After David Ward is the CEO of NorthStar Economics, which conducted the initial Economic Opportunity Study in 2004 that led to the creation of New North Inc. Here’s his take on New North, 10 years later. “I think that the New North region is far better organized to take on economic development. There is better (not perfect) regional cooperation,” Ward said. “There are significant regional efforts that represent real change from 2004.” “The New North performance is well beyond what I expected. NorthStar has done lots of strategic plans in Wisconsin and outside of the state. This plan still is one of the best in terms of implementation. The leadership of the private sector has been a key to keeping energy and organization behind the plan. I think the current economic indicators (unemployment rate, job growth, income growth) are quite positive. I also think that New North is poised to move to a new economic level as IT, better infrastructure (Interstate 41) and continuing entrepreneurial activity add to economic growth.”

Rick Berg is a freelance writer and editor based in Green Bay.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 21


Vital signs 2015 report shows region’s manufacturers are poised for growth, but still struggle with workforce issues

Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker

Manufacturing isn’t an industry often considered sexy. There are some TV shows like How Do They Do It? and How It’s Made, and hopefully they’re improving the coolness factor with the next generation of workers. We’re all heavily impacted by manufacturing. In the New North alone, manufacturing makes up 26 percent of the region’s gross domestic product. That’s a serious portion of the economic pie, enough so that nearly a decade ago regional manufacturers banded together and formed the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance as a collaborative forum to address issues involving workforce, environment and government regulations, among others. For the last five years the alliance has released an annual manufacturing vitality index for northeast Wisconsin surveying hiring, skill shortages, expansion, modernization and financial health. This past fall, Business Success Center staff at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh surveyed the CEOs of 151 New North manufacturing companies with 22 | January 2015 | NNB2B

at least 25 employees and annual revenue of more than $3 million. The vitality index enables a look at how far industry has come and where it’s going, and what has improved from year to year or issues that need to be addressed. “The vitality of the region is extremely important to the New North, when one considers that one out of four people work in the manufacturing industry in this region,” said Ann Franz, director of NEW Manufacturing Alliance.

The results are in

Among those who responded to the survey, 66 percent saw a sales increase during the past year, while 96 percent expect to be healthy or “quite healthy” in 2015. There’s a strong outlook for hiring, sales growth and capital investments in the year ahead. Plant modernization, expansion and hiring plans all show an increase over previous surveys. Facility modernization is a positive sign that those companies plan to remain in the New North, Franz pointed out. “The vitality index tells a very positive message about the

Manufacturing Workforce Hiring Needs • Nearly one-half of all manufacturers plan to hire in 2015, with more hiring occurring in Q1 than in Q2. • This is good news for Northeast Wisconsin, where 1 in 4 jobs are in manufacturing.

strength of manufacturing in the New North,” said Bill Bartnik, director of manufacturing systems for Plymouthbased Sargento Foods Inc. and also the 2015 chair for the NEW Manufacturing Alliance. “With three manufacturing facilities, our corporate headquarters and a technical center all located in this region, Sargento Foods shares the positive outlook summarized in the vitality index. In the past few years we have had facility expansions and modernization projects at all locations. We are expecting our company growth to continue in the New North.” Mike Kawleski, public affairs manager for Georgia-Pacific – one of the biggest employers in the Green Bay area and an alliance member – noted “Georgia-Pacific’s situation mirrors that of many other manufacturers in northeast Wisconsin. One area is investment – Georgia-Pacific’s Green Bay operations

continue to receive capital to help modernize our facilities, some of which have been operating in the city for more than 100 years,” formerly as Northern Paper Mills and Fort Howard Paper Company. In addition to productivity, efficiency and product quality, investments are also directed to infrastructure, Kawleski said. “This may not necessarily help us produce even one additional case of product, but it’s important to our company’s long-term viability.” One current example is a multimillion investment for sustainability renovations at the Broadway mill. Part of this $80-plus million project includes a natural-gas boiler that replaces the mill’s biggest coal-fired boiler, and more efficient environmental controls for the other coal-fired boilers. A new electrical substation has also been constructed. When

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STRUGGLING in business!

complete, these upgrades will have a significant effect on the mill’s environmental footprint, reducing its sulfur dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions by 80 percent, according to Kawleski. 
“We are also replacing two existing wastewater clarifiers in our onsite wastewater treatment plant with two new clarifiers,” he added. “This allows us to continue to recycle twothirds of the water we use to manufacture paper products, and to take in water from the Fox River and return it cleaner than when it left the river. In other words, we feel that modernization also means continuing to be a good neighbor in the community in which you operate.”

The hiring game Don’t

Finding skilled workers continues to be an issue, with 72 percent of the region’s manufacturers concerned about finding the necessary talent in skilled trades including welding, industrial maintenance mechanics and computer numerical control machining. Many have issues finding workers with basic communication skills and a good work ethic or attendance ethic. “As anticipated, the skills shortage continues to be a concern for everyone in the area,” noted Bartnik. “In our region over the past several years, I’ve seen manufacturers take a more proactive approach towards workforce development. We work closely with the NEW Manufacturing Alliance to make sure the incoming and existing workforce understands what an exciting and fulfilling career you can have in manufacturing. We’ve partnered with our K-12 schools and two- and four-year colleges to make sure we stay aligned. The skill sets we need are changing as fast as technology changes.”


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Email New North B2B publisher Sean Fitzgerald at for more information.

24 | January 2015 | NNB2B

“As anticipated, the skills shortage continues to be a concern for everyone in the area.” Bill Bartnik, Sargento Foods and chair of NEW Manufacturing Alliance

Franz said the latest hiring projections are the highest manufacturers have seen in the five years of the vitality index. “The concern is that 72 percent believe they will have difficulty finding talent for their open positions,” she said. “The alliance believes this is due to a few reasons, including a lower unemployment rate and a greater demand for talent due to retirements and growth. The technical colleges have vastly increased the number of graduates in manufacturing-related programs, but the demand is so great in the New North that we need more graduates than ever before. It is critical that parents, educators and job seekers understand the labor demands in this region.” According to the new study, positions with the most demand include machinists, engineers, sales representatives, welders, maintenance mechanics and IT professionals. Most of

Plant Expansion & Modernization Planned in 12-24 Months

• 2015 plant expansion plans are significantly higher than any other year in the index. • Two-thirds of manufacturers plan to modernize their plants, an increase over 2014.

these positions – if not all – offer highly competitive wages. “Manufacturers wages are on average over 20 percent higher paying than other private industry sectors,” said Franz. Employment issues also caught the attention of Scott Kettler, general manager of Neenah manufacturing operations for Plexus Corp. and the past chair of the alliance. “Interestingly, for the first time since the index was started, general labor was listed in the top 10 difficult-tofind positions which Plexus and a majority of the NEW Manufacturers Alliance member companies felt the impact of throughout 2014. This trend will continue into 2015 as we continue to see a strengthening economy. As a result of this, there is a lot of focus on employee and employee engagement to ensure we have a workforce for the future.”

Taking action

One of the steps Plexus has taken is to form a partnership with Fox Valley Technical College, Fox Valley Workforce Development Board and the state’s Fast Forward grant program to develop skilled soldering workers. Kettler said the collaboration anticipates 70 students will graduate from the program, which began last February and continues through this coming July. “We’re very proud of our partnership with Fox Valley Technical College and we feel that this will not only help us in filling the immediate needs we have for skilled soldering expertise, but it positions us well for the future as this is a key skill set within our factories and what we do, especially in our defense/security/aerospace sector,” noted Kettler.

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Manufacturing Difficulty Finding Talent • Approximately three-quarters of companies will experience difficulty finding talent in 2015. • The skills shortage has increased from 29 percent in 2011 to 72 percent in 2015.

front-line technicians who operate our equipment,” Kawleski said. “This problem comes from two directions: There are not enough students in the pipeline pursuing manufacturing careers, plus, in our case, we lose more than 100 employees each year, mostly to retirement. So it’s a challenge to manage the transfer of their expertise and experience to others. 
“On the virtue side, we look for employees with the employability skills they need for today’s workplace – communication skills, the ability to work in a team, work ethic, etc. In Georgia-Pacific’s parlance, we desire employees who’ll act as principled entrepreneurs and make decisions as if they were business owners.” Data from the annual manufacturing vitality index has led to positive actions, Kawleski said, spurring manufacturers to work together – through the NEW Manufacturing Alliance and other organizations – to promote manufacturing and manufacturing careers. Additionally, educators have greater understanding of manufacturing as a high-tech industry that offers exciting, well-paying careers. He indicated educators have responded with more STEM-related curricula that will help train future employees.

A NEW Manufacturing Alliance overview l Formed in 2006 after EMT International owner Paul Rauscher became concerned his workers were getting older and the younger generation’s interest in manufacturing careers had waned. He believed the region’s manufacturers needed to work together to change the message about manufacturing careers in the New North. l Originally there were 12 companies that began collaborating with educational institutions, chambers of commerce and the two workforce development boards. Today there are more than 140 members. l The alliance’s main focus is fostering interest in manufacturing careers, while its main metric is increasing technical college enrollment. Due in part to the alliance’s advocacy, the New North’s four technical colleges have had tremendous growth in manufacturing-related degree programs. l The manufacturing vitality index was developed in 2010. 26 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Interestingly, for the first time since the index was started, general labor was listed in the top 10 difficult-to-find positions... Bay Link Manufacturing, a learning lab run by students at Green Bay West High School, is one example Kawleski referenced. “Students will not only learn technical skills there, but also learn from real-world situations they’ll encounter, such as working with customers, leading a team, marketing their services and making business decisions,” Kawleski said. In another example, the entire staff of Green Bay Southwest High School toured the Broadway mill of Georgia-Pacific for one of the school’s monthly professional development sessions. “The educators not only learned about what different equipment did and what products it made, but also about the different careers in those areas, the type of education needed, what skills we look for in employees, etc.,” said Kawleski. “As these educators interface with students in the future, they can speak more knowledgeably about the industry and what it can offer.” With so many strong manufacturers and related careers in the region, Bartnik said educating the general public about the positive realities of manufacturing careers is necessary. “The vitality index is part of that story,” Bartnik said. “It highlights the strength of manufacturing and where the biggest skill gaps are. We need to use that to get our talent pool motivated and interested in manufacturing.” n Robin Driessen Bruecker has been writing for magazines and marketing departments since 1995.

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Year in Review



The news and developments from 2014 have set the stage for tremendous opportunity for northeast Wisconsin businesses in the year to come. In line with our annual retrospective tradition, New North B2B proudly presents our list of the Top Ten stories affecting the region’s business community during the past year.


By Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

Tax Credits for Growth

Tax credits don’t create jobs in and of themselves, but they do make it easier for employers to take the risks associated with establishing new positions. Several northeast Wisconsin employers were awarded economic development tax credits from the state during 2014 to create thousands of new jobs in the region during the next few years. In October, the Outdoor and Action Sports division of VF Corp. was awarded up to $880,500 in state job creation and job retention tax credits to create up to 70 new jobs in the Fox Cities, a plan associated with the $2.7 million project to expand its Jansport facility in Greenville. That same month, Piping Systems Inc. in Hortonville was awarded up to $350,000 in tax credits as part of an expansion project which is expected to create as many as 119 new jobs, and Baker Cheese Factory Inc. in St. Cloud received up to $800,000 in tax credits for a $7 million plant modernization project which is expected to create as many as 40 new jobs.

28 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Other tax credits awarded to northeast Wisconsin employers included: lAstro Industries Inc., Ashwaubenon, $150,000 for an expansion project to create 20 new jobs; l Bemis Medical Packaging, Oshkosh, $2 million loan for an expansion project which would create 160 new jobs and retain 161 current jobs; l Expera Specialty Solutions LLC, Kaukauna, a $1 million loan for a redevelopment project which will retain up to 800 jobs in Kaukauna; l Technical Prospects, Appleton, $175,000 for an expansion project to create up to 37 new jobs; l Third Avenue Market, Menasha, a $250,000 grant for a new grocery store to create 21 fulltime and 21 part-time jobs; l Frantz Community Investors, Green Bay, a $500,000 grant to redevelop the historic Hotel Northland, which would create up to 160 jobs; l and DealerFire, Oshkosh, $522,000 for an expansion project which could create 123 new jobs.

Officials numbers won’t be reported by the state until mid-2015, but the trends in building permits issued across northeast Wisconsin communities during 2014 would appear to indicate commercial and industrial building projects in the region are approaching pre-recession levels. In fact, the sheer number of projects appearing on B2B’s popular Build Up pages reached records during the months of November and December since the feature began appearing in early 2002. A number of large-scale projects were announced and began construction this year, including an 87,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters and research center for Grande Cheese Company in Fond du Lac, a 110,000-sq. ft. addition to Bemis Medical Packaging in Oshkosh, and a 59,000-sq. ft. plastic blow-molding facility for PolyFlex Inc. in Kaukauna’s NEW Prosperity Center industrial park.


Industrial Construction Boom

C Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac, a 50,000-sq. ft. addition

to its southside medical clinic and a separate 50,000-sq. ft. dialysis center; C Schreiber Foods Inc., Green Bay, completion of the five-

story, 250,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters in downtown; C Lake Park Sportzone, Menasha, a 32,000-sq. ft. indoor

athletic facility;

C Jansport/VF Outdoor, Greenville, a 19,432-sq. ft. addition

to the existing manufacturing facility and office complex;

C Astro Industries, Ashwaubenon, a 20,000-sq. ft. addition to

its manufacturing plant; KI Convention Center, downtown Green Bay.

Other substantial projects in the region during 2014 included: C Con-way Freight, Fond du Lac, a 47,000-sq. ft. freight

terminal and service center;

C Holland Cold Storage, Kaukauna, a 42,615-sq. ft. addition

to its existing warehousing facility;

C Handling & Conveying Systems, Green Bay, a 33,000-sq. ft.

C Piping Systems Inc., Hortonville, a 65,000-sq. ft. expansion

of the manufacturer;

C Shapes Unlimited, Little Chute, a 31,430-sq. ft. addition to

the industrial facility;

C Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology, a 60,000-sq. ft. cancer

treatment center;

C Lakeland College, Green Bay, a 15,000-sq. ft. satellite campus; C Holiday Inn Express, Fond du Lac, an 86-room hotel; C Hampton Inn, Fond du Lac, a 73-room hotel;

manufacturing facility;

C Bay Valley Foods, Green Bay, a 25,000-sq. ft. addition;

C Jet Air Group, Ashwaubenon, a 32,375-sq. ft. storage

C KI Convention Center, Green Bay, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition

hangar and repair center;

to the existing downtown exposition facility;

C Team Industries, Kaukauna, a 26,020-sq. ft. expansion of

C and Green Bay Packaging Inc., Ashwaubenon, completion

the manufacturing facility;


WE Energies/ WPS Merger

In June, Wisconsin Energy Corp., the parent company of WE Energies, announced plans to acquire Integrys Energy Group Inc., the parent firm of Wisconsin Public Service Corp., in a deal valued at $9.1 billion. Once complete, the combined utility provider would service electric and natural gas utilities for most residential and business users across eastern, northeastern and northcentral Wisconsin under the name WEC Energy Group Inc. In total, the combined entity will serve more than 4.3 million gas and electric customers across Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, in addition to its Wisconsin markets.

of its 240,000-sq. ft. coated products manufacturing plant.

The combined company will also hold a 60 percent stake in American Transmission Co., the organization which maintains the electrical distribution network across the state. Officials from Wisconsin Energy said a combined WEC Energy Group would continue to maintain an operating headquarters in Green Bay. The proposed deal is still working through federal and state regulatory approval, and utility officials anticipate closing on the merger in mid-2015.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 29

Year in Review New leadership took over the helm of both of the fouryear University of Wisconsin Systems schools in northeast Wisconsin during 2014. In January, UW Oshkosh Chancellor Richard Wells announced plans to retire in August after 14 years leading the region’s largest post-secondary academic institution and the third largest in the state with 13,900 students. UW Green Bay Chancellor Thomas Harden made a similar announcement in December 2013, leaving the school at the end of June after having served in UW Green Bay’s top post since 2007. The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents selected Andrew J. Leavitt, vice president for university advancement at the University of North Georgia and chief executive officer of the University of North Georgia Foundation, to succeed Wells at UW Oshkosh and selected Gary L. Miller, chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, to succeed Harden at UW Green Bay. Leavitt served in his previous role at the University of North Georgia since 2009, having chaired the university’s strategic plan steering committee and led the merger of two philanthropic foundations to form a single foundation with more than Leavitt


Slate of Lawmaker Retirements

An unusual number of retirements from tenured lawmakers across northeast Wisconsin opened up legislative seats long held by seemingly unbeatable incumbents.

Rep. Petri

Most notably, Sixth Congressional District Rep. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac) announced he wouldn’t seek reelection for a 19th term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Rep. Petri’s career in Congress spanned back to 1979, and he served as the chairman

30 | January 2015 | NNB2B


New Chancellors for UW Schools

$55 million in assets. He began his position in Oshkosh in November. Miller served as chancellor at UNC-Wilmington since 2011, where he developed the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and established the University Innovation Council. During Miller’s tenure, the university launched an online nursing program and opened a $30 million marine biotechnology business development and research building. In an unrelated development in early January, the UW System Board of Regents appointed UW Colleges and Miller UW-Extension Chancellor Ray Cross as the next president of the UW System, succeeding Kevin P. Reilly who resigned the office in late 2013 to advise the American Council on Education.

or ranking member of the House subcommittee on surface transportation for 16 years, and as the chairman or ranking member of the House aviation subcommittee for six years. His seat was filled by State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport). State Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) also announced his retirement from politics during 2014, ending a nearly 45year career in Madison that began while in his late Twenties. Ellis served eight terms in the state Senate since 1982 and previously served five terms in the state Assembly from 1970 to 1980, while also serving on the City of Neenah Common Council from 1969 to 1975. Roger Roth, a Republican from Appleton, won the seat for the state’s 19th Senate District to replace Ellis. State Assembly Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) left the state’s lower chambers in 2014 after 12 terms – not to retire – but to unseat three-term Neenah Mayor George Scherck in April’s non-partisan general elections. Kaufert served in the Assembly for 24 years. Additionally, State Assembly Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) retired after 14 years in office, and Rep. John Klenke (R-Green Bay) stepped down after four years in office.


Walmart Reprisal On Broadway

The drawn out saga of Walmart’s attempts to construct a 154,000-sq. ft. store in Green Bay’s downtown Broadway shopping district concluded in late July after the city’s common council denied a request to rezone the property on which the retailer planned to build. In a statement issued by Walmart explaining its intent to not pursue the matter further, the company referenced “political and administrative resistance we faced within the city government.” The issue has been a source of contention among residents and Broadway business owners as well as between city staff and elected officials since the proposal first came up in late 2013.


Fox River PCB Contamination Clean Up Clears More Hurdles

In late March, state and federal officials arrived at a $54 million settlement with several Fox Cities paper companies and two municipal utilities for PCB contamination abatement costs in the Fox River. Nearly $46 million will be used toward clean up of natural resource damages to the waterway, while about $8 million was placed in a fund managed by the state to cover any future costs of supervising ongoing cleanup work.

Walmart filed its development plans with the city in early January, but the city’s plan commission swiftly rejected the proposal, establishing guidelines limiting Walmart to a smaller store. In early May Walmart filed a revised plan with the city for a smaller retail center on the former Larsen Green industrial site, a plan more widely supported by some members of the city council who argued the store could attract additional mixed-use development to the site.

Liability for the charges broke down as follows: $14.7 million by U.S. Paper Mills Corp.; $13.7 million by Menasha Corp.; $12.2 million by WTMI Company; $5.2 million by City of Appleton; $5.2 million by Neenah-Menasha Sewerage Commission; and $3 million by CBC Coating, Inc. The federal Department of Justice indicated the parties have already paid about $70 million towards the project, and this settlement would end their involvement in this suit.

Following a May 18 recommendation from a city council advisory committee to approve the plan, the city’s plan commission once again recommended denying Walmart’s request for a zoning change in early June. The matter came before the City of Green Bay Common Council later in June – when the governing body postponed action on the rezoning request – but eventually voted against it in early July.

In a related matter, Appleton-based Appvion – formerly Appleton Papers – paid $6 million in cleanup costs in September and entered into a funding agreement with three other firms to pay as much as $18 million more during the next two years to settle any further liabilities related to cleanup costs for the Lower Fox River.


Various Schools Pass Building Referenda

A number of successful borrowing referenda from northeast Wisconsin K-12 school districts will pave the way for more than $100 million in new educational facility construction over the next couple of years. Voters in Green Bay approved $20.1 million in borrowing for various capital improvements across the district, including: $6.7 million for renovations to Washington Middle School; another $7.2 million for upgrades at Franklin Middle School; and $6.2 million to support various improvements at Fort Howard, Tank, Nicolet and Chappell elementary schools. Voters in the Village of Ashwaubenon approved a fourpart referendum to borrow $20.9 million for various

capital projects, including an $8 million auditorium at Ashwaubenon High School. Also during April elections, voters in the Howard-Suamico School District approved two separate referenda to borrow a total of $13.4 million for security and infrastructure upgrades to various schools in the district, as well as a new swimming pool at Lineville Intermediate School. Back in February, voters in Appleton approved borrowing $25 million for renovations and additions to various schools in the district for enhanced science and technical education space, improved security and mobile technology devices for all high school students. In November general elections, voters in the Ripon School District approved borrowing $29.1 million to construct a combined middle school and high school. Other referenda allowing school districts to exceed their state-imposed revenue authority passed in Oshkosh, where voters consented to an additional $3.95 million per year for five years, and in Oakfield, where voters approved an additional $1 million for each of the next three years and then an additional $1.2 million for the following three years.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 31

Year in Review Various redevelopment projects announced during 2014 aim to restore many of the region’s treasured landmark buildings to a meaningful, taxable re-use. Commonwealth Companies of Fond du Lac announced a $2.3 million renovation of the 90-yearold former Retlaw Theatre in downtown Fond du Lac, a transformation that will ultimately create a mixed-use commercial and retail facility with 10 apartments in the upper levels. In June, the City of Fond du Lac was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Investment Grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to help fund the project. That same month, the City of Menasha received a similar grant of $250,000 to help Third Street Market owners


Important Community Redevelopment Projects

Mike Novak and Paul Fassbender pursue a $2.6 million renovation of the former Ninneman’s SuperValu Foods, which closed in 2005. Back in March the state awarded a $500,000 grant to the City of Green Bay to assist private developer Frantz Community Investors with a $35 million project to redevelop the historic Hotel Northland. Plans call for the 90-year-old building to be transformed into a 170-room, high-end boutique hotel during 2015, adding more than $12 million to the city’s property tax base. In April the City of Oshkosh received a $250,000 grant to help automotive web retailer DealerFire renovate a more than 100-year-old building in downtown Oshkosh for its new headquarters. That project wrapped up in late December. Lastly, the historic Meyer Theater in downtown Green Bay received $300,000 from the city for a $3 million expansion project. Construction began earlier this year and includes a more than $1 million renovation to the top floor as a new corporate office for Breakthrough Fuel.

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32 | January 2015 | NNB2B


Highway 41 Improvements

The highly visible U.S. Highway 41 expansion project moved another year closer to completion in 2014 as work wrapped in Winnebago County, and critical interchange reconstruction projects reopened to traffic in Brown County.

Most notably, the flyover ramps at State Road 29 on Green Bay’s west side opened to traffic after two years of work, while construction began for similar interchanges at State Road 172 in Ashwaubenon and at the northern terminus of Interstate 43. Another integral interchange project was completed at Lineville Road north of Green Bay, and a new Hansen Road overpass reopened in Ashwaubenon. In Outagamie County, state transportation officials rebuilt the State Road 47/Richmond Street interchange on the north side of Appleton, as well as began construction on the $550 million State Road 441 Tri-County Project in the Fox Cities. That project will expand U.S. Highway 10/WIS 441 from four to six lanes for a nearly 6-mile stretch, including a new bridge over Little Lake Butte des Morts and interchange upgrades. The state expects construction to be finished by fall 2019.

2014 Honorable Mention Layoffs retracting Certainly a sign of an improving economy, layoffs weren’t as widespread and the numbers weren’t quite as shocking in 2014 as they’d been in previous years. The most significant announcement came in April from Oshkosh Corp., which would eliminate nearly 760 employees as a result of defense spending cuts stemming from wrapping up military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Two anchor stores closed in Fond du Lac’s Forest Mall this past year, affecting a total of about 80 employees. Sears closed in October, while J.C. Penney Co. shut down in May. In June, Connecticut-based Cenveo Corp. closed the former National Envelope facility in Appleton, eliminating 148 union jobs and 24 salaried positions. Regional Cancer Expertise Northeast Wisconsin heightened its profile as a regional center of cancer expertise during 2014. In October, Fox Valley Hematology & Oncology broke ground on a 60,000-sq. ft. cancer treatment facility on the north side of Appleton, which it expects to open this summer. Later that month, ThedaCare officials announced plans for a similar facility near its Encircle Health campus in Appleton. That $44 million project should be complete in 2016. In August, the National Cancer Institute awarded a $12.5 million grant to a collaborative cancer research effort between St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Green Bay, Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation and Gundersen Medical Foundation of La Crosse. The health care organizations are using the funds to improve access to cancer trials for more patients. Oshkosh Economic Development Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. formally organized to serve businesses in the City of Oshkosh and adjacent towns in Winnebago County. St. Norbert College Announces MBA Program A $7 million bequest from the widow of the Schneider Logistics founder in February will create the Donald J. Schneider School of Business and Economics at St. Norbert College in De Pere, and will enable it to become the fourth academic institution in northeast Wisconsin to offer a master’s of business administration degree when the program launches in fall 2015. Existing M.B.A. programs in northeast Wisconsin are available through the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Lakeland College and Concordia University Wisconsin.

Fox Cities Expo Center Crawls Forward In April, the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region approved a $5 million investment to support the Fox Cities Exhibition Center proposal for a 62,000-sq. ft. facility connected to the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The foundation said the funds are not a grant, referring to it instead as an investment to be repaid from revenue generated by a dedicated room tax paid by visitors to Fox Cities hotels. As the year closed, the Appleton City Council was debating purchasing land owned by Outagamie County for the site of the expo center, but delayed the vote into early 2015. ThedaCare – CHN Merger In January, Berlin-based Community Health Network entered into an agreement with Appleton-based ThedaCare to merge the two health care systems. Community Health Network included Berlin Memorial Hospital and Wild Rose Community Memorial Hospital; 10 clinics; its CHN Medical Group of more than 35 physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants; and a total of about 800 employees system wide. ThedaCare consisted of five hospitals including Appleton Medical Center, Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah and New London Family Medical Center; nearly 20 clinics and outpatient centers; and nearly 6,100 employees system wide. Appleton Wheel Tax In September, the Appleton Common Council approved a $20 wheel tax, which will be charged to vehicles registered in the city beginning in 2015 to help pay for street reconstruction projects. Residents had been critical of the city’s special assessments policy, which charged property owners for part of the cost if a road adjacent to their property needed replacing. The state reports 85,657 cars are registered in Appleton, which means the tax could generate about $1.7 million annually. Other Wisconsin municipalities charging a wheel tax include: Beloit, $10; Janesville, $10; Milwaukee, $20; and St. Croix, $10. Lawrence University Record Gift Lawrence University in Appleton received a $25 million anonymous donation in September to support student scholarships, marking the largest gift in school history. The dollar-for-dollar matching gift will provide $50 million in additional endowment to support scholarships for at least 50 students annually.

NNB2B | January 2015 | 33

Health Care

Comparing health care costs The Wisconsin Hospital Association Information Center regularly collects and publishes data about charges and services provided by Wisconsin hospitals and outpatient surgery centers. Providing this cost and quality data was part of a state government and WHA initiative to make health care more transparent to Wisconsin patients. Each year since 2002, New North B2B magazine has published average charges from each facility in our readership area for sample services and procedures common to employers. To compare cost figures from other health care facilities or for other procedures, visit Wisconsin’s PricePoint System online at ~ Research conducted by Kate Erbach for New North B2B Normal Newborn*........................ Discharges St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 989 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London... 107 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah......... 954 Appleton Medical Center......................... 1,136 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 509 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............. 766 Bellin Health, Green Bay.......................... 1,101 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................. 718 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay...................... 1,605 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay................... 602 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 548 State Average..................................................

Median 2014 $884 $2,293 $2,239 $2,187 $1,683 $2,224 $2,168 $2,481 $3,119 $2,961 $3,732 $3,059

Median 2013 $891 $1,620 $1,630 $1,566 $1,623 $2,141 $2,053 $2,408 $2,900 $3,032 $3,675 $2,925

Knee Replacement...................... Discharges Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah......... 178 Appleton Medical Center............................ 516 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 394 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London..... 62 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 249 Bellin Health, Green Bay.......................... 1,045 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay......................... 245 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 164 Ripon Medical Center................................... 35 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................. 211 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............. 152 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay................... 247 State Average..................................................

Median 2013 $23,457 $24,438 $28,427 $27,106 $29,616 $28,101 $34,396 $39,190 $39,507 $32,577 $40,613 $40,911 $39,662

Median 2012 $23,244 $23,624 $27,460 $26,387 $29,666 $26,877 $34,396 $35,461 $44,118 $31,550 $40,973 $41,466 $39,040

* Birthweight of 2,500 grams or more

34 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary. Discharges Median 2014 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah........... 38 $7,248 Appleton Medical Center.............................. 91 $7,975 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London..... 17 $7,954 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................... 63 $11,045 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 131 $10,067 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................... 75 $14,298 Ripon Medical Center................................... 26 $17,171 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 59 $16,831 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay..................... 43 $13,571 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay........................... 73 $16,649 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................... 70 $14,801 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............... 65 $14,283 State Average.................................................. $14,454

Median 2013 $6,907 $7,724 $8,750 $9,300 $9,118 $12,700 $12,114 $17,415 $11,688 $13,384 $12,710 $15,725 $14,454

Major Bowel Procedure.............. Discharges Appleton Medical Center............................ 177 Theda Clark Medical Center......................... 66 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 145 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London....... 7 Ripon Medical Center................................... 11 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 49 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................... 36 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay......................... 116 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................. 178 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............... 74 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay..................... 71 St. Vincent Hospital..................................... 129 State Average..................................................

Median 2013 $22,123 $21,389 $26,536 NA $46,503 $28,819 $29,191 $41,778 $51,385 $46,630 $45,284 $46,292 $45,686

Median 2014 $25,175 $23,637 $25,152 $28,584 $36,536 $38,363 $29,708 $48,732 $59,040 $44,323 $49,416 $49,071 $49,191

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NNB2B | January 2015 | 35

Health Care

Angioplasty w/o heart attack..... Discharges Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah........... 12 Appleton Medical Center.............................. 68 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................... 41 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh.................. 16 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay........................... 51 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................. 106 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................... 40 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................. 188 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............... 62 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay................... 123 State Average..................................................

Median 2014 $26,013 $38,271 $47,437 $41,255 $56,558 $46,522 $48,938 $55,321 $45,111 $54,659 $61,668

Median 2013 $26,648 $29,650 $42,375 $49,926 $65,182 $42,547 $43,889 $50,735 $46,220 $51,455 $56,418

Vaginal Delivery........................... Discharges Appleton Medical Center............................ 899 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London..... 67 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah......... 735 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 839 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 407 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 402 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................. 872 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay................... 487 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay...................... 1,280 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................. 631 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............. 586 Ripon Medical Center..................................... 8 State Average..................................................

Median 2014 $3,624 $3,890 $3,701 $4,206 $4,135 $4,611 $6,012 $7,137 $5,878 $7,964 $6,808 $5,151 $8,154

Median 2013 $3,399 $3,788 $3,503 $4,028 $3,966 $4,022 $5,603 $6,533 $5,389 $6,621 $6,642 NA $7,740

Cesarean Delivery....................... Discharges Appleton Medical Center............................ 301 Mercy Medical Center, Oshkosh................. 136 St. Elizabeth Hospital, Appleton................. 256 Theda Clark Medical Center, Neenah......... 377 Aurora Medical Center, Oshkosh................ 171 ThedaCare Medical Center, New London..... 46 Bellin Health, Green Bay............................. 301 St. Vincent Hospital, Green Bay.................. 207 Aurora Baycare, Green Bay......................... 473 St. Mary’s Hospital, Green Bay................... 139 Agnesian Healthcare, Fond du Lac............. 216 State Average..................................................

Median 2014 $7,830 $8,284 $8,775 $8,501 $10,103 $9,494 $14,824 $12,002 $15,069 $14,785 $15,774 $16,223

Median 2013 $7,264 $8,311 $8,343 $7,937 $9,539 $9,003 $13,280 $11,723 $13,907 $14,146 $14,575 $15,294

36 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Professionally Speaking

Strategies to Minimize Your Tax Burden in 2015

Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.

by Robert Mathers of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 920.232.4855

Individual taxpayers and business owners should be aware of income tax planning opportunities, health care coverage considerations and the expiration of some important tax deductions. vBonus Depreciation and Section 179 deductions. In late 2014, Congress was set to pass a bill extending through 2014 the $500,000 limit on Section 179 deductions and 50 percent bonus depreciation. If passed, these breaks allow business owners to deduct over half (bonus depreciation) or all (Section 179) of the cost of fixed assets that are otherwise capitalized, with their deductions spread over three to 20 years. To qualify, the asset must be paid for and placed in service in 2014.

vAffordable Care Act (ACA). Effective for calendar year 2015, certain businesses are required to offer adequate, affordable coverage to fulltime employees. If you haven’t already begun addressing this mandate, you should engage in current and long-term planning to address the requirements of the ACA. The penalty for individual taxpayers who did not have minimum essential health care coverage in 2014 rises in 2015. vIncome Tax Planning. The 3.8 percent net investment income tax (NIIT) became effective in 2013. When the NIIT is added to the top income tax brackets, the tax rates could be as high as 43.4 percent for ordinary income and short-term capital gains and 23.8 percent for long-term capital gains. vEstate and Gift Tax Planning. The basic

exclusion amount increases to $5.43 million in 2015. Under “Portability” rules, a surviving spouse can increase this amount by the amount of their spouse’s unused exclusion amount. The annual exclusion for gifts remains at $14,000 for 2015. Income tax planning can help reduce your tax bill and address challenges and opportunities facing you and your business. To read this article, please go online to We are prepared to assist you in implementing tax-planning strategies to minimize your 2015 tax burden. Please do not hesitate to call your Davis & Kuelthau attorney or the author, Robert A. Mathers, at 920.232.4855 /, or contact Mark G. Kmiecik at 414.225.1406 /, to schedule an appointment.

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NNB2B | January 2015 | 37

Who’s News


New North B2B publishes monthly new business incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. Brown County

American Response Technologies INC., Sue Neal, 195 Cavil Way, De Pere 54115. Vape N Juice INC., Grant Fitzgerald, 1680 W. Main Cir., Apt. 122, De Pere 54115. Huterra Sports Management LLC, Allan P. Zeise, 1385 W. Main Ave., Ste. 101, De Pere 54115. Northeast Wisconsin Orthopedic Associates S.C., Patrick McKenzie, 1551 Fox Ridge Ct., De Pere 54115. Beechwood Hotel Group LLC, Tari L. Ringelstetter, 1025 Thoroughbred Lane, De Pere 54115. Affordable Mobility Resources LLC, Deron J. Andre, 1251 Scheuring Road, De Pere 54115. Stepani Designs LLC, Ralf Stepani, 1615 Willard Terr., De Pere 54115. A&G Janitorial LLC, Alfonso Garcia, Jr., N526 Drumm Road, Denmark 54208. Atown Towing LLC, Neil Watzka, 217 S. Wall St., Denmark 54208. Clayton Ross Johnson Farms LLC, Clayton Ross Johnson, 18402 Johnson Road, Denmark 54208. Maria’s Music LLC, Maria Jean Sausen, 1118 N. Mycena Cir., Green Bay 54313. Adolph Legal LLC, Tara Adolph, 313 N. Platten St., Green Bay 54303. Runnoe It Consulting LLC, Dawn Marie Runnoe, 3024 Gilbert Dr., Green Bay 54311. Plog Trucking LLC, Teri Lynn Plog, 707 Vanguard Way, Green Bay 54313. Inspire To Heal LLC, Kathi Jo De Baker, 3229 Windover Road, Green Bay 54313. Dragonfly Lawn And Garden LLC, David McLean, 108 Burgandy Ct., Green Bay 54302. Beaver Tree Specialists LLC, David R. Blohoweak, 2301 Conifer Ct., Green Bay 54313. Bayland Insurance Group LLC, Terry J. Gerbers, 480 Pilgrim Way, Green Bay 54304. The Academy For The Art Of Metal Shaping INC., Mark Gerisch, 1272 Parkview Road, Unit G, Green Bay 54304. Los Magueyes II INC., Bryana Martin, 828 Cherry St., Green Bay 54301. G.S.M.T. Fabrications LLC, Matthew Joe Gilpin, 2401 Pecan St., Green Bay 54311. Northern Biogas Environmental Solutions LLC, Guy Selsmeyer, 1595 Allouez Ave., Green Bay 54311. Cricket Boutique LLC, Michelle Aileen Oliver, 668 Sunset Cir., Green Bay 54301.

38 | January 2015 | NNB2B

Anthonys Affordable Property Maintenance LLC, Loretta Shampo, 2833 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54313. Midwest Motors of Wisconsin LLC, Brad Joseph Bain, 1952 Verlin Road, Green Bay 54311. Melodiesnmayhem Entertainment LLC, Robert Edward Haupt, 999 Riverview Dr., Green Bay 54303. Counard Appraisal LLC, Alvin L. Counard, 2767 Newberry Ave., Green Bay 54302. Global Security Solutions LLC, Lisa Beauchamp, 3678 Hoosier Way, New Franken 54229. Tin Cup Stoveworks LLC, Thomas Andrew Kitslaar, 1744 Ives Lane, Suamico 54173.

Fond du Lac County

H & R Safety Solutions LLC, Helen Lavrenz, 333 Washington St., Campbellsport 53010. Equine Design Photography LLC, Tracy A. Trevorrow, N2489 Triple S Road, Campbellsport 53010. Greenway Organics LLC, Christopher Ford, N1692 County Road W, Campbellsport 53010. Winnebago Oil Corp., Harpreet Kaur Sangha, N7425 Winnebago Dr., Fond du Lac 54935. Jrc Wood Creations LLC, Darryl S. Habeck, W6182 Westlake Ct., Fond du Lac 54937. Buckview Transport LLC, Linda Kelley, 84 Cherry Lane, Fond du Lac 54935. Winnebago Street Storage LLC, Christopher K. Cardinal, 490 Ledgewood Dr., Fond du Lac 54937. 3:16 Welding And Fabrication LLC, Randy Lee Brunette, 1504 Minnesota Ave., North Fond du Lac 54937.

Oconto County

Ben’s Auto LLC, Benjamin Steven Druckrey, 5696 Steinkraus Lane, Abrams 54101.

Outagamie County

Music Mission Appleton INC., Lori Witthuhn, 2325 S. Kernan Ave., Appleton 54915. All American Vapor LLC, Christy M. Amour, 1135 S. Mason St., Appleton 54914. Fox Valley Properties and Maintenance LLC, Robert Denson, 2630 S. Jason Dr., Appleton 54915. Innovative Concrete Solutions LLC, Marjorie Notino, 110 1/2 E. Franklin, Appleton 54911. Auction Direct LLC, J.P. Klemstein, 1005 Lawe St., Appleton 54911. Songs Cuisine LLC, Seuorng S. Siebert, 135 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54136.

Sunny Side Up Kids Yoga LLC, Lisa Kramer, 601 N. Morrison St., Appleton 54911. Wisconsin Computer Solutions INC., James Nienhus, 1443 E. Harriet St., Appleton 54915. Heritage Park Preserve LLP, David P. O’Brien, 4121 N. Windcross Dr., Appleton 54913. Soto’s Martial Arts LLC, William Soto, 532 N. Richmond St., Appleton 54911. Dan’s Delivery LLC, Daniel Joseph Wisneski, N2627 Meade St., Appleton 54913. Schneider Custom Installs LLC, Kevin Michael Schneider, W5949 Falling Leaf Tr., Appleton 54913. Amy Danelski Salon LLC, Amy Lynn Danelski, 619 E. Pershing St., Appleton 54911. Katy Leintz Salon LLC, Katy Sue Leintz, 1130 E. Frances St., Appleton 54911. United States National Defense Force Support Command Civil Military Reserve Corps INC., Zong Van Thao, 121 E. Norfolk Pl., Appleton 54911. Trulyclean LLC, Peter N. Thao, 1323 E. Roeland Ave., Appleton 54915. U.N.I. Vision Transport LLC, James Shinkle, N264 Springfield Dr., Appleton 54915. FJPR Carpeting INC., Felipe De Jesus Prado, 318 E. Shasta Lane, Appleton 54915. Davies It Solutions LLC, Connie Davies, 540 Cecelia St., Combined Locks 54113. AP Event Rentals LLC, Adam Lee Paulke, W6357 Design Dr., Unit D, Greenville 54942. Integrity Franchise Group LLC, Lisa Jo Welko, W6674 Green Willow Ct., Greenville 54942. Chase Appraisal Service LLC, Robert D. Chase, W7241 Dover Ct., Greenville 54942. Lily Pad Soap Company LLC, Catherine E. Wolf, 122 Honeysuckle Dr., Hortonville 54944. Nova Pension Valuations LLC, Jennifer Wendt, W7890 Hillview Road, Hortonville 54944. Fox Valley Industrial Services LLC, Travis James Baeten, 1911 Sherry Lane, Kaukauna 54130. Hanna’s Nails & Salon LLC, Jeffrey Joseph Zepnick, 1950 Crooks Ave., Kaukauna 54130. XYZ Freedom Excavating LLC, Matthew Thompson, W2629 Kramer Road, Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County

Survivor’s Cleaning LLC, Wilona F. Young, 1050 Bartlein Ct., Menasha 54952. Mullenix Entertainment LLC, Marianne Mullenix, 365 Lake Road, Menasha 54952. Live Well Yoga LLC, Susan Ann Spencer, 2416 Trumpeter Swan Lane, Menasha 54952. Perfect Print Blankets INC., Steve Nickles, 145 Kaukauna St., Menasha 54952. Ladder Climb Career Consulting LLC, Christina Marie Lambie, 848 Roosevelt St., Menasha 54952. Big Dog Construction LLC, Roger Charlier, 944 W. Cecil St., Neenah 54956. Greenhead Construction LLC, Drew Wasinger, 942 W. Cecil St., Neenah 54956. Therapies For Wellness LLC, Tammy Schmid-Mulry, 504 Vassar Lane, Neenah 54956. Junios Fireworks LLC, Jeffrey Coulthard, Jr., 244 Muttart Road, Neenah 54956. Fifth Ward Brewing Company LLC, Ian Michael Wenger, 609 E. Forest Ave., Neenah 54956. Brantmeier Trucking LLC, Raymond Brantmeier, 1127 Green Acres Lane, Neenah 54956.

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NNB2B | January 2015 | 39

Who’s News

Words to Profit by:

The single biggest lead source stream for me has been the Better Business Bureau. My clients have budgets and cannot afford the mistake of a bad commercial contractor and all that ensues.

Steve Brown, Owner Northstar Contracting BBB Accredited Business since 2011

Secondhand Moving Company LLC, Christopher S. Theisen, 504 Walnut St., Neenah 54956. Wright Sound Solutions LLC, Courtney Wright, 604 E. Main St., Omro 54963. Polar Fox Tax and Accounting LLC, Scott M. Richter, 7232 Country Club Road, Oshkosh 54902. Integrity Counseling LLC, Janet Webster Hagen, Ph.D., 820 N. Lark St., Oshkosh 54902. Christian Mens Discipleship INC., Manuel Rolon, Jr., 549 Washington Ave., Oshkosh 54901. In Da Kut Barbershop N’ Hair EFX LLC, Anthony Lawland Beasley, 1039 N. Sawyer St., Oshkosh 54902. Jimmers Mechanical Repair LLC, James Nobbe, 5346 Eureka Road, Winneconne 54986. Rock-N-Broom Resort LLC, Helen A. Thomson, 175 Twin Harbor Dr., Winneconne 54986.

Building permits

B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Bergstrom Kia, 2445 College Ave., town of Grand Chute. $4,359,586 for a 23,064-sq. ft. new auto dealership. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. November 4.

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Dr. Stephen Dudley & Dr. Gerald Clarke 40 | January 2015 | NNB2B

ACH Foam Technologies, 1739 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac. $665,000 for loading docks and interior alterations to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. November 6. Bellin Memorial Hospital, 744 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay. $800,000 for interior alterations to the existing health care facility. General contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. November. JBWC Properties, 149 W. Waukau Ave., Oshkosh. $2,600,000 for a substantial building alteration to include separating the existing industrial facility into two separate spaces. Contractor is Assemblage Architects of Middleton. November 12. Austin Straubel International Airport, 2077 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon. $2,098,982 for an extensive renovation to an existing 6,098-sq. ft. building to accommodate U.S. Customs operations. General contractor is SMA Construction Services of Abrams. November 12. St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, 161 Reid St., De Pere. $2,019,652 for additional interior alterations to the medical college facility currently under construction. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. November 14. Bemis Healthcare Packaging, 3500 N. Main St., Oshkosh. $1,416,000 for a 162,790-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility and office complex. General contractor is Hoffman LLC of Appleton. November 17 Dean Foods/Morning Glory Dairy, 3399 S. Ridge Road, Ashwaubenon. $1,435,781 for a conveyor bridge and various interior alterations. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. November 24. FloorQuest, 1500 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh. $1,300,000 for a new multi-tenant retail building to include a flooring store. Contractor is Chet Wesenberg Architect LLC of Oshkosh. November 24. Lineville Intermediate School/Howard-Suamico Schools, 2700 Lineville Road, Howard. $4,487,502 for new indoor swimming pool facility. General contractor is Miron Construction Company of Neenah. November 25.

New locations First National Bank – Fox Valley opened its new Appleton North branch at 835 W. Northland Ave. across from Northland Mall. It offers full service deposit, mortgage and commercial banking functions, as well as a 24-hour ATM. Joe Kirschling and Aaron Johnson opened a Toppers Pizza location at 430 Third St. in Menasha. The partners also own Toppers Pizza locations in Appleton, De Pere and two locations in Green Bay.


Cartridge World - Oshkosh moved to a new location at 1171 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh.

Mergers/acquisitions Kim Gordon purchased Thimke Jewelers in Oshkosh and will open Dream by Thimke Jewelers in February. Gordon has been in the jewelry industry for more than 20 years, having previously worked for Kay Jewelers and Jim Kryshak Jewelers in Wausau. Dream Jewelers can be reached by calling 920.573.3698. Appleton-based U.S. Oil acquired six petroleum storage terminals from Noble Petro, Inc., which expands U.S. Oil’s distribution network from 13 to 19 terminals in North America. The acquisition includes three terminals located in Texas, as well as one each in Green Bay, Iowa and Michigan.

New products/services Green Bay-based Vital Essentials launched its VE Freeze-Dried Vital Treats for Dogs, which include the following six flavors: beef nibs, chicken breast, beef tripe, turkey giblets, wild Alaskan salmon and rabbit bites.

Business honors Keller Planners, Architects and Builders of Kaukauna ranked No. 3 in Metal Construction News magazine’s annual Top Metal Builder list for 2013. Keller purchased 8,182 tons of steel for construction in 2013. Keller also ranked No. 8 nationally and was top in Wisconsin by the same publication on square footage of steel construction, having built more than 1 million square feet in its 2013 projects. U.S. Venture, Inc. of Appleton received the New North Workplace Excellence Award presented during the recent annual New North Summit. The Boldt Company in Appleton was recognized for exceptional safety by the Construction Industry Safety Excellence Awards Program, and also received the President’s Safety Award from Construction Employers Association of California. Neenah-based McMahon received the National Gold Award from American Concrete Pavement Association for its work on the State Road 96 reconstruction project in Little Chute during 2013.

David Lewis

Account Director CPA 920.235.6789

Tax Planning & Preparation Financial Statements Bookkeeping/Write Up Payroll Services Visit services for a more complete list of services

New hires Dynamic Designs Unlimited in Pulaski hired Sarah Schrader as a marketing and social media specialist. She has experience in graphic design, web development and marketing.

Quality ❘ Value ❘ Timeliness

NNB2B | January 2015 | 41

Who’s News




Faith Technologies in Menasha hired Scott Romenesko as director of strategic growth. Romenesko has 27 years of industry experience, having previously served as director of application engineering and inside sales with Kadant Inc. Prevea Health added Agnes K. Kresch, M.D. as an infectious disease physician at Prevea St. Mary’s Health Center in Green Bay. Dr. Kresch specializes in a variety of infectious diseases of skin, bone, joints and bloodstream, and fungal and viral infections. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin hired Pete Helein to oversee its Circles of Care program and to oversee its Goodwill University program. Helein is the former chief of police for the Appleton Police Department. The Greater Green Bay Chamber hired Susan Levitte as an account executive. Levitte most recently worked at Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh as the manager of business development marketing. She also has previous advertising and account executive experience with an area marketing agency. Breakthrough Fuel in Green Bay hired Leila McMahon as vice president of Breakthrough Insight, a new service offering dedicated analysts to directly monitor and assist with transportation energy management. McMahon was previously vice president of internal business applications for GS1 in Toronto. Experimental Aircraft Association in Oshkosh hired Erin Brueggen as executive administrator for its Vintage Aircraft Association and Carleen Murphy as a legal assistant. Brueggen is a pilot with a degree in aviation management. Murphy has paralegal experience in the legal and human resources fields. ThedaCare in Appleton hired Anthony Lee as a physician assistant specializing in neurosurgery. He will work with the staff of both Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. First National Bank – Fox Valley hired Matt Kirchner as a personal banker at its Neenah location and Rebekah Baker as a teller in the bank’s Oshkosh branch. Kirchner has three years experience in the financial industry, most recently as a personal banker at JP Morgan Chase Bank. The University of Wisconsin-Fond du Lac hired Teri Mattek as director of continuing education. She most recently served as director of continuing education and professional development at UW-Sheboygan, and previously worked in



42 | January 2015 | NNB2B





similar roles at UW-Washington County in West Bend. Menasha-based Gold Cross Ambulance Service hired David W. Rae as its operations director. Rae previously worked at Gold Cross as a paramedic for 13 years, and spent the past nine years as a registered nurse at ThedaCare hospitals in New London and Shawano. Oshkosh-based Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin hired David Fazer as its executive director. Fazer previously served as a store team leader for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin at various locations across the region. He also has previous experience in management of long-term care programs and residential facilities for elderly and developmentally disabled clients. Network Health in Menasha hired Dr. Mary Davis as its chief medical officer. In addition to a number of years as a practicing physician, Davis worked with Dean Health Plan in Madison as senior vice president and chief medical officer. Dr. Davis most recently managed a private consulting firm working with health plans, software firms and provider systems. BrandDirections in Neenah hired Allison Riebe as an account manager. She previously worked as the head teller at both the Oshkosh and Appleton branches of Citizens Community Federal Bank.

Promotions Keller Inc. in Kaukauna promoted Sarah Vande Hey to office coordinator, Colleen Daul to marketing coordinator, and Brad Stellmacher to purchasing agent. Vande Hey has 13 years experience with Keller which includes previous roles as accounting assistant and receptionist. Daul has been with Keller a year and previously was operations administrative assistant. Stellmacher has been with Keller for seven years working in the finish carpentry division. First National Bank – Fox Valley promoted Amanda Schmit to personal banker in the bank’s Appleton East location, and promoted Brian Julius to mortgage sales manager. Schmit has 13 years of banking experience and has been with FNB for a year. Julius has been with FNB for more than 15 years. City Center in Oshkosh promoted Deb Fenzl to property manager. Fenzl has been with City Center since 2001 as well as with Park Plaza mall in Oshkosh.




Business calendar


Vande Hey


Ashwaubenon-based Nsight promoted Rick Brooks to director of transport and routed networks. Brooks has been in the telecom industry since 2000, and was hired by Nsight in 2009 as a senior network transmission engineer. Ministry Health Care promoted Monica Hilt to president for St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and vice president for Ministry’s eastern region. Hilt previously served as regional vice president of Ministry’s northern region, and held roles as president of hospitals in Tomahawk and Rhinelander. She has also held leadership roles in human resources, support services and quality.

Elections/appointments BayCare Clinic orthopaedic surgeon Jon Henry, M.D. was appointed president of the Wisconsin Orthopaedic Society for 2015.

Business calendar

New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to email For more events, log on to




January 8 Oshkosh West Side Association Annual Meeting, 7:30 a.m. at LaSure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. Event will include a panel of area developers discussing commercial properties. No cost to attend, but registration is appreciated by contacting Connie at or 920.424.4260. For more information, go online to January 8 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. For more information or to register, go online to or email Lisa at January 8 Morning Business 60, workshop and networking opportunity for small business owners presented by Epiphany Law, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Cambria Suites, 3940 N. Gateway Dr. in Appleton. No cost to attend, but registration is required. For more information or to register, contact Amanda at 920.996.0000 or afredrick@

You Deserve Experts. We Have Them.

January 6 Greater Green Bay Chamber Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information, call 920.437.8704 or email members@ January 7 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Break the Ice networking event, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the chamber offices, 125 N. Superior St. in Appleton. No charge for members. For information or to register, contact Pam at

Ahern has over 125 certified/licensed service technicians. HVAC | Plumbing | Fire Protection | Fabrication



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NNB2B | January 2015 | 43

Business Calendar January 13 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or go online to January 13 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Before Hours, 8 to 9 a.m. at the chamber building, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna. Program is on employee theft. No cost to attend for members, but registration is required by emailing Kelli at January 14 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m. at GhostTown Fitness Center, 180 Fox Shores Dr. in Kaukauna. For more information or to register, call 920.766.1616 or visit January 14 Greater Green Bay Chamber Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Advanced Pain Management, 2595 Development Dr., Ste. 150 in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email members@titletown. org. January 14 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 or email foxcitiesprogram@ January 20 A.M. Oshkosh, a morning networking event from the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at UWO Business Success Center, 625 Pearl Ave. in Oshkosh. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2266 or go online to January 20 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Habitat for Humanity ReStore of Fond du Lac County, 65 W. Scott St. in Fond du Lac. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to January 20 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at OuterEdge, 303 N. Oneida St. in Appleton. No cost for members. For more information or to register, contact Pam at

Better Business Bureau New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during November 2014 Alba Birth Center, Appleton Dan’s Moving Van, Green Bay Eberhardt Plumbing & Heating, Adell Insta Print Plus, Appleton Kelbach’s Appliance Service, Oshkosh Marcoe Income Tax Service, Fond du Lac Mid-States Aluminum Corp., Fond du Lac Mike Howe Builders, Manitowoc Peace & Wellness Center, Green Bay Re-Bath of Northeast Wisconsin, Green Bay Tenderhearts Learning Center, Suamico The Main Salon, Green Bay TNT Drywall & Plastering, Neenah Wally Schmid Excavating, Oshkosh 44 | January 2015 | NNB2B

January 29 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Business Expo, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. in Oshkosh. For more information, go online to February 3 Greater Green Bay Chamber Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information, call 920.437.8704 or email members@ n

Advertiser Index

Alberts & Heling CPAs ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 American Transmission Co. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . 8 Bank First National ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Bayland Buildings ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Better Business Bureau ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Borsche Roofing Professionals ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 CitizensFirst Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Competitive Strategies ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Consolidated Construction Company ⎮ . . . . . . . . . 5 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 Dynamic Designs ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau ⎮ Fox Communities Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Guident Business Solutions ⎮ . . . . 39 J. F. Ahern Co. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42 Keller Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Marian University ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 National Exchange Bank & Trust ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Network Health ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council ⎮ . . . . . . . 10 New North Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 OptiVision ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Oshkosh Chamber Business Expo ⎮ . . . . . . 37 Oshkosh Westside Association ⎮ . . . . . . 25 Outagamie County Regional Airport ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . 21 R&R Steel Construction Company Inc. ⎮ . 11 Suttner Accounting ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41 UW Oshkosh College of Business ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ⎮ . . . . 8 Wright Advisor ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 YMCA ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Guest Commentary

Holiday perks includes naughty and nice in Wisconsin politics By Tom Still

MADISON – Under threat of subpoena, a source close to the toy industry has released a copy of Santa’s perks list for Wisconsin politicians and newsmakers. Here’s what the good boys and girls in Madison and Washington found in their stockings this Christmas. But they better not pout and they better not cry if an alert district attorney asks why gifts were delivered down chimneys after midnight. Gov. Scott Walker – Let’s see, what to get the governor who has everything? How about a convincing re-election victory over a solid Democratic opponent. Done that. Republican majorities in both houses of the Legislature? Got that, too. How about a killer holiday shopping season that chips away at a projected state budget deficit through robust sales tax receipts? Santa’s gift to Walker was other people buying lots of gifts. The Wisconsin Legislature – “Now Fitz, now Farrow, now Shilling, she’s no Nixon! On Robin, on Barca, on 63 Republicans primed for friction! To the top of the budget! To the top of the wall! Pass a state budget before summer becomes fall!” U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan – As the next chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, the congressional tax-writing panel, Ryan will deal with some of the nation’s biggest issues – taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare, health care and more. But it’s a two-year job that comes with a catch: A new House rule dictates that committee chairmen must give up their gavels if they run for another office… let’s say, president. Santa’s present to Ryan was an Escape Clause (or Claus). U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson – The Wisconsin Republican will become chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, and cybersecurity is among issues on his plate. If Johnson’s past cyber-comments are any clue, he’ll push for industry-driven cyber standards and legal protections for companies wanting to share information. Santa’s gift to Johnson was free advice from home-state hackers on how to think like an attacker. U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin – The Madison Democrat’s holiday gift came early when she won a seat on the Senate Appropriations Committee, a panel on which her predecessor, Herb Kohl, served for nearly 20 years. Perhaps Baldwin

herself can play Santa in the New Year… unless the federal budget turns into one gigantic lump of coal. Congressman-elect Glenn Grothman – He was one of 33 members in the Wisconsin Senate and this month will become one of 435 in the U.S. House of Representatives, a much bigger pond. Swimming against the tide is rarely a problem for Grothman, however, given his knack for commenting on homosexuality, women in the work force, liberals and Kwanzaa. Perhaps Santa can hire Grothman an extra press secretary for mop-up duty. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett – Getting things built in Milwaukee is rarely a slam dunk… and speaking of dunks, the Milwaukee Bucks want a $400-million arena that includes some public financing. The Milwaukee Tax Bucks? Also pending is Barrett’s $124-million streetcar proposal, which would link downtown to the city’s lower east side. While Barrett’s streetcar may be desired – by him – it will take some heavy lobbying by Santa’s elves to persuade a skeptical City Council. UW President Ray Cross – It’s tough enough to have 17 bosses on the UW Board of Regents, but Cross seems to have picked 132 more in the Wisconsin Legislature. A stocking stuffer for Cross was a copy of “My Way or the Highway: The Micromanagement Survival Guide.” Marquette Law School poll director Charles Franklin– He’s on a roll with nine straight election polls that have predicted the winner and the margin. Cosmic luck? No, just a system that accurately predicts who will vote versus who will stay at home and later gripe about the results. Santa’s gift to Franklin was an “I lie to pollsters” T-shirt. Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley – At first, Bradley’s expected bid for a third 10-year term on Wisconsin’s highest court sounded more like a family law case than an election race. Her potential opponent was Milwaukee County Circuit Judge Rebecca Bradley – no relation – until Bradley No. 2 dropped out. Bradley No. 1’s main competition is now Rock County Circuit Judge James Daley. Daley recently suggested that a longstanding ethics case against Justice David Prosser, who Bradley No. 1 once accused of choking her, be transferred to Minnesota. Santa’s gift to Bradley: Boxing gloves for Round 2. For Wisconsin’s rising political stars: In an era when sharp personal attacks and partisanship drive more good people away from politics than it attracts, it’s reassuring to know that some quality office-holders continue to be attracted to public service. That’s a gift to Wisconsin citizens. Happy New Year, everyone! Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. NNB2B | January 2015 | 45

Key Statistics

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

local gasoline prices

u.s. retail sales november

december 21................ $2.36 december 14................ $2.51 december 7.................. $2.65 november 30................ $2.79 december 21, 2013........$3.16

existing home sales

$449.3 billion 0.7% from October 5.1% from November 2013

u.s. industrial production


(2007 = 100) november

homes sold median price brown cty .....................175 ....................$138,000 Fond du Lac cty .............77 ....................$145,000 outagamie cty .............123 .................... $131,250 winnebago cty ............112 .....................$125,114 WI Dept. Revenue Collections


1.3% from October 5.2% from November 2013

air passenger TRAFFIC


$1.236 billion 2.8% from November 2013

(Local enplanements) nov 2014 nov 2013 Outagamie Cty. ATW....................19,821 ......18,564 Austin Straubel GRB................... unavail. ......unavail.

local unemployment october sept oct ‘13 Appleton . ..... 5.2% ...... 5.4% ........7.2% Fond du Lac . . 5.0% ...... 5.2% ........6.7% Green Bay....... 5.8% ...... 5.9% ........7.6% Neenah ........... 5.6% ...... 6.0%........ 6.8% Oshkosh ........ 4.8% ...... 5.0% ....... 6.2% Wisconsin ..... 4.6% ...... 4.7% ....... 5.9%

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

december.................. $0.857 november.................. $0.768 december 2013......... $0.745 Source: Integrys Energy

ism index Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction. november. . . . . . . . 58.7 october. . . . . . . . . . 59.0

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46 | January 2015 | NNB2B


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Jan 2015  

Regional business magazine; manufacturing, Year in Review, Health Care updates, information

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