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Region’s paper converters, packaging firms demonstrate growth through challenging times

Filling Financial Needs


Faith in WI Start-ups

Tom Still

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Intelligent Business Reporting for the New North

new north b2b july 2013





18 COVER STORY ❘ Converting Economic Influence ❘ Region’s paper converters, packaging firms demonstrate growth 22 FINANCE ❘ Filling Financial Needs ❘ Employment opportunities in financial sector outweigh qualified applicants 26 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ❘ Rivers as Bridges ❘ Cultural exchange builds conservation brand for the New North

Departments 5, 32 Professionally Speaking 4 From the Publisher 6 Since We Last Met 10 Build Up Pages 16 Around the Boardroom 33 Guest Commentary 34 Who’s News 40 Business Calendar 41 Advertiser Index 42 Key Statistics

On our Cover

Illustration by New North B2B.

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 3


PR tips from the trenches

My periodic musing on gaining more media coverage for your business

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

From time to time over my career in journalism, I’ve taken an opportunity to share with readers some helpful tips for gaining coverage in our publication and other media outlets. Partly because academic PR training doesn’t always reflect the reality of how news gatherers use and respond to the information businesses and organizations pass along in the hopes it will be shared with each media’s respective audience. It’s been quite a few years since I’ve last taken an opportunity to share my thoughts on PR with readers, so this month I’ll catch up on a few insights, irritations and helpful tips that have surfaced since the last time I wrote about this subject. Keep in mind, media outlets have varying levels of staffing, and often have different rules regarding the treatment of the information they receive from outside sources. But in a day and age where competition for an audience’s eyes and ears continues to grow exponentially and media outlets are forced to become more lean with the resources they have to provide content, I hope you’ll recognize these are general tips for effectively working with any media outlet to share your messages with a larger audience of existing and potential customers. • First, a good relationship with individuals within a media organization is always helpful, but it does take some effort. Unfortunately, the burden to begin cultivating such a relationship most often falls on you, so make an effort to take the first step. Don’t assume the media outlet is familiar with your organization, and don’t chastise them for what they don’t know about your company or your industry. Follow up periodically, but don’t be a pest. • When in doubt about the material in a news release you plan to submit, error on the side of providing too much information. The more details about a subject, the easier it is for the media outlet to make decisions regarding which details to include in any coverage. When there’s too little information available and the matter you’re attempting to publicize isn’t Earth shattering, chances are you won’t receive a response seeking additional information. • Do however, provide contact information for a specific individual with their name, phone number or email address who can field

questions seeking additional information on the news included in the release. Even if that person can’t answer questions directly, they need to serve as liaison between the media outlet and the company representative who can provide the additional information being sought. It’s become a growing trend – particularly with news releases spit out onto the Web using automated public relations tools – to purposely exclude contact information for any additional assistance with information. • When I say details in a news release, I do mean concrete details. Avoid adding ethereal text into a news release for the sole purpose of making it longer. As with most writing, brevity has its merits, and content from news releases lacking meaningful substance is akin to hollering in an empty auditorium. Take this example from a recent “new hire” announcement I received about why the person was hired by the company: “A desire to leverage her breadth of business experience makes (Jones) a natural fit for the position…” That’s about as generic – and empty – a reason as reasoning can get. • Be creative in how you pitch your potential subject to media outlets. Just because your new store opens or you have a new service available doesn’t make for an interesting and valuable story itself. Try to take a 360-degree perspective on the solutions your new store or service provides to problems that consumers and other businesses face. • Most business and trade media like B2B have editorial calendars which outline intended upcoming article subjects, and most are available at the media outlet’s web site. Review it for opportunities to gain some coverage for your organization, and be proactive with the media outlet about your desire to be a part of such an article. • This one is specifically for PR professionals, and it’s critical to your reputation: don’t stand in the way of a solid relationship your client has already cultivated with a media organization. I know – you’re being paid to manage the relationship between your client and media. Just get an understanding of your client’s experience working the local or trade industry media. If there’s a solid relationship already in place, chances are your intervention will be more likely to hurt that relationship than help it.


Who is a “supervisor” anyway? by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

Tony Renning


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

Reader Question: When is an employee a “supervisor” for purposes of liability under Title VII? Tony Renning: On June 24, 2013, the United States Supreme Court answered the question of who qualifies as a “supervisor” in a case in which an employee asserts a Title VII claim for workplace harassment (Title VII makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against any individual because of the employee’s race, color, religion, sex or national origin). Vance v. Ball State University, 570 U.S. (2013). In late 2005 and 2006, Maetta Vance filed internal complaints with Ball State University and charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging racial harassment and discrimination on the part of a fellow Ball State employee, Saundra Davis. Vance alleged that Davis was her supervisor. However, Vance acknowledged Davis did not have the power to hire, fire, demote, promote, transfer or discipline her.

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

Kate Erbach Production

Contributing writers

Robin Driessen Bruecker Lee Marie Reinsch Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

Under Title VII, an employer’s liability for workplace harassment depends upon the status of the harasser. If the harassing employee is the victim’s coworker, the employer is liable only if it was negligent in controlling working conditions. In cases in which the harasser is a “supervisor,” however, different rules apply. If the supervisor’s harassment culminates in a tangible employment action, the employer is strictly liable. But if no tangible employment action is taken, the employer may escape liability by establishing, as an affirmative defense, that (1) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct any harassing behavior and (2) the victim unreasonably failed to take advantage of the preventive or corrective opportunities the employer provided. The Supreme Court held that an employee is a “supervisor” for purposes of liability under Title VII if he/she is empowered by the employer to take tangible employment actions (i.e., a

significant change in employment status, such as hiring, firing, failing to promote, reassignment with significantly different responsibilities, or a decision causing a significant change in benefits) against the victim. For advice and counsel concerning workplace harassment claims and, specifically, the defense thereof, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.

Green Bay

NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. Printed by Digicorporation, 120 Lake St., Neenah, WI 54956. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at Oshkosh, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2013.

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

Fox Cities


Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 5


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

May 21

May 23

Ministry Health Care, the parent organization of Menashabased Affinity Health Care, announced plans to cut between 225 to 250 jobs across its workforce as a result of declining patient volumes and a reduction in Medicare reimbursement rates. Locally, the reorganization plan included closing the subacute care unit at Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh at the end of June, though Ministry officials did not disclose how many jobs were associated with that care unit.

May 22 LaForce Inc. Green Bay sold its decorative hardware division to a group of local owners who renamed it Inspiration Hardware and will move its operations to 125 N. Military Ave. in Green Bay. LaForce officials said the decision to exit the decorative hardware market came as a result of recent revenue growth from its commercial doors, hardware and associated services, and a desire to more closely focus its efforts on those areas

Green Bay Packaging Inc. announced plans to construct a $95 million, 240,000-sq. ft. expansion to its coated products operations in Ashwaubenon. The modernization project will also include new converting equipment and a high-tech storage and retrieval system for its inventory of raw materials and finished goods. The Village of Ashwaubenon created a $1 million tax incremental finance district to aid in the development of the project, and the company is eligible for up to $1.97 million in tax credits through the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. based upon the number of jobs it retains over a three-year period.

May 29 Creative Openings in Kaukauna was fined $45,000 by the Wisconsin Department of Justice for alledgedly making nearly 600,000 telephone calls to residents on the state’s No Call List. A complaint filed with the department in mid-2012 indicated 89 people filed notice with the state about Creative Openings’ telemarketing practices.

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SINCE WE LAST MET May 31 The Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin announced plans for a $28 million renovation and expansion of its Mason Street and Main casinos, located respectively in Green Bay and Ashwaubenon. Changes to the Main Casino off State Road 172 across from Austin Straubel international Airport include more space for slot machines, a food court with three separate restaurants, a poker room and a sports-themed bar and grill. The Mason Street Casino will be expanded by 8,000 square feet and will include more slot machines and a country-themed bar and grill. The new food venues are expected to create between 145 to 175 food and beverage jobs. Construction of both projects is expected to be complete by spring 2014.

2002 July 12 – Quad/Graphics new 10-story warehouse facility near Lomira collapsed and burned, killing one of the plant’s employees. Other Quad/Graphics plants worked overtime to make up for the materials lost in the fire.


May 31 Oshkosh Corp. received a $192 million order from the U.S. Marine Corps. for a fleet of aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles produced by its Pierce Manufacturing Co. in the town of Menasha. The company did not reveal the number of vehicles included in the contract, but indicated production will begin immediately and could last up to five years.

June 4 The Wisconsin Angel Network reported a total of 74 companies in the state raised more than $163 million in early stage funding during 2012, a 7 percent jump from 2011 when about $153 million was invested in early-stage firms. Among the largest deals reported in the state were $20 million-plus venture capital investments in CalStar Products, a Racine company that develops and manufactures sustainable building products, and Cellular Dynamics, a Madison producer of stem cells. Wisconsin’s share of venture capital investments remains at one-half of 1 percent and continues to lag behind in the number and amount of venture capital deals compared to peer states.

June 4 Roundy’s Inc., the state’s largest grocery firm and the parent company of Pick’n Save and Copps Food Centers, agreed to pay penalties of $43,000 after consumer complaints to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection found scanner violations for over charges at 43 of its stores statewide.

July 14 – Carter’s Inc. of Atlanta finalized its acquisition of OshKosh B’Gosh Inc. Carter’s purchased the Oshkosh-based retailer and wholesaler of children’s clothing for about $312 million.

2007 July 28 – Tecumseh Power Co. in New Holstein closed down its production, laying off the final 65 people employed at the plant. The plant’s owner announced plans earlier in the year to shut down the New Holstein small engine manufacturing facility and move production overseas. The company had employed 550 people as recently as mid-2006 and had 1,500 employees in 2000.

2012 July 5 – U.S. District Judge William Griesbach of Green Bay ruled NCR Corp. and Appleton Paper Inc. will not have to pay further costs toward the cleanup of PCBs from Little Lake Butte des Morts and southern portions of the lower Fox River. The two companies argued they can’t be held solely responsible for discharging toxic byproducts of carbonless paper production into the river during the 1950s and 1960s.

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SINCE WE LAST MET June 7 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 175,000 jobs were created in May, leaving the national unemployment rate essentially unchanged at 7.6 percent. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, and retail trade.

June 7 Area Development magazine’s annual “Leading Locations” rankings of 380 MSAs across America included Appleton at No. 53 and Oshkosh-Neenah at No. 90. The rankings are based on 21 economic and workforce indicators and attempt to gauge a community’s economic strength in the aftermath of the recession. Other Wisconsin communities in the Top 100 included La Crosse at No. 89 and Madison at No. 94.

June 11 The Environmental Protection Agency awarded the City of Green Bay $600,000 toward the remediation of former industrial sites that are polluted or require assessment of possible contamination. The funds are intended to encourage brownfield clean up and potential redevelopment in the downtown areas along the Fox and East rivers, as well as northern corridors of Green Bay along Webster, Velp and University avenues.

June 11 Greenville-based School Specialty, Inc. successfully completed its financial restructuring and emerged from its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In doing so, the distributor of educational products obtained more than $320 million in financing from a handful of institutional investment firms.

June 13 Experimental Aircraft Association agreed to pay the Federal Aviation Administration $447,000 for air traffic control services during its July 2013 AirVenture fly-in, an extraordinary expense to the event made on the heels of the federal government sequestration of air traffic control funding this past April. EAA officials were initially asked to pay $500,000 to the federal aviation agency or risk having to cancel the event altogether, but negotiated the lower rate to employ 87 air traffic control professionals for the duration of the seven-day event, during which time it’s the busiest air traffic control tower in the world.

June 15 Fox Valley Energy Center in Neenah shut down its operations, effectively laying off 23 employees, on the heels of a failed effort to renew its contract with SCA Tissue in Neenah, which purchased nearly 80 percent of the energy produced by the plant. The company uses waste byproducts from papermaking operations that would otherwise go into a landfill and burns it with other ingredients to produce steam for electrical





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June 18 The Brown County Board of Supervisors approved $500,000 to construct and open an outdoor adventure park at the county Reforestation Camp near NEW Zoo in Suamico. The facility – which should open later this year – will include two zip lines, a climbing wall and a ropes course. The project will be financed using a surplus identified in the county’s general fund.

June 20 Kimberly-based Capital Credit Union and Green Baybased Pioneer Credit Union announced plans to merge the two financial institutions in mid-2014, creating a credit union with more than $1 billion in assets, a membership of nearly 90,000 members, and 25 branch offices located from Oshkosh to Sturgeon Bay. It’s anticipated that none of the 361 total employees of both credit unions will lose their jobs as a result of the merger. The merger still requires formal approval from the membership base of each financial institution.

June 20 Michigan-based development firm Edgewater Resources LLC submitted a bid to purchase and remodel the Clarion Hotel in downtown Green Bay – an estimated investment of $15 million – outpacing the offer of $6.7 million from current hotel

operator American Hospitality Management a week earlier. The city purchased the distressed hotel earlier this year to ensure the role of the property within plans to expand the KI Convention Center. Both Edgewater and American Hospitality have agreed to cooperate with the city’s proposal for expanding the adjacent convention center, which would occupy much of the space above the current hotel and parking lot. Edgewater officials proposed development of a high-end hotel  and restaurant.

June 20 Menasha-based electrical contractor Faith Technologies held a job fair in Appleton in an effort to fill more than 250 open positions, which include electrical apprentices, journeymen, superintendents, tower climbers, estimators, project managers, modelers, designers, preconstruction professionals and engineers.

June 21 The Wisconsin Senate passed its version of the 2013-15 state budget, a two-year, $70.1 billion spending package. The budget measure rejects more than $4 billion in federal money to expand the state’s Medicaid program, adds $289 million in education spending as well as expanding the school voucher program, and cuts income taxes by about $650 million. But the budget proposal also includes a $500 million structural deficit. The budget moves to Gov. Walker’s desk for final approval and potential line-item veto.

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Build Up Fond du Lac

Project completion expected in August.

1 - 700 Stanton St., Ripon, Alliance Laundry, a 20,000-


sq. ft. addition for assembly, metal stamping and a press shop. Project completion expected in late summer.


- 790 Eastgate Dr., Ripon, Ripon Medical Center, a 120,000-sq. ft. hospital and medical office building. Project completion expected in early 2014.


- 121 N. Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac, Buffalo Wild Wings, an addition to and remodel of the previous restaurant.

- 51 Sheboygan St., Fond du Lac, Windhover Center for the Arts, a 17,700-sq. ft. addition to include additional classrooms and a new gallery. Project completion expected in the fall.

5 - 71 W. 9th St., Fond du Lac, C

Fruth Field - Fond du Lac School District, a new ticket center and a concessions and retail building at the existing athletic complex. Project completion expected in late August.

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C - Indicates a new listing


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

7 - 123 E. Larsen Dr., Fond du Lac, McNeilus Steel, a 96,000-sq. ft. industrial coil processing plant. completion expected in August. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

Build Up Oshkosh

10 - 2017 Jackson St., Oshkosh, Family Dollar, a new retail store. 11 - 112 Viola St., Oshkosh, Oaklawn Elementary School, a two-story, 68,000-sq. ft. school building. Project completion expected in August.

8 - Fox Ridge Drive, Fond du Lac, C

12 - 625 Pearl Ave., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Alumni Welcome and Conference Center, a twostory, 40,000-sq. ft. welcome center and meeting facility. Project completion expected in December.

9 - 20 Wisconsin-American Dr., Fond du Lac, C Immanuel

13 - 1736 W. 9th Ave., Oshkosh, CVS Pharmacy, a new retail pharmacy building.

Con-way Freight, a 47,000-sq. ft. freight service center. Project completion expected in March 2014.

Trinity Lutheran Church, an addition to the sanctuary of the existing church building.


Projects completed since our June issue: • Wells Vehicle Electronics, 385 W. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac. • Horicon Bank, 2251 Omro Road, Oshkosh.

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BUILD UP FOX CITIES Build Up Fox Cities The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Fox Cities area. C - Indicates a new listing


- W6390 Challenger Dr., town of Greenville, Outagamie County Regional Airport, an 8,000-sq. ft. general aviation terminal building and a separate 12,000sq. ft. hangar for general aviation. Project completion expected in July.

2 - W6400 County Road BB, town of Greenville, Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center, a 93,000sq. ft. training facility for fire protection and law enforcement personnel. Project completion expected in December 2014.


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


- 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Valley Technical College Health Simulation and Technology Center, a three-story, 60,572-sq. ft. health care and emergency medical services education and training facility. Project completion expectd in August.


- 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Valley Technical College Student Success Center, a twostory, 96,750-sq. ft. academic building. Project completion expected in fall 2014.


- 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute, Fox Valley Technical College Agricultural Building, a 7,659sq. ft. addition to the existing academic building.


- 1025 W. Navitus Dr., town of Grand Chute, Navitus Health Solutions, a three-story, 68,600-sq. ft. new office building. Project completion expected in September.

8 - 421 W. Northland Ave., town of Grand Chute, Dollar Tree, a 12,350sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center with two additional tenant spaces for lease. 12 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

Project completion expected in August. General contractor is James J. Calmes Construction Co. of Kaukauna.


- 1910 E. Capitol Dr., Appleton, Grand Central Station, an 8,970-sq. ft. convenience store and fuel station. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

10 - 2929 W. Evergreen Dr., Little Chute, Eagle Plastics, a 40,750-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 11

- 340 Patriot Dr., Little Chute, Green Stone Farm Credit Services, a twostory, 21,000-sq. ft. office building.

12 - 1101 Moasis Dr., Little Chute, Victor Allen’s Coffee, an addition of office and warehousing space to the existing distribution facility. Project completion expected in late September. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 13 - N139 Eisenhower Dr., town of Buchanan, Pizza Ranch, a 6,129-sq. ft. restaurant building. Project completion expected in July. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

14 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, a five-story, 90bed patient tower, as well as renovations to the cancer center and behavioral health. 15 - 550 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, First National Bank Fox Valley, an 8,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing financial institution. Project completion expected in the fall. 16

- 2444 Schultz Dr., Neenah, Plexus Corp., a 473,369-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in late fall. Projects completed since our June issue: • TLM Auto, 3250 N. Mayflower Dr., town of Grand Chute. • Futek Forms, Tags and Labels, 540 Discovery Dr., Neenah.







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completion expected in the fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Green Bay area.

7 - 955 Challenger Dr., Green Bay, EuroPharma, an 11,700-

C - Indicates a new listing

sq. ft. addition to the existing packaging and warehouse facility. Project completion expected in late fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.


- 900 Isbell St., Green Bay, BioLife Plasma Service, a 17,500-sq. ft. medical facility. Project completion expected in July.


2 - 2522 W. Mason St., Green Bay, C Oneida Mason Street Casino, an 8,000-sq. ft. expansion of the existing facility to accommodate an on-site restaurant. Project completion expected in May 2014.

9 - 2351 Holmgren Way, Ashwaubenon, Gordmans, a 50,320-sq. ft. department store.

3 - 1499 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay,

Cabela’s, a 100,000sq. ft. retail store. Project completion expected in July.


922 Stadium Dr., Ashwaubenon, Green Bay Packers Lambeau Field, a 26,000-sq. ft. expansion to the Oneida Nation Gate and a 2,600-sq. ft. communications network building. Project completion expected in August.


- 400 N. Washington St., Green Bay, Schreiber Foods Inc., a five-story, 250,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters building. Project completion expected in early 2014.

6 - 3050 Walker Dr., Green Bay, AK Pizza Crust, a 48,036sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project

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2357 Costco Way, Bellevue, C Costco Wholesale, a 150,000-sq. ft. retail store, including a separate tire center and fuel station.

10 - 2441 Holmgren Way, Ashwaubenon, Amish Home Gallery, a 12,000-sq. ft. retail building. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 11 - 2535 Babcock Road, Ashwaubenon, Krist Oil Company, a 4,600-sq. ft. fuel station and convenience store. Project completion expected in July. 12 - 2020 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon, C Oneida Main Casino, an expansion and renovation of the existing casino to accommodate another on-site restaurant and additional gaming. Project completion expected in April 2014. 13 - 100 Grant St., De Pere, St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, a 150,000-sq. ft. education and research facility which will jointly house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 14 - 2121 Innovation Ct., De Pere,

Foth & Van Dyke LLC, a 95,000-sq. ft. office building. Project completion expected in fall.

15 - 2400 Shady Court, town of Lawrence,

C Town of Lawrence, a 7,100-sq. ft. town hall and municipal office building. Project completion expected in October.

16 - 2121 American Blvd., De Pere, C

VHC, a 3,931-sq. ft.

addition to the existing warehousing facility.

17 - 2249 American Blvd., De Pere, C

Infinity Machine, a 39,060-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.

18 - 2275 American Blvd., De Pere,

Green Bay Packaging, Folding Carton Division, an addition to the manufacturing facility.

19 - 1751 Matthew Dr., De Pere, C Fox River Fiber, a 2,880-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 20 - 600 Heritage Road, De Pere, C Belmark, an 18,803sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Projects completed since our June issue: • FedEx Ground, 3383 Spirit Way, Ashwaubenon. • Washworld Inc., 2222 American Blvd., De Pere.


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Converting Economic Influence Region’s paper converters, packaging firms demonstrate growth through challenging times Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

18 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

COVER STORY Ask the rest of the United States what came to mind 100 years ago in regard to northeast Wisconsin, and the two leading thoughts at the time were paper and cheese. Both remain integral today, even if they don’t boast quite the same national prominence they once did. But both paved the way for a newer industry that was only in its toddler stage at that time 100 years ago – one that would quietly and humbly become one of the leading employers and economic drivers for the New North region. In 2013, we often still don’t think about converting and packaging as highly as we think about other industries in the region. Big names like Kimberly-Clark, Bemis and Georgia-Pacific come to mind, but there’s literally dozens of other companies employing thousands of people and making hundreds of products we’re likely to at least see or use each day. In turn, these converters and packaging firms utilize hundreds of local small businesses in the region along the way to delivering their final product. “The supply chain of services surrounding converting is so extensive in Wisconsin, and increasingly valuable in competing with the rest of the world,” said Susan Stansbury, executive director of Converting Influence, a 7-year-old industry trade organization representing paper converters primarily in Wisconsin between the Green Bay to Chicago corridor. “From trees to fibers, papers and materials, to automation and equipment suppliers, logistics experts, testing labs, ink suppliers, machine shops – it’s readily available in our region.” Green Bay, the Fox Cities, Oshkosh all the way south to Chicago represents a converting corridor which is the U.S. hot spot for converting products like tissues, labels, foil laminated pouches, wipes, napkins, gift wrap and wall paper, among so many other products we use every day. Add to the equation allied companies who serve as vendors to the region’s converters and the industry mushrooms to tens of thousands of jobs in the state and hundreds of millions of dollars in annual payroll.

In our recent gathering of Converting Influence companies in May, we heard several stories of business coming back to our area from Asia due to transportation costs, quality, communications and reliability.

Susan Stansbury, executive director Converting Influence But it’s still difficult to determine a more precise impact converting and packaging have on the state and regional economy, said Stansbury, who founded Converting Influence and built its esteemed reputation before selling the organization and its popular trade exposition to a Chicago-based trade media organization this past June. First, for government statistical purposes, it’s often grouped together with the paper industry which makes the “parent rolls” which converters then transform through value-added processes into the products with which we’re most often familiar. Second, Stansbury added, converters are frequently contracted by major national brand partners to produce the household and other products consumers see every day, but they often do so with deep discretion.

Widespread growth

Despite hard industry numbers, even the casual observer would note the appearance of converting and packaging industries increasing their strength across the region.

What is converting?

What is converting? It’s taking mill roll of paper, film, foil or nonwoven materials and adding one or more manufacturing processes to add value to the product. Finished goods result in a variety of products we use every day – moistened floor wipes, bandages, diapers, toilet paper, disposable hand towels, blank name tags, and the packaging for most of these products represent just a short list. The manufacturing processes employed by converters vary, including rewinding and slitting, sheeting, folding, flexo printing and coating, as the most common examples (see other sidebar on page 20 for more detailed definitions). In many cases, a combination of these processes is needed to finish a product for the retail store shelves. One of the primary reasons northeast Wisconsin evolved into such a hotbed for converters was the heavy concentration of nearby mills providing the various substrates used in converting. These substrates include three major groups: papers, such as tissue, office paper, corrugate for boxes or construction paper; nonwovens, which are more complexly manufactured sheets used for a variety of purposes such as laminates, mattress pads, vinyl backing or filters, as examples; and films such as polyethylene, polypropylene or polyesters suited for various kinds of packaging. There are other reasons the region has become the heart of the converting industry, all leading back to the rich history of the paper dynasties. Many converters were formed by people with previous expertise in papermaking who saw opportunities that were often not being commercialized. In fact, some of the greatest entrepreneurial successes in Wisconsin manufacturing are converters who spun off their expertise from paper mills. Backed with the expertise of engineers, suppliers and managers from the paper industry, converting is also supported by technical college training, including cuttingedge programs at both Fox Valley and Northeast Wisconsin technical colleges. - by Sean Fitzgerald

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While larger expansion projects at well-known employers like Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Georgia-Pacific have attracted more headlines, the bulk of recent upgrades across the region have been for smaller firms of whom the public is less familiar. Appleton’s Flair Flexible Packaging, which designs and manufactures flexible packaging solutions primarily for the food industry, completed a 14,000-sq. ft. expansion project last fall. Earlier this year, Little Rapids Corp. wrapped up a 97,000sq. ft. expansion to a vacant manufactur- FashnPoint napkins from Hoffmaster ing facility it acquired in Green Bay’s I-43 Industrial Park and moved its Larsen Converting operations, which manufacture paper sleeves, laminate and coat, and print on flexo film. Futek Forms, Tags and Labels just constructed an 18,000-sq. ft. facility in Neenah. That’s just a handful of examples from across the region of converters who’ve expanded facilities. Many others have invested capital in upgraded equipment to increase capacity and develop new products. Hoffmaster Group in Oshkosh acquired a new air-blown,

Converting Processes

1. Rewinding and slitting – Taking jumbo parent rolls and cutting them into smaller rolls for use by printers, packagers or additional converting steps. 2. Sheeting – Using cut rolls to supply office paper markets, sheet-fed offset printing, school papers (such as construction paper), wax and bakery papers, and carbonless papers. 3. Folding – Tissue and nonwovens become tissue products such as “Sniffles” brand facial tissues made by Precision Paper Converters of Kaukauna, or medical patient drapes manufactured by Little Rapids Corp.’s Graham Medical division in Green Bay. Napkins and wipers are most often folded as well. 4. Flexographic printing – Flexo printing is particularly substantial in packaging, from wrapping for paper towels, to cartons and holiday wrapping paper. Local examples include American FlexPack of Green Bay, which makes pouch packs, or Bemis Company of Neenah, which makes single-serving condiment packages for the food industry. 5. Coating – Paper and other substrates can be coated into carbonless papers, labels (where one side is adhesive coated and the other/peel-off side is silicone coated), or glossy papers for high-quality printing, as examples. Coatings generally add either an aesthetic or functional property, with aesthetic coatings providing a shimmer for visual appeal, while functional coatings can provide such qualities as adhesives for bumper stickers, labels and tapes, as examples. Source: Converting Influence


The supply chain of services surrounding converting is so extensive in Wisconsin, and increasingly valuable in competing with the rest of the world,

Susan Stansbury point-to-point converting machine that makes high-end napkins that look and feel like linen, but have the convenience of being disposable. It’s FashnPoint lineup of napkin, placemat and catering products gained substantial recognition in the restaurant industry during the recession as five-star restaurants cut out traditional linen in an effort to become more cost conscious, said Cindy Herbert, vice president of marketing at Hoffmaster. In the same instance, FashnPoint products provide a means for less fancy establishments to enhance their image with little expense. The brand new machine will complement the production of a second, more veteran machine that’s been running at full capacity, Herbert said. “It’s a very unique product. We’re the only domestic manufacturer of that (point-to-point) process,” she said, noting such

products are more popular with European restauranteurs, and as a result, this converting method is more prominent abroad. Hoffmaster built its reputation decades ago on tissue-based napkins and was the first to come to the market with decorator colors. Like its CaterWrap product – a singleuse, disposable LinenLike napkin wrapped in a tidy package around high-end disposable cutlery – Hoffmaster’s new product innovations reflect growth opportunities for converters in creating one-time-use, disposable or recyclable products that don’t compromise on quality or luxury. That’s typically been the case with many new and continuing innovations in converting. Consider disposable diapers. Even toilet paper. Well-known consumer brand Quilted Northern Bath Tissue was developed and first manufactured at Georgia-Pacific’s mill on Day Street in Green Bay in 1901. In the 110-plus years since that time, the leading bath tissue brand has been improved to become more comfortable, more environmentallyfriendly, and retail in package quantities to accommodate any households’ needs. Those kinds of product improvements enduring for more than 11 decades now don’t come without investment in innovation, equipment, personnel and facilities. The employer of

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COVER STORY 1,800 people at four plants in the Green Bay area is producing more cases of bath tissue than it was just 10 years ago, and doing so with fewer people, according to Mike Kawleski, public affairs manager for the company in Wisconsin. “We’ve been very fortunate that Georgia-Pacific has continued to invest in our Green Bay operations,” Kawleski said, noting current projects to upgrade its coal boiler, water treatment facility and its electrical infrastructure.

There is something

Well-known consumer brand Quilted Northern Bath Tissue was developed and first manufactured at Georgia-Pacific’s mill on Day Street in Green Bay in 1901. With the size and scope of its operations, Georgia-Pacific also supports an Innovation Institute at its technical center in Neenah where it conducts research and development for all of its North American consumer products.

Support from allied industries

Appleton-based Integrated Paper Services Inc. has a long history in the Fox Valley that’s somewhat known among industry insiders, and often altogether unfamiliar to the general business community.

Neenah Marketplace

Now known more simply as IPS Testing Experts, the globally 124 W Wisconsin Avenue, Neenah innovative testing lab supports the research needs of clients in tel 920.720.0068 the paper and pulp, nonwovens, personal care products and medical supplies industries. In the past six years the company Aspen Marketplace has doubled its sales and doubled its (Next staff, toaccording ShopKo) to President Bruce Shafer, and all indications continuing 1110 Midwaypoint Road,toMenasha growth this year. tel 920.886.1880 “The growth of nonwovens in (northeast Wisconsin) has been Downtown Appleton really outstanding, in my mind,” Shafer said. “Nonwovens are 107 E. College Appleton growing at a rate of 7 percent a year forAvenue, the past few years, tel 920.882.9336 even through the recession.” Aspen Landing IPS even experienced some physical growth Menasha itself, adding 124 Main Street, Menasha on a 4,000-sq. ft. addition to its laboratory facilities late in

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COVER STORY Like its CaterWrap product...Hoffmaster’s new product innovations reflect growth opportunities for converters in creating one-time-use, disposable or recyclable products that don’t compromise on quality or luxury. 2012. Shafer said the growth of IPS has been the result of a few different dynamics – paper converters doing less work with their own in-house laboratories and outsourcing to firms specializing in testing such as IPS; growing sales and product lines among its larger, traditional clients; and new customers stemming from an increasing number of converters spinning off into the marketplace. Still, Shafer admits IPS still suffers from a bit of an identity crisis among smaller to mid-size converters within the industry. Shafer said he attended a nonwovens industry trade conference in Atlanta this past June – in which he estimated nearly a quarter of the attendees were from Wisconsin – and said he spoke with two perspective clients “from the neighborhood” who weren’t previously familiar with IPS. One was located just across the county line from IPS offices and laboratory, and the other was just two blocks away in the same Appleton industrial park. “I’m going to a lot of national trade shows just to meet (converting industry professionals) from right here in northeast Wisconsin,” Shafer joked.

Future success

The future looks bright for converters in northeast Wisconsin and the entire Green Bay-to-Chicago corridor. With literally unlimited product possibilities, converters are running more new product trials, exploring product variations, and innovating for next-generation and “green” products, according to Stansbury. Tissue segment converters remain particularly strong here in northeast Wisconsin, creating products for a variety of endmarket uses in medical, industrial, construction and consumer goods fields. And because of the bulk volume associated with many converted products, it isn’t necessarily cheaper to manufacture such goods in low-labor-cost markets such as Asia and ship them to distributors in the U.S. “In our recent gathering of Converting Influence companies in May, we heard several stories of business coming back to our area from Asia due to transportation costs, quality, communications and reliability,” Stansbury said. “Like the economy in general, the converting industry is growing at a modest pace.”


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Filling Financial Needs

Employment opportunities in the financial services sector are plentiful in northeast Wisconsin. The number of qualified applicants is not. Story by Lee Marie Reinsch Call it “The Case of the Missing Finance Employee.” OK, so maybe Sherlock Holmes wouldn’t take it on, but
it’s a mystery just the same. It’s less a whodunit and more a whodidn’t-do-it-and-why-not? Rather than a search for a specific employee gone missing, this is a case of new ones sparsely materializing. The situation: Decent-paying entry- and mid-level
jobs in the finance sector that don’t require advanced degrees are going unfilled for long enough periods of time that it’s got industry professionals stumped. “It’s a strange one,” said Kim Olson, associate dean
of business, health and services division for Appleton-based Fox Valley Technical College. “For some reason, it’s extremely difficult to attract students to that sector of
industry.” FVTC’s two-year business and financial services associate degree program prepares students for jobs in places like banks, credit unions, insurance companies and investment firms. But enrollment isn’t exactly the stampede to the fore that FVTC and financial industry firms might like. FVTC has waiting lists for other academic programs, especially health, as a result of 24 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

impressions many have of job demands in health fields, Olson said. “People think ‘Oh, health isn’t going away; we will always need doctors and nurses.’” It’s a different story for the financial program: Olson said only 96 students are pursuing the FVTC program, and not all of them are fulltime. She’s noticed another eyebrow-raiser through her contact with the student-services department and the online jobs database her program uses. “What’s really interesting is we have more positions posted than we do students in the program,” Olson said. Most of her students are returning students above age 30, she said, but age runs the gamut.

Money matters

Pinning down “decent-paying” and “good” jobs is tricky. Numbers fluctuate depending on whom you ask, the kind of job, the training required, whether benefits are included and the hours. One common denominator seems to be that they’re all at least several dollars above the minimum wage, which in

FINANCE Wisconsin is $7.25 an hour. Average income for an entry-level fulltime position in the finance sector ranges from “about the low $20,000s” to the mid to upper $30,000s, according to our industry pros. But it’s hard to calculate because sector averages are skewed by top earners with more education and experience. “It’s across the board,” said Jeff Sachse, northeast Wisconsin regional economist for the state Department of Workforce Development. “If you look at just this sector in general, you are looking on average careers that pay around $53,000 per year. But the problem I run into is that includes the bank teller making $25,000 and the investment advisor making $110,000.” Olson said the FVTC program has a 93 percent employment rate over the last five years. But the fact that many of her students are non-traditionals wanting to move up in finance jobs they already hold distorts their average wage. “I’m always a little cautious to give dollar amounts because those folks skew it,” Olson said. “I would say $30,000 to $35,000 to get started. Closer to $30,000 is typical.” That’s an awfully high estimate for a bank teller, indicated Amy Otis, a human resources senior strategist with Kimberlybased Capital Credit Union. “I’d say low twenties is more like it,” she said. Still, it’s not the worst salary for someone without a fouryear degree, and the FVTC program prepares students for jobs other than bank teller. So where are the banking and financial services students, and where are the job applicants? “Damned if I know,” said Peter Prickett, president of the Neenah-based First National Bank (FNB) - Fox Valley.
“We offer a clean, professional environment and stability. Our beneBouwer_July13-B2BAd.indd fits are excellent and there’s room for growth. But for whatever reason, it can be difficult to find qualified people that want to come into the banking environment to work at good jobs.”

Design. Print. Mail.

Why the worker shortage?

This is no job for Inspector Clouseau to goof up. So Nancy Drew and Hercule Poirot are on the trail of an ever-growing list of characters. Following is a lineup of suspects that may provide some clues into why financial services industry jobs are hard to fill: Suspect No. 1: The Preppy Boy-Next-Door Who Turns Out to be Ted Bundy. Otherwise known as crooked financial people who have given the industry a bad name. The last couple years – whether it’s one bank’s mortgage hooligans, another bank’s money launderers, the thugs behind the LIBOR-rate rigging, Ponzi schemers like Bernie Madoff who resembled upright citizens – haven’t been pretty for the financial services sector’s image. Financial advisor Mark Vander Linden, owner of Professional Financial Management, Inc. of Little Chute, said his industry is still suffering a black eye from the past few years. “It’s a naughty word to be a banker or associated with financial services,” Vander Linden said. “Those things are current in people’s minds. Relatives or friends are saying ‘Why would you want to get into that industry? Didn’t they do things wrong?’” Given the roster of rascals that seems to keep growing, many would say the sector deserves it. But Prickett says the little guys like him shouldn’t be in that 510 N. Oneida St. Appleton, WI 54911

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FINANCE mugshot lineup. “Our industry had some bad press: the media singled out us bankers as being big, bad fat cats, and maybe there is some of that out there,” Prickett said. “But the perception that we are big bad people isn’t true, especially at the community-banking level.” Suspect No. 2: Unmanned Drones -- a.k.a. technology. Because today’s generation practically lives online, they’re not always cozy with the concept of a brick-and-mortar bank or face-time with an actual human advisor, Vander Linden said. “There’s a population coming out of high school that doesn’t utilize banks the way we did 20 years ago,” Vander Linden said. “To them, a bank is within their smartphone. They don’t go to a bank to apply for loan - they apply online. They don’t see that there are people that provide those services.” Online banking could end up reducing the number of employees needed to run brick-and-mortar operations – or at least that’s the perception people have, thanks to consolidations like the recent melding of M&I into BMO Harris, according to Vander Linden. This change in direction could end up benefiting finance-sector workers of a different stripe: numbers-people running the network systems and keeping things rolling behind the scenes. “With increasing regulations, there will be more employment for compliance-related people in finance – lawyers and the like. There will be potential for employment in financial services, but not so much brick-and-mortar, face-to-face,” Vander Linden

said. “There are opportunities, but it’s a changing environment.” Suspect No. 3: The Body Snatcher -- a.k.a. competition from other industries Whether they want to admit it, banks have some pretty brutal competition for entry- and mid-level employees, according to one jobs specialist. “A couple occupations like bank teller always seems to be in demand, just because of the fact that there are always new branches opening,” said Sachse with the state’s workforce development department. “The jobs themselves are relatively low paying: a typical bank teller can earn around $25,000 per year, which is on average not that bad, but we have been noting that a lot of banks have been going toward hiring
more part-time employees over the last 10 years.” “Bankers’ hours” and working environments have changed, since banks are opening in grocery stores and strip malls and staying open after 5 p.m. on Fridays and sometimes weekends, he said. “They need more workers but they hire more part-time workers to fill those positions.” Some teller jobs have benefits attached to them; a lot of them don’t, especially part-time. Call centers and insurance providers in northeast Wisconsin are stealing potential employees away from banks for customer-service work. In the last five years, growth in those two areas has far outpaced growth in the finance sector, Sachse said. “There’s more competition among a bunch of different industries for basically similarly skilled workers,” Sachse said.

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FINANCE “So you’re looking at the possibility of doing a teller’s job where you are making maybe $12 an hour – probably less than that around here – or something similar where you’re working more hours and have insurance and vacation.” Otis said she finds part-time jobs aren’t easy to fill. “People apply and then are surprised when they learn it’s only parttime,” even though the job was posted as part-time. “They need the income of full-time work.” Suspects No. 4, 5, 6 and 7: Myths and Other Ghost Tales a.k.a. misperceptions. This gang of hoodlums operates as one united front. Stereotypes and assumptions add to the financial industry’s image problem, according to industry leaders. Such
incorrect presumptions include: Myth: “It’s all numbers and data.” You don’t have to be a certified public accountant to stick your toe into banking, according to Olson. “It’s really heavily gauged on customer service and really gauged on the customer’s need,” Olson said. “Whereas accounting is based on achieving a zero balance, banking is based on finding a way for growth for customers and clients.” That relationship-building makes Will Deppiesse tick. “You get to work with business owners who have some vision of how to take their product and do some unique things,” said Deppiesse, who is vice president for First Business Bank Northeast. “You can work with five companies in the same sector that all do their business a bit differently, and you get to see what decisions they made that led them to where they are, and that’s the part that’s the most intriguing.” Myth: “The job of a bank teller is a dead-end position.” Another vicious rumor, according to Prickett. “That’s a misnomer – just this week we promoted two tellers to different jobs at the bank,” he said during an interview with B2B in mid-June. Bank telling and other entry level positions can be good groundwork to help employees understand banking, basic transactions and commerce in general, Prickett said. “If you have additional customer-service skills, it’s an excellent entry-level spot.” Many students from the FVTC program move forward pretty early on in their careers, Olson said. “A lot of students will start in a customer-service role in relation to loans and, as they get more skilled, they can move up into risk-assessment for loans or loan processing and move forward,” Olson said. But the farther they go, the more training they’ll need, she added. “Students should be willing to refresh their skills,” Olson noted. “They should like learning.” Myth: “There are no growth opportunities.” Many institutions offer training and promote within, and some have their own training departments. “The second point in our mission statement is to provide opportunities for employees to excel,” said Otis of Capital Credit Union. They post jobs internally to measure interest and stay on top of employees’ career goals. “A lot of times that leads to a trickle-down effect, leading us to look outside for entry-level positions,” as employees move up the ladder, Otis said. Capital, too, promoted two bank tell-

ers recently. Myth:“The real money’s in investment banking.” Maybe for those who’ve developed extensive networks, but not for most newbies. “Because the lion’s share of those positions (investment banking) are more commission-based, it becomes a negative for a lot of people” who might otherwise be interested in a financial career, said Vander Linden. “It creates the impression that it’s not a career path that is (viable) to them. They may go into sales of a different sort.” Vander Linden said a Wall Street investment-firm employee told him they didn’t pay commission on accounts under $250,000 – meaning small-time and beginning brokers earn zilch. “They would need to market themselves to households of $1 million or $1.5 million, and when you do find them, how many of them are going to work with a new, 23-year-old trainee?” Vander Linden said. Investment banking jobs are easy to get but not so easy to prosper in. “Their entry-level positions pay what ours do, and they provide a platform to go further in your career,” Prickett said. “I don’t care what it is, you’re not going to walk right out of college into $100,000-plus job anyplace – maybe an attorney or a doctor, but not finance,” Prickett said. “Sometimes it’s an expectation thing.” Lee Reinsch writes and edits from Green Bay.

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rivers one goal cultures Cultural exchange initiative shows off region’s environmental expertise in hopes of building long-term partnerships

Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker Sister cities are an international exchange program with which many of us are familiar. This culture-bridging concept extends to river systems, such as the new Rivers as Bridges organization that links the Mississippi and Yangtze rivers along with the American and Chinese people who live in those regions. Now maturing into a genuine economic development opportunity, the Rivers as Bridges program has its roots right here in northeast Wisconsin, and continues to draw upon the environmental expertise of the region to help shape the learning experiences it affords.

28 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013


The beginning

The development of the organization was the work of many, on both sides of the globe. Back in 2008, New North Inc. hosted the China-U.S. Water Symposium, a gathering of 35 Chinese scientists from various water-related fields plus their American counterparts. A sister-rivers partnership was suggested by the visitors, an idea that was later mentioned in a report presented to the Wisconsin legislature and governor by the University of Wisconsin System. Two years later, a River Spirit exchange was organized at UW-Madison. Spearheaded by a student from China and another from Iowa, the event brought college students from China and America together on rivers in Wisconsin and Iowa. It was there that the name “Rivers as Bridges” was born. Additional exchange trips began. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp went with a group to China this past March, and upon returning she recommended that a nonprofit organization be created. With the formation of Rivers as Bridges the Yangtze and Mississippi river basins were linked, along with their people, creating an exchange program for Chinese and American youth and adults that includes visits to educational institutions, business parks and chambers of commerce, environmental agencies, plus meetings with government and business persons, educators, students and parents. “Both the Yangtze and Mississippi Rivers are important to the cultures of each nation as well as their commercial well-being,” said Jeff Smoller, DNR deputy operations manager, who serves as chair of the RAB board. “They’re highly symbolic and inspirational. It’s really Wisconsin’s and the Midwest’s good fortune that China President Xi Jinping loves the Mississippi, having spent time in Muscatine, Iowa, as a young provincial official. When he visited Iowa last year and was so warmly welcomed by the people, he said, ‘To me, you are America.’ That belief has incredible diplomatic power and commercial potential.” Smoller noted that while the organization is still in the early stages, “it has the potential to serve three needs in China and the US: cultural understanding, conservation and commercial transactions. “Commercially, Rivers as Bridges is a relationship-based brand that can be used to leverage investment and support trade. It could be a kind of ‘Good Housekeeping seal’ that folks in China think good things about because it supports the kids and connotes mutual respect between us,” Smoller added, noting the DNR’s involvement is due to its support of Wisconsin’s economic and environmental future, which includes connecting on a global level. Besides Wisconsin, Iowa and Illinois have joined.

From a business standpoint

Even though much of northeast Wisconsin doesn’t lie within the Mississippi River Basin, our Fox River basin provides a solid portion of the program’s curriculum, as well as involvement from New North business, civic and education leaders and their organizations. Currently involved with Rivers as Bridges are New North Inc., higher-education institutions such as Lawrence University in Appleton, and businesses like The Boldt Company in Appleton and Green Bay-based Foth, which Smoller said have been strong supporters from the start. “Between Rivers as Bridges, ENCSS (UW-Madison group Environment and Public Health Network for Chinese Students and Scholars) and the good work of Lawrence and New North, I bet we’ve had up to two dozen or so visits by Chinese officials, business persons, students and others to look at what’s happening in New North in terms of water, environmental remediation and much more,” he noted. “I’ve personally been with delegations that get very excited when they learn about the Fox River (PCB) cleanup and I can say there are folks working in DNR, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and Lawrence University who are working hard to translate that environmental success into an economic opportunity.” The challenge in executing such an economic opportunity, Smoller believes, is finding that right opportunity for the first sale that produces other sales. He believes the Rivers as Bridges relationship-based brand could help.

I’ve personally been with delegations that get very excited when they learn about the Fox River (PCB) cleanup and I can say there are folks...who are working hard to translate that environmental success into an economic opportunity.

Jeff Smoller, Rivers as Bridges Board Chair “The one thing that folks in the U.S. have a hard time appreciating is the importance of government-business partnerships when it comes to issues like this,” Smoller noted. “I see other countries all the time with their economic and environmental agencies going hand-in-hand selling stuff like pollution abatement equipment overseas. We don’t do that much of it here in the U.S.”

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 29

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT Waterfest Celebrates Summer 2013

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He recalled a past conversation with the second-highest environmental official in Shanghai about how he makes purchasing decisions, indicating the gentleman said he buys from people he knows. “Well, he didn’t have a relationship with anyone from the US – and I’m talking about government – so, guess what, he was buying from the French, from the Germans and from the Canadians. I got the message,” Smoller said. “Rivers as Bridges is a brand that is validated by youth and relationships, and if you look at culture in China and you see who’s sending their youth to our programs you get the feel that these parents are having a say in how and where funds are invested overseas and what imports are purchased in China,” Smoller said.

Mt. Olive


Rivers as Bridges Executive Director Gary Vaughan , who is president of Appleton-based Guident Business Solutions and also lectures on economics at Lawrence University, noted students from China are touring universities and colleges in three states, which showcases the quality of higher education in the Midwest. Also involved in educational aspects are Trees for Tomorrow

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n Invitations for future joint ventures in research, training and business with such institutions as the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology, Beijing. n Showcase Wisconsin’s environmental policies and practices to interested national and local Chinese students and adults. n The development of student exchange activities. n Investigate Wisconsin-China joint participation in international trade events, natural resources training and joint environmental ventures. n Offers to assist in controlling agricultural runoff into rivers and city water systems. n Approximately 175 Chinese middle and high school students and adults will participate in Rivers as Bridges – Midwest, 2013. (Beijing and Xiamen parents, teachers and students.) n Engage in discussions regarding wise fresh water management practices and protection. Source: River as Bridges

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT and Northland Pines School District – both in Eagle River – Ripon College and UW-Stevens Point. ENCSS/Rivers as Bridges Curriculum Director Jack Palmer said the involvement of educational institutions is critical to the program’s success. “Teaching our Chinese visitors about the rich natural resources and conservation tradition of Wisconsin is central to our mission,” he said. “A major goal for the next 10 years is to work together with the people of China to assist with the improvement of our planet’s substantial pollution and naturalresource challenges.” Rivers as Bridges’ summer academic exchange educational program, set for July 21 through Aug. 4, starts and ends in Chicago. In between, workshops and other events take place in Iowa, Madison, Baraboo, Eagle River, Ripon and Appleton. Besides Lawrence University, Fox Cities involvement includes Fox River boat rides arranged by the Fox-Wisconsin Heritage Parkway, and PCB cleanup education with assistance from The Boldt Company. Rivers as Bridges President Xiaodong Kuang noted a July 28 event, “Peace, Friendship and Mother Earth,” will bring together young Chinese and the Ho-Chunk Nation to share cultural traditions. “These Chinese students who will be participating in our natural resources exploration field trip in the summer are interested in studying in the U.S..” explained Kuang. “Most of them will possibly work and live in the U.S. after their study. Therefore, personal stories and suggestions made by successful Chinese Americans here – e.g. government officials, business persons, professors, lawyers, etc. – will be quite helpful for them to learn about American society, culture and economy, and, furthermore, learn how to be successful in working and living in the U.S. in the future.” During the three-day Ripon College segment of the summer event, Wisconsin Leadership Institute Executive Director and Ripon Professor Jack Christ will provide team-building exercises that develop trust, collaboration, problem-solving skills, and goal- and relationship-oriented leadership behavior, along with a healthy dose of fun. “Besides the focus on leadership development, the program will involve considerable attention to the ecology of the two river systems for which the program is named,” said Christ. “This means that students will get considerable hands-on work

PCB cleanup on the Fox River. in the biological and environmental sciences, and they will be introduced to a range of scientists, teachers, environmentalists, professionals, and political leaders along the way.”

A legacy for all

A former student from China who is currently an investor in Shanghai came up with the timeline for the organization to develop and implement its goals: Link Rivers as Bridges to the golden anniversary of the Shanghai Communique signed by former President Richard Nixon and Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai, which will be in 2022 and could also be the retirement year of President Xi, Smoller noted. “This can be a legacy thing for him ... That date will be the launching point for another 50 years of peace and commerce between our countries, hopefully,” Smoller noted. “The great part is that the young people who will participate in Rivers as Bridges between now and then will be moving into leadership positions. In fact, we already have some ‘graduates’ who are in pretty good spots.” Said Kuang, “Youth are the future leaders in the U.S. and China, the two greatest countries in the world. RAB provides a platform for them to share similarities and learn from each other in conservation, culture and commerce.” Robin Bruecker has 17 years experience in magazine and marcom writing. Contact her at

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 31


Do you have a BBB business review? by Better Business Bureau

If you’re the owner of a Wisconsin company, there’s a good chance the Better Business Bureau (BBB) has a review of your company. Have you seen it? It’s easy to search – simply go to wisconsin.bbb. org/Find-Business-Reviews. The Wisconsin BBB has more than 70,000 businesses listed in our database. Each business review should have an assigned rating, based on an A-plus through F scale. Just like school, an A-plus would be the highest grade possible, F would be the lowest. However, you might discover the BBB has no business review of your company at all, or that we’ve rated your company as NR, which means “no rating.” What does this mean? It simply means that we don’t have enough information about your company to issue a rating… and that’s easy to fix! Simply go to and provide the requested information. Remember, if your business is required to have licensing for your industry, and you

32 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

register your company, BBB will verify whether you are properly licensed. Lack of licensing can result in a low rating. Often times, businesses think they must pay to have a rating with the BBB. Not true! Our ratings and reviews are free for businesses – and companies do not have to be a part of our accreditation program to have a rating. In fact, of those 70,000 businesses listed, approximately 6,400 have gone through our accreditation process. In addition, being an accredited business or not has no bearing on your BBB rating. Thousands of non-accredited companies in our database have an A-plus rating. Whether accredited or not, it’s important for your company to be listed with the BBB and have a business review. Nationwide, more than 9 million business reviews are read by people (and potential customers) every month. These people have come to the BBB looking for information about a company to make an informed, buying decision. The lack of a


BBB business review could raise questions in the buyer’s mind, giving these potential customers the impression that you’re not an established, reputable company. For those companies who want to take their association with the BBB a step further, we offer an accreditation program for businesses that qualify. Accredited companies must support BBB Standards of Trust, and are subject to background checking, our evaluation processes and monitoring of their business practices. Because these companies have gone the extra mile, consumers should have added confidence they’re working with a reputable business. In addition, only companies who have gone through our accreditation process can display the BBB logo. For more information, go to Susan Bach is the Northeast Regional Manager for the Better Business Bureau (BBB) of Wisconsin.


Faith in Wisconsin start-ups State early-stage capital program will begin with process and patience

If you doubted the pent-up demand for early stage capital in Wisconsin, consider this note from a startup company founder before a bill creating a state-leveraged fund had passed the full Legislature: “We’re eager to learn more about who we can contact, and how soon, about presentation opportunities for our company in front of the new fund. We believe we have a great story to tell!” With hundreds of compelling startup company stories in Wisconsin, it’s no surprise that aggressive entrepreneurs would jockey to be first in line to make their pitch. That’s what good entrepreneurs do. However, that line can’t form tomorrow. The Legislature has voted overwhelming to support a $25-million state investment in a larger “fund-of-funds” – and Gov. Scott Walker is likely to sign it into law – but the process of establishing the fund now enters a due diligence phase. It will take several months before a private fund manager can be recommended by a committee led by the State of Wisconsin Investment Board, and that manager would need a similar amount of time to select four or more private recipient funds that would bring matching capital to the table. It will likely be early 2014 before the fund is ready to make investments in emerging companies, and even then all the money won’t be invested at once. There’s no sense in force-feeding investment dollars to young companies; that money is better parsed out over time as those companies hit their milestones. That’s all part of a “belt-and-suspenders” approach baked into the bill by legislators who understandably wanted to ensure the best interests of taxpayers are protected over time. It’s also how private early stage funds work – especially if they want to succeed. Return on investment is a necessary goal, so venture capital must also be patient capital.

Measuring impact Tom Still, President, Wisconsin Technology Council

If there’s one certainty about the statebacked fund over time, it will invest in some companies that will fail. That is the reality of all angel and venture funds, which generally succeed over time because the investment failures are outnumbered by successes – at least in terms of dollars returned.

However, the long-term success of the state fund will be measured in two ways. The first way is traditional return on investment, in which the state will share returns just like the private partners. That return won’t be known for years. The second measure will be company and job growth, which more lawmakers care about over time. That type of economic “return” can be measured more quickly, depending on how quickly investment dollars are put to work. One indirect result of the Legislature’s action is already being felt. Wisconsin has sent a message that other private investors have heard loud and clear: The state has faith in its startup economy. Those investors, many of whom are based outside Wisconsin, are already increasingly showing interest in what the state’s young companies have to offer. Funds from California, New York and Illinois are among those that have signaled interest in Wisconsin’s early stage economy, in part because they followed the legislative process. That doesn’t necessarily mean those funds will invest in state-based companies, but at least they’re kicking some virtual tires. In fact, the 2013 “Wisconsin Portfolio” report published in early June by the Wisconsin Technology Council showed that nearly half of the 74 angel and venture deals recorded in 2012 involved at least one out-of-state or international investor. Within Wisconsin, a recent trend has been the launch of smaller, indigenous funds to make investments in emerging companies. Like outside investors, those homegrown fund managers know Wisconsin has strengths in medical imaging and other electro-medical equipment (No. 3 among the 50 states in jobs), electronics components (No. 9), software publishing (No. 10) and much more. It will take some time for the new statebacked fund to become operational, but entrepreneurs can safely begin polishing their pitches now. Money often attracts money, after all, and the Legislature’s vote of confidence is a magnet. Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 33

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

Brown County

Linssen Law LLC, Aaron Linssen, Esq., 327 Main Ave., De Pere 54115. Daron Hardin’s Whip City Executive Limousine Service LLC, Mary Ellen Haas, 1926 Dallas Lane, De Pere 54115. HR Associates Roofing LLC, Hugo Reynoso, 1721 Revere Tr., De Pere 54115. Chef Champion LLC, Leonard Tyrone Champion, 1020 S. Erie St., Apt. 5, De Pere 54115. Little Critter Playhouses LLC, Cory L. Day, 3690 Euro Lane, De Pere 54115. Denmark Community School INC., Eugene O’Leary, 450 N. Wall St., Denmark 54208. Katgrace Styling LLC, Kathryn Grace Wilson, 1639 Swan Road, Apt. 6, De Pere 54115. H&D Boiled Peanuts LLC, Hunter J. Wesoloski, 1627 Sand Acres Dr., De Pere 54115. Knowledge and Talent Management LLC, Meir Russ, Ph.D., 1722 Mayfair St., De Pere 54115. John Dewey Academy of Learning INC., Heather Haluska, 431 Van Caster Dr., Green Bay 54311. Digital House Computers LLC, Luis Alberto Gomez, 1645 University Ave., Green Bay 54302. Tek-Helpers LLC, Kevin K. Seedorf, 301 W. Briar Lane, Green Bay 54301. Inspiration Hardware LLC, Cory Peters, 2744 Manitowoc Road, Green Bay 54311. Van’s Property Maintenance Plus LLC, Brent J. Vanden Heuvel, 1561 Hopi Ct., Green Bay 54313. Red Lantern Food & Spirits LLC, Carl William Schuelke, 1642 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54303. Shawano Motorsports LLC, Steven J. Krueger, 231 S. Adams St., Green Bay 54301. WCC Towing LLC, Evan Y. Lin, 1928 Riverside Dr., Green Bay 54301. Life Preserver Wellness Shop LLC, Sherry Lauder, 509 Blackhawk Dr., Green Bay 54301. Grace Yoga Studio LLC, Jacqueline A. Stempski, 333 N. Broadway, Green Bay 54303. A&B Cleaning & Janitoral CORP., Albert Brantley, 1210 S. Broadway, Green Bay 54304. The Pines at Idlewild LLC, Jeffrey Marlow, 1300 N. Kimps Ct., Green Bay 54313. Postmortem Organ Procurement LLC, Jennifer Berndt, 146 Taft St., Green Bay 54301. Moxilla Technologies INC., Jonathan A. Olson, 211 S. Monroe Ave., Green Bay 54301. Simon’s Custom Cycles LLC, Michael Jon Simon, Sr., 999 N. Military Ave., Green Bay 54303. Brandon’s Bike Worx LLC, Brandon T. Dorner, 2325 O’Connor Road, Green Bay 54313. Pristine Janitorial Service LLC, Mary E. Kraay, 1561 7th St., Green Bay 54304. Packerland Office Center LLC, Corbin Keller, 303 Packerland Dr., Unit B, Green Bay 54303. Lexington Development Group LLC, United Development Group LLC, 3027 Autumn Leaves Cir., Green Bay 54313. Blu Metals LLC, Heather Jo Piontek, 1010 Centennial St., Green Bay 54304. MOD Machine and Repair LLC, Laura Debaere, 1766 Paulson Road, Green Bay 54313. 34 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

N.E.W Hydrographics LLC, Kenneth Scray, 1007 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54303. Banshee Racing LLC, Nicholas Le Gros, 2464 Wildwood Dr., Green Bay 54308. Elite Tent Rentals Acquisition LLC, Matthew R. Sherman, 1071 Liberty St., Green Bay 54304. Windsor Farms LLC, Steve E. Barnette, 3356 Sitka St., Green Bay 54311. Legacy Trucking LLC, Ashley Veglahn, 1689 Fiesta Lane, Green Bay 54302. Title Town Cakes LLC, Norma Garza, 1302 Western Ave., Green Bay 54303. Crosby and Crosby Wisconsin Insurance Services LLC, Kelly Stephan, 322 Blue Sky Circle, Green Bay 54311. Westline Worldwide Marketing LLC, Patrick R. Vieau, 1844 Westline Road, Green Bay 54313. Femur Software LLC, Analytics LLC, 1921 Airport Dr., Green Bay 54313. Mona Rose Winery LLC, Craig Fletcher, 1415 W. Ravine Ct., Green Bay 54313. CTL Metals LLC, Joshua S. Gaura, 3601 Spring Green Road, Green Bay 54313. US Rigging LLC, Dominic Ullmer, 5279 Glendale Ave., Green Bay 54313. Wisconsin Powered Paraglider LLC, William J. Stoll, 6594 Elmro Road, Greenleaf 54126. Tank Family Chiropractic INC., Meggan M. Tank, 4834 Isabella Cir., Hobart 54155. Okey Dokey Marina LLC, Pamela S. Kozloski, 1195 Sunset Beach Road, Suamico 54173.

Calumet County

RehabPro By Preissner LLC, Daniel L. Preissner, N325 Military Road, Sherwood 54169.

Fond du Lac County

CC’s Pheasant Acres LLC, Chris Canter, 5591 St. Kilian Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Volz Concrete LLC, Carolynn E. Volz, W1873 Sunset Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Penning’s Paper Toweling LLC, Travis Lee Penning, 743 Security Dr., Apt. #J201, Fond du Lac 54935. J&V Shuttle Service LLC, Vickie Lynn Roberts, W7155 Rogersville Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Wright Communications LLC, Anthony Wright, 404 Weis Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Bread of Life PK-12 Academies INC., H. D. Haywood, Sr., 180 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac 54935. Parks Law Offices LLC, Daniel L. Parks, 17 Forest Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. O’Brien Auctioneers LLC, John T. O’Brien, W5807 Timber Tr., Fond du Lac 54937. Regqual Consulting LLC, Janice M. Sich, 743 Security Dr., Fond du Lac 54935. Fisher Century Farms LLC, Edward J. Fisher, W8020 Brown Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Cookie Blessings LLC, Tracie Kapler, 1027 S. Park Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Historic Lincoln School LLC, Commonwealth Management Corp., 54 E. First St., Fond du Lac 54935. JP Bindery Tech Service LLC, Jimmie Leroy Prothero, W3623 Taynette Cir., Malone 53049. Birschbach Familie Farmen LLC, Eugene W. Birschbach, N7275 Seven Hills Road, Mount Calvary 53057. Performance Plastering INC., Jill J. Gellings, W1582 Maple Lane, Mount Calvary 53057.

WHO’S NEWS Captain Pete’s Pierogi Pit INC., Tammy J. Liska, 400 Watson St., Ripon 54971. Rhine Design LLC, Jonathan Rhine, 204 E. Griswold St., Ripon 54971. Hutson Tax Service LLC, Sheri D. Dowidat, 312 E. Main St., Waupun 53963.

Better By Design

Green Lake County

Logichaul Logistics LLC, Robert L. Brooks, 409 S. Church St., Berlin 54923. Cypress Farms LLC, Peter H. Kujawa, 123 W. Huron St., Berlin 54923.

Oconto County

Self-DJ LLC, Jeffrey Vogt, 2839 E. Frontage Road, Abrams 54101. Valitchka Siding and Construction LLC, Mark Valitchka, 253 Morning Dove Road, Little Suamico 54141.

Outagamie County

Valley New School INC., Steven Demay, 10 E. College Ave., Ste. 228, Appleton 54911. Fox Auto Center LLC, Ken W. Wegner, 1524 W. Civic St., Appleton 54914. B&R Homes LLC, Ryan John Calmes, 3917 E. Appleseed Dr., Appleton 54913. S&J Lawn Service LLC, Jody K. Reader, 3506 W. First Ave., Appleton 54914. Pristine Clean LLC, Kelly Seiler, 2332 Cloudview Dr., Appleton 54914. Northern Hotel Motel LLC, Jasmeet Kaur, 200 N. Perkins St., Appleton 54914. Nicholas Hansel Agency INC., Nicholas Hansel, 54 Park Place, Appleton 54914. Breast Cancer Warriors INC., Francis J. Beeman, 1625 N. Racine St., Appleton 54911. Consulting Engineering and Installation LLC, Richard Stiles, 3415 Commerce Ct., Appleton 54911. Woodworking Parts LLC, Matthew Mark Jackering, 3624 Hacienda Ct., Appleton 54911. The Service Garage LLC, William J. Cousineau, Jr., 2225 W. Nordale Dr., Appleton 54914. Freedom Metal Art LLC, Marianne Winter, 1501 Nicholas St., Appleton 54914. Insightful Business Solutions LLC, John Joseph Wilkinson, 731 E. Franklin St., Appleton 54911. Sonnyville Murals LLC, Tippra Sonnleitner, 3208 W. Sunset Ave., Appleton 54914. MDLink LLC, Jude P. Jean-Pierre, 3916 N. Millwood Dr., Appleton 54912. Smokers Alternative Evapor LLC, Loren Hoff, 200 E. Marquette St., Appleton 54911. Appleton Wireless LLC, Jeremy Scholz, 402 S. State St., Appleton 54911. Century Remodeling Kelly INC., Kelly O’Connell, 2611 E. Newberry St., Appleton 54915. Matthew’s Heating & Cooling LLC, Matthew R. Kasel, 822 W. Commercial St., Appleton 54914. Lisbon Funeral Home INC., Peter N. Thao, 518 E. Mitchell Ave., Appleton 54915. Miller Public Adjusters LLC, David Miller, 4090 W. Spencer St., Appleton 54914. All Clean N Brite LLC, Philip John Marshall, 2942 W. Big Bend Dr., Appleton 54914. Contact Security & Communications LLC, Richard A. Valenta, 2401 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. A, Appleton 54914.

Since 2007, we’ve completed over $84 million in design/assist GMP projects. We have provided $2.7 million in savings back to the owner.

800.532.4376 |

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 35

WHO’S NEWS Lake Park Sportz Zone LLC, Jeffrey J. Pistone, 3316 S. Solitude Lane, Appleton 54915. Oaktree Financial LLC, Tricia Lynn Pierce, 650 N. Hickory Farm Lane, Appleton 54913. Industrial Machine Services LLC, Nicholas William VanderHeyden, 1930 S. Van Dyke Road, Appleton 54914. Van Zeeland Collision & Paint LLC, Peter M. Van Zeeland, 925 W. Evergreen Dr., Appleton 54913. Olde Mill Apartments LLC, Patrick Michael Vosberg, N4388 Bell Ct., Freedom 54130. Goodfella’s Bar & Grill LLC, Bobbi Jo Paul, 5015 Greenville Dr., Grand Chute 54913. Chadwick Homes LLC, Chad J. Valentyne, W8968 Madeline Lane, Hortonville 54944. Bob Stammer Decorating LLC, Robert C. Stammer, W9364 Country Cove Lane, Hortonville 54944. To The Edge Games LLC, Natalie Schuelke, W8846 State Road 96, Hortonville 54944. New Horton Inn LLC, Stephanie Williamson, N3990 Market Road, Hortonville 54944. Mulroy Farms LLC, William Mulroy, W9444 Cloverleaf Road, Hortonville 54944. Fox Valley Boat Dealers Association INC., Dan Doolittle, N244 State Road 55, Kaukauna 54130. Tree of Life Bodyworks LLC, Tammy D. Lehrer, N9420 State Road 55, Kaukauna 54130. Beach Family Farm LLC, Patrick H. Beach, N9215 Harwood Road, Kaukauna 54130. All Aspects Cleaning Services LLC, James Lee Kappell, 644 Fern St., Kaukauna 54130. Kaukauna Coffee and Tea LLC, Alison Mothes, 425 Dixon St.,

Kaukauna 54130. D&A Pizza INC., Anne N. Schuh, 815 Miller Lane, Kaukauna 54130. Vehicle Restoration Specialists LLC, Jonathan Michael Faucett, 1421 Sunset Dr., Kimberly 54136. Elite Home Organizing LLC, Michelle Marie Gelling, 819 Doerfler Dr., Kimberly 54136. Eagle Nation Transportation LLC, Doyle Dreisow, 221 S. John St., Kimberly 54136. Music of Life Church INC., Wayne G. Swokowski, 230 Welhouse Dr., Kimberly 54136. Milis Flatwork LLC, Dylan Milis, 415 S. Maple St., Kimberly 54136. S.C. Pest Control & Power Washing LLC, Michael Schuetter, 510 E. Elm Dr., Little Chute 54140. Gowey Docks LLC, Patrick Gowey, W3560 Kropp Road, Seymour 54165. K&D Installation & Design LLC, Kerri Kay Schadrie, 1446 Trailside Terr., Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County

Lees Used Tires LLC, Xe Xiong, 795 Midway Road, Menasha 54952. Ele-Grass Lawn Care LLC, Jesse Willemsen, 1472 Circle Dr., Menasha 54952. Paul M. Greene Ph.D. Consulting LLC, Paul M. Greene, 937 Brighton Dr., Menasha 54952. APB Freight LLC, Patrick H. Beach, W4703 Manitowoc Road, Menasha 54952. Curb Artisans INC., Ryan Wolfrath, W6251 Firelane 9, Menasha 54952. Title & Property Resources LLC, Regina Lynn Johnson, 1632 Acorn Ct., Menasha 54952. Balanced Care Massage LLC, Lisa Bierman, 871 Plank Road, Menasha 54952.

The Face of a Keller Customer Our Valued Customer. Without them we would be nothing. This is the face of our company we treasure most. The confident look on the face of someone we just helped to expand their business, remodel their office or build them a new facility that allows them to be more productive, effective and happy. People like Terry Bomier, owner of Bomier Properties, Inc., who has chosen Keller to build and partner with him on more than 10 commercial properties. Terry Bomier has a face we love, not only because it has an air of confidence, but because he trusted the design/build experts at Keller to put that confidence in his expression. We are Employee-Owned, Design/Build Experts. But don’t just take us at face value, call today and experience for yourself the difference that is Keller, Inc. mier, Terry Bo Inc. Owner per ties, o r P r ie Bom A

FACE of Keller

36 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

Construction Excellence Since 1960

1.800.236.2534 l Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau

WHO’S NEWS Bee Happy Naturals LLC, Joseph Raehl, 2047 McGann Road, Neenah 54956. Geiger Equine Dental LLC, Monica J. Geiger, N334 Island Road, Neenah 54956. Plexus Aerospace, Defense and Security Services LLC, Angelo M. Ninivaggi, Jr., One Plexus Way, Neenah 54956. Healing Haven Massage and Bodywork LLC, Melissa Kurz, 619 Knight Ave., Neenah 54956. Elite Auto Group LLC, Jesse Lahner Chase, 1496 North St., Neenah 54956. Purple Hippo Productions LLC, Cara G. Prosser, 618 Oleary St., Neenah 54956. SK Engineering & Energy Solutions LLC, Steven W. Kleman, 9357 N. Oakwood Ave., Neenah 54956. Surgical Associates of the Fox Cities S.C., Denise R. Burkett, 905 Windward Ct., Neenah 54956. Krause Motorsports & Sled Salvage LLC, Dean Richard Krause, 4891 County Road F, Omro 54963. Golden Ocean Foods LLC, Samuel Neng Xiong, 1014 Ohio St., Oshkosh 54902. Soliton Sports Solutions LLC, Meredith Jennings Wills, Ph.D., 842 Wylde Oak Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Salon La Rousse LLC, Tamara Marie Adelmeyer, 317 Market St., Oshkosh 54901. Mary Jane Bartels Pain And Stress Relief LLC, Mary Jane Bartels, 6229 Black Wolf Pt., Oshkosh 54902. Beckoning Light Photography LLC, Claire Koepp, 1269 W. South Park Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Premier Hydro Solutions LLC, Kristine Walsh, 520 W. 15th Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Game Management Music INC., James Donker, 45 W. Snell Road, Oshkosh 54901. Emily E. Dinegan Law Office LLC, Emily E. Dinegan, 2370 State Road 44, Oshkosh 54904. Gelhar’s Small Engine LLC, Joseph Paul Gelhar, 2452 Greystone Ct., Oshkosh 54902. Wisconsin Tax Group of Oshkosh LLC, Alex Brian Luaders, 491 S. Washburn, Oshkosh 54904. Key Strength and Conditioning LLC, Jeff Key, 1120 E. Parkway Ave., Apt. 305, Oshkosh 54901. Wisconsin Public Safety Equipment LLC, Chad Campbell, 423 S. Second St., Winneconne 54986. Winneconne Personal Transport LLC, Jessica J. Thrun, 614 W. Main St., Apt. 2, Winneconne 54986. Historic Restorations LLC, Jeffrey K. Knutson, 6897 Clow Road, Winneconne 54986.

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Intranets & Extranets

Costco Wholesale, 2357 Costco Way, Bellevue. $10,289,076 for a 150,000-sq. ft. retail store, including a separate tire center and fuel station. Contractor is Novak Construction of Chicago. May 8.

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Fruth Field – Fond du Lac School District, 71 W. 9th St., Fond du Lac. $963,830 to construct a new ticketing center, concessions and retail building at the existing athletic complex. General contractor is Commonwealth Construction of Fond du Lac. May 10.


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B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000.

Immanuel Trinity Lutheran Church, 20 Wisconsin-American Dr., Fond du Lac. $2,142,458 for an addition to the sanctuary of the existing church building. General contractor is Catalyst Construction of Milwaukee. May 15. 920-437-1360

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 37

WHO’S NEWS South Park Middle School – Oshkosh Area Schools, 1551 Delaware St., Oshkosh. $923,000 to restore the exterior brick to the existing school building. General contractor is Capelle Bros. & Diedrich of Fond du Lac. May 24. Merrill Middle School – Oshkosh Area Schools, 108 W. New York Ave., Oshkosh. $1,028,700 to restore the exterior brick to the existing school building. General contractor is Capelle Bros. & Diedrich of Fond du Lac. May 24. Georgia-Pacific Corp./Fort James plant, 1919 S. Broadway, Green Bay. $900,000 for a second floor office project in Building No. 4. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. May 31.

Mergers/acquisitions Anderson Vision and Northshore Eyecare, both in Oshkosh, merged practices to form InSight Eyecare.

Business honors J. F. Ahern Co. of Fond du Lac ranked No. 26 among mechanical contractors in the U.S. in Contractor magazine’s 2013 Book of Giants listing with 2012 revenues of $204 million. Ahern also ranked No. 2 among water/wastewater contractors with 2012 revenue of $47.0 million and No. 5 among fire protection contractors with 2012 sales of $71.5 million. Keller, Planners, Architects and Builders of Kaukauna received a Silver ESOP Award from The ESOP Association, the national trade group for companies with employee stock ownership plans.


We’ve got you covered. For all your commercial, industrial, and institutional roofing needs.

866-799-0530 | N2971 Hwy. 15, Hortonville

38 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

Borsche Roofing Professionals, Inc. of Hortonville received the Platinum Safety Award for 2012 from Associated Builders and Contractors with their highest Platinum Safety Award for posting zero recordable accidents in 2012. Engineering News-Record magazine’s 2013 Top 400 Contractors list of the largest general contractors in the United States included the following local firms: Michels Corp. of Brownsville at No. 36 with 2012 revenue of $1.6 billion; The Boldt Company of Appleton, No. 93 with 2012 sales of $623 million; Miron Construction Co. of Neenah, No. 118 with 2012 sales of $515 million; C.R. Meyer & Sons Construction Co. of Oshkosh, No. 224 with 2012 sales of $258 million; and C.D. Smith Construction of Fond du Lac, No. 233 with 2012 revenue of $252 million. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce honored the following organizations during its recent Business Recognition Luncheon Awards: Entrepreneurial Award to NorthCoast Productions LLC of Green Bay; Growth Award to AmeriLux International of De Pere; Special Accomplishment Award to Green Bay Symphony Orchestra; Environmental Stewardship Award to The Solberg Company of Howard; Cornerstone Award to ProSolutions, Inc. of Green Bay; and Familyfriendly Workplace Award to Unishippers of Green Bay. The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry honored the following organizations during its recent Business Awards Luncheon: Rising Star Award-Manufacturing to Landfill Reduction & Recycling of Appleton; Rising Star-Service to The Chiropractic Advantage of Appleton; Rising Star-Wholesale/Retail to Branching Out & Company of Appleton; Business of the Year Award-Manufacturing to Gardan, Inc. of Hortonville; Business of the Year-Service to Cypress Benefit Administrators of Appleton; Business of the Year-Wholesale/Retail to Wilmar Chocolates of Appleton; Company Innovation Award to Fox Valley Technical College of Appleton; Corporate Citizen/Leadership Award to Community First Credit

WHO’S NEWS Union of Appleton; and Exemplary Marketing and/or Performance Award to Network Health of Menasha.

Directions Marketing in Neenah hired Keith Voss as director of strategy and research services and Shaun Swanson as a 3D illustrator and graphic artist. Voss most recently worked as the director of strategic planning for Innovative Services in Appleton, and previously served in a variety of management positions at Appleton Inc. Swanson has 13 years in graphic design, most recently working for BCI Burke in Fond du Lac.

New hires Fond du Lac-based Fox Valley Savings Bank hired Tim Lamers as a vice president, business banking. Lamers has more than 15 years of business banking experience, having worked the previous seven years as vice president of business banking with Appleton-based Business Lending Group.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center in Green Bay added Ramon Ray G. Rayel, M.D. and Matthew A. Schmidt, M.D. as cardiologists; Timothy R. Cooper, M.D. as an anesthesiologist; Christopher Skowlund, M.D. as a radiologist; and Jonathan C. Renkas, M.D. as an emergency room physician at Aurora Medical Centers in Oshkosh and Two Rivers.

Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin in Menasha hired Kris Kutschera as a service coordinator/interventionist to its early intervention services team. She previously worked for Family Services in Menasha as a family support specialist.

J. J. Keller & Associates in Neenah hired Del Shannon as a transportation safety consultant. Shannon served 10 years as a Tennessee State Trooper and commercial vehicle enforcement officer. He has also served as a DOT coordinator for a heavy equipment dealer.

Marian University in Fond du Lac hired Robert Fale as its interim president while a search is conducted to replace Steven DiSalvo, who took a similar position at a New England college. Fale previously worked 16 years as president and chief executive officer at Fond du Lac-based Agnesian HealthCare – which, like Marian, is also sponsored by the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes – before retiring in late 2011. He has since served as president of Robert Fale HealthCare Consulting LLC.

Insight Creative, Inc. in Green Bay hired Andrea Parins as a PR/ social media coordinator. She most recently worked as a social media coordinator at GMR Marketing in Milwaukee. The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in Appleton hired Chadd Scott as director of sales. Scott has been in hospitality sales and management for 16 years.

SRC Technologies in De Pere hired Sally Simon as director of business administration. Simon has 16 years experience in accounting and office management for a financial services organization.

Red Shoes PR, Inc. in Appleton hired Deniz Cakmak as an account coordinator.


The Green Bay law firm of Hager, Dewick & Zuengler, S.C. hired Amber Vermote as a paralegal.

Menasha-based Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin promoted Brian Manowski to network technology leader/engineer and promoted Adam Krusz to logistics flow planner.

First National Bank-Fox Valley in Neenah hired Drew Bodway as assistant vice president, mortgage manager. Bodway has more than 10 years of banking experience, most recently with Bank of Kaukauna and M&I Bank in Neenah.

Bellin-ThedaCare Healthcare Partners promoted Dave Krueger, M.D. to executive director. Dr. Krueger has served as medical director for the regional health care collaborative since 2008 and will continue in that role.

Optimal Web Consultants, Inc. in Appleton hired Tyler Morey as a search engine optimization specialist.

Bayland Buildings, Inc. in Green Bay promoted Chad Calmes to vice president of operations. Calmes has been with Bayland for 12 years, most recently as the project management department leader.

Wisconsin Vision in Appleton and Oshkosh hired Dr. Greg Hubertus as an optometrist. Hubertus has eight years experience in optometry.











NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 39

WHO’S NEWS Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac promoted Holly Brenner to vice president of strategic development and marketing. Brenner joined Agnesian in 2011 as director of marketing, public relations and business development.

Individual awards John Sallak, senior safety consultant for J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. in Neenah, received the Oregon Trucking Association’s Lifetime Safety Achievement Award. Sallak previously served as the safety director for the association before joining J. J. Keller in 2010. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce honored Dana VanDen Heuvel, both of MarketingSavant and The Docking Station in Green Bay, as its 2013 Business Person of the Year during its recent Business Recognition Luncheon Awards.

Elections/appointments Kelly Ann Hekler, convention sales manager for Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, was elected to a two-year term on the board of directors for Meeting Professionals International-Wisconsin chapter. Hekler will serve as the organization’s director of publications, advertising and community outreach. Chris Hanson, owner of Hanson Benefits in Appleton, was appointed to a three-year term on the Health Insurance Sharing Plan Authority Board ( by Gov. Walker. The mission of the HIRSP Authority is to provide access to high quality, affordable healthcare for all eligible Wisconsin residents.

40 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013

Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to send an announcement to: New North B2B, Attn: Who’s News, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903. For more events, log on to July 2 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.437.8704 or email July 9 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For information, call 920.303.2266 or go online to July 9 Fond du Lac Inventors and Entrepreneurs Club, 6 p.m. at Elks Club, 33 Sheboygan St. in Fond du Lac. No cost to attend. For more information, go online to July 10 “Opportunities in Franchising,” a day-long event sponsored through a Green Bay-based collaboration, 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Hyatt on Main, 333 Main St. in Green Bay. This program is open to those wishing to own

BUSINESS CALENDAR a business and those who already own a business and want to expand it through franchising. Cost to attend is $25 and includes breakfast, lunch and materials. For more information or to register, go online to www. July 11 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. Annual Leadership Award and scholarship recipients. For more information or to register, go online to or email Patty at July 16 A.M. Oshkosh, a morning networking from the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Oshkosh Area United Way, Inc., 36 Broad St., Ste. 100 in Oshkosh. Cost to attend is $2. Registration is required by going online to or calling 920.303.2266. July 16 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce & Industry Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m. at Appleton Yacht Club, 1200 S. Lutz Dr. in Appleton. For more information or to register, go online to July 16 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce P.M. Connect, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Sherwood Forest Golf Course, N580 Robinhood Dr. in Sherwood. To register or for more information, call 920.766.1616 or go online to July 18 Biz Blends, a morning networking event from the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, 7 to 9 a.m. at Fox Banquets Rivertyme Catering, 111 E. Kimball St. in Appleton. Cost to attend is $18 for members and $30

Better Business Bureau New Members

Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during May 2013 A & BE Heating and Cooling LLC, Menasha B&B Building & Remodeling LLC , Two Rivers Bill’s Four Seasons Sales & Service Inc., Crivitz DC Construction, Montello Dempsey Law Firm LLP, Oshkosh Economy Movers of Green Bay LLC, Green Bay GLH Home Services-Gutter Glove, Green Bay Greenfoot Designs LLC, Green Bay Hammertime Construction LLC, Clintonville Handyman for Hire, Manitowoc Krail Jewelry Inc., Fond du Lac Lakeland Cemetery Service Inc., De Pere Longworth Construction Inc., Oshkosh Northern Trading Company, Amberg Overhead Door of Appleton Inc., Appleton Thompson Law LLC, Appleton Unity Financial LLC, Greenleaf Valley Diesel Injection Service, Neenah West Town Auto Inc., Green Bay Woolhether’s Clean Sweep LLC, Fond du Lac

for nonmembers. For more information or to register, contact Susan at 920.734.7101 or August 7 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Erberts and Gerberts Bistro on the campus of Marian University, 45 S. National Ave. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $5. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.921.9500. August 14 A.M. Oshkosh, a morning networking event from the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Benesch, 4614 Red Fox Road in Oshkosh. Cost to attend is $2. Registration is required by going online to or calling 920.303.2266.

Advertiser Index Associated Bank 9 Aspen Coffee & Tea 22 Bank First National 14 Bayland Buildings 12 Better Business Bureau 32 Borsche Roofing Professionals 38 Bouwer Printing and Mailing Inc 25 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin 13 Capital Credit Union 16 CarePlus Dental Plans 26 CitizensFirst Credit Union . ............................ 21 Clean Image Janitorial 27 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 5 EP Direct ................................................. 6 Epiphany Law ............................................ 25 Fast Signs 20 First Business Bank .................................... 17 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ................... 23 Fox Valley Savings Bank 38 Frontier Builders and Consultants Guident Business Solutions 35 Horicon Bank ............................................. 31 J. F. Ahern & Co. 35 Keller Inc. ................................................... 36 National Exchange Bank & Trust 2 Netsonic 8 Network Health Plan . ................................ 43 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council 15 NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development 44 Outagamie County Regional Airport ................ 40 Ramada Plaza Green Bay 30 R&R Steel Construction Company Inc. 20 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries 10 Skyline Technologies 37 Stolley Studio 32 Thome Benefit Solutions 7 UW Oshkosh College of Business 42 Waterfest 30 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ..................... 37

NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013 l 41

KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

$3.63 June 16 $3.84 June 9 $3.99 June 2 $3.87 June 23, 2012 $ 3.44 June 23

Source: New North B2B observations



$421.1 billion

0.6% from April


from May 2012

Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin

(2007 = 100)


6.8% from April


from May 2012 April

$1.523 billion


from April 2012



Unch. from April


from May 2012 (Manufacturers and trade)


$1,657 billion


from March


April Mar. Apr. ‘12 8.3% 7.9% 9.2% 8.7% 7.3% 7.2%

8.8% 8.4% 9.8% 9.2% 7.7% 7.7%

8.2% 7.4% 9.0% 8.3% 6.9% 6.8%

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

$0.695 May $0.661 June 2012 $0.562 June

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



49.0 50.7

from April 2012

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

One Master of Business Administration Degree. Two Paths. Professional and Executive. Choose the path that fits your level of experience, career goals and time commitment. Visit, call (920) 424-3199 or call us toll-free at (800) 633-1430 for more information.

Stephen Nunn, MBA Student, Graduating ‘14 Operations Manager, Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Neenah, Wis.

42 l NEW NORTH B2B l JULY 2013


Regional business magazine


Regional business magazine