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Features 20 COVER STORY ❘ Paper Industry ❘ New products with added value and energy production have helped, but is it enough? 24 YEAR IN REVIEW ❘ The Top Ten of 2010 ❘ We look at the major business stories of last year 30 AGRICULTURE ❘ Going green down on the farm ❘ Region’s ag industry going for organic growth 34 SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE ❘ Nutorious ❘ How they went from incubator start-up to award winner

Departments 4 From the Publisher 5, 38 Professionally Speaking 6 Since We Last Met 7, 42 Passages 12 Build Up Pages 18 Around the Boardroom 19 Pierce Stronglove 40 Who’s News 46 Advertiser Index 47 Business Calendar 48 Guest Commentary 49 Managing Editor’s View 50 Key Statistics

On our cover

B2B cover illustration by Kate Erbach of New North B2B. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011 l 3


How will business remember Doyle?

Despite an often adversarial relationship with business, history will prove Doyle made a mark

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

Wisconsin’s business community is no doubt elated about the prospect of Scott Walker’s governorship and the support of a Republican majority in both chambers of the statehouse. Yet, departing two-term Gov. Jim Doyle isn’t likely to be well remembered by Wisconsin business. Particularly toward the end of his last term, Doyle has been portrayed as a foe of business and a stalwart to economic development. And that’s too bad. Certainly Doyle won’t be inducted into Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Hall of Fame anytime in the near future. But despite an often adversarial relationship with the state’s business community, history will prove Doyle’s policies and programs contributed to Wisconsin’s economic growth, both in recent years and for the future. While campaigning for his first term back in 2002, Doyle offered plans to streamline state economic development efforts, an initiative that occurred on two fronts during his eight years in office. During his first year in office in 2003, Doyle made the Jobs Creation Act a priority, an initiative which streamlined the regulatory processes for businesses looking to expand operations. Under the law passed seven years ago, a firm looking to build a new distribution facility in Wisconsin, for example, is guaranteed to navigate the regulatory and environmental permitting processes in less than 120 days. At the time – and perhaps still now if we remove our biases toward Doyle – it was considered one of the most sweeping regulatory reforms in the state’s history. Secondly, Doyle’s administration dissected the compartmentalized menu of separate and often autonomous economic development programs, throwing them all into one large soup kettle two years ago under the auspices of the Economic Development Tax Credit. The more streamlined program replaces five previous tax credit programs which all had a much more narrow focus. This new program is reportedly simpler for companies and economic development professionals to apply, qualify and ultimately be granted tax credits from the state. Doyle also led the charge to implement single-sales factor tax apportionment, which allowed multi-state corporations to be taxed based solely upon their sales as opposed to the previous three-part taxation formula which factored in the corporation’s sales,

number of employees and property values in Wisconsin. The new method generally means a lower tax burden for many multi-state firms, encouraging their growth and investment in Wisconsin. Perhaps the marquee highlight of Doyle’s contribution to economic development, Act 255 – known as the venture capital tax credit – substantially warmed the waters to venture capital investment in Wisconsin start-up firms. Under the program launched in 2004 and further expanded two years ago, investors in start-up business ventures qualified by the state may be eligible to claim up to a 25 percent income tax credit on their investment. Access to venture capital and angel funding is a characteristic of the state’s economic scorecard that historically ranked at the bottom of the barrel nationally, and Wisconsin has shown improvement since Act 255 took effect. During 2003 when Doyle first took office, Wisconsin boasted an average amount of venture capital per worker of $13.71, far below most neighboring states and well below the national average of $144.50. By 2007, Wisconsin had grown this statistic to $28.04 of venture capital per worker, still a distance below venture capital availability in neighboring states, but definitely a step in a positive direction. More importantly, this increased availability of venture capital has encouraged more deals to occur. From 2005 to 2006, Wisconsin experienced a 54 percent increase in early-stage investment in business, growing from $66.6 million to nearly $103 million, compared with a national average during that same time frame of just 11 percent growth. All told, venture capital investment tax credits have become a necessary tool to help Wisconsin reach Doyle’s goal of capturing 10 percent of the global stem cell research market by 2015. Factoring in other initiatives such as the Manufacturing Investment Tax Credit program to help Wisconsin manufacturers offset the cost of energy, it’s hard to argue Doyle completely failed Wisconsin businesses. And while these initiatives aren’t necessarily a tribute to the creativity and ingenuity of Doyle himself, they do shine a spotlight on the network of advisors he’d come to trust and help guide his economic development strategies at the state level. And that’s ultimately made Wisconsin a better place in which to conduct business.


The EEOC issues final GINA regulations by Davis & Kuelthau, s.c.

Tony Renning


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

Reader Question: What is the status of final regulations pertaining to the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act? Tony Renning: Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) took effect for employers with more than fifteen (15) employees on November 21, 2009. The GINA prohibits employers from using genetic information to make decisions about hiring, firing or promotion. Decisions in regard to compensation, terms, conditions or privileges of employment also cannot be based on genetic information. Furthermore, employers cannot request or require an employee to undergo genetic testing, nor can they purchase genetic information about an employee or their family members. The law incorporates by reference many of the familiar definitions, remedies and procedures from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and other statutes protecting employees from discrimination.

Sean Fitzgerald

Publisher & President

Bob Warde

Managing Editor

Carrie Rule

Sales Manager

Kate Erbach

Creative Director

Contributing writers

Cheryl Hentz John R. Ingrisano

Chief Financial Officer

Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published proposed regulations to implement Title II of the GINA on March 2, 2009 and asked for public comment. On November 9, 2010, the EEOC published the long-awaited final regulations implementing Title II of the GINA. The final regulations will take effect January 8, 2011. The EEOC made some improvements to the proposed regulations in the sections governing employer acquisition of genetic information – including model language the agency recommends all employers include in requests for health care information. The new regulations also include more information on what are acceptable incentives for wellness programs. Employers will need to review and revise the forms they currently use (e.g., employee leaves of absence or accommodation requests under the ADA) to ensure they are not requesting family medical history or other data that could be

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

deemed genetic information. Employers will also need to review the incentives associated with their wellness programs. For counsel as to the GINA and assistance in updating your employee manuals and other internal documents to reflect that genetic bias is prohibited, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is an attorney in the Oshkosh office of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. (219 Washington Avenue). Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.

Green Bay

Fox Cities


Fond du Lac NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011 l 5


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

November 23 Miller Electric Manufacturing Co., Appleton, launched Miller Welding Automation, which will focus on development and manufacturing of automated welding systems in an effort to both grow the business and protect market share. It will operate as a division of Miller Electric and operate out of Carol Stream, Ill. November 23 About 20 percent of the financial institutions in Wisconsin included in the third quarter Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. report posted a net loss. The 51 banks combined losses totaled $196 million so far in 2010. That’s an improvement over a year ago, when 69 of the institutions, or one of every four, had a net loss, for a combined year-to-date loss of $456 million. Associated Bank, Green Bay, had the second-highest profit of $20.7 million.

2004 January 14 – The Fond du Lac Common Council had its first discussion of a proposed $45 million wastewater treatment plant upgrade that may be necessary by 2008 to reduce the amount of ammonia deposited in Lake Winnebago.

2006 January 16 – NEW Capital Fund, LP partners announced the creation of the new $10 million venture capital fund to invest in entrepreneurial endeavors in northeast Wisconsin. The fund includes 75 investors, and plans to invest in 10 to 12 projects within the next five years.

2009 January 14 – The Wisconsin Department of Health Services unveiled a hospital assessment proposal that could allow the state to capture $300 million in additional federal funding each year as well as significantly increase Medicaid reimbursement rates to Wisconsin hospitals.


November 24 Oshkosh Corp., Oshkosh, received a new order, valued at $797 million, for more than 4,700 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks and trailers from the U.S. Army. The order is part of the five-year contract Oshkosh received in late 2009 to manufacture the Army’s medium-duty vehicle fleet. The Army’s order includes 4,150 trucks and 590 trailers with deliveries scheduled to begin in September and run through August 2012. November 24 Federal Reserve officials lowered their forecast for growth in 2011, showing their frustration in a slowly recovering economy. The Fed now says the economy will grow by 3 percent to 3.6 percent, much lower than its June forecast. Fed officials also see little change in the unemployment rate this year, averaging between 9.5 percent and 9.7 percent. The Fed is a bit more optimistic about 2012 as it expects the economy to grow 3.6 percent to 4.5 percent that year, slightly higher than June’s forecast of 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent. In its first projections for 2013, the Fed says it sees the economy growing 3.5 percent to 4.6 percent that year. November 24 The NFL Players Association sent letters to Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt, Gov. Jim Doyle and Gov.-Elect Scott Walker urging them to use their bully pulpits to “encourage” NFL team owners and executives to bargain before the current agreement expires at the end of February. No word from the governors – current or new – on their positions, but Mayor Schmitt indicated he’s staying out of it. The union says each NFL city stands to lose more than $160 million “in lost jobs and revenue in the event of a lockout by NFL owners.” November 29 A Republican-led assault on congressional earmarks in federal legislation could make it difficult to allocate federal money to demolish Green Bay’s former downtown shopping mall. U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen, a Democrat from Appleton, has pushed for $1 million in urban redevelopment money to demolish the building. Kagen’s successor, Republican Reid Ribble, has spoken out against earmarks. Without federal help, city officials would have to find a new way to pay for its downtown redevelopment. November 30 Mitch Miles purchased lottery hotspot Ma & Pa’s on Main Street on Fond du Lac’s Miracle Mile. The Moses family continues to operate Ma & Pa’s Central at 321 Fourth St. in

SINCE WE LAST MET Fond du Lac. Phil Moses, son of Patricia “Ma” and Jim “Pa” Moses, assumed ownership weeks after his parents retired. He’s renamed the business Philly’s on 4th. November 30 The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center, Appleton, reported it gained $2.87 million in net operating revenue for its 2009-10 season, the first gain since its inception in 2002. The increase beat the center’s budget by 9 percent, largely on higher returns on its investments, according to its annual report. The PAC earned $11.8 million in revenue and contributions at $2.78 million.

November 30 Port City Bakery, Green Bay, received $200,000 in tax credits from the Economic Development Tax Credit Program from the state Department of Commerce for an expansion project. Port City Bakery, doing business as Alive and Kickin’ Pizza Crust, will purchase, equip and build an 18,000-sq. ft. addition to its facility in Green Bay to provide space for a freezer and warehouse. The company committed to creating 28 jobs over a three-year period and will invest $10 million in the project. November 30 Plexus Corp., Neenah, is expanding in Europe by leasing about 15,000 square feet of space in the Europa Arkaden

The man who grew Oshkosh Corp. Few people would argue with the fact that Oshkosh Corp. became a much bigger and better company after Robert Bohn began working there. Bohn brought manufacturing process expertise and a global vision to what was a $400 million Midwest company. When he retired at the end of December 2010, Oshkosh Corp. was a global manufacturer and a Fortune 350 company with nearly $10 billion in sales. Bohn joined Oshkosh Corp. in 1992 as group vice president of manufacturing from Johnson Controls, where he was responsible for its European operations. His first innovation was to introduce multiple-product manufacturing on a single production line to Oshkosh Truck before mainstream industry embraced it. He also led Oshkosh Truck Corp. to significantly expand its product portfolio and build leading positions in multiple markets. He also was instrumental in guiding the company through the global recession to record-setting fiscal 2010 sales and earnings levels.

Robert Bohn

Bohn held the position of president of Pierce Manufacturing Inc. from the acquisition by Oshkosh Corp. in September 1996, where he led Pierce’s corporate management team and had overall responsibility for sales and marketing, manufacturing operations, quality, new product development and purchasing. Bohn was named CEO of Oshkosh Truck Corp. in 1997 and chairman in 2000, prior to which he was president and COO. For those on the inside, Bohn will likely be remembered for his hands-on leadership style. When he was first given responsibility for overall manufacturing, he knocked down a wall and rearranged the shop to accommodate his new manufacturing technique of multiple products on one line. One of the first things he did was set up camp on the factory floor so he could develop an intimate knowledge of the company’s processes. With those moves in place, Oshkosh Corp. has been able to reduce the number of hours required to build a vehicle by 40 to 50 percent each, making the company more efficient to the point that it beat out a much more experienced competitor that had been fulfilling government defense contracts for decades. He’s also been willing to jump on the production line when necessary. When the company was facing a deadline to deliver the first trucks under a huge military contract, Bohn grabbed a paint gun and helped finish making one of the trucks. He was also an avid shopper, with Oshkosh Corp. making about 15 acquisitions in 10 years. Starting this year, Oshkosh Corp. has a new hand on the throttle to guide the company. Charles L. Szews became CEO on Jan. 1 serving in a dual role as president and CEO. He has been with the company since 1996. – By Bob Warde


SINCE WE LAST MET building in Darmstadt, Germany. The space will be used for a design center and product development facilities and is expected to be running by March. November 30 Northwestern Mutual Financial Network — The Holter Financial Group, Milwaukee, donated $100,000 to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh’s College of Business for use in providing student professional development programs over five years. The university has named a Holter Financial Group Internship Office, which will offer increased professional development opportunities for business students through internships. December 1 The Fox Cities Convention Center Community Coalition proposed an $18 million to $23 million exhibition hall on an Outagamie County parking lot behind the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. The committee made a number of proposals for the facility, including: 18 communities in the Fox Valley should add a 3 percent hotel room tax to help finance the project; the county should sell its lot on W. Lawrence Street and possibly build a parking ramp at the Justice Center; the City of Appleton committed to preparing the site for construction, as it has in past projects, at a cost of about $5.3 million; and the Paper Valley Hotel would need to operate the facility to reduce costs and minimize the burden on taxpayers.

December 2 The U.S. government agreed to pay $4.5 million as its share of the cleanup costs in the Fox River because the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spread PCBs when it dredged the Green Bay navigational channel and disposed the sediment on Renard Isle. The overall $5.2 million settlement will include $350,000 each to the City of Green Bay and Brown County because they operated landfills where PCB-contaminated sediment was disposed. December 2 “Building a Grad Nation,” a study by America’s Promise Alliance, Civic Enterprises and Johns Hopkins University’s Everyone Graduates Center, found that Wisconsin is just shy of a 90 percent statewide graduation rate and graduated more high school students in 2008 than it did in 2002. Wisconsin is one of 12 states that made substantive gains in graduation rates over the six-year period, and one of eight states that greatly reduced the number of so-called dropout factory high schools. Wisconsin’s graduation rate was 89.6 percent in 2008, up from 84.8 percent in 2002. December 3 The U.S. Labor Department reported the national unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in November, indicating only 39,000 jobs were added by employers in November, a sharp drop from the 172,000 created in October. The weakness was widespread as retailers, factories, construction com-

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SINCE WE LAST MET panies, financial firms and the government all cut jobs. December 3 For the third straight year, Appleton and the Fox Cities maintained the national record for the largest single-day matching donation to The Salvation Army with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans’ Red Kettle Match Day Challenge. The Fox Cities community raised $200,157, which was matched by Thrivent’s donation of $125,000, for a total of $325,157. December 6 The Wisconsin Department of Commerce awarded $334,000 in tax credits for Thilmany LLC to upgrade its manufacturing processes at its Kaukauna and De Pere paper mills through the state’s Jobs Tax Credit program. The company will upgrade its manufacturing capabilities and improve operating efficiencies at both facilities. Thilmany will train 353 employees and is investing $15.4 million in this project. It expects to create 23 additional jobs. December 7 Oshkosh Corp. received a U.S. Army order worth $161 million for the company’s new line of armored, highly maneuverable ambulances that will allow medics to reach previously inaccessible battlefields. Oshkosh will deliver 250 of the mineresistant, armor-protected ambulances starting this spring. December 8 Appleton’s Progressive Converting announced it would merge with Beaver Dam’s Northwoods Paper Converting. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of 2011. December 8 The U.S. Small Business Administration said its business lending guarantee program continued at a strong pace in November, with banks loaning $83.7 million in Wisconsin, compared with $75.1 million in November 2009 and just $22.9 million two years ago in the wake of the financial crisis. Higher loan guarantees and other measures enacted as part of the government’s economic stimulus package have helped spur SBA lending. December 9 Neenah-based Plexus Corp. agreed to buy land on which to construct a factory in the Xiamen Xiangyu Free Trade Zone next to its current facility in China. The new factory will be run by the existing management team and add about 180,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity. Production is expected to begin in the second half of 2012. December 13 The Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance reported school property taxes for this year are up 3.4 percent statewide. The increase is less than last year’s 6.0 percent jump, and is the smallest change since a 0.5 percent decline in 2005-06. The average school tax rate is $9.11 for every $1,000 of full value, up 55 cents from last year’s $8.56. Part of the reason for the higher tax rate is a 3 percent drop in the value of property taxed for school purposes. Of the state’s 425 school districts, a total of 120 – or more than one in five – levied less than their state limit.

December 14 Union employees of Hoffmaster Group, Inc., Oshkosh, rejected a three-year union contract. The company’s offer to USW Local 2-169 included the same health care coverage and insurance costs non-union Hoffmaster employees pay, a signing bonus, wage increases in the second and third years of the contract, higher allowances for safety shoes, glasses and tools, efficiency in meeting employee concerns and a commitment to a safer work environment. December 15 The Green Bay Packers will install new video screens and sound system at Lambeau Field by next season. The team will get $11 million from the Green Bay/Brown County Professional Football Stadium District that approved an 80/20 split on the cost of the project, with the $11 million coming from its capital improvement fund. The Packers estimate the project will cost $13 million to $14 million. The new video screens would be about four times larger than the current video available on scoreboards. December 16 Wisconsin lawmakers officially ended a session to approve 17 separate contracts for state union workers after Senate Majority Leader Sen. Russ Decker (D-Weston) couldn’t

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

AG Excavating Inc., Green Bay CG Services, Oostburg D. Wicker Drywall LLC, Readfield Energy First Homes LLC, Appleton Everclean Cleaning Service, Manitowoc Excel Underground LLC, Appleton Faye’s Pizza LLC, Sheboygan Foundation Supportworks of Wisconsin Inc., Menasha Great Lakes Veterinary Clinic, Neenah Hansen’s Furniture & Appliance, Waupaca K B Wenzel Plastering LLC, Menasha Lauer Business Solutions LLC, Oshkosh Lesley’s Tax Service, Sheboygan Lovin Pets LLC, Green Bay Miracle Method of Northeast Wisconsin, Freedom Muth Mirror Systems LLC, Sheboygan Pfile Homes Inc., Sherwood Randall’s Auto Haus Inc., Menasha Ransom’s Entertainment Services Inc., Fond du Lac Russ Veeser Plumbing & Construction, Green Bay S.R. Wiater Roofing Inc., Appleton Sanimax USA Inc., Green Bay Scotty’s Auto Works Inc., Fond du Lac Steinke Auto Inc., Clintonville Steve Ofenbeck Craftsman, Neenah The Finest Touch Massage, Green Bay Titan Roofing and Siding, Greenville Todd’s Painting, Menasha


SINCE WE LAST MET support any of the deals. The move stunned Decker’s fellow Democrats, who immediately stripped him of his leadership post, but they didn’t have the votes to pass the contracts without him. The assembly had already approved the agreements. December 16 Wisconsin’s unemployment rate for November dropped to a seasonally adjusted 7.6 percent, down from 7.8 percent in October. Without seasonal adjustment, the unemployment rate was 7.1 percent, unchanged from October, and the lowest the state’s jobless rate had been since January 2009. December 16 NEW Capital Fund, a northeast Wisconsin-based venture capital firm based out of Appleton, sold its ownership in RoFlo Compressors to a group of local investors. NEW Capital purchased the Ro-Flo product line from GE Oil & Gas Division’s Oshkosh facility in 2007. Since the purchase, Ro-Flo Compressors had nearly doubled its sales and expanded into a larger facility in Appleton’s Southwest Industrial park. December 17 The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin authorized a 2.5 percent decrease in gas rates and a less than 1 percent increase in electric rates for Wisconsin Public Service Corp. customers in 2011, resulting in an average $1.60 monthly rate decrease overall. Average WPSC monthly natural gas customers should expect a decrease of about $2.20 per month on their gas bill, while the average electric customer can expect an


increase of about 60 cents on their monthly bills. December 17 Austin Straubel International Airport in Green Bay was awarded $500,000 in state Department of Transportation funds toward a $993,141 project to plan and design a new air rescue and fire fighting building. Brown County is contributing the remaining $493,141 toward the project. The new fire station will be more centrally located on the airfield to provide quicker response times to incidents at the airport requiring fire fighting assistance. The planning project is expected to be completed by July. December 17 Wisconsinites paid $64.3 billion in federal, state and local taxes in 2010, an increase of 2.6 percent more than last year, according to a report from Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. The report also found businesses paid 32.6 percent more in taxes than in 2009, primarily due to higher corporate profits combined with 2009 tax hikes. The majority of the $64 billion total went to the federal government (61.8 percent), with much less going to state (23.4 percent) and local (14.8 percent) governments. Taxes claimed 30.4 percent of the state’s total personal income, up from 29.4 percent in recession-wracked 2009, but still below the 10-year average (32.5 percent). State taxes were 7.1 percent of personal income (compared to 7.0 percent in 2009), while local taxes claimed 4.5 percent (compared with 4.3 percent in 2009).

The Tartan Terrors Feburary 25

An Afternoon With Groucho starring Frank Ferrante

March 6

California Guitar Trio March 24


Second City – Fair and Unbalanced April 9

Pinocchio May 7

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C - Indicates a new listing


Build Up Fond du Lac

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 January.

2 - 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac,

C Grande Cheese, an addition to the loading dock area of the existing facility.

3 - 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.

4 - 541 Martin Road, Fond du Lac, Fond du Lac County, an addition and renovation to the existing exposition building at the fairgrounds. Project completion expected in January.

Build Up Oshkosh

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

6 - 1002 N. Main St., Oshkosh, C

Cinder’s Restaurant, a demolition and reconstruction of the existing building. General

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6 7&8 9

C - Indicates a new listing

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

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 hall.

9 - 755 Dempsey Trail, Oshkosh, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, a 17,185-sq. ft. biodigestor energy plant. 10 - 4200 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, Fox Valley Technical College, a 27,216-sq. ft. building to house the Advanced Manufacturing Process Center. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our December issue: None


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. We encourage building owners and contractors to help maintain the high quality of updated information appearing in our Build Up department by submitting information on current construction projects.


C - Indicates a new listing

an addition and interior remodel of the third floor of the existing hospital and a remodel of the women and family department.

- 3000 Spirit Court, Little Chute, owner listed as Rod Van Eperen, a 12,414-sq. ft. new industrial/ warehouse building.

7 - 3300 E. Calumet Ave., Appleton, C

owner listed as Calumet Land Group East LLC, a new multi-tenant commercial building.

8 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton, St. Elizabeth Hospital,

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.

9 - 1108 Province Terrace, Menasha,

2 - 2950 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute,

Bergstrom Infinity, a 18,413-sq. ft. addition to the existing auto dealership.

10 - 1050 Midway Road, Menasha,


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.

- 3131 N. Richmond St., Appleton, C Highland Memorial Park. an addition to an existing mausoleum building.


- 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.


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

Neenah-Menasha Fire Rescue Station, a 7,910-sq. ft. municipal services building. C no owner listed,

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. 14

We’ve changed (sort of). For more than 75 years, you’ve known us as Virchow Krause, one of the country’s strongest accounting and advisory firms. We have simply changed our name to Baker Tilly, cementing our commitment to Baker Tilly International— the world’s 8th largest network of accounting firms—further enhancing our ability to help clients around the globe. Today is a great day. And tomorrow will be even better.

- 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.


- 150 N. Green Bay Road, Neenah, C Bergstrom Chevrolet Buick Cadillac, an 8,680-sq. ft. addition between two existing automotive dealership showrooms and an interior remodel of the current buildings.

16 - 271 River St., Menasha, C

Exopack, a 7,660-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility.

17 - 130 Second St., Neenah, C Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, a 10,897-sq. ft. addition to the first floor of the hospital and remodel of existing patient rooms. 18

- 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.

© 2009 Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP An independent member of Baker Tilly International Baker Tilly refers to Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, an independently owned and managed member of Baker Tilly International.


Connect with us:

Projects completed since our December issue: • Bergstrom Mini, 2986 Victory Lane, town of Grand Chute. • Bennigan’s Grill & Tavern, 133 N. Mall Dr., town of Grand Chute. • Fox Valley Warming Shelter, 1928 W. College Ave., Appleton.




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BUILD UP GREEN BAY ent... m e t i c x e e h Join t



- 12781 Velp Ave., Suamico, Village of Suamico Municipal Center, a new municipal services building. Project completion expected in January.


The Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce presents our Annual day long networking event!

C - Indicates a new listing




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.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 The Wave Bar & Ballroom Appleton, WI 7:30 am - 9 pm

Meet and Mingle with 100’s of potential customers in our Marketplace of Ideas Kick-off breakfast with National Speaker and Author Al Lautenslager who will present “Guerrilla Marketing Meets Social Media.” Interactive Lunch Seminar with Steve Van Remortel, author of “Stop Selling Vanilla Ice Cream,” a strategic process that will help increase sales! Booth Space is available in our Marketplace of Ideas!

Member & Non-member pricing offered for the seminars and expo space. Call 920-766-1616 today.

2 - 517 Dousman St., Green Bay, C Subway Restaurant, a commercial retail building for a sub shop. 3 - 1722 Main St., Green Bay, O’Reilly Auto Parts, a new auto parts store. Project completion expected in January.

4 - 1831 Main St., Green Bay, C

Planet Fitness, a 20,000-sq. ft. fitness center.

5 - 930 Goddard Way, Green Bay, Hansen Frozen Foods, a 6,696-sq. ft. addition to the warehouse and repackaging area. 6 - 3146 Yeager Dr., Green Bay, Yeager Properties, a 75,332-sq. ft. office and warehouse building. Project completion expected in 2011. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

7 - 1110 S. Huron Road, Green Bay, Cherney Microbiological Services, a 15,000sq. ft. addition to the existing laboratory and testing complex. 8 - 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. 9 - 600 Willard Dr., Ashwaubenon, PCM Employees Credit Union, a 12,276-sq. ft. financial institution office. Project completion expected in July.

10 - 803 Pilgrim Way, Ashwaubenon, Hobby Lobby, a new retail store. Project completion expected in January.

11 - 2700 S. Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon, Broadway Automotive, an addition and interior alteration to the existing auto dealership. Project completion expected in February.

12 - 3180 Packerland Dr., Ashwaubenon, Oneida Seven Generation, a 70,000sq. ft. pyrolytic gasification electricity generation plant. 13

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

14 - 2000 Lawrence Dr., De Pere, Encompass Early Education, a new child care center. Project completion expected in January. 15 101 E. Wisconsin Avenue Kaukauna, WI 54130 920.766.1616 Media Sponsor: 16 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011

- 633 Heritage Road, De Pere, Belmark Inc., an addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in February. Projects completed since our December issue: • Piggly Wiggly, 2465 Lineville Road, Howard. • Fox Converting, 200 Packerland Dr., Green Bay. • Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin, 503 Monroe Ave., Green Bay. • New Hope Presbyterian Church, 130 Winchester Way, Green Bay.



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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 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 march 2011




Title: Environmentally Friendly Production of Pulp and Paper Author: Pratima Bajpai Publisher: Wiley (October 2010) Pages: 365 List Price: $99.95

The percent of health care cost increases in the state of Wisconsin this year. Source: National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

Why Buy: This reference for professionals in the pulp and paper industry details how to improve manufacturing processes that not only cut down on the emission of pollutants but also increase productivity and decrease costs. In addition, the book includes a discussion on recent cleaner technologies and their implementation status and benefits in the pulp and paper industry. Covering every aspect of pulping and papermaking essential to the subject of reducing pollution, this is a must-have for paper and bioprocess engineers, environmental engineers, and corporations in the forest products industry. improve your company’s efficiency with technology

Small and medium-sized business customers and suppliers are increasingly savvy, with high expectations for immediate and personalized service and support. Expectations are rising and yet SMBs are also under pressure to do more with the same or fewer resources. The solution: find new ways to optimize operational efficiency in order to improve productivity and reduce costs. Here’s a look at five business challenges SMBs face today:

➊ Providing easy access to information. Delivering

5 ways...

speedy access to information so employees can make solid business decisions is a challenge nearly all SMBs face. Networks that are slow, frequently down, or unsecured don’t allow employees to move quickly. Delivering anywhere, anytime access. SMBs that have to provide employees with anywhere access to information. Without it, mobile and remote workers lose valuable time. An Internet Protocol (IP) network connects remote and mobile workers to a SMB’s critical applications such as customer-relationship management and sales force automation tools, along with e-mail, instant messaging, and other tools. A unified IP network supplies easy access to application data and can support voice and video applications, too. A virtual private network makes remote and mobile access secure. Creating effective business processes with partners. Inefficient operations can prevent an otherwise qualified SMB from doing business with some organizations. For example, some national retailers require their suppliers to follow certain efficiency-enhancing procedures, and SMBs that don’t meet the criteria are out of the running.
A network with top-notch security and reliability is key to enabling SMBs to develop efficient


business processes that meet their partners’ needs. Ensuring regulatory compliance. Government regulations mandating higher levels of customer or patient privacy is another ongoing challenge for companies of all sizes. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, for instance, established standardized methods for the electronic exchange, security and confidentiality of healthcare data. Seven Counties Services, Inc., a Louisville, Kentucky-based nonprofit organization that provides mental-health support services, deployed a secure IP network for integrated voice, video and data communications. Enhancing employee collaboration. Without solid and frequent collaboration among employees, good ideas die and opportunities are missed. The result: valuable workers, frustrated by the operational inefficiencies that result from poor collaboration, may become disheartened and depart for other jobs. An IP network with integrated voice, video, data, and wireless communications delivers interactive calendaring, Web-based videoconferencing, IP telephony, and other tools that foster collaboration.




Crowdsourcing and focus groups

fter 31 years, Harley-Davidson recently ditched its agency-of-record for an unconventional approach to creative marketing development known as “crowdsourcing.” Through this technique, the brains of thousands of HarleyDavidson enthusiasts from around the world will be picked to guide the development of the brand’s marketing. This is folly, the keyword being “development.” One has to question the limitations presented by giving an advertiser’s mature and waning markets such authority over their selling messages. For example (and to avoid stereotyping and avoiding all riders of hog), let’s say the mature H-D audience guided this fine company’s creative to be focused on hula island-centric humor, the traditional roast pig being a major element of continuity. Sounds succulent for reinforcing sales that already happened. But should this sunset audience be leading the fray to engage new would-be riders? Even Doo, my Euro-stylish talking capuchin monkey, thinks not. And though he has yet to ride or eat pork (unless taken in the form of imported prosciutto whipped lightly into his Banana Fatte), he has been known to scoot on occasion – despite Mother Stronglove’s fierce objections and pearl clutching. If emerging targets are incorporated into the creative strategy’s mix, the resulting insight will be more useful. Still, what have we got here but a large-scale free-form focus group? I’ve never been a fan of focus groups, an exception being the riches they hold in brainstorming value. They generate a lot of ideas. But set a group of your fans – monetarily incented or not – loose on the development of your marketing communications, and you’ll probably end up with a pod of feral art directors and writers. (“The background’s a little too teal-ish. Maybe put a picture of the sugar spilling from the new dispenser package, and maybe a little kitty, like this. I don’t know. It just looks neat.”) Also typifying all but the most professionally moderated focus group is the emergence of one or two alphas, whose biased assertions are the persuasive equivalent of an index finger firmly yanking the ring in a bull’s nose. Other focus group members passively agree with them. It’s so easy. Such “findings” are not statistically projectable, and that may be the most important point here. Communication

objectives need to be measurable (that is not news, and it doesn’t necessarily or even probably mean in terms of sales performance). I’m mystified that any purveyor of anything (well, almost anything), could really expect their most passionate and loyal customers to accurately tell them what it’s going to take to get their attention and win them over – let alone what will engage the new and most promising prospects. They’ll freely offer their input, but withhold hidden and blind areas of their individual makeups they can’t or won’t share. Those are the real hot buttons, baby. On its own, the anarchy of crowdsourcing can’t tap into this area. The best agency creatives don’t operate in a vacuum. They get inside the prospect’s head. They shop the market – whatever form it may take. They consider your competitors’ messaging. Psychographically, they soak in your prospects’ culture and attitudes (this is where crowdsourcing could pay out). They’re often a little psycho themselves (I would be an exception to that, of course). They reveal new opportunities for your product. If they do these things well, they’re worth their weight in chrome. If you have the means to test creative performance (awareness, position, retention, preference, etc.) in advance, by all means do so. If it tests well, I don’t care if you got it from an agency, a crowd, a cloud, or a dumpster. If it works, you get a gold star. I repeat: if it tests well. Free or low-cost creative produce results – often because the product itself, its price point, its distribution were all aligned with the prospect. The gnawing question might be “how much better could have our results been if we’d tapped into the power of real creative?” It could have been the perfect storm. 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



Paper profits Innovation keeping industry ahead of the game, but is it enough? The paper industry has taken its lumps over the past decade. With multiple trends hitting demand and unfair trade practices that have made paper from China and Indonesia unfairly less expensive, companies have consolidated, a trend likely to continue, which in turn has led to fewer jobs and some closed mills. In 2000, the peak year for employment in the paper industry, 52,000 people had jobs working in the paper business. By 2010, the number was 32,000, a decrease of about 35 percent, according to Jeff Landin, president of the Wisconsin Paper Council. He cited several factors that created a sort of perfect storm for lower employment in the industry, including: • Overcapacity. “Global competition really played a heavy role in that. We saw a lot of products from Southeast Asia coming into the North American market that were tough to compete with and the industry needed to react and they did. They consolidated and tried to squeeze out some excess capacity, and that meant some mills closing,” Landin said. • Lower demand. “Just think about office settings and how much less paper is used since so much more is done electronically, so we’ve lost a lot of paper use in the workplace. Also, consider some of the other media including advertising, circulars, magazines and others that have declined. Some magazines are getting thinner and thinner and in your Sunday paper, there is still advertising in it, but it’s not as much as before,” he said. • Increased costs. “Our costs have really gone up. Some on labor, but that’s manageable. Just think about energy. The paper industry is very energy dependent and electricity costs have gone up a great deal, as well as material costs including pulp costs,” he said.

The perfect storm “You kind of put all those factors together – increased competition, lower demand and increased cost, and it all came together in one fell swoop. Not just in Wisconsin, but across North America is where we’ve seen significant mill


Story by Bob Warde New North B2B Managing Editor

closures,” Landin said. He cautions people not to predict the demise of the industry, though. “We still do have 32,000 paper industry jobs in Wisconsin, which is a big number no matter how you look at it. We are still the No. 1 paper-producing state in the nation and we have been for more than 50 years and I believe we’ll continue to hold that designation for years to come. It’s difficult to look at what has happened, but people need to recognize that we are still a large and vibrant and, hopefully, becoming a more solidly grounded industry. By that, I mean we’re in a position that we can compete in the years ahead and we won’t be going anywhere,” he said. One of the ways in which the industry is staying competitive is through innovation and creating greater value with its paper products. For Appleton Inc., formerly known as Appleton Papers, innovation and leveraging of technology have become its modus operandi. “Adding value is where Appleton is focused. You can go back to 1907 when the company was founded on the idea of Charles Boyd who believed he could add value to paper by putting coatings on it. That idea of adding value to paper has carried through for more than 100 years,” said Bill Van Den Brandt, manager of corporate communications for Appleton.

Leveraging technology The company made three significant announcements of major partnerships or product innovation in 2010. Two involved what the company called leveraging of core technology into new industries. First, the company introduced a new version of its NCR Paper that will work in all types of equipment from offset printing presses to digital printers and inkjet printers, making the paper much more versatile. Dubbed Superior, the new paper has been reformulated with enhanced ink and toner adhesion to make it perform in new digital printing machines.

COVER STORY Headwinds faced by the paper industry Chiefly a result of lower demand for products, particularly in commodity papers such as coated offset for magazines and newsprint for telephone books and newspapers, the bottom line is that there is lower demand for some types of paper. Here’s why: Less mail is being sent The U.S. Postal Service said mail volume dropped from 202 billion pieces in 2008 to 177 billion pieces a year ago. The postal service is projecting it will process about 165 billion pieces in all of 2010. The recession has hit direct mail hard. Companies aren’t sending as many catalogs, solicitations and letters. Financial reform laws and the financial crisis in general have reduced the number of

solicitation for credit cards. Email and texting continue to dominate as the preferred medium for many, particularly younger generations. Fewer phone books As the general population moves toward cell phones and away from landlines – they’re disconnecting landlines at a rate of 10 percent each year – its use of phone books continues to decline. The Internet is the preferred method of finding a phone number. As a result, regulators in Florida, Pennsylvania and New York have approved Verizon Communication’s plan to stop distributing residential white pages books. The company plans to eventually stop distributing them in all 12 states in which it operates landline service, a move that would

use 17 fewer tons of paper. Yellow pages directories are holding their own, with 550 million of them distributed each year, according to the Yellow Pages Association. Changing magazine industry Though some magazines have suffered a large decline in the number of pages of advertising over the past several years, a handful more magazines were started in 2010 than were shut down. With revenue moving to Web sites and the number of magazine titles and quantity of publications distributed on newsstands continuing to go down, less paper is being used overall.

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“That was really a market innovation because it’s the first paper that runs on all kinds of equipment,” Van Den Brandt said. The company also partnered with Troy Corp., a New Jerseybased company that develops ingredients used by other manufacturers to prevent the degradation of paints, sealants and other products to make them either last longer or perform better. Troy will use Appleton’s microencapsulation process, first developed for use in its carbonless papers back in the 1950s. Appleton has continuously worked to develop new uses for the technology. Its first big partnership came in 2007, when Appleton partnered with Procter & Gamble to encapsulate perfume for P&G’s Downy fabric softener to create a longer-lasting scent. In the case of its work with Troy, the encapsulation process will be used to provide a controlled release of biocides in order to make paint and architectural coatings last longer and provide better protection from the elements and other natural organisms that can make products break down. Not all innovation is driven by business partnerships, as greater manufacturing efficiency and customer demand also play a role.

The industry’s lifeblood “Innovation is the lifeblood of any industry, and paper is no different. Companies need to continually conduct research and development and develop new and better products, not only for themselves, but because consumers are demanding it,” Landin said. Consumer demand was a large part of Appleton’s decision to introduce a BPA-free cash register receipt paper four years ago. Bisphenol A, or BPA, has been shown to be a carcinogen and the public has asked that it be removed from products such as plastic bottles, baby bottles and a variety of others. Appleton moved quickly when the preponderance of evidence came out in 2006 to remove the chemical from its cash register receipts. The company has been selling BPA-free receipt paper since, but because it looks like other papers that may still contain the chemical; the company received little benefit from the move. In November, the company introduced new paper that has visible red fibers in it so that consumers can tell when a retailer is using it in its cash registers. This relatively small innovation should prove important to consumers and may increase sales as demand grows. “We’re certainly encouraged by the response we’ve gotten so far and it’s a product the public is looking to embrace because of the concerns with BPA. There was another big study released in December and that brought more attention to our product,” said Van Den Brandt. For Combined Locks-based Appleton Coated, providing products made with green attributes has been important – using non-fossil fuels and pulp products made from wood grown in certified sustainable forests or high post-consumer recycled fiber content. “The amount of products that we sell with green attributes has grown dramatically over the last three or four years,” said Ann Whalen, senior vice president of marketing and customer services at Appleton Coated.

COVER STORY Driven by demand The green efforts are driven by customer demand, including paper products made with renewable energy. “The electricity comes from renewable sources that we buy from our utility. We allow our customers to choose, so then we purchase so much green power based on how much product is purchased from us that needs to be made from green energy,” and that can ebb and flow from month to month, Whalen said. She said about 5 percent of the energy Appleton Coated purchased came from fossil fuels in 2008, and in 2010 it was about 15 percent. It will be more next year. The company is also experiencing increased demand for paper made from 30 percent post-consumer recycled content, according to Whalen. In addition, the company is developing products with new attributes for the digital age. “Our biggest product innovation is around coated products for high-speed ink jet presses. They need to have a specially formulated paper for those web presses, the big benefit of which is a fairly high speed, which makes them efficient, but also enables them to be used in personalized, targeted marketing applications,” Whalen said. The use of ink jet web presses is fairly new, so it will help Appleton Coated grow market share in that particular segment. “Some of this is protecting market share through product substitution,” she said. Innovation is prevalent throughout Wisconsin, according to Landin. One company, Wausau Paper, which operates in the central part of the state, generates about 30 percent of its rev-

enue from products they weren’t even making three years ago. “The products may be the same, but they’re being produced in a different way - a different value added, a different product that is being demanded from the consumers,” Landin said. He added that companies are looking to innovate and find a better product that the consumers want for two reasons: 1) Maybe they can control their costs better and produce it more efficiently, and 2) It’s a product the consumers are demanding that they make. “It’s kind of a win-win. The company is able to produce something more efficiently and the consumers are embracing these products and wanting to purchase them. That helps the companies compete,” he said. A paradox the paper industry is facing in the light of losing 35 percent of its jobs in about 10 years is a worker shortage. “A lot of Wisconsin Paper Council members have been talking about it more, but it doesn’t get a lot of play. Most of the publicity the industry has received recently has not been positive. A mill closure here, a mill closure there. We’re going to see a lot of people retiring in the next five years. “We’re trying to get the word out that the paper industry is alive and well and there is a great deal of opportunity here. It’s not a stodgy old industry, there is a lot of high tech and you need good computer skills. It’s not only rewarding from a work standpoint, but the average wage for a paper worker is around $60,000 a year,” Landin said. His members are working to educate young people about the industry and how it is changing and is now better able to compete.


FACE of Keller

I am your next door neighbor. I may have seen you at a high school game or at a town hall meeting. As a commercial Regional Manager, I may have built your accountant’s firm or your 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 Dave’s work at the following local businesses: Enterprise Center, New York Life, Liebovich Brothers, Services Plus, Baker Tilly, and Holland Cold Storage to name a few.

Dave Regional Manager Co-Owner

1.800.236.2534 l Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011l 23


TOP TEN of 2010 By Bob Warde, New North B2B Managing Editor and Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B Publisher After a busy 2009, 2010 hasn’t disappointed. A plethora of activity had permeated the region as elections were held, some businesses expanded while others shut down, highway reconstruction got under way and new ways of generating energy were developed. The past year features a much more mixed scene, with more positive developments than during the previous year. Some have the potential to be the bedrock on which a brighter future will rest. So now we bring you the ninth edition of what has made news, those topics discussed at the water fountain and office coffee pots, and issues that may have changed the business horizon forever. Here is our list of the Top Ten business stories in the B2B coverage area for 2010.



YEAR IN REVIEW Highway 41 update moves into high gear U.S. Highway 41 modernization picked up steam. Construction work on the U.S. 41 project will span more than 17 miles of highway in Winnebago County from 2009 to 2014, and 14 miles in Brown County from 2010 between 2017. The construction includes: traffic lanes expanded from four to six – and in some cases – 10 lanes; 16 interchanges improved, with 13 of those interchanges completely rebuilt; 44 roundabouts added; 17 traffic cameras installed along U.S. 41; and an eight-lane Lake Butte des Morts causeway. In March, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work to demolish and replace the Witzel Avenue Bridge over U.S. 41 in Oshkosh. The overpass was closed to all traffic throughout the duration of the $8.3 million project, which reopened to traffic in October. Simultaneously, crews worked to replace the 20th Avenue overpass in Oshkosh, which opened to traffic in July. April brought work by the DOT on a $3.1 million project to reconstruct the interchange ramps at State Road 76 in Winnebago County north of Oshkosh. Throughout the construction, ramps were closed to all traffic until the project completion at the end of June. In June the DOT began work on a $2.3 million project to replace the County Highway J overpass of U.S. 41 near Kaukauna in Outagamie County. The bridge, as well as the ramps to and from U.S. 41, were closed to traffic until the project was completed in October. Fewer project improvements started up in Brown County in 2010, though work did get underway at the Scheuring Road interchange in De Pere, where roundabouts were constructed in late summer to pave the way for a complete overhaul of the interchange beginning this spring. The heat of August brought a welcome announcement by Gov. Jim Doyle that he would convene a meeting of the state Transportation Projects Commission to discuss a $350 million expansion and improvement of the State Highway 441/U.S. 10 interchange with U.S 41 in the Town of Menasha. Throughout the year, work continued on the Lake Butte des Morts causeway reconstruction near Oshkosh.

Republicans were unstoppable While Republicans won big in November’s elections, from the so-called top of the ticket with Ron Johnson beating entrenched Democrat Russ Feingold for the U.S. Senate and Scott Walker beating Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett to win the Governor’s office, Wisconsin’s Statehouse was regained in both the assembly and senate. It’s arguable Republicans did even better in northeast Wisconsin: they didn’t lose a single seat locally, while picking up three chairs previously held by Democrats. In the 2nd Assembly District, newcomer Andre Jacque, a Green Bay Republican, decisively beat incumbent freshman Rep. Ted Zigmunt (D-Francis Creek). Across town in the 88th Assembly District, Republican John Klenke narrowly defeated two-term incumbent Jim Soletski (D-Green Bay). Republicans picked up an additional seat in the 5th District where incumbent Rep. Tom Nelson stepped aside to pursue a failed bid for Lt. Governor. Jim Steineke, a Kaukauna Republican, captured the seat. Republican Chad Weininger captured the 4th Assembly District, previously held by another Republican, Phil Montgomery, who stepped down after six terms. The same dynamic occurred in the 52nd District where Republican Jeremy Thiesfeldt took the seat held by six-term Rep. John Townsend (R-Fond du Lac), who also bowed out to retire. Likewise, political newcomer Michelle Litjens, an Oshkosh Republican in the 56th District, faced no opposition to take the seat previously held by Rep. Roger Roth (R-Appleton), who stepped aside to run for the Eighth Congressional District seat. In fact, the only two local Democrats from the Assembly to win were 54th District Rep. Gordon Hintz (D-Oshkosh) and 57th District Rep. Penny Bernard Schaber (D-Appleton), both re-elected to additional two-year terms. One additional highlight for Republicans – political newcomer Reid Ribble knocked off twoterm incumbent Rep. Steve Kagen (D-Appleton) to capture the state’s Eighth Congressional seat, while Rep. Tom Petri (R-Fond du Lac) won a 17th term for the Sixth Congressional District.


YEAR IN REVIEW Fox Cities Convention Center advances Following up on a 2-year-old feasibility study conducted by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce and & Industry and the Fox Cities Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, City of Appleton Mayor Tim Hanna announced the creation of a Convention Center Community Coalition to further investigate the possibility of building a Fox Cities-based convention facility. The coalition, made up of Fox Cities business and community leaders, recommended in November the construction of a new convention center near the Radisson Paper Valley Hotel in downtown Appleton. Previous studies concluded the project would be most cost-effective if a convention center was constructed next to an existing hotel with large meetings rooms and exhibition space. Cost estimates ranged from $25 million to build the center next to the Radisson to $45 million for a new, freestanding center close to a full-service hotel. The coalition also made a number of proposals for the facility. First, it suggested the 18 communities in the Fox Valley should add a 3 percent hotel room tax to help finance the project. It also recommended that Outagamie County should sell its parking lot on W. Lawrence Street as a site for the development, and suggested the Paper Valley Hotel would need to operate the facility to reduce costs and minimize the burden on taxpayers. Ultimately, the coalition said the center could bring $8.4 million to the Fox Cities in its first year and create 140 new jobs.

Expansion projects of note While many recent years featured large numbers of layoffs, 2010 featured some expansion plans. In January, Pacon Corp. in Appleton received $500,000 in tax credits from the state Department of Commerce for an expansion project to merge its Iowa operations into its Fox Valley operations, bringing 80 jobs to the area. That same month, the City of Oshkosh approved a $5 million tax incremental finance district in its Airport Industrial Park to help Oshkosh Corp. finance construction of a $51 million, 150,000-sq. ft. electrostatic paint facility. March brought news that Canadian-based Central Wire Industries Ltd. received $163,000 in tax credits from the state to set up shop in Fond du Lac at the former Charter Specialty Steel plant in the city’s Southwest Industrial Park, employing as many as 30 people by the end of the year. That same month, Salm Partners of Denmark received a $900,000 Community Development Block Grant for Economic Development from the state to expand its operations and add 100 jobs, while receiving an additional $100,000 grant from the state to train new employees. Innovative Machining, Inc. in Neenah was awarded $116,000 in economic development tax credits in May to help it construct a 53,000-sq. ft. addition to its manufacturing facility, creating 20 jobs over the next three years. In August, Coating Excellence International of Wrightstown announced plans to open a flexible packaging plant in Appleton by the end of 2010, providing 56 new manufacturing jobs. That same month, Kimberly-Clark Corp. announced plans for a $9 million, 129,150-sq. ft. expansion to its personal products manufacturing facility in the Town of Menasha, which expects to add more than 100 jobs when completed in early 2011. Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac received $5 million in performance-based grants from the state to bring 200 assembly jobs to Fond du Lac, moving its MerCruiser engine and drive assembly operations from Oklahoma, a move it expects to complete by the end of 2011. Other substantial growth during the year came at Arla Foods of Kaukauna, which built an $8.9 million, 6,200-sq. ft. expansion project and created 41 jobs, and at Belmark Inc. of De Pere, which is undergoing a $9.0 million project to expand its production capacity and add 55 new employees.




YEAR IN REVIEW Try, try, again: Referendum successes

In an era where state revenue caps limit schools officials’ ability to make significant capital improvements without a direct decree from local voters, a handful of school districts in the region found success in 2010 after suffering years of failure. The most resounding success came in Green Bay on April 6, when voters overwhelmingly approved an $11 million referendum to repair and replace roofing, windows and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems in district buildings. District residents also approved a second request to borrow $5.7 million to replace 5,600 computers and install a district-wide wireless network. Just three years earlier, district residents defeated a referendum to build a fifth Green Bay high school and fund other facilities projects. The fifth time was a charm for voters in the Hilbert School District on Feb. 16, who approved borrowing $4.7 million to add new science classrooms to the middle/high school, renovate and add new technology to the high school media center and update the heating system at the elementary school. District officials had presented four other facilities improvement referenda to voters during the past three years, all of which had failed. Lastly, voters in the Winneconne Community School District approved a special referendum in June allowing school officials to exceed revenue limits by $850,000 for each of the next two years. Two months earlier in April, voters turned down a measure to exceed taxing limits by an additional $1.05 million for each of two years.


Reduce, reuse, recycle Several new power generation facilities were announced for the region. The University of WisconsinOshkosh is constructing a dry fermentation anaerobic biodigester, which will convert yard and food waste into energy. The first of its kind biodigester in the country, the project received $232,587 from Wisconsin Focus on Energy and a $500,000 grant from the federal government. The renewable energy facility will include heat and power generators, which will produce up to 10 percent of the campus’s electricity and heat once it’s operational in April 2011. Construction also began in Ashwaubenon last November on a first-of-its-size pyrolysis gasification system, which uses solid waste and items that can’t be recycled, to create combustible gas used for energy generation. Oneida Seven Generation, a corporation owned by the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, is constructing the electrical generating facility, which will also produce waste materials that can be used to make carbon-based air filters. Lastly, EcoCombustion Energy Systems Corp. of Kaukauna was certified as a Qualified New Business Venture by the state in May. The company manufactures energy systems that convert animal manure into steam and electricity, allowing farm industries to generate an additional source of heat and electricity for other operations. The certification allows investors in EcoCombustion to be eligible for a 25 percent tax credit on their investment.

Paper industry wins anti-dumping paper case In a story that carried over from a 2009 anti-dumping case, the U.S. International Trade Commission in March imposed tariffs ranging from 4 to more than 17 percent on glossy, coated paper imported from China and Indonesia to help offset government subsidies from those countries. The decision came in response to a complaint filed late in 2009 from three American coated paper manufacturers, including Appleton Coated LLC and NewPage Corp., which argued the subsidized paper exports allowed those companies to double their share of the U.S. market. Those papermakers argued such subsidized paper exports ultimately lead to job losses and plant closures such as the NewPage plants in Kimberly, which eliminated 475 jobs, and in Niagara.




Downtown GB shopping mall dilemma

Efforts to reclaim valuable downtown property on which the remains of the former Port Plaza Mall/ Washington Commons sits moved a few steps forward in 2010. In June, City of Green Bay officials received word that $1 million in federal funds would be made available for the demolition of the 450,000-sq. ft. building, though the funds hadn’t been received as of late December, and concern had surfaced that the new Republican majority in Congress might reverse the urban redevelopment earmark. Nonetheless, Green Bay Mayor Jim Schmitt indicated as recently as December that the former shopping mall would be torn down regardless of federal funding, and hinted at the possibility of an undisclosed major employer relocating its headquarters to the site. Meanwhile, developers for the proposed WaterMark mixed-use development on the site of the former Younkers store hoped to wrap up financing on the $12 million retail and commercial building by the end of December and begin construction in early 2011. The project – which has been on hold for two years – will include a 15,000- sq. ft. home for The Children’s Museum of Green Bay.

Fox Valley Metro Police merger talks In line with the emerging trend of municipal collaborative agreements that may prove to be one solution for continually-challenged local government budgets, the Village of Combined Locks re-initiated discussions in late October with the Fox Valley Metro Police Department about the possibility of merging together with its small police force. Combined Locks turned down a proposal to join the Fox Valley Metro police force when it was created 15 years ago by joining together the police departments from the villages of Kimberly and Little Chute. Through the end of 2010, officials from all three villages and the two police departments were studying how a proposed merger would be structured, as well as the efficiencies that might be obtained through such a marriage. Those studies are expected to be complete a few months into 2011.



Menasha Steam Utility aftermath

The multi-year drama of the City of Menasha steam utility debacle settled down considerably in 2011 after city residents approved an April referendum to sell the assets of the utility to regional power supplier WPPI Energy for $18.2 million under a 20-year lease back agreement. The electrical-generating utility shut down in October 2009 after it defaulted on $24 million in municipal bonds a month earlier. The city is using proceeds


from the utility sale to pay back some of the creditors for the facility. Meanwhile, mediation efforts with a handful of investors who brought a lawsuit against the city reached an impasse in August and September, and is expected to end up in an Indiana federal court, where the original lawsuit was filed, sometime in early 2011.


Honorable Mention Revamping Rolling Meadows – Fond du Lac An Oshkosh-based development firm began work this past summer to redevelop the former county-run Rolling Meadows Nursing Home property in Fond du Lac into a hotel and conference center. The four-story, 100-room hotel is expected to provide banquet facilities capable of accommodating up to 600 people, making the largest such space in the community. The project is expected to be complete by this summer.

Outagamie Airport fixed-base operator saga Outagamie County Regional Airport officials reopened the airport’s fixed-base operator, renaming it Platinum Flight Center, after purchasing it from privately owned MaxAir Inc. for $970,000. MaxAir had been the only private provider of aviation fuel and services at the airport for the past 43 years. For years airport officials have argued the necessity of bringing another fixed-base operator to ensure competitive pricing on fuel and aviation services at the airport, and in March, the Outagamie County Board of Supervisors approved $1 million to establish a second fixed-base operator. Those plans were scrapped during the summer after MaxAir agreed to sell its operations to the airport.

Oshkosh Corp. keeps on ticking – delivers on promises The U.S. Army upheld its decision to award Oshkosh Corp. a multi-billion dollar order to manufacture its Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles for use in the Middle East. The contract, originally received in August 2009, was challenged by two of the company’s competitors and lead to a reevaluation of the bids at the recommendation of the federal Government Accountability Office. Oshkosh Corp. continued to fulfil other orders from the U.S. Military at a fast pace, including a new order, valued at $797 million, for more than 4,700 Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles trucks and trailers from the U.S. Army.

(in no particular order)

Business closures of note While a number of expansions occurred in the region, there were some announcements of closures. In April, two longstanding commercial general contractors in the region – Fluor Bros. Construction Co. Inc. in Oshkosh and Stodola-Maas Construction Inc. in Fond du Lac – had closed their doors. AmeriPrint Graphics in Menasha closed in September, effectively laying off 20 employees. General Electric Oil & Gas said in November it plans to close its Oshkosh operation by the end of 2011 and lay off at least 111 employees.

Possible re-use of NewPage mill Undisclosed investors are working with Village of Kimberly and Outagamie County officials to jointly fund a $300,000 study to determine the feasibility to convert two large machines at the NewPage mill in Kimberly and re-open the plant, which has been idle for two years. The investors – which have not yet been identified as a result of a confidentiality agreement – have committed $175,000 toward the cost of the study, while Outagamie County and the village will each contribute $50,000 and the state Department of Commerce will provide $25,000.

Reassessing property Kimberly-Clark Corp. asked the state Department of Revenue to cut in half the $45.6 million assessed value for two properties it holds in the Town of Menasha. If successful, the company could save about $112,000 in property tax assessments. Kohl’s Department Stores sued the City of Neenah in an effort to reduce the $7 million property value assessed on its Neenah store and to refund the $35,000 it paid in 2009 property taxes, plus interest and compensatory damages. The lawsuit from Kohl’s indicated the store has a value no greater than $5.5 million.

Mega dairy operations Rosendale Dairy received approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to modify its water protection permit to increase the amount of land upon which manure can be spread, enabling the dairy to expand its operations from 4,000 to 8,000 cows, making it the largest dairy in the state.



Going GREEN down on the farm Region’s ag industry going for organic growth

Story by Cheryl Hentz The agriculture industry is the heart of Wisconsin’s economy, making a $59.16 billion contribution each year and the leading state in numerous agricultural products. That may not be too shocking, but what could be a surprise is that organic agriculture continues to be one of the strongest performing sectors of Wisconsin’s agriculture industry, as well as that of the United States as a whole. Nationwide more than $24.6 billion of organic products were sold in 2008, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. According to a study by the Organic Trade Association, nearly three-quarters of American families now purchase at least some organic products, and the largest chunk of these consumers – 32 percent – began buying organic products only within the past two years. So despite the recession, the organic market seems to be holding its own. “Statistically there seems to be a steady, upward trend toward an increased demand for organic. With the slowdown in the economy there’s been a little hiccup in that trend because of people having more difficult financial times and not having quite the same purchasing power that they had, say two or three years ago, before people started getting laid off,” said Nick Schneider, agriculture agent for the Winnebago County UW-Extension office. “But that trend of growth in organics has been pretty steady and solid over the course of a couple decades now.” Wisconsin seems well-equipped to serve this growing market. The state currently has about 1,443 certified organic farms — more than any other Midwestern state and second behind only California — that create $80.6 million in farm gate sales. And more than one-quarter of the nation’s 87,000 organic dairy 30 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011

AGRICULTURE cows live in Wisconsin. In fact, while Wisconsin leads the nation in organic dairy operations, our organic industry overall is quite diverse, ranking among the top five states for organic corn, soybeans, oats, barley, rye and hay production and in the top ten for organically-grown vegetables and flowers. One of those certified organic farmers is Dan Calvey. He and his wife Linda own Park Ridge Organics in Fond du Lac County – a small 20-acre farm they’ve lived on for 24 years. Both had always worked off-farm jobs, but as they got closer to retirement they decided it might be wise to do something with the land. They attended an organic farming conference in La Crosse about seven years ago and made the decision then and there to go totally organic. Today they grow about 40 different vegetables.

Good stewards of the planet “It makes us feel good that we can supply so many people with a quality vegetable. And I wanted to farm this way. You’re really taking care of the earth, the water, the whole ecosystem. You’re not doing anything to contaminate the water tables, or whatever,” said Calvey, though he admits it is a lot of hard work. In fact, about four years ago the Calveys’ daughter, Robyn, came to help them work the farm and today she’s the farm manager and running the whole operation, which is good because she’s younger and has more energy, something definitely needed because their crops aren’t the only thing growing by leaps and bounds. “Every year our business has doubled. We turned over more soil this year than we ever have,” Calvey said, though he conceded that perhaps the fact that they sell Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) memberships – where families buy a share of the farm from them in order to get vegetables from them – could account for their increase in business. “We initially had 15 families sign up; the following year there were 30; and last year we had 85. Our projection for next year is 150 families.” This growth of food co-ops, purchasing programs, and the like, is not something unique to Calvey. According to the Organic Agriculture in Wisconsin 2009 Status Report, the 35 organic farms endorsed by the Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition in 2009 sold 5,900 shares of food — primarily produce — which represents a 69 percent increase over 2007. Meanwhile, the number of people joining organic food cooperatives continues to climb, too. The Willy Street Coop in Madison had 16,000 owners and exceeded sales projections by $1.5 million in 2009, while Outpost Natural Foods in Milwaukee had 14,000 owners and People’s Food Co-op in La Crosse had 3,938 owners by the end of 2009.

“That being said our overall customer base has steadily grown, which means that even though 25 percent are deciding after a 6-month period that they may not be able to afford it, there’s more than 25 percent who are waiting and wanting to come into the program,” she said. “So it’s clear, I think, that interest (in organic or locally-produced foods) seems to be growing.” So what is driving people to farmer’s markets and their local farms for food purchases? A few reasons, said Laura Paine, grazing and organic agriculture specialist with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. “Part of it has actually been spurred by the food safety scares that occurred in recent years – like recalls and concerns about pesticides, or antibiotics and hormones in foods, and so forth. Organic foods have been produced without those things,” she said. “The other big piece is the interest in local foods, and a lot of organic foods, not all, but many, are produced by smaller companies like small, local, family farms. So people are aware that the products have come from a farm in their region.” “I think the demand has been there because there’s a consumer perception that organic products are healthier or more natural. The producers have been able to tap into that,” added Paul Dyk, livestock agent with the Fond du Lac County UWExtension office. “Farmers are very good at listening to what the consumer wants and if consumers start purchasing more organic products, the prices will go up and more producers will try and meet that need. That’s why I think they’ve been able to be successful.”


Some won’t pay more Ann Maenner of the Wisconsin Fresh Market Vegetable Growers Association says higher pricing for organic, natural, or locally-produced food does affect some people’s willingness to purchase it, but not to the point where they’ve seen their business diminish either. On her farm alone – which is not organic, but which follows many organic practices – they see about 25 percent of their CSA members eventually drop out because of cost, while the other 75 percent seem committed to the idea of buying products from somebody that they know and where they know how those products are grown or raised.


AGRICULTURE Wisconsin Ranking Among States

Wisconsin was one of the top ranking states for number of organic farms and value of organic sales for many categories of production.

Wisconsin has 8 percent of the nation’s certified and exempt organic farms. The top 3 states were: 1. California with 2,714 2. Wisconsin with 1,222 3. Washington with 887

WI Rank Number of Farms Farms with Milk Production Farms Producing Chicken Eggs Farms with Vegetable Sales Farms with Potato Production Farms with Beef Cows Farms Producing Corn for Grain


WI Rank Cranberry Sales



Milk Cow Inventory



Chicken Egg Sales



Goat Milk Sales



Potato Sales



Beef Cow Sales



Corn for Grain Sales


Wisconsin organic farms are smaller, on average, than all Wisconsin farms. Organic farms average 160 acres of land, compared to 195 acres for all farms.

Wisconsin organic farms had average annual sales of $115,247, smaller than the U.S. average, of $229,747.

Most sales are local. For first point-of-sales, fifty-six percent of organic sales occurred within 100 miles from the farm.

Organic Marketing Practices Contrary to popular belief, only a small percentage of organic sales are direct to consumer. In Wisconsin just 6 percent of sales were direct to consumers, via farm stands, farmers’ markets, Community Supported Agri-culture (CSA’s), and other arrangements, while over 75 percent of Wisconsin organic sales were to whole-sale channels, including processors, millers and packers, and grower cooperatives. Just over 4 percent of Wisconsin sales were direct-to-retail buyers such as natural food stores, supermarkets, and restaurants. Number of Farms Percent of Sales Selected Sales Outlets WI US WI US Farm Stand 201 3,381 2.0 2.4 Farmers Market 134 2,609 1.0 1.9 Community Supported Agriculture 57 906 1.6 1.0 Processor, Mill, Packer 266 2,728 33.5 28.7 Grower Cooperative 251 1,072 34.0 9.8 Direct to Natural Food Stores 94 1,721 2.3 3.5 Source: U. S. Department of Agriculture 2008 Organic Production Survey 32 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011


Every year our business has doubled. We turned over more soil this year than we ever have.

Dan Calvey, Park Ridge Organics

Dyk predicts demand will keep growing, but admits he has no idea where the top will be.

Market continues to grow “If we look at the last 10 or 20 years, the organic products market has continued to grow. It’s a little bit hard to tell where the top will be. In some ways the organic market is being replaced by what’s seen as acceptable as locally grown food,” Dyk said. “Those are slightly different and aren’t necessarily organic, but we are seeing more of that so we’re seeing more Farmers’ Markets being revitalized and people selling more things from the farm as being local, which is being perceived by consumers as a good thing. So that is starting to somewhat take the place of or at least grow at the same time as the organic foods.” The difference between true USDA certified organic products and something produced naturally or organically grown is one that is confusing for consumers, yet one that must be recognized. Truly certified organic farms must go through rigorous inspections each year and provide extensive documentation about their farm operation in order to obtain certification. Such is not the case at all with farms that produce naturally or which say their products are grown organically. There are lots of farmers out there who use very sustainable methods, who are very pro-active in their farm management practices, strive to use the least amount of protectives that they can, really work on cultural practices, things like that, but may not be certified organic, said Maenner. That is where

the “buying local” idea comes in. “The biggest concern our customers have is how the animals are taken care of. They want to be able to come here to the farm, see the animals and know how they’re taken care of. But the whole issue of animal care has nothing to do with being certified organic. Our customers are more concerned with animal care than they are with whether we’re certified organic. So this whole organic thing is very confusing to consumers,” she said, adding that it’s very expensive to be certified organic; and it’s something that you do every single year. “If you’re going to try to do things more sustainably, but you’re not certified organic, it still means you’re going to do more cultural things... It takes a lot of manpower and a lot more labor… So even if somebody is not certified organic, but they’re using sustainable, natural methods, there is some additional cost there.” Paine said that while it is a little more costly up front, over time, production costs drop. “It’s a transition that requires patience. But ultimately it not only reduces production costs but can improve environmental performance as well,” she said.

More stores going organic Maenner has contact with grocery stores and says most of the stores she’s spoken with are increasing both their certified organic offerings, as well as their offerings of local products, which may or may not be certified organic. “And again, I think that’s because consumers are looking for a healthier product. I’m not sure that organic is healthier, but I think that’s the perception of consumers,” she said “Rather than just trusting the system, people want to know where their food is coming from and be able to ask questions of the people who actually are growing the food, or at least know that some

third party is actually confirming that whatever their food desires are, is being met.” Certain foods, if they’re bought organic, make sense because they get a lot of pesticides. But there are other foods where the difference in pesticides between conventional and organic is no different at all statistically, said Zen Miller, dairy and livestock agent with the Outagamie County UW-Extension office. “And yet we tell people that organic is better. But just because it’s organic doesn’t make it better. I could take you to an organic farm that’s absolutely dirty and I think if you went there you wouldn’t want to buy from there,” he said. “I could also take you to another organic farm where it’s clean and I could do the same with conventional farms. So people put a brand on something that “x” is better than “y,” but that’s just their opinion.” Andy Jaworski of Jaworski Farm in Brown County said being organic is important because it’s the right thing to do for the planet. “Do I think everyone should go organic and that that’s the only way to go? No, I think diversity is good so consumers can choose where they want their food to come from. But I do think it’s a growing trend and people are going to become increasingly aware that it’s important to know where their food comes from, and that buying local and buying fresh, less processed foods, will become even more important to consumers over time.” 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. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011 l 33



Small Business


A nutty idea How Green Bay’s Nutorious went from incubator start-up to award winner in the fancy snacks business


Story by John R. Ingrisano

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE This past summer, Green Bay-based Nutorious co-presidents Carrie Liebhauser and Jennifer Gille walked up the red carpet at the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade show in Chicago to accept the top honor for their Nut Confections’ Cranberry Orango Tango, which was named the Outstanding Snack in the 2010 sofi Awards (short for Specialty Outstanding Food Innovation). Not bad for two women who were borderline strangers five years ago, who had no food industry experience, and who nonetheless decided to launch a business with three snack nut recipes, a belief in their products and a willingness to work hard. Oh, and they’re making money, too. From $15,000 in sales as a part-time venture in 2005, they are on track to

Passion & Persistence: When Nutorious co-presidents Carrie Liebhauser and Jennifer Gille set out to build a business, they had little more than a passionate belief in their products and a lot of determination. When they first applied to enter the annual University School Christmas and Holiday Show in Milwaukee in 2005, they were told it was sold out. They sent samples anyway. The officials were so impressed with the product that they opened up space for them. They sold $8,000 worth of nuts in four days.

gross more than $800,000 in sales for 2010. Here’s how they did it.

Chance beginnings LIEBHAUSER and GILLE first connected while putting together a charity auction in 2004 and afterwards decided to do something together. Armed with an old family recipe, they set out to become the next Mrs. Fields, explains Liebhauser. Still, don’t get the impression they were a couple of golly-gee kids. Liebhauser is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and spent years in banking, at one point serving as a district manager over 15 branches, and also managing a car dealership. Gille has a Masters’ degree in social work. They started out slowly, taking advantage of the facilities at Algoma’s Farm Market Kitchen incubator and doing their market testing in the teachers’ lounges at their children’s schools. They initially sold their products in three Door County outlets – Door County Gourmet, Main Street Market and Seaquest Orchards. Things took off from there, growing steadily each year. From $15,000 in business in 2005, sales grew to $265,000 in 2009, and then exploded, tripling to $800,000 in 2010. “We bought over 100,000 pounds of nuts this year,” says Liebhauser. When they first started, the two partners used their own money to finance the business. That meant that their marketing plan had to be focused and cost effective. “We had a vision that we wanted to grow the product as much as we could,” says Liebhauser. “Our business plan has evolved. We review and revise and update it every six months or so.” The market-

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SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE Making a partnership work: Carrie Liebhauser and Jennifer Gille were barely acquaintances when they worked on a fundraising auction in 2004. Today, they are co-owners of a business that should pass $1 million in sales in 2011. “We didn’t know each other very well,” says Liebhauser, “all we knew was that we were both hard workers.” So, how did they make the partnership work? According to Liebhauser: “Jen and I have discussed it a lot. A partnership is like a marriage. It’s not perfect. We have good days and bad days, but we’re stuck with each other and have to make it work. Coming to a consensus is important. No one is 100 percent right or wrong. We work it out.”

Playful names don’t hurt. Nutorious now offers five products, all with inviting names and packaging: Ooo La La Original, Door County Cherry Vanilla, Cranberry Orango Tango, Chocolate Coconutty, Cha Cha Chipotle and Blueberry Lemon Meringue.

ing strategy calls for participating in two fancy food shows a year and showcasing their products on QVC. Before each show, explains Liebhauser, we ask, “‘What’s our goal?’ for the show. Then afterwards, we ask if we accomplished it.” Their growth has been propelled by smart marketing and quality clients. In addition to the sales network QVC, they now have their products in a number of retail outlets, including the specialty chain Le Gourmet Shop, T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and Whole Foods in Chicago. This year they received a Sam’s Club order for 42,000 units. Today they distribute nationally through a network of independent brokers who sell to retailers and distributors. “We just started selling internationally in 2009,” says Liebhauser, and they now have products in Canada, Japan, Hong Kong, the Bahamas and Dubai.

The big question: How? The world is full of start-ups that go from zero to nowhere in decades. How did Carrie Liebhauser and Jennifer Gille take Nutorious to the top in just five years? Among the factors that have benefited Nutorious’s growth are: 1. A quality product and faith in that product. The original product came from Liebhauser’s family recipe that people raved about. “Most nut products on the market are a glazed nut or roasted nut. Ours has a light meringue coating that keeps it crunchy. Plus, we both have a lot of faith in the product. We’re very passionate about it,” says Liebhauser. 2. A solid brand and attractive packaging. Their original packaging was very basic. Several years ago, recognizing that eye appeal is important when competing products are sitting side by side on a store shelf, they contacted an agency and invested in a rebranding process. “We wanted a clean look,” says Carrie, “something that reflected our all-natural ingredients, something to make the product pop when on the shelf.” 3. A solid business plan. Nutorious’s success did not happen by chance. It was part of a plan from the start, a plan that had to be updated and revised to keep pace with their growth. “We stick to it and revise it, test it and question it,” says Liebhauser. 4. Hard work. The two partners both put in long hours, per-

PROFILE Name: Business: Location: Year started: Employees:


Carrie Liebhauser, 45, co-president Jennifer Gille, 39, co-president Nutorious, LLC (, Manufacturer of nut products for retail sale Green Bay 2005 10 part time

SMALL BUSINESS PROFILE haps 60 or more a week. However, it is “kind of a 24/7 work week,” says Liebhauser, “because you’re never not working. I’ll take my son to tennis and take my laptop with me and work during tennis. I don’t necessarily have to be in the office, but I always have work with me.” 5. Quality employees and a familyfriendly management approach. Nutorious has 10 part-time employees. Family members themselves, Liebhauser and Gille do their best to maintain flexible scheduling. “We communicate and tell what production needs to be done,” says Liebhauser. “The employees work it out and let us know who is available. Family always comes first. Because we are flexible with them, they are flexible with us. That is the key.”

Final advice When LiEBHAUSER and GILLE launched Nutorious, they did their homework, asked lots of questions and invested in research. “Make sure you plan,” says Liebhauser. “Know the market. Surround yourself with people who can be resources, and then be willing to listen to them.

“And when it comes to money needs, over plan,” she stresses. “If you think you know how much you need, then double or triple it. That’s what you’ll need. Oh, and work hard. Running a business is much harder than anything else. You have to work hard and like what you’re doing.” Carrie Liebhauser and Jennifer Gille set out five years ago to become the next Mrs. Fields, the gourmet cookie entrepreneur. They are well on their way and, in all likelihood, in a few years some other start-up entrepreneurs with a dream will decide that they want to become the next Nutorious. John Ingrisano is a Wisconsin-based business journalist, marketing strategist and public speaker. If you would like John to review your company’s needs or do a presentation for your business group, contact him at john@ Or call (920) 559-3722.

Rule No. 1: Start with a great product. Wherever Nutorious went, their high-end nut products received rave reviews and national awards. ✺ At the National Association for the Specialty Food Trade show in July 2010, they bested more than 1,500 other snack foods to take the top honor. ✺ Multimedia retailer QVC named a collection of Nutorious products “Food of the Month” in February 2010. ✺ In 2007, they were awarded a first place Golden Chile Award in the Fiery Food Challenge for the company’s Cha Cha Chipotle Nuts.



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➎ Look for scholarships. A big part of going to college is making sure that you find financial assistance. Research what types of scholarships are available, whether that is in your local community or through the college itself. To learn more about programs offered at Marian University, check out the Web site at or call 1-800-2-MARIAN today. Juanita G. Terán is an Admission Counselor and the Multicultural/Bilingual Liaison at Marian University. “Professionally Speaking” is a promotional spot for business professionals to share their expertise with New North B2B readers. To learn more about how your business can take advantage of opportunities with Professionally Speaking, contact Carrie at 920.237.0254 or email

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the college, the location of the college, the cost of attending, the student organizations and athletics, and the overall student life atmosphere. Also, admission requirements should be reviewed so that it fits your past academic achievements and future educational goals. ➌ Visit the campus. Physically being on the campus and immersed into the college atmosphere, students are able to not only see where they may be potentially living and studying, but they will also be able to meet with admission professionals, professors from their program, and current students to get a feel of what the academic realm is like. ➍ Apply. Selecting a college is a big decision. However, after researching and selecting one, the application process begins. Make sure to fully complete the college’s application and include a copy of your official high school transcript and ACT/SAT scores.

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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 Meyer, Borgman & Johnson Inc., David Holten, 1925 Horseshoe Lane, De Pere 54115. Salm Computers LLC, Corey Richard Salm, 1799 Briarwood Ct., De Pere 54115. Krause Annuity Services Inc., Dale Krause, 1234 Enterprise Dr., De Pere 54115. Green Box NA LLC, Nature’s Choice Tissue LLC, 2077B Lawrence Dr., De Pere 54115. Inspirations Software Design LLC, Daniel Kohn, 918 S. 6th St., De Pere 54115. Stuff Hauler Inc., Ricky John Staeven, 1403 Mayfair St., De Pere 54115. Bay Area Mow And Snow LLC, Bryan Vander Bloomen, 1334 Sand Acres Dr., De Pere 54115. Wochinske Ratteree Realty LLC, Paul J. Wochinske, 4845 Hidden Acres Lane, Denmark 54208. Powerhouse Athletics Inc., Amanda J. Bushmaker, 4010 Velp Ave., Green Bay 54313. Bay Area Testing & Consulting LLC, Brian Begotka, 1220 Hurlbut St., Green Bay 54303. Film Green Bay Inc., Jay Schillinger, c/o Northcoast Productions, 211 N. Broadway St., Green Bay 54303. Jacques Wealth Management LLC, Michael Jacques, 2915 Apple Ridge Ct., Green Bay 54311. Pyramid Structures Inc., Scott Van Bellinger, 3040 Le Pak, Green Bay 54313. Mechanical Removal & Relocation LLC, Chad Renier, 331 N. Maple Ave., Green Bay 54303. Oneida LED Lighting LLC, Robert S. Fischer, 2670 S.Packerland Dr., Green Bay 54313. Taking the Lead Equine Learning Center LLC, Stephainie Senogles, 3125 Westmore Lane, Green Bay 54313. Locally Social LLC, Dana Vanden Heuvel, 1025 Emilie St., Green Bay 54301. Employment Health Services LLC, G&K Wisconsin Services LLC, 333 Main St., Suite 600, Green Bay 54301. 40 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011

My Little World Child Care Corp., Catalina Taboada, 2701 Larsen Road, Green Bay 54303. Nature’s Cupboard LLC, Linda Flynn, 2638 Tulip Lane, Suite B, Green Bay 54313. Frasch Welding & Fabrication LLC, Daniel Frasch, 1112 14th Ave., Green Bay 54304. Contractor Catalyst LLC, Door County Solar LLC, 3936 St. Croix Circle West, Green Bay 54301. Keystone Business Strategies LLC, David Michael Townsend, 850 Ernst Dr., Green Bay 54304-220. EK Transportation LLC, Petra Sofia Kallenberger, 644 Dost Court, Green Bay 54311. Clint Rau DDS LLC, Clint E. Rau, DDS, 2980 Conesta Dr., Green Bay 54311. Titletown Surveying LLC, Lori A. Inman, 553 Kenney St., Green Bay 54301. True Leaf Organics LLC, Kate Elizabeth Hau, 3106 Mercier Road, New Franken 54229. Country Cabinets LLC, John V. Fritsch, 105 High St., Wrightstown 54180. Table 9 Coffee House LLC, Theresa A Postell, 543-2 Meadow Lane, Wrightstown 54180.

Fond du Lac County Pit Bull Recoveries LLC, Mike Casillas, N5766 Thorton Ct., Fond du Lac 54935. Advertising Professional LLC, Teppei Dana Kuwamoto, 285 Roosevelt St., Fond du Lac 54935. T&E Toolbox Sales Inc., Todd M. Lehman, 128 E. Bank St., Fond du Lac 54935. Full Spectrum Studios LLC, Cory A. Baker, 816 S. Main St., Suite C, Fond du Lac 54935. M&M Window Cleaning LLC, Mario Joseph Morse, 68 N. Butler St., Fond du Lac 54935. Bob and Bonnies Donuts and Cakes LLC, Jenny Ross, 70 Center St., North Fond du Lac 54937. Tattoo Mike’s Studio One LLC, Stephen Edward Brajdic, 227 Watson St., Ripon 54971. Welch’s Aviation Services LLC, Perry Welch, N3130 Johnson Road, Waupun 53963. C&D Metalworkx LLC, David Duer, 417 S. Watertown St., Waupun 53963.

Green Lake County Blue Star Stable LLC, Matthew G. Chier, 111 S. Pearl St., Berlin 54923. Fox Valley Taxidermy LLC, Douglas Houghton, W2998 Cypress Road, Berlin 54923.

Oconto County All Metal Welding & Fabrication LLC, Todd J. Fontaine, 6235 County Road E, Abrams 54101.

Outagamie County TongXeng Transportation Services LLC, Maiyoua K. Thao, 206 S. Memorial Dr., Appleton 54911. Govtech Supply Solutions LLC, William Stanley Yates, 1750 Prospect Ct., Ste. 110, Appleton 54914. Modern Design & Remodeling LLC, Joshua Michael Spoehr, 4018 Towne Lakes Ave., No. 6115, Appleton 54913. New Controls LLC, Craig Allen Hollis, 733 S. Fairview St., Appleton 54914. Bizresources Network Inc., Anthony Thomas Busch, 2658 W. Sunnyview Road, Appleton 54914. Sidetracked Bar & Grill LLC, Kevin Redlin, 2340 Stroebe Island Dr., Appleton 54914. C&L Rental Management LLC, Paul Haferman, 3011 W. Heritage Ave., Appleton 54914. Vintage Barn Lights LLC, Christine Marie Abresch, 922 N. Meade St., Appleton 54911. Blaq Excavating LLC, Jeason Thomas, Sr., 1711 S. Adams St., Appleton 54915. Fox Valley Land Surveying LLC, Andrew James Shie, 2909 W. Tillman St., Appleton 54914. Wisconsin CBRF Training Center LLC, Anne Altenhofen-Krause, 4640 Grand Meadows Dr., Appleton 54914. Gold Key Traffic School LLC, Elisabeth R. Kirk, 2031 E. Calumet St., Appleton 54915. Singh Food Mart Inc., Mohinder Singh, 21 Diane Lane, Appleton 54915. Fox Valley CPA & Consultants LLC, Barbara G. Bader, W5339 Quarry Road, Appleton 54913. J. Design LLC, Stacia L. Gratke, 1603 E. Tracia Lane, Appleton 54911. Renew Auto Sales Inc., James P. Howard, 407 W. Franklin St., Appleton 54911.

WHO’S NEWS Grace Church of Greenville Inc., Cody Wells, 4026 Towne Lakes Circle, Apt. 23, Grand Chute 54913. Fox Valley Sales LLC, Curtis Alan Posselt, W6541 School Road, Greenville 54942. Appleton Plumbing LLC, Nicholas R. Jackels, N1473 Ellen Lane, Greenville 54942. Badgerland Custom Application LLC, Richard Bunnell, N3225 State Road 15, Hortonville 54944. Sharp Snow Plowing & Lawn Mowing Service LLC, Robert Moeller, W9328 State Road 96, Hortonville 54944. Van’s Service LLC, David Todd Swanson, 901 Hyland Ave., Kaukauna 54130. Action Electric BOK, LLC, Paul J. Bachhuber, 264 W. Wisconsin Ave., P.O. Box 320, Kaukauna 54130-032. Feed Source LLC, James Ostrom, N3569 Vanden Bosch Road, Kaukauna 54130. True Gritt Delivery Inc., Christopher J. Gritt, 1201 Trailside Ter., Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County Rieckmann Creations & Fabrications LLC, Dean Robert Rieckmann, 8464 Pioneer Road, Larsen 54947. Little Village Greenhouse Inc., Jessica McGinnis, 7780 County Road MM, Larsen 54947. Around the House Home Improvements LLC, David R. Gust, 800 7th St., Menasha 54952. Solid Ground Home Inspection LLC, Travis Willie, 1116 Meadowview Dr., Menasha 54952-213. Gold Badge Driver Training LLC, Peter Mark Thelen, 1225 Beechwood Lane., Menasha 54952. Fox Valley Appraisal Service LLC, David L. Kane, 1573 Pond View Dr., Neenah 54956. Omni Banner and Sign LLC, David Michael Danhauer, 516 S. Commercial St., Neenah 54956. Text4atune LLC, Shannon Zambrano, 134 W. Wisconsin Ave., Neenah 54956. BPT Quality Consultants LLC, Christine M. Buck, 1433 Westwood Dr., Neenah 54956. Schetter Hospitality LLC, Daniel L. Schetter, 1698 Margeo Dr., Neenah 54956. Mylee’s Egg Rolls LLC, My Lee Lor,

1857 Mary Lane, Neenah 54956. Gehrke Family Farms LLC, Ronald Gehrke, 9136 Bell School Road, Omro 54963. Omro Veterans Memorial Inc., Robert Wipf, 8004 Broadway Road, Omro 54963. Gentlemen’s Choice Barbershop LLC, Melissa Thielke, 127 W. Main St., Omro 54963. C&S Marketing LLC, James Richard Lines, 1841 Northpoint St., Oshkosh 54901. Jet Functional Fitness LLC, Jeffrey Richard Ehrike, 1241 Jackson St., Oshkosh 54901. WI Puroclean Owners Group LLC, Daniel Lee Dringoli, 2070 Abraham Lane, Oshkosh 54904. Absolute Therapeutic Spa LLC, Tammy Jean Graff, 1015 W. 10th Ave., Oshkosh 54902. Bentley Sales & Marketing Inc., James W. Stephens, 5290 Primrose Lane, Oshkosh 54904. Shieldmans Mobile Accessories Inc., Paul C. Wagner, 3873 Braeburn St., Oshkosh 54904. Apex Custom Signs and Wraps LLC, Adam L. Pugh, 2316 Jackson St., Oshkosh 54901. Around Wisconsin Bicycle Tours LLC, Patricia Spiegelberg, 5412 County Road N, Pickett 54964.

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Building Permits B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. Planet Fitness/Rice Enterprises, 1831 Main St., Green Bay. $2,000,000 for a 20,000-sq. ft. fitness center building. General contractor is Premier Construction Group of Appleton. November 2.

Firefighters of northeast Wisconsin

coming march 2011

Grande Cheese, 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac. $495,456 for an addition to a loading dock area. General contractor is C.D. Smith Construction of Fond du Lac. November 18. Brycon LLC, 2505 E. Evergreen Dr., Appleton. $622,000 for a new 9,126sq. ft. multi-tenant commercial building. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. November 19. Exopack, 271 River St., Menasha. NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011 l 41

WHO’S NEWS $524,000 for a 7,660-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Oscar J. Boldt Construction of Appleton. November 24.

for a new multi-tenant commercial building. General contractor is Ganther Construction of Oshkosh. December 6.

Highland Memorial Park Inc., 3131 N. Richmond St., Appleton. $558,340 for an addition to an existing mausoleum building. General contractor is Mork Mausoleum Construction of Waukesha. December 2.

Bergstrom Consortium Inc., 150 N. Green Bay Road, Neenah. $1,278,588 for an 8,680-sq. ft. addition between automotive dealership showrooms and interior remodeling. General contractor is Oscar J. Boldt Construction of Appleton. December 9.

Calumet Land Group East LLC, 3300 E. Calumet St., Appleton. $580,000

Theda Clark Memorial Hospital, 130 Second St., Neenah. $3,180,144

for a 10,897-sq. ft. addition to the first floor of the hospital and remodel of existing patient rooms. General contractor is Oscar J. Boldt Construction of Appleton. December 15.

Mergers/acquisitions Carl M. Hennig, Inc., Oshkosh, acquired the Briggs-Ficks brokerage firm office in downtown Milwaukee. Several of the Briggs-Ficks principals will join Carl M. Hennig. Erickson & Associates, a certified

Trailblazing commercial developer hands over the reins In an era where large-scale commercial development projects in downtown districts likely couldn’t be accomplished without genuine partnerships between local government and private investors, John Pfefferle was a pioneer. Pfefferle stepped aside in early December from running the day operations of Pfefferle Companies, the umbrella entity for Appleton-based Grubb & Ellis/Pfefferle and Pfefferle Management. His son Mike Pfefferle assumed the role of president for the company, while John became the CEO and chairman of the board, focusing more intently on future growth and strategy. Pfefferle not only built one of the largest commercial real estate brokerage firms in the state north of the Milwaukee area, but he’s also become one of the most noteworthy commercial developers in northeast Wisconsin. His reputation flourished because of the scope of the projects he pursued, but also because of the relationships he developed with municipal officials to turn seemingly undevelopable urban brownfields and vacant buildings into property-tax generating, upbeat and thriving focal points of central city commerce. In the early 1980s, Pfefferle had his first experience in property development when he and a handful of other investors developed the current Landmark Square at the corner of Washington and Morrison in downtown Appleton, currently the home of Pfefferle Companies. The five-story commercial office building, which also houses the corporate headquarters for Schenck Business Solutions, was built at a time when lending rates were approaching 20 percent. After securing commitments from Schenck and the former Fox River Paper Co. to locate their respective offices in the building, Pfefferle struck a deal with city officials for development assistance to help get the critical downtown property back on the tax roles.

Throughout his career, Pfefferle helped rejuvenate a number of other downtown properties with assistance from city officials, including the former Avenue Mall, which now houses Appleton’s City Hall, and the 222 Building on College Avenue, the forJohn Pfefferle mer home of Aid Association for Lutherans. Pfefferle cites the 12-story, 243,000-sq. ft. 222 Building as one of the property development accomplishments in which he’s most proud, noting all but two floors are successfully filled in the structure accenting Appleton’s skyline. Currently, Pfefferle is working to put together a new development in downtown Neenah on the site of the former Glatfelter Paper mill, adjacent to the newly erected global headquarters for Plexus Corp. His firm is planning to purchase 1.5 acres from the City of Neenah in its mill redevelopment tax incremental finance district for the construction of a two-story office building valued at $6 million. Commercial development is among one of the most risk-laden business ventures one can pursue, but Pfefferle credits comprehensive due diligence as the reason for many of his successes. “We go into a project with a lot of research before we do it,” Pfefferle said. “As a result, we haven’t had a project fail.” - by Sean Fitzgerald


WHO’S NEWS public accounting firm in Appleton, acquired Timler & Associates, S.C. of Fond du Lac. The combined entity will operate in Fond du Lac as Timler & Associates, a division of Erickson & Associates, S.C., and will include all current partners and associates of both firms. Together with the Appleton office, the firm will employ 20 professionals. J. F. Ahern Co. of Fond du Lac has agreed to purchase the assets of Airgas North Central’s Fire Services Division. The fire equipment business includes 40 employees, who Ahern plans to hire as part of the acquisition. The two parties plan to consummate the transaction on Feb. 1.

New businesses Owners Candelaria Zapata-Rose and Fran Toutloff opened Waterworks Garden Supply at 243 N. Broadway St. in Green Bay.

New locations Run Away Shoes opened a store at W3192 County Road KK in Appleton. The company carries a range of brands in shoes, apparel and accessories. Run Away Shoes also operates a store in Oshkosh, opened in 2004, and a store in Green Bay, opened in 2007. ThedaCare opened a FastCare Walk-In Clinic inside Shopko, 1300 S. Koeller St. in Oshkosh. Doug Bartelt, nurse practitioner, will lead the new FastCare. ThedaCare also has FastCare

clinics inside Shopko at Northland Mall in Appleton and inside Shopko Express on Van Roy Road in Appleton. Inject-A-Seal Foam Insulation of N.E. Wisconsin LLC moved into light industrial space at the Advance Business Center business incubation program, 2701 Larsen Road in Green Bay. The company provides injectable foam insulation to residential and commercial customers. Mind & Body Healings LLC moved from the Advance Business Center, Green Bay, to 425 S. Military in Green Bay. The business provides natural, physical and emotional therapies through advanced holistic remedies and products. Midwest Dental will open a location at 3111 E. Calumet St. in Appleton in late January. Great Harvest bakery, Neenah, opened a location at 1033 W. Northland Ave. in Appleton. In addition to freshly baked whole grain breads and sweets, Great harvest offers a full line of sandwiches.

New products/services Carmella’s Italian Bistro, Appleton, is marketing its House Marinara Sauce outside of the bistro, with availability at Carmella’s, as well as the following locations across the Fox Cities: Manderfield’s Home Bakery, Haen Meats, Red & White and McKnight & Carlson Wines.


WHO’S NEWS Business honors Awards and honors earned by individuals are listed separately in the Who’s News section of the New North B2B. Green Bay-based Schneider National, Inc. and Manitowocbased Holy Family Memorial were the recipients of the 2010 New North Workplace Excellence Awards and Aurora HealthCare received the 2010 People, Possibilities and Progress Diversity Award during the 2010 New North Summit. Bridal Elegance & Formal Wear, Kaukauna, was selected for the 2010 Best of Kaukauna Award in the Bridal Shops category by the U.S. Commerce Association. Schroeder Moving Systems, Appleton, a United Van Lines agent, was recognized with the United Van Lines 2010 Performance Excellence Award in the 350 to 499 shipments category. Schroeder Moving Systems also earned an honorable mention in the 2010 Customer Choice Awards. Five New North companies were among 14 entities honored with a Green Master Award during the Third Annual Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council Conference in Neenah. They include: Miron Construction Co. of Neenah, JBS Green Bay (Formerly Packerland Packing), Fox Valley Technical College, Green Bay Packaging and Appleton Inc. Berners-Schober Associates’ received an award from the Mayor’s Committee for a Cleaner & More Beautiful Green Bay in the category of Remodeling, Additions and Restorations for its work on the four-story addition to St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay. Total Relocations Services, Green Bay, a Mayflower Van Lines agent, was recognized with a 2010 Performance Excellence Award. Total Relocation Services was recognized in the shipping volume category of 200 to 299 shipments. WOW Logistics, Appleton, was named in Food Logistics Magazine’s ‘FL100’ list recognizing 100 technology and solution providers that help grocery and food industry distributors and manufacturers reach their business goals.

retail store and training center. Prior to joining Goodwill, Ziegler was the store manager for Duckwall-Alco Stores in Minnesota. Red Shoes PR, Inc., Appleton, added Amy Lefler as an account executive and Sara Jeffers as an account coordinator. Lefler brings 18 years of experience throughout many areas of the healthcare field. Jeffers previously held an internship with Red Shoes. The Belson Co., Green Bay, hired Dan Mielke as service manager of the laundry/warewash division, bringing 21 years of UniMac service experience to the newly created position for the company. Jeff Hall has joined the company as a business analyst. Integrity Insurance, Appleton, hired Jill Stache as vice president of commercial lines. She has 18 years of property and casualty experience. Stache most recently held the position of director - risk management and association business development at SECURA Insurance in Appleton. Brett Beaulieu Allstate Agency, Oshkosh, hired Brian Gayhart as an agent. He previously supervised the convention center and banquet hall at Bridgewood Resort Hotel and Conference Center in Neenah. The Wisconsin Department of Commerce appointed Frank Frassetto as area development manager for Region No. 3, which comprises northeastern Wisconsin from Manitowoc to Forest counties. Frassetto most recently served as congressional affairs specialist for the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Chicago, responsible for working with disaster assistance employees to ensure effective program coordination. Fox Valley Savings Bank, Fond du Lac, hired Tal Kuhnz as director of human resources. Kuhnz joins Fox Valley Savings Bank after more than 25 years of business and human resource experience with The Nielsen Company. Most recently, he worked as a consultant with Right Management in Appleton.

New hires Network Health Plan, Menasha, named Dr. Thomas Zoch as its associate medical director. Zoch is responsible for the administration of procedures, protocols and standards regarding the efficiency and quality of the health care delivered to Network Health Plan members. Zoch has been in the Fox Cities area for more than 15 years, serving as medical director of Miller Electric from 2005 to 2010, as the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers team physician from 1995 to 2005, and as medical director of Theda Clark Memorial Hospital’s emergency department from 1997 to 2003. He holds board certifications in internal medicine, emergency medicine, sports medicine and clinical lipidology. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Menasha, hired David Ziegler as assistant team leader for its Darboy 44 l NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011







WHO’S NEWS Tushaus Computer Services, Green Bay, hired two individuals for its Fox Valley Office: Jayme Martin is its new LaCrosse – SharePoint developer, and Scott Rauen will serve as enterprise CISCO network engineer. Dean Hunt was named business development manager of SVA Certified Public Accountants, S.C. in Appleton. U.S. Senator-elect Ron Johnson selected Lt. Col. (Retired) Tony Blando to serve as state director of his Wisconsin Senate office. Blando served 21 years as an Army officer and the most recent five years as president of Unified Catholic Schools of Oshkosh. Hoffman LLC, Appleton, hired Todd Wunderlich and Clay Veldt to its staff. Wunderlich, a LEED-accredited professional with 13 years experience in the design and construction industry, was hired as a project manager. Veldt joined Hoffman from Wisconsin Log Homes, where he served as a national home consultant. Veldt will generate new ways to grow and enhance Hoffman’s business. Rehab Alliance LLC, Fond du Lac, added three new employees: Kelli Anderson, physical therapy assistant; Joscelyn Deanovich, account liaison, and JoJo Teichmiller, billing.

Promotions Pfefferle Companies, Appleton, promoted Mike Pfefferle to president for the company, replacing his father, John Pfefferle, the company founder and principal, who will serve as CEO and chairman of the board. Mike Pfefferle joined Pfefferle Investments in 1994, working in the company’s property management division. In 1997, he began selling and leasing commercial properties throughout the state. The UW-Oshkosh College of Business named Bill Wresch associate dean. Wresch has been with UW-Oshkosh as a management of information systems professor since 2001, and has served as the associate dean for undergraduate programs for the college since 2005. C.R. Meyer & Sons Construction, Oshkosh, promoted Darren Lett to president. Lett, who has held various positions at Meyer during his 25-year tenure, was previously vice president responsible for operations and labor management. Former president and CEO Phillip Martini will continue to serve in the role of CEO. The company also promoted Brad Riutta and Bob Mayer to senior vice presidents. Riutta is responsible for the company’s Michigan operations and its pipefitting and



Gigstead NEW NORTH B2B l JANUARY 2011 l 45

WHO’S NEWS boiler-making divisions. Mayer is responsible for operations in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Washington.

Logistics, Appleton, as its president for the 2011 term. Wally has served as an executive officer of the WWA since 2008.

The Belson Co., Green Bay, promoted Jake Paider to sales manager-laundry/warewash division. He has been a sales representative at Belson for 17 years.

Steve Klessig, lead architect and officer for Keller, Inc., Kaukauna, was elected to the board of directors for Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) Wisconsin Chapter. Klessig has worked for Keller for the last 22 years. His term with the ABC Board of Directors will run through 2013.

DCI Cheese Co., Richfield, an importer, manufacturer, distributor and marketer of specialty cheeses and prepared foods, promoted Chris Sandretti to general manager of its Green Bay conversion facility. She will also supervise the company’s supply chain team. ThedaCare, Appleton, promoted Jamie Dunham to director of clinical care transformation, where she will lead the implementation of spreading Collaborative Care - ThedaCare’s proprietary inpatient delivery model - at both Appleton Medical Center and Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah. Dunham previously was the nursing transformation leader for the first three Collaborative Care units. She has been with ThedaCare since 1981. Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin, Green Bay, promoted Terry Jacob to store team leader at its Menasha retail store and training center. Jacob joined Goodwill in 2004 as an area team leader and was promoted to assistant team leader at its Darboy store in 2008. Citizens Bank, Green Bay, appointed Bill Gigstead as branch manager for its Ashwaubenon branch. Prior to his new role, Gigstead served as the branch manager for Citizens Bank – Kiel.

Elections/appointments Renny Diedrich, manager of Coldwell Banker - The Real Estate Group, Greenville, was named treasurer of the Wisconsin Realtors Association for 2010-2011. Diedrich has been involved in the state association since 2007.


The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter of Public Relations Society of America elected the following officers for 2011: president, Krissy Lillie, Aurora Health Care; president elect, Erin Elliott-Heibing; past president, Kelli Karpinski, Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce; secretary, Cassie Wenzel, Integrys; and treasurer, Dana Kohlbeck, Coalesce.

Individual awards The Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE) honored Linda Wilke, instructor at Moraine Park Technical College, Fond du Lac, as the Region III winner for ACTE’s Teacher of the Year award. Brad Langley, president and chief operating officer of the Creative Group Inc., Appleton, was among nine recipients of the inaugural Spotlight Award at the 2010 CMI reception in Chicago, an event honoring the 25 largest corporate meetings and incentive companies in North America. Langley received the award for his work on the board for the U.S. Travel Association. Cousins Subs awarded Oshkosh operator Shelly Hurzeler with its 2009 We Make it Better Award. Hurzeler has been a franchise owner since 2006 and currently owns two Cousins Subs in the Oshkosh area.

The Wisconsin Warehouse Association (WWA) named Jamie Wally, vice president of sales and marketing for WOW

Advertiser’s Index Appleton Coated ..................................... 50 Aspen Coffee & Tea ................................ 10 Baker Tilly 14 Bank First National 47 CarePlus Dental Associates 8 CitizensFirst Credit Union . ............................ 37 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 5 EP Direct ............................................... 38 Epiphany Law ............................................ 52 E-Power Marketing 11 Fast Signs 47 First Business Bank 35 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ................... 11 Guident Business Solutions 31 Heart of the Valley Chamber 16 Horicon Bank ............................................. 24


J. F. Ahern Co. ................................................. 45 Keller Inc. ................................................... 23 Marian University 38 National Exchange Bank & Trust 2 Network Health Plan . ................................ 51 Nsight 39 Nutorious, LLC Oshkosh Business Expo 38 Outagamie County Regional Airport 15 Richards Insurance................................................................. 11 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries 12 Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. . ......................................... 24 TEC ............................................................ 43 T.R. Karrels 11 Winnebago County Solid Waste Mgmt. ..................... 45

BUSINESS CALENDAR 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 January 4 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business over Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber building, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.766.1616. January 7 “Outagamie County Executive Candidate Forum,” a Meet Your Legislator event through the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Citizens Bank, 205 E. 4th St. in Kaukauna. No charge to attend. For more information or to register, call the chamber office at 920.766.1616 or go online to January 11 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 or call 920.303.2265. January 11 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m. at Red & White, 2400 S. Kensington Dr. in Appleton. For more information or to register, go online to or call 920.766.1616. January 27 Oshkosh Business Expo 2011, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Oshkosh Convention Center, 2 N. main St. in Oshkosh. Booth spaces are still available at a cost of $450 for chamber members. For more information about purchasing a booth or attending the event as a visitor, call Bruce at 920.303.2265 or go online to 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 or call 920.303.2265. February 15 Marketplace of Ideas 2011, a day-long networking event presented by the Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at The Wave Bar & Ballroom, 2350 N. Casaloma Dr. 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.

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Walker and the math of job creation Quality counts when it comes to increasing employment

Tom Still President Wisconsin Technology Council

The challenge facing Gov.-elect Scott Walker isn’t to create 250,000 jobs over the next four years, as the numbers suggest that’s possible. The real challenge is to create the high-quality, well-paying jobs Wisconsin needs. During his campaign for governor, which culminated with a five-point victory on Nov. 2, Walker promised to create 250,000 jobs and 10,000 businesses by 2015, the end of his four-year term. Wisconsin has about 2.7 million nonfarm workers today, so growing that total by 250,000 represents an increase of about 9 percent spread over four years. That may be possible given recent history and some basic workforce math. First, Wisconsin’s workforce continues to grow even though many people are still out of work. Economist David Ward of Madisonbased NorthStar Economics pegs that growth at roughly 1 percent per year, so that modest expansion alone could produce 105,000 jobs over four years. Second, Wisconsin reported about 236,000 people unemployed in September 2010, when the jobless rate was 7.8 percent. If that rate fell to 5 percent over four years, that’s another 85,000 people back on the payroll. With luck and the right state government policies, it’s not hard to imagine another 60,000 jobs being created during Walker One. However, the new jobs may not look like the ones they replace. Here’s why: In early 2000, Wisconsin had more than 2.7 million non-farm workers, with a smaller population base. Unemployment was under 3 percent. The state actually added 125,000 jobs in one year alone, from early 1999 to early 2000. But that was a time when manufacturing employment in Wisconsin was still very much on the rise. There were 611,000 manufacturing jobs in the state in early 2000, according to state records, compared to 422,000 today. Most of those manufacturing jobs are lost forever to global competition and industry trends. Manufacturing is still a vibrant part of Wisconsin’s economy, but it has changed dramatically, in part because of technology and other efficiencies. Some incremental increases in manufacturing can be expected over time, but the halcyon days of 600,000-plus jobs will remain a hazy memory. So, where will new jobs be produced? Sectors such as care for the aging, education, food processing and safety, information tech-


nology sectors, transportation, trade, bioproducts and alternative fuels hold potential. “Raw numbers of jobs is not our problem. We need high-quality jobs,” said Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and author of new report titled “Wisconsin Jobs and Wages: A Wake-Up Call?” Berry believes the number that will drive 250,000 new jobs is 10,000 new businesses, given that small businesses create virtually all jobs in the U.S. economy. As the Kauffman Foundation reported recently, “start-ups and young companies dominate job creation in the United States – and have done so for the past 30 years.” Launching start-ups is precisely where Wisconsin has lagged since the early 1990s. In the 17 years ending in 2009, new companies as a percentage of all firms averaged 5.4 percent nationally, while in Wisconsin the “firm creation rate” was 4.5 percent. Wisconsin ranked 42nd among the 50 states and scored behind most of its neighbors. Berry noted that attracting and retaining larger firms gets most of the political attention, and a disproportionate amount of state financial support, even though creating new businesses from within is the real game. “If young firms are creating all of the new jobs, as the data show, then we’re having the wrong conversation,” Berry said. Changing that conversation means creating a culture of entrepreneurism and removing obstacles that prevent young firms from getting a running start. Those obstacles can include local ordinances, state regulations and licensing requirements. Unemployment payroll taxes hurt young firms because it’s a tax not tied to profitability. The relative lack of venture capital also contributes to less-than-average firm creation. “In the end, we’ve got to decide what kind of culture we want,” Berry said. “We should have a culture that rewards risk – a culture that allows entrepreneurs to keep money in their pockets and to keep pounding away in their garages.”  While that cultural shift is underway in Wisconsin, much work remains. Creating 250,000 jobs is laudable and attainable – and launching 10,000 new companies with the potential to create high-wage jobs is even better. Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal.


New North home to many private firms Deloitte ranking reveals economic stability in area businesses

Bob Warde Managing Editor New North B2B

Since 2003, accounting and consultancy firm Deloitte has compiled its list of the Wisconsin 75 – the largest privately-held businesses headquartered here and has a remarkably high participation rate for companies that traditionally have kept to themselves regarding sales and other information they consider private. Not surprisingly, the New North has been consistently well represented on the list, with about 30 percent of the companies headquartered in northeastern Wisconsin. A fiveyear analysis of the list from 2006 through 2010 shows a stable list of 22 or 23 companies that, for the most part, don’t move up or down by more than a few places each year. For each of the past five years, Kohler Co. has come in at No. 2 behind S.C. Johnson Co. of Racine as the state’s largest. For four consecutive years from 2006 through 2009, Schneider National, the Green Bay trucking and logistics firm, was ensconced at the No. 3 position until 2010 when a divestiture and lower shipments resulting from the recession as well as the ascension of Diversey, another company associated with the Johnson family, knocked it into the No. 4 spot. Next for the New North in the top 10 is U.S. Venture (formerly U.S. Oil Inc.). The company, an oil wholesaler and convenience store operator, stood at No. 8 from 2006 until 2010, when it fell to No. 9 statewide. The company has just implemented a plan to jump start growth by selling its first franchise of its Express Convenience store to Randy Zaidel, who operates at the corner of Mason St. and Military Ave. in Green Bay, taking over an existing convenience store with the new name and some product lines. U.S. Venture officials said Express is expanding into franchise agreements to offer services to a broader market. With many paper companies either publicly traded or smaller, Appleton (formerly Appleton Paper) is the lone industry representative on the Deloitte list, settling in at No. 9 from 2006 through 2008, then fell to No. 11 in 2009 and No. 15 in 2010. One company has had a rebound in 2010.

Green Bay Packaging hovered at either No.9 or No. 10 from 2006 through 2007, then fell to No. 13 in 2009. In 2010, the company rose one spot to No. 12, still two spots behind its highest ranking. A model of consistency, Green Bay’s KI (Krueger International) has been perched at No. 19 in 2008 and 2009 before slipping one spot to No. 20 in 2010. After spending two years (2006 and 2007) at No. 22, construction firm Boldt Co. of Appleton quickly rose five spots to No. 17 in 2008, then rose one more rung to No. 16 in 2009 before falling back five spots to No. 21 this past year. Two companies dropped off the list, presumably after not choosing to participate. Neenah-based J.J. Keller & Associates appeared at No. 45 in 2006 and 2007, while C.R. Meyer & Sons Construction of Oshkosh stood at No. 32 in 2006 and 2007. Neither company has appeared since. Werner Electric Supply Co., Neenah, hovered between No. 53 in 2006 and 2007 before moving up five spots to No. 48 in 2008, then slipping to No. 49 in 2009, then falling to 51 in 2010. The economy hasn’t stood in the way of J. F. Ahern Co.’s ascent via growth and acquisition. In 2006 and 2007, Ahern stood at No. 55, then moved up nine spots to 46 in 2008 and 2009, then moving up to No. 43 in 2010. Another consistent ranking has been awarded to Creative Group Inc., Appleton, an incentive program design firm, which came in at No. 69 in 2006 and 2007, then moved up to No. 65 in 2008, and fell to 67 in 2009 and 2010. Other companies from the New North on the 2010 list are: Sargento Foods Inc., Plymouth, No. 14; mutual insurance company Acuity, Sheboygan, No. 18; Masters Gallery Foods Inc., Plymouth, No.24; Lakeside Foods Inc., Manitowoc, No. 26; Rockline Industries Inc., Sheboygan, No. 30; Windway Capital Corp., Sheboygan, No. 34; Quality State Oil Co. Inc., Sheboygan, No. 50; Eggers Industries, Two Rivers, No. 73; and agricultural equipment maker Miller-St. Nazianz Inc., No. 75.


KEY STATISTICS Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

December 19 $2.99 December 12 $2.99

$2.95 November 28 $2.87 Dec. 19, 2009 $2.51 December 5

Source: New North B2B observations




from October


from November 2009 November



$387.7 billion


from October


from November 2009 (2007 = 100)




from October


from November 2009 (Manufacturers and trade)


$1,417 billion


from October

from September

from November 2009

from October 2009



Appleton Fond du Lac Green Bay Neenah Oshkosh Wisconsin

October Sept. Oct. ‘09 8.5% 8.2% 9.6% 9.2% 7.1% 7.0%

8.4% 8.2% 9.4% 8.5% 7.2% 7.8%

10.2% 10.1% 10.8% 10.5% 7.9% 7.9%

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

December $0.911

November $0.864 Dec. ‘09


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

November October

56.6 56.9

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

Appleton Coated manufactures Utopia premium coated papers at its ISO 14001 registered facility in Combined Locks, Wisconsin. Utopia offers the broadest choice available today for commercial printing and book publishing applications. Our 6 product offerings are FSC®-certified and available with other green attributes (pcw content & green power) in a range from premium to the value category for a perfect pairing with any project. The first coated mill to become FSC®-certified and to adopt green product attributes - extra post-consumer fiber and green power - we have long-term experience in helping our customers meet the needs of their green messaging in print. Appleton Coated is a member of the EPA Green Power Partnership® and our Green Power is Green-e® Certified. Visit


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

Estate Planning Simplified *Why would a business law firm run an ad for estate planning? Well, it’s pretty simple: As part of our business focus we have been doing complex estate planning and succession planning for business owners since inception. Thus, we have already developed the same straight-forward, cost effective systems and processes for estate planning that our business clients have always valued. In addition, we, unfortunately, have heard a lot of negative feedback from both clients and referral sources about other attorneys in the area who offer estate planning (and everything else). Common complaints include inexperience, unpredictable pricing, poor work product and the inability to speak with the attorney. After hearing request after request to open up our estate planning practice to non-business owners, we have relented. Thus, we are pleased to announce that Epiphany Law is now accepting clients and referrals for estate planning of both the business and non-business persuasion.

Kevin L. Eismann Attorney at Law

Melissa DeVantier Attorney at Law

Valerie Revnew Attorney at Law

Kathryn Blom Attorney at Law


4211 N. Lightning Drive Appleton, WI 54913

Ryan Plisch Attorney at Law

Nicholas Hoffman Attorney at Law

January 2011  

New North B2B regional business magazine

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