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Business Intelligence for the New North

Ne ver ending web of

red tape

Region’s executives say rules keeping business in check also hinder growth

Fox Valley software developers growing presence Technology Northeast Wisconsin Fast Forward grant recipients Workforce

July 2014

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Financing projects big & small. Building Projects | Equipment | ReďŹ nancing For quick, local lending decisions contact Tom Belter or Jeff Hayes. Tom Belter (920) 906-6862

Jeff Hayes (920) 906-6806 Member FDIC

Business Intelligence for the New North

July Features 16


Never ending web of red tape

Experts say rules to keep business in check also hinder growth


Regional software developers growing presence Emerging industry finding place in northeast Wisconsin



Region’s entrepreneurs gaining more resources to succeed Education, private business collaborate to grow start-up culture


Workers receive training through state grants

Manufacturing, transportation, health care among sectors getting help


Departments 4

From the Publisher

5, 40 Professionally Speaking 6

Since We Last Met

10 Build Up Pages 22 Elections 38 Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin Update 41 From the Editor 42 Who’s News 48 Business Calendar 49 Advertiser Index 50 Key Statistics

NNB2B | July 2014 | 3

From the Publisher

Chasing Minnesota Wisconsin’s inferiority complex with the Land of 10,000 Lakes remains

by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B Publisher

Cheeseheads are undoubtedly thankful for their Badgers, Packers and Brewers and the clout they’ve recently held over the Gophers, Vikings and Twins. Sports teams provide a needed ego boost in these times, as economic benchmarks in Wisconsin continue to rebound from the recession but still often fall short of our neighbors to the west. The gap may not be narrowing though – in fact, it may be expanding – as evidence would suggest from the most recent 2014 Measuring Success report from Competitive Wisconsin and Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, which has read the barometer of the state’s economic health annually since 1998 through about 30 different benchmarks. In the years since the end of the recession, the Badger State has outpaced the nation and many neighbors in the Midwest in regard to these gauges of a competitive economy. But Minnesota – which has been decidedly ahead of Wisconsin during the past decade in 85 percent of the benchmarks compared – continues to widen its lead on the rest of the Midwest. In the category of economic health, for example, Minnesota has consistently outranked Wisconsin in each of the five or six benchmarks measured since 2000, with a few rare exceptions when Minnesota’s unemployment rate climbed higher than that of Wisconsin for a few months during 2003. Most notably, per capita personal income in Minnesota is more than 10 percent ahead of Wisconsin at $47,850 compared with $43,150 here, while average household income in Minnesota is $61,800, nearly 18 percent higher than $53,100 in Wisconsin. The same holds true in the category of quality of life, where Minnesota also consistently topped the Badger State in each of the four or five standards measured during the past decade. The only bright spot for Wisconsin had been its rate of violent crimes, which had regularly been the lowest in the Midwest as far back as 2003. But a notable rise in violent crimes in Wisconsin during the last 10 years has sent its rate of violent crimes sailing past both Minnesota and Iowa. 4 | July 2014 | NNB2B

The only two consistent and clear advantages Wisconsin has over Minnesota give cheeseheads a nod for both manufacturing jobs as a percent of the overall workforce, a yardstick in the business climate category, and the number of residents with Ph.D.s in sciences, math, engineering and technology, a measure in the workforce excellence category. Another measure of workforce excellence – high school graduation rates – indicates Wisconsin just recently eclipsing Minnesota after a more than 10 percent rise in high school diplomas issued in Wisconsin during the past decade, an increase some education critics attribute to artificial efforts to graduate otherwise unqualified students in certain districts struggling to meet federal No Child Left Behind guidelines. In addition to personal income and violent crimes, other areas of concern for Wisconsin during the past decade include: Wisconsin has become substantially more obese and as a result, unhealthier, during the past 10 years; Wisconsin continues to remain substantially behind Minnesota and most of the rest of the Midwest in terms of number of patents issued, high-tech employment and available venture capital; while Wisconsin continues to outpace the national average in its standardized test scores for 4th and 8th Grade students, the state is woefully behind Minnesota each year achieving proficient or advanced levels in math; the cost of electricity has nearly doubled in Wisconsin since 2000; though the state traditionally could boast a lower cost of living as a quality of life attribute, Wisconsin has increased its standing on this benchmark to a point where it exceeded the national average for the first time in 2012; and while Wisconsin is adding jobs in the years since the recession, evidence suggests many of the jobs lost five to six years ago are being replaced with lower paying jobs. Reports such as Measuring Success aren’t necessarily intended to bring the same joy as an end-of-semester list of straight A’s and a 4.0 GPA. Each year’s report is a realistic snapshop in time of the state’s standing in relation to its own past as well as to neighboring states and the national average. Make no mistake about the fact that Wisconsin’s position is improving slightly as it progresses through this sluggish economic recovery. But the performance of our neighbors to the west – in many aspects other than the sports teams we love – demonstrate substantial room for improvement. n

Professionally Speaking 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. Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.

Wage and Hour Recording Requirements by Tony Renning of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 920.232.4842

Reader Question: Do I have to continue to maintain records tracking the “hours worked” for employees “exempt” from Wisconsin’s overtime compensation requirements?

Tony Renning: In general, Wisconsin’s wage and hour laws require employers to pay employees overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 per week, but exempt certain administrative, executive, professional and other employees. As a result, Wisconsin’s wage and hour laws have historically required employers to record the hours of employment for all employees, including those “exempt” from overtime compensation requirements. 2013 Wisconsin Act 286 removes the requirement that an employer record the “hours worked” for employees who are exempt from overtime Sean Fitzgerald Publisher & President Larry Avila Editor

compensation requirements, and who are not compensated on an hourly rate basis. Effective April 18, 2014, employers are no longer required to maintain payroll records tracking the hours worked of their employees exempt from overtime compensation requirement, and who are not compensated on an hourly rate basis. See, § 104.09, Wis. Stats. This change brings Wisconsin’s payroll recordkeeping requirements in line with those of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers will no doubt welcome the elimination of the requirement. However, before changing current recordkeeping practices in response to 2013 Wisconsin Act 286, employers should consider their need for records related to leave administration as well as the possible value of records of hours worked in the event of a future overtime-related claim – what if an employee files an overtime claim

alleging the employer misclassified him/ her as overtime exempt? Given this risk, employers would be well served to re-examine whether the employees they classify as exempt truly satisfy all of an applicable exemption’s requirements. For advice and counsel concerning state and federal wage and hour provisions, contact Tony Renning at (920) 2324842 or or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is a shareholder with Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.

Green Bay NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC, 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902.

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The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2014.

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Fox Cities


Chief Financial Officer Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA Layout design by

Fond du Lac

NNB2B | July 2014 | 5

Since We Last Met

Since We Last Met

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

May 29

June 2

The National Railroad Museum in Green Bay received a $27,880 marketing grant from the state Department of Tourism, which will be used to return an A4 Class locomotive to the museum that had been on loan to the National Railway Museum in York, England since 2013. The British-made locomotive, the Dwight D. Eisenhower, had been exhibited at the Green Bay museum since 1964 until it was sent to England last year. The locomotive will be part of a new exhibit, which will run August through October. The museum estimates the exhibit will generate an economic impact of $240,000 through traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and retailers.

Airadigm Communications Inc. of Little Chute, a provider of Airfire Mobile services, announced it will close six locations, including sites in Little Chute, Grand Chute, Appleton, Green Bay, Madison and Wausau, affecting 55 workers. The company said in a notice filed with the state Department of Workforce Development that layoffs would start by July 26 with its locations expected to close by Aug. 1.

June 1 A new law took effect allowing businesses in Wisconsin to raise up to $1 million from state investors through Internet crowdfunding sites. The limit raised can increase to $2 million if the issuer has had an audit in its most recent fiscal year. The law also regulates Internet site operators used for crowdfunding, indicating they must be authorized to do business in Wisconsin and be registered with the state Division of Securities. Operators must maintain records of the offers and sales of securities through its website.

June 2 The University of Wisconsin System Board of Regents appointed Gary L. Miller, chancellor of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, as the new chancellor for UWGreen Bay, replacing retiring Chancellor Thomas Harden. He begins his role Aug. 1. Miller served as chancellor at UNC-Wilmington since 2011, where his initiatives included forming the Chancellor’s Office for Community Partnerships, supporting a number of programs focused on applied learning and the undergraduate academic experience, developing the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and establishing the University Innovation Council. During his tenure, the university launched an online nursing program, and opened a $30 million marine biotechnology business development




warehouse facility in Lomira collapsed and burned down, killing Keith Freiberg, 22, of Fond du Lac. Other Quad/Graphics plants will work overtime to make up for the printed materials lost in the fire.

a subsidiary of Alliant Energy, bought the development rights to a wind farm project in southeastern Fond du Lac County. The project includes nearly 40 wind turbines in the towns of Eden and Empire, which would generate a projected 80 to 100 megawatts of electricity.

approved selling the Clarion Hotel it owns downtown on Main Street for $2.7 million to American Hospitality Management, the firm currently operating the property. American Hospitality plans to invest $5.3 million in upgrades to the 146-room hotel. The city acquired the property earlier in the spring when it went into receivership as a means of ensuring the city could proceed with plans to expand the nearby KI Convention Center, which would be partially developed above the parking lot of the hotel and use a skywalk to connect the hotel with the convention center.

July 12 – Quad/Graphics new 10-story

2005 July 13 – The Fond du Lac City Council voted

to convert the former Kohl’s grocery store property into an extension of Hamilton Park. The property has been vacant since 1990.

6 | July 2014 | NNB2B

July 21 – Wisconsin Power & Light Co.,

2010 July 5 – The statewide cigarette smoking ban went into effect, disallowing smoking inside any Wisconsin workplace, including all bars and restaurants. Individuals violating the law can be fined $100 to $250, while businesses violating the law can be subject to a maximum daily fine of $100.

July 30 – The Green Bay Common Council

and research building. Miller holds a doctorate in biological sciences from Mississippi State University, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in biology from College of William and Mary. Miller will earn $230,000 as UW Green Bay chancellor.

HVAC | Plumbing Fire Protection | Fabrication

June 2 Fond du Lac County economic development officials announced the creation of Ignite! Business Success, a collaborative support system of 15 economic development partners to assist entrepreneurs and inventors in Fond du Lac County. The initiative will launch by mid-September and will provide services including business consulting, capital resources, entrepreneurial training, market research services, access to peer networks and mentors.

Our actual project costs have been within 2.7% of the original estimates for the last five years.

June 2 Both Oshkosh Corp. and Bemis Company of Neenah fell a few notches on the Fortune 500 list released for 2014. Heavyduty truck manufacturer Oshkosh dropped to #347 from #322 a year ago, while food packaging manufacturer Bemis dropped to #492 from #479 in 2013. Other Wisconsin-based companies to make the annual list of the largest publicallytraded companies in the U.S. include the following: Johnson Controls of Milwaukee at #68; Northwest Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee at #110; Manpower Group Inc. of Milwaukee at #144; Kohl’s Corp. of Menomonee Falls at #151; American Family Insurance Group of Madison at #373; Rockwell Automation of Milwaukee at #410; HarleyDavidson Inc. of Milwaukee at #433; and Joy Global of Milwaukee at #493.


June 5 The U.S. Department of Commerce determined revoking the 2008 anti-dumping duty order on imports of lightweight thermal paper from Germany likely would lead to continued dumping. This decision is part of a five-year sunset review conducted by the Commerce Department and International Trade Commission to ensure duty orders will remain in place on imports from China and Germany for five more years. The ITC will determine by Oct. 14 whether to continue the duty orders. The decision impacts local papermakers, particularly Appvion Inc. of Appleton, which argued German and Chinese thermal papermakers were importing and selling product in the U.S. at prices below the probable cost to produce, creating unfair competition. U.S. paper manufacturers supported the 2008 decision.


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June 16 Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh was awarded $803,149 in funding for designing and rebuilding panels on the facility’s terminal ramp, as well as fence and gate replacement. Some of the funds also will be used on a narrative report, which will include an update airport layout plan, signs and utility plan. The funding included $722,834 from the Federal Aviation Administration, $40,157.50 from the state and $40,157.50 from Winnebago County.

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NNB2B | July 2014 | 7

Since We Last Met June 16 Fond du Lac County Airport was awarded $1.4 million in funding for assorted projects at the facility including installation of security gates, construction of a cul-de-sac, and reconstruction of taxiways/taxi lanes. The funding included $1.3 million from the Federal Aviation Administration, $71,874 from the state and $71,874 from the city of Fond du Lac. Work is underway and is expected to be completed this fall. June 16 Members of Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local 400 based out of Kaukauna voted to strike after failing to reach an agreement on a contract negotiation. The strike lasted less than two days when a revised contract proposal was approved by the nearly 2,000 members of Local 400 and the 105 contractors it serves in northeast Wisconsin focused in the plumbing, pipefitting, HVAC service and pipe fabrication industries. June 17 The Green Bay City Council postponed action on a rezoning request by Walmart, which seeks to build a 154,000-sq. ft. store in the city’s downtown Broadway shopping district. The issue has been a source of contention among residents and downtown business owners as well as between city staff and elected officials. The city’s plan commission recommended

denying the request June 9 following a city council advisory committee recommended approval back in May. Walmart filed a revised plan with the City of Green Bay on May 8 to build the retail center on the Larsen Green industrial site after an initial proposal had been rejected back in January. Supporters of the retailer’s latest plan say it could attract additional mixed-use development on the vacant, former industrial property. The council may reconsider the issue in July. June 18 The City of Appleton Common Council approved plans for a $7.2 million apartment development on the site of the former Foremost Dairies industrial facility along a downtown segment of the Fox River. The 96-unit, townhouse-style apartment complex from Milwaukee-based architects Vetter Denk and Ganther Construction of Oshkosh will be composed of 13 buildings located on eight acres, a scaled-back version from earlier development proposals that called for as many as 180 housing units. Construction is expected to begin later this year with nearly two-thirds of the units completed in the first phase of the development project by the end of 2015. June 18 The City of Fond du Lac was awarded a $400,000 Community Development Investment Grant from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. for Commonwealth Companies of Fond du Lac to redevelop the former Retlaw Theatre property into a mixed-use development with retail and office space and 10 market-rate apartments. Wempner’s School of Dance,

Great relationships start with the right people. Bill Bradley has joined the Bank First team, with a focus on the bank’s Appleton expansion. Bill joins Bank First with more than 15 years of high quality Wisconsin-based community banking service. You can reach Bill at (920) 609-3401 or email bbradley@


Opening in Appleton in 2015!

8 | July 2014 | NNB2B

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currently operating out of the former theater building, will remain. The $2.3 million project to transform the 89-yearold theater and three adjacent buildings is expected to begin later this year and is expected to generate about $25,000 in additional property taxes and add more than $600,000 to Fond du Lac’s tax base, according to the state. June 23 Wisconsin Energy Corp., the parent company of WE Energies, announced plans to acquire Integrys Energy Group Inc., the parent firm of Wisconsin Public Service Corp., in a deal valued at $9.1 billion. Once complete, the combined utility provider would service electric and natural gas utilities for most residential and business users across eastern, northeastern and northcentral Wisconsin under the name WEC Energy Group Inc. In total, the combined entity would serve more than 4.3 million gas and electric customers across Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota, in addition to its Wisconsin markets. The combined company will also hold a 60 percent stake in American Transmission Co., the organization which maintains the electrical distribution network across the state. Officials from Wisconsin Energy said a combined WEC Energy Group would continue to maintain an operating headquarters in Green Bay, as well as others in Milwaukee and Chicago. The acquisition still requires federal and state regulatory approval, and Wisconsin Electric anticipates closing on the deal during the summer 2015.

June 23 The City of Menasha received a $250,000 grant from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. to assist with the development of Third Street Market, a new $2.6 million grocery store proposed for the downtown. Owners Mike Novak and Paul Fassbender, who also operate Webster Avenue Market and University Avenue Market in Green Bay, will receive tax incremental finance assistance from the city to help with the cost of renovating and remodeling the former Ninneman’s SuperValu Foods property at 205 Milwaukee St., which closed in 2005. The new store – expected to open this November – could create 21 fulltime and 21 part-time jobs. The lack of a grocery store in the area has led to the neighborhood’s designation as a “food desert” by the federal government. June 25 The state Department of Transportation began construction on the $550 million State Road 441 Tri-County Project in the Fox Cities to reconstruct and expand U.S. Highway 10/ WIS 441 from four to six lanes for a nearly 6-mile stretch between Cold Spring Road to about a half-mile east of Oneida Street. Additional phases of this multi-year project include a new bridge over Little Lake Butte des Morts and interchange upgrades. Currently, traffic heading west on U.S. 10 is unable to directly access U.S. Highway 41 north, and northbound travelers on U.S. 41 cannot exit on to U.S. 10 to head west. The state expects construction to be finished by fall 2019. n

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starting in October, with the same home run service as always. NNB2B | July 2014 | 9

Build Up Fond du Lac

2 1



Build Up


Fond du Lac

1 - 158 N. Main St., Fond du Lac Kwik Trip, a new convenience store, fuel station and car wash.

4 - 980 S. Hickory St., Fond du Lac Kwik Trip, a new convenience store and fuel station.

3 - 235 N. National Ave., Fond du Lac Moraine Park Technical College, a 5,212-sq. ft. addition to the existing educational institution to improve the main entrance and student services. Project completion expected in November.

5 - 305 & 321 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac Fond du Lac Regional Clinic South, a 50,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing medical clinic, as well as a separate 50,000sq. ft. building for an Agnesian Healthcare dialysis center. Completion of both projects expected in late 2014.

3 - 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac Grande Cheese Co., an addition to the offices at the cheese production facility. Indicates a new listing

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Build Up Oshkosh


Build Up



6 - 639 Witzel Ave., Oshkosh City of Oshkosh Public Works Building, a municipal operations facility and yard.

8 Projects completed since our June issue: • Bluemke’s, 120 E. Division St., Rosendale. • Roberts Homes, 1315 S. Main St., Fond du Lac.

7 - 3325 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh Bergstrom Kia, a 10,574-sq. ft. addition to the dealership. 8 - 3000 Block of Knapp Street, Oshkosh EAA Bendix King Building, a two-story, 3,200-sq. ft. vendor event center on the EAA AirVenture grounds. Project completion expected in July. General contractor is James J. Calmes and Sons Construction of Kaukauna.

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NNB2B | July 2014 | 11

Build Up Fox Cities Build Up

Fox Cities

Indicates a new listing

1 - W6400 County Road BB, town of Greenville Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center, a 93,000-sq. ft. training facility for fire protection and law enforcement personnel. Project completion expected in December. 2 - 3030 W. College Ave., town of Grand Chute Les Stumpf Ford, a 21,226-sq. ft. addition to the existing automotive dealership. Project completion expected in July. 3 - 2445 W. College Ave., Appleton Kolosso Automotive, a 49,000-sq. ft. dealership facility. Project completion expected in August. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 4 - 1230 W. College Ave., Appleton Cypress Homes, a new commercial building and showroom. 5 - 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute Fox Valley Technical College Student Success Center, a two-story, 96,750-sq. ft. academic building. Project completion expected in August. 6 - 835 W. Northland Ave., town of Grand Chute First National Bank - Fox Valley, a 4,200-sq. ft. financial institution branch office. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 7 - 710 W. Evergreen Dr., town of Grand Chute Kwik Trip, a 7,041-sq. ft. convenience store and a 1,736-sq. ft. car wash facility. 8 - 2701 Freedom Road, Little Chute Simon’s Specialty Cheese / Agropur, a 2,600-sq. ft. addition to the existing cheese production facility to expand the boiler room and warehouse. 9 - 2121 Freedom Road, Little Chute Culver’s Restaurant, a 4,207-sq. ft. restaurant building. Project completion expected in August. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 10 - 311 Oak Grove Road, Kaukauna PolyFlex Inc., a 60,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. 11 - 1200 Maloney Road, Kaukauna Team Industries, a 26,020-sq. ft. expansion to the existing pipe fabrication facility. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 12 - W811 State Road 96, Kaukauna Fox Valley Wood Products, a 16,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 13 - W3197 County Road KK, town of Buchanan US Cellular / Chipotle Mexican Grill, a 5,305-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. Project completion expected in the fall.

12 | July 2014 | NNB2B



10 thru 12

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13 & 14


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14 - N225 Stoney Brook Road, town of Buchanan Gameday Sports, a 1,600-sq. ft. addition to the existing restaurant / tavern building. 15 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton St. Elizabeth Hospital, a five-story, 90-bed patient tower, as well as renovations to the cancer center and behavioral health. 16 - 420 7th St., Menasha Menasha High School, two separate additions totaling 46,603 square feet of educational space, as well as interior renovations to the gym, locker rooms and swimming pool.

17 - 417 N. Tullar Road, Neenah Country View Animal Hospital, a 11,000-sq. ft. animal care facility and offices. Project completion expected in November. Contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 18 - 1125 W. Winneconne Ave., Neenah Qdoba Mexican Grill, as well as other vacant commercial space as part of a 4,968-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. Projects completed since our June issue: • Piping Service Inc., 100 County Road KK, Kaukauna.

NNB2B | July 2014 | 13

Build Up Greater Green Bay area

2 1

5 &6

3 4

7 8 9 & 10


12 & 13

Build Up

Indicates a new listing

Greater Green Bay area 1 - 1010, 1109 & 1112 S. Military Ave., Green Bay Broadway Pre-Owned, Broadway Hyundai and Broadway Ford, three separate dealership facilities. 2 - 1482 W. Mason St., Green Bay Associated Bank, a remodel and substantial reconstruction of the existing branch office. Project completion expected in July.

14 | July 2014 | NNB2B

3 - 1265 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay Lambeau Field, renovations to the East Gate, Packers Pro Shop and construction of Rober Harlan Plaza. Project completion expected in July. 4 - 839 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay Bank of Luxemburg, an 11,444-sq. ft. bank branch and office building.

CONSTRUCTION DELIVERED. Calmes Construction awarded

5 - 301 E. Main St., Green Bay KI Convention Center, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing convention center facility. Project completion expected in spring 2015.

“Best Remodel” from the Green Bay Historical Preservation Society

6 - 100 E. Main St., Green Bay CityDeck Landing, a six-story, mixed-use development to include 76 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor. 7 - 840 Van Der Perren Way, Ashwaubenon Dell’s Service Center, an addition to the existing vehicle service facility. 8 - 3101 S. Ridge Road, Ashwaubenon Sherwin Williams, a 7,525-sq. ft. retail paint store for contractors. Project completion expected in July. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 9 - 1030 Glory Road, Ashwaubenon Tenor Construction Supply & Rental, an 18,000-sq. ft. warehouse facility and office. Project completion expected in August. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

N2193 Bodde Road • Kaukauna, WI 54130 (920) 766-7940

10 - Label Drive, Ashwaubenon Green Bay Packaging Inc., a 240,000-sq. ft. coated products manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in late fall. 11 - 100 Grant St., De Pere St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, a 150,000-sq. ft. education and research facility to house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 12 - 633 Heritage Road, De Pere Belmark, an addition to the existing industrial facility. 13 - 750 Millennium Ct., De Pere Gandrud Detail Shop, a new automotive maintenance facility. Project completion expected in late summer. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. Projects completed since our June issue: • Schreiber Food Inc., 400 N. Washington St., Green Bay. • Jet Air Group, 1921 Airport Dr., Ashwaubenon. • Tytler’s Cycle, 2246 Mid Valley Dr., town of Lawrence. • Dunkin’ Donuts/ Maytag Laundry, 950 Main Ave., De Pere • Walgreens, 150 Wisconsin Ave. South, De Pere.

NNB2B | July 2014 | 15

Cover Story

Never ending web of red tape Experts say rules to keep business in check also hinder growth

Story by Larry Avila, New North B2B Editor

Unraveling the complex web of rules and regulations that do everything from keeping people and the environment safe to ensuring businesses operate within their bounds is a seemingly never-ending task. Ed Lump, president of the Wisconsin Restaurant Association, has encountered and maneuvered his industry through many issues – including recently convincing state lawmakers not to regulate portion sizes restaurants serve to patrons – over the years. He said maintaining a competitive business environment while also ensuring his members understand what is needed to comply with municipal, county, state and federal laws always is an uncertain journey. “If we tell members how to do something today, tomorrow they either don’t have to do it or it’s changed,” Lump said. “In our industry, we require certainty.” Regulations vary by industry but one consistency regardless of the sector is new laws are passed, existing ones sometimes are modified, and those that are dated become irrelevant. It’s always those under consideration which affect the business climate that get attention. A study released last year by the Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute 16 | July 2014 | NNB2B

estimated compliance costs just for federal rules in 2012 was $1.8 trillion. Among the major issues on the minds of members of Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce include the Environmental Protection Agency’s latest proposal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the power generating industry, specifically coal-fired power plants between 10 and 72 percent – in Wisconsin’s case 34.2 percent – by 2030 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, more commonly referred to as Obamacare. “We have been very outspoken on the EPA issues,” said Kurt Bauer, WMC president and CEO, in an interview with B2B. His association joined forces with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers in what is expected to be a long battle over the EPA’s latest emissions reduction plan. Any proposals to change air emissions rules is under constant watch by the state’s paper industry, said Jeff Landin, president of the Wisconsin Paper Council, which represents businesses employing about 31,000 around the state. How the EPA changes will affect boiler MACT – maximum

achievable control technology – restrictions for manufacturers is a concern. Landin said many paper companies operate their own boilers and the proposed rules could alter emissions limits for mercury, particulate matter and other pollutants. “There already are significant compliance costs to these rules to the tune of several millions of dollars per company,” he said. Landin said paper company executives – which includes firms who operate mills outside the U.S. – routinely weigh whether they should invest in equipment to keep facilities in compliance with new rules or move production overseas. The state’s paper industry already has seen many mills close or consolidate production elsewhere, translating to lost jobs, many paying $60,000 or more annually, he said. “It’s a tough (decision) for mills to face, especially in a not-so-great growing economy,” Landin said. “They ask themselves, ‘do we spend all of this money just to comply with one rule?”

Rolling with it

As far as the state’s power utilities are concerned, there’s nothing to do but wait and see what happens with the EPA’s proposed emissions changes. However, if more stringent rules translate to higher compliance costs, it is possible customers will see higher electricity rates, said Kerry Spees, spokesperson for Integrys Energy Group, owners of Green Bay-based Wisconsin Public Service Corp., which has 445,000 electric customers and more than 323,000 natural gas customers in northeast and central Wisconsin and portions of Upper Michigan. “The new rules were issued but won’t become final until sometime in 2015,” Spees said. States have until 2016 to formulate compliance plans, which may be extended to 2017 or 2018 if states form joint plans with other states. Updated rules came as no surprise.

“We were expecting the new regulations,” Spees said. “We will not be surprised if there are more stringent rules somewhere down the road.” Milwaukee-based We Energies, which has about 1.1 million electrical customers statewide, was uncertain about potential rate increases because of new EPA rules. “As for the EPA draft rule, we wouldn’t be able to estimate the impact of the new rule on any of our plants and what it may mean to customer rates until the details of the rule are fully developed,” said Brian Manthey, spokesperson for We Energies. He said We Energies’ believes the final version of the rule should be based on commercially available, cost-effective technologies, while also taking into account the impact the rule’s implementation would have on customer rates. “At this point there is no technology available to capture carbon from power plants nor is there a system for store of the carbon even if it is captured,” Matheny said.

Right to choose

In 2012, New York City approved a rule prohibiting the sale of sweetened beverages larger than 16 ounces at all restaurants, fast-food eateries, delis, movie theaters, sports stadiums and food carts. The rule was supposed to take effect in March 2013 but was challenged in that state’s Supreme Court and its enforcement delayed until a ruling is made. Proponents of New York’s rule say it was done to combat obesity and was based on scientific facts that consuming smaller portions of sweetened drinks would aid in the battle of the bulge. New York’s effort sparked a national movement. Ed Lump with the state restaurant association said a victory for his organization came through lobbying efforts with Wisconsin lawmakers, which passed a law last year preventing villages, towns, cities and counties from adopting rules restricting portion sizes.

B2B Photo by Larry Avila

Steve Davis, owner of Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In in Oshkosh, prepares a drink order.

“We just prevented it from happening ... to regulate what (someone) eats to improve their health because they don’t pay attention to what they’re eating if left to their own devices,” Lump said. “It’s a freedom of choice thing.” Steve Davis, owner of Ardy & Ed’s Drive-In in Oshkosh, appreciates the industry group’s efforts. “Customers should have the choice (to eat what they want),” he said. But rising obesity rates and the ripple effect it has created with escalating health care costs to treat people dealing with diabetes, heart disease and high cholesterol has led to some changes in the food industry, specifically when it comes to making nutritional information easier to understand and locate on food purchased. Many restaurant chains, including global giants such as McDonald’s and regional operators including Prairie du Sac-based Culver’s, provide nutritional and calorie information to customers on their menu items. Davis said for now, independent NNB2B | July 2014 | 17

Cover Story operators like himself do not have to provide nutritional information, however, it is an issue always on his mind. “Culver’s spent thousands of dollars per menu item to have their things analyzed,” Davis said. “As a small independent business, I couldn’t afford to put those kinds of resources to have a company analyze my menu. Would it be nice if we could do it, ‘yes,’ but is it something we can afford to do and stay open? ‘No.’” Larger operations such as Culver’s can share the cost of analyzing menu items across the chain. It may get to a point where Davis and other independent restaurants will have to provide nutritional information on the food they serve. This is where the food industry and collaboration between food producers and associations can help. Davis said since nutritional information has become more readily available on the ingredients used to make the food served, it may be possible to develop a limited nutritional guide. “These kinds of issues are why industries have associations, because small businesses particularly just don’t have the resources to stand up for themselves,” Davis said.

Protecting the little guy

As a restaurant operator, complying with rules and regulations – especially health codes for serving food to the public – is very familiar to Davis. Through the years, Davis has been active with many business groups including the state restaurant association and the state’s chapter of the National Federation of Independent Businesses. His involvement with these organizations led to his appointment to the state’s Small Business Regulatory Review Board by Gov. Scott Walker in 2011. The board formed in 2004 after a state-appointed task force determined the state’s regulatory processes and its effect on small businesses needed review. Davis said at that time, small business owners felt overwhelmed with the regulatory climate but wanted to comply, however, felt sorting through the rules to be an expensive and daunting task. “What the state thought then, laws passed often were difficult to enforce or they were financially hard on small businesses,” he said. “Sometimes laws were just passed without input from people or businesses who would be directly affected.” The board operated for a short time but was eliminated by state budget cuts, Davis said. Gov. Scott Walker revived the board after he took office. Davis said the board’s purpose is not to eliminate laws but to review proposed legislation that could affect businesses and make recommendations to create better balance and develop

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easy-to-understand verbiage. “Businesses do want to comply and be a good business,” Davis said. The board has had some successes, Davis said. He referenced a national building code, which was adopted across the country, requiring buildings to have reinforcements to sustain hurricaneforce winds. Davis said states, including Wisconsin, not prone to hurricanes raised concerns that incorporating those kinds of reinforcements would raise building costs. “So we were able to identify that something like that may not be needed in Wisconsin,” he said. “It’s these kinds of things (the board) looks at. Sometimes when laws are passed, it looks good but sometimes the effect may not be looked at.”

Cost to comply The Washington, D.C.-based Competitive Enterprise Institute estimates it costs $1.8 trillion annually to comply with federal regulations. Among the largest areas are: Economic - $373 billion Environmental - $353 billion Taxes compliance - $300 billion Health - $185 billion Federal Communications Commission

$142 billion

Department of Labor - $122 billion

Submitted photo

Operators of Fond du Lac-based Sadoff Iron & Metal say their industry is heavily regulated, particularly in areas of environmental compliance.

He said the federal Clean Water Act created levels of state and federal compliance. Working with state and federal regulators, the scrap industry was able to streamline the process, creating a set of state rules that also met federal requirements. To ensure fairness and compliance with the Clean Water Act, a third-party is brought in to assess whether scrap companies are in compliance, Borsuk said. “By having a seat at the table, we had the ability to achieve what the DNR wants – that’s environmental compliance – and what we were able to do was get a workable storm water permit that’s cost effective, and through a third party auditing process, we have assured compliance.” Rising incidents of scrap theft moved state lawmakers several years ago to pass legislation to combat the crime.

Financial - $102 billion

“We started with the premise that our industry wanted to be part of the solution,” Borsuk said.

A seat at the table

That meant bringing together representatives from law enforcement and sectors who reported incidents of material theft, including utilities and the railroad industry.

Being proactive is the best way to be heard and to ensure the regulatory climate remains fair, professionals say. David Borsuk, manager of industrial marketing and quality control for Fond du Lac-based Sadoff Iron & Metal, a division of Sadoff & Rudoy Industries, said his sector is heavy regulated, particularly on environmental issues including storm water.

“Rules had to be established that discouraged scrap theft,” he said. This included items such as government-issued identification and creating a standard set of rules that specific types of metals could not be

purchased without authorization. Law enforcement also is aware of how scrap should be packaged, purchased and sold to help them crack down on theft. Borsuk said a national theft alert network has also been established, which warns businesses about material thefts in specific locations. The looming conversion of U.S. Highway 41 to an interstate is another issue being watched by manufacturers. Should the designation move forward, U.S. 41 would have new weight limits for truck traffic. Federal rules restrict maximum weight for tractor trailers on interstate highways at 80,000 pounds. Currently in Wisconsin, state permitted trucks – those hauling scrap metal, agricultural products, raw forest products, coal and iron ore – can exceed the 80,000 pound weight limit. In early June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation which would grandfather the permits after U.S. 41 becomes part of the interstate network. The Senate is considering similar legislation. A similar designation was approved when I-39 in central Wisconsin was converted into an interstate highway. State officials say U.S. 41 is designed to handle truck traffic hauling loads exceeding 80,000 pounds. If the clause was not passed, state-permitted overweight tractor trailers would have to use state highways, many of which pass through heavily populated areas. NNB2B | July 2014 | 19

Cover Story The state estimates between 10 percent and 20 percent of the trucks operating on U.S. 41 are hauling overweight or oversize loads by permit or allowed by state statute. Borsuk said scrap haulers under state permit can transport up to 120,000 pounds. “If the provision isn’t passed, it would mean up to 50 percent more truck traffic on the roads,” he said.

Playing by the rules

Regulations already in place required utilities to reduce emissions. Manthey of We Energies said his company has worked to reduce its own carbon footprint by converting a power generating plant in Port Washington from coal to natural gas, which will be followed by converting another coal-fired facility in Milwaukee to use natural gas to produce electricity. Manthey said We Energies also has made significant investment in wind power generation and its new biomass plant near Wausau. “Since 2000, we have increased our generation capacity by 50 percent while cutting emissions (nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide, mercury and particulate matter) by more than 80 percent,” he said. Manthey said state law requires by 2015 that 10 percent of the electricity sold in Wisconsin must come from renewable sources.

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Spees said about 6 percent of the energy generated by WPS comes from renewable resources. About 1.5 percent of the power generated by We Energies comes from renewable resources. How this will change following the late June announcement of Wisconsin Energy Corp.’s $9.1 billion acquisition of WPS parent Integrys still is to be determined. Spees said WPS expects carbon emissions from its fossil-fired generation facilities to be about 18 percent lower in 2014 compared to 2005 levels. “This decrease can be attributed to increased use of renewables, more efficient generating units, and increased use of natural gas,” he said. To increase operational efficiencies and comply with new rules, WPS plans to close three of its older coal-fired power plants, which includes two units in Green Bay. An older coal-burning unit at the company’s power plant in Weston will begin using natural gas to generate electricity in 2015. Spees said WPS owns a portion of a power plant in Sheboygan, which will require significant upgrades to make it compliant with current regulations. He said it hasn’t been decided whether to make the investment or retire the facility. WPS recently inked a deal to purchase 100 megawatts of additional hydropower through 2021, with the potential for an

extension and raise the amount of electricity purchased, Spees said. The company also is considering building another natural gas-fueled power plant. “While these planned improvements will help us achieve greater reductions, the goals proposed for Wisconsin in the (EPA’s) draft rule are very aggressive,” he said.

Cost to employers The Small Business Administration broke down annual per-employee regulatory costs on small businesses: Large firms, those with 500 or more workers: $7,755 Medium firms, those with between 20 and 499 workers: $7,454 Small firms, those with fewer than 20 employees: $10,585

Constantly changing environment

Lump with the Wisconsin Restaurant Association said complying with the Affordable Care Act has been a struggle for his group’s members. “It’s complicated to have to figure it all out, particularly among members who operate more than one location,” he said. “We’re trying to help (restaurant) operators as much as possible to get their questions answered.” Rules defining eligibility and what is considered a fulltime or part-time worker have had numerous interpretations, Lump

said. What needs to be done to comply also is affected by the number of workers employed considered full- or part-time. Restaurant owners also fear the cost to provide health benefits. Different tiers for businesses exist regarding compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Lump said if a small business exceeds 50 workers, which likely is the case for restaurants with multiple locations, it puts the business into a different classification. This aspect of the Affordable Care Act could influence whether a restaurant operator expands or reduces its employee count. “It’s just creating a lot of anxiety,” Lump said. “Some operators have just decided not to expand so they don’t have to bring on more employees.” Different experts and groups offer their own interpretations of the Affordable Care Act regularly, which tends to add to the confusion, he said. The Wisconsin Restaurant Association works with the National Restaurant Association to develop uniform messages and answers to questions to help restaurant operators comply. “We try as much as possible to keep everything up to date so (our members) can weave their way through it,” Lump said. “(The Affordable Care Act) has been a topic of conversation and it changes all the time.” n

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The following is a list of candidates from New North B2B’s readership area who submitted sufficient signatures on their nomination forms to the state Government Accountability Board as of the June deadline. The primary election is scheduled for Aug. 12 to reduce the number of candidates in each political party to one, and the general election is slated for Nov. 4.

U.S. Congress District 6

(Includes southern portion of New North region, including Fond du Lac, Manitowoc, Sheboygan and most of Winnebago counties) Incumbent Rep. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac) announced non-candidacy Glenn Grothman (R)

Mark Harris (D)



Joe Liebham (R)

Gus Fahrendorf (L)



Duey Stroebel (R)

Tom Denow (R)



District 8

(Includes most of the northern portion of New North region, including Brown, Calumet and Outagamie counties)

22 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Reid Ribble (R) Inc.

Ron Gruett (D)



State Senate District 1

(Includes 1st, 2nd and 3rd Assembly Districts) Frank Lasee (R) Inc.

Dean DeBroux (D)

De Pere

De Pere

District 19

(Includes 55th, 56th and 57th Assembly Districts) Incumbent Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) announced non-candidacy Roger Roth (R)

Penny Bernard Schaber (D)



State Assembly District 1

(Includes portions of Green Bay and eastern Brown County) Incumbent Rep. Garey Bies (R-Sister Bay) announced non-candidacy

District 3

(Includes Combined Locks, Kimberly, Sherwood and portions of Appleton, Menasha and Little Chute as well as rural portions of northwestern Calumet County)

Paul Feit (R)

Joe Majeski (D)

Al Ott (R) Inc.


Sturgeon Bay

Forest Junction

Brian Hackbarth (R)

Terry McNulty (R)

Fish Creek


Joel Kitchens (R) Sturgeon Bay

District 2

(Includes De Pere, Denmark, Wrightstown and rural southern Brown County) Andre Jacque (R) Inc. De Pere

Rep. Ott is running unopposed

District 4

(Includes Allouez, Ashwaubenon and portions of Green Bay, Hobart and Howard) Corrie Campbell (R)

Chris Plaunt (D)


De Pere

Jeff Goelz (R)

David Steffen (R)



Rep. Jacque is running unopposed

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Elections State Assembly District 5

(Includes Kaukauna, Seymour, rural eastern Outagamie County and portions of Little Chute)

District 56

(Includes Winneconne and portions of Appleton as well as rural southern Outagamie County and northern Winnebago County)

Jim Steineke (R) Inc.

Jeff McCabe (D)

Dave Murphy (R) Inc.




District 57

(Includes portions of Appleton and Menasha)

District 6

(Includes Hortonville) Gary Tauchen (R) Inc. Bonduel

Rep. Tauchen is running unopposed

District 52

Incumbent Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton) announced non-candidacy Chris Klein (R)

Amanda Stuck (D)



(Includes Fond du Lac, Oakfield and rural portions of southern Fond du Lac County) Jeremy Thiesfeldt (R) Inc. Fond du Lac

Rep. Thiesfeldt is running unopposed

District 53

(Includes North Fond du Lac, Omro, Rosendale, Waupun, rural southern Winnebago County, portions of Oshkosh and northern Fond du Lac County) Michael Schraa (R) Inc. Oshkosh

Rep. Murphy is running unopposed

District 88

(Includes Bellevue, portions of Green Bay and eastern Brown County) Incumbent Rep. John Klenke (R-Green Bay) announced non-candidacy John Macco (R)

Dan Robinson (D)

De Pere

De Pere

Rep. Schraa is running unopposed

District 89

(Includes Suamico and portions of Green Bay, Howard and southern Oconto County)

District 54

John Nygren (R) Inc.

(Includes Oshkosh) Mark Elliott (R)

Gordon Hintz (D) Inc.




Rep. Nygren is running unopposed

District 90

(Includes Green Bay)

District 55

(Includes Neenah, town of Grand Chute and portions of Appleton and northern Winnebago County)

Eric Wimberger (R)

Eric Genrich (D) Inc.

Green Bay

Green Bay

Incumbent Rep. Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) announced non-candidacy Jay Schroeder (R)

Mark Westphal (D)

Shae Sortwell (I)



Green Bay

John Lehman (R)

Ryan Pheifer (R)

Mike Rohrkaste (R)




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Regional software developers growing presence Emerging industry finding place in northeast Wisconsin

Story by Lee Marie Reinsch Submitted photo

Keiffer Bros. in Appleton developed several games for Apple’s iPhone. Acqueduct is among the company’s titles.

Twenty-five-year-old Michael Kieffer and his two brothers, Jonathan, 27, and David, 29, make puzzles and games for the iPhone. Their business, Kieffer Brothers ( marks its sixth anniversary this year, with David designing, Jonathan programming, and Michael doing a little bit of everything. “I’ll work on tricky design problems with David, keep our books up, handle support inquiries, work on marketing campaigns, and lots of other tedious business functions,” said Michael Kieffer. “With just three of us, though, we all do a little of everything.” They have no physical storefront, and they work from virtual 26 | July 2014 | NNB2B

locations – home, on the road, in Appleton’s Avenue HQ coworking space, and even Spain. They sell their games – with names like Spell Rift, orba and Monster Soup – through Apple’s iTunes App Store. They’ve experimented with other genres but found that their attention kept wandering back to puzzles. “We just really enjoy making puzzles – probably because those are the types of games we often play ourselves,” Michael Kieffer said. “Some people get addicted to playing games. We got addicted to making them.”

Quirk or trend?

There’s a saying out there that goes something like, “One is a quirk, two is a coincidence, and three is a trend.”

If that’s true, then there’s more than a trend going on in the Fox Valley. Many small, independent technology-based startups have sprung up over the last 10 years. Take Jeffrey Mason, for example. He runs a healthcare consulting business, Analytics LLC, and recently opened its new division, Femur Software.

Could Wisconsin become a Silicon Valley?

In late April, he launched his first app with Femur. Called LogFirst, ( it helps business travelers track mileage, keeping personal mileage separate from business for tax purposes.

Not so fast, says the Department of Workforce Development’s Jeff Sachse.

“I looked at some of the existing problems that have plagued me, and this is a big one,” Mason said. Mason’s no kid in a basement. He’s the former chief executive officer of one of Green Bay’s largest medical facilities, a position he held for 24 years. “As CEO of BayCare Clinic, I was frustrated repeatedly with the chore of having to log my business mileage on a paper log,” he said. “And it was so monotonous that I decided that this is a good time to solve that. So I developed a solution, got the programming done and all of the legal work, the patent processing and trademarking.” His target market includes sales reps, accountants and their clients, physicians who do outreach at different clinics, business owners – anyone who needs to track mileage under IRS regulations.

Technology is everywhere

You don’t have to go very far to find someone whose job involves technology. Most tech jobs are in companies whose primary function isn’t technology – hospitals, banks and insurance companies, for example, according to Jeff Sachse, a labor economist with the state Department of Workforce Development. That makes tech jobs tough to count. “It’s an industry which, because it is spread out among so many lines, is something that’s much more pervasive than pointing to five or six different companies and saying, ‘These are some of the people that do this,’” Sachse said. “It’s more of a practice that has been adopted by more traditional businesses, just as a means of remaining competitive.” Plus, it’s classified as what we might broadly call the information sector, Sachse said. He estimates that 70 to 80 percent of technology employment in northeast Wisconsin involves more traditional lines of IT development, like web design and maintenance, network support, data analysis and workstation support, versus creation of software and applications. But when it comes to startups and sole proprietors developing apps and customizing software, that number iss definitely rising.

Northeast Wisconsin has a few things working against it. 1. Lack of competitive college technology programs: “We do have IT and computer science programs in some of our universities, but they aren’t as large or prestigious as an MSOE or a UW-Milwaukee or Madison,” he said. “Consequently, the talent isn’t necessarily concentrated here.” Our talent lies mainly in tech maintenance and support, Sachse said. “We have talent suited for technological maintenance and support activities, but most of the development resources in terms of talent and money are really centered in Milwaukee (finance) and Madison (bioinformatics and healthcare),” Sachse said. 2. Geography: Technology is far less “location-specific and location-needy” than any other industry,” Sachse said. “As long as an app developer has a broadband connection, they can be programming in their basement.” Sachse said he doesn’t know that there’s necessarily anything here in northeast Wisconsin that would make start-up and tech development more successful than anywhere else. “There aren’t many locational factors that require companies to be located here to do that kind of work.” 3. Connectivity: Broadband access outside the Highway 41 corridor is “kind of spotty,” Sachse said. “It’s certainly more of an issue in our rural areas, but even when you compare average broadband speeds from a commercial perspective in Green Bay to those in Milwaukee or Madison, we simply can’t compete because of the way that infrastructure is laid out.” Significant upgrades in northeast Wisconsin’s broadband infrastructure would need to be made. “Because of the nature of telecommunications and who owns that pipeline, that is a very difficult question to answer.” 4. Competition: We aren’t competing against Milwaukee and Madison, we’re competing against the East and West coasts. “The highest-performing students who might have an interest in one day developing their own software firm are recruited by the Microsofts, Facebooks and Googles of the world.” Google and Microsoft opened offices in Madison within the last six years and are providing internships to students there. If we can’t retain our cream of the crop, we should target those who are interested in what they’re doing and willing to learn, Sachse said. “Those are the students that, if you have a regional effort promoting the benefits of living here and highlighting the employers here, you can successfully attract.”

~ by Lee Reinsch

“Where you’re seeing the most growth is in these smaller

NNB2B | July 2014 | 27



HR Managers

firms which are out there in support of a single product or multiple solutions,” Sachse said. “A lot of that growth has come out of individuals working for some of these companies and who come up with some innovative product and decided to take that to the market.”

Geek shortage?

Technology affects so many industries that it’s causing concerns for some city leaders. “We’re in a transition phase from the national level that I don’t think we necessarily anticipated,” said Larry Burkhardt, executive vice president of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce.

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When the three Kieffer brothers launched their company, Michael was barely out of high school. Apple had released the iPhone the year before, and the App Store was launched that summer.

“Ten years ago or so, we didn’t use our cell phones for nearly what we do now; agriculture didn’t depend on GPS technology nearly as much as it does today; and the automotive industry didn’t depend nearly on robotics as it does today,” he said.

And, probably most importantly, their parents had gotten them iPhones for Christmas the year before.

He frequently hears from CEOs that there aren’t enough technology professionals in northeast Wisconsin.

“Jonathan was working through an online animation course, and David was doing freelance graphic design work,” Michael Kieffer said. “We were all in a place where we had extra time to work on projects together.”

“Whereas we’ve replaced a lot of jobs with technology, machinery, and computers, I think we’ve forgotten perhaps that all of that requires other human beings to maintain, to install, to modify, to develop all of those technology pieces.”

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Kieffer had a small puzzle book that David was helping him design, and they thought it would make a fun mobile game. That became “Enso Dot,” their first game on iTunes. It didn’t sell very well, but it got the ball rolling. “We kept making games despite the setbacks and growing competition on the App Store,” Kieffer said.

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28 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Kieffer describes their business plan as “100 percent bootstrapped.” They started with practically no capital. “We started out using our own personal computers and chipped in enough money to register our LLC with the state,” Kieffer said. But their business didn’t need much capital investment – just a lot of love and time, Kieffer said. “Not having investors or creditors is incredibly liberating from a creative standpoint,” he said. “But it also takes time and patience.” It took a few years before the brothers felt comfortable enough to quit their day jobs.

So, earlier this year, New North, Inc. started a task force to quantify and address the need for technology professionals in this area. “This initiative has engaged a broad cross-section of New North’s regional employers to help remedy current and long-term IT talent shortages with tactics that develop our own through local education/training resources, reinvest in our current IT talent and recruit IT talent from outside the region,” said Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North. The group is still in its infancy.

Rototilling the status quo

Chris Schmitz works with Digital Fertilizer ( a northeast Wisconsin non-profit that aims to help entrepreneurs “connect, engage and empower,” as its tagline says. “There’s nothing about being in this area that makes it easier to build a startup,” Schmitz said. “Startups aren’t responsible for a lot of economic

How LogFirst works: Using your phone’s GPS, the app tracks your route, mileage and distance and uploads it at the end of your trip. You classify your various journeys as business or personal, and that trip is managed and ready to report. A function called “auto-classify” recognizes previous similar trips. “The more you use it, the easier it is,” developer Jeffrey Mason said. At month’s end, it generates your report showing mileage and any reimbursement you’re due.

Submitted photo

Jeffrey Mason, who operates Analytics LLC, a healthcare consulting business in Green Bay, recently opened its new division, Femur Software, which developed, LogFirst, an app that helps business travelers track mileage.

activity around here, so they don’t get much attention, and there aren’t a lot of resources for entrepreneurs trying to build these types of businesses.”

No shortage of problems

Schmitz and his group saw a need for some support and community around startups and technology, so they started putting on events like Startup Jams, meet-ups and Open Coffee events.

“You can bring great value to people’s lives,” he said. “And looking into the future, it’s very unlikely for there to be a shortage on need.”

They bring in speakers from all over the Midwest to talk to their group. The speakers educate and motivate, Schmitz said, but the best part is the connections made and ideas shared.

Jeffrey Mason, the creator of the LogFirst mileage app, likes software because it’s upbeat and positive.

Computer hardware keeps improving, and with that you need better software and more code, he said. “There are plenty of problems out there in the world to solve.”

Digital Fertilizer caters to people building high-tech businesses.

Mason said he and Femur have three other apps in development, and he’s helping other entrepreneurs with great ideas to create their own apps, too. n

“We like to say that Digital Fertilizer is by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs, but we draw lots of design and developers in addition to entrepreneurs,” Schmitz said.

Lee Reinsch writes and edits from Green Bay.

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Region’s entrepreneurs gain more resources to succeed Higher education, private businesses collaborate to grow start-up culture

Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker

Along with supporting and retaining established companies across northeast Wisconsin, adding new businesses is vital for the region’s economic growth. Fostering an entrepreneurial culture is one way to accomplish this, experts say. “The push started in the 1980s in Littleton, Colo., with its economic gardening program that was a successful effort to create a culture for entrepreneurship,” said Steve Jenkins, president of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. “Because the potential of growing businesses from within an area should be a component of any economic development strategy, a focus on such for northeast Wisconsin is critical to a growing and stable economic base for the region.” Jo Ann Giese-Kent, director of entrepreneurship and business intelligence for FCEDC, said Wisconsin historically has lagged behind other states in entrepreneurial activity. She said Wisconsin, along with Iowa, Rhode Island, Indiana and Minnesota, had the lowest entrepreneurial activity rates, according to the 2013 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. 30 | July 2014 | NNB2B

“Entrepreneurs spur innovative thought,” Giese-Kent said. “This is an important element for a community’s competitiveness and job creation.” She said to increase entrepreneurial activity in the state and northeast Wisconsin, communities must create a supportive environment to stimulate and ignite innovative ideas and ultimately increase the number of business start-ups, company spin-offs, and new jobs over time. “This requires a system approach with not just one or two support organizations leading the charge, but a whole team of organizations with the same vision,” Giese-Kent said. While entrepreneurial endeavors and programs to help people go into business for themselves are not new, a number of fresh initiatives have been launched to help start-ups and fledgling companies get the guidance they need for a strong start. Colleen Merrill with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Small Business Development Center believes the region is rich with “amazing people and ideas” with the potential for a big economic impact. “Sometimes all it takes to move an idea to the validation stage is the collision with other people,” said Merrill.

Besides creating a business or product, being entrepreneurial can also refer to an attitude or approach that result in an ideal business owner, or even an employee whose innovative drive leads to new growth. “The entrepreneurial spirit is a key attribute that extends beyond starting a new business or creating a new product,” said Kim Peterson, chief marketing and strategy officer at Neenah-based Alta Resources, which has a long-standing partnership with UW Oshkosh to develop an entrepreneurial culture in the region. “In addition to looking at the concept of business from a complete, 360-degree view, from development to marketing, entrepreneurs are hungry to learn, they embrace change, they like opportunity, they work hard. Our organization seeks those qualities when recruiting and hiring because they create ideal contributors within a larger organization.”

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Growing emerging technologies

Emergent Labs, a technology accelerator in Milwaukee, is working with northeast Wisconsin leaders to create the Emergent Technology Center. The Milwaukee managing director, Emil Harmsen, saw the entrepreneurial talent in the region and envisioned a “self-sustaining mentor/apprenticemodel seed accelerator, training academy and co-working/ meetup space,” said Scott Blamey, a business systems architect at in Fond du Lac and founding coordinator of Emergent. “Two Fond du Lac community strengths are the willing collaboration of its local government and community organizations, and a common goal to attract, develop and retain regional talent,” Blamey said. “The (Emergent) organizational committee is diverse and well-represented by members of the city, county, education, legal, economic development, technology, engineering and manufacturing institutions. And of similar significant value, the organization includes active entrepreneurial, angel investment and (Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.) representation.” Emergent Technology Center will fill a gap in non-traditional services for technology entrepreneurs by providing launch methods such as lean startup and Business Model Canvas, a tool for documenting and developing business models. “Three features will make the ETC unique when it is established,” Blamey said.

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a Milwaukee based technology accelerator, is working with regional leaders to create the Emergent Technology Center to aid technology entrepreneurs in northeast Wisconsin. He said the Emergent will use a mentor/apprentice training model where developing talent works closely with experts in each of the organization’s three components: the educational NNB2B | July 2014 | 31

Entrepreneurship and certifying tech academy, the business startup seed accelerator, and the collaborative working space. Blamey said Emergent eventually will be self-supporting and won’t require annual fundraising. Students of the tech academy will work with startup teams in the seed accelerator to gain practical experience and offer valuable technical support to the new ventures. Those students may continue with the startup companies or enter the local workforce with practical technical experience, Blamey said. Revenue from the tech academy along with current grant programs will help fund the seed accelerator. He said the initiative will bring together emerging technologies and regional needs, particularly in manufacturing. “There’s probably a huge opportunity to support our agricultural industry as well.” Blamey said. Emergent is networking across the region, reaching out to entrepreneurs and local industries as well as watching developing technologies including 2D and 3D design, 3D printing, drones, web programming, gaming and augmented reality. “We’d like to open the facility and offer the first academy and accelerator programs before the end of 2015,” Blamey said. “We are working with the Milwaukee program to demonstrate a seed accelerator program this fall in Fond du Lac to introduce

the concept to the area and gather feedback that will help guide the official establishment.”

Growing an entrepreneurial system

FCEDC supports the Emergent initiative, but also has launched Ignite Business Success, a program to aid entrepreneurs. In 2011, the RUPRI Center for Rural Entrepreneurship assessed FCEDC’s economic gardening program and noted that while the county has a good support network for new businesses, it needed an Entrepreneurial Development System particularly for those businesses with between two to nine employees as well as between 10 to 99 workers. Giese-Kent of the FCEDC said the assessment also revealed entrepreneurs aren’t sure where to get help even though there are several resources available within the local, regional and state network.

Help for entrepreneurs Ignite Business Success a regional pool of resources to aid entrepreneurs, spearheaded by the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp “It’s like a crazy quilt of programs and entrepreneurs may not know what’s the difference between, say, a small business development center and Advocap or the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp,” she said.

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Partners in Ignite • Center for Enterprise Development through Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. • Advocap • UW Oshkosh Small Business Development Center • Ripon College Creative Enterprise Consultants • Moraine Park Technical College • UW-Fond du Lac • UW Oshkosh Business Success Center • Marian University • SCORE • UW Extension • Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce • Downtown Fond du Lac Partnership • Fox Valley Workforce Development Board

Ignite’s goal is to improve collaboration, consistency and increase entrepreneurial support. The group’s partners have met for more than a year, discussing goals to move the effort forward. “As Ignite evolves, other resource providers and partners may join this system to increase its effectiveness and depth of services,” Giese-Kent said. “An example of a future partner, once fully established, would be the Emergent Technology Center initiative.”

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Entrepreneurial training, market research services, capital resources, peer networks and more are provided through Ignite, Giese-Kent said. The range of targeted clients is diverse – those who have an invention idea but don’t know how to proceed; those who are developing a business plan; and small businesses seeking to enter new markets. Official applications are done through one of Ignite’s portals. Additionally, Ignite will follow a standard and consistent business and personal assessment process and keep track of participating entrepreneurs. “Although the formal referral system of Ignite Business Success will be launched and fully operational by midSeptember, entrepreneurs can still obtain assistance from any of the providers who are part of Ignite,” Giese-Kent said.

Growing student entrepreneurs

The UW Oshkosh Small Business Development Center has ramped up its entrepreneurial offerings with Neenah’s Alta Resources as a major partner and contributor. Its newly named Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation provides services for student entrepreneurs. “By partnering with UW Oshkosh, we have an opportunity to support entrepreneurship in this area, our state and, potentially, beyond as the program expands,” said Peterson of Alta Resources. The Neenah-based provider of contract customer support services has maintained a long relationship with the university

NNB2B | July 2014 | 33

Entrepreneurship and in doing so, has successfully recruited, hired and trained many of its students and graduates. It was Dave Quandt, an executive at Alta Resources, UW Oshkosh alumnus, and member of the UW Oshkosh College of Business Advisory Council, who presented the concept that Alta explore ways to enhance its role with the entrepreneurial program.

Help for entrepreneurs Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation housed within University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Small Business Development Center “What is especially appealing about the program is that it is available to students of all majors and disciplines. It’s not just for business and marketing students,” Peterson said. Merrill, who also oversees the Alta Resources Center at UW Oshkosh and created the AnyTime Business coworking space for entrepreneurs, said students seeking assistance are mentored by UW Oshkosh College of Business and SBDC staff, as well as by regional business professionals, including several members of the Alta Resources team. “The Alta Resources Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is able to help students understand if their business idea is viable,” Merrill said. “Our doors are open to every student, in every discipline with the intent of having students collide, create new ideas, and support one another now and in the future.”

Growing entrepreneurial networks

In March, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay acquired a license to launch PeerSpectives and Press roundtables, both developed by the Edward Lowe Foundation to bring together small business owners. PeerSpectives is for second-stage businesses, those established but requiring help to take the next step, while the roundtables are organized by company size and revenue. Press roundtables are for those approaching or new to second-stage status, with minimum annual revenues of $500,000. “When issues come up that are outside an entrepreneur’s realm of expertise, they often can’t talk to their employees and they certainly don’t want to drive their spouse or family crazy,” said Karen Widmar, an entrepreneurship educator and licensed roundtable facilitator for the college.

Help for entrepreneurs PeerSpectives and Press roundtables launched by Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Widmar said by committing to working on the business rather than in the business early on, entrepreneurs and small business owners can take better control. 34 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Submitted photo

Karen Widmar, center, with Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, leads a demonstration of the PeerSpectives process in early June.

“The roundtable is comprised of like-minded individuals who have more than likely faced similar issues and truly understand what it is like to be in each others’ shoes,” she said. “There is also a very strong sense of trust and accountability that isn’t found with a group of strangers. It’s about sharing experiences rather than giving advice.” Widmar said through the open dialogue process, members are empowered to see things differently that often results in discovering more than one right answer. “Some participants find that they are able to make better decisions, improve their confidence, develop stronger relationships with their teams, have better time-management skills, achieve a better life-work balance, are able to focus on moving the company forward rather than putting out fires, and even find reassurance that their past decisions were correct,” she said. The roundtables are in the demonstration stage. A mock session was conducted in early June, Widmar said. More demonstrations are scheduled in August, with applications being taken at that time. Widmar anticipates having one actual PeerSpectives and one Press roundtable set up by October. Widmar said with the assorted initiatives available for entrepreneurs, plus the availability of modern technologies, the region is setting the stage for entrepreneurial growth and success. “With the advances in technology, people can live and work almost anywhere. They no longer need to move to a metropolitan or urban area to have a career or start a company,” she said. “We already have a great quality of life in this region, so when our local communities embrace entrepreneurship and ensure the necessary infrastructure is in place, people can launch and grow their businesses right here.” n Robin Bruecker ( has been writing for magazines and marketing departments since 1995.




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Workers receive training through state grants

Manufacturing, transportation, health care among sectors getting help in northeast Wisconsin by Larry Avila, New North B2B editor

Dozens of workers across northeast Wisconsin will learn additional skills funded through state training grants awarded in late May and June. The state Department of Workforce Development issued the funds through the Wisconsin Fast Forward Grant Funding program, which is part of a $15 million state initiative launched in 2013 to provide additional workforce training. Three rounds of grant awards covered a range of business sectors including health care, financial, manufacturing,

Wisconsin Fast Forward grant recipients Some of the grant awards for northeast Wisconsin companies and how many workers will be trained through the funds. Veriha Trucking Inc., Marinette, $227,473 (154 employees) Plexus Corp., Neenah, $173,093 (70 employees) Agnesian HealthCare, Fond du Lac, $38,041 (12 employees) Northern Concrete Construction, Denmark, $33,000 (65 employees) Schneider National, Green Bay, $28,150 (100 employees) VSI LLC, Green Bay, $25,000 (14 employees) Pro Products Inc., Sturgeon Bay, $21,978 (18 employees)

transportation and information technology. Three regional manufacturers received $198,210 in state grants to fund training for 97 workers. Specialty technology manufacturer Plexus Corp. of Neenah received $173,093 in grant funds to provide electrical soldering training to 70 new employees. The components made by these workers will be utilized across several industries including aerospace, which has stringent processes and quality measures to ensure flight safety, said Bobbie Miller, business services representative for the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board in Menasha, which applied for the grant in March. “When you think of circuit boards, it’s very complex,” Miller said. “These individuals working on them require great hand-eye coordination, be able to read blueprints, and will be working in specific climate-controlled environments.” The training will be provided through Fox Valley Technical College, which Plexus plans to donate funds and equipment for the college to create a solder training lab. The Fox Valley Workforce Development Board in a statement said the lab will provide IPC J-STD-001 Standard solder training, which will be a new service for the region. Other northeast Wisconsin manufacturers receiving funds include Fusion Integrated Solutions in Howard, which was awarded $11,372 to provide advanced 3D computer training

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for six workers, and Service Plus Inc. in Green Bay was awarded $13,745 to train 21 workers in industrial maintenance. When workers at Service Plus complete their training, it will translate to pay raises for those employees, said Jim Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board. Northeast Wisconsin Technical College will provide the training for Service Plus. “What’s nice about this grant is employers will get better trained workers and the employees will see their pay increase, so it works out well for both sides,” he said.


The state said a total of 37 manufacturers received a total of $1.5 million in grants, which will train 2,200 workers. A total of $974,627 in Wisconsin Fast Forward training grants also were awarded to businesses covering construction, transportation and financial services. v The Boldt Co. in Appleton and Miron Construction in Neenah were among 10 construction services businesses around the state awarded a $75,000 grant for new worker training. v Northern Concrete Construction in Denmark was awarded a $33,000 grant to train 10 employees and 55 new hires in cement masonry, concrete finishing, and construction labor. v Veriha Trucking Inc. in Marinette was awarded $227,473 to train 154 workers who recently received a commercial driver’s license to become heavy and tractor-trailer drivers through a combination of classroom and behind-the-wheel training. v America’s Service Line in Green Bay was awarded an $11,500 grant to train five employees and 20 new hires to become driver trainers and commercial vehicle operators. v Schneider National in Green Bay received a $28,150 grant to provide additional driving training to 100 new hires. v Nicolet Bank in Green Bay received a $5,000 grant to provide management training to two employees. Wisconsin Fast Forward grants totaling $908,529 will also cover training costs for 1,829 workers among 33 employers around the state in sectors including health care, small businesses with 50 or fewer workers, and information technology.

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Among the recipients was Pro Products Inc. in Sturgeon Bay, which received a $21,987 grant to train 18 employees in beginner, intermediate and advance level blueprint and handheld gauge reading, geometric dimensioning and tolerance training, and machine programming software training. Pro Products employees will receive training through Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. VSI LLC in Green Bay was awarded a $25,000 grant to train 13 employees and one new hire in internal auditing and lean manufacturing. Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac was awarded a $38,041 grant to train 10 workers and two new hires in nursing informatics. n

NNB2B | July 2014 | 37

Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin


of Northeast Wisconsin Firms off in exciting new direction heading into the second half Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

The official start to summer also roughly marks the unofficial midway point of B2B’s annual Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin small business makeover initiative. Two committed-to-improve business owners – Karen Stoehr of 9th Street Wellness Center in Green Bay and Susie Van Ekeren of Appleton-based Wisconsin Swim Academy – are engaged in a six-month effort to take their businesses to the next level through the expert guidance of Jon Wright of Wright Advisor in Appleton and Gary Vaughan of Appleton-based Guident Business Solutions. We’re tracking their progress each month leading up to the end of this year’s endeavor this fall.

9th Street Wellness Center As readers learned a few months ago, Wright worked with Stoehr to coordinate an open house and ribbon-cutting ceremony this past

June 7 for her new 9th Street Farmhouse and the launch of her Grassroots Wellness Development programming.

Company: 9th St. Wellness Center Location: Green Bay Owner: Karen Stoehr Founded: 2011 Employees: None

Calling in the assistance of R.J. Foster from Wordsmithing by Foster in Appleton, he and Stoehr crafted a news release to promote the event, as well as the creation of a tagline and a “BizIntro” to help Stoehr describe her farmhouse and its programs.

“In short, I gave Karen the tools she needs to provide clear, concise, and compelling descriptions of the Wellness Center and the easily answer the question, ‘What do you do?’ in a way that gets people to respond, ‘Tell me more,’” Foster said. The event itself was graced with beautiful weather and went off without a hitch, including a visit from Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball club mascot, Jeremiah, and dozens of attendees. The event also included a host of free presentations

spanning topics such as tai chi, composting, Zumba and raising one’s own chickens. “Over the last months we have worked very hard to establish the urban farming experience for those participating in our program as well as those who are just interested in what we are doing,” said Stoehr. “Having the open house gave us the opportunity to reach both of these groups and let a lot of others know what we are all about.” The open house kicked off a summer program series for children called Grassroots Wellness Development Camp, of which the first session promoting urban farming was held in

Methodology New North B2B magazine kicked off its 4th annual Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin initiative in April 2014, aimed at assisting those northeast Wisconsin small business owners who feel as if they’re constantly burning the candle at both ends, putting out fires, spinning their wheels, but intent on finding a way to improve.

Through the generous help of Jon Wright of Wright Advisor in Appleton and Gary Vaughan of Guident Business Solutions in Appleton, the two dedicated-to-improve businesses are receiving five month’s worth of consulting at no cost to help their owners work on the strategy of growing their business rather than regularly attending to problems.

We put out a call for nominations back in January. In the end, our staff selected Wisconsin Swim Academy LLC of Appleton and 9th Street Wellness Center in Green Bay.

B2B is providing a monthly update on the progress of their efforts in each issue leading up to a capstone article in the September 2014 issue of New North B2B magazine.

Guident Business Solutions LLC 38 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Wright Advisor

Vaughan created a business modeling spreadsheet customized for Wisconsin Swim Academy which Van Ekeren is using to investigate various options in developing her business to determine the feasibility of each option, including building or leasing a swimming facility, or continuing to rent time at area hotel pools.

Submitted photo

Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt joins 9th St. Wellness Center owner Karen Stoehr, far left, during the June 7 open house for her new 9th Street Farmhouse in Green Bay.

late June. Stoehr said subsequent camps are scheduled for July 14 to 18 and August 11 to 15. Activities include lessons about nutrition, exercise, gardening and field trips to local farms and nature preserves. As for Wright – who came to Stoehr’s rescue to help put out the fires in her business as they relate to marketing and visibility – he believed the big event offered just the right kind of attention 9th Street Wellness center is seeking from the community.

Company: Wisconsin Swim Academy LLC Location: Appleton Owner: Susie Van Ekeren Founded: 2010 Employees: Nine part time Web: none

“Each week we peel back another layer of the onion, looking into what will work and what may not,” Vaughan said. “I can sense that every week Susie becomes more confident and gains a better perspective about her business as she develops a plan that will guide her business in the next one to three years.” The past month also marked the launch of Van Ekeren’s first website at, and she indicated a Twitter account for the swimming school may be following soon. n

“I think this is a nice case study for community awareness and support,” Wright said of the coordination and preparation for the event, as well as the event itself.

Wisconsin Swim Academy

In our second Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin episode, Van Ekeren has been doing quite a bit of reading. With Wisconsin Swim Academy experiencing spectacular growth during the past 12 months, she’s working with Vaughan to develop the systems and management expertise to adjust the scale of her swim instruction business from small to a much larger operation. Van Ekeren’s most recent summer reading was E-Myth, the heralded small business management guide from entrepreneurial evangelist Michael Gerber. “It takes you through the steps in the life of a business – from entrepreneurial infancy through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective,” Van Ekeren said. “It talks about the importance of change in our roles as business owners and how important it is to learn your ‘entire’ business but also how to ask for help and teach others to do what you do so you can balance your roles.” She said her work so far with Vaughan has been incredibly rewarding and educational. “Gary challenges me to think outside of ‘my think box,’ and expand my roles in my business beyond my technician role,” she said.

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Professionally Speaking

Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.

Gen X and the Great Recession

By P. J. Madson of Navigator Planning Group For most people living today, 2008 and into 2009 was the largest financial disaster we have seen. During that time, many people saw a significant decline in everything from the value of their home to their investment assets, and possibly their credit score. The fallout from that 12- to 15-month period will continue to have an impact on every significant financial decision many of us will make for the remainder of our lives and has completely changed the way many of us view wealth. Prior to the meltdown of the housing market and temporary meltdown of the stock market, many Gen Xers (people ranging in age from early 30s to early 50s) built their financial plan around leverage and debt, looking at things like


their homes as an investment and their debt in the form of payments to be met. Since the financial crisis, however, Gen Xers now refer to their homes as “assets,” not “investments.” They look at cars as necessary expenses, not assets. They discuss their financial situations using words like debt-reduction and cash flow, with a goal of managing both sides of the balance sheet to increase net worth and, in turn, become more financially secure. Instead of putting their financial lives in the hands of things like market performance, home appreciation and interest rate changes, they are actually doing quite the opposite. Every financial decision they are making hinges on things they can control, constantly striving for financial security first with an understanding that if they can accomplish that, the growth will come.

Many times in talking to retirees or those close to retirement, they describe Gen X and Y as those living outside of their means, a generation that wants instant gratification. In working with many Gen Xers and being one myself, I would say that may have once been the case. However, learning from their mistakes, they now are a generation helping to build personal wealth from the ground up with an emphasis on financial security and creation of wealth over time. If you need help navigating the world of investing and personal finance, give us a call. P. J. Madson is a financial advisor with Navigator Planning Group and can be reached by email or phone 920.406.8500. Visit us at

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From the Editor

NE Wisconsin has its ups, downs Fed examines region’s strengths with goal of replicating elsewhere Larry Avila, New North B2B Editor When it comes to working together to build a better region, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago believes a good example can be found in northeast Wisconsin. The Green Bay area was among 10 Midwestern metro regions examined as part of the Fed’s Industrial Cities Initiative, launched in late 2011. Its purpose was to look at how some Midwestern communities, mostly industrial towns, outperformed communities of similar size and economic history and whether successful economic strategies underway in these communities could be replicated.

“(Collaboration) is key for some of the higher performing communities,” Boyle said. Some communities in the report, including Pontiac and Ft. Wayne, recognize the importance of regionalism but still are in the early stages, he said.

Outside perspective Collaboration and regionalism are also embraced in Cedar Rapids, said Shannon Full, president and CEO of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry. She served as president and CEO of the Cedar Rapids chamber from 2008 to 2010 before joining the Fox Cities chamber in 2011. “Many people talk about collaboration but in Cedar Rapids, everyone lives up to it,” she said. When severe flooding struck the Cedar Rapids area, the community banded together to rebuild.

The intent was not to pass judgment on the 10 communities studied, said Jeremiah Boyle, managing director of economic development, community development and policies studies division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Resources in Cedar Rapids were pooled to improve educational and training resources to advance professional development to attract and retain workforce talent, Full said. Similar efforts are also happening in northeast Wisconsin, she said.

“When you look at the cities in the report, they’re all on the same journey,” he said.

Full said initiatives to strengthen existing industries in Cedar Rapids, much like what is happening in northeast Wisconsin, will help both regions compete in the global marketplace.

Manufacturing is a bond shared by the communities examined. The other communities included Racine; Aurora, Ill.; Joliet, Ill.; Ft. Wayne, Ind.; Gary, Ind.; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Waterloo, Iowa; Grand Rapids, Mich.; and Pontiac, Mich. Boyle said each community had its share of successes and challenges. He said communities including Grand Rapids, Ft. Wayne and Green Bay found success in recent years through reinvention and finding leaders who could bring the community together to identify solutions to regional problems ranging from social issues to job growth. He said as the manufacturing sector declined, Green Bay wasn’t as adversely affected because of its diverse economy. The report noted northeast Wisconsin is populated by hundreds of small manufacturing firms, which do work for a variety of industries from paper to food services as well as emerging industries including wind energy. Another plus for the region, Green Bay particularly, is the Packers. The report pointed to a 2010 economic impact study of the organization, which concluded the team and Lambeau Field generated an additional $282 million in output, as well as 2,560 jobs, $124.3 million in earnings, and $15.2 million in tax revenues. The Green Bay area banding together to create regional organizations including New North, an economic development group representing 18 northeast Wisconsin counties, is a model other communities can follow.

Jim Golembeski, executive director of the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, said the report’s description of the region having engaged leadership was “spot on.” “What groups like New North and the NEW Manufacturing Alliance do is a component often missing in underperforming cities,” he said. While Green Bay and northeast Wisconsin were praised for collaborative efforts on issues of economic and workforce development, the Fed report found the poverty rate was growing more rapidly than the unemployment rate, indicating that jobs being created may not pay well. Affordable housing also is an issue for the region. Boyle said other communities in the Chicago Federal Reserve’s service area – which covers Iowa and most of Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan – have extensive research to examine, which they can use to help improve or jump start initiatives to grow their respective regions. Boyle said future updates to the report are possible. Workforce development is one area that is top of mind for all the communities examined. If a community has a good approach to train current and meet future workforce needs, others want to listen, Boyle said. “There is an appetite to collaborate on what works well and what are the most efficient ways to do something to address challenges,” he said. n NNB2B | July 2014 | 41

Who’s News


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

Appleton Auto LLC, Scott McCormick, 854 Rivers Run, De Pere 54115. Ashley Septic Service LLC, Marvin Ashley, 3609 School Road, De Pere 54115. Bullwheel Spirits Company LLC, Chad Anderson, 1244 Enterprise Dr., De Pere 54115. Extended Family Senior Services LLC, Mary Ellen Balskus, 2432 Amos Mary Ct., De Pere 54115. Van Boxtel Concrete & Design LLC, Dean Van Boxtel, W545 Manders Ct., De Pere 54115. Rockpere Brewing Company LLC, Mark Todd Riggle, 2284 Laddie Tr., De Pere 54115. Two B’s & A Blade Lawncutting LLC, Brandon Robert Cole, 404 Melissa Ct., Denmark 54208. Arbor Tech Landscape LLC, Matthew Paliwoda, 704 Irwin St., Green Bay 54302. Peace Of Mind Home Care LLC, Yia Xiong Chang, 2670 S. Ashland Ave., Green Bay 54304. Asana Health & Wellness LLC, Steven Bittorf, 2372 S. Oneida St., Green Bay 54304. R & E Roofing And Siding LLC, Erik Quirino, 1331 Bellevue St., Green Bay 54302. Get Bit Baits LLC, Daniel B. Elsner, 2043 Schanock Dr., Green Bay 54313. Turtle Island Gifts LLC, Darleen K. Denny, 850 Neufeld St., Green Bay 54304. SRT (Safe Reliable Transportation) LLC, Xieng Lee, 2072 Verlin Road, #11, Green Bay 54311. VB’s Electric LLC, Bryan Vanbeek, 607 N. Henry St., Green Bay 54302. Debbie Dubois Painting And Decorating LLC, Debbie Lee Dubois, 2788 Englewood Road, Green Bay 54311. Window Pros LLC, Ashley Beck, 1438 Dancing Dunes Dr., Green Bay 54313. Scuzzi Studios LLC, Cory Perrault, 714 Lincoln St., Green Bay 54303. Yz Lawncare LLC, James R. Weise, 839 Oregon St. Green Bay 54303. Quality Oak Company LLC, William Norman Gipp, 3549 Spring Green Road, Green Bay 54313. On Site Gun Co. LLC, Richard A. Williquette, 991 N. Military Ave., Ste. 4, Green Bay 54303. Circle Kennel Club LLC, Virginia Gail Hannon, 1050 Circle Dr., Green Bay 54304.

Simply Glo Spa LLC, Charity Zierler, 118 S. Washington St., #102B, Green Bay 54301. Spark Cleaning Solutions LLC, Noemi Montiel, 2604 Greenbrier Road, Green Bay 54311. Mint Salon LLC, Caroline Quinn, 1236 Main St., Green Bay 54302. Color Master Printing LLC, Michael J. Cropsey, 1259 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54303. Promotion Media Group LLC, Jay Anthony Schillinger, 211 N. Broadway St., Green Bay 54303. Four Season Cleaning LLC, Luisa Elva Lima, 868 Hillcrest Heights, Green Bay 54313. June Bugs Gifts LLC, Thomas Lee Schmidt, 1260 Bayport Terr., Green Bay 54313. Michael Verboomen Electric LLC, Michael J. Verboomen, 713 Thrush St., Green Bay 54303. Elite Foot & Ankle Clinic S.C., Michael Mankovecky, 2244 Hilltop Dr., Green Bay 54313. Rodriguez Cleaning LLC, Maria G. Hernandez, 2114 Verlin Road, Green Bay 54311. Burger House 41 LLC, Adam Markert, 1860 W. Mason St., Green Bay 54303. Affordable Cremation Care LLC, Chris Daley, 1350 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay 54304. Vazquez Cleaning LLC, Juan P. Vazquez-Avila, 2073 Imperial Lane, Green Bay 54302.

Calumet County

Sereno Yoga LLC, Peter G. Janu, N7821 State Park Road, Sherwood 54169.

Fond du Lac County

Quitting Time Pub & Grill LLC, Jeffrey J. Hinojosa, 812 Main St., Brownsville 53006. ROI Fittness And Wellness LLC, Douglas Patrick O’Loughlin, 487 Greenbriar Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. C&L Design Build & Construction LLC, Leo G. Fleischman II, 307 Wilson Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Wiskow’s Trucking & Livestock LLC, Thomas J. Wiskow, 624 E. 9th St., Fond du Lac 54935. The Modern Table Company LLC, Stephanie Duford, 269 Ledgeview Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Quest Elementary School Inc., Randy Hatlen, 64 Sunset Ave., Ripon 54971. Material Girlz Resale Couture LLC, Susan Marie Petersen, N9044 North Shore Ct., Saint Cloud 53079. Quality Metal Fabrication Inc., Jeffrey Alan Rahmer, N4901 Church Road, Saint Cloud 53079. T&A Truck Service And Repair LLC, Andrew Cary Erspamer, W6719 S. Eastwood, Van Dyne 54979.

Better Business Bureau New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during May 2014

Basement Repair Specialists, Appleton Bashaw Builders, Fond du Lac Best Price Autos, De Pere Boettcher Tax Service, Bonduel Budget Auto Sales, Sheboygan Custom Seal Coating, Sturgeon Bay Daane Electric, Oostburg Eagle Nation Transportation, Neenah Family Seal, Newton

42 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Green Bay Glass Center, Green Bay Hoeffner Remodeling, Manitowoc Home Worx, Appleton Ipssolutions.Com, LLC/ Boettcher Communications, Green Bay Modern Business Machines Co., Appleton Prairie Dog Outdoor Services, Seymour Pro Roof Cleaning, Green Bay Quality Construction, Bonduel Xtreme Clean of the Fox Cities, Kimberly

Outagamie County

4Ever Permanent Makeup LLC, Tsee Vang, 2110 S. Memorial Dr., Appleton 54915. Carries Simply Country Floral LLC, Carrie Jean Tryba, N3504 County Road E, Appleton 54913. Butterfly Gardens Of Wisconsin LLC, Jack C. Voight, N2550 State Highway 47, Appleton 54913. Paul Hoffman & Company Insurance Agency LLC, Paul Hoffman, 1213 N. Superior St., Appleton 54911. Sparkling Homes LLC, Nicole Lynn Krueger, 1636 W. Evergreen Dr., Apt. 6, Appleton 54913. Valley Benefits Brokerage LLC, Christine M. Haase, 1111 N. Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. Dinger Custom Baits LLC, Brian Timothy Mjos, 321 E. Crossing Meadows Lane, Appleton 54913. Landfill Reduction Trucking LLC, Jason J. Salisbury, W5958 Sweet William Dr., Appleton 54915. Dent Dr Fox Valley LLC, Patrick Gratton, 4111 W. Pine St., Appleton 54915. Appleton Public Montessori Association Inc., Molly M. Bernhardt, 1545 E. Broadway Dr., Appleton 54913. Young Property Management LLC, Thomas Henry Young, 1213 Woodland Ct., Appleton 54911. Another DJ Company LLC, Robert Leonard Habisch, Jr., 913 S. West Ave., Appleton 54915. Sanna Counseling & Consulting LLC, Suzan L. Myhre, 831 E. First Ave., Ste. 5, Appleton 54911. C-Vine Lounge LLC, Conrado Lopez Mendez, 201 N. Appleton St., Appleton 54911. Mamalasana Yoga LLC, Jacqueline H. Wright, 508 N. Vine St., Appleton 54911. Diana’s Salon LLC, Diana Pineda, 5440 W. Michaels Dr., Grand Chute 54913. Simonds Lawn And Snow LLC, Michael Paul Simonds, W7828 Spring Road, Greenville 54942. JennerJohn Seamless Gutters LLC, Larry Jenner John, Jr., N2751 Douglas St., Hortonville 54944. Adian Inspections LLC, Chad John Valentyne, W8968 Madeline Lane, Hortonville 54944. Cannonball Pools LLC, Mark M. Hartzheim, W1258 Appleland Way, Kaukauna 54130. Schmidt Building And Equipment LLC, Brett Zickert, 8189 County Road D, Kaukauna 54130. Precast Solutions LLC, Ronald G. Van Schyndel, N3153 McCabe Road, Kaukauna 54130. Adam Schoppski Plastering LLC, Adam H. Schopp, 1805 Thelen Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Better Story Yoga LLC, Peggy Brinkmann, 1013 Sunset Dr., Kimberly 54136.

Crooked Creek Tackle Company LLC, Joseph Leiterman, 3831 W. Mason St., Oneida 54155. Oli’s Cycles LLC, Alex Oliver, 1297 S. Sedona Cir., Oneida 54155. Reputation & Presence Management LLC, Steven Michael Johnson, N7871 County Road Y, Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County

Badgerland A.I. Services LLC, Kyle Lerch, 1020 Tracey St., Menasha 54952. Independent Roofing LLC, Dylan Prunty, 60 Tayco St., Menasha 54952. Upright Fencing & Construction LLC, Tyler Schuh, 883 Roosevelt St., Menasha 54952. Heckert Painting LLC, Brian Heckert, 1133 Lawndale Dr., Menasha 54952. Twirling Leaves Custom Quilting LLC, Tina Kahler, 1216 Fieldcrest Dr., Menasha 54952. Wisconsin Dental Partners LLC, Clark Caflisch, 244 E. Doty Ave., Neenah 54956. Principal Realty LLC, Jarrod William Kuehn, 337 4th St., Neenah 54956. Thanks Givings Birth Services LLC, Kristy G. McDaniel, 604 Caroline St., Neenah 54956. Accu Clean Professional Services LLC, William Schwab, 350 Muttart Road, Neenah 54956. Tia Maria Pizzas LLC, Jody Marie Schwartzkopf, 1685 County Road A, Neenah 54956. Fox Valley Stone & Soil LLC, Doyle Dreisow, 2148 Redtail, Neenah 54956. Well-Being Yoga LLC, Dana Lynn Doke, 1712 Gateway Meadows Lane, Neenah 54956. Sleepy Hollow Farm LLC, David W. Wiesner, 5187 State Road 116, Omro 54963. Elite Lawn Service LLC, Charles Jordan Hebert, 1902 Mount Vernon St., Oshkosh 54901. Simply Yoga LLC, Stephanie Duwe, 2866 Hidden Hollow Road, Oshkosh 54904. Fox Valley Lawn And Snow LLC, Richard Thomas Beahm, 635 W. 5th Ave., Oshkosh 54902. All Seasons Landscaping And Firewood LLC, Thomas L. Maierhafer, 619 E. Nevada Ave., Oshkosh 54901. On The Loos Cruises LLC, Jessica Johnson, 916 Knapp St., Oshkosh 54902. Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp., Tom Grogan, 320 E. Parkway Ave., Oshkosh 54901. Hedgehog Yard & Garden Services LLC, Daniel L. Benz, 2015 Jefferson St., Oshkosh 54901. Touch Of Grace Massage & Nutrition LLC, Barbara Jean Schatz, 3420 Jackson St., Ste. C, Oshkosh 54901. A-Z Tobacco Inc., Khaldon Sati, 15 W. Murdock Ave., Oshkosh 54901. Henschel Milk Service LLC, Michael S. Henschel, 7561 County Road M, Winneconne 54986.

NNB2B | July 2014 | 43

Who’s News

Building permits

B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Menasha High School, 420 Seventh St., Menasha. $25,000,000 for two separate additions totaling 46,603 square feet of educational space, as well as interior renovations to the gym, locker rooms and swimming pool. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. April 28. Bank of Luxemburg, 839 Lombardi St., Green Bay. $900,000 for an 11,444sq. ft. bank branch and office building. General contractor is TCD Homes of De Pere. May. McDonald’s Restaurant, 2340 E. Mason St., Green Bay. $519,000 for interior alterations to the existing restaurant. Contractor is R.J. Parins Plumbing & Heating of Green Bay. May. Dell’s Service Center, 840 Van Der Perren Way, Ashwaubenon. $765,615 for an addition to the existing vehicle service facility. General contractor is James Kassner Construction Inc. of Green Bay. May. US Cellular and Chipotle Mexican Grill, W3197 County Road KK, town of Buchanan. $748,650 for a 5,305-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. General contractor is Northcentral Construction Co. of Fond du Lac. May 6. McDonald’s Restaurant, 705 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah. $410,311 for interior alterations and roof overhang repairs to the existing restaurant. General contractor is Forestville Builders of Forestville. May 11.

tand the s to g in d il u b r u yo t Wan

St. Mary’s Congregation of Appleton, 313 S. State St., Appleton. $1,120,000 for an interior remodel of the existing school building for the church’s early childhood learning center. General contractor is Hoffman LLC of Appleton. May 15. Moraine Park Technical College, 235 N. National Ave., Fond du Lac. $1,030,000 for an addition to student services. General contractor is Capelle Bros. & Diedrich of Fond du Lac. May 22. Dollar General/Wisconsin Avenue Retail Center, 1320 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton. $400,000 for an interior renovation of the existing retail center. General contractor is Ganther Construction of Oshkosh. May 30. Agropur/Simon’s Specialty Cheese, 2701 Freedom Road, Little Chute. $2,648,986 for a 2,600-sq. ft. addition to the existing cheese production facility to expand the boiler room and warehouse. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. June 2. Madison Middle School/Appleton Area School District, 2020 S. Carpenter St., Appleton. $440,000 for an interior remodel of the existing school building. General contractor is Hoffman LLC of Appleton. June 4.

New business Roomsponder LLC, which develops web-based incident communications applications, opened as a division of BrownBoots Interactive Inc. in Fond du Lac and is led by Sara Hathaway. For more information, call 920.251.2570 or go online to

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Keller’s Steel Erection Crews have the knowledge and experience to keep all components of the building construction process running smoothly. With a full steel erection division on staff, our team has the expertise necessary to personally create a space that is not only unique but completely functional, and built to stand the test of time.

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Keller, Inc. is a 100% employee-owned construction company. This means that our clients work with an owner of Keller each and every day. Our employees have a vested interest in the success of our company, working diligently to ensure that our clients are more than satisfied with the entire building process by performing the highest quality of work.

Before You Buy The Land

Before You Draw The Plans Call Keller.

Arcpoint Labs, a third party provider of drug and alcohol testing, opened at 3315 N. Ballard Road, Suite C in Appleton. The franchise is owned and managed by Steve Calder. For more information call 920.264.0900.

Class A Office Building

New locations Appleton-based Heid Music opened a new location at 2605 S. Oneida St. in Green Bay. The store can be reached at 920.498.2228. Kudinger Power Fluid, specialists in fluid power, motion control and automation technology solutions, moved its Green Bay area location to 2661 Industry Ct. in Ashwaubenon. ThedaCare of Appleton purchased the former Affinity Medical Group clinic at 411 Lincoln St. in Neenah. Affinity vacated the clinic in 2012 after relocating to a new building in downtown Neenah. Barrier Security Systems, a provider of residential and commercial security systems, moved to 1075 S. Lake St., Suite 203 in Neenah. Necron Engineering & Manufacturing Inc., a maker of conveyer systems with a manufacturing site in Oconto, will move its corporate headquarters from Oshkosh to 600 S. Commercial St., Neenah. Directions Marketing of Neenah is relocating to 333 N. Commercial St., Suite 200 in Neenah. Aquire Restoration of Oshkosh opened a new location at 2172 Tower Dr. in Kaukauna. The company can be reached at 877.267.9287.

For Sale by Owner

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12,000 SF: 8,000 SF on main level and 4,000 SF. of

finished off and furnished lower level offices & storage space. Prime location: 2 blocks from Hwy #41 & the Fox River Mall, & 6 blocks from the Airport. Built in 1991. Brick & Stucco. Includes: Reception & Conf. rooms furnished plus 40% of the 30 offices. Comes with large copy machine, office equipment, 30 Phones, & Internet System. Building on 1 beautifully landscaped Acre. Plenty of parking.

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Quad Optical Services, a communications services specialist, opened a northeast Wisconsin office at Advance Business & Manufacturing Center at 2701 Larsen Road in Green Bay. The office can be reached at 920.883.1649.

New Products ETF Model Solutions LLC, a division of Endowment Wealth Management of Appleton, launched Endowment Index, a benchmarking tool for investors with globally diversified, multi-asset portfolios. For more information visit www.

Business Honors Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry presented the following 2014 Business Award during its annual luncheon: Rising Star, manufacturing to J & J Machine of Appleton; Rising Star, service to BConnected LLC of Appleton; Rising Star, wholesale/retail to WI Self Storage of Appleton; Business of the Year-Small Employer, service to Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine of Appleton; Business of the Year-Small Employer, wholesale/retail to Frank’s Pizza Palace of Appleton; Business of the Year-Large Employer, manufacturing to Galloway Co. of Neenah; Business of the Year-Large Employer, service to Jewelers Mutual of Neenah; Business of the Year-Large Employer, wholesale/retail to Valley Bakers Cooperative Association of Greenville; Corporate Leadership Award-Small Employer to United Way Fox Cities of Menasha; Corporate Leadership Award-Large Employer to U.S. Venture of Kimberly; Company Innovation-Small Employer to Optimal Digital Marketing of Appleton; Company Innovation-Large Employer to Omni Resources of Appleton; Exemplary Performance Award-Small Employer to Petit & Dommershausen S.C. of Menasha; and Exemplary Performance Award-Large Employer to Affinity Health System of Menasha.

NNB2B | July 2014 | 45

Who’s News Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce presented the following Business Recognition Awards during its annual luncheon: Entrepreneurial Award to Cineviz of Green Bay; Growth Award to Nicolet National Bank of Green Bay; Special Accomplishment Award to Greater Green Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau; Environmental Stewardship Award to Sadoff Iron & Metal Co. in Howard; Cornerstone Award to The Riverside Ballroom in Green Bay; and its Business Person of the Year Award to Ying LaCourt, owner of Helping Hands Caregivers LLC in Green Bay. First Business Bank presented its 2014 Family Business First Awards to Sonex Aircraft LLC of Oshkosh, Broadway Automotive of Green Bay, SureDry Basement Systems of Menasha and Times Printing of Random Lake.

New hires Miron Construction in Neenah hired Tim Marthaler and Nate Roberts as warehouse operations laborers. Marthaler has nine years of construction industry experience, while Roberts has seven years experience. Create Business Services, a Green Bay-based business acquisition specialist, hired Michael VanDenLangenberg as an independent business intermediary, specializing in manufacturing. He brings 35 years of manufacturing industry experience.

SCA, a hygiene and forest products company with operations in Neenah and Menasha, hired Stephanie Duxbury-Weir as environmental and risk manager for SCA Americas. She has more than 25 years of pulp and paper industry experience. The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau in Grand Chute hired Adam Schanke as sports marketing manager and Amy Karas as convention sales representative. Schanke interned with the Atlanta Hawks and ESPN Milwaukee. Karas has seven years in the hospitality and sales industry and will be responsible for selling the Fox Cities as a destination for religious, military reunion, motor coach and small to medium meeting groups that generate overnight hotel stays. First National Bank – Fox Valley of Neenah hired the following new employees: Lori Lewerenz as a mortgage and consumer loan closing specialist; Daniel Salzbrenner as a credit analyst; Marsha Olson as a loan operations manager; and tellers Jessica Souther and Abby Lenz. Integrity Insurance in Appleton hired Scott David as vice president of sales and marketing. He previously served as director of agency relations for Lansing, Mich.-based Accident Fund Holdings. BriMark Builders LLC in Neenah hired Cassie Becher-Sternizky as assistant project manager and procurement coordinator. She has 10 years of industry experience. Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. hired Cassie Hintz as a market research analyst.

Prevea Health in Green Bay added Dr. Tina Sauerhammer as a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Sauerhammer most recently served as attending surgeon at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington and served as the hospital’s co-director of burn service and clinical director of global health.

Aquire Restoration in Oshkosh hired Maggie Attoe as an account specialist in Oshkosh and Vanessa Fralish as content manager/estimator. Attoe has more than seven years of customer service experience.

BayCare Clinic in Green Bay added gynecologic oncologist Dr. Peter R. Johnson. He specializes in ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, cervical cancer, as well as vulvar and vaginal cancers.

Appvion Inc. in Appleton hired Kevin Gilligan as president of its paper division, which consists of the company’s thermal, carbonless, security and specialty products businesses. Gilligan spent the past 20 years working for H.B Fuller Co., a specialty chemical company in St. Paul, Minn.

Network Health in Menasha hired Shari Fowler as director of marketing and planning. She has more than 15 years of industry experience. The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hired Megan Wheeler as program assistant for education and leadership. Wheeler most recently owned and operated Megan’s Home Services LLC.

Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton hired Mary Downs as executive director of Fox Valley Technical College Foundation Inc. and community relations. Downs has more than 25 years of experience, most recently serving as system vice-president of spine and orthopedic service lines for ThedaCare and spent several years at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.













46 | July 2014 | NNB2B

Schenck SC in Appleton hired Brian Zaletel as a senior practice consultant. Zaletel is a health care practice operations specialist, with 12 years of experience working with non-profit and proprietary post-acute, long-term care and assisted living organizations.

Caroline Boswell, humanistic studies; Michael Knight, Cofrin School of Business; James Loebl, Cofrin School of Business; James Vincent Lowery, humanistic studies; Sampathkumar Ranganathan, Cofrin School of Business; Gabriel Saxton-Ruiz, humanistic studies; Christine Vandenhouten, nursing; and Lora Warner, public and environmental affairs. The following faculty were promoted to full professor: Heidi Fencl, natural and applied sciences; Cristina Ortiz, humanistic studies; and Michael Zorn, natural and applied sciences.

Ledgeview Partners, an Appleton-based customer relationship management consulting firm, hired the following new employees: Julie Grimmer as sales account executive; Chris Harp as a development consultant; Don Feeser as project manager/ business analyst; Kurt Kreisman as an inside sales representative and lead generation specialist; and Chris Driscoll as an application consultant.

Stellar Blue Technologies, a Neenah-based digital marketing agency, promoted Chase Meidam to lead web developer. Meidam joined Stellar Blue as an intern in spring 2013.

Insight Creative Inc. in Green Bay hired Zane Statz as a designer/web programmer.


Aquire Restoration of Oshkosh promoted Matt Snell to general manager, Andrew Bongert to production supervisor and lead carpenter, and Andrew Kain to estimator.

BrownBoots Interactive Inc. in Fond du Lac hired Zach Melis as a web developer. Melis specializes in front-end programming and has expertise with open-source content management systems.

Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling promoted Brady Chuckel to vice president of sales; Tim Guilette to vice president of operations; and Jeff Hertel to vice president of finance. Chuckel has been with the company since 2003. Guilette joined the firm in 2002, and Hertel joined in 2007.



Ledgeview Partners in Appleton promoted Julinda Prekop from senior account executive to sales manager. Prekop joined the firm in 2010.

Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and Industry named Josh Dukelow vice president of public policy and leadership. He joined the chamber in 2012, managing the existing industry program of Fox Cities Economic Development Partnership, a division of the chamber.

Keller, Inc., a Kaukauna-based design/build general contractor, promoted Ryan Lillie from building foreman to supervisor. He has been with Keller for the past 17 years.

The Emergency Shelter of the Fox Valley promoted Stephanie Birchfield to case manager. Birchfield joined the shelter in 2013 as house supervisor and was an intern at the shelter in 2012.


Pension Consultants Co. Inc. in Green Bay promoted Kristy Wiernasz to company president, succeeding Audrey McCarey, who will remain with the company as CEO. Wiernasz joined the company in 2002 as a plan administrator.


Robert J. Cera, president and CEO of Baylake Bank in Sturgeon Bay, was elected 2014-2015 chair of the Wisconsin Bankers Association, which represents 270 commercial banks and savings institutions statewide. The board also named Peter J. Prickett, president and CEO of Neenah-based First National Bank - Fox Valley, as its chair-elect for the coming year.

The University of Wisconsin-Green Bay promoted the following faculty members from assistant professor to associate professor with tenure: Gaurav Bansal, Cofrin School of Business;














NNB2B | July 2014 | 47

Business Calendar

Individual awards Agnesian HealthCare nurses Louann Biddick and Patrice Walgenbach were presented with Nightingale Awards by the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh College of Nursing and Board of Visitors. Biddick has been a nurse with Fond du Lacbased Agnesian for 33 years, while Walgenbach joined Agnesian’s Waupun Memorial Hospital in 2002. The Paper Industry International Hall of Fame in Appleton inducted Hardev S. (Doug) Dugal, former director of the environmental division at the Institute of Paper Chemistry, founder of Integrated Paper Services Inc. in Appleton, and a founder of the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame. It also posthumously inducted William Markley Gilbert, founder and president of Gilbert Paper Co. in Menasha. Dr. Mark Kehrberg, chief medical officer of Ministry HealthCare and Affinity Health System in Menasha, received the 2014 Healthcare Administrator Award from Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology. Kehrberg manages 15 hospitals and 50 clinics in Wisconsin and Minnesota. His professional accomplishments included raising healthcare worker influenza vaccination rates to 94 percent, zero central line-associated bloodstream infections in the intensive care unit for the past 15 months, and support of best practices for a system-wide surveillance software to reduce infections.

Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to email For more events, log on to July 1 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Green Bay. Free for chamber members and $16 for non-members. For more information call 920.437.8704. July 8 Imagination Network of Wisconsin of the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. monthly meeting, 6 to 8 p.m. at Elks Lodge, 33 Sheboygan St., Fond du Lac. For more information or to register call 920.929.2928 or email July 8 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St., Oshkosh. Free for chamber members. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit July 10 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Social Hub, social media learning session, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St., Oshkosh. Free for chamber members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit



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July 11 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce government relations roundtable group meeting, 8 a.m. at the chamber office, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave., Kaukauna. Presenter is Eric Fowle, executive director, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission who will discuss the Oshkosh Region Defense Industry Diversification Initiative. No cost to attend. For more information call 920.766.1616 or email info@ July 16 A.M. Oshkosh, networking event of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Rhyme, 641 N. Main St., Oshkosh. Cost is $2. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit July 15 “How to turn your 5-star reputation into a standalone marketing machine,” a nocost webinar from Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, noon. Visit for more information. July 22 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Stone Cellar at Riverview Gardens, 1101 S. Oneida St., Appleton. Cost is $5 for chamber members in advance or $7 at the door. To register or for more information, visit www. or call 920.734.7101. August 5 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Green Bay. Free for chamber members and $16 for non-members. For more information call 920.437.8704. August 6 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m., AAA Insurance, 504A N. Rolling Meadows Drive, Fond du Lac. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.921.9500.

Advertiser Index Bank First National ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bayland Buildings ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Bellin Orthopedic Surgery ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48 Better Business Bureau ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Borsche Roofing Professionals ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Capital Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 CitizensFirst Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18 City Center Oshkosh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Competitive Strategies ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Epiphany Law ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 First Business Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 31 Fox Communities Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Fox Valley Savings Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Guident Business Solutions ⎮ . . . . . 8 Horicon Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33

August 12 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St., Oshkosh. Free for chamber members. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit August 14 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Social Hub, social media learning session, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St., Oshkosh. Free for chamber members and $5 for non-members. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit August 14 Pulse young professionals group of the Fox Cities, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outing, 5:35 to 9 p.m. at 2400 N. Casaloma Dr., Grand Chute. Reservations required by July 25. Cost is $24. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.734.7101. August 19 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.921.9500. August 20 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Waverly Beach, N8770 Firelane 1, Menasha. Cost is $5 for chamber members in advance or $7 at the door. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.734.7101. August 21 A.M. Oshkosh, networking event of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Dockside Tavern, 425 Nebraska St., Oshkosh. Cost is $2. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit n

James J. Calmes & Sons Construction ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 J. F. Ahern & Co. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Keller Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 44 Navigator Planning Group ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 National Exchange Bank & Trust ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Network Health ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council ⎮ . . . . . . . 36 NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52 Oshkosh Public Museum ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Outagamie County Regional Airport ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . 50 Pamco Executive Suites ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45 R&R Steel Construction Company Inc. ⎮ . 32 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Spark ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Thome Benefit Solutions ⎮ . . . . . . . . . 23 Tri City Glass & Door ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 UW Oshkosh MBA program ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Waterfest ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ⎮ . . . 45 Wordsmithing by Foster ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . 40 NNB2B | July 2014 | 49

Key Statistics local gasoline prices Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline. june 22 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.67 june 15 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.69 june 8 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.69 june 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.67 june 22, 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3.63

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

u.s. retail sales may

$437.6 billion 0.3% from April 4.3% from May 2013

Source: New North B2B observations

housing starts

u.s. industrial production


(2007 = 100) may

1,001,000 6.5% from April 9.4% from May 2013


0.6% from April 4.3% from May 2013

WI Dept. Revenue Collections



(Manufacturers and trade) april

$1.2 billion 21.1% from April 2013

$1,728 billion 0.6 % from March 5.0% from April 2013

50 | July 2014 | NNB2B

local unemployment april march apr. ‘13 Appleton . . . . . 6.7% . . . . . 7.5% . ...... 8.1% Fond du Lac . . . 6.4% . . . . . . 7.4% . ........ 7.5% Green Bay. . . . . 7.6% . . . . . . 8.5% . ....... 9.1% Neenah . . . . . . . 7.2% . . . . . . 7.7% . ......... 8.5% Oshkosh . . . . . . 6.0% . . . . . . 6.8% ...........7.1% Wisconsin . . . . 5.8% . . . . . 5.9% .......... 6.8% natural gas prices Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm. june. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.86 may. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.01 june 2013 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $0.70 Source: Integrys Energy

ism index Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction. may. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.4 april. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54.9


AT NETWORK HEALTH, WE LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN. We recently teamed up with people all over our state to share ideas and improve the health insurance industry. We heard ideas for better products and services from people from Racine to Green Bay and Milwaukee to Madison. We listened and today, Network Health is tailoring products and services for your unique needs. 800-826-0940 HMO plans underwritten by Network Health Plan. POS plans underwritten by Network Health Insurance Corporation, or Network Health Insurance Corporation and Network Health Plan. Self-funded HMO and POS plans administered by Network Health Plan.


at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Your new go-to venue for meetings and conferences is the Corporate Conference Center at NWTC. The CCC provides professional, flexible meeting spaces for groups of 12 to 150 people. Use the CCC’s multiple meeting rooms, interactive training room, and atrium separately or together for your next off-site meeting or conference. The area’s newest customized business event and training facility, the CCC features a fresh, modern look and comfortable, ergonomic furnishings. The center is conveniently located on the NWTC Green Bay campus with access to the College’s expert faculty and staff.

Contact the NWTC Corporate Conference Center For more information about the center and room rental rates, contact: Leslie Ward at, 920-498-6373 or 800-422-NWTC, ext. 6373.

July 2014  

Regional business magazine, business issues, information, health, entrepreneurship

July 2014  

Regional business magazine, business issues, information, health, entrepreneurship