Page 1

I

ntegrating deas and nnovation to nvention

We profile three inventors contributing to the vibrant buzz of innovation in the region

Responsibilityishness Pierce Stronglove

Entrepreneurial Distraction Disorder Steve Van Remortel

February 2011 $3.95

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Show your

SKIN

some

LOVE ano Shaw n o Locati on! g So n i m o C

Appleton Bellevue De Pere Fond du Lac Grafton Green Bay

Manitowoc Marinette Neenah New London Oconto Falls Oshkosh Sturgeon Bay


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new north b2b FEBRUARY 2011

28

24 18

32 Features

18 COVER STORY ❘ Inventor Innovation ❘ Profiles of a variety of inventors in the region

24 NETWORKING ❘ Thrive ❘ Networking opportunities for business professionals

28 WORKFORCE ❘ Coloring jobs green ❘ Apprenticeship programs aimed at green energy

32 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ Sun Comfort Sunrooms ❘ Creating comfort for customers

Departments 4 From the Publisher 5, 35 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 10 Build Up Pages 16 Around the Boardroom 17 Pierce Stronglove 31 Guest Commentary 36 Who’s News 41 Business Calendar 42 Advertiser Index 43 Health Care 44 Elections 46 Key Statistics

On our cover

B2B cover illustration by Don Stolley of Stolley Studios in Oshkosh and Kate Erbach of New North B2B. NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 3


FROM THE PUBLISHER

In search of a few good firefighters

Unique feature will help business owners out of their ruts and back on a strategic path

Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher 4 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

I don’t know of a single business owner who hasn’t had one of those weeks where it feels like another fire breaks out within the organization before an existing fire can be extinguished. Trying to get W-2 forms out in time to your employees on Jan. 31 and the printer breaks down. You call the service repairman, but his schedule is booked for the day. So you dig out that old printer sitting on the floor in the back of the storage closet and hook it up to your printer, only to find out the printer driver doesn’t work with your computer’s current operating system. Expert authors of nationally best-selling books on business management teach that those of us in the position of president, CEO or general manager can’t be constantly putting out fires. We need to be working on the business, nurturing its growth, and implementing the systems and protocol to ensure the number of fires are minimized. When those flare ups do occur, such systems and protocol should also identify other resources within the organization beside the business owner to put out the fire. But sometimes it’s unavoidable. Even the best prepared business owner with the most thorough strategic plan can’t evade the impulse to turn on the spigots and water down an apparent problem that seemingly could threaten the livelihood of the business. If you’re a business owner who always feels as if you’re putting out fires in your company – or if you work for one or do business with one as a customer or vendor – B2B wants to help. Coming in our April 2011 issue, the cover story in New North B2B will feature Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin – those business owners in the region who feel as if they’re constantly putting out fires within their business. We’re seeking out nominations of individuals willing to put themselves and the pain they feel in running their business out in front of readers. But we’re not planning to leave those brave souls hanging or ridicule their faults in operating or managing their business. Quite to the contrary, we’ve arranged a handful of northeast Wisconsin’s best and brightest small business consultants and business strategists to lend their time toward getting the firefighters back on track,

putting out the fires, and moving on to growing a prosperous enterprise. In the months following our April issue cover story, these consultants and strategists will work one-on-one with our firefighters to develop a long-term plan for their business. After a few months of practice implementing the strategic plan, B2B will follow up with each of the firefighters and their strategy coach to learn what progress has been made, and share their ideas and strategies with readers in the hope that – for those who were too shy to nominate themselves as a firefighter – they too might learn a lesson for taming the fires in their organization.

Even the best prepared business owner with the most thorough strategic plan can’t evade the impulse to turn on the spigots and water down an apparent problem that seemingly could threaten the livelihood of the business. If you’re a business owner who’d like to be considered for our upcoming Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin article, send me an email to sean@newnorthb2b.com. Be sure to include a paragraph or two outlining some of the challenges you face running your business and why you’d like to receive some assistance. Additionally, if you work for a firefighter – and feel as if you can nominate that individual without losing your job – feel free to drop me an email as well. We’ll select the most seemingly needy business owners for this exclusive feature in early March, and will pair that firefighter up with their business consultant to begin work as of our April issue. Keep an eye out for more information on this feature in coming months. www.newnorthb2b.com


PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING

Limits to reasonable accommodation by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

Tony Renning

920.233.6050

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: Do we have to provide light-duty work to employees in order to meet the reasonable accommodation requirements of the Wisconsin Fair Employment Act (WFEA) if we reserve light-duty work for employees who are receiving worker’s compensation? Tony Renning: Generally, the WFEA imposes greater reasonable accommodation obligations on employers than the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). For instance, the ADA requires employers consider reasonable accommodations that will assist an employee in performing the essential function of the job. Conversely, there is no “essential function” analysis under the WFEA. Rather, all reasonable accommodation options are available. The Wisconsin Labor and Industry Review Commission (LIRC) recently decided a case in which it was asked to

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

sean@newnorthb2b.com

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

carrie@newnorthb2b.com

Kate Erbach

Creative Director

kate@newnorthb2b.com

Contributing writers

Cheryl Hentz John R. Ingrisano Lee Marie Reinsch

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

address the extent of those reasonable accommodation options. Rousseau v. Appleton Papers, Inc., ERD Case No. CR200702495 (12/03/2010). Within months of Rousseau being hired by Appleton Papers, she was completely unable to perform the job duties of the position she was hired for because of a pre-existing knee injury. As a result, she commenced a medical leave of absence. Rousseau subsequently requested to return to work subject to permanent work restrictions imposed by her health care provider. However, Appleton Papers declined to return her to work because her restrictions prevented her from performing the job duties of the position for which she was hired. Accordingly, Rousseau requested Appleton Papers provide her with light-duty work it reserved for employees receiving worker’s compensation. The LIRC concluded Appleton Papers

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

was not required to grant Rousseau an accommodation of permanently placing her in a light-duty position normally reserved for employees recovering from work-related injuries. For advice and counsel as to the WFEA, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or trenning@dkattorneys. com or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.

Green Bay

Fox Cities

Oshkosh

Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 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.

December 21 Developers for the proposed WaterMark retail and office development on the site of the former Younkers department store in downtown Green Bay secured the final item of financing for the $12 million project and expects to break ground in early 2011. The redevelopment project on the east side of the Fox River will house the Green Bay Children’s Museum, Hagemeister Park restaurant, a parking garage and additional retail and commercial space. Development group Vetter Denk Architects of Milwaukee expects to break ground on the project in early 2011.

December 21 Town of Grand Chute officials are considering a private development firm’s proposal to create a specialized multifamily housing complex targeting the student population at Fox Valley Technical College named Tech Village. The proposed 150-unit apartment-style residence hall would be located on 18 acres at the southeast corner of State Road 15 and Casaloma Drive, and would be aimed at accommodating married students, veterans and families. The proposal additionally includes plans for an extended-stay conference center with 100 suites which would be rented on a weekly basis.

2003

December 21 Congress approved the U.S. Navy’s plan to buy 10 combat ships from Marinette Marine Co. in a contract that could be valued at as much as $4.8 billion. With 850 employees, Marinette Marine believes it may add more than 1,000 additional jobs once it begins ship construction in mid-2011. The contract is also expected to create hundreds of jobs at the dozens of Marinette Marine’s vendors in the New North.

February 28 – Great Lakes Aviation made its last flight out of Wittman Regional Airport after the U.S. Department of Transportation stopped subsidizing comercial flights earlier in the week, leaving Wittman without a commercial carrier.

2005 February 3 – The Wisconsin Manufacturing Extension Partnership signed a cooperative agreement with four area technical colleges, including Moraine Park and Fox Valley, to improve productivity, increase sales, and advance the competitiveness of manufacturing in northeast Wisconsin.

2007 February 23 – ThedaCare and Northeast Wisconsin Robotic RadioSurgery Group announced they will invest $6 million in CyberKnife radiosurgical equipment at the Marth Siekman Cancer Center at Appleton Medical Center. CyberKnife is a form of oncology technology that uses robotics to constantly and accurately adjust the size and shape of radiation. ThedaCare will renovate its space at AMC to accommodate the new equipment, which will be operational in April.

6 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

December 21 The U.S. Census Bureau reported Wisconsin’s official population from the 2010 Census grew 6 percent during the decade to 5,686,986. The results mean Wisconsin will retain its eight seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Nationally, the 2010 population of the United States reached 308,745,538. December 22 The Fond du Lac District Attorney’s office charged former City of Fond du Lac Management Information Systems Department Director Mark Beveridge with 25 separate criminal charges in a case alleging nearly $240,000 in embezzlement from the city. The charges stem from an alledged 30-month-long false invoicing scheme between MIS staff and technology vendors for the city. If convicted on all charges, Beveridge could face a maximum of 60 years in prison. December 24 City of Waupun officials announced a handful of development incentives for the Waupun Business Park which could include waiving development fees – such as water, sewer, electric hookup, site plan review fees or engineering fees, as examples – and providing relief for infrastructure costs such as water, sewer, electric and streets. December 28 The Wisconsin Court of Appeals ruled the City of Milwaukee unfairly assessed the value of U.S. Oil Co.’s terminals on the city’s northwest side and ordered the city to return more than

www.newnorthb2b.com


SINCE WE LAST MET $530,000 in taxes and interest to the Kimberly-based company. The city used one method to value the U.S. Oil terminals for 2004 and 2005, and a different method to value the terminals of four other companies located at the same complex, which the court ruled was a violation of the state constitution’s uniformity clause. December 28 Workers displaced from the claims representative unit in the Senior Medicare Advantage Department of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Fond du Lac since Nov. 24 were made eligible for re-employment and training services under the federal Trade Adjustment Assistance program. Such services include training for another job or career, income support, a job search allowance, and relocation allowances. December 29 Gov.-elect Scott Walker appointed Green Bay Chamber of Commerce President Paul Jadin as secretary of the Department of Commerce. Jadin resigned his position from the chamber effective Jan. 7. Fred Monique, vice president of Advance for the Green Bay Chamber, was appointed interim president. The chamber’s executive committee is conducting a search for a permanent replacement for the organization’s top office. December 30 Baylake Corp., parent company of Baylake Bank, entered into a formal agreement with federal regulators to reduce nonperforming loans, improve earnings and increase capital in an

effort to improve its financial stability. For the third quarter 2010, Baylake reported a loss of $500,000, or 6 cents per share. Nonperforming loans decreased from $40.5 million during the third quarter 2009 to $18.9 million during the third quarter 2010. December 30 Marian University in Fond du Lac received a $199,000 gift from an anonymous donor for its Institute for Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness. The money will be used for institution operations, staffing, curriculum development and research. Marian offers Wisconsin’s first in-residence bachelor of science in homeland security program. December 31 Appleton-based ThedaCare Inc. acquired Appleton Cardiology Associates and will continue to employ the practice’s 16 physicians, seven nurse practitioners and physician assistants, as well as 110 staff members. Appleton Cardiology Associates had already maintained full time offices at Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, both facilities owned and operated by ThedaCare. January 4 Less than 24 hours after being sworn in as Wisconsin’s chief executive, Gov. Scott Walker presented drafts of five legislative bills aimed at jumpstarting the state’s economy. The five bills include: tort reform legislation to curb frivolous lawsuits brought against manufacturers and retailers as well as setting

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 7


SINCE WE LAST MET

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a cap on non-economic damages for medical malpractice; legislation to create a tax credit for income deposited in a health savings account; a bill to exempt businesses from income and franchise taxes for two years for firms that have done business in Wisconsin for 10 years or longer; a bill to increase funding for economic development tax credits from $75 million to $100 million; and lastly, legislation to require a super majority from both houses of the legislature to pass any bill raising taxes. January 4 Allcare Dental & Dentures closed all of its clinic offices nationwide, including those in Ashwaubenon and Grand Chute, citing an inability to secure financing from a private equity group necessary to continue operations. January 4 A state appellate court ruled against the City of Green Bay in a $5.7 million condemnation suit against Wisconsin Mall Properties, the former Younkers store owner, after seizing and closing the struggling downtown department store in 2003. Wisconsin Mall Properties previously won an additional $5.6 million from the city in a related court ruling. January 5 Gov. Scott Walker proposed new small business legislation that would allow a 15 percent tax credit for a business with gross receipts of $250,000 or less. The credit would lessen gradually until a business reaches annual gross revenue of $500,000. Walker is hoping to make the tax credit effective on income earned starting this past Jan. 1. January 6 West Business Services held a job fair to fill 160 sales and account management positions at its two Appleton locations. The new positions are expected to provide salaries from $25,000 to $40,000, in addition to bonuses, commissions and other incentives. West currently employs nearly 850 people in its two Appleton locations. January 6 ThedaCare’s Board of Trustees approved a 3 percent hospital rate increase for Appleton Medical Center, New London Family Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. The statewide average hospital rate increase in Wisconsin for 2010-11 is 5.3 percent. It’s the sixth consecutive year ThedaCare has kept its hospital rate increases below 4 percent. January 7 The U.S. Department of Labor reported 103,000 jobs were created during December, dropping the national unemployment rate to 9.4 percent. Notable employment growth occurred in leisure and hospitality and in health care. January 10 Outagamie County Regional Airport reported a total of 542,565 travelers used ATW in 2010, an increase of 1.5 percent above 2009 figures. Additionally, ATW saw a 31 percent increase in cargo freight departing the Greenville-based airport in 2010 with a total reaching nearly 26 million pounds.

8 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

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SINCE WE LAST MET January 11 Green Bay Bullfrogs baseball franchise owner Jeff Royle pitched the City of Green Bay Redevelopment Authority a proposal for a $12 million stadium project that would require a $3 million loan from the city, $1.8 million in tax incremental financing, in addition to a favorable selling price for 16.5 acres of cityowned land on the west side of the Fox River. Funding for the 2,500-seat stadium project also assumes more than $2 million New Market Tax Credits from the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority and nearly $5 million combined from vendors, owners and promotional sponsorships. Royle is on the agenda to return to the redevelopment authority later in February to provide more specific financial details. January 11 Gov. Walker proposed a bill to overhaul Wisconsin’s regulatory process, with the intention of allowing businesses to expand their production and facilities in Wisconsin with fewer obstacles. Some provisions of the proposed legislation include: agencies may not create rules more restrictive than regulatory standards provided by the legislature; the governor must approve any rule changes proposed by agencies; any rule changes would require an economic cost/benefit analysis; and changes to wind energy citing standards. January 12 Appleton Area School District officials told its business services panel it expects a $2 million deficit for the 2011-12 budget, and identified 46 positions to cut in the district. The school district received $3.1 million to hire additional positions last fall through President Obama’s Job Funds program to reduce unemployment, but only used $1 million of the funding. The remaining $2.1 million from the grant will be applied to help finance staffing costs for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

January 19 Officials for the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District announced plans to pay off $22.5 million in bonds on Feb. 1, leaving just $18.5 million remaining on the total debt for the $295 million renovation of Lambeau Field back in 2003. District officials also said they expect to pay off the entire $174 million debt by this coming August, nearly 20 years before the 2031 projected date for retiring the debt, which is expected to save taxpayers more than $100 million in interest in being retired early. The district will still continue to collect the 0.5 percent brown County sales tax in order to set aside funds for operations and maintenance costs of the stadium through 2031, but district officials indicated the special sales tax assessment could be repealed as early as 2015. January 20 Both the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate passed a bill which would provide a tax deduction for individual investments into Health Savings Accounts. The measure is expected make health care more affordable for employees and small businesses.

Corrections Nearly 5 percent of the energy purchased by Appleton Coated in 2008 came from renewable sources, and about 15 percent of all energy use came from renewable resources in 2010, according to Ann Whalen, senior vice president of marketing and customer services at Appleton Coated. The statement was printed incorrectly in the cover story of our January 2011 edition. New North B2B regrets the error and any inconvenience it caused readers.

Financial Strength.

January 12 Pierce Manufacturing in Menasha received a $31 million order for 104 custom fire trucks for Ghana’s Ministry of Interior Service and the Ghana National Fire Service. The order includes a combination of 90 pumper tanker units, 10 water tender vehicles and four aerial ladder vehicles. Shipment of the vehicles will be completed by early 2012. January 13 Port of Green Bay officials reported cargo totals of 1.7 million tons passed through its shipping terminals during 2010, a 4 percent decrease from 2009 totals, attributed to a drop in the amount of salt and cement shipped through the port. Port officials did indicate the 2010 totals represented an 8 percent increase in domestic cargo. January 14 Oshkosh Mayor Paul Esslinger proposed a plan for the city to divest itself of municipal parking lots, noting a consultant’s study projecting spending of close to $1 million each year for the next 10 years to reconstruct, maintain and repair cityowned lots. The consultant’s study indicated close to 30 percent of the city’s 53 municipal parking lots need serious attention, while 17 percent of lots needed little or no maintenance.

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NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 9


BUILD UP FOND DU LAC

1 2&3

C - Indicates a new listing

4

Build Up Fond du Lac

addition to the loading dock area of the existing facility.

1 - 560 W. Pioneer Road, Fond du Lac,

Mercury Marine, a 33,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in February.

2 - 1155 S. Military Road, Fond du Lac, C Rolling Meadows Development, renovation of a former nursing home building and an addition to the fourth floor shell for a hotel and conference center. 3 - 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac, Grande Cheese, an

4 - 1739 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac, City of Fond du Lac, a 60,000-sq. ft. industrial spec building. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

Build Up Oshkosh

5 - 3465 Moser St., Oshkosh, GNC Oshkosh/ StrataGraph, a 14,510-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in February.

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BUILD UP OSHKOSH 5

6 7&8 9

C - Indicates a new listing

6

hall.

contractor is James J. Calmes & Sons Construction of Kaukauna.

9 - 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a 17,185-sq. ft. biodigestor energy plant.

- 1002 N. Main St., Oshkosh, Cinder’s Restaurant, a demolition and reconstruction of the existing building. General

7 - 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 fall 2011. 8 - 600 Block of Algoma Blvd., Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a five-story, 340-bed student residence

Projects completed since our January issue: • Fond du Lac County Fairgrounds Expo Building, 541 Martin Road, Fond du Lac. • Fox Valley Technical College Advanced Manufacturing Process Center, 4200 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh.

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 11


BUILD UP FOX CITIES The Build Up department of New North B2B includes a monthly two-page spread identifying significant commercial and industrial construction projects ongoing in the Fox Cities area. The listing does not include multi-tenant residences, interior renovation projects or commercial buildouts. - Indicates a new listing

6

- 3000 Spirit Court, Little Chute, owner listed as Rod Van Eperen, a 12,414-sq. ft. motorcycle dealership and service shop building.

7

- N158 State Road 55, town of Buchanan, C El Shaddai Christian Fellowship, a 9,280-sq. ft. addition to the existing church. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

1 - N915 Craftsmen Dr., town of Greenville, Fox Valley Spring Co., a 28,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in April.

8-

2 - 2950 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute,

Bergstrom Infinity, a 18,413-sq. ft. addition to the existing auto dealership and a separate 22,267-sq. ft. auto dealership building.

9 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital,

3 - 3131 N. Richmond St., Appleton,

Highland Memorial Park. an addition to an existing mausoleum building.

10

4

11 - 1815 W. Spencer St., Appleton, Foremost Farms USA, a remodel and renovation of three separate manufacturing facilities on the site. Project completion expected in April.

- 2505 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton, Evergreen Suites, a 9,126-sq. ft. multi-tenant commercial center to include Klusendorf Chiropractic. Project completion expected in March. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

5

- 3935 N. Lightning Dr., Appleton, Dermatology Associates, a new medical office building. Project completion expected in March.

3300 E. Calumet Ave., Appleton, U.S. Bank, a new retail bank building. Project completion expected in late spring.

a 6,370-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing cancer center at the hospital. - 1050 Midway Road, Menasha, Subway, a new commercial/retail building.

12 - 6915 County Road BB, town of Menasha, Roehl Transport, a 4,364-sq. ft. truck terminal facility. Project completion expected in February. 13 - 1451 McMahon Dr., town of Menasha, SCA Tissue North America, a 7,323-sq. ft. addition to the existing corporate office building.

Connecting Construction Companies...

14

- 1050 Cold Spring Road, town of Menasha, Kimberly-Clark Corp., a 129,150-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility to expand production and warehousing for its adult care products. Project completion expected in March.

15 - 150 N. Green Bay Road, Neenah, Bergstrom Chevrolet Buick Cadillac, an 8,680-sq. ft. addition between two existing automotive dealership showrooms and an interior remodel of the current buildings. Bridging contractors and plan providers for over 50 years

...Building Businesses

16 - 271 River St., Menasha, Exopack, a 7,660-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. 17 - 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.

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- 1815 Marathon Ave., Neenah, Curwood, a twostory, 19,500-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility and a separate 3,285-sq. ft. addition for wax storage. Project completion expected in February. Projects completed since our January issue: • Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue Station, 1108 Province Terrace, Menasha.

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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.

7 - 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 late summer. 8

C - Indicates a new listing

- 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon, PCM Employees Credit Union, a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office. Project completion expected in July.

1 - 517 Dousman St., Green Bay, Subway Restaurant, a commercial retail building for a sub shop.

9

2 - 1831 Main St., Green Bay, Planet Fitness, a 20,000sq. ft. fitness center. 3 - 930 Goddard Way, Green Bay, Hansen Frozen Foods, a 6,696-sq. ft. addition to the warehouse and repackaging area.

4

- 3146 Yeager Dr., Green Bay, Yeager Properties, a 75,332-sq. ft. office and warehouse building. Project completion expected in May. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

5 - 1001 S. Huron Road, Green Bay, C Dell’s Service Center, a new automotive service garage and office. 6

- 1110 S. Huron Road, Green Bay, Cherney Microbiological Services, a 23,475-sq. ft. addition to the existing laboratory and testing complex.

- 2700 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Broadway Automotive, an addition and interior alteration to the existing auto dealership. Project completion expected in February.

10 - 3180 Packerland Dr., Ashwaubenon, Oneida Seven Generation, a 70,000-sq. ft. pyrolytic gasification electricity generation plant. 11

- 1121 W. Main Ave., Ashwaubenon, SparkNet Interactive, a four-story, 69,000-sq. ft. commercial office building.

12 - 633 Heritage Road, De Pere, Belmark Inc., an addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in February. Projects completed since our January issue: • Village of Suamico Municipal Center, 12781 Velp Ave., Suamico. • O’Reilly Auto Parts, 1722 Main St., Green Bay. • Hobby Lobby, 803 Pilgrim Way, Ashwaubenon. • Encompass Early Education, 2000 Lawrence Dr., De Pere.

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BUILD UP GREEN BAY

1

2 8 10

3 7

9

5&6 4

11

12

FIRE! Do you spend too much time putting out fires and not enough time improving your business? We’re here to help. Send an email to sean@newnorthb2b.com outlining your organizational challenges. You may be selected to receive no-cost assistance in our March cover story, providing you with tools to get you back on track.

Firefighters of northeast Wisconsin

coming april 2011

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 15


AROUND THE BOARDROOM

2.1 Billions of dollars, the amount of economic activity generated by hospitals in the northeastern region of Wisconsin for 2008, the most recent year in which data was made available. Source: Wisconsin Hospital Association

Title: 1001 Inventions that Changed the World Author: Jack Challoner Publisher: Barron’s Educational Series (March 1, 2009) Pages: 960 List Price: $35.00 Why Buy: This overview of creative thinking and innovation moves chronologically from one advancement to another. Photos, advertisements, and schematics of the locomotive, zoom lens, lie detector, World Wide Web, and Segway enhance history with succinct captioning and color or black-and-white illustrations of the devices in use. Commentary and glosses are succinct and inclusive without dumbing down the material. Beginning with stone tools and fire, coverage veers rapidly away from domestic developments. Weaknesses include unusual spelling errors and inadequate cross-referencing. Although there are indexes for inventions and inventors, the absence of a general index is a drawback. Nonetheless, this is a valuable and inexpensive reference text.

...email marketing habits you must kick

There’s no denying people are starting to hit the reset button on email. We all receive notifications about companies we don’t care about or that have lost their luster. Email marketing is amazing when it’s done right. It’s inexpensive, it offers unlimited space, and it directly connects you with buyers. But not every company does it right, and, therefore, we may have an inbox epidemic on our hands. Here’s a few bad email marketing practices you need to eliminate:

➊ Inconsistency - Always remember your subscriber

5 bad...

base chose to be included in your email mailing list. This means they want to know what you have to say. Don’t leave ‘em hanging. If you set up an email marketing schedule, make sure you stick to it.

➋ Over sending - The flip side of inconsistency is over sending. Nothing clutters up an inbox more than seeing multiple emails per week. Unless you’re a daily online publication, you should not send email more than once a week. Keep your breaking news to a minimum. Don’t annoy those who want to connect with you.

➌ Hard sales - The best way to lose subscribers is to email them repeatedly pushing your services. You cannot use that approach when marketing services; you need a softer approach. Use email to tell subscribers about a new article you published, research your firm conducted, and upcoming speaking engagements. Doing so will help establish you as an authority and build up readers’ trust in you.

16 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

➍ Recycled Content - If you use email to educate and

inform subscribers of the industry, do not cut and paste other content from other articles on the Web. If a Google search turns up the same articles in your email, you’ve insulted your audience and done a major disservice to your brand.

➎ Timing - Cliché as it may be, timing is everything when it comes to email. When is someone most engaged in reading email? Research shows that in general it is during the 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. work day. Eight o’clock might be too early, but the earlier in the day, the better. Research also shows sending email around the lunch hour is bad timing because your readers are either scrambling to go to lunch or are bombarded with emails they received during lunch. And anything after 4 p.m. gets tossed into the “I’ll do it tomorrow” pile. Source: RainToday.com

www.newnorthb2b.com


AROUND THE BOARDROOM

I

Responsibilityishness

t’s not what your company says – but rather what your company does – that matters. So before you jump on the bandwagon to rapture in the bliss of corporate social responsibility (CSR), make sure you know where it’s going, and where to get off. For years Mother Stronglove paraded her scrupulous adherence to local recycling guidelines before the admiring eyes of her fellow mid-town denizens. She enjoyed her elevated status until a storm tipped over her curbside glass bin, creating a river of gin bottles that washed down the nearest storm sewer. Her gleaming flotilla travelled up the Fox, through the bay of Green Bay, and out to Lake Michigan and beyond. To this day her blunder is relived in hushed tones whenever she slinks her way through the Coupe de Lies Country Club for a quickie at the Bushwhacked Baringo. Which explains – at least in part – why she lives with me now. Back curbside, however, she could keep company with bigname entities whose super-clean, rose-tinted, greenwashed corporate images nearly killed them dead because they let their PR strategies get ahead of the facts about their business practices. BP’s “Beyond Petroleum” campaign is a classic example. Here was a highly effective spin from an energy company whose renewables never topped 1 percent of revenue. Great PR. Catastrophic blowback in reality. And a sobering reminder that if you’re going to tell your story, you need to be sure to not only tell it well, but also to tell it truthfully. If you don’t, somebody else will tell it for you – perniciously even. BP illuminates the clarity of hindsight. So what’s up with Chevron? Their message includes facts to substantiate for their claim of supporting communities where they operate. It cites their provision of microloans to thousands of Angolan entrepeneurs, funding for polytechnic universities in Indonesia, and $55 million commitment to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. It also asserts how dependent their business is on the wellbeing of these communities.

Clearly they’ve made themselves vulnerable to serious damage should they practice anything less than they preach. A tall, self-imposed order made, to a large degree, in their own self-interest exposes them to the risk of being labeled hypocrites and the lost brand integrity that would go with it. McDonald’s Corporation and trans fat. McDonald’s Corporation and the Ronald McDonald House. McDonald’s Corporation and “Supersize Me.” Nike and foreign child labor wages. Nike and social justice. Nike and Tiger Woods. Wrangler Jeans and “Brent” Favre – whom we will never, ever forget. Never mind that last example. Wrangler brand evidently likes the way its spokesperson’s alleged sextapades have, um, enhanced their brand. This is not Dinner for Schmucks, but rather a buffet of costly mistakes by the big dogs. Learn from them freely. Don’t tell tree-hugging stories in the media and turn up a poser who serves plastic bottles of drinking water when thirsty prospects show up. So here is a litmus test for your CSR initiatives: Are you practicing corporate social responsibility (doing the right things) or developing Corporate Social Responsibility strategy (wanting the public to think you’re doing the right things)? If you fall into the former group, you have something worthwhile to say for yourself – and for others to say about you. If you’re in the latter group, perhaps you could take in Mother’s recycling bin. Please try to not attract attention to yourself. 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 piercestronglove@gmail.com.

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 17


COVER STORY

We profile three of the inventors contributing to the vibrant buzz of innovation in the region

Story by Sean Fitzgerald New North B2B Publisher

18 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

www.newnorthb2b.com


COVER STORY Like luring new business to the region or helping existing businesses grow, a third and often overlooked cog of economic development is to organically grow opportunity through innovation. It sounds easier to say than to practice, but the act of innovating and creating ideas fosters the ability to grow and sustain entrepreneurial activity through new products and services. Innovation isn’t just a characteristic that automatically surfaces within an organization, said Cheryl Perkins, president and founder of Neenah-based InnovationEdge, a global innovation consulting firm. She’s worked with firms close to home and on the other side of the globe, and notes that universally a foundation for innovation must be rooted in the organization’s culture. What does that mean? Primarily to place the right balance of technicians and creative staff together, and place them in an environment where innovation isn’t stifled. “There’s a lot of fatigue that can be created around innovation if the culture isn’t managed,” Perkins warned. “Let the people and the environment allow for constant value and continuous learning.” Ultimately, innovation is all about bringing back additional value to stakeholders in an initiative. And believe it or not, there is a vibrant buzz of innovation taking place here in northeast Wisconsin. The recently released New North-UW Oshkosh Regional Entrepreneurial Index indicated the number of patents or trademarks granted in the New North region has hovered between 800 to 1,000 per year for each of the past three years. That’s a critical factor in growing new business opportunities and new jobs in the region, said Bob O’Donnell, director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of WisconsinOshkosh and the administrator of the index. “We have to look at intellectual property creation as one of the key aspects to encouraging entrepreneurship,” O’Donnell said. The New North has experienced a steady growth in resources available to innovators in the region during the past decade. Through the evolution of the Wisconsin Inventors Network, Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Network and the Fab Lab at Fox Valley Technical College, inventors and innovators have been able to move beyond the concept of their ideas and start making tangible progress toward marketability. FVTC’s 3-year-old Fab Lab not only offers state-of-the-art equipment to help the inexperienced inventor develop a working prototype, but the technical expertise through its staff to

navigate all aspects of an inventor’s rugged journey from cocktail napkin drawings to the marketplace. “We like to say that we can advance the invention process by bringing together innovation, technology and resources,” said Herb Goetz, an industrial designer through the Fab Lab, which is part of a greater network of more than 70 similar Fab Labs around the globe. In its past three years, the Fox Valley Fab Lab has worked with close to 400 inventors, helped in the development of 82 prototypes and holds 11 co-patents along with the inventors of whom they made a significant intellectual contribution toward the advancement of their product. Invention certainly is a process, as is demonstrated by the three inventors whose profiles follow. Through their diligence and persistence, the innovation they’ve brought to their respective fields might just help to grow the region’s economy one idea at a time.

Landing the big one A former industrial electrician turned fishing charter, bait shop and resort owner, Louis Woods never imagined he’d develop a product that would literally change the lives of disabled anglers who’d lost the ability to enjoy a day on a boat casting a line. Following several charter trips on the Wolf River system with a Chicago family that brought along their disabled child who was unable to hold a fishing pole, Woods offered to buy the boy a special brace to allow him to hold a pole and enjoy the feel of a tug on the other end of the line. But Woods couldn’t find a suitable brace, so he cobbled one together using fabric. It became the first prototype for his Enjoy the Fight brace. PROFILE Product: What it is: Inventor: Web site:

Enjoy the Fight fishing brace tool to enable those with upper extremity disabilities to enjoy fishing without pain or fatigue in their arms Louis Woods www.enjoythefight.com

THE PROCESS OF INVENTION ❶ Idea generation ❷ Idea screening ❸ Conceptual product development ❹ Concept testing

❺ Business analysis ❻ Prototype development ❼ Test marketing ❽ Commercialization Source: Fab Lab at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 19


COVER STORY

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Later in 2008, Woods would bring his fishing brace concept into the Fox Valley Fab Lab, where he received assistance on design modifications that eventually led to a working prototype. That’s the crossroads at which Woods had to make a significant financial commitment toward moving his concept forward – he’d spent a few thousand dollars with a patent attorney and some design consulting, but now he was facing a five-figure investment to research and develop a line of sample product he could test in the market. Moving forward with an investment he estimates at $18,000 to $20,000, Woods contracted with an injection-mold plastics manufacturer to test several different molds before identifying the perfect shape and process for holding the brace in place. Woods ponied up the funds for an initial run of 1,000 units with that mold, finally giving him a product to test, market and sell. The Enjoy the Fight brace “allows people to hold the fishing pole without any pain or exhaustion,” Woods said, returning an enjoyable hobby to many who thought they might have lost the opportunity to go fishing. It’s been a hit with many who’ve tried it out. “We took it up to the Fishing Has No Boundaries (an organization assisting anglers with disabilities) national conference in Hayward for them to use and they loved it,” Woods said, indicating he sold every single brace he brought along to the event. To date, Woods has sold more than 750 of his initial run of 1,000 sample fishing braces, primarily through sports shows he’s attended to promote his resort and fishing charter service, as well as online sales through his Web site. But he’s primarily used the proceeds of his Fremont-based Wolf River Outfitters bait shop, resort and charter fishing service to help offset his investments in developing the Enjoy the Fight brace. Woods acknowledged he’s been taking the process slowly – intentionally – to avoid many of the frustrations he experienced when first starting on his inventor’s journey. In retrospect, Woods said he would have taken more time researching and modifying the initial prototypes to get everything squared away before spending the money to develop the mold and ultimately fabricate the product. “I made a big gamble on spending all that money on the product right away,” Woods said. He’s also switched patent attorneys and had to considerably revise the patent for which he applied. He currently has a provisional patent, and expects it might take another 12 months through the U.S. Patent Office to become official.

Submitted photo

Louis Woods’ Enjoy the Fight brace in action. www.newnorthb2b.com


COVER STORY In the meantime, Woods is planning a second manufacturing run of his product. This time, he’s looking at putting some professional packaging together, obtaining a UPC code, and investigating retail channels which might make sense for distributing the brace.

Moving health plan design forward The job of group health insurance program brokers has become increasingly more complex in the past two decades as sharply rising health care costs have driven employers toward a wide variety of options for maintaining benefits such as consumer-driven plans, health savings accounts and corporate wellness initiatives. As a result, there’s become an almost unlimited number of cost variables which ultimately dictate the price of a given group plan for employer benefits directors to consider, yet the insurance professionals selling health plan products are still using a decades-old technology to compare plan models and pricing. For years it’s been eating away at Dan Morrill, the vice president of employee benefits for Oshkosh-based Servant Insurance. He’s been selling health insurance benefit solutions to employers for more than a decade, and said presentations on health plan options become more complex and robust than contemporary technology can handle. “We had taken generic spreadsheets as far as we could go,” Morrill said. “We had retrofitted an old technology and used it as best we could.”

PROFILE Product: What it is: Inventor: Web site:

Dynamic Benefit Systems software robust software to help health insurance benefits brokers demonstrate a variety of customized group health plan designs in real time Dan Morrill www.dynamicbenefitsystems.com

During the past three years, Morrill was struck with the idea of developing an entirely new software – one that wasn’t just an Excel spreadsheet – that employer benefits agents could bring along to renewals and sales calls to more efficiently outline plan options and costs almost instantly by manipulating the hundreds of variables that go into formulating a complex consumer-driven health insurance plan. Along with Servant Insurance managing partners Mark Priestaf and Wayne Weese and computer programmer Ryan Hatch, the partnership worked 18 months to develop Dynamic Benefit Systems, a revolutionary software that models and delivers unique consumer-driven health plan designs. The partners spun off a new company, monikered after its software as Dynamic Benefit Systems, of

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COVER STORY which Morrill serves as president and co-founder. The software launched in April 2010 to a market of insurance benefit specialists hungry for a more efficient solution for writing more group health plan policies. In the short time since the software was released, Morrill was recognized with a 2010 Innovator Award from CDHC (Consumer Driven Health Care) Solutions, a trade publication for health and benefits management professionals. While the software is designed to be used by health care benefits brokers, the DBS group is finding interest in its product from larger employers and even health care purchasing cooperatives. In fact, Morrill believes its capabilities are robust enough to market to third-party benefits administrators or even to insurance carriers themselves. “It’s much more than a premium calculator,” Morrill said. “Ideally a carrier could use this to deliver its renewals.” Since the unique intellectual property behind the software is its high-powered math engine and other applications which connect the user to its real-time plan design magic, the Dynamic Benefit Systems partners have several patents filed or pending. The group is also looking to trademark certain terminology associated with the new and more robust capabilities of its product. The hours and expense of working with attorneys to protect these critical features wasn’t completely unexpected, Morrill acknowledged, but has amounted to more than what was originally projected. Additional challenges involved being flexible enough to

I went into the program thinking I’d get a business plan. I got so much more than that.

Sandy Martin President green 3

adapt the software to accommodate different nuances of health plan design that tend to be more prominent in other areas of the country. Morrill and his partners have primarily sold group health care insurance in Wisconsin, so the initial software configuration was based upon plan design as they were familiar with it. As the Dynamic Benefit Systems team began to market its product to agencies on either coast, they quickly learned modifications would be required to meet the varying guidelines imposed by insurance commissioners from state to state. The DBS group also knew the best way to reach their market was to allow potential customers to try before they buy. But even the trial version requires some training from Morrill and the DBS team in order to use optimally. That takes additional time. And money. PROFILE Product: What it is: Inventor: Web site:

Braid Pik tool to help unravel braided or woven hair easier and quicker and with less damage to hair Lillian Stricklen www.braidpik.com

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COVER STORY “You have to invest some up-front cost in training people to use the free trial version,” Morrill said. The goal, Morrill said, is that the software will help the entire consumerdriven health care model take off like wildfire with employer groups across the country. And when that happens, Dynamic Benefit Systems will be there making it simpler for everyone.

Getting out of a snarl For those who braid their hair regularly and often, they know that when they make the decision to change the style of their hair, unraveling those braids and weaves can take several hours, and even the better part of an entire day. About 12 years ago, Lillian Stricklen had sought out faster ways of removing the braids from her friends’ hair without drying out, tangling or pulling the hair. She’d tried every possible product she could find on the market, and even tried home remedies such as a fork or a ballpoint pen. Nothing worked as well as she hoped.

A former nail technician herself with an interest in working with hair, Stricklen came up with an idea for a braid pik that could be used by hair stylists and consumers alike. After developing some rough concept sketches in 2004, Stricklen invested her own money to pursue a patent and hire an engineer to provide professional design to her rough sketches. After getting involved with the Wisconsin Inventors network, Stricklen would also find the Fox Valley Fab Lab and Herb Goetz for assistance developing the initial prototype and modifying it into an affordable, functional and marketable tool. Now that Stricklen has developed her first workable Braid Piks, she’s nearing the reality of going to market. The Braid Pik works about five to seven times faster than traditional ways of removing braids. Stricklen said the product could be a real boon to professional hair stylists, who charge clients not only for braiding their hair, but also if they have to unravel the braids as well. “If they use this tool, they can turn their chairs around faster and make

Submitted photo

The Braid Pik developed by Lillian Stricklen more money,” Stricklen said. For its ease of use and affordability, the Braid Pik received the People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs Conference. The Braid Pik isn’t quite ready for the market, but that’s Stricklen’s next step. She plans to have a line of Braid Piks manufactured in the near future to prepare for the retail market and sell through her company’s Web site. Stricklen said the most uplifting part of her invention journey has been connecting with other inventors and invention experts. “It’s all about getting with the right people,” she said. She readily admits she would not have the Braid Pik to the stage where it is if not for the help and guidance of that network.

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 23


NETWORKING

Networking with a higher purpose New North’s T.H.R.I.V.E. chapters foster business people helping other business people Story by Cheryl Hentz

On the Web Looking to THRIVE

Information about the four northeast Wisconsin chapters of THRIVE can be obtained through the group’s Web site at www.thivelunch.com. Event dates and locations are also shared through Evites, a Linked In group and other social media sites.

24 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

We’ve all experienced something like this: We hear about a local restaurant closing its doors and yet, in many cases we’ve never dined there, or worse yet in some instances, we’ve never even heard of it. That’s exactly what often happened to Sarah A. Schneider, business development specialist with Schenck Business Solutions in Appleton. As she’d learn that another locally-owned restaurant was closing, she’d always feel a little guilty that she’d never been there and, because of that, believed she was – at least in part – a reason for its failure. “So I gathered four friends together who I knew were very well networked and bounced the idea off them that we would pick a new, locally-owned restaurant every week on the same day, and we would go there for lunch and invite as many people as we knew who could come, in the spirit of supporting the local business owner,” she said. And thus, in March 2007, was born T.H.R.I.V.E. – an acronym for “Together Helping Restaurants Improve Valuable Exposure.” THRIVE’s mission is simply to “help locally-owned businesses in Wisconsin Thrive.” It’s been a win-win for both the business professionals meeting each week and for the restaurants because when you have a group of business people meeting together and networking, business gets done; while at the same time the restaurants benefit from hosting the luncheons through an increase of sales and free advertising from the increased exposure. www.newnorthb2b.com


NETWORKING “It was never intended to be about us. It was always intended to be about the (restaurant) owner,” said Schneider. “But besides the business being helped, there was an additional benefit being gained through the networking that occurred as a result of everyone showing up to help the business succeed.”

LEVEL THE PLAYING FIELD

It really has sort of taken on a personality of its own. People tell people, and whenever you have a good thing that doesn’t have any strings attached to it, it catches on.

Sarah Schneider, business development specialist, Schenck Business Solutions in Appleton and founder of THRIVE

Building a book of business New business can develop as a result of THRIVE gatherings, said Jim Marks, owner of Fox Cities Sign in Appleton. “I have met a lot of new people and I have gotten new business off these people I have met,” said Marks. “In fact, I have gotten three really good customers this past year alone just from people coming to a THRIVE lunch and passing their cards around.” Clint Compton, business development manager for Budget Blinds, has also attained a number of new clients, either directly or indirectly, through THRIVE networking. And while he said it’s great to see people you know as well as meet new business professionals and make those connections, he enjoys having the opportunity to experience restaurants he probably never would have thought of going to otherwise. “In a lot of cases you’ve maybe never heard of them, or they’re at the other end of town, or like so many people, you may just be stuck in a routine,” he said. “You know, typically, once someone starts going to a few places, those are the ones they keep going back to. But this gives you a chance to break out of that habit.” In addition to some of the New North’s “best kept secrets” being supported by local business professionals and the networking occurring among lunch attendees, the THRIVE concept itself is now thriving. Not only are there more people inquiring about and showing up at many of the weekly lunches, but since the inception of the Appleton group nearly four years ago, THRIVE chapters have also started in Oshkosh, Green Bay/De Pere, Fond du Lac and Wausau. Business communities in other states are also finding them through social media and contacting Schneider for information on how to start similar networks in their neighborhoods.

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L 6


NETWORKING

Submitted photos

Above, recent THRIVE event at Bazil’s in Downtown Appleton, and at right, another event at Wild Truffle in Appleton.

26 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Laid back approach

Branching out

Its very “structure,” if you will, is believed to be a big reason for its success. THRIVE events have no formal program and remain simple so that participants can come and go as they please. Nor are there any formal membership or attendance requirements. You don’t even need an invitation to attend and no attendees need to make a speech. They just hand out business cards to others as they see fit. There are no dues or membership fees to “join,” or other hidden strings. There are no expectations and the organization doesn’t have staff, formal bylaws, exclusivity clauses, obligations or a formal board of directors. All one has to do is show up for lunch and support the restaurant. And if an attendee can’t stay long, they might order something to go and visit with others while their meal is prepared. The only expense is the cost of a meal, said Schneider. “Some people just show up for the networking, and that’s great too,” she said. There’s no hard requirement for the restaurants either. No special menu is required as the group orders off the menu, nor do they have to rearrange tables to accommodate a large group. The restaurant just has to be able to accommodate perhaps as many as 45 people trickling in between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. for lunch, seating them at tables close to one another, and providing individual checks for each person.

Rick Steeber, the member development associate with the De Pere Area Chamber of Commerce, attended some of the Fox Cities chapter lunches, but couldn’t always make the event. So he decided to help start a chapter in Green Bay and De Pere. That way, too, he thought, their group could give the same kind of exposure to area restaurants that weren’t perhaps as well known. “It’s more of a relationship-building networking kind of thing than anything else. It’s not like a BNI or chamber group. I’m not putting those down, but they do require certain things, which we don’t in THRIVE,” he said. “We just meet with people we know and many we don’t know, have lunch, and chat with each other. It’s an easier way to meet people and kind of build up a little rapport without having to listen to speeches and so forth at every meeting or whatever.” Krista Williams, a relocation consultant for Schroeder Moving Systems, Inc. in Appleton and an organizer of the Fond du Lac chapter of THRIVE agreed, indicating it’s not just about connecting with each other, but helping others connect with each other, too. “It’s real common for a business owner to come to THRIVE and say ‘Hey, I’m having an issue with such and such,’ or ‘Do you guys know how to handle such and such,’ whatever it may be, and this gives them a place to bounce ideas off

www.newnorthb2b.com


NETWORKING people,” Williams said. “And we either try to give them a solution or give them a connection in the community who can maybe help them.” Schneider hopes THRIVE serves as that kind of resource for the restaurants, too. “I’d like to think that the restaurant owners themselves would look to us as a resource for their own business needs because of our support of them,” she said, adding that the development of new relationships and opportunities to con-

I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m helping the community, which impacts me directly because the more my community thrives, the more I thrive.

Amy Dunbar, accounts manager, Airfire Mobile in Little Chute and one of the organizers of the Green Bay/De Pere chapter of THRIVE

nect with people is important. “And that kind of awareness, that kind of exposure and visibility is, I think, invaluable to our respective employers.” Amy Dunbar, accounts manager for Little Chute-based Airfire Mobile and one of the organizers of the Green Bay/De Pere chapter, acknowledged she isn’t sure her business itself has grown yet as a result of her involvement in THRIVE, but is excited to be a part of the organization. “I have the satisfaction of knowing that I’m helping the community, which impacts me directly because the more my community thrives, the more I thrive,” she said. Information regarding when and where each chapter meets can be found online at www.thrivelunch.com. Additional promotion of THRIVE events is shared through Evites, Linked In and other social media sites, as well as by word of mouth. “It really has sort of taken on a personality of its own,” Schneider said. “People tell people, and whenever you have a good thing that doesn’t have any strings attached to it, it catches on.” 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 cheryl.hentz@gmail.com.

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NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 27


WORKFORCE

Stimulus package grant aimed at creating jobs in northeast Wisconsin by helping apprenticeship training Story by Lee Reinsch It’s been said that the wheels of the government churn slowly. One might even wonder if these wheels were powered by burrows, or perhaps mournful, blue-clad donkeys, like Winnie-the-Pooh’s friend, Eeyore. But once they’re off and rolling, the federal government’s SAGE grants will be worth the wait, assures the state Department of Workforce Development. SAGE stands for Sector Alliance for the Green Economy. It’s a three-year grant funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, better known as the stimulus package of 2009. Wisconsin’s share of the grant involves $6 million from ARRA earmarked to make many apprenticeable trades more environmentally friendly – or sustainable – to the green crowd. An estimated 270 apprentices and journey workers in Wisconsin are expected to receive green training once the program rolls out later this year, according to Steve Roberts, Department of Workforce Development program manager for SAGE. Of the $6 million, the New North region will be allocated $558,000 to green up its apprenticeship programs and existing trades.

Moving forward Though the grant money was announced more than a year ago, disbursement of funds is still in the planning stages. Getting things rolling involves two parts, Roberts said. 1. Pinpointing: “We will be identifying and addressing labor force needs, specific to green jobs,” said Department of Workforce Development Communications Director John Dipko. The SAGE grant will create opportunities for renewable energy, green manufacturing, smart grid utility technology, and other areas, Dipko said. Roberts said they have identified over a dozen apprenticeable trades that are being looked at for greening up. State officials are now looking at exactly who needs what and how to go about greening things up. Designees in different sections in the state – called GROW regions, or Growing Regional Opportunities in Wisconsin – will partner with businesses, educators and other stakeholders in their areas “to identify and address labor force need,” Roberts said. One of those needs was for a wastewater treatment operator apprenticeship program. It’s new for Wisconsin. Although it’s long been an apprenticeable trade in states like Minnesota, wastewater treatment operation is new to the apprenticeship system in Wisconsin. One focus of the wastewater program will be on reusing gray28 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

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WORKFORCE water, according to Bill Berge, associate dean of the apprenticeship program for Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton. “Graywater is water that has been used for things such as washing or showering and can be used again for tasks such as flushing toilets or watering gardens,” Berge said. “There’s potable and nonpotable water, and what is happening is they are going to open up more (uses) for graywater and how to use graywater.” Some people and businesses are already reusing gray water - collecting rain water in rain barrels, for example, or hooking up special sinks connected to toilets or toilet-top sinks, and other types of systems, jury-rigged or otherwise, that allow bath and shower water to be use for irrigation. But it’s definitely not in the mainstream yet. Once SAGE teams are implemented, industry and businesses can identify other occupations to the GROW region SAGE teams that could benefit from being integrated into Wisconsin’s apprenticeship program, Dipko said. The first program to be squared away will be the construction electrician apprenticeship program, which should be ready by April, according to both Dipko and Roberts. Apprenticeships as a whole are administered through the Wisconsin Technical College System and sponsored individually by employers. A student enrolling in an apprenticeship program must be sponsored by an employer.

Greening the workforce The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development has identified more than a dozen apprenticeable trades that could be eligible to receive Sector Alliance for the Green Economy grants through the 2009 stimulus package. They include: • Construction electrician • Electric line worker • Electric metering technician • Energy auditor apprenticeship • Heat & frost apprenticeship • Ironworker • Painter & decorator • Plumber • Roofer & waterproofer sheet metal worker • Steamfitter • Substation electrician • Wastewater treatment plant operator • Weatherization installer • Glazier (pending Department of Labor approval)

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 29


WORKFORCE 2. Updating what’s taught: Another facet involves updating the current apprenticeship curriculum, Roberts said. That will come as a relief to Berge, who said oftentimes the people who excel at their trade are not trained in curriculum development. “I think it’s going to take a collaboration. You need to bring people from the industry and instructors collectively together,” Berge said. “I really believe you get a much better product with collaboration than if you get one person to write in a bubble.” That’s what the state is planning, said Dipko and Roberts.

Of the $6 million, the New North region will be allocated $558,000 to green up its apprenticeship programs and existing trades. The SAGE grants will provide for updated curriculum and in some cases, equipment that will help green a trade. For example, there’s the $20,000 virtual paint booth that virtually trains prospective painters to paint, in a computerized booth. This contraption contributes to the green effort by not wasting paint, said Roberts. It also centralizes training, he said. “Apprentices can be trained in painting and sand blasting the sprayers help conserve paint and at the same time reduce

30 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

possible exposure to fumes and chemicals,” Dipko said. Another example is software for the heat and frost trade that detects where pipes are leaking heat. “Instead of just wrapping pipes, the nationwide trade organization has energy-appraisal software to analyze which pipes are leaking and how much insulation is required to make it more efficient,” Roberts said. “We’re identifying this via analysis before we go wrap pipes.”

Number of apprentices down Enrollments for apprenticeships have dropped significantly in the last decade. In 2000, the Wisconsin Technical College System tallied 4,561 students enrolled in apprenticeship programs. Ten years later, in 2010, that number plunged more than 50 percent to 1,957 students in apprenticeship programs. Berge said that’s related to the state’s business economy. “It’s employer driven,” he said. “The employer has to hire the apprentice, and we have fewer and fewer employers who are hiring apprenticeships.” Berge believes, as do others involved in SAGE, that these green program grants will help grow enrollment in apprenticeship programs. An alumna of Ripon College, Lee Reinsch is a freelance writer based in Green Bay.

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GUEST COMMENTARY

Entrepreneurial Distraction Disorder EDD – It’s a gift that can bring great value to an organization

Steve Van Remortel President SM Advisors Inc., Green Bay

Many of the most successful entrepreneurs with whom I work often admit one of their greatest weaknesses is their lack of attention span: their inability to stay focused on any one topic for longer than 10 minutes. Their boards, teammates, subordinates, and even their loved ones get frustrated with this lack of focus. Most of these entrepreneurs and their teams view this as a weakness. Within my firm, it’s jokingly referred to as Entrepreneurial Distraction Disorder, or EDD. What we have learned is that when managed properly, EDD can be an incredible gift that brings significant value to an organization. An entrepreneur’s active mind is what gives him or her the ability to generate the ideas that create and build businesses. Entrepreneurs generate the ideas that employ millions of people across our great country. They are the dreamers and the visionaries. They see the future while others are focused on today. You might say that entrepreneurs are in many ways, geniuses. Without entrepreneurs, many of the products and services we rely on today would not exist. If you are an entrepreneur or if you work with one who shows signs of EDD, you can follow these easy steps to take advantage of this God-given talent. Put EDD into action for your company! • Understanding yourself is the first and most important step. Try taking a behavioral assessment to clearly understand your strengths and behavioral style. At SM Advisors, we have conducted extensive research on all the behavioral assessments available in the marketplace and selected the tools we feel are most applicable and bring the greatest value in the business setting. • Have open, candid discussion about EDD with those around you. Identify and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of EDD and your style. Implement techniques to manage it together. For example, those who exhibit EDD usually jump from one topic to another without closure. When this happens, be the person that asks “what are we going to do about it” after each topic. Make it your priority to bring closure to one subject before the discussion moves on to the next topic. • Build a team around yourself that will complement your strengths, vision and ideas. Most successful entrepreneurs have execution experts around them who are good at han-

dling the details behind that “Big Idea.” The execution expert has the ability to sort out which ideas are legitimate and which ones are long shots. • Capture your visionary ideas on paper and continue to work on them until the vision is clear. Develop a business plan around each legitimate idea to make it a business reality. • Create decision filters for new ideas to test their feasibility. For example, if your big idea is a new product, ask the question: “Is there another product in the market like it?” • Do not attach new business ideas to current companies. I believe entrepreneurs make a mistake when they try to start a new company within their “cash cow,” or the company performing at a high level. I often see entrepreneurs destroy their cash cow companies when they try to do this. Be sure to set up a new company with separate leadership for accountability and financial purposes. Unfortunately, when I work with organizations I often see employees and team members who consider EDD a weakness. However, at SM Advisors we have learned from implementing these steps in numerous organizations that EDD is a unique and powerful gift when managed properly. It’s important to remember you can’t manage something you don’t understand. Once you identify and understand EDD, you can use it to your advantage. If you think you have EDD, put a plan in place to take advantage of this gift. Use this column as an opener to talk to your colleagues. If you work with someone who has EDD characteristics, share this column to get the conversation started. Take this opportunity to turn what is usually viewed as a weakness into a strength for your organization. Remember, Those Who Plan – Profit! Steve Van Remortel is a consultant, speaker, certified behavioral analyst and president of SM Advisors Inc., a Green Bay-based strategic planning and talent management consulting firm. He is the recipient of the 2010 Business Person of the Year Award from the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, and will present “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream” during the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Marketplace of Ideas on Feb. 15 at The Darboy Club in Appleton. Contact him at stevevr@smadvisors.com or go to www. stopsellingvanillaicecream.com. NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 31


P R O F I L E

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE

Small Business

PROFILE

Creating comfort for customers

Sun Comfort is driven to build value in a niche construction market during a tight economy

32 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Story by John R. Ingrisano

According to Malcolm Forbes, “If you don’t drive your business, you’ll be driven out of it.” People who know Bernie Bos, founder, president and relentless driving force of Sun Comfort, Inc. in Neenah, also know there is little likelihood he will be driven out of business anytime soon. Starting his multi-season room construction business in early 2008, right when the construction and housing bubbles were starting to burst, Bernie has shown relentless determination, a principle-based value system, clear vision, and quality advisors can take a business from start-up to seven figures in just three years. Starting with a total of five employees three years ago, Sun Comfort grossed $750,000 in sales its first year in business. “Now we have 20 employees and approached $1.75 million in 2010,” Bernie explained in an interview with New North B2B magazine. The company also opened a second location in 2010 in Sun Prairie, just outside of Madison. Bernie points out that one of the advantages that make Sun Comfort special is it

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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE sells and builds its own sunrooms. Many other companies sell the project and then subcontract the construction. Keeping everything under one roof “makes us fairly unique,” he said. “We have control over the entire process from sale to completion. This cuts down on problems.” How do you build a multi-million dollar business in three years? You might say Bernie was an overnight success, but it took the 61-year-old businessman 50 years to get there. “I started in construction when I was eleven years old, working with my father,” he said, adding that he also spent some time handling heavy construction equipment, as well as selling cars. This helped him acquire the skills to both sell his sunrooms and build them. The combination has worked well. Sun Comfort is a dealer for Sunspace, a Canadian company with more than 250 U.S. affiliated dealers. In 2010, Bernie’s Sun Comfort became their No. 1 U.S. dealer. “This business has grown past my expectations. I give a lot of credit for this to my employees and my wife, Sharon.”

Planning is crucial Determination is also a major part of the mix. Bernie readily admits he is driven. “I am very intentional about what I do. I spend a great deal of time working on a plan and budgeting. I believe, like (Coach Vince) Lombardi said, if you do not have a plan, you have a plan for failure. “Every year we sit down and put together a plan and go over it with my manufacturer (Sunspace). I have a five-year plan and adjust it as we go along.” The marketing plan is simple in design, built around the 22 home shows at which they set up display booths each year. “We obtain about three-quarters of what we sell from home shows,” he said. “Our Web site is probably responsible for another 15 percent, and then TV ads make up the final 10 percent, though it can be hard to measure since the TV ads generally drive prospective customers to the Web site.”

A team of quality advisors Just as important to Bernie’s drive and determination is his reputation for seeking the advice of qualified financial and business professionals. “One thing I’ve been grateful for all along,” he stated, “is having a support team of people that are willing to challenge me and make sure that whatever I am setting up will pass the acid test, that it’s for real. “It has been an almost unbelievable ride,” he said, and then added, “I attribute that to the people around me. I sit down with my good advisors. They keep me very human.” He constantly seeks input and runs ideas past qualified people. “I think I’ve got one of the best teams going. However,” he points out, “when I do something, the decision is mine, but I listen to them. Having people there that are willing to make me justify and prove that what I want is right is crucial.” One of those advisors is Gary Vaughan, owner of Guident Business Solutions in Appleton, who has assisted Bernie with writing operations budgets and implementing those budgets over the past few years. “I give Bernie a lot of credit,” explained Vaughan. “Even with his years of experience, he understands he doesn’t know everything there is to know about running a business. “He has identified his strengths and recognizes his risks as a business owner,” added Vaughan. “More importantly, he has actively sought out qualified advisors to help him achieve his goals at Sun Comfort. I am privileged to be one of those advisors. One of the guiding principles we work with is that every decision in the business has a financial consequence, either positive or negative.” Bernie said his most important advisor is his partner and wife, Sharon. “We sit down almost daily to see where we are and where we are going.” How do husband and wife handle working together? “We established from the beginning that there can be only one boss,” Bernie said. “I listen to her, but when a decision has to be made, I make it. When I make bad ones, she reminds me.

However much time you believe it will take, double it. However much you believe it will cost, triple it.

Bernie Bos, president and owner, Sun Comfort in Neenah

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 33


SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE Working together as a couple Bernie Bos’ wife and business partner is Sharon Bos, an RN and outpatient surgical nurse at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. She is also Sun Comfort’s vice president and treasurer, who

logs between 20 and 30 hours a week doing the bookkeeping and administration. According to Bernie, it is a special relationship. Sharon is his wife, friend, business partner and advisor.

“My biggest joy is coming in from being out in the field and seeing my wife’s smiling face. I love it. Business eats up 80 percent of my life. Being able to work with her … we have very good communication.”

When I make good ones, she compliments me. In that respect, we complement each other.”

More than just money Still, Bernie is not just a hard-driving, money-oriented businessman. Far from it. “I never set out to become rich,” he explained. “Just comfortable. I’m a fairly religious individual. My pastor says everything belongs to God; we’re just stewards. I believe that everything I have belongs to Him. I count my blessings every day.” He also admits to being challenged by many of the day-to-day struggles that go with running a business. When asked about the biggest challenge of running a business, Bernie doesn’t hesitate: “Personnel. A lot of folks want a paycheck, but don’t understand they have to earn it. If I had one big heartache, it is letting go people who are nice but not doing their jobs. That’s the toughest part of my job.” The best part about being in business? That question also gets a quick response: “Dealing with the public. I enjoy serving my customers and fulfilling a need.” One of his proudest days as a business owner was “when we stood up and received the award for being the largest (Sunspace) dealer in the U.S. It was great to get recognition for a job well done. Sunspace has approximately 250 dealers in the United States and about 400 between the U.S. and Canada.”

What’s next? Sun Comfort has already opened a satellite office in Sun Prairie. “Bigger is better,” he explained, “because it allows me to command more support from my manufacturer.” As part of this, Sun Comfort is looking at adding two additional satelPROFILE Name: Business: Location: Year started: Employees: Web site:

Bernie Bos, co-president Sharon Bos, vice president and treasurer Sun Comfort, Inc., sale and construction of sunrooms and threeseason rooms Neenah January 2008 20 www.suncomfortwi.com

34 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

lite sites, one on the east side of Green Bay. “I plan to be part of the design team for Sunspace,” he added. “That will enable me to better respond to customers’ needs and keep growing my business.”

Final advice Bernie agrees that business owners tend to be worriers. However, he also believes that is not all bad. In fact, it’s a good thing. “I worry about selling a project; then I worry about getting it built. However,” he added candidly, “if you take on the attitude that everything is wonderful and don’t worry, then your days in business are numbered. There are so many things in today’s business market that you need to pay attention to. He also shared a general rule of thumb about business: “However much time you believe it will take, double it. However much you believe it will cost, triple it.”

John Ingrisano is a Wisconsin-based business journalist and marketing strategist who helps clients recognize, maximize and realize their competitive advantages. For more information, contact John at john@thefreestyleentrepreneur.com or call 920.559.3722.

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PROFESSIONALLY SPEAKING

How the tax bill extension may affect you by Reinhart Partners Inc. On December 17, 2010, President Obama signed the Bush Tax bill extension, temporarily extending the 2001 and 2003 federal income tax rate cuts, extending unemployment insurance for 13 months, providing new payroll tax breaks, reinstating the estate tax, and more. The new law will give taxpayers a bit of clarity and an opportunity to plan with relative confidence knowing that the playing field won’t change dramatically for at least two years. How does the extension affect your investments? The top rate on long-term capital gains will remain at 15 percent for the next two years, as will the top rate for qualified dividends – those on certain stocks held longer than 60 days. Things for you to consider now include employing an effective tax-loss harvesting strategy. Sell investments that have lost value to offset current and future-year capital gains. Unlike one-time or occasionalloss sales, a systematic tax-loss harvesting

Greg Pierce

920.230.6850

strategy requires diligent investment tracking and detailed tax accounting. You also may have the opportunity to eliminate taxes on the capital gains you realize from taxable accounts. In 2010, taxpayers in the 10 percent and 15 percent federal income tax brackets can realize long-term capital gains (and qualified dividends) without triggering capital gains taxes. The result: if your taxable income falls into the two lowest tax brackets, selling stocks held longer than a year may be a highly tax-efficient way to generate cash flow. If you’re retired, this strategy may be most advantageous if you have a relatively high proportion of your retirement assets in taxable accounts. Going forward we do know that at least one new tax is already slated to hit the net investment income of upper-income taxpayers in 2013: an additional 3.8 percent Medicare tax, which will affect married couples filing jointly with a modified gross income of more than $250,000. To

begin preparing for this change, you will want to consider maximizing savings in taxadvantaged accounts, such as IRAs and 401(k)s, because withdrawals from them will not be included when determining income or as an addition to your modified adjusted gross income. Talk to your tax advisor about IRA strategies for 2011. If you are a high net-worth investor with high IRA balances, next year may be a tax efficient time to give away some of that money. Greg Pierce, Partner and Financial Advisor at Reinhart Partners Inc., is well known and respected in the investment industry nationwide and is frequently quoted in InvestmentNews magazine and the financial section of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Greg was extensively quoted in a recent article in Forbes Magazine. You can reach Greg at 920-230-6850 or gpierce@reinhartpartnersinc.com.

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

Brown County American Institute for Innovation Excellence Inc., Paul R. Williams, 1678 Cady Lane, De Pere 54115. Project Imaginaire Inc., Amanda Barnett, 259 Beau Rivage Ct., De Pere 54115. Asphalt Seal & Repair of SW Florida LLC, Sheryl McLeod, 2077 Enterprise Dr., De Pere 54115. Miles Amorelli Design LLC, Miles T. Amorelli, 3390 Mid Valley Dr., De Pere 54115. Preferred Dental Services LLC, Richard Thomas Wilde, E517 Bolt Road, Denmark 54208. Essential Chiropractic LLC, Kay Fogeltanz, 2969 Mossy Oak Circle, Green Bay 54311. Packer Heritage Trail Foundation Inc., Clifford A. Christl, 118 S. Washington St., Unit 411B, Green Bay 54301. Carrie Evenson Photography LLC, Stephen Holden, 3787 Grove Road, Green Bay 54311. J&J Cottage Storage LLC, John P. Kiser, 2688 Vissers Court, Green Bay 54313. Stender Farms LLC, Craig Stender, 2353 County Road U, Green Bay 54313. G. Hotchandani, MD LLC, Gope C. Hotchandani, MD, 2771 Ramada Way, Green Bay 54304. Folkman Equipment LLC, Folkman Inc., 2343 Elmwood Road, Green Bay 54313. Sunburst Propane Corp., Elisa E. Barone, 3000 Ridgeview Court, Green Bay 54301. Juan’s Mexican Restaurant LLC, Juan Maldonado, 2436 Glendale Ave., Green Bay 54313. Hoelscher Behavioral and Wellness Consulting LLC, Joseph Hoelscher, 600 Dauphin St., Green Bay 54301. Stencil Dairy Farms LLC, Shelley J. Stencil, 3000 Great Oak Lane, Green Bay 54311. Creative Arts LLC, Kathy A. Vande Velden, 3034 Valley Creek Lane, Green Bay 54311. Valley Advertising LLC, Robert J. Walczyk, Jr., 2826 Mayflower Road, 36 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Green Bay 54311. Perfect Form Book Publishing LLC, Clifford Stuart Pukel, MD, 2824 Timber Lane, Green Bay 54313. Go-To Transport Inc., Teresa Prokash, 3008 Walker Dr., Green Bay 54311. ABA Tech Solutions LLC, Eric J. Lund, 1639 Deckner Ave., Green Bay 54302. Cynde’s Unique Fabric Art LLC, Cynthia Tiesling, 2197 Rasmussen Place, Green Bay 54304. Lakewood Outdoor Products Inc., David A.Walls, 919 Square Terr., Green Bay 54313. Abra Chem-Dry Inc., Bernard R. Bleuel, 1977 Kane Lane, Green Bay 54311. Taco Burrito Mexico of Green Bay LLC, Everardo Ortiz, 218 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay 54301. Empire Sales & Marketing LLC, Jonathan Joseph Korte, 529 S. Jefferson St., Suite 20, Green Bay 54301. Strebel Farms Real Estate LLC, Norman M. Strebel, 4328 Strebel Road, New Franken 54229. Italian Designed Art LLC, Brianna R. Fale, 2411 Wilding Way, Suamico 54173. Fox Valley Candy Buffet LLC, Maria D. Young, 14 Golden Wheat Lane, Wrightstown 54180.

Calumet County Forever Wedding Designs of WI, LLC, Nellorene S. Stark, N530 Robinhood Dr., Sherwood 54169.

Fond du Lac County Millie’s Country Cafe LLC, Mildred Avis Kralovetz, 142 E Main St., Brandon 53919. Badgerland Media Rental LLC, Adam Lemons, N2602 County Road AY, Brownsville 53006. Zimmy’s Woodside Acres LLC, Jeffrey Zimdahl, N2970 Happy Road, Campbellsport 53010. Manos Unidas of Fond du Lac Inc., Manuel Gonzalez, 318 S. Peters Ave., Fond du Lac 54935. Patriot Transportation LLC, Robert Parish, 15 Park Circle, Fond du Lac 54935. Shining Stars Learning Center LLC, Sara M. Oughton, 82A S. Main St., Fond du Lac 54935. Rich’s Auto and Iron Removal LLC, Richard A. Sorensen, 76 N. Butler St., Fond du Lac 54935.

C&J Farms LLC, Jared K. Lisko, W3251 County Road Y, Lomira 53048. Wealth Experts LLC, Eric Seiler, W3745 Sand Hill Lane, Malone 53049. Double Dutch Ranch LLC, Mary L. Vanderloop, N7926 Tower Road, Malone 53049. Don Ramon Restaurants LLC, Tania G. Angel, 600 Buwalda Dr. #7, Waupun 53963. Waupun Volksfest Inc., Steve Joas, 406 Grandview Ave., Waupun 53963.

Green Lake County DJ Wuest Stock LLC, Matthew Chier, 111 South Pearl St., Berlin 54923.

Oconto County B-Smart Budgeting LLC, Tina M. Cleereman, 1752 Roberts Lane, Abrams 54101.

Outagamie County Relylocal Fox Cities LLC, Daniel Russell Brantmeier, W6188 Spencer Road, Appleton 54914. Revolution Healing and Martial Arts LLC, Parnee Paras, 1930 S. Lawe St., Appleton 54915. Your Family Care and Guardianship Services Inc., Melissa Paradeis, 913 W. Oklahoma St., Appleton 54914. Fox Valley Traffic Club Inc., Charles J. Hartzheim, 800 Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. T L Taxi LLC, Stephen L. Schreiter, 2121 E. Glendale Ave., Appleton 54911. Active Living Inc., Ge Lor, 4225 E. Ashbury Dr., Appleton 54913. Wisconsin Motors Sales and Service LLC, Anthony James Mesa, 3825 E. Calumet St., Ste. 400-171, Appleton 54915. Fox Cities Records Services LLC, Rebecca J. Reis, 2215 W. Nordale Dr., Appleton 54914. Maximum Voice Theatre Company, Craig Hawkinson, 611 N. Lynndale Dr., Ste. J, Appleton 54914. Minister’s Home Handyman Service LLC, Robert Donald Ohlson, 5 Diane Lane, Appleton 54915. Affordable Income Tax LLC, Kou Cassidy Lee, 1784 Sanctuary Ct. #2, Appleton 54914. Sustainable Mangement Solutions LLC, Jason E. Geise, 913 N. Fair St., Appleton 54911. SV Dairy Queen Inc., Brian A. Krause,

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WHO’S NEWS 15 Park Place, Suite 500, Appleton 54914. DBT Accounting & Associates PA Inc., Katherine Ann Cole, N9114 Noe Road, Appleton 54915. Yang Tax and Accounting LLC, Poawit Yang, 342 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54911. RMA Architects Inc., Larry Rice, 1726 N. Ballard Road, Appleton 54911. All Weather Heating & Cooling LLC, Jayde William Dimmick, 1018 E. Frances St., Appleton 54911. Fox Cities Swim Academy LLC, Susan Marie Van Ekeren, 8 Sioux Court, Appleton 54911. Nutritional Healing LLC, Kimberly Kay Neher, 1314 W. College Ave., Appleton 54914. Brian Butch Enterprise LLC, Brian Peter Butch, 3421 W. Heritage Ave, Appleton 54914. Collision Repair Centers Inc. and Dreher Collision Center East, Inc., Colleen Dreher, N456 Speel School Road, Appleton 54915. Northstar Dental Group of Sheboygan LLC, Peter D. Hehli, DDS, 5760 Grande Market Dr., Appleton 54913. Reliable Resource Recovery LLC, Steven Scott Rice, 1049 E. Pacific St., Appleton 54911. Council Tree Tax Advisory LLC, Mary Diane Kosloske, 2253 W. Hiawatha Dr., Appleton 54914. Faith Finish Carpentry Inc., Merlin Stuebs, W2655 Maple Ridge Ct., Appleton 54915. Almost Home Cat Rescue Inc., Theresa L. Fischer McCann, N2464 Joan St., Greenville 54942. Monarch Therapeutic Massage LLC, Stacey L. Comparin, N969 Glenview Dr., Greenville 54942. Polar Bear Ice Cream LLC, Daniel Draeger, 241 E. Main St., Hortonville 54944. Rise Up Careers LLC, Kathleen Now, 440 Mystic Dr., Hortonville 54944. TJ’z Towing LLC, Shelley Zierler, 801 Blackwell St., Kaukauna 54130. Heart2Heart Ministry Inc., Michelle Halbach, N9372 State Road 55, Kaukauna 54130. Park Community Charter School Inc., Craig Lahm, 1404 Kenneth Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Action CNC Consulting LLC, Ronald Powell, 516 Wildwood Dr., Kaukauna 54130. BZ Livestock LLC, Kenneth Robert Biese, W886 Greiner Road, Kaukauna 54130. Grand Horizons Kimberly I LLC, Tracie Houa Hang, 820 Schelfhout Lane, Kimberly 54136. E.T.’s Dog Pound LLC, Erica L. Boche, 1601 Maplewood Dr., Little Chute 54140. Techne Design LLC, Justin Friebel, 600 Woodside Dr., Seymour 54165.

Neenah 54956. 1st Rate Roofing & Siding LLC, Therese Marie Flaherty, 525 Wick Ct., Neenah 54956. American Drive Beer and Wine LLC, Charleen Marie Piepiorka, 1525 W. American Dr., Neenah 54956. Fox Cities Funeral & Cremation Services LLC, Richard L. Christl, Ph.D., 5544 State Road 116, Omro 54963. Honey Creek Landscaping and Lawn Maintenance LLC, Jerrod M. Meinen, 1145 Honey Creek Circle, Oshkosh 54904. Creative Benefit Solutions LLC, Jennifer Gregesich, 6520 County Road T, Oshkosh 54904. Kaufmann Electric LLC, Florien David Kaufmann, 2653 Indian Point Road, Oshkosh 54901. Private Wealth Advisers LLC, Robert A. Mathers, 219 Washington Ave., Oshkosh 54901. Baby Bumps & Tiny Tummies LLC, Ryan P. Ames, O.D., 1951 Bowen St., Oshkosh 54901. LC Nail & Spa Inc., Calvin Nguyen, 300 S. Koeller St., Suite C1, Oshkosh 54902.

Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. El Shaddai Christian Fellowship, N158 State Road 55, town of Buchanan. $500,000 for a 9,280-sq. ft. addition to the existing church. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. November 18.

Winnebago County Quik Mart Menasha Inc., Satnam Gill, 1427 Stadler Ct., Menasha 54952. Fox Valley Chop Shop LLC, Emmanuel Martinez, 11 Dakota Grove, Menasha 54952. Details Home Inspection LLC, Mark Poulter, 1044 Gregory St., Neenah 54956. Install MD LLC, Dawn M. Bessette, 916 Bayview Road,

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 37


WHO’S NEWS Dell’s Service Center, 1001 S. Huron Road, Green Bay. $550,000 for a new automotive service garage and office. General contractor is Hyerman Construction of Green Bay. December 9.

St. Elizabeth Hospital Inc., 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton. $892,900 for a 6,370-sq. ft. addition and remodel of the existing cancer center. General contractor is Boldt Construction Co. of Appleton. December 28.

Baycare Aurora Hospital, 2845 Greenbriar Road, Green Bay. $586,000 for alterations to the first floor MRI and preop departments. General contractor is Howard Immel Inc. of Green Bay. December 13.

Bellin Memorial Hospital, 744 S. Webster Ave., Green Bay. $3,000,000 for a remodel of the first and second floors of the outpatient clinic and therapy department. General contractor is Howard Immel Inc. of Green Bay. December 29.

St. Vincent Hospital, 835 S. Van Buren St., Green Bay. $718,000 for alterations to the first floor corridor and a remodel of the chapel entry. General contractor is IEI General Contractors of De Pere. December 14.

New locations

Cherney Micro Biological Services, 1110 S. Huron Road, Green Bay. $2,600,000 for a 23,475-sq. ft. addition to the existing laboratory and office building. December 16.

Vanderloop Shoes Inc. opened a Red Wing Shoe Store at 2815 S. Oneida St. in Green Bay. The telephone number for the store is 920.544.5331.

Green Bay Broadway Development, 400 S. Washington St., Green Bay. $430,000 for an interior renovation of the existing building. General contractor is Smet Construction of De Pere. December 21.

iProcureDirect moved into The Advance Business Center at 2701 Larsen Road in Green Bay. The company provides business products such as promotional products, corporate apparel, business forms, office supplies and print solutions.

Infinity of the Fox Valley, 2950 N. Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute. $1,827,361 for a 22,267-sq. ft. new automotive dealership building. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Neenah. December 23.

Mach IV Engineering & Surveying, LLC moved into new offices at 211 N. Broadway, Suite 114, in Green Bay. The firm had been at the Advance Business Center/business incubator since 2007. The phone number for Mach IV will remain

Better Business Bureau - New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during November 2010

Bayside Electric, Inc., Green Bay CuesAndSticks.com, Kaukauna Drake’s Marine, Omro EuroPharma, Inc., Green Bay Greg Steger Comfort Crafters, Plymouth Grover Electric, Oshkosh Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd., Appleton, Green Bay, Oshkosh, New London Just Kids Dental, Sheboygan Lakeshore Auto Sales, LLC, Clintonville Midwest Real Estate Development Co., Inc., Oshkosh Mr. Rooter of Fond Du Lac County, Oakfield Old 45 Archery, Hortonville R and R Plumbing, LLC, Oshkosh Rich-Line Builders, Inc., Cedar Grove Richard’s School Of The Dance, Oshkosh Schaus Propane Transport, Inc., Luxemburg Schroeder Moving Systems, Inc., Appleton Sharper Image Construction, LLC, Fond du Lac Somerville, Inc., Green Bay Tarmann Installations, Wausaukee

38 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Valley Label Co., Neenah, relocated to 2442 Progress Court from 139 N. Lake St. The new facility is nearly twice as large as its existing building and has space to expand.

BIZ FACTS Wisconsin has a population of 5.6 million people and is within 500 miles of: 38% of all U.S. manufacturing volume 31% of all U.S. manufacturing operations 30% of all U.S. business operations 36% of all U.S. capital investment by industry 33% of all U.S. population 27% of all Canadian manufacturing volume 46% of all Canadian manufacturing operations Source: www.forwardwi.com

www.newnorthb2b.com


WHO’S NEWS 920.569.5765 and its Web site is www.mach-iv.com.

Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of the New North B2B. Floral Plant Growers of Denmark and Rosendale Dairy of Pickett each received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Energy Management. Floral Plant Growers has saved more than 144,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 211,000 therms of natural gas each year since 2008, adding up to $240,000 in annual energy cost savings. Rosendale Dairy has saved more than 3.6 million kWh of electricity and 6,000 therms of natural gas annually, resulting in up to $288,000 in energy savings. Reinhart Partners, Inc. in Oshkosh and Mequon was ranked No. 2 in Investment News magazine’s 2010 Regional RIA Rundown for the Midwest Region and ranked No. 5 in the nation on the magazine’s list of Fast Movers. The RIA Database ranked registered investment advisers based on discretionary assets under management as of Sept. 30.

New hires Appleton-based Ledgeview Partners hired Sarah Wright, Chuck Hoffmann and Steve Reybrock as customer relationship management application consultants and Julinda Prekop and Jim O’Neill as CRM account executives. Amy MacKenzie was hired as the manager of Evergreen at Home in Oshkosh, which provides home care services to older adults in Winnebago County. MacKenzie has experience as an aid and CNA. Neenah-based accounting firm Roberts, Ritschke & Tyczkowski Ltd. hired Cary Myska, CPA as a staff accountant. She has 14 years experience in financial accounting services and background in Quickbooks.

pastry chef for Harmony Café in Green Bay and Appleton. Scheske previously was employed as a warehouse manager with Plexus in Neenah, and has been an operations planning and logistics manager with Fox River Paper Co. and a supply chain manager with Miller Brewing/SAB. Mydlo is also the owner of The Tasteful Cake in De Pere. BrightStar in Appleton hired Peggi Jankowski as a customer service representative. Jankowski organized and facilitated the Fox Valley Senior Resource Network from 2007 to 2010. Dana Thorpe was hired as the executive director of The Building for Kids in Appleton. Thorpe has more than two decades experience in museum work, most recently as the deputy director at the Association of Children’s Museums. She also previously worked as director of exhibits at the John G. Shedd Aquarium in Chicago. ThedaCare Orthopedics Plus in Appleton added Judd Pulley, MD, as a sports medicine physician. Dr. Pulley treats patients with muscular pain or joint injuries, and also conducts sports physicals and screens for concussions. He is board certified in sports medicine and family medicine. The Karma Group in Green Bay hired the following eight employees: Kim Decur, associate account executive; Marcy Ruhanen, executive assistant; Kim Micolichek, media assistant; Amanda Roberts, director of first impressions; Amber Johnvin and Laura Coppus, account coordinators; Troy Foley, application developer; and Desiree May, designer.

Promotions Leonard & Finco Public Relations in Green Bay promoted Melissa Bowman to operations manager and Linda Krout to finance manager. Bowman has been with L&F for four years as an executive assistant. Krout has been handling accounting responsibilities at L&F for seven years. As finance manager, she will also be responsible for financial analysis and forecasting.

ThedaCare Physicians-Neenah West added Jennifer Frank, M.D., as a family practitioner. Before joining ThedaCare, Dr. Frank was a family physician and medical director at UW Health Fox Valley Family Medicine Clinic. She has a special interest in women’s health, hypertension management, and the treatment of female sexual dysfunction. Integrity Insurance in Appleton hired Laura Dedering as a program and association specialist. She previously worked as an association business development specialist at Secura Insurance.

MacKenzie

Frank

Dedering

Hoffman

Jankowski

Thorpe

A-mazing Events of Little Chute hired Patty Hoffman as its marketing and events coordinator. Hoffman previously worked as an account manager, marketing communications coordinator and project manager for a variety of Fox Valley companies. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin hired Joseph Scheske as its distribution operations leader for its Shiner Center in Appleton and Melissa Mydlo as the head

NEW NORTH B2B lFEBRUARY 2011 l 39


WHO’S NEWS Fox Valley Golf Club, Appleton, promoted Steve Nockerts to director of operations. Nockerts joined the club’s staff in 2008 and was promoted to marketing and member relations director in 2009. Associated Banc-Corp, Green Bay, promoted Mark McMullen to vice chairman of Associated Bank N.A. and promoted Timothy J. Lau to executive vice president of wealth management. McMullen has been with Associated’s Wealth Management business for 29 years. Lau joined Associated in 1989. Mitchell J. Musial has been elected a shareholder with Menn Law in Appleton. Musial is a member of the firm’s business practice group where he concentrates on banking/financial institution issues, tax controversy and business law matters.

Individual awards Bob Fischer, executive vice president of facility services for J. F. Ahern Co. in Fond du Lac, was named 2010 Contractor of the Year by the Mechanical Contractors Association of North Central Wisconsin, Inc. The award is given to mechanical contracting professionals who show exemplary leadership and industry involvement. Mid-Day Women’s Alliance presented its 2010 Woman of Distinction Award to Kathy Seifert, owner of Appleton-based Katapult LLC, which provides pro bono mentoring and consulting services to nonprofits. Seifert retired as executive vice president of Kimberly-Clark Corp. in 2004, serves on boards of directors for a variety of local, national and global corporations, and is a co-founder and co-chairperson of New North, Inc. Seifert

Elections/appointments The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau named the following officers for its 2011 board of directors: Cheryl Zaug

Casey, vice president of Country House Resort in Sister Bay, chair; Bob Dove, Best Western Bridgewood Hotel & Conference Center in Neenah, vice chair; Jeff Nooyen, Jeff Nooyen Photography, secretary; and Jay Schumerth, Radisson Paper Valley Hotel and Conference Center in Appleton, treasurer. The Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce Executives Association elected John Casper, president and chief executive officer of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, as its 2011 president of the board of directors. Wisconsin Fox Valley Sheet Metal Contractors Association Inc. elected the following officers for 2011: Rick Bushey, Mechanical Technologies Inc., Green Bay, president; Brad Baumgart, Baumgart Mechanical Inc., Kaukauna, vice president; Roy Jacobsen, Great Lakes Mechanical Inc., Greenville, secretary/treasurer; Brad Hurckman, Hurckman Mechanical Inc., Green Bay, board member; and Carven Blanck, Muza Sheet Metal Company, Oshkosh, board member. Tom Doney, CEO and co-founder of Cypress Benefit Administrators in Appleton, was named to the board of directors for the Society of Professional Benefit Administrators.

Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to send an announcement to: New North B2B, Attn: Who’s News, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903. For more events, log on to www.thenewnorthevents.com. February 2 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Fond du Lac Police Department, 126 N. Main St. in Fond du Lac. Cost is $2 to attend. For more information or to register, contact the AC at 920.921.9500 or go online to www.fdlac.com.

Pulley

Decur

Ruhanen

Micolichek

Roberts

Johnvin

Coppus

Foley

May

Bowman

Krout

Musial

40 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

www.newnorthb2b.com


BUSINESS CALENDAR February 8 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, email bruce@oshkoshchamber.com or call 920.303.2265.

in Appleton. Speakers include author Al Lautenslager presenting “Guerrilla Marketing Meets Social Media” and Steve Van Remortel presenting “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream.” For more information about booth space or about attending this event, call 920.766.1616 or go online to www.heartofthevalleychamber.com.

February 10 6th Annual Economic Outlook Breakfast, presented by the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:15 to 9 a.m. at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. Main St. in Oshkosh. Economist Brian Beaulieu will review what happened in 2010 and interpret economic indicators to clarify a vision for the future on a national, regional and local level. Cost is $30 for chamber members or $40 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, contact Kelli at 920.303.2265, ext. 20, email kelli@oshkoshchamber.com, or go online to www.oshkoshchamber.com.

February 16 “Growing Opportunities for Small Business Lending,” a nocost seminar presented by Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp., 8 to 11:45 a.m., at Hilton Garden Inn, 1355 W. 20th Ave. in Oshkosh. Learn about significant legislative changes impacting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 and 7(a) loan programs. This session will also provide guidance on loan underwriting, approval, closing and servicing processes along with reviewing the current appraisal, valuation and environmental considerations. For more information or to register, call 608.819.0390 or email wbdevents@wbd.org.

February 10 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Annual Meeting, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Holiday Inn of Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $30. For more information or to register, contact the AC at 920.921.9500 or go online to www.fdlac.com. February 15 Marketplace of Ideas 2011, a day-long networking event presented by the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, noon to 4 p.m. at The Darboy Club, N9695 County Road N

February 22 “Growing Opportunities for Small Business Lending,” a nocost seminar presented by Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp., 8 to 11:45 a.m., at Ramada Plaza, 2750 Ramada Way in Green Bay. Learn about significant legislative changes impacting the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 and 7(a) loan programs. This session will also provide guidance on loan underwriting, approval, closing and servicing processes along with reviewing the current appraisal, valuation

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 41


BUSINESS CALENDAR and environmental considerations. For more information or to register, call 608.819.0390 or email wbdevents@wbd.org. March 2 Green Bay Business Expo, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at KI Convention Center, 333 Main St. in Green Bay. No cost to attend. For more information or to inquire about booth space, contact Marilyn Heim at members@titletown.org or call 920.593.3419.

March 8 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, email bruce@oshkoshchamber.com or call 920.303.2265.

Advertiser’s Index Accupro Business Solutions www.accuprobusiness.com..................... 27 Aspen Coffee & Tea www.aspencoffee-tea.com. ................................ 30 Bank First National www.bankfirstnational.com.................................. 14 Bouwer Printing and Mailing www.bouwerprintingandmailing.com.......... 20 Breakthrough Solutions www.breakthroughsolutionsllc.net....................... 8 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin www.bxwi.com............................ 12 CitizensFirst Credit Union www.citizensfirst.com . ............................ 41 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. www.dkattorneys.com..................................... 5 Dermatology Associates www.dermwisconsin.com.............................. 2 EP Direct www.ep-directprinting.com. ............................................... 27 Fast Signs www.fastsigns.com......................................................... 8 First Business Bank www.firstbusiness.com. .................................... 46 Flyway Signs & Graphics www.flywaysigns.com............................... 29 Guident Business Solutions www.guidentbusinesssolutions.com............ 20 Heart of the Valley Chamber www.heartofthevalleychamber.com............ 13 Heidel House Resort & Spa www.heidelhouse.com........................... 35

Keller Inc. www.kellerbuilds.com ................................................... 42 Moraine Park Technical College www.morainepark.edu..................... 25 Network Health Plan www.networkhealth.com . ................................ 47 Nsight www.nsighttel.com............................................................. 48 Reinhart Partners www.reinhart-partners.com. ................................... 35 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries www.sadoff.com................................... 10 Steinert Printing Co., Inc. www.steinertprinting.com........................... 14 Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. www.stifel.com . ........................................... 9 Stolley Studio www.stolleystudio.com.............................................. 23 TEC www.tecmidwest.com. .............................................................. 7 Thomas James Real Estate, LLC www.tjsite.com. .......................... 21 TK Commercial Investments, LLC www.loopnet.com....................... 37 Venture Center www.venturecenterwi.biz.......................................... 22 Westside Association www.westsideassociation.com. ......................... 26 Winnebago County Solid Waste Mgmt. www.co.winnebago.wi.us/solid-waste/container-rental-program. ..................... 29

A

FACE of Keller

I am your next door neighbor. I may have worked alongside you for the Fond du Lac Humane Society. I’m a Board Member for the Fond du Lac Economic Development Corporation and an active member of the Fond du Lac Lakeside Evening Kiwanis. As a commercial Regional Manager, I may have built your church, bank, or office building. I am a face of Keller and I live and work in your com-

munity. I am an Employee Owner, Regional Manager, and Design/Build Expert. But don’t just take me at face value, call today and experience for yourself the difference that is Keller, Inc.

Celebrating 50 Years of Construction Excellence See Bob’s work at the following local businesses: PanelTEK, Fond du Lac State Bank, Osborn & Son Trucking, McNeilus Steel, Muthig Industries, Living Water Lutheran Church, Blue Hill Senior Cottages, RE/MAX Millennium Realty, and Shopko Express to name a few.

Bob Regional Manager Co-Owner

42 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

1.800.236.2534 l www.kellerbuilds.com Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau www.newnorthb2b.com


HEALTH CARE

Local health insurance costs still low, but rising fast Wisconsin 2011 Group Health Insurance rates reflect wide cost variations between the regions and metro areas of the state for the same health insurance benefits package. The highest cost metro area, La Crosse, is 30% higher than Madison, the lowest cost metro area. Kenosha, Racine, and Milwaukee are 28% higher and Wausau, Stevens Point, Marshfield, Rhinelander, and Wisconsin Rapids 27% higher than Madison. While the northeast region of the state is not one of the highest cost regions in 2011, it is rapidly catching up to the highest cost regions of Wisconsin. As a consequence, Green Bay, Appleton, and Oshkosh have suffered the highest relative rates of health insurance inflation this decade, while Madison has had the lowest rate of health insurance inflation. The following table indicates metro area cost rankings provided in the 5th annual Wisconsin Health Insurance Cost Rankings, released by Citizens Action Council of Wisconsin in late December.

for Wisconsin Metro Area 2011

Health Insurance Cost Rankings

Single Monthly Premium

Ranking 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Metro Area La Crosse Kenosha Milwaukee, Racine Eau Claire Wausau, Marshfield, Rhinelander Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids Superior Twin Cities Area Green Bay, Appleton, Oshkosh, Sheboygan, Manitowoc Fond du Lac Janesville, Beloit Dubuque Area Madison State Average

SMP2010 $708 $708 $698 $703

SMP2011 $772 $764 $759 $754

$708 $702 $695

$753 $752 $723

$663 $645 $632 $624 $574 $680

$722 $699 $678 $669 $596 $727

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 43


ELECTIONS

Contested races for April 5 general elections * indicates a primary election will be held for this position on Feb. 15 (i) indicates the candidate is an incumbent

County * Brown County Executive Patrick Moynihan Jr., Andy Nicholson, Paul Linzmeyer, Tim Carpenter and Troy Streckenbach. * Outagamie County Executive Charles Kramer, Michael Marsden, Thomas Nelson, Anne Strauch, Michael Thomas and Jack Voight. *Winnebago County Judge – Branch 6 Daniel Bissett, Edmund Jelinski, David Keck and Caroline Carver.

City Councils Appleton Common Council District 1 - Chuck Schmidt vs. Cindy Farrell Hoffman. District 11 - Earl Brooker (i) vs. Teege Mettille. De Pere Common Council * District 1 - Paul Kegel (i), Larry Lueck and Brad Sauer.

Oshkosh Common Council (three seats available) Bob Poeschl (i), Deb Allison-Aasby, Jef Hall, Ron Hardy and Tom Pech Jr. Seymour Common Council Wards 1-2 - Darlene Werner (i) vs. Jeffrey Crooks. Wards 5-6 - Vernon Court (i) vs. Jeff Schroeder. Waupun Common Council District 1 - Julie Nickel and April Cox.

Villages Allouez Board of Trustees (three seats available) Lynn Green (i), Ray Kopish (i), Paul Zeller (i) and Bobbie Fredericks. Ashwaubenon Board of Trustees Wards 3-4 - Gary Paul vs. Scott Swain. Denmark Village President Roger Stein vs. Laurel Towns. Denmark Board of Trustees (three seats available) Steve Giese (i), Helen Mleziva (i), Daniel Dvorak (i) and James Bomski.

Fond du Lac Common Council (three seats available) Richard D. Gudex (i), Mick Burroughs, Rebecca Lunde-Ross and John J. Piper III.

Hobart Board of Trustees (two seats available) David Dillenburg (i), Donna Severson (i) and Robert VanDeHey.

Green Bay * Mayor Jim Schmitt (i), Pat Evans, Chris Wery, Bill Resch, Tom DeWane, David Nichols and Amy Kocha.

* Little Chute Village President Charles Fischer (i), Steven Ransbottom and Mike Vanden Berg.

Kaukauna Common Council District 1 - Tim Couillard vs. Lin Collins. District 4 - Tony Penterman (i) vs. Jerry Hennes. Menasha Common Council District 1 - Joanne Roush (i) vs. Chris Klein. District 3 - Katherine Bauer vs. Stan Sevenich. District 5 - Eric Hendricks (i) vs. Steve Krueger. Neenah Common Council * District 1 - Jim Hemes (i), Tony Belling and Cari Lendrum. Oshkosh Mayor Tony Palmeri vs. Burk Tower.

44 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Little Chute Board of Trustees (three seats available) John Elrick (i), Don Van Deurzen (i), Dale Smith, Bill Peerenboom, Brian Joosten and Bob Berken. North Fond du Lac Board of Trustees (two seats available) Michael Streetar (i), Michael Will, and Jim Scharf. Pulaski Village President Keith Chambers (i) vs. Ronald Kryger. Pulaski Board of Trustees (three seats available) Francis Karchinski (i), Edward Krause (i), Reed A. Woodward (i), Gerald Wojkiewicz and Jim Resick. * Suamico Village President Elizabeth Sheedy (i), Patricia Gaura-Jelen and Carl Frisque.

www.newnorthb2b.com


ELECTIONS Suamico Board of Trustees (three seats available) Mary Steffen (i), Jerry Vandersteen (i), Michelle Eckert, Bryan Fischer, Tom Lund and Steven Nelsen.

School Boards Appleton Board of Education (three seats available) Sharon Fenlon (i), Diane Barkmeier (i), Spencer Rotzel (i) and John Gosling. De Pere Board of Education (two seats available) Jonathon Paque (i), Robert Mathews (i) and Sayuri Pearson Longnecker. Fond du Lac Board of Education (three seats available) Julie Nett (i), Laurie Obrecht (i), Mark Strand (i), Mark Jurgella, Scott Matthew and Jim Reams. Freedom Board of Education (two seats available) Gary Schumacher (i), Allan Tiedt (i) and Thomas Olson. Kaukauna Board of Education Suzanne Gertz vs. John Moore. Kimberly Board of Education (two seats available) Ammie Ebben (i), Montgomery Elmer (i) and challenger Daniel Lenz. Menasha Board of Education (two seats available) Peter DeWolf (i), Benjamin Adams and Joyann Eggert. Neenah Board of Education (three seats available) Peter Kaul (i), Scott Thompson (i), Colleen Zuro-White (i) and Dan Westphal. Oshkosh Board of Education (two seats available) John Lemberger (i), Allison Garner, Derek Kloiber and John Daggett. Pulaski Board of Education Hobart/Oneida seat - Donsia Strong Hill (i) vs. Christine Vandenhouten. Seymour Board of Education Zone 6 seat - Jill Karweick vs. Chris Stedl. Waupun Board of Education (two seats available) Anne Kraintz (i), Jane Derksen-Chene (i), Jason Wierenga and Jim Van Buren.

They’re coming... the 6th Annual Corporate Wellness Awards

Alla Tua

SALUTE!

To nominate an employer, go online to our Web site at www.newnorthb2b.com and download our Alla Tua Salute! form. Our panel of business and healthcare experts will select the most innovative employers for this honor.

Awards will be presented in our May 2011 edition in each of four categories: • Small Company (5 to 50 employees) • Mid-sized Company (51 to 250 employees) • Large Company (251 or more employees) • Start Up Wellness Program (2 years or less) Nominations due by April 7, 2011. Send your nomination by mail to New North B2B, P.O. Box 559, Oshkosh, WI 54903 or email: info@newnorthb2b.com.

Winneconne Board of Education (two seats available) Patrick Seubert (i), Robert Rebman (i) and Mark Kunde. Wrightstown Board of Education (three seats available) Carolyn A. Green (i), Jeanne Wall (i), Dan Clarahan (i), Leslye Moraski Erickson, Jenny Glodowski and Mark Berndt.

NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011 l 45


KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

$3.10 January 16 $3.10 January 9 $3.08 January 2 $3.08 Jan. 13, 2010 $2.62 January 23

Source: New North B2B observations

December

529,000

4.3%

from November

8.2%

from December 2009 December

1.1%

December

$380.9 billion

0.6%

from November

7.9%

from December 2009

December

94.9

0.8%

from November

5.9%

from December 2009 (Manufacturers and trade)

November

$1,422 billion

0.2%

from October

from December 2009

from November 2009

November Oct. Nov. ‘09

Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin

(2007 = 100)

from November

4.8%

6.8%

8.4% 8.4% 9.1% 6.8% 7.1% 9.9%

8.5% 8.2% 9.6% 9.2% 7.1% 7.0%

10.1% 10.2% 10.5% 7.8% 8.0% 11.2%

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

$0.911 December $ 0.911 Jan. ‘10 $0.984 January

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

December November

57.0 56.6

If there are indicators you’d like to see in this space, contact our office at 920.237.0254 or email info@newnorthb2b.com.

Client service shouldn’t be an exception. It should be

EXCEPTIONAL. Every bank wants to provide real client service. But most aren’t set up to make it happen. First Business is different. We intentionally limit ourselves to fewer clients than a comparable bank of our size so that we can offer each client an exceptional level of service. We know your name. More important, we get to know your business. And that’s what makes the difference. Call us today. Member FDIC

(L-R) Mickey Noone, President Will Deppiesse, Vice President First Business Bank - Northeast

www.firstbusiness.com

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

46 l NEW NORTH B2B l FEBRUARY 2011

Fox Cities: 920-734-1800 Oshkosh: 920-231-2400 Green Bay: 920-435-5442

www.newnorthb2b.com


Network Health Plan members now have more options than ever, including access to Affinity Medical Group and ThedaCare Physicians. For a complete list of providers, visit us at networkhealth.com.


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February 2011  

New North B2B regional business magazine

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