Growing valuable employers increasingly means local government needs to pony up incentives to compete
At the Helm of Lean Management
Cooking up new business Entrepreneurship
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new north b2b June 2011
22 COVER STORY ❘ New Era of Economic Development ❘ Saving jobs set new standards for use of government incentives
28 MANAGEMENT ❘ Lessons from Nonprofits ❘ Navigating relationships and meeting demand with limited resources
32 ENTREPRENEURSHIP ❘ Cooking Up Start-ups ❘ Kitchen incubator aimed at helping launch culinary entrepreneurs
36 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ A Clear View ❘ Second-time entrepreneur learns from mistakes to grow window cleaning firm
Departments 4 From the Publisher 5, 40 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 10 Corporate Earnings 14 Build Up Pages 20 Around the Boardroom 21 Pierce Stronglove 42 Who’s News 49 Business Calendar 49 Advertiser Index 50 Key Statistics
On our Cover
With our apologies to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, our cover illustrates financial incentives provided to industry. Cover illustration by Kate Erbach of New North B2B.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 3
FROM THE PUBLISHER
Recent attention from national business media is an endorsement of state’s direction
Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
Above the dairy air
Far away from the Dairy State in the posh confines of elite East Coast social clubs, the urban gentry sipped their Dalmore scotch and puffed on their Spanish Behike cigars in early May conversing about a rare topic indeed: just what kind of aged cheddar are they eating in Wisconsin to capture so much national and global attention as of late? Certainly the chaotic protests at its capitol during the month of February solicited the attention of news cameras from across the country and beckoned general audiences around the globe to watch the drama unfold. But when the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s begin to dedicate attention and space to activities in Wisconsin, either the editors at those publications have been drinking pull-top cans of outdated Miller High Life – or there’s actually a movement of innovative, economic-priming exercises occurring in the Frozen Tundra. While many business professionals in Wisconsin might not have taken notice, the state has been written up in leading national business media as if it were a hit Broadway production. The editorial page of the Wall Street Journal on May 16 took notice of Wisconsin’s steep climb in Chief Executive Magazine’s annual ranking of state business climates, where Wisconsin ascended from 41st place in 2010 to No. 24 this year, the greatest single-year increase of any state and one of the largest in the history of the survey. The annual survey asks 500 CEOs to grade the states on taxes and regulation, the quality of the work force and living environment, among other categories. In editorializing about the rankings in general, The Wall Street Journal opined: “This suggests that Big Labor’s attempt to make (Gov. Scott) Walker a national political target had the ironic result of making Wisconsin more appealing to business executives.” Just a week earlier, Barron’s annual ranking of America’s Top Companies recognized Oshkosh Corp. in the No. 1 position – Numero Uno – ahead of better-known companies like J.M. Smucker (No. 2) and Apple (No. 4). The rankings were based upon revenue growth and cash returns during the recent three-year period compared with 2010 financial data. In addition, Bemis Company of Neenah ranked No. 36 on the list, the second highest ranking for a Wisconsin-based firm on the list behind Oshkosh. Pundits have already attempted to read
into the numbers of the CEO survey rankings and Barron’s financial mathematics to assert the accomplishments aren’t truly as noteworthy as they’re made out. It can be noted the reforms of Wisconsin government in regard to the state’s capital investment climate will take years to demonstrate tangible results. But if for nothing else, the national attention is an endorsement for the work the new governor’s administration has undertaken in just more than four month’s time, and a salute to the direction Wisconsin’s oft-perceived unfriendly business climate is heading.
Biz plan follow up I received a good deal of response from my May 2011 column discussing the Northeast Wisconsin Business Pan Competition. Thank you to everyone who took the time to call, write, or stop and talk with me at an event. Among the responses, six past prize winners of the competition called or emailed to weigh in their thoughts, and among those, five indicated the evaluation process of the competition was underwhelming compared with the level of vetting by venture capitalists or through the Governor’s Business Plan Competition. A few felt the panel of judges evaluating finalists over-represented academia and under-represented real-world experience owning and operating a business. I did error in my comments regarding the accountability of prize money awarded to winning business plans. Three years ago, organizers for the competition began requiring winners actually implement their business plan and launch their company fulltime before receiving their prize money. I regret any inconvenience this error caused readers. I also inadvertently shorted the number of business plans recognized during the first three years of the competition, though the success rate remains about the same as reported a month ago. There were 19 business plans in total that were awarded prize money between 2006 and 2008, six of which continue to remain in business. Among those businesses mentioned in the column last month as still conducting regular operations, I’m remiss not to have mentioned Williams Technology Group of Appleton, Guardian Wireless of Manitowoc and Waterscape Designs of Forestville, all recognized as award winners or finalists during the inaugural competition in 2006. All three continue to forge ahead after five years in business. www.newnorthb2b.com
Anti-retaliation expanded in the FLSA by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Tony Renning
If you have a particular labor/employment law question, please forward your question to Mr. Renning at info@ newnorthb2b.com. If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy.
Reader Question: Has the United States Supreme Court rendered a decision in Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics, Corp. (A wage and hour lawsuit involving a Wisconsin employer)? Tony Renning: The U.S. Supreme Court recently expanded the anti-retaliation provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to include verbal complaints. Kasten v. Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp., No. 09-834 United States Supreme Court (March 22, 2011). The FLSA contains an anti-retaliation provision that makes it unlawful for employers to discharge or discriminate against any employee because the employee has “filed any complaint or instituted or caused to be instituted” any proceeding under or related to the Act. In his suit alleging unlawful retaliation under the FLSA, Kasten contended that Saint-Gobain suspended and then discharged him for repeatedly making
Publisher & President
Cheryl Hentz Christopher Jossart Lee Marie Reinsch
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Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA
verbal complaints that the location of time clocks was illegal. Saint-Gobain denied that Kasten made any meaningful complaints and claimed that Kasten was discharged because he failed to clock in and out, despite repeated warnings. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals initially held that Kasten did not suffer retaliation within the meaning of the FLSA. The Court of Appeals concluded that the anti-retaliation provision of the FLSA should not be read expansively to include verbal complaints. The Supreme Court reversed the Court of Appeals holding that verbal complaints are covered under the anti-retaliation provision of the FLSA. In so doing, the Supreme Court noted the purpose of the FLSA and the context in which it was enacted compelled the conclusion that verbal complaints are protected. By expanding the anti-retaliation provision of the FLSA, employers must give greater scrutiny to employee complaints
NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. A single complimentary subscription is offered to all members of the Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce, Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, and the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce. Printed by Digicorporation, 120 Lake St., Neenah, WI 54956 POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at Oshkosh, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2011.
Contact us: P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903-0559 • 920.237.0254 www.newnorthb2b.com
about wage and hour issues. Employers should train their supervisors to be aware of these types of complaints and thoroughly document the complaints and the investigation thereof. For advice and counsel as to the FLSA, contact Tony Renning at (920) 2324842 or firstname.lastname@example.org or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.
Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 5
SINCE WE LAST MET
Since we last met Since We Last Met is a digest of business related news occurring in the Green Bay, Fox Cities, Oshkosh and Fond du Lac areas in the one month since the previous issue of New North B2B.
April 20 The recount for the last of three open seats on the Oshkosh Common Council ended in a tie with 5,490 votes each for candidates Tom Pech, Jr. and Jef Hall. The two drew playing cards to determine who would assume the two-year term in office, with Pech choosing the winning card. Unofficial results from the April 5 general election had Pech 14 votes in the lead, prompting the recount request from Hall. April 26 A to Z Machine Company in Appleton was awarded $88,000 in Economic Development Tax Credits from the state Department of Commerce to help construct and equip a 41,000-sq. ft. plant addition. The new addition will allow the machine shop to add
2002 June 2 – The Fond du Lac Big Kmart store on West Johnson Avenue closed permanently as part of Kmart Corp.’s bankruptcy plan to close 284 stores nationwide.
2004 June 16 – The FVTC Foundation received a $500,000 gift from John J. and Ethel D. Keller. The gift kicks off a communitywide campaign to raise $1 million to fund scholarships and special projects for Fox Valley Technical College.
2007 June 11 – Wisconsin ranked No. 1 in the nation in health care quality in a first ever rating reported by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The rating was based on 129 quality measures in four different care settings. Among those four different care settings, Wisconsin hospital care ranked first in the nation, and it was among the five best-performing states in ambulatory care.
6 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
welding, assembly, painting and blasting operations. The company is expected to add 16 jobs as a result of the expansion, which would place its workforce near 95 employees. April 26 A report released by The Pew Center indicated Wisconsin and New York were the only two states in the nation to fully fund public employee pensions in 2009. Overall, the report found there was at least a $1.26 trillion gap in 2009 between what 48 other states have promised in public employee retirement benefits and what they have set aside. April 27 A prospective buyer for the former NewPage mill in Kimberly backed out of negotiations to potentially purchase the idle manufacturing facility after a feasibility study determined the plant could not cost effectively be converted to support its intended use. The name of the prospective buyer had not been disclosed during closed-door discussions with village and Outagamie County officials. Both the village and the county had pledged to spend $50,000 toward the cost of the feasibility study, but the buyer took responsibility for all of the costs. April 27 The Federal Reserve Board voted to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. In making its decision, the board acknowledged the economic recovery is proceeding at a moderate pace and labor market conditions are improving gradually. The board said household spending and business investment in equipment and software continue to expand, though it said commercial and industrial construction is weak and the housing sector remains depressed. Increases in energy and other commodity prices have pushed up inflation in recent months. April 28 Recall papers were filed with the state Government Accountability Board for state Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), making a total of nine recall petitions filed against senators statewide in the aftermath of the budget repair bill discussions. Other senators from northeast Wisconsin facing recall elections on July 12 include Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Sen. Luther Olsen (R-Ripon). May 2 The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau reported visitor spending in 2010 increased 1.2 percent to $363.5 million. The annual economic impact study from Davidson-Peterson Associates of Maine indicated visitor spending supported an estimated 5,613 jobs and nearly $102 million in payroll for Fox Cities residents. www.newnorthb2b.com
SINCE WE LAST MET May 2 The Kaukauna Area School District Board of Education voted to lay off 14.5 teaching positions for the 2011-12 school year to help meet a projected $2.99 million budget deficit. District officials had also given consideration to closing down Park Elementary School, but the board decided to keep the school open at least one more year after hearing from several parents. Closing the school would have saved the district $253,000, while the teacher layoffs are expected to save $1.5 million. The district is also considering $1 million in administrative cuts. May 2 The City of Menasha Common Council approved a measure allowing Green Bay-based Greenwood Fuels to conduct a feasibility study to potentially use the defunct Menasha Utilities steam plant which closed in October 2009. Greenwood Fuels plans to determine if it can efficiently convert the facility to generate electricity by burning pellets the company already makes from paper sludge at its Green Bay facility. The study is expected to be complete sometime in July. May 3 Bemis Company Foundation in Neenah made more than $343,000 in donations to several Fox Valley organizations, including: $105,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh; $62,000 to United Way Fox Cities; $50,000 to the education series at the Fox Cities PAC; $41,000 to the Oshkosh Area United Way; and $20,000 to the Boys & Girls Club of Appleton. May 4 The Paine Art Center and Gardens in Oshkosh announced a $7.5 million expansion plan for the historic property which includes a 2,000-sq. ft. glass-roofed conservatory, a new grand garden, a new parking lot, as well as key preservation and accessibility projects. Officials for the cultural institution plan to complete most of projects over the next three years. A total of $4.5 million has already been secured to fund the projects, and the organization plans to raise the additional $3 million as the work unfolds.
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May 4 The board of Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac voted to eliminate 20 staff positions and suspend its engine research and development technician and veterinary technician degree programs, as well as its steamfitter and plumbing apprenticeships, in an effort to meet a projected $3.1 million shortfall in its 2011-12 budget. The specific program cuts were determined based on student enrollment, retention, number of graduates, and available employment opportunities. May 5 Fortune magazine’s Fortune 500 list for 2011 ranked Oshkosh Corp. at No. 252 with revenues of $9.84 billion and Bemis Company Inc. of Neenah at No. 462 with 2010 sales of $4.89 billion. Seven other Wisconsin-based firms made the list of the nation’s largest publicly-traded companies: Johnson Controls, Milwaukee, No. 76; Northwestern Mutual, Milwaukee, No. 112; Manpower, Milwaukee, No. 138; Kohl’s, Menomonee Falls, No. 142; American Family Insurance Group, Madison, No. 358; Harley-Davidson, Milwaukee, No. 458; and Rockwell Automation, Milwaukee, No. 466. NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 7
SINCE WE LAST MET May 5 The Wisconsin Jobs Act, a bill to create two investment funds totaling $400 million under the umbrella of a new Wisconsin Venture Capital Authority, was introduced by Sen. Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) and Rep. Gary Tauchen (R-Bonduel). The first fund, called the Jobs Now Fund, would be a rapid-response fund issuing $200 million in tax credits to insurance companies for investments in certified capital funds. The tax credits would be for 80 percent of the value of the investments, and could not be claimed for a minimum of five years. The second fund, referred to as the Badger Jobs Fund, would solicit as much as $200 million from the sale of bonds, then invest the money in qualified venture capital funds, with no more than 15 percent in any single fund. For every $1 a venture fund received, it would need to raise $3 from other sources. May 6 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 244,000 jobs were created in April, and the national unemployment rate edged up from 8.8 to 9.0 percent. Job gains occurred in several service industries, manufacturing and mining. May 9 The Appleton Area School District Board of Education approved final layoff notices for 10 teachers, or the equivalent of 7.7 positions, for the coming school year, less than the 12 teachers and 9.9 positions who received preliminary layoff notices in March. The district is facing 89 retirements this year – an amount that’s higher than usual – which helped to minimize the number of layoffs the district needed to issue.
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May 9 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work on the $15 million West Pioneer Road project in Fond du Lac to replace the deteriorating bridge, relocate deep underground utilities, and add two roundabouts and a railroad underpass. Demolition of the bridge is expected in July. Most of the project construction is scheduled for 2012. May 10 Both houses of Wisconsin’s legislature approved a bill to increase the number of enterprise zones in the state from 12 to 20, which will expand the opportunity for businesses to become eligible for a range of tax incentives for creating jobs in targeted areas. Employers locating or expanding in enterprise zones can earn tax breaks by creating jobs, with greater benefits for jobs created in economically distressed areas. May 10 The Greater Green Bay Area Convention and Visitors Bureau reported visitor spending in Brown County in 2010 increased 1.9 percent to $498 million. Tourism officials said about 40 percent of travel to the area was for business, 37 percent was for leisure travel, while the remaining 23 percent was accounted for through meetings and conventions. May 10 R.R. Donnelley & Sons Co. informed employees it plans to shut down operations at its Ahnaip Street book printing and bindery plant in Menasha by July. About 25 employees who work in book binding will be transferred to the company’s Mid-
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SINCE WE LAST MET way Road plant in Menasha, while about 14 employees who work in printing will be laid off and offered severance packages. Company officials indicated decreasing demand for print copies of books is presenting challenges for the entire printing industry, which contributed to the decision to close the facility. May 10 The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau received a $37,150 Joint Effort Marketing grant from the state Department of Tourism to promote summer and fall travel throughout Winnebago County. The Oshkosh CVB will match the grant funds with an advertising campaign using billboard, Trip Advisor and mobile applications, public relations and other print media. May 11 Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development Secretary Manny Perez abruptly resigned his post just four months into his role to go back to the private sector. Deputy Sec. Scott Baumbach assumed the role as the interim secretary. May 12 The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau reported visitor spending in Winnebago County in 2010 increased 1.6 percent to $198.7 million. The annual economic impact study from Davidson-Peterson Associates of Maine indicated visitor spending supported 4,700 jobs and nearly $123 million in wages and salaries in the county. May 13 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation approved a $1.05 million project at Outagamie County Regional Airport in Greenville to update and replace runway and taxiway guide signs on the airfield and to install runway guard lights where taxiways and runways intersect. The Federal Aviation Administration is providing just shy of $1 million toward the project, while both the state and Outagamie County will contribute slightly more than $26,000 each. The projects should be completed this fall. May 13 Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) announced he won’t seek a fifth term in 2012 elections. Kohl was first elected to the seat in 1988 and has been re-elected three times since. Kohl is the fifth Democrat in the U.S. Senate to announce retirement ahead of the 2012 election. May 17 The Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors decided to expand the size of the board from 18 to 25 seats, adding seven supervisory districts as part of the reapportionment process conducted every 10 years to reflect population changes through the 2010 U.S. Census. May 18 The Brown County Board of Supervisors voted to expand the size of the board from 26 to 29 seats, adding three supervisory districts as part of the reapportionment process conducted every 10 years to reflect the increase in the county’s population by more than 20,000 residents between the 2000 and 2010 U.S. Censuses. NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 9
Once each quarter, New North B2B runs a digest of quarterly financial reports from local publicly traded companies, or from out-of-the-area parent companies with significant opera- tions in the greater Fox Valley region. April 20 Plexus Corp. Revenue Income EPS
2Q 2011 $568 Million $23.9 Million 59 Cents
2Q 2010 $491 Million s 16% $20.7 Million s 15% 51 Cents s 16%
The Neenah-based contract electronics manufacturer reported record sales for its second fiscal quarter, surpassing revenue forecasts provided three months earlier. During the quarter, company officials said Plexus won 21 new programs in its manufacturing solutions segment valued at nearly $134 million, including about $60 million in contracts from its medical sector. April 21 Associated Banc-Corp. 1Q 2011 1Q 2010 Income $15.4 Million ($33.8 Million) s 146% EPS 9 Cents (51 Cents) s 145% The Ashwaubenon-based financial institution repaid half of its $525 million in U.S. Treasury TARP funds by the end of the quarter, and company officials say they’re on track to pay off the remainder by the end of 2011. The company’s loans dated 30-89 days past due were down 12 percent from the fourth quarter 2010 to $106 million, while its net charge-offs for the quarter were $53 million, down more than 50 percent from fourth quarter 2010 net charge-offs of $108 million. April 25 Kimberly-Clark Revenue Income EPS
Corp. 1Q 2011 $5.0 Billion $350 Million 86 Cents
1Q 2010 $4.8 Billion s 4% $384 Million t 9% 92 Cents t 7%
The manufacturer of consumer paper and tissue products with significant operations in the Fox Cities experienced a rapid run-up in commodity costs of nearly $195 million more than the same quarter last year, particularly for fiber, primary polymer resin and other oil-based materials, and energy. As a result, the company will respond by raising selling prices, particularly in its North American consumer products businesses. Company officials did increase revenue projections for the full fiscal year to a range of 4 to 6 percent, up from previous guidance for an increase of 3 to 4 percent.
10 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
April 26 Illinois Tool Works 1Q 2011 Revenue $4.39 Billion Income $623 Million EPS $1.24
1Q 2010 $3.74 Billion s 17% $334 Million s 87% 66 Cents s 88%
The parent company of Miller Electric Manufacturing operations across the Fox Cities increased its full year earnings forecast to a range of $4.16 to $4.34 per share and projected annual revenue growth in a range of 16 to 18 percent. Sales from the company’s welding segment – which include Miller Electric – increased 23 percent, with North American welding revenues growing 27 percent as a result of higher demand from heavyequipment manufacturers and assemblers. April 28 Oshkosh Corp. 2Q 2011 2Q 2010 Revenue $1.75 Billion $2.86 Billion t 39% Income $67.9 Million $293 Million t 77% EPS 74 Cents $3.22 t 77% The manufacturer of specialty vehicles completed its highvolume production, multi-billion dollar M-ATV contract with the U.S. Army by the end of 2010, accounting for $1.38 billion less in defense segment sales compared with revenue that contract provided during the same quarter a year ago. The company’s access equipment segment returned to profitability during the quarter and increased receipts by 73 percent, while its fire and emergency segment suffered a 17 percent decrease in sales, primarily due to municipal budget cuts across North America. Oshkosh Corp. did repay $50 million of debt during its second fiscal quarter. April 28 Brunswick Corp. 1Q 2011 1Q 2010 Revenue $986 Million $844 Million s 17% Income $27.5 Million ($13 Million) s 312% EPS 30 Cents (15 Cents) s 300% The parent company of Mercury Marine operations in Fond du Lac reported nearly 53 percent of its revenue on the quarter came from its marine engine segment – which includes Mercury Marine – with segment sales up 17 percent on the quarter to $520.5 million. The marine engine segment’s manufacturing facilities continued to increase production during the quarter and nearly doubled operating earnings to $51.6 million. Company officials said they expect to report a profitable second quarter, followed by a net loss in the second half of 2011.
April 28 Bemis Company Revenue Income EPS
Inc. 1Q 2011 $1.3 Billion $51.2 Million 47 Cents
1Q 2010 $1.0 Billion s 30% $30.8 Million s 66% 27 Cents s 74%
The Neenah-based supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials reported record first quarter sales of $1.3 billion, which included its initial full first quarter of Food Americas operations after acquiring Alcan Packaging on March 1, 2010. Company officials said its flexible packaging segment is experiencing increased raw material costs for specialty resins that have been more dramatic than expected, impacting its operating profit. They expect those costs to stabilize later this year. May 2 Humana Inc. Revenue Income EPS
1Q 2011 $9.19 Billion $315 Million $1.86
1Q 2010 $8.38 Billion s 10% $259 Million s 22% $1.52 s 22%
The health and benefits company with extensive operations in the Green Bay area increased membership in its Medicare Advantage plans by 11 percent, and grew enrollment in its individual stand-alone prescription drug plans by nearly 41 percent during the past three months through its low-pricepoint Humana-WalMart plan offering. Company officials lifted full year earnings projections to a range of $6.70 to $6.90 per share, up more than 12 percent from previous earnings estimates in the range of $5.95 to $6.15 per share. May 2 First Business Financial Services 1Q 2011 1Q 2010 Income $1.3 Million $899,000 EPS 52 Cents 35 Cents
s 50% s 49%
Executive leadership for the commercial-oriented financial institution serving the Madison, Milwaukee and Northeast Wisconsin markets attributed the more than 50 percent gain in earnings to an increase in net interest income. May 4 Integrys Energy Revenue Income EPS
Group Inc. 1Q 2011 $1.63 Billion $123 Million $1.56
1Q 2010 $1.90 Billion t 14% $49.7 Million s 147% 64 Cents s 144%
The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. operations across northeast and northcentral Wisconsin reported a 1 percent gain in its regulated natural gas utility segment during the quarter, though its regulated electric utility segment experienced a nearly 18 percent decrease in adjusted earnings to $25.2 million. Company officials projected full year earnings in a range of $3.27 and $3.60 per share. May 4 R.R. Donnelly & Sons Co. 1Q 2011 Revenue $2.6 Billion Income $33.9 Million EPS 16 Cents
1Q 2010 $2.4 Billion s 7% $52.6 Million t 36% 25 Cents t 36%
The printing giant with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported pre-tax charges for restructuring of $42.7 million on the quarter, which significantly impacted its 36 percent decline in net income compared with the first quarter 2010. The company increased its U.S. print and related services segment revenue by nearly 6 percent to $1.9 billion even though its year-ago first quarter receipts included substantial non-recurring revenue from the U.S. Census in 2010. May 9 Neenah Paper Inc. 1Q 2011 Revenue $173 Million Income $7.0 Million EPS 45 Cents
1Q 2010 $167 Million s 3% $7.3 Million t 4% 48 Cents t 6%
Neenah decreased its debt by $30 million, or more than 12 percent, as the result of the early redemption of $65 million of senior notes that was financed through nearly $34 million of cash and borrowing, all of which reduced the companyâ€™s income for the quarter from what otherwise would have been a 13 percent gain. Neenahâ€™s technical products segment experienced an 8 percent increase in revenue on the quarter. May 10 Appleton Inc. Revenue Income
1Q 2011 1Q 2010 $218 Million $210 Million s 4% ($5.2 Million) ($7.4 Million) s 30%
The employee-owned producer of thermal papers reported a 1.6 percent increase in revenues in its paper business, which was further buoyed by continued growth in its relatively new Encapsys segment by 35 percent compared with the first quarter 2010. Due to the inflation of raw materials costs, the company is looking to improve the profitability of its thermal receipt paper business by focusing on product pricing. NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 11
May 10 Dean Foods Company 1Q 2011 Revenue $3.05 Billion Income $25 Million EPS 14 Cents
1Q 2010 $2.96 Billion s 3% $43 Million t 42% 24 Cents t 42%
The dairy-based foods company with extensive operations in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay area, said fluid milk volumes decreased by 2.4 percent during the first quarter, double the overall industry average decline of 1.2 percent during the same period. The companyâ€™s WhiteWave-Alpro segment reported 7 percent growth for the quarter supported by the strength of its Horizon Organic milk, International Delight creamer and Land Oâ€™Lakes butter brands.
The Ripon-based manufacturer of commercial and residential laundry equipment reported its revenue growth was primarily attributed to a 10 percent sales increase in the United States and Canada and a 46 percent sales increase in Asia. May 13 Tufco Technologies Inc. 2Q 2011 Revenue $28.6 Million Income $125,255 EPS 3 Cents
2Q 2010 $20.9 Million s 37% ($232,397) s 154% (5 Cents) s 160%
The Green Bay-based contract paper converter reported sales in its contract manufacturing segment increased by 47 percent, fueling much of the growth in overall revenue on the quarter.
May 10 Alliance Laundry Systems 1Q 2011 1Q 2010 Revenue $104.3 Million $92.7 Million s 13% Income $4.8 Million $4.5 Million s 7%
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C Kornelli’s Mobil, an addition to the existing convenience store and a new car wash facility.
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BUILD UP OSHKOSH
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Build Up Oshkosh 4
- 800 High Ave., Oshkosh, University of WisconsinOshkosh, a four-story, 191,000-sq. ft. academic building for the College of Business Administration. Project completion expected in August.
5 - 600 Block of Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a five-story, 340-bed student residence hall.
6 - 2541 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh, C Pepsi Cola Bottling Company-Oshkosh, a 6,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 7
- 1515 Planeview Dr., Oshkosh, Cobblestone Inn, a two-story, 31-room hotel. Projects completed since our May issue: • University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh biodigestor plant, 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh. • Party City, 1530 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 15
BUILD UP FOX CITIES We bring years of experience and knowledge together in a way that exceeds our customers’ expectations over and over.
C - Indicates a new listing
1 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital, a 6,370-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing cancer center at the hospital. 2 - 130 Second St., Neenah, Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, a 10,897-sq. ft. addition to the first floor of the hospital and remodel of existing patient rooms. 3 - 901 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, CVS Pharmacy, a 13,225-sq. ft. new retail store. 4 - 913 S. Green Bay Road, Neenah, Kwik Trip, a 5,800sq. ft. convenience store, fuel station and car wash. 5
- 1035 Breezewood Lane, Neenah, C Webex Inc., a
12,120-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Projects completed since our May issue: • Evergreen Suites multi-tenant commercial center, 2505 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton. • U.S. Bank, 3300 E. Calumet Ave., Appleton. • Exopack, 271 River St., Menasha. • Kimberly-Clark Corp., 1050 Cold Spring Road, town of Menasha.
Becky Cook Customer Service 13 years experience Our benefit services team, based in Wisconsin, averages nine years of experience at Delta Dental of Wisconsin. To find out more about Becky and her team visit: experience.deltadentalwi.com
We’re good at collaboration. So good, we’ll eventually finish each other’s
Want to tap the power of collaboration? Let’s start with a conversation. Connect with us: bakertilly.com
Experience. The Delta Dental Difference.
16 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
© 2011 Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP Baker Tilly refers to Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, an independently owned and managed member of Baker Tilly International.
BUILD UP FOX CITIES
2 3 &4 5
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 17
BUILD UP GREEN BAY The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Green Bay area. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts.
C - Indicates a new listing
Racquet & Fitness Club/ Prevea Medical, a two-story, 28,418-
- 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon, PCM Employees
Credit Union, a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office. Project completion expected in July.
- 2502 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, C Western
sq. ft. addition to the existing fitness center and a new health
1 - 2806 Riverview Dr., Howard,
of Wisconsin, a 7,552-sq. ft. dermatology clinic. Project
- 1160 Ashwaubenon St., Ashwaubenon, C Circle
completion expected in August.
Business Center, a 9,643-sq. ft. industrial facility.
2 - 1461 W. Mason St., Green Bay, Rabideau Auto Mart,
a new automotive retail building.
3 - 930 Main St., Green Bay,
CVS Pharmacy, a new retail
store and pharmacy.
- 1121 W. Main Ave., Ashwaubenon, SparkNet
Interactive, a four-story, 69,000-sq. ft. commercial office building. Project completion expected in June.
10 - 100 Grant St., De Pere, C St. Norbert College Michels
1960 University Ave., Green Bay, Family Dollar, an
addition to the existing structure for a new retail store.
5 - 1315 Lime Kiln Road, Green Bay, The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, a new multi-level community center. Project completion expected in August.
Commons, an addition to the existing student commons and cafeteria. Project completion expected in May 2012. Projects completed since our May issue: • Auto Zone, 1168 W. Mason St., Green Bay. • Yeager Properties, 3146 Yeager Dr., Green Bay.
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Y O U R S U C C E S S C O M E S F I R S T.
Commercial Lending : Treasury Management : Equipment Finance : Asset-based Lending : Trust & Investments : Private Banking
18 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
Fox Cities: 920-734-1800 Oshkosh: 920-231-2400 Green Bay: 920-435-5442
BUILD UP GREEN BAY
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 19
AROUND THE BOARDROOM
2.5 The percent of per capita spending growth in Wisconsin cities and villages from 2002 through 2009, down from more than 4 percent annually during the period from 1987 to 2002. Source: Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance
Title: Incubators: A Realist’s Guide to the World’s New Business Accelerators Author: Colin Barrow Publisher: Wiley; 1st edition (2001) Pages: 320 List Price: $17.99 Why Buy: The first global incubators – environments that allow startup businesses to gather momentum and existing businesses to accelerate their growth – have let their fledglings fly solo. This fascinating new area of business is explored in Colin Barrow’s Incubators, an in-depth analysis of the positive and negative aspects of the incubator phenomenon. Relying on real-life case studies, he provides insights on how entrepreneurs can get the best, and occasionally the worst, out of being in an incubator. He also provides authoritative guidance on what sort of options are available – like which type of incubator you should choose, or whether to incubate at all – along with coverage of less formal business incubators.
...you might be sabotaging your business You worry about how best to advertise. You worry about marketing. You worry about getting the right employees, paying the bills, and getting new customers. While you worry about all those things beyond your control, you might be missing some definite damage you’re doing to your own business. See if you’re unconsciously sabotaging your business and take action to change it.
❶ Focusing on long-term goals at the expense of
short-term movement Procrastination often masquerades as planning. Don’t let planning take the place of what is happening in the present. Neglect the present, and you have no future. If you have to choose between steadily pursuing longterm and short-term goals, focus on the short-term. A coherent business plan should line up those short-term goals with a long-term plan.
❷ Failing to systematize
Systems keep you from needing to do everything yourself. They enable you to transfer responsibility to your employee, your consultant, or your outsourced professional. Turning procedures and processes into a system, training your people in those systems, and then seeing that those systems are followed are among the chief responsibilities of a business leader.
❸ Keeping dead weight on board
By forcing your business to hang on to old methods you force your business to maintain itself at a level of survival when it could be moving up in growth and
20 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
profitability. You have to analyze not only what you have and how well it is working, but how much better things could work with some newness thrown in the mix. Then you have to drop the old stuff, the dead weight, and move on to what works better.
❹ Failing to build innovation into your business
If you aren’t constantly looking for ways to improve your business, you won’t be aware of how much your business could improve. Just as you need to systematize your day-to-day work, you need to build innovation systematically into your business.
❺ Taking things personally
Your personal identity is often wrapped up in your business, and that isn’t a bad thing unless you allow your personal reactions to color your business sense. You have to respond with dignity, open-mindedness, and the ability to see the value in each experience or critique rather than allowing those personal feelings to put you into shut-down mode. Source: Annie Mueller on openforum.com www.newnorthb2b.com
AROUND THE BOARDROOM
Demographic Winter Spree
other Stronglove has the uncanny capacity to vex my spirit in ways that ultimately lead to useful inspirations for you, dear reader. I often secretly wonder if she works as a channel of sorts for St. Bernadine of Siena, the patron saint of advertising. Consider last evening. I was on my lanai, peacefully enveloped in the full-bodied fume of a Ghurka Legend, when she made yet another of her signature grand entrances. Carefully waltzing a punchbowl-size Culata de Caballo Loco margarita across the floor (“Chill, Ducky. I’m only having one, I promise… Or maybe two, or three tops.”), she coolly scolded Doo to keep his fingers of questionable recent whereabouts away from her “Carmen Says” Edible Arrangements® fruit garnish. Still, approaching the relief of her chintz-tufted fainting couch, she couldn’t conceal her bristle. Her latest toyboy, Duncan, had just texted to cancel their weekly companionship exercises. An alleged highpriority email concerning a paid casting call for qualified banana hammock models had undermined her plans for the evening. Pushing aside The Wall Street Journal that had inexplicably held her tea-time attention earlier, she slipped her iPad from her copious Fleur De Lis handbag, piggybacked onto our clueless neighbor’s wireless network (“Ducky, why can’t your bandwidth be more like Symphonia’s?”), and in minutes was giggling in an eerily familiar way at Desperate Housewives streaming on demand through her Netflix account. In moments like this I try to make sense of the confusion. Perhaps someone (St. Bernadine?) is interceding that I may be instructed. I call my super-giant ad agency advisor for guidance in all media strategy-related matters. I describe to her Mother Stronglove’s peculiar behavior: reading print delivered in the morning, streaming on demand in the evening. She reassures me: true media mavens are painfully aware that, while the mixes of traditional and new media are as individual as the clients, half of most budgets are wasted. The problem is, nobody really knows which half it is.
Still she offers some compelling observations. Traditional media are typically evaluated for their performance in delivering audiences by age group. In considering newspapers, for example, nitwit advertisers exclude readers over the age of 49. They’re preoccupied with the young up-and-comers. You know – squeezing the group that’s having the most difficulty finding jobs while struggling with tighter lending standards. So, as younger newspaper audiences shrink, turning to the Internet and their mobile phones for daily news, the largely disregarded 50+ audience is lapping up a dramatically growing share of readership. Forgotten but not gone, they’re there, they’re growing, and they have more money to spend than people of this age in the past. Statistically, the trends in radio and network television are the same: the young are cutting back while the 50+ crowd consumes more of it. Oh splendid, I conclude – for peddling hearing aids, hawking hair clubs and pushing senior discounts at restaurants with no steps. Woo-hoo. Hoots and giggles are streaming from the face in the glow of Netflix on the iPad resting comfortably on designer furniture. The unmistakable combination of assorted tropical fruits, Gucci Guilty Perfume, and Clase Azul Ultra tequila is wafting over. Momentarily annoyed by Doo’s chatter for a chunk of star fruit, Mother Stronglove slips on her Beats™by Dr. Dre™HD isolation headphones. Suddenly, I see her in a new way. Yes, she sometimes complains about her clouding eyesight, stiff joints and wrinkling skin. But she’s also quick to quote Maurice Chevalier: “Old age isn’t so bad when you consider the alternative.” She’s past aspiring to impress others, the self-imposed pressure to network for accelerated career advancement, the feverish anxiety over financial goals, and (I think) the worry and anger of child rearing. Most important, she’s still open to trying new things. Maybe if we get past our own fears, we can start defining people by their tastes and attitudes instead of their age. And if you’re looking for a spendy prospect that’s again celebrating life as happily as she did at age 25, have I got a reader/ viewer/listener/surfer/ streamer for you. Behind the façade of Mr. Stronglove is an advertising professional wielding his strategic and conceptual stealth in all forms of media (except book jackets). Send comments (or crisp twenties) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 21
The new era of economic development
State, local government are called on to pony up incentives to compete with other states Even
a thorough search of the
doesn’t bring up the
Oshkosh business leader John Buckstaff Wall Street Journal in 1986 urging executives elsewhere not to even consider Wisconsin as a place to expand or relocate their own businesses. But the episode is still ripe in full page advertisement took out in the
the memories of local business leaders who were working in northeast
Story by Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher
22 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
at the time.
Fed up with state government administration that was perceived as antibusiness and placed a litany of onerous tax and regulatory burdens on growing enterprise in Wisconsin, Buckstaff’s group known as Businessmen of Wisconsin-Words of Wisdom – or BOW-WOW, for short – took out the spread to splash the message “Escape FROM Wisconsin” in an oversized, bold font. Playing off the state’s tourism slogan at the time, the copy was accompanied by a warning to businesses nationwide not to expand in Wisconsin and at the same time, excusing those homegrown businesses that picked up operations and moved elsewhere outside the state. The ad made a statement – it created quite a stir nationally, as well as among other business leaders in Wisconsin who characterized it as counterproductive. At the very least, it kept the state’s business climate front and center of the impending gubernatorial campaign against then-sitting Gov. Tony Earl and eventual election winner Tommy Thompson. In today’s economic development environment, large employers burdened by tax and regulatory hurdles considered more daunting than in other states don’t take out full page ads in the Wall Street Journal. Particularly in recent years, they’ve had to consider options to move operations outside of the state. In certain cases, such as Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, the state stepped forward with a financial incentive package in late 2009 that – when coupled together with grants and loans from the City of Fond du Lac and Fond du Lac County as well as concessions from the company’s organized labor workforce – encouraged the marine engine manufacturer to remain in the community and add jobs there by consolidating other out-of-state operations. In other cases, such as the ill-fated Thomas Industries relocation from Sheboygan in 2009, a state, local government and technical college incentive package totaling roughly $2.5 million came a little too late. By the time local economic development officials knew what hit them, the parent company of the manufacturer of vacuum pumps and air compressors, Gardner Denver Inc., had already decided to consolidate it’s Sheboygan operations into an expanded facility in Louisiana, effectively eliminating 366 jobs and a more than 70-year legacy in the community. Whether it’s been Harley-Davidson exploring options to move its motorcycle manufacturing operations out of state or Oshkosh Corp. having to keep up with its competitors in the defense business, the modern climate of economic development and job retention in Wisconsin has meant communities www.newnorthb2b.com
COVER STORY need to invest even more resources – financial and otherwise – to keep economy-inducing jobs at home or risk high rates of unemployment and mounting business closures. With the advent of the Gov. Scott Walker administration in 2011 and the transformation of the forerunning state Department of Commerce into the new and retooled quasi-public Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, the state aims to work with troubled manufacturers before they even begin to pack up the moving trucks. “We want to get out ahead of those situations a bit further than we have in the past,” said Commerce Department Sec. Paul Jadin, who Gov. Walker tapped to serve as the first president of the new statewide EDC. As the former mayor of Green Bay and president of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Jadin is intimately familiar with the close contact city and county economic development officials have with businesses in their communities. He expects those professional resources to serve as the eyes and ears for troubled employers who think the grass might be greener on the other side of the state line. That could simply mean just enhancing communication of the work economic development professionals are already doing. In the New North, for example, the Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership has been conducting its Executive Pulse business retention and expansion surveys for the past three years. The comprehensive data gathering includes site visits with executive leadership of nearly an hour or longer, and results are then stored into a database available to colleagues throughout the region.
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Endeavors such as the Executive Pulse exist throughout the state, but there isn’t any central database for state officials to learn what specific challenges are facing manufacturers in Colfax or in Colby. In a recent interview with New North B2B magazine, Jadin said he plans for the new corporation to assemble a consistent platform for such site visits to be cataloged for state officials and economic development professionals statewide to have access. Jadin is also planning for a Wisconsin EDC that boasts a budget of nearly $95 million annually, nearly $85 million of which would be designated for economic development assistance. Combine with the proposed Jobs Now and Badger Jobs early-stage funds introduced in the state legislature in early May, and Wisconsin could potentially sport one of the most robust economic development tool chests in its history.
Local government digging in Municipal and county government have long been a critical piece of the economic development puzzle, but not typically to the extent that it awarded grants and loans to specific business. Throughout the latter half of the 20th century, the economic development role of local government in northeast Wisconsin had typically been to develop and maintain infrastructure helpful to a business operation, or accommodate any needed flexibility on local ordinances. In some cases, local governments have helped to establish pools of funding for grants and loans to the business community – not for any one particular
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COVER STORY company – but truly in the “community chest” fashion in which any local firm can apply for and be awarded funding if they meet qualifications. That’s not the economic development picture across the nation, though. Growing communities in many southern and western states have well-rooted reputations for doling out grant dollars to employers who create and maintain well-paying jobs in their communities. So it became a bit of uncharted territory for Fond du Lac leaders when marine engine manufacturer Mercury Marine stepped forward in early 2009 to share the realities of its operating troubles and the dilemma it faced. With boat sales shrinking by more than 50 percent of prior-year levels heading into the recession in 2008, inventory of finished goods was near an all-time high, production in Mercury’s facilities was down substantially, and its plants were far short of capacity. Mercury was considering its options to consolidate manufacturing operations between its Fond du Lac and Oklahoma facilities. Only one of the two production facilities would survive – there was no middle ground and no ability to compromise by keeping both locations partially in production. “(Mercury officials) made it very clear they were going to make a decision about whether they would move their entire operations to Stillwater, Oklahoma or move them to Fond du Lac,” said Fond du Lac County Executive Allen Buechel, who became involved early in the process after the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. brought together community leaders in an unprecedented effort to retain its largest employer.
“This was a business decision for them, and we clearly understood that.” Early in the process, FCEDC officials learned economic development officials in Oklahoma had put together an incentive package valued near $100 million to keep its facility running and to encourage Mercury to relocate its Fond du Lac operations and more than 2,000 jobs down south. The state Department of Commerce would eventually offer an incentive package totaling $70 million through a combination of tax credits, grants and forgivable loans. But prior to that commitment, local officials stepped forward with proposals of their own that provided an additional $53 million to Mercury. For the county’s part, it offered Mercury a $50 million loan repayable over 10 years beginning in 2012. To offset the costs of financing the loan, the county implemented a half-cent county sales tax – it was one of just a handful in the state which didn’t already have such a charge – with a goal of generating an additional $6 to $7 million in sales tax revenue each year. Buechel said the alternative – losing Mercury Marine altogether – would cost the local economy an estimated $350 million a year. “From Fond du Lac County’s perspective, this was an investment in our economy and an investment in our future,” Buechel said. In addition, the City of Fond du Lac provided $3 million in assistance to purchase land owned by Mercury Marine and a portion in the form of a forgivable loan.
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24 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
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COVER STORY After eventually seeking concessions from its workforce in September 2009, Mercury made the decision to remain in Fond du Lac, as well as to transfer its operations from Oklahoma to Wisconsin, bringing an estimated 300 additional jobs. Though the efforts to retain Mercury perhaps broke the mold as far as how far local communities in northeast Wisconsin are willing to go in order to hold on to a critical employer, history will undoubtedly view it as a decisive victory for Fond du Lac, New North and Wisconsin. For its efforts, the Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corp. – the agency that served as the architect for much of the ongoing negotiations and eventual incentive package that was presented to Mercury officials – was recognized by the International Economic Development Council in 2010 with its Excellence in Economic Development Award.
Strengthening existing partnerships Oshkosh Corp. has undoubtedly been the nitrogen supercharging the economy of the Oshkosh area during the past 18 months. The company recorded nearly $7 billion in military orders during 2010, adding hundreds of well-paying jobs to its local production facilities and driving increased revenues and top-line growth for dozens of its vendors across northeast Wisconsin. But in order to win the military contracts, the heavy-duty specialty vehicle manufacturer delivered a competitive bid that was based upon assistance it would eventually receive from the state and from the City of Oshkosh to construct an electrostatic paint facility and train employees. Just as the dust was beginning to settle in Fond du Lac in November 2009, Oshkosh Corp. initiated discussions with community leaders about the benefits winning the impending federal contract would provide the local economy. If it won the contract, though, it would need to grow its production capabilities in Oshkosh – and it would need local government assistance to do so. The rationale seemed to make sense. Oshkosh Corp.’s competitors received state and local government assistance to grow in their own communities. Why shouldn’t it receive similar support from its home town? Surely other communities across the country would be thrilled to put forward a lucrative incentive package with the hopes of luring an employer like Oshkosh Corp. Providing the assistance wasn’t an obvious decision for city officials – they’d been approached before from a hotel developer and from the Experimental Aircraft Association about providing assistance for expansion projects. In both situations, the businesses requesting assistance were turned down. It was critical for city officials to take each request as a separate episode and review only the circumstances surrounding each business development, said current Oshkosh Mayor Burk Tower, a retired former dean of the College of Business at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and a member of the common council at the time. “This was a lot of money for the city,” Tower said, reflecting on the eventual $5 million in tax incremental financing the city awarded its largest employer. “It’s money we didn’t necessarily have. We were more inclined to help them get loans, but they needed cash up front.”
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NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011l 25
There’s a great deal of optimism around the state...Businesses are more positive about taking risks to create jobs here.
Paul Jadin, Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Commerce
Up to 5 Years!
From Tower’s perspective, it was a combination of factors that lead to the city’s early 2010 approval of a pay-asyou-go TIF: a spike in patriotism supporting war efforts in the Middle East and the role of Oshkosh Corp.’s products in protecting American soldiers; a pledge from the state department of Commerce for an additional $35 million in assistance; the perception of a relatively low economic risk; and the fact that Oshkosh Corp. was a longstanding employer in the community with a nearly 95-year heritage. Most any other request from an existing employer might not have met similar success. “This isn’t going to be the general policy of the city going forward,” Tower said. “Each of these situations will be evaluated episode by episode.” For their part, local units of government providing financial incentives to business need to establish a consistent up-front financial analysis of the impact such assistance will provide the local economy, Tower said. After providing the incentive, he said it’s just as critically important to implement clear accountability measures for the manner in which companies use those incentives. These aren’t always easy choices for local elected officials who often take on these civic duties for little compensation. “If you make a mistake the wrong way (relative to not financing a critical employer who eventually moves away), it’s going to be a big mistake for a long time to come,” Tower said.
Perceived improvements National and home perceptions of Wisconsin state government’s attitude toward business development and growth have been on a bit of a roller coaster ride since John Buckstaff’s full-page ad ran in the Wall Street Journal in 1986. It’s safe to say such impressions are 26 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
becoming more favorable in 2011. Chief Executive Magazine’s annual survey of the perceived business climate among the 50 states thrust Wisconsin up from No. 41 in 2010 to No. 24 in 2011, the highest one-year gain among any state and one of the greatest increases in the history of the reputable CEO canvassing. In his recent interview with B2B, Jadin said the CEO survey results signal a change in attitude toward investment in Wisconsin businesses. “There’s a great deal of optimism around the state,” Jadin said. “Businesses are more positive about taking risks to create jobs here (compared to recent years).” In addition to greater financial resources for marketing the state and providing incentive packages for employers to grow their operations in Wisconsin, Jadin said the statewide EDC will place a renewed emphasis on growing entrepreneurs, starting out by enhancing the collaboration of many of the entrepreneurial development resources already assisting new start-ups in Wisconsin. Lastly, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will work to readjust the service borders between regional economic development organizations (such as New North) and workforce development boards to match up with the service area boundaries of existing regional planning commissions, Jadin told those attending a statewide manufacturing conference in Milwaukee in May. Regardless of whether or not Wisconsin achieves Gov. Walker’s goal of creating an additional 250,000 jobs by 2015, the state is clearly not standing still in a global environment where cities, states and even countries compete for employers who can infuse billions of dollars into a local economy. Wisconsin has become re-energized in the economic development arena, and is out to prove it’s truly open for business. www.newnorthb2b.com
Create a Welcoming Environment! Phone 920.235.2864 1.800.809.0315
2011 SUMMER Leisure GUIDE
T H E U LT I M AT E S TAT E M E N T
Plan Ahead! Sawdust Days June 30- July 4 Lifest July 6- 10 US Open Volleyball July 6- 10 Rock USA July 14- 16 EAA AirVenture July 25- 31
VisitOshkosh.com Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau
JUNE CONCERTS www.waterfest.org
Book the for your next summer event Community & non profit events • Private Parties & Weddings Corporate Events and Picnics For profit Concerts and Shows 920-236-5080 office www.leachamphitheater.com
Vic Ferrari/The Tossers/Men in Suits
Gates open early at 5 p.m. Men in Suits open the dance floor at 5:30 p.m. Community Night – 2 for 1 admission before 6 p.m. and celebrate the end of school – teachers get in FREE with a school ID.
Dennis DeYoung: The Music of Styx Steez/Tin Sandwich
Hairball! & Tuff with X-iter Cheezeheads with Attitude
Gates open early at 5 p.m. Tin Sandwich lights it up at 5:30 p.m.
Wear your Packer apparel and get in FREE before 6 p.m. Community Night – 2 for 1 admission before 6 p.m.
Gin Blossoms/Something Underground Power Play
firstname.lastname@example.org ❘ 920.303.2265 ext. 22 NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 27
At the Helm of Lean
Nonprofits can teach private industry a lesson or two about navigating relationships and meeting demand with limited resources
Story by Christopher Jossart
“Who’s taking out the trash?” From general cliché to genuine task on the “to-do” list for many nonprofit organizations, garbage removal can be a simple lesson in lean office operations. If the trash doesn’t find the door on its own, eventually someone will drop everything and remove the mess before it becomes a distraction. This common, simple task exemplifies what life is like for a lot of nonprofits and is not a far stretch from the daily realities that often require a different way of thinking from the private sector in order to succeed. Experienced nonprofit professionals tend to develop a sense of keen attentiveness based on two factors – the result of working in an industry where one is expected to wear many hats, and the flow of open communication due to smaller office spaces. Most nonprofit agencies work with limited resources, and with exception, cannot “departmentalize” their services. Nonprofits are often organized where each staff member oversees certain high-end duties, like accounting and payroll. From there, it is open game for charity employees and task expectations; you won’t see one staff member going to the “sales” or “marketing” department to ask for specialized services. Everyone sells. Everyone markets in this industry. It is this “getting tossed in the ring of fire” environment that effective communication skills and relationship building find a home in lean for nonprofits.
28 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
MANAGEMENT Balancing relationships with technology Whether nonprofits are innately lean or not, because of limited resources, only scratches the surface of how these organizations approach conducting business. These agencies sell mostly intangible services – human service needs, community support resources, and so forth – not something that typically makes consumers run out to wait in line for the latest touch phone or GPS unit. Nonprofits are models at leveraging relationships. Their focus on investing time in face-to-face marketing practices in today’s high-tech world sharpens a commitment to placing emphasis on people first. Conversely, it negates a lot of for-profits’ belief that going lean in first point-of-contact procedures saves money and better serves customers. How many times does a consumer call a company only to find an array of automated prompt options? Truly, some nonprofit organizations follow this procedure too, but many purposely implement first point-of-contact strategies that serve each inquiry with relational relevance. The intake process is designed to meet volunteers, donors and business partners in concert with their unique needs through some sort of interpersonal – such as face-to-face or telephone – interaction. Granted, geographical limitations and customer time preferences limit this protocol from being a one-size-fits-all solution. Philosophically, however, with so much emphasis on communicative technology today, communicating interpersonally can be viewed as the winning “X-factor” in landing a sale and making a lifelong customer. At one time, handshakes and conversations played significant roles in business deals. Today, PDF files, text messages, social media and Bluetooth dominate that scene. Consider this: what if the handshake or interpersonal conversation returned to distinguish your business from what everyone else is doing?
Nonprofits are models at leveraging relationships. Their focus on investing time in face-to-face marketing practices in today’s hightech world sharpens a commitment to placing emphasis on people first. “Communication tools like email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter all serve a purpose with our organization, but we still place more emphasis on two-way dialogue,” said Julia Drobeck, executive director of the Volunteer Center of East Central Wisconsin, an Appleton-based organization that matches volunteers and volunteer groups with customized opportunities to serve. “It’s a rigorous task, yet it reduces assumptions and misperceptions about a volunteer’s expectations.” From a lean perspective, eliminating waste on the front end of a client/business interaction is better than creating rework or making changes on the fly on the back end. Relationships can be damaged, staff can lose direction, and organizations
Talent pool…made for today “Other duties as assigned” in job descriptions take a different meaning for the nonprofit professional. This standard last line in many professional job descriptions is typically inserted to represent unforeseen duties within an employee’s responsibilities. In the nonprofit world, it’s there for a reason. With a consistent dose of managing budgets to marketing to administrative duties, the nonprofit professional is well versed. Most program-related professionals – those in charge of overseeing an agency’s direct services – develop and possess communication skills ideal for public speaking and marketing.
Front and center Nonprofit employees often develop proficient oral communication skills because they have no choice. Selling intangibly by getting others to buy in to a mission is more difficult than selling a clearly defined product or service. That’s not to mention overcoming years of stigmatic challenges like “make a donation” or “please give.” Societal perceptions toward fundraisers and charity workers almost instantly create two-anda-half strikes against these individuals before they even make a pitch for a dollar or a donated case of soda for an event.
Clear plans The holistic skills of the nonprofit professional make for a dynamic arrangement for strategic plan development. If all staff members know the organization inside and out, then the recipe for developing clearly defined goals and processes is in order. Cindy Wetzel, an instructor in Fox Valley Technical College’s Lean Performance Center in Appleton, has worked with several nonprofit organizations in lean processes. “If a nonprofit agency can develop a strategic plan and coordinate their energies around a few key initiatives – the use of staff time, for instance – then the organization will make best use of its resources,” noted Wetzel. “Nonprofits seem to stick to strategic plans better than for-profits because they focus on resources that make the quickest impact on their organization. In most cases, those resources are people.” – by Christopher Jossart NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 29
MANAGEMENT It’s important to understand that how you reach potential clients is as important, if not more relevant, than how many people you’re reaching.
will have to reallocate time commitments on back-end repairs. At least the consistency of investing time in the front end of an interaction keeps an organization focused on efficiently and consistently serving its clients’ ongoing needs. Training for-profit employees to perform intake procedures like the nonprofit sector would be a great way to use cross training as a relational lean tool. Some businesses train their employees in “elevator speech” summaries as a means of quickly capturing the company’s scripted mission. Why not take the elevator up one more floor and rethink how your customers are being served the first time they look to you for a product, service or referral?
Steering relationships to ‘retentionships’ With limited resources, not a lot of time can be spent on attracting new donors, program participants, volunteers, etc. Emphasis is placed on volunteer and donor development, and in turn, these are the individuals who best attract new clients. All businesses are cutting back on expenses today in the new economy. Mass marketing strategies are shifting to more targeted outreach. Social media and Web-based marketing tactics are emerging as much needed methods of reaching more people. It’s important to understand that how you reach potential clients is as important, if not more relevant, than how many people you’re reaching. Personalizing intake procedures is best done by creating clear expectations to your clients and potential clients from the outset regarding the next steps in communication. Building email marketing distribution lists, for instance, is fine in a lean world that focuses on saving postage and time, but it is not enough. Investing a little extra time in how your clients wish to be communicated to is the key in practicing effective retention. Let them proceed on their terms.
For-profit businesses get consumed in rigid order processing protocol, mass marketing practices and departmental politics. Take time to get to know your customers when the initial interaction is made, even if it’s as simple as asking, “What’s the best way to share information with you?” The standard, “I’ll be in touch,” has become a one-and-done approach that treats all customers as numbers. Tammy DeJardin, executive director of the March of Dimes Wisconsin Chapter - Green Bay division, said informing participants that her organization’s fundraisers will be primarily communicated by email creates a simple, personable expectation. “Walkers who participate in our March for Babies events understand what staff and volunteers go through each year to make the experience successful, so they appreciate knowing where to go for information on their own,” said DeJardin. “Because we take time right away to clearly explain the details and expectations, (the walkers) become empowered to help us by taking ownership of this event. In the long run, they become our best advocates and recruiters, saving us time and money along the way.” Most nonprofit organizations have practiced lean operations for a long time due to necessity. Their time obstacles are balancing program tasks with fundraising responsibilities. Addressing these challenges can be done by building skill sets in employees who can identify the next dollar, the next program recipient or the next marketing opportunity. Maybe for-profit businesses can learn a lesson or two from the nonprofit sector in finding a home for relationships and effective communication within lean processes. Christopher Jossart is a freelance writer based in the Fox Cities.
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Cooking up new business
New kitchen incubator in Green Bay aimed at helping culinary entrepreneurs launch into the market Story by Lee Marie Reinsch
Sometimes what we’re looking for turns up right under our noses. That’s what happened when those involved in an effort to launch a commercial kitchen incubator in Brown County for culinary entrepreneurs found the perfect professional cooking space in their own backyard. “We had the kitchen they needed,” said John Bloor, president of NEW Curative Rehabilitation Center in Green Bay. Now noses are being regaled with the aroma of fresh-baked cupcakes and hot, melting chocolate, all to create jobs and help boost the economy.
Need for kitchen space The 1,648-sq. ft. commercial kitchen, formerly used by NEW Curative clients to develop food-service skills, opened in April as the Brown County Culinary Kitchen. As a shareduse kitchen, the public can use it for a small hourly rental fee. For entrepreneurs looking to start a food-related business, not only can they rent it, but they can also partake in a whole suite of business assistance, ranging from workshops on product pricing to obtaining proper licensing. “We saw a need to help this group of entrepreneurs and there was just no place for them to go,” said Lisa Harmann, director of the Business Assistance Center located on the campus of Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. The BAC is a business incubator operated by Advance, the economic development arm of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. “It was our hearts’ desire to help people in this area who were interested in using our local agriculture and resources.” 32 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
Advance is one of four partners in the Brown County Culinary Kitchen project, along with NEW Curative, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College and Algoma Farm Market Kitchen. Each brings something different to the table, Bloor said. “NWTC comes at it from the training and education angle, the Algoma Farm Market Kitchen is focusing on sustaining local agriculture and food safety. Advance brings the business expertise,” Bloor said. “We can do on-site supervision, and the (Brown County Culinary Kitchen) will provide some employment opportunities for our adults with disabilities.”
‘Buy local’ trend fueling success The market for specialty foods is flourishing. According to the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade, sales of specialty foods in the U.S. during 2010 tallied more than $70 billion, representing some 13 percent of all retail food sales. The average specialty food producer carries 51 different items and sells $2.3 million each year. The ‘buy local’ movement has also gained momentum, helping fuel specialty foods sales. Harmann said she thinks consumers are becoming more aware and appreciative of their local specialties and want to take advantage of them. That includes making those items, as well as seeking them out in the marketplace. Community kitchens and shared-use commercial-grade kitchens are popping up all over Wisconsin, Harmann said, including the new NWTC Woodland Kitchen and Business Incubator recently established in Florence County. Unfortunately, before Advance discovered the kitchen at www.newnorthb2b.com
ENTREPRENEURSHIP NEW Curative, Harmann had to turn away potential food entrepreneurs. “A number of prospective tenants came here (to the Advance business incubator) who had food-related businesses, but nothing we had was up to food code. We had to tell them ‘No, we’re not set up for that,’” Harmann said. The nearest shared-use kitchen was in Kewaunee County, at the Algoma Farm Market Kitchen. Mary Pat Carlson, a food educator and cherry farmer from Sister Bay, founded it a decade ago. It has helped some 100 food entrepreneurs. “A number of them have graduated and have their own kitchens, which is the dream for everybody,” Carlson said. “The goal is to get them to the point where they can get their technical issues worked out and get their market established so they can be on their own.” But time slots at the Farm Market Kitchen had become jampacked. And some 40 percent of her clients came from Green Bay, so Carlson saw the need for a community kitchen in Brown County. Harmann and Green Bay Chamber Interim President Fred Monique began brainstorming about creating a kitchen closer to home. They even considered retrofitting a vacant industrial space to serve as a commercial-grade kitchen. But remodeling a kitchen, let alone building one from scratch, is extremely costly. “The cost was phenomenal, and that really held us back,” Harmann said.
Ask and ye shall receive NEW Curative happened to have a spare kitchen it was not using, and thanks to the power of networking, Bloor mentioned it to Carlson, who mentioned it to Harmann, and the project got rocking. The kitchen had been sitting vacant for several years. The grant for the fast-food skills development program ran out a few years prior, and after that it was used by a vending company contracted to provide meals to NEW Curative clients and staff. But that fizzled out because it wasn’t profitable for the vending company. What remained was a perfectly good commercial kitchen that needed relatively minor upgrading and that could accommodate two food entrepreneurs working at the same time. Among the amenities the kitchen provides: walk-in cooler, six-burner range, grill, convection oven, 20-quart mixers as well as smaller mixers, proofing ovens, pans and racks. The kitchen passes state inspections and is licensed for caterers as well as commercial food preparation, and is inspected regularly. Bloor said they’re looking at developing warehousing space within the building so that chefs can rent storage instead of lugging heavy ingredients and equipment to and from the center. Already one entrepreneur, who makes caramel corn and cheese popcorn, rents space at the kitchen to store her industrial-sized popcorn popper.
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Fees reasonable So far five chefs are taking advantage of the space, with commercial ventures ranging from snazzy cupcakes to pet treats. “The cost is reasonable,” said chocolatier Mike Allen, owner of Sweet Temptations by Michael. “It’s a big, huge commercial kitchen, and it’s here in Green Bay.” Since he’s from the area, he’s glad not to have to drive an hour to Algoma. Another benefit the businessman in him appreciates – liability insurance for about half the price one would pay as an individual with a private commercial kitchen. The experience has taught him other things about his chocolate business he wouldn’t have known without trial and error. “I don’t need an oven or a big stove, which can cost a lot in a commercial kitchen,” Allen said. “If I were to put a commercial kitchen in my basement, I could get by with a scaled-down version.” The Green Bay space rents for $15 an hour, and aspiring entrepreneurs wishing to market their food specialties can get mentoring and training in the food business by Carlson and NWTC for a few hundred dollars more. Entrepreneurs will need to submit a business plan within three months of enrolling and have their ducks in a row. “It’s not for the faint of heart,” Harmann said of starting a business. “If people are serious about it, they have to make sure they have thought through things and have done their
Specialty Foods By the numbers
70.32 Billions of dollars in sales of specialty
foods nationally in 2010.
13.1 Percent of all retail food sales in the U.S.
represented by specialty foods. Number of items made by the average specialty-food company. 2.3 Millions of dollars in sales brought in by the average specialty-food company. 3.23 Billions of dollars in sales in 2010 of specialty cheese and cheese alternatives. 76 Percent of specialty-food manufacturers reporting sales growth last year. 36 Percent of specialty-food manufacturers reporting sales growth up more than 20 percent last year.
Source: National Association for the Specialty Food Trade’s State of the Specialty Food Industry 2011
34 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
homework. They need to target what is their niche going to be and who are their competitors. But these are things they are going to have to be thinking about anyway. That is going to improve their rate of success.”
Prep work necessary Unlike other businesses involved in incubator programs – because it involves food hygiene and creating food products the public will eat – the food-entrepreneur business requires a lot of oversight by qualified leaders. That’s where Carlson’s expertise comes in. “There’s a large learning curve to this business. Tenants have to learn about packaging, labeling, marketing, pricing and staying within food code. There is a lot that start-up businesses have to deal with” before they can really start rollling, Carlson said. Carlson has a degree in foods and food handling and has taught food service and quantity foods at the technical school and high school levels. She’s also a cook, jam maker, farmer and owner of Carlson’s Island View Orchards in Sister Bay. In fact, she initially got interested in shared-use kitchens because her own kitchen got too small to make cherry jams. The partners through Advance can link entrepreneurs with packaging and labeling sources for their products, and NEW Curative may even be able to provide workers to do some of those duties for the entrepreneurs, according to Bloor. Between Advance with its connections to business resources, Carlson and her food/organizational experience, NEW Curative with its workers (not to mention the site itself), and NWTC with its education and training component, food entrepreneurs can go from an idea for a unique snack food recipe to a labeled, packaged product in the supermarket practically all in one place. “Really what brings people is the business incubation and support,” Carlson said. “After six or nine months with us, they are starting to think, ‘I wish I had my own kitchen.’ They realize they don’t need a huge space or a lot of equipment – just the right equipment. It gives us an opportunity to assess what their needs are in a kitchen.” NWTC offers classes for people interested in doing a food production business, said Sally Martin, NWTC’s dean of community and regional learning services. Online courses, including packaging, labeling, display principles and distribution, of two to four hours each can serve as an introduction to the food business. “As people are ready to tackle these issues, they can sign up online and access them anywhere there’s Internet service,” Martin said.
One size may not fit all The program in Brown County will grow if the need is there, Carlson said. Right now they’re getting a lot of inquiries and tour requests from people, each with specialties that are very different from the others.
“In some cases (the kitchen space) won’t fit their needs,” Carlson said. The kitchen isn’t licensed for cheesemaking, which falls under more stringent hygiene inspection regulations. Nor is it organically certified, a gluten-free facility, a nut-free facility or licensed for meat processing, although foods that contain a certain percent of meat – such as pasties – are allowed. NASFT lists cheese and cheese alternatives as the biggest specialty-food category, with $3.23 billion in sales in the U.S. during 2010. Meat, chips, snacks, bread and baked goods, and condiments follow in popularity.
From hobbyist to businesswoman Jelly-maker Connie Anderson is taking classes in marketing her business with social media. She isn’t ordinarily on the cutting edge of technology, but the Brown County Culinary Kitchen nudges her out of her comfort zone. “I think you have to find ways to keep up with those sorts of things,” Anderson said. Her company, Cottage Grove Kitchen, sprang up from a lifelong love of cooking that started in her mother’s Belgian kitchen.
“Growing up, our family was the type who made things. We did a lot of canning and things like that, so I just learned how to do all that from my mom, in the kitchen from an early age,” Anderson said. “For me, it’s a stress reliever.” Her husband’s coworkers became her guinea pigs. “They would say yes to this, no to that, yes to this.” With enough positive reinforcement for her recipes, she finally decided to go for it and launched the business. “It’s something I enjoy; it’s more fun than sitting behind a desk,” she said. “I enjoy the creativity that comes out of it.” Cottage Grove Kitchen makes wine-infused jellies that can be used to add flavor when grilling and marinating as well as for good old PB&J. Harmann says she’s thrilled to be able to help prospective food entrepreneurs who inquire about the program. “There is no denying it – there is such a great need in our area for this. It just delights me that when people come to us, we can say ‘yes’ to people who have a food business,” Harmann said. An alumna of Ripon College, Lee Marie Reinsch is a freelance writer based in Green Bay.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 35
P R O F I L E
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE
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A clear view
Second-time-around entrepreneur learns from mistakes and grows window cleaning firm to 12 employees Story by Cheryl Hentz
We’ve all heard the expression “I don’t do windows.” Some of us may have even said it in jest. But someone who has never said it is Bob Serwas, co-owner of Serwas Window Cleaning Service, an Oshkosh-based company that services a good portion of northeast Wisconsin. Serwas has been doing windows practically his entire life and can’t imagine doing anything else. Established in 2004 to promote the professional image and reputation of the window cleaning industry, Serwas Window Cleaning Service was not Serwas’ first business. But it’s what his lifetime of experience and education in the business school of hard knocks led him to.
An early start Serwas first began washing windows at the age of 13, when his mother owned a janitorial service and he worked in the company. When it merged with another service in Minneapolis that did commercial as well as residential windows, www.newnorthb2b.com
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE Serwas learned how to clean high-rise windows. And at the tender age of 15, Serwas got his first high-rise cleaning opportunity in downtown Minneapolis. “It was the 52-story MCI building,” he said. “That’s pretty much when I knew I was going to do this for the rest of my life.” Serwas worked with that company until he was 19 and moved to Wisconsin to attend school for electric mechanical technology. He moved in with his father, but within the first year of school, he met a girl and they started a family. Plans to further his education were derailed at that point, but it was during this same time A&A Window Cleaners was looking for a skilled professional. Serwas began working for them and one year later became their high-rise foreman. He remained with A&A from 1988 to 1995, during which time the business went up for sale twice. Even though he would have liked to have purchased it, a lack of financial backing prevented him from doing so. The second time his employer came up for sale, City Wide Window Cleaning bought it and Serwas worked for them for one year, but left over some philosophical differences with his new employer, Serwas said. He then began his own business in 1996, called Residential Window Specialists. By his third year, Serwas reached $1 million in window cleaning sales, but now recognizes he had grown too big, too fast. At the time he didn’t understand what that saying meant, but he later came to understand it – after his business was gone. “I had too much work, didn’t have enough employees to do the work, and the ones I did have were basically ripping me off. They’d punch in in the morning, then go home all day and play (video games), come back around 4:30 or 5 p.m. to punch out and tell me the work was done. We’d bill the work out and 60 to 90 days later chase after the accounts trying to find out why they weren’t paying,” he said. “So the whole time I was making payroll for it, but they were never out there doing the work. That was my Manitowoc-Sheboygan-Two Rivers crew, and I basically fired all of them.” That led to other problems and the business folded, after which Serwas said he “swore to God” he was “never
going to do it again.” “I lost everything – the phones, all my vehicles, my personal vehicles, my home. I lost everything in that swipe,” he said.
On the rebound Following the closure of his business, Serwas started working for Fox Valley Iron and Metal in its scrap yard so he could earn money to pay back some of his debt. He was living with his father at the time, but within the first month of working at the scrap yard, some of Serwas’ former residential customers called him at his dad’s house asking him to come clean their windows – they wouldn’t let anyone else touch them. Serwas started out doing a couple of random jobs here and there, but word spread so quickly that he never really had the chance to fully quit running a window cleaning business, as he’d intended.
“I was working seven days a week. I even taught my wife how to clean windows,” he said. “So I’d get done with work, we’d go clean windows until dark, and we’d do that every day, and on Saturdays I’d work at the junkyard in the morning and go clean windows all afternoon. Sunday we’d get up, go to church, and then clean windows all day,” he said. After continuing that rigorous schedule for four years and digging his way out of debt, Serwas decided to give it up again because he was never seeing his kids. But family and friends, including his current business partner, Chris Mathias, helped persuade him to go back to cleaning windows fulltime. Before taking that step, though, Serwas knew he had to buy a house then if he wanted to own one at all, because getting a home mortgage would be easier if he was working for someone else than if he was self-employed.
PROFILE Business: Serwas Window Cleaning Services, LLC Location: Oshkosh Service area: All of northeast Wisconsin, other select cities throughout Wisconsin, and commercial high-rise buildings in portions of Illinois and Minnesota. Web site: www.serwaswindowcleaning.com Names: Bob Serwas, 42, president and owns 60 percent of business; Chris Mathias, vice president and owns 40 percent of the business. Serwas handles the residential accounts and office management aspects of business operations. Mathias handles the commercial and high-rise accounts for the business. The two partners began working together in 1993 when Mathias was hired as Serwas’ roof man at A&A Window Cleaning. He learned the trade from Serwas and they have been working together ever since. Families: Serwas: wife, Michelle, and children, Joshua, 21, who works in the business and is an Army Reservist on weekends; Rochelle, 10; and Summer, 3. Mathias: Engaged to Serwas’ sister, Angela Serwas, who has a daughter Brittany, 19.
Mathias NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 37
SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE So on his birthday, July 12, 2004, Serwas closed on the loan for a home purchase, quit his scrap yard job, and started his own business, again. This time, he did so with only $500 in his pocket. “So away we went again,” Serwas said, adding that it’s much better this time. The difference is he’s going slowly.
Back in the ring When Serwas started up a business the first time around, clients were lining up to have work done by him. Eager to please and reluctant to turn anyone down, he took on as many clients as he could. “But I didn’t have enough guys, and I didn’t have enough experience to teach guys. I just jumped out two feet and said ‘I’ll take all of it, and I’ll do it all.’ But I just didn’t have the ability to do it,” he explained. “This time, we grow as we need to grow. It’s been a continual growth every year and my guys get better and better as we go along.” In 2010 the company recorded $110,000 more in revenue than 2009 without having to add any new people on the payroll. This year he’s added two new employees already – bringing the total number on staff, including himself and co-owner, Mathias, to 12. Not bad, considering in 2005 it was just he and Mathias. He also just purchased the equipment from one of his largest competitors, Citywide/A&A, which effectively went out of business in early May. That’s another difference this time around. Serwas said he’s using financial resources more appropriately, when necessary.
A Serwas Window Cleaning employee dangles above College Avenue in downtown Appleton while recently working at the Copper Leaf Hotel. In the past, he said, if the company didn’t have the money to buy something it needed, they didn’t get it. But now – with opportunities like buying out a competitor – he’s finding reliance on a bank more of a necessary means of doing business than a problem or something to fear. Certainly, dealing with unexpected growth has been a big challenge for Serwas over the years, but finding qualified employees with a good work ethic, as well as dealing with Mother Nature, have been the toughest obstacles. “Everything else we can get around,” Serwas said, adding that he sees a lot of middle-aged and older job applicants coming to his door, happy to do anything for $7.50 an hour. Yet,
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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE the job is so physical, it’s not always possible for them to do it. Conversely, Serwas said far too many young kids have an attitude that the world owes them something, they want $12.50 an hour and they don’t want to do much for the money. “It’s really frustrating.”
Spreading out The present business started out doing window washing, pressure washing and pest control, for which it is state-certified. But those are mostly seasonal services. To make up for the loss of revenue from those services during the winter months, they added snowplowing to their repertoire this last winter. They also clean chandeliers and ceiling fans, clean gutters, install holiday lights and decorations on rooftops and gutters, and decorate taller Christmas trees. Some of the services were added because there was a need that no one else seemed to be filling in the region. Others, like snowplowing, came by accident. About two years ago, Serwas and Mathias installed a plow onto one of their trucks to clear their own parking area and ended up clearing customers’ property as well. It went pretty well. “So last year we added a second truck with a plow, and every year I see it getting a little bit better,” Serwas said, adding the new service offering helped because this was the first year they were able to keep their heads above water financially during the winter months. Beside being slow for window cleaning during the winter, the company also spends a good deal of money maintaining and preparing its seven vehicles for spring. Serwas and Mathias have no iron-clad plans for the future
This time, we grow as we need to grow. It’s been a continual growth every year and my guys get better and better as we go along. Bob Serwas, co-owner Serwas Window Cleaning Services
of the business. They’d rather just let the business determine what path it goes down. “We don’t really look into the future. We take it day by day and we just keep going and deal with whatever each day brings. We don’t project anything, and as long as we’re not losing money, we’re happy,” Serwas said. “What we do know is what we do, we do really well and we teach our guys to do it really well, and we’re having a good time doing it. This is really the only thing we know how or want to do. So as long as my body allows me to keep doing this, I’m going to keep doing it.”
Cheryl Hentz is a freelance writer from Oshkosh with more than 25 years experience. Her articles have appeared in several newspapers and magazines and cover topics including business and economic development, minority issues, family pets and animal rights, finance, politics and women’s issues. She can be reached at 920.426.4123 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 39
2010 Oshkosh tourism exceeds expectations by Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau 920.303.9200
The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau (OCVB), along with other destinations throughout the state and nation, celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week May 7-15. As we look back on another year gone, it can’t go without saying that tourism in Oshkosh and Winnebago County exceeded expectations in what some were predicting was going to be a down year. Looking at the annual tourism economic impact numbers, all signs pointed up. Travelers to Winnebago County spent more than $198.7 million in 2010, an increase of 1.63 percent over 2009. The increase was due largely in part to several new Oshkosh events. Among the new events were the State Women’s Bowling Tournament, the U.S. Open of Grass Volleyball Tournament, the Cabela’s MWC/NTC Dual Competition Fishing Tournament, DeerFest and
Oktoberfest. Of these new events, two were recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s largest volleyball tournament and the world’s largest fishing tournament. Winnebago County is ranked 17th of 72 counties in Wisconsin for traveler spending. These expenditures supported nearly 4,700 fulltime equivalent jobs and $122.9 million in wages and salaries in the county. Highlighting 2010 was the launch of the new Oshkosh brand that has a strong tie to tourism – Oshkosh, Wisconsin’s Event City! Oshkosh hosts the most extraordinary variety of affordable and accessible events in Wisconsin. Events are Oshkosh’s niche; we have a proven track record for hosting several well-known events and hosting them well. While the branding process was a community effort and the new brand is now being overseen by the OCVB, it is
through collaboration and implementation with ALL sectors of the Oshkosh community that the brand will be a success and that Oshkosh will be synonymous with Wisconsin’s Event City. It is through this new brand that we hope to continue to grow tourism in Oshkosh and Winnebago County. Oshkosh provides a convenient and affordable destination for many people who want to travel close to home. As Wisconsin’s Event City, Oshkosh is the perfect outlet for those that want to get away. Check out www.VisitOshkosh. com for all your Oshkosh travel plans and for a list of events. Wendy Hielsberg is the Executive Director of the Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau. To learn more about the contents of this article or other tourism related information, visit www. visitoshkosh.com or call the OCVB at 920-303-9200.
Live at Lunch 2011
June 15 to August 10 · Noon to 1 p.m.
Enjoy food and music every week in downtown’s Opera House Square June 15 Cookee Folk & Fun Food by Caramel Crisp
Thank you to our major sponsors
June 22 KWT4 Food by Becket’s June 29 Russ Reiser Food by Planet Perk July 6 Patchouli Food by Lara’s Tortilla Flats For a complete Live at Lunch schedule, log on to www.oshkoshchamber.com/live_at_lunch or call the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce at (920)303-2266.
40 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
What will happen when the Fed steps away? by Reinhart Partners Inc. The Federal Reserve has announced the current round of Quantitative Easing will be ending this June. (As we mentioned in the April edition of B2B, QE is a policy enacted by the Federal Reserve whereby they purchase Treasury securities for their balance sheet directly in the open market providing liquidity and allowing the market to grow.) This has raised the single largest question facing the financial markets: What will be the impact when the Fed steps away? Will the economy and the stock market be able to stand alone without the influence of the Federal Reserve? Noted bond manager Bill Gross weighed in with his very vocal opinion that he does not believe the bond market will perform very well without the Fedâ€™s assistance. In fact, Gross has sold virtually all of the Treasury bonds from the worldâ€™s largest bond fund and he is now actively shorting U.S. Treasuries. His Greg Pierce
actions are a clear reflection of his belief that the deteriorating credit quality of the U.S. Government would not provide a good backstop if interest rates were to rise materially. And with the Fed being the nearly exclusive buyer of Treasury debt over the last six months, it is reasonable to ask: Who will do the buying when they are done? Gross is not waiting around to find out. Our own view is that Gross is probably right. However, we also listen carefully to smart observers who disagree with this conclusion, largely because they view Quantitative Easing as not being material to overall stock market performance. Whether Gross is right or wrong is really not of consequence to our client portfolios. Our bond positions are of intermediate maturity with very high credit quality. If any portfolio is going to withstand a significant rise in interest rates with minimal damage, we certainly believe ours will. And just as we viewed
920.230.6850 equity valuations favorably six months ago when compared with bonds, nothing has appreciably changed. Earnings expectations have moved up significantly, right along with the prices of equities, making stocks (still) considerably more attractive than bonds in our opinion. Today, a plausible case can be made that stock prices will continue their ascent because the economy and market are entering a more normal expansion phase. Confidence is back and bonds offer a very weak alternative. Investor cash flow is finding its way into stocks as risk-taking returns to our economy. In our opinion, a tilt toward optimism is still warranted. Greg Pierce, Partner and Financial Advisor at Reinhart Partners Inc., is well known and respected in the investment industry nationwide. You can reach Greg at 920-230-6850 or email@example.com.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 41
WHO’S NEWS Incorporations
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42 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
New North B2B includes a monthly list of new business incorporations filed with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
Brown County Green Bay Bible College Inc., Pearl L. Sutton, 145 Des Plaine Road, De Pere 54115. Bay Area Powder Coating LLC, Matthew John Nelson, 806 4th St., De Pere 54115. Marketscapes Consulting Solutions LLC, Richard W. Thompson, 1166 Cardinal St., De Pere 54115. Daanen Plumbing LLC, Matthew J. Daanen, 823 E. Gile Circle, De Pere 54115. Square One Storage of Bellevue LLC, Willis G. Larsen, 2341 Lost Dauphin Road, De Pere 54115. Patient Pines Assisted Living Inc., Toni Carter, 3413 County Road PP, De Pere 54115. The Shack Hunting Club LLC, Steven M. Gussert, 450 Cook St., De Pere 54115. Hickory Grove Dairy LLC, Nathan Radue, 635 Danish Way, Denmark 54208. SA Webster Financial Services Inc., Scott Webster, 1315 Sandstone Pl., Green Bay 54313. Packerland Pawn LLC, Alfredo Rueda, Jr,, 2580 Dunbar Lane, Green Bay 54304. Tails-A-Waggin’ Mobile Veterinary Services LLC, Gerald E. Bellin, DVM, 3701 E. River Dr., Green Bay 54301. Healthy Motivation LLC, Rose Weiler, 1132 Marquette Ave., Green Bay 54304. JRock Entertainment LLC, Jeremy M. Moeller, 1268 Eliza St., Green Bay 54301. Wayne’s Caulking & Damp Proofing LLC, Wayne Kruse, 1760 W. Paulson Road, Green Bay 54313. Eland Transportation LLC, James M. Eland II, 3154 Holmgren Way, Green Bay 54304. N.E.W. Fit LLC, Ryan Dart, 1339 11th Ave., Green Bay 54304. Sunco Express LLC, Abdi H. Nur Ali, 2021 Deckner Ave., #910, Green Bay 54302. A to Z Storage LLC, Donald C. Marchant, 2892 Humboldt Road, Green Bay 54311.
Baugnet Marketing & Product Management LLC, Emily Ann Baugnet, 1398 Kingston Ter., #6, Green Bay 54302. D.I.Y. Studio & Gifts LLC, Jennifer Marie Woller, 119 N. Broadway, Green Bay 54303. N.E.W. Hobby LLC, Aaron J. Bacovsky, 1234 S. Military Ave., Green Bay 54304. Professional Family Resources & Associates LLC, Gail Sell, 2300 Lineville Road, Ste. 201, Green Bay 54313. Interior Installation Services Inc., Scott Woulf, 1598 Western Ave., Green Bay 54307. Dura-Seal Asphalt Maintenance LLC, Joshua Robert Johnson, 738 Hoffman Road, Green Bay 54301. Manns Security LLC, Jason Robert Mann, 1400 Main St., Green Bay 54302. Green Bay 9th Street Wellness Center LLC, Karen A. Stoehr, 1028 9th St., Green Bay 54304. A.S.A.P. Sewer & Drain Cleaning LLC, Eric Veeser, 3639 Glenhaven Lane, Green Bay 54301. Sterling Archery Products LLC, Axel P. Hillesheim, 4631 Milltown Road, Green Bay 54313. United Personal Homecare Inc., Kue Karina Yang, 1600 S. Ashland Ave., Ste. 203, Green Bay 54304. Green Bay Copywriting LLC, Andrew Lee Duchow, 633 St. Martin Court, Green Bay 54311. CDM Transportation LLC, David W. Miller, 480 Stella Vista Dr., Green Bay 54302. Cleaner Concept LLC, Joe Lazzaro, 1716 Lenwood Ave., # 8, Green Bay 54303. Yako Kwe Nye Sta Fitness LLC, Kim Laluzerne, 1281 Brosig St., Green Bay 54311. JW Novelties LLC, Jennifer L. Lowery, 3744 Rolling Meadows Road, Hobart 54155. The Art of Hair LLC, Mark D. Kwaterski, 4100 Crooked Stick Court, Oneida 54155. Briters Farm LLC and Groche Organic Farms LLC, Brian Daniel Gronski, 14832 Velp Ave., Suamico 54173. A’view Senior Living Inc., Scott R. Flaeschel, 1201 Riverside Dr., Suamico 54173. Canopy Landscape Design and Construction Inc., Anthony Wall, 2383 Lakeview Dr., Suamico 54173.
WHO’S NEWS Calumet County Loeck Product Development LLC, Jonathan Loeck, W5039 Natures Way Dr., Sherwood 54169.
Tranquil Moments Therapeutic Massage LLC, Denise Florence Utecht, N552 Alpine Lane, Campbellsport 53010. My Physician Advocate LLC, Mark Nicholas, N7899 Lakeshore Dr., Fond du Lac 54937. Ollie’s Olive Oil Bar LLC, Julie A. Regan, W3213 Artesian Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Premier Property Management LLC, Erik O’Brien, 410 Garfield St., Fond du Lac 54935. Techstream Marketing LLC, Daniel C. Krueger, 421 Pleasant St., Fond du Lac 54935. Quality Assurance Consulting LLC, Peggy Novak, 179 Gillett St., Fond du Lac 54935. Holyland Donkey Haven Inc., Angela Langoski, W2082 Mueller Lane, Mt. Calvary 53057. Broken Road Transportation LLC, Crystal J. Wood, 325 Polk St., Apt. B4,
North Fond du Lac 54937. Fuzzy Bubbles Affordable Dog Grooming LLC, Beth Kastenschmidt, 525 Hall St., Ripon 54971. Vines & Rushes Vineyards Inc., Ryan C. Prellwitz, 445 E. Jackson St., Ripon 54971. Curran Stone Works LLC, Robert Thomas Curran III, W14346 Brookwood Court, Ripon 54971. Diamond Pest Control LLC, William Sweetman, 1035 Rock Ave., Waupun 53963. Morph Designs LLC, Roger Schregardus, W10953 Dead End Road, Waupun 53963.
Green Lake County Family Legacy Insurance Services LLC, Francis Genereaux, 574 SW Ceresco St., Berlin 54923.
Outagamie County Molly’s Cafe & Catering LLC, Molly A. Paschen, W2314 Block Road, Appleton 54915. Acme Solutions Roofing LLC, Sandra Hernandez, 1217 E. Gunn St., #1, Appleton 54915.
Coffee Cravings LLC, Wendy Phillips, 2200 E. Plank Road, Unit B, Appleton 54915. Valley Financial Services LLC, James M. Cowger, 1835 E. Egdewood Dr., Ste. 105-9, Appleton 54913. Integreen Technologies LLC, Kyle W. Johnson, 3021 W. Prospect Ave., Ste. 9, Appleton 54914. Ontrack Construction LLC, Paul Lemke, 1710 N. Perkins, Appleton 54914. Nee Yuan’s Permanent Beauty LLC, Yun Feng Ni, 2600 N. Richmond St., Ste. C, Appleton 54911. Business Legal Edge LLC, Sarah Jane Debruin, 639 E. Woodcrest Dr., Appleton 54915. Diving Dolphin Pools and Billiards LLC, Brock Richard Henke, 2390B W. Nordale Dr., Appleton 54914. Greenville Eyecare LLC, Andrew Magiera, W6066 Hearthstone Dr., Appleton 54915. Aslin Transportation Sales Inc., Michael E. Spurlock, 1121 W. Valley Road, Appleton 54915. Atlas Re-Roofing and Exteriors LLC, Goodwin John Barrymore, 4650 W. Spencer, Appleton 54914.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 43
WHO’S NEWS A&E Model and Talent LLC, Paul Evansen, 120 N. Morrison St., Ste. 210, Appleton 54911. Aerial Dance Pole Exercise LLC, Paula Brusky, Ph.D., 3572 Grand Meadows Dr., Appleton 54914. T&C Cellars Press LLC, Thomas Stenklyft, 4120 N. Woodridge Dr., Appleton 54913. Arterisystems Corp., Kyle Restoule, 400 S. Linwood Ave., Appleton 54914. Fat Cat Upholstery LLC, Amanda Lynn Femal, 1711 W. College Ave., Appleton 54914. Donald J. Hoff DDS, LLC, Donald J. Hoff, D.D.S., 2 Wagon Wheel Dr., Appleton 54913. Horizons Family Network Parent Teacher Organization Inc., Kelly Lanpheer Crowley, 2101 Schaefer Circle, Appleton 54915. Cirrus Systems LLC, Duane Weber, 1200 S. Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. Frog Force Web Development LLC, James Wolf, 2700 W. College Ave., #9, Appleton 54914. Steve’s Blue Avenue Travel LLC, Steven Edward Jahnke, 3032 E. Canary St., Appleton 54915. Arts Interior Design LLC, Shannon L. Arts, N1804 Schroeder Farm Dr., Greenville 54942. Piping Systems Engineering LLC, Jeffrey Bunker, 140 Industrial Park Ave., Hortonville 54944. Drake Plumbing LLC, Deborah Schlimm, N3336 Pohlman Road, Hortonville 54944. Midwest Perlite Export Inc., Keith P. Hoople, N1077 North Road, Hortonville 54944. JMB Fire Protection LLC, James
Bentle, N3821 Laird Road, Hortonville 54944. Valley Inn LLC, David R. Viaene, W10460 Givens Road, Hortonville 54944. Dundas America Storage LLC, Betty E. Brandt, W3240 Dundas Road, Kaukauna 54130. Ag Environmental Services LLC, Kevin David Fassbender, 1405 Kenneth Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Detailing Homes Construction LLC, Shaine Michael Werth, 921 Desnoyer St., Kaukauna 54130. Newtech Marketing LLC, Mandi Koepsell, 605 Draper St., Kaukauna 54130. Blue Butterfly Productions LLC, Rachel Jean Verstegen, 701 Elderberry Lane, Kaukauna 54130. Dairyland Service LLC, Steven Debuhr, 704 Park Ave., Little Chute 54140. MB Van Groll Farms LLC, Brian M. Van Groll, N5104 Vine Road, Seymour 54165. Lonesome Dove Studio LLC, Kevin Burke, 308 E. High St., Seymour 54165.
Winnebago County Image White Teeth Whitening Studio LLC, Joseph L. Martin, 540 Schindler Pl., Apt. C, Menasha 54952. Valley Contracting Solutions LLC, Ryan J. Potaczek, 1443 Pearl St., Menasha 54952. Archer Marketing Group LLC, Eric Donald Arciszewski, 700 Kinzie Court, Menasha 54952. Neenah Chiropractic & Rehab Inc., Eric Bogaart, 907 Tullar Road, Neenah 54956. Scott’s Custom Bucktails LLC, Scott
Moesch, 1582 Citation Lane, Neenah 54956. Fox Valley Monument LLC, Brian Herres, 428 N. Lake St., Neenah 54956. White Lily Designs LLC, Lauren Springhetti, 1244 Maple St., Neenah 54956. Aves Wildlife Alliance Inc., Rebekah Weiss, 351 Muttart Road, Neenah 54956. The Spot 25 & Older Lounge LLC, Stephanie Soto, 897 Mill Pond Lane, Neenah 54956. Fox River System Webcams LLC, Geoffrey Catlin, 1535 South Park Ave., Neenah 54956. Fox Valley Guardianship & Payee Services LLC, Julie Dobberstein, 813 Sundial Lane, Neenah 54956. Reliable Home Improvements LLC, Michael James Harrmann, 1598 Pendleton Road, Neenah 54956. Webtech Omega LLC, Gary Paul Strike, 1730 Dublin Trail, Apt. 99, Neenah 54956. Fitness Repair LLC, John P. Remmel, 2942 W. Fairview Road, Neenah 54956. Badger Indoor Air Quality LLC, Richard A. Bond, 8688 County Road K, Omro 54963. Phoenix Professional Group Ltd., Dan L. Lenz, 1053 Adams Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Best Mechanical Services LLC, Gerald Van De Hei, 2125 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh 54903. Bay Moon Massage & Therapeutic Bodywork LLC, Linda Joyce Sternberg, 1151 E. County Road Z, Oshkosh 54902. Full Service Interiors LLC, Maurice Letourneau, 4156 Twilight Court,
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44 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
WHO’S NEWS Oshkosh 54904. Bishop Electrical Services LLC, Matthew James Bishop, 855 Florida Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Exotic Limousines LLC, Scott J. Soper, 2601 S. Washburn, Oshkosh 54904. Fire Damper Inspections LLC, John Krummick, 1614 Maricopa Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Miller Insurance Associates LLC, Aaron M. Miller, 350 W. 17th Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Belville Custom Cleaning LLC, Amanda M. Belville, 429 Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh 54901. E & M Excavating LLC, Eugene Roloff, 829 E. County Road Z, Oshkosh 54902. Lakeshore Coffee Company of Wisconsin LLC, Debra Lynn Allison-Aasby, 1824 Mitchell St., Oshkosh 54901. John M. Kelly, Attorney at Law LLC, John M. Kelly, 4850 S. U.S. Hwy. 45, Oshkosh 54902. Market Boutique on Main LLC, Connie K. Day, 224 N. Main St., Oshkosh 54901. Energy Flow Health and Wellness LLC, Sherry Seubert, 6033 Hiawatha Dr., Winneconne 54986. Service 1st Heating & Air Conditioning LLC, Michael Luedtke, 818 Pine St., Winneconne 54986.
Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000.
2010.3.5X4.75_Insight 1/17/10 2:35 PM Page 1
Webex Inc., 1035 Breezewood Lane, Neenah. $598,000 for a 12,120-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. General contractor is Consolidated Construction Corp. of Appleton. April 13. Pepsi Cola Bottling Company-Oshkosh, 2541 W. 20th Ave., Oshkosh. $1,300,000 for a 6,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Contractor is CHA Tech Services. April 18. Bellin Health, 1630 Commanche Ave., Ashwaubenon. $461,000 to remodel the interior of the first and second floors of the existing medical facility. General contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. April 20. Howard Suamico School District, 1217 Cardinal Lane, Howard. $496,537 for alterations to the existing school building. General contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. April 21. One Neenah Center, 134 E. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah. $750,000 for interior alterations to the second and third floors of the existing building for Bemis Corp. offices. General contractor is C.R. Meyer & Sons Co. of Oshkosh. April 21.
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Kornelli’s Mobil, 919 E. Johnson St., Fond du Lac. $668,000 for a new carwash facility and an addition to the existing convenience store. General contractor is C.D. Smith Construction of Fond du Lac. March 21.
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 45
WHO’S NEWS Bay Towel, 2580 S. Broadway St., Ashwaubenon. $432,540 for a roofing repair project. Contractor is Coppens Metal & Roofing of Green Bay. April 22. Western Racquet & Fitness Club/Prevea Medical, 2502 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon. $4,632,519 for a two-story, 28,418-sq. ft. addition to the existing fitness center and a new health care clinic. General contractor is Rodac Development & Construction of Green Bay. April 27. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, 4321 N. Ballard Road, Appleton. $1,935,800 to remodel the dining area in the existing office complex. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. May 18.
New businesses The Docking Station opened at 111 N. Broadway in Green Bay by co-owners Peter Nugent and Dana VanDen Huevel. The co-office concept allows professionals to lease workspace, host meetings, use common office technology, and facilitate work sessions. Spaces are available to lease on a temporary, or contracted membership basis. More information is available online at www.thedockingstation.net.
New locations WPS Health Insurance and Arise Health Plan moved from 2710 Executive Dr. in Green Bay to 421 Lawrence Dr. in De
Pere, bringing 70 employees along with the office move.
Name changes The Oshkosh law firm of Dempsey, Williamson, Kelly and Hertel, LLP officially changed its name to Dempsey Law Firm, LLP.
New products/services The Habitat ReStore on College Avenue in Appleton is accepting used electronics through a partnership with Vintage Tech Recyclers. All items are free to drop off, except a $5 fee for televisions and monitors, in exchange for which customers will receive a $5 ReStore gift card. All personal data from computers will be securely destroyed.
Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of New North B2B. The Karma Group in Green Bay won a total of five AAF District 8 (includes North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin) Addy awards, including a gold Addy for its own 2010 Holiday Mailer and silver awards for Bergstrom Automotive, Bay Area Humane Society and two for Oshkosh Defense. The Wisconsin Safety Council and Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development presented 15 companies statewide with a 2011 Wisconsin Corporate Safety Award, including the following local firms: The Boldt Company, Appleton; Sub-
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46 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
WHO’S NEWS urban Electrical Engineers/Contractors, Inc., Appleton; Fiberweb, Green Bay; Northern Electric, Inc., Green Bay; and Tweet/Garot Mechanical, Inc., Green Bay.
resource on coverage and claims for clients in Ripon and the surrounding area. Wisneski reviews and processes applications, renewals and endorsements for compliance.
Future Neenah presented Miron Construction Co., Inc. with its Corporate Citizen of the Year Award for its contributions to the community.
The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce hired Celestine Jeffreys as its diversity program manager in January. In her role, Jeffreys reaches out to ethnically-centered, womenowned, veteran-owned and people with disabilities-owned businesses. Jeffreys has broad experience as a community advocate, serving on the Green Bay Area School District Board of Education, previously served four years on the City of Green Bay Common Council, and is founder and president of the Fort Howard Neighborhood Association.
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction presented Azco Inc. of Appleton with one of 10 Business Friend of Education Awards in recognition of its eight-year partnership with Menasha High School to teach students about careers in welding, manufacturing and construction.
Miron Construction Co., Inc. in Neenah hired Michael Babbits as a virtual construction specialist and Shawn Krueger as an industrial project manager. Babbitts has two years experience in the design and construction industry. In his role, he assembles 3D content, utilizes clash detection to resolve conflicts during building design and construction, and develops digital project presentations. Krueger has six years experience in construction, having most recently served as a foreman for a contractor in Marquette, Mich.
The Wellness Council of America presented Sadoff & Rudoy Industries LLP of Fond du Lac with its gold-level Well Workplace Award, joining 64 other employers from Wisconsin who have been recognized with the top recognition for their commitment to the health and well-being of employees. The Wisconsin Environmental Working Group, an affiliate of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, presented nine Business Friend of the Environment Awards for 2011, including to the following firms: Fox River Fiber, De Pere, pollution prevention; Green Bay Packaging, Inc., pollution prevention; Green Bay Coated Products, pollution prevention; and Menasha Corp., Neenah, environmental stewardship.
Performa, Inc. in De Pere hired Matt Marek as an electrical engineer. Marek has more than 10 years experience as a project engineering manager and has designed power distribution, communications and lighting systems for manufacturing and healthcare facilities.
The Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau presented its 2011 Partner in Tourism Awards to the U.S. Open Grass Volleyball Tournament, events; Oshkosh Irish Fest and Oshkosh Oktoberfest organizer Matt Miller, individual; and the Oshkosh Visioning and Branding Committee, organizations.
The Investment Center at Citizens Bank hired Daniel Baldwin as financial consultant working from the bank’s Allouez branch. Baldwin has more than 20 years experience in the financial services industry, most recently as a financial advisor at Waypoint Financial Solutions.
Michels Corp. of Brownsville ranked No. 43 on the Top 400 Contractors for 2011 released by Engineering News-Record. Michels ranked No. 38 on the contractors working abroad list and No. 18 on the telecommunications contractors list.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Fox Valley Region hired Dave Krause as its executive director. Krause has more than 20 years experience in non-profit management, including previous roles with Boys & Girls Club, YMCA and most recently Rawhide Boys Ranch.
New hires Emily Dery was hired as the community outreach and education coordinator of Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services in Oshkosh. Dery presents to K-12 schools, community groups, not-for-profits and businesses.
Hierl Insurance, Inc. in Fond du Lac hired Joe Zack as an employee benefits advisor. Zack has more than 20 years experience in insurance with a specialty in group employee benefits.
Jackson Kahl Insurance in Fond du Lac hired Cassie Bornick as a senior account executive and Lyndsey K. Wisneski as a commercial lines account manager. Bornick develops employee benefit and commercial insurance packages, and serves as a
Building Service Inc. hired Carol Killian as workplace strategist in its Appleton office. Killian has a decade of medical sales experience, most recently with Medline Industries, and
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 47
WHO’S NEWS is retiring after more than 40 years of service. Reed has 32 years experience in wildlife rehabilitation and environmental conservation, the last 25 years with Bay Beach.
will focus her efforts on health care sales. Omni Resources, Inc. in Appleton hired Kristy Van Schyndel as a business development manager. She has previous experience in IT staffing as a technical recruiter.
Alta Resources in Neenah promoted Paul Loebbaka to vice president of its fulfillment business unit and Michael Ryder to director of business development. Loebbaka has been with Alta for 12 years, while Ryder has more than 20 years of experience with Alta in a variety of leadership positions and has played an active role in the development of Alta’s technology platforms.
Architects Group Ltd. in Green Bay hired Robert L. Hoffmann as an architect. Hoffmann has 20 years experience in the architectural field in Wisconsin and Nevada. MetLife Great Lakes in De Pere hired Steven Johnson as a financial services representative.
Menasha Packaging promoted Jerry Hessel to executive vice president of business development and Mike Riegsecker to vice president of corrugated businesses. Hessel joined Menasha Packaging in 1985 and previously served as vice president of corrugated businesses. Riegsecker joined the company in 1992 and held a variety of positions in manufacturing and management.
Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin hired Michael Brown as a financial counselor for its Financial Information and Service Center in Green Bay. Brown previously worked as a personal banker with JP Morgan Chase in Green Bay.
Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin promoted Jennifer Hoessel and Corey Martin to lean implementation specialists with its lean and continuous improvement team in Menasha. Hoessel joined Goodwill in 2007 and was an area team leader with its Menasha retail store. Martin joined Goodwill in 2010 and was an area team leader with its Ashwaubenon retail store.
Appleton-based Prospera Credit Union promoted Sheila Schinke to chief executive officer. Schinke has been with Prospera for 20 years and previously served as interim CEO, executive vice president and chief financial officer. Citizens Bank promoted Travis Zielinski as the branch manager for its Allouez office. Zielinski has eight years experience in consumer finance, most recently as the branch manager for Citizens Bank in Oshkosh.
Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac promoted Bonnie Schmitz to vice president and chief financial officer. Schmitz has been with Agnesian for 22 years, most recently serving as assistant vice president and controller.
The City of Green Bay promoted Mike Reed to director for the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary, replacing Ty Baumann who
Better Business Bureau - New Members
Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during April 2011 A.R.M.S. Inc., DePere AJ’s Mobile Marine Inc., Greenville Boyd’s Home Renovations & HVAC, Pulaski Carl’s Machine & Service LLC, Green Bay Chem-Dry of Appleton & Oshkosh, Menasha Dave Kroenke Family Builders, Shawano Du Frane Moving & Storage Inc., Fond du Lac First Choice Roof LLC, Marinette First Impression Dental LLC, Green Bay Forte’ Modeling and Talent LLC, Green Bay G S Trucking LLC, New London Gellings Roofing Inc., Cleveland
48 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
Gnome Games Tournament Center, Green Bay Grand Central Station LLC, Green Bay, DePere and Neenah J & D Heating & Cooling Inc., DePere JC Construction & General Contracting Inc., Hortonville Jeff Koszalinski Agency Farmers Insurance, Chilton JJ Painting, Cedar Grove Packer City International Trucks Inc., Green Bay Peninsula Transfer Moving, Sturgeon Bay Titletown Oil Corporation, Green Bay Valley Glass Co. Inc., Appleton Valley Marine Mart Inc., Menasha www.acompletedivorce.com, Fond du Lac
BUSINESS CALENDAR Individual honors
Pulse, the Fox Cities young professionals network, presented its 2011 Young Professional of the Year Award to Sarah Schneider, business development specialist for Schenck Business Solutions in Appleton. Mary Gerbig, an attorney with Davis & Kuelthau in Green Bay, is one of 26 female attorneys, judges and educators recognized by the Wisconsin Law Journal among its 2011 Women in the Law.
Baker Tilly www.bakertilly.com....................................................... 16
Capital Credit Union www.capitalcu.com........................................ 23
Appleton Downtown, Inc. elected the following officers for 2011: Trevor Frank, S.E.H., president; Jay Schumerth, Radisson Paper Valley Hotel, past president; John Hendrickson, US Bank, vice president; Robyn Gruner, AT&T, secretary; and Mary Greiner, Schenck SC, treasurer.
Accupro Business Solutions, Inc. www.accuprobusiness.com. .............. 7 Advance Business Center www.advanceincubator.org........................ 42 Bank First National www.bankfirstnational.com.................................... 8 Bank Mutual www.bankmutual.com................................................ 44 Bouwer Printing and Mailing www.bouwerprintingandmailing.com.......... 46 Breakthrough Solutions LLC www.breakthroughsolutionsllc.net.............. 46 CitizensFirst Credit Union www.citizensfirst.com . ............................ 50 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. www.dkattorneys.com..................................... 5 Delta Dental of Wisconsin
www.deltadentalwi.com. ......................... 16
Dermatology Associates www.dermwisconsin.com............................. 2 Digiprint www.digiprint.biz............................................................ 39
Dan Ariens of Green Bay, president and CEO of Ariens Company in Brillion, was one of three business professionals appointed to the inaugural board of directors for the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., which will replace the Wisconsin Department of Commerce later this year.
Fast Signs www.fastsigns.com....................................................... 35 First Business Bank www.firstbusiness.com. .................................... 18 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley www.fnbfoxvalley.com. ................... 24 First Weber Group www.firstweber.com........................................... 31 Flyway Signs www.flywaysigns.com................................................ 43
FdL County Economic Development Corp. www.fcedc.com. ............ 13
For more events, log on to www.thenewnorthevents.com.
Fox Valley Savings Bank www.fvsbank.com.................................... 43
June 1 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Charter Business in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $2. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to www.fdlac.com. June 3 Meet Your Legislators, a monthly event from the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Little Chute Village Hall, 108 W. Main St. in Little Chute. Administrators from Kaukauna, Combined Locks, Kimberly, Little Chute, Sherwood and Wrightstown are invited to discuss the impact of the state budget on their community. No charge to attend, but registration is requested by calling the chamber at 920.766.1616 or going online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com. June 14 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2265. June 22 Northeast Wisconsin Entrepreneur Networking Day, a daylong event geared toward entrepreneurship, at Fox Valley Technical College Bordini Center, 5 Systems Dr. in Appleton. A workshop during the day features author, speaker and entrepreneur Barry Moltz, or attendees can elect to come only to the evening networking session. Cost is $139 for the entire day, though the workshop is limited to 100 participants, while the cost for just the evening session is $39. To register, go online to www.thenewend.biz.
Guident Business Solutions www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com............ 45 Heavy Critters www.heavycritters.com............................................. 27 J. F. Ahern Co. www.jfahern.com. ................................................. 35 Keller Inc. www.kellerbuilds.com ................................................... 34 Leach Amphitheater www.leachamphitheater.com.............................. 27 Little Chute, Village of www.littlechutewi.org...................................... 9 McClone Insurance Group www.mcclone.com................................... 7 Moraine Park Technical College www.morainepark.edu..................... 25 Network Health Plan www.networkhealth.com . ................................ 51 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council www.newbt.org.......... 30 NEW END www.thenewend.biz.................................................................. 41 Nsight www.nsighttel.com........................................................................ 52 Oshkosh Convention & Visitors Bureau www.visitoshkosh.com. .............. 40 Oshkosh Events www.visitoshkosh.com/events.html................................ 27 Oshkosh Live at Lunch www.oshkoshchamber.com....................................... 40 Outagamie County Regional Airport www.atwairport.com. ...... 15,17,19 Reinhart Partners www.reinhart-partners.com. ................................... 41 R. J. Albright Inc. www.rjalbright.com. ........................................... 45 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries www.sadoff.com................................... 14 Steinert Printing Co., Inc. www.steinertprinting.com............................. 8 Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. www.stifel.com . ......................................... 38 TEC www.tecmidwest.com. ............................................................ 12 Tee’d Off at MS www.davesteedoffatms.org. ...................................... 40 Venture Center www.venturecenterwi.biz.......................................... 26 Waterfest www.waterfest.org......................................................... 27 WELCOA - Wisconsin www.wellnesscouncilwi.org................................ 9 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management www.co.winnebago.wi.us/solid-waste/container-rental-program. ..................... 38
NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011 l 49
KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.
$3.77 May 15 $4.00 May 8 $4.00 May 1 $4.04 May 22, 2010 $2.64 May 22
Source: New North B2B observations
from April 2010 April
from April 2010 (2007 = 100)
from April 2010 (Manufacturers and trade)
from April 2010
from March 2010
Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin
March Feb. Mar. â€˜10 9.1% 9.7% 8.8% 9.5% 10.7% 11.2% 9.4% 9.7% 7.8% 8.1% 8.1% 8.5%
12.0% 11.8% 13.1% 12.0% 9.5% 10.1%
Prices for small businesses using less than 20,000 therms. Listed price is per therm.
$0.746 April $0.933 May 2010 $0.826 May
Source: Integrys Energy (Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction.)
If there are indicators youâ€™d like to see in this space, contact our office at 920.237.0254 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
50 l NEW NORTH B2B l JUNE 2011
Expect More From a Health Plan One of an employer’s greatest assets is its employees, and the health and well-being of those employees is an important priority. Network Health Plan understands. We work with you and your agent to develop the perfect health insurance solutions, tailored for your specific business needs.
Network Health Plan is different. • We’re locally owned and operated and understand the needs of Northeast Wisconsin businesses. • When you or your employees need us, we are responsive, quickly getting the answers you need. • Our members have access to top-rated doctors, clinics and hospitals. • We help our clients build cultures of healthy living by offering health and wellness program options that reward plan participants for their healthy activities and behaviors. To find out more about Network Health Plan’s superior service and custom benefit plans, contact your insurance agent or our sales department at (800) 276-8004.
1570 Midway Place | Menasha, WI
HMO plans underwritten by Network Health Plan. POS plans underwritten by Network Health Insurance Corporation, or underwritten by Network Health Insurance Corporation and Network Health Plan. Self-funded HMO and POS plans administered by Network Health Plan.
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New North B2B regional business magazine