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Business Intelligence for the New North


lluminating nnovations

Regional manufacturing ingenuity makes everyday items better Compassionate employer awards Human Resources Region’s fastest growing companies From the Publisher

September 2014 | $3.95


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

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Business Intelligence for the New North

September Features 16


Making everyday items better Regional manufacturing innovations hit mainstream


Swayed by the numbers

Reports, commentaries on economy influence business leaders


Compassionate Employer Award 26

Inaugural award recognizes employers doing the right thing for employees in need

Departments 4

From the Publisher

5, 37 Professionally Speaking



Since We Last Met

10 Corporate Earnings 14 Build Up Pages 34 Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin Finale 38 Who’s News 43 Business Calendar 44 Advertiser Index 45

From the Editor

46 Key Statistics

NNB2B | September 2014 | 3

From the Publisher

Inc. 5000 shines light on northeast Wisconsin Annual list of fastest growing companies includes 10 firms from our coverage area by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

Inc. magazine’s annual release of its Inc. 5,000 list is always on the B2B radar come late August, because the list of the country’s fastest growing private companies routinely includes a handful from northeast Wisconsin. This year was no different. But it was admittedly surprising this year to find a striking number of 10 companies from the New North B2B coverage area included on the 2014 list, which tracked revenue growth between 2010 and 2013. Here’s a look at the region’s accelerating companies making the Inc. 5,000 list for 2014 by order of rank: ❉ Exclusive CPA of Kaukauna ( was the top firm from northeast Wisconsin to make the list, ranking No. 919 with 2013 revenue of $7.9 million, a 490 percent rate of growth during the past three years. The Internet marketing firm with five employees made its debut on the Inc. 5,000 in 2013 with a ranking at No. 839. ❉ The Wasmer Company of New Holstein ( made the list for its first time at No. 960, posting 2013 sales of $6.2 million and a 3-year growth of 470 percent. The energy efficiency consulting firm with 24 employees made the list on the very first occasion it could be eligible, having only started up in 2010. ❉ Acquire Restoration of Oshkosh (acquirerestoration. com) entered the Inc. 5,000 for its first time at No. 1,981 with a growth rate of 206 percent. The restoration contractor providing emergency services to properties damaged by fire, water or crime has eight employees and posted 2013 revenues of $2.2 million. ❉ Next on the list, Oshkosh web design and Internet marketing firm DealerFire ( also made its debut to the list this year ranking at No. 2,150, posting 2013 sales of $6.6 million and a three-year growth of 185 percent. Currently supporting 95 employees, the company is anticipating a continued surge of growth, having announced a facility expansion plan this past April that garnered more than $500,000 in tax credits from Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and is expected to spur another 123 jobs within the next three years.

4 | September 2014 | NNB2B

❉ Vehicle Security Innovators of Green Bay ( ranked No. 3,343 with a growth rate of 101 percent during the past three years. The provider of security products for the transportation industry chalked up 2013 sales of $7.1 million and currently employs a staff of 34. ❉ Heartland Business Systems of Little Chute ( was named to the prestigious list for an impressive eighth straight year in 2014, recording 2013 revenues of $173 million and a three-year growth of 75 percent, ranking the IT products and services provider at No. 3,987. Making the list year after year is particularly notable because accelerated growth generally occurs just a few years before slowing down as the company becomes larger. With 460 employees, Heartland has nearly doubled its workforce in the last three years, and has more than quadrupled revenues since making its debut to the Inc. 5,000 in 2007. Its highest ranking in the eight years on the list was No. 2,048 in 2012. ❉ Similarly, Drexel Building Supply of Campbellsport ( was named to the list for its fifth time, chiming in at No. 4,365 this year with 2013 sales of $86.7 million and a 63 percent rate of growth during the past three years. The building material supplier with 200 employees ranked as high as No. 311 when it appeared on the Inc. 5,000 in 2009. ❉ Kimberly-Clark Corp. spinoff Aurizon Ultrasonics of Kimberly ( entered the list for its first time this year at No. 4,412 with a 61 percent rate of growth during the past three years. The manufacturer of ultrasonic technology for the paper and packaging industries reported 2013 receipts of $4.5 million and currently employs 20. ❉ Oshkosh-based Fox World Travel ( returned to the list for its second year in a row at No. 4,588, posting sales of $17.9 million a year ago and a three-year growth rate of 55 percent. The travel management agency with 170 employees moved up from its ranking at No. 4,917 in 2013. ❉ Rounding out the list of area firms making the Inc. 5,000 cut, Integrated Paper Services of Appleton ( made its debut at No. 4,955 with a growth of 44 percent during the past three years. The testing lab for the paper and pulp, packaging and medical testing industries reported 2013 sales of $3.9 million and supports 58 employees. Congratulations to every firm that made the Inc. 5,000 list this year, and best wishes for a successful 2014 in hopes that you’ll be included on next year’s list as well. n

Professionally Speaking

National Labor Relations Board Update

If you have a particular labor/employment law question, forward it to Mr. Renning at If he responds to your email in a future issue, your name and company will be withheld to preserve your privacy. Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.

by Tony Renning of Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. 920.232.4842 Reader Question: What is the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) doing?

Tony Renning: You may recall in June the United States Supreme Court decided NLRB v. Noel Canning, 573 U.S. (2014). Specifically, the Supreme Court unanimously held the NLRB did not have a proper quorum to take action during the period from Jan. 4, 2012 to Aug. 5, 2013 due to improper recess appointments. In response, the NLRB (now with a proper quorum) merely ratified all of the decisions made, including those made in administrative and personnel matters, during the period the NLRB did not have a proper quorum. In a series of recent decisions, the NLRB has found social media policies unlawful because they interfere with employee rights to engage in protected, concerted activity. Examples of policies deemed to violate the law include those that: (1) prohibit social media posts that are inaccurate or misleading or contain offensive, demeaning

Sean Fitzgerald Publisher & President Larry Avila Editor

or inappropriate remarks; (2) discourage employees from “friending” co-workers; and (3) prohibit employees from making statements detrimental, disparaging or defamatory to the employer or discuss workplace dissatisfaction. The NLRB recently decided two (2) cases (Bergdorf Goodman, 361 NLRB No. 11 and Macy’s, Inc., 361 NLRB No. 4) regarding union petitions to represent “micro-units” of employees (small subsets of employees at a particular worksite which a union seeks to represent). Decisions in both cases encourage unions to petition for “microunits” as opposed to “wall-to-wall units” that encompass a majority of an employer’s employees. Finally, the NLRB is taking the position that employees’ electronic-mail messages should be protected as concerted activity even when sent through the employer’s email system. Purple Communications, Inc. and Communications Workers of America, Case Nos. 21-CA-095151, 21-RC-091531 and 21-RC-091584. In so doing, the NLRB is seeking to overturn precedent holding that employees have “no statutory right” to use

an employer’s electronic-communication system for organizing purposes. In light of this recent behavior on the part of the NLRB, employers should exercise caution in developing social media policies and disciplining and/or discharging employees who may be engaged in “protected, concerted activity.” Additionally, be cognizant of potential union organizing. For advice and counsel concerning the National Labor Relations Act and its enforcement by the NLRB, contact Tony Renning at (920) 232-4842 or trenning@ or any other member of the Davis & Kuelthau Labor and Employment Team. Tony Renning is a shareholder with Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Mr. Renning provides counsel to private and public sector employers on a wide variety of labor and employment law matters. This article is intended to provide information only, not legal advice. For advice regarding a particular employment situation, please contact a member of the Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. Labor and Employment Team.

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Fox Cities


Chief Financial Officer Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA Layout design by

Fond du Lac

NNB2B | September 2014 | 5

Since We Last Met

Since We Last Met

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

July 22 The Paper Industry International Hall of Fame Inc. in Appleton received a $16,666 grant from the Frank C. Shattuck Community Fund of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. This is the second installment of a two-year $50,000 grant to support education programs for the Paper Discovery Center in Appleton. July 22 More than $28 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants were awarded to the state’s 16 technical colleges, including the following: Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay, $1 million to provide training for 72 workers in the areas of machine tooling, CNC technicians, nursing, and web and software development; Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, $3.6 million to train 856 workers in transportation, health care, advanced manufacturing, logistics, business services and modern agriculture; and Moraine Park Technical College in Fond du Lac, $1.2 million to train 126 workers in manufacturing and health care. July 23 Gov. Scott Walker requested a federal disaster declaration for eight Wisconsin counties, including Fond du Lac and Winnebago, to assist local government costs associated with

the record severe winter weather of 2013-14. The declaration would help pay for $11.3 million in damage to public infrastructure, which included broken water mains and frozen water towers. Government estimates showed damage in excess of $25 million in 69 Wisconsin counties. July 23 Several Wisconsin communities were ranked among Forbes magazine’s 2014 list of best places for business and careers in the country, including the following regional cities in the small communities category: Appleton, No. 50; Oshkosh, No. 59; and Fond du Lac, No. 138. Fargo, N.D. topped the list, while La Crosse ranked No. 42 and Eau Claire ranked No. 56. In the large communities rankings, Green Bay placed No. 132, while Madison placed No. 33 and Milwaukee was No. 104. The top large community was Raleigh, N.C. July 28 Alta Resources, the Neenah-based provider of customer management business process outsourcing, announced plans to hire more than 2,500 people across its locations in Wisconsin, California, Florida and the Philippines. More than 600 of the positions will be at its Neenah headquarters. The company said most of the new jobs will support several health

Warner offices in Kimberly, with the possibility of creating hundreds of additional jobs.

2006 September 1 - Mercury Marine came to an agreement with the City of Oshkosh to relocate its remanufacturing operations to a 115,000sq. ft., $6 million facility in the city’s Southwest Industrial Park. The existing Mercury property on Marian Road along the north bank of the Fox River is part of the Marian Road/Pearl Avenue Redevelopment Area. The Oshkosh Common Council approved $2.87 million earlier this year to purchase the property and assist Mercury with relocation expenses. 2007 September 19 - Time Warner Cable of Wisconsin announced plans to construct an $18 million customer service and operations facility in Appleton’s SouthPoint Commerce Park on Plank Road. The City of Appleton approved contributing $3.5 million in tax incremental financing to develop the site for a 100,000-sq. ft. office building and a 30,000-sq. ft. warehouse. About 400 jobs will transfer from Time

6 | September 2014 | NNB2B

2010 September 3 - Wisconsin’s 71-year-old minimum markup law on gasoline was reinstated by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled the law requiring retailers to sell gas above cost does not encourage illegal price-fixing. The Wisconsin Petroleum Marketers & Convenience Store Association, which initiated the suit, argued its members would be driven out of business by larger competitors without the law. 2011 September 7 - The City of Appleton Common Council agreed to extend health care insurance benefits to same-sex domestic partners of non-union employees. The benefit extension is estimated to cost the city an additional $100,000 annually. The benefit extension was part of a broader measure, which cut sick leave in half, established a zero percent pay raise, and extended sick and bereavement leave for samesex and opposite-sex domestic partners.

insurance clients, which have seasonal volume increases requiring additional staffing to prepare for the annual enrollment period between November and February. July 28 The state Department of Transportation Division of Motor Vehicles suspended the motor vehicle dealer license of Family Auto Budget Sales LLC in Fond du Lac for at least 30 days, citing multiple infractions including failure to properly inspect vehicles; altering temporary license plates, issuing multiple temporary license plates per single vehicle, and failure to keep accurate records of all temporary license plates; failure to execute purchase contracts; and failure to submit application for title to the department within seven business days. July 30 Walmart indicated it will abandon plans to build a 154,000sq. ft. store in Green Bay’s downtown Broadway shopping district due to the “political and administrative resistance we faced within the city government ” company officials said in a statement. The issue has been a source of contention among residents and downtown business owners as well as between city staff and elected officials since the proposal for a new store came up in late 2013. July 30 Chicago-based Exelon Corp. announced it was purchasing Integrys Energy Services Inc., the energy marketing arm of Integrys Energy Group Inc. Integrys Energy Services has 1.2 million commercial, industrial, public sector and residential customers across 22 Midwest, mid-Atlantic and Northeastern states. This deal is separate from June’s announcement by Wisconsin Energy Corp., the parent company of WE Energies, to buy Integrys Energy Group Inc., the parent firm of Wisconsin Public Service Corp., for $9.1 billion. August 4 The village of Allouez, East Central Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and Winnebago County were among the recipients of more than $13 million in grants awarded through the Transportation Alternatives Program of the state Department of Transportation. Allouez received $350,694 toward building safer walking routes to Webster Elementary School. Winnebago County is receiving $80,000 toward its countywide bicycle and pedestrian plan. The regional planning commission received $852,000 toward the East Central Wisconsin Regional Safe Routes to School Program. August 5 Officials from EAA announced attendance at its 2014 AirVenture convention in Oshkosh was estimated at more than 500,000, up nearly 6 percent from last year. The event saw more than 10,000 aircraft arrive at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and neighboring airports. The event attracted 2,081 international visitors representing 69 countries. August 5 The National Cancer Institute awarded a $12.5 million grant to a collaborative cancer research effort between St. Vincent Regional Cancer Center in Green Bay, Marshfield Clinic


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Since We Last Met Research Foundation and Gundersen Medical Foundation of La Crosse. The health care organizations will work to improve access to cancer trials for more patients. St. Vincent currently has about 120 open trials, and enrolls about 200 cancer patients annually for its research. August 6 Sears Holdings Corp. indicated it will close its store and auto repair center at Forest Mall in Fond du Lac by the end of October, affecting 42 employees. The company said layoffs would take place between Aug. 14 and Nov 2. The closure marks the second anchor tenant from the mall to close this year after J.C. Penney Co. shut down its store this past May. August 6 The Greater Oshkosh Economic Development Corp. formally launched as the primary economic development organization for the City of Oshkosh and adjacent towns in Winnebago County. Oshkosh business and community representatives have worked on establishing the organization during the past year. Upcoming plans for GO-EDC include securing revenue from businesses to support the organization’s strategic plan and hiring a CEO and other staff. August 8 The Port of Green Bay reported cargo tonnage handled in July totaled 338,252 tons, up 44 percent from 234,121 tons in July 2013. Year-to-date, the port has handled 812,916 tons of cargo,

up 10 percent from 740,037 tons through July 2013. Officials said 36 ships used the port in July, 11 more than a year ago. August 12 Results from local primary elections included Mike Rohrkaste of Neenah winning a five-person race for the Republican nomination in the 55th Assembly District; David Steffen of Howard winning a three-way race for the Republican ticket in the 4th Assembly District west of Green Bay; and State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-Campbellsport) winning the Republican primary for the 6th Congressional District race for the U.S. House of Representatives. Grothman won a four-person primary by narrowly edging out State Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan) by 214 votes from more than 64,000 total votes cast during the election. A recount was expected in this race as of B2B press time. The declared GOP winner will face off against Winnebago County Executive Mark Harris of Oshkosh, who was unchallenged for the Democratic ticket, and Libertarian Gus Fahrendorf of Neenah. The general election is Nov. 4. August 13 Froedtert Health of Milwaukee and Ministry Health Care of Milwaukee announced plans to pursue co-ownership of Network Health, the Menasha-based health insurance plan provider of commercial and Medicare Advantage health insurance plans to employers and individuals in northeastern Wisconsin. Network Health has been solely owned by Ministry Health Care since 2012. The move will expand Network Health’s service area into southeastern Wisconsin. n

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Corporate Earnings

Once each quarter, New North B2B runs a digest of quarterly financial reports from local publicly traded companies, or from out-of-the-area parent companies with significant operations in our northeast Wisconsin coverage area.

Associated Banc Corp. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Income $46.4 million $47.9 million t 3% EPS 28 cents 28 cents Unch. The Green Bay-based financial institution reported average loans grew $482 million, or about 3 percent, during its second quarter compared with its first quarter. The company reported a majority of its growth came from commercial loan balances, which grew $398 million, or 4 percent.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $5.3 Billion $5.3 Billion s 1% Income $530 million $547 million t 3% EPS $1.35 $1.36 t <1% The manufacturer of consumer paper and tissue products with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported sales for the first six months of the year totaled $10.6 billion, which was even when compared to the same time last year. The company said its adult care sales, which includes the Depend brand, saw some gains through increased market share, while sales of its child care lines, including Huggies diapers, declined.

VF Corp. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $2.4 Billion $2.2 Billion s 8% Income $158 million $138 million s 14% EPS 36 cents 31 cents s 16% The parent company of Jansport operations in the Fox Cities recorded 16 percent growth in its outdoor and action sports line, which included an 11 percent increase in its The North Face line and a 21 percent sales increase from its Vans brand. The company said its jeanswear unit, which includes Lee and Wrangler, fell 1 percent to $606 million. 10 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Illinois Tool Works Inc. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $3.7 Billion $3.5 Billion s 6% Income $1.5 Billion $465 million s 223% EPS $1.21 92 cents s 32% The parent company of Miller Electric Manufacturing operations across the Fox Cities said operating margins from its welding segment fell 2 percent for the quarter when compared to the same quarter last year, but remains the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top performer for operating margins, when compared to its six other business units.

Plexus Corp. 3Q 2014 3Q 2013 Revenue $621 million $572 million s 9% Income $24.6 million $23.2 million s 6% EPS 71 cents 68 cents s 4% The Neenah-based contract electronics manufacturer said new business secured during its third quarter will generate $282 million in annualized revenue when in full production. The company projects fourth quarter revenues ranging between $645 to $675 million.

Bemis Company Inc. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $1.2 Billion $1.3 Billion t 5% Income $65.8 million $53.1 million s 24% EPS 65 cents 51 cents s 27% The Neenah-based supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials reported its U.S. packaging business had net sales of $726 million for its second quarter, down 7 percent when compared to the same period last year. The company blamed the segmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decrease on the sale of its paper packaging division and its Clysar business, which reduced sales of its U.S. packaging business by 6.6 percent.

Brunswick Corp.

First Business Financial Services Inc.

2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $1.1 Billion $1.1 Billion s 4% Income $88.6 million $80.4 million s 10% EPS 93 cents 86 cents s 8% The parent company of Mercury Marine operations in Fond du Lac reported sales in its marine engine segment were $652 million, up 3 percent compared to the same quarter last year. The company said sales from its boating unit totaled $324 million for the quarter, up 4 percent from a year ago.

2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Income $3.5 million $3.1 million s 13% EPS 88 cents 80 cents s 10% The commercial-oriented financial institution serving Madison, Milwaukee and northeast Wisconsin acquired the Aslin Group in Kansas City, Mo., parent of Alterra Bank. First Business reported deposit balances for the quarter totaled $729.4 million, up 6 percent from a year ago.

Humana Inc.

Oshkosh Corp.

2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $12.2 Billion $10.3 Billion s 18% Income $344 million $420 million t 18% EPS $2.19 $2.63 t 17% The health and benefits company with extensive operations in the Green Bay area reported those covered by its policies totaled 13.6 million at the end of its second quarter, up 10 percent from 12.4 million a year ago.

3Q 2014 3Q 2013 Revenue $1.9 Billion $2.2 Billion t 14% Income $105 million $149 million t 29% EPS $1.24 $1.69 t 27% The manufacturer of specialty vehicles reported a 47 percent decline in its defense segment sales when compared to the same quarter last year as U.S. Defense Department orders decreased. The company said its fire and emergency business units also declined 8 percent, blaming the decrease on lower international sales.

Dean Foods 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $2.4 Billion $2.3 Billion s 4% Income ($6 million) $64.7 million t 109% EPS (14 cents) 26 cents t 154% The dairy-based foods company with extensive operations in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay area, increased its market share of all-fluid domestic milk sales to 35.9 percent during the second quarter, but also experienced higher raw milk costs. The company reported it closed 12 production facilities in June and July as part of its accelerated cost reduction plan announced earlier this year.

Bank First National 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Income $3.1 million $3.2 million t 3% EPS 49 cents 49 cents Unch. The Manitowoc-based financial institution with significant operations across northeast Wisconsin reported 9.9 percent loan growth during its second quarter when compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company changed its corporate name from First Manitowoc Bancorp Inc. to Bank First National Corp. on July 1.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 11

Corporate Earnings

Integrys Energy Group Inc. 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $1.4 Billion $1.1 Billion s 27% Income $26.1 million ($6.9 million) s 478% EPS 9 cents (7 cents) s 229% The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. operations across northeast and northcentral Wisconsin reported Chicago-based Exelon Corp. was purchasing Integrys Energy Services Inc., the energy marketing arm of Integrys Energy Group, for $60 million.

Neenah Paper 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $230 million $212 million s 9% Income $15.0 million $12.8 million s 17% EPS 88 cents 77 cents s 14% The papermaker with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported fine paper sales in its second quarter totaled $107 million, up 7 percent from $100 million the same quarter last year. The company said sales improved in premium packaging as well as its digital grades.

Appvion 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $208 million $202 million s 3% Income $10.7 million $20.4 million t 48% The Appleton-based employee-owned producer of thermal papers reported strong performance from its Encapsys division, recording a sales increase of 4.6 percent for the quarter. The company also reported a 6 percent increase in its thermal paper business unit.

Alliance Laundry Systems 2Q 2014 2Q 2013 Revenue $187 million $142 million s 31% Income $6.4 million $10.0 million t 36% The Ripon-based manufacturer of commercial and residential laundry equipment reported record second quarter sales driven by a 137 percent increase in exports to Europe.


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Fond du Lac 1 - 775 W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac Panera Bread, a new restaurant building.

4 - 55 Holiday Lane, Fond du Lac Holiday Inn Express, an 86-room hotel facility.

2 - 158 N. Main St., Fond du Lac Kwik Trip, a new convenience store, fuel station and car wash. Project completion expected in September.

5 - 191 W. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store, a travel center with a convenience store, two restaurants and a truck tire service center. Project completion expected in early 2015.

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

6 - 980 S. Hickory St., Fond du Lac Kwik Trip, a new convenience store and fuel station. Project completion expected in September.

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7 - 305 & 321 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac Fond du Lac Regional Clinic South, a 50,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing medical clinic, as well as a separate 50,000sq. ft. building for an Agnesian Healthcare dialysis center. Completion of both projects expected in late 2014.

Projects completed since our August issue: â&#x20AC;˘ Grande Cheese Company, 246 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac. Indicates a new listing

8 - 639 Witzel Ave., Oshkosh City of Oshkosh Public Works Building, a municipal operations facility and yard. 9 - 3325 S. Washburn St., Oshkosh Bergstrom Kia, a 10,574-sq. ft. addition to the dealership.

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NNB2B | September 2014 | 15

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1 - W6400 County Road BB, town of Greenville Fox Valley Technical College Public Safety Training Center, a 93,000-sq. ft. training facility for police and fire protection personnel. Project completion expected in December. 2 - N850 County Road CB, town of Greenville Jansport/VF Outdoor Inc., a 19,432-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility and offices. Project completion expected in late fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 3 - 2150 Holly Road, town of Menasha Azco Inc., a 9,456-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in late fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 4 - 2445 W. College Ave., Appleton Kolosso Automotive, a 49,000-sq. ft. dealership facility. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 5 - 835 W. Northland Ave., Appleton First National Bank - Fox Valley, a 4,200-sq. ft. financial institution branch office. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Keller Inc. 6 - 324 E. Florida Ave., Appleton Einstein Middle School/Appleton Area School District, a classroom addition and interior alterations to the existing school building. 7 - 2701 Freedom Road, Little Chute Simonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Specialty Cheese / Agropur, a 2,600-sq. ft. addition to the cheese production facility to expand the boiler room and warehouse. Project completion expected in September. 8 - 311 Oak Grove Road, Kaukauna PolyFlex Inc., a 60,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. 9 - 222 Lawe St., Kaukauna Kwik Trip, an 8,777-sq. ft. convenience store and fuel canopy. 10 - W811 State Road 96, Kaukauna Fox Valley Wood Products, a 16,000-sq. ft. manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 11 - W3197 County Road KK, town of Buchanan US Cellular / Chipotle Mexican Grill, a 5,305-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. Project completion expected in September. 12 - 1506 S. Oneida St., Appleton St. Elizabeth Hospital, a five-story, 90-bed patient tower, as well as renovations to the cancer center and behavioral health. 13 - N8770 County Road LP, Harrison Lake Park Sportzone, a 32,000-sq. ft. indoor athletic facility to include basketball and volleyball courts. Project completion expected in early 2015. 16 | September 2014 | NNB2B

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14 - 420 7th St., Menasha Menasha High School, two separate additions totaling 46,603 square feet of educational space, as well as interior renovations to the gym, locker rooms and swimming pool. Project completion expected in summer 2015. 15 - 410 Oak St., Neenah Trinity Evangelical Lutheran School, a 4,500-sq. ft. addition for a new entrance, offices and elevator. Project completion expected in September. 16 - 417 N. Tullar Road, Neenah Country View Animal Hospital, a 11,000-sq. ft. animal care facility and offices. Project completion expected in November. Contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

17 - 1125 W. Winneconne Ave., Neenah Qdoba Mexican Grill, as well as other vacant commercial space as part of a 4,968-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail center. Projects completed since our August issue: • Fox Valley Technical College Student Success Center, 1825 N. Bluemound Dr., town of Grand Chute. • Kwik Trip, 710 W. Evergreen Dr., town of Grand Chute. • Culver’s Restaurant, 2121 Freedom Road, Little Chute. • Team Industries, 1200 Maloney Road, Kaukauna. • Gameday Sports, N225 Stoney Brook Road, town of Buchanan. • Appleton East High School, 2121 E. Emmers Dr., Appleton.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 17

Build Up Greater Green Bay area



3 &4




6 15

9& 10 14

11 12


Build Up

Indicates a new listing

Greater Green Bay area 1 - 1010, 1109 & 1112 S. Military Ave., Green Bay Broadway Pre-Owned, Broadway Hyundai and Broadway Ford, three separate dealership facilities. 2 - 520 North Broadway, Green Bay Titletown Brewing Co., complete refurbishment of the former canning factory for a brewery and bottling facility. Project completion expected in fall.

18 | September 2014 | NNB2B

3 - 301 E. Main St., Green Bay KI Convention Center, a 30,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing convention center facility. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 4 - 100 E. Main St., Green Bay CityDeck Landing, a six-story, mixed-use development to include 76 residential units and 7,000 square feet of retail space on the first floor.

CONSTRUCTION DELIVERED. 5 - 839 Lombardi Ave., Green Bay Bank of Luxemburg, an 11,444-sq. ft. bank branch and office building. 6 - 2580 S. Broadway, Ashwaubenon Bay Towel, an addition to the existing industrial facility.

Calmes Construction awarded

“Best Remodel” from the Green Bay Historical Preservation Society

7 - 2609 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon Gordon Food Service (GFS) Marketplace, a new grocery retail building. 8 - Label Drive, Ashwaubenon Green Bay Packaging Inc., a 240,000-sq. ft. coated products manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in late fall. 9 - 855 Glory Road, Ashwaubenon Truck Equipment Inc., a new truck service facility. Project completion expected in late fall. 10 - 810 Parkview Road, Ashwaubenon Astro Industries, a 19,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in early 2015. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 11 - 900 Main Ave., De Pere Unison Credit Union, a 3,984-sq. ft. financial institution office. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

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

12 - 100 Grant St., De Pere St. Norbert College Gehl-Mulva Science Center, a 150,000sq. ft. education and research facility to house the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus. Project completion expected in spring 2015. 13 - 750 Millennium Ct., De Pere Gandrud Detail Shop, a new automotive maintenance facility. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 14 - 2601 Development Dr., Bellevue Lakeland College, a 15,032-sq. ft. satellite educational campus. Project completion expected in early 2015. 15 - 2064 Allouez Ave., Bellevue Jack Schroeder & Associates, a 3,786-sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial office building. Projects completed since our August issue: • Dell’s Service Center, 840 Van Der Perren Way, Ashwaubenon. • Tenor Construction Supply & Rental, 1030 Glory Road, Ashwaubenon.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 19

Cover Story

Making everyday items better Regional manufacturing innovations hit mainstream

Story by Larry Avila, New North B2B Editor They’re all around us and we likely don’t even give it a second thought. From vehicles to move people and goods to the gizmos that keep us connected to daily happenings as well as friends and family, there’s one thing that bonds them together – someone came up with an idea to make a once-thought-impossible or difficult task possible. But in a world that constantly demands better and faster, a culture of innovation soon followed and quietly blossomed in northeast Wisconsin. What goes on behind the scenes as a new product or manufacturing process is being created rarely - if ever - is publically disclosed but on occasion a place develops a reputation for being a hub for creative ideas.

20 | September 2014 | NNB2B

“I think that for those within the region and those that interact with innovators within the region are aware and have some recognition that northeast Wisconsin is becoming a source of innovation and that this innovation can enable further growth across many industries,” said Cheryl Perkins, founder of Innovationedge in Neenah and former chief innovation officer for Kimberly-Clark Corp. She said businesses and people across the region gained more access to resources through the years to think of better ways of doing things.

This breakthrough led Appvion researchers to seek other applications for its microencapsulation process. Van Den Brandt said Appvion may not be a household name but it recognizes the work it does can improve the performance of another product. “In theory, we could make a component of say something like deodorant to enhance its performance,” he said. “Now we’re not looking to get into making consumer products from scratch, but we do have the capability that could make it better.”

“Training and education exists in the region as well as facilities like Fox Valley Technical College’s Fab Lab, tools and consultancy firms help them create more innovative ideas and translate their ideas into a commercial success,” Perkins said.

Top states issuing patents in 2013

Industry evolution

1. California – 39,139 2. Texas – 9,820 3. New York – 9,363 4. Massachusetts – 6,765 5. Washington – 6,569 6. Michigan – 5,640

Paper is a founding industry for the Fox Valley and a robust manufacturing community grew around it to support that sector and other markets. Appvion, formerly Appleton Papers, has operated for more than 100 years at the corner of Meade Street and Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton. One of its innovations led to the development of carbonless paper in 1954, which still has assorted uses today. Microencapsulation made carbonless paper possible. The process can place a solid, liquid or gaseous material into a microscopic shell or capsule, which ruptures from pressure or friction. Appvion’s first major non-paper use of its microencapsulation technology came in 2008 when it inked an agreement with consumer products giant Proctor & Gamble, which used the process to encase fragrance for Downy branded liquid fabric softener. “We continue to grow with P&G,” said Bill Van Den Brandt, spokesman for Appvion. “(Downy liquid fabric softener) was the first real consumer product where we were introduced to.”

7. Illinois – 5,357 8. New Jersey – 5,257 9. Minnesota – 4,789 10. Florida – 4,761 17. Wisconsin – 2,502 U.S. total – 147,652 Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Appvion is exploring other uses for its microencapsulation process, which represented about 6 percent or $52.3 million of the company’s $807.5 million overall sales in 2013. During its recent earnings conference call Appvion discussed how it may apply its microencapsulation technology for the construction industry. Van Den Brandt said the company is looking at how it can enhance building materials to absorb heat during the day, which would then be released at night to help better regulate a structure’s temperature. Microencapsulation is not proprietary technology to Appvion. Major chemical companies including Du Pont and BASF also have their own variations of the process to enhance many of its own products. What makes Appvion unique is its expertise and experience, and it has the infrastructure to mass produce and develop something to a customer’s needs, Van Den Brandt said. “We have to partner with our customers as much as we can to see how we can provide an answer and solution to their specific need,” he said. “There is no pull-off-the-shelf product we’re providing to someone … what we provide to each customer is specific to that customer.”

Getting creative

Microwaveable popcorn made it more convenient to enjoy the snack without the need to haul out a hot air popper or fire up the stove to heat up a pot with oil to cook kernels. Submitted photo Paper produced by Expera Specialty Solutions, formerly Thilmany, in Kaukauna has a wide range of applications including the food industry.

In 2011, ConAgra Foods Inc. – which owns many food brands, including Orville Redenbacher – put a new spin on microwaveable popcorn when it introduced the pop-up bowl, a bag which features cellophane on one side which when NNB2B | September 2014 | 21

Cover Story removed, allows the popcorn bag to form into a bowl. The unique pop-up bowl created a buzz in the packaging industry, ultimately landing ConAgra and its many vendors, including Expera Specialty Solutions in Kaukauna, international awards for the innovation. Expera continues to produce and provide grease-resistant papers used in microwave popcorn, including those used in Orville Redenbacher pop-up bowls, said Dean Dalebroux, director of marketing and business development at Expera, a 1-year-old company created by combining the former Thilmany Paper mills in Kaukauna and De Pere with former Wausau Paper mills in Rhinelander and central Wisconsin. The company is among the top producers of microwave popcorn papers in North America. Dalebroux said there are other applications for its greaseresistant papers, including use at fast-food restaurants. “Walk into any major fast food chain, and you’re likely to come into contact with a wrap, bag, or sandwich clamshell made with Expera products,” he said. With many sectors looking at more ways to be earth-friendly, the paper industry has also adapted. Expera has worked toward producing more natural papers, which consume less energy, require fewer chemicals and create higher yields from tree to paper compared to bleached papers.

Addie Teeters, marketing communication and media relations manager at Expera, said the company strives to source fiber from sustainably managed forests and develop sustainable practices in any way it can. Dalebroux said paper products can be used in place of film or in conjunction with other types of film to package items such as potato chips, bread and cheese. “Consumers want sustainable product offerings, they want options,” he said. “We are doing a lot of work with our converter customers as well as brand owners to offer unique, fiber-based solutions for a broad array of demanding food packaging applications.”

Necessity fuels innovation

Franklin Chen, an associate professor of natural and applied sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, worked at Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Neenah between 1994 and 2002. Kimberly-Clark introduced disposable adult incontinence products in 1984. Today its Depend line dominates that market with a more than 30 percent share, according to industry estimates. “K-C took a chance with that back then but it recognized that with the population aging, there would be a large group of people that may require that type of product,” Chen said. “They identified a need, developed a product, and crafted a marketing strategy to get adults to buy the product. It wasn’t easy then to get an adult to wear a diaper.”

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Much of the research for Depend was done by Kimberly-Clark in Neenah. Chen said the idea for Depend emerged in Neenah but its production is done worldwide. Kimberly-Clark also is recognized for its Huggies diapers for infants. Chen said the company wanted to create disposable swimwear so families could take their young children to beaches and public pools. That led to the creation of Huggies Little Swimmers, also developed in Neenah. Demand for products with certain capabilities often is the driver behind innovation, he said. “A lot of innovations came from needs (expressed by consumers),” Chen said. “You can invent a lot of things but if there are no buyers, your ideas or products won’t go anywhere.”

Submitted photo Microcapsules made by Appvion of Appleton, magnified here, are seen on a strand of human hair.

Appvion’s Van Den Brandt said researchers often come up with a variety of ideas but many never get to market. “At the end of the day, a company has to determine whether it’s practical or commercially feasible,” he said. “Sometimes things are possible to do but you have to ask yourself, ‘Would anyone pay for it?’ and ‘What kind of value would it add.’” Van Den Brandt said ideas are not forgotten but instead are saved for potential future development.

Continuous cycle

Perkins said many consumer products available today can trace their origins to northeast Wisconsin. Ernst Mahler, a chemist and executive at Kimberly-Clark, invented cellucotton or creped tissue paper, an absorbent paper wadding material used as wound dressing. That product led to the creation for Kotex feminine care products. This material also led to development of Kleenex facial tissue as well as anti-viral tissue and innovations in processing and packaging, Perkins said. Kimberly-Clark holds about 50 patents for cellucotton and its family of products. Perkins said many advances in packaging for microwaveable foods came from the Fox Valley. A patent was issued in the late 1980s to Tim Bohrer of Neenah, Tim Pawlowski of Neenah and Richard Brown of

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NNB2B | September 2014 | 23

Cover Story Appleton, who worked for the former Fort James Corp., now Georgia-Pacific, for developing a packaging container for microwave popcorn. “The invention was a huge success, selling more than a billion units a year in North America,” she said. “The technology was expanded using chemical deactivation technology, which resulted in patented processes for products used by Kraft, Heinz, Ore-Ida, ConAgra and others.” Perkins said that patent was part of a series of patents for microwave susceptor technology that allowed a portion of a package to heat up to properly cook food. Wisconsin is recognized nationally as a manufacturing hub, catering to an assortment of industries. Perkins said Appleton-based Miller Electric developed inverted power sources used in arc welders in the late 1990s. The company also created the world’s first engine-driven inverter. To make a better product, sometimes solutions are found within, which was the case for Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac. Because its engines operate under extreme conditions and environments, the company’s metallurgy and related manufacturing processes must be very precise, said John Buelow, vice president and general manager for Mercury’s castings operations.

“We design our own alloys, make alloys, make dies and cast parts, which are then delivered to other Mercury plants to be machined, finished and assembled into engines,” he said. “Our unique level of vertical integration supports continuous innovation and affords significant quality, cost, and design advantages.” Mercury created alloys that were durable and highly resistant to corrosion. That eventually attracted the attention of other manufacturers, also requiring components made using Mercury’s proprietary processes. One of Mercury’s processes called lost-foam casting is capable of producing complex parts. The process takes foam patterns, which are dipped in a ceramic slurry and placed into sand-filled flasks. The foam is displaced by molten aluminum to form a part, which then is solidified under uniform pressure inside the flask. “Our lost foam capability allows us to make very complex components with unique part geometry in a single piece, eliminating the use of gaskets and the additional cost of unit assembly,” Buelow said. “We currently use this process to produce an electric motor housing used by one of the major automobile manufacturers.”

Getting the secret out

Van Den Brandt with Appvion said while his company wants to showcase how its technology has made its way into

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other products, often agreements with customers prohibit disclosing that information. “In these situations, we stress our capabilities and leverage our experience and how we are very open to collaboration,” he said. “It’s really our ability to talk about what we can do, get to understand someone’s specific needs, and talk about what’s unique about what we do.”

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Dalebroux with Expera said development of new products is a major focus for Expera. “Much of what we do is applying our knowledge to innovate and create new products based on customer needs and market trends,” he said. “We call it, ‘making big ideas fly,’ because we’re successful at this, approximately 25 percent of our sales come from new products launched in the last three years.” Teeters said while the Expera name may not be seen on an end-use product, many items are used by consumers worldwide. She said the company’s Nicolet Mill in De Pere makes the glassline paper used in Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Wisconsin’s manufacturing capabilities are a strength for the state. Buckley Brinkman, executive director and chief executive officer for Wisconsin Extension Manufacturing Partnership, said Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows Wisconsin is one of a handful of states that relies on manufacturing as a key economic driver.


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“We are constantly either No. 1 or No. 2 with Indiana in terms of percentage of our workforce engaged in manufacturing,” Brinkman said. He said 35 out of 36 driver industries in Wisconsin are manufacturing based. “I think Wisconsin leadership understands the important role manufacturing plays in driving economic growth throughout the state,” Brinkman said. “Most economic initiatives contain a heavy manufacturing component and focus on strengthening the industry throughout the state.” n

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Swayed by the numbers

Business leaders say reports, commentaries on economy influence decisions

Story by Robin Driessen Bruecker

Among the myriad factors that can influence the decisions a business owner makes for their company, economic reports – interest rates, unemployment numbers, gross domestic product, Dow Jones Industrial Average, and so on – also have influence. Ryan Kauth, director of the Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, noted an abundance of business information is available through various media outlets via mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and laptops. “Many small business owners and entrepreneurs have a few numbers or writers or periodicals or websites that they look at daily or weekly,” Kauth said. “I do think local and regional and industry and cluster information is extremely relevant to small business owners, whether anecdotal or reports.”


Kauth listed several reports that business owners typically monitor, depending on their industry and how much time they can and want to invest in following them. They include reports from the Fed, such as the prime interest rate; state or federal reports on jobs, the GDP and Consumer Price Index, and inflation; subscriptions

26 | September 2014 | NNB2B

to quarterly industry reports related to one's industry or academic degree; Wall Street Journal articles; and email subscriptions. Kauth sees these options used the most by local businesses.

What they follow

New North B2B touched base with several business owners, representing different industries, to get their thoughts on whether they follow economic reports or find other sources of information such as word of mouth more useful. “The general health of the economy is important to us,” said Gail McNutt, CEO of the nonprofit Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes based in Green Bay. “Our three main sources of revenue are public support – donations from the community, United Way, and foundations, cookie sales, and program revenue.” She said if people are unemployed or underemployed, they may be less likely to donate to a charitable cause, to purchase cookies, or send their kids to camp. “Likewise if they are afraid of losing their jobs, they may be more cautious with their disposable income,” McNutt said. “So any indicator of public confidence, along with unemployment rates, tends to help us understand the external climate in which we work.” She emphasized these indicators are not used as an excuse when revenue is down. The organization simply gets creative with ways to boost revenue and achieve financial goals.

McNutt and her team keep an eye on GDP reports to determine whether the economy is growing or contracting and unemployment rates to determine if fewer or more people are working. Watching the Dow and S&P 500 also gives an idea of what's going on with investments people make, she said.


“These are good outcome measures,” McNutt said. “The driving metrics, or leading indicators, tend to be more interesting to me; these help, in theory, to predict what is about to occur, rather than what is currently occurring or what happened last month.”

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McNutt said other reports including building permits, money supply and index of consumer expectations also are considered leading indicators. “Each industry likely has those that they find to be most directly correlated to their business,” she said. While economic reports aren't the main influence for the business decisions made at ITConnexx, owner Brian O'Shaughnessy pays attention to unemployment rates. The De Pere-based company provides full-service outsourced information technology help to businesses that range in size from 20 to 300 employees. “As a small business owner, I certainly pay attention to national and regional economic reports,” O'Shaughnessy said. “However, I’m not deliberate or consistent in terms of tracking on a daily or weekly basis. The financial strength of regional small businesses plays a large role in his decisions. When a company is going through tougher times outsourced IT services may be reduced or set aside for better days, or tasks may be performed in-house. “I mostly use economic indicators to give me confidence – or a level of comfort – when considering the next moves for ITConnexx,” O'Shaughnessy said. “For example, if job growth is stagnant and unemployment is high, I will be less aggressive with our growth. Alternatively, if economic reports give me confidence that the local business economy is strong, I am able to be more aggressive – knowing that we will also be successful.” As the owner of Richards Insurance agency in Oshkosh, Tom Sitter follows the interest rates reported by the Federal Reserve, which he feels is a key report for other industries, plus regional reports on new-home and commercial construction. “Interest rates can affect the loan on my building when it renews,” Sitter said. “Building construction is a forecast of homeowner and business insurance needs for our area.” He also watches the annual reports from the various companies he does business with because the loss-ratio for claims paid the previous year give an insight as to rate increases that may be on the way.

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Economy Local reports tend to be a “better barometer” than national reports, Sitter finds. “I find that a number of national reports do not reflect what is happening here in the Fox River Valley,” he said. “The Fox Valley area traditionally performs better than the reports we hear nationally. The Valley seems to ride out a downturn better than the national numbers and we may take longer to come back when there is an uptick, but overall we fare better in the end.” Dan Gould, owner of Uncommon Grounds Specialty Roaster in Appleton, watches news and business networks while keeping an eye on reports and trends, “some more than others,” he said, adding that “unless the economy is tanking, or a large company close by is laying off, those macro statistics don’t really affect me directly.” Gould

Gould said reports and trends closer to his pocketbook matter.

“For instance, when the retail economy trended downward during the cold months of January, February and March, I was affected,” he said. “We really felt those slower days. Then when the reports came to light in the spring that as a national trend many businesses were affected I thought to myself, ‘well, I’m not alone.’” Gould also stays updated on coffee industry trends. “When coffee prices fluctuate I am affected (and) when the prices of supplies go up I take notice and adjust my purchases,” he said. “But day-to-day reports on a national scale, like unemployment rates or interest rates, do not affect my day-today business decisions.”

Word on the street

Kauth said talking with customers, vendors, suppliers, peers and associates who interact with customers has “extreme

Top economic indicators These are among the most common barometers economic experts use to gauge the pulse of the economy.

➊ Real Gross Domestic Product ➋ Money Supply ➌ Consumer Price Index ➍ Producer Price Index ➎ Consumer Confidence Survey ➏ Current Employment Statistics ➐ Retail Trade Sales and Food Service Sales ➑ Housing Starts ➒ Manufacturing and Trade Inventories and Sales ➓ S&P 500 Stock Index Source: American Association of Individual Investors

value.” Information from these groups can impact the decisions and moods of a business. “That subjective information, along with more objective economic data – locally, regionally, nationally – is a pretty good marriage,” he said. ITConnexx's O'Shaughnessy looks at interest rates and job growth to get an idea of the local business climate. However, he finds that “word on the street” is much more valuable. A peer group, which consists of ITConnexx and 10 other IT companies, discusses the status of the local economy each time it meets. “Our model is unique; not just in northeast Wisconsin, but nationally,” O'Shaughnessy said. “Our model – and service offering – has matured to a level that truly differentiates us from the traditional IT service provider. In a nutshell, the ITConnexx business decisions are 80 percent the result of the circumstances that we are in as a company – capacity to

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support our clients, new client acquisition, etc. Feedback from published economic reports, feedback from industry peers, and feedback from other local business owners make up the other 20 percent.” Richards Insurance's Sitter said his agency makes business decisions based on “sound information” rather than what the competition is doing. But upbeat news from other local businesses is a welcome indicator of overall economic health, he said. “Hearing good news on the street from other business owners is always a feelgood for the heartbeat of the Fox Valley and also for our community,” Sitter said. O’Shaughnessy

Uncommon Grounds' Gould also finds that positive comments create positive energy, and usually doesn't allow negative news or remarks to influence him. “Most small-business owners I know also seem to put out a positive light, even when things may not be so sunny,” Gould said. “My brother owns a small business and is often candid with me about how things are going. Even after a down month he looks at the glass half-full. He makes his orders just a bit larger than last year.”


At Nell's Wigs & Boutique in Green Bay, Stacey Nellen-Kolze said she relies “much more heavily on current trends in my industry and with my competition and with my referral sources versus reports on what the national or regional numbers are or how the economy drives them. We rely so heavily on what others say that we work with a very focused group within the medical field, the cancer/oncology community.”

Howitt and other area boat dealers meet quarterly and compare notes on how sales are going and the impact of outside forces. “What really affects our business and what short-term things I try to pay attention to are the volatility in things such as fuel prices, interest rates, etc.,” he said. “It doesn't matter much, as long as people can plan and budget for it. But when Howitt they become inconsistent and are always fluctuating causing uncertainty on how high or low they may go, that's when it becomes tough for us to manage or predict how much we will sell, which in turn affects our inventory levels, carrying costs, margin erosion and so forth.” The Girl Scouts' McNutt noted the combination of available data, including leading and lagging indicators, plus the actions and opinions of competitors as well as client/vendor feedback, can aid business owners in making the best decisions for their companies. “Each are data points, which together can help paint a picture of the current climate and trends to watch,” she explained. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed with data – there are hundreds of economic indicators alone, and it could be a fulltime job simply to watch those. What’s important is to understand which data will best help drive the right decisions.” n Robin Driessen Bruecker has been writing for magazines and marketing departments since 1995.

She said what her company does and how well it provides service, creates a positive word of mouth. “We have local as well as national competition online, so with what we have created here, we continue toward the goal of setting ourselves apart from them by providing a personable yet professional service and setting,” Nellen-Kolze said. Andy Howitt of Shipyard Marine in Green Bay and Oshkosh tries not to let short-term national or global crises affect his company's strategic planning. “I will pay more attention to industry trends, weather patterns and always try to ride the wave of what products are hot until it peaks and get off once it has crested to avoid riding it down,” Howitt said. “No matter what the economic condition, as long as there is water people will buy boats. It's just a matter of what kind they will buy and how many they will be buying.” Howitt said his industry is faced with more of a generational downturn than an economic one because as the Baby Boomer generation gets older, they are looking to downsize as opposed to buying larger.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 29

Human Resources

The right thing to do Employers recognized with inaugural award for demonstrating compassion for employees in need

We’ve all been told to save for emergencies. But there’s a difference between a fender bender and terminal cancer. The thing about crises is that they’re limitless. There’s almost no cap on how much one can cost, mentally and fiscally. It can cost a few hundred dollars, or it could cost the life and wellbeing of you and your family. And in the workplace, you can feel isolated as the rest of the world keeps spinning and your employer expects you to keep on working as if nothing’s wrong. Unless you work for a compassionate employer – one willing to share that pain with you. The nonprofit Community Benefit Tree – along with media sponsor New North B2B magazine – selected two northeast Wisconsin employers for its inaugural Compassionate Employer Award: the Neenah Police Department and Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin in Appleton. They’ll be presented with the award Nov. 11 at Community Benefit Tree’s annual Life Celebration night at Grand Meridian in Appleton.

30 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Story by Lee Marie Reinsch

“So many times we have seen where families (that have a crisis) lose their jobs because the employer doesn’t show that compassion and understanding, and we’re trying to create awareness of that,” said Heidi Frederickson, co-founder of Community Benefit Tree with her mother, Karla Wolfinger. She said she’s hoping the Compassionate Employer recognition encourages employers to have protocols in place for employee crises. “It’s (about) putting that little extra bit of effort into their employees, because they should think of them as family and not as a number,” Frederickson said. “Part of that is helping them through difficult times.” Frederickson and Wolfinger started Community Benefit Tree 10 years ago as an offshoot of an event named for their father and husband who died from a heart attack at 54. The Larry Wolfinger Charity Golf Outing has been going for 22 years. To date, Community Benefit Tree has helped out with 500 Celebration of Support events to help individuals going through an unexpected medical crisis, and has put together

at least 60 Celebration of Support funds that don’t have an event attached to them, Frederickson said. They also have six community funds for which people can apply. Employers don’t need to be large or even have a human resources department to help employees suffering through life’s lowest moments, Frederickson said. “Whether you’re big or whether you’re small, it’s getting to know the resources around you so that you can help your employees,” she said.

Providing support

X-ray technician Heather Biese could have been one of those employees losing their jobs, had her employer, Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin, not been there for her. Her husband’s diagnosis and treatment for osteosarcoma in February required many treks down to Milwaukee that would have resulted in unpaid missed days of work if her coworkers hadn’t teamed up to help. “They donated many vacation days and sick days just to help out,” Biese said. “I’ve always said that working at Hand to Shoulder is like working with your family – it’s such a tight-knit group of people. Everybody cares about each other, and everyone will do anything to help out each other.” Her coworkers also raised money for her by selling yellow rubber custommade “Biese Strong” bracelets modeled after the “Livestrong” bracelet campaign, and by hosting blue jean days and potlucks. Her friends organized a meal train so Biese wouldn’t have to cook while navigating a busy schedule. “It would have been much more stressful (without their support),” Biese said. She said the doctors at Hand to Shoulder told her not to feel guilty about missing work to care for her husband. “They said ‘Do what you have to do,’” she said. “I felt guilty anyway, but nobody made me feel bad about it.” Biese and her husband have a toddler who was six months old when the diagnosis occurred. Hand to Shoulder practice administrator Tina Sauer could empathize, as she’d been through her own husband’s cancer when their baby was a month old. “Knowing how difficult it was to try to work, maintain a job, try to take care of a sick spouse and take care of an infant, I knew she was going to need some help,” Sauer said. She called a team summit to brainstorm ways to make Biese’s life easier. “Immediately people started offering to give up vacation time for her … so she could take off to take care of Mike or take him to Milwaukee or whatever she needed to do and not suffer financially.”

Hand to Shoulder Center of Wisconsin Locations: Kind of business: Employees: Founded: Website:

1551 Park Pl., Ste. 100, Green Bay and 2323 Casaloma Dr., Appleton. Surgical center for orthopedic conditions of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder. 110 1987

Fund provides financial aid to workers in crisis Insurance for a rainy day? Sort of. It’s called the Hand Up Fund, and it’s designed to help employees of Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin who are going through crises. While Goodwill wasn’t selected for Community Benefit Tree’s Compassionate Employer Award, its Hand Up Fund did catch the eye of the review committee as a program other employers might replicate. Goodwill’s Hand Up Fund is essentially a grant employees can apply for if the unexpected arises. It launched early in 2013 as a self-supporting means of assistance. In its first 18 months, it approved 39 requests for help, according to Jaclyn Banda, financial wellness coach for Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin. A five-member committee reviews requests and decides whether they qualify for monetary help. “It doesn’t matter what your income is, you can face a crisis at any moment,” Banda said. “People are faced with hard situations, and it’s really been an interesting program that has evolved over time.” Recently, the Hand Up Fund covered part of a plane ticket for a Grand Chute team member to visit his dying father in Arizona. “The most common use of the fund is for travel expenses related to funerals out of state or to visit a dying relative,” Banda said. A team member with terminal cancer knew his family would be saddled with expenses after he died. “We were able to help with their mortgage payment so the family could have a little ease in their finances so they could take care of some things,” Banda said. Banda said it’s important to note that no cash is given out. “We give directly to the biller or to the organization.” How it works: Team members can deduct as much or as little from their paychecks as they wish to go into the general fund. Even if they don’t give, they’re still eligible to receive help through the Hand Up Fund if they need it. Some team members deduct as little as 25 or 50 cents per paycheck, and that’s okay, Banda said. The average grant is $300 to $400. The fund doesn’t pay for medical bills, car repairs or financial emergencies that Goodwill deems as incurred by poor decisions, such as nonpayment of power bills, bills that have gone to collections agencies, and wage garnishments, she said. “It’s for things that are out of a person’s control,” she said. “We have a lot of health- and illness-related scenarios.” - by Lee Reinsch NNB2B | September 2014 | 31

Human Resources Some people gave away entire days, others a half day, including some who don’t know Biese all that well. “It was heartwarming and surprising to see people who aren’t necessarily working side by side with her but (who) were wanting to do something,” Sauer said. “What else can we do? We can’t walk a mile in her shoes.” Biese isn’t the first to receive such treatment. Employees at Hand to Shoulder have banded together to help others in the past, and awareness events such like cancer walks are a regular part of its culture. The employer hosts food drives for area food pantries, and they’ve sold ribbons and bracelets for other employees. Its “Adopt-a-family” teams raise funds via raffles, lunches, bingo and cookouts, and once a year, a committee decides where the money goes, Sauer said. That can be to another employee, a friend or acquaintance of an employee, or even a patient who is down on their luck. This year the proceeds benefitted an employee’s niece, whose baby was born with a clubfoot severe enough to warrant treatment every five days in Iowa, according to Sauer. “It’s kind of the whole philosophy of the practice, not just the employees, to be very nurturing and very giving,” Sauer said.

Neenah Police Department Founded: Address: Employees: Website:

1873 2111 Marathon Ave., Neenah 40 officers; 10 full-time support personnel, and 5 part-timers (plus a dozen crossing guards).

Welcome assistance

Brenda Van Sambeek doesn’t work at the Neenah Police Department, nor does her twin brother, single dad and Army Sergeant 1st Class Brian Eisch. Her husband Tom does. She nominated the department for the Compassionate Employer Award for kindness shown to her family four years ago when her twin was wounded in Afghanistan. “I got the call from our older brother, Shawn, that Brian had been shot. He was on a military plane, but (due to military policy) the officer couldn’t tell us anything that happened,” Van Sambeek said. “He was alive but had been shot three times.” She called her husband, Lt. Tom Van Sambeek, and a short time later a captain at the police department called, asking what they knew and what the department could do for their

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family. More calls followed from other people who worked with Tom, along with cards and gift baskets for Eisch. Van Sambeek visited her brother a week later at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. “Walking into his room with his two young boys, and seeing him for the first time since his injuries a week later was awful,” she said. “But getting several phone calls from him over the next several weeks reporting all the amazing gifts and cards he was receiving made it easier. I think he was also overwhelmed by the outpouring of love, care and concern from perfect strangers.” Neenah Police Chief Kevin Wilkinson featured Eisch’s story in one of his columns for the Post-Crescent of Appleton, calling him a hero, and the department newsletter made note of Eisch as well. When Eisch returned to Wisconsin, the police department honored him for his sacrifice with a plaque. Wilkinson says it’s not unusual for his employees to rise to the occasion when someone has bad news. “We’re concerned for our employees. We like to maintain kind of a family relation here, and when something happens here – whether a brother-in-law, a grandma, something like that – it certainly affects our employees and their relationships with other employees here as well,” Wilkinson said. That’s what surprised her, said Van Sambeek.

“I didn’t work for them – my husband did – and they were doing all these selfless acts,” she said. “It was all just very moving, that people who don’t know me directly would do that for him.” The department has had no dearth of reasons to reach out to its own in recent years: In 2012 an employee died of cancer, and less than a year later, the department learned that the 10-yearold son of an officer had been diagnosed with leukemia. “We’ve had other matters come up with a spouse or a parent that have been very difficult,” Wilkinson said. “We can’t accommodate each one ... but we certainly try to bend and flex as much as we can, to accommodate and meet the needs of the employee.”

A rainbow after the storm

Community Benefit Tree executive director Heidi Frederickson said one reason her organization initiated the Compassionate Employer Award is that they saw a gap between employees’ needs and workplace support. “There was a need in direction on how to plan it, to help the families with the financial piece of it or the emotional piece of it or the spiritual piece of it,” Frederickson said. “We’re just trying to be that gap if there was a need in any of those items.” n Lee Marie Reinsch of Green Bay worked 18 years at daily newspapers before launching her freelance business, edgewise, in 2007.

s r e n w O e e Employ of Keller

Offices in the Fox Cities, Madison, Milwaukee & Wausau 1.800.236.2534 l Construction Excellence Since 1960

NNB2B | September 2014 | 33

Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin

Course set for growth Businesses equipped with tools they need to take on second-stage growth challenges themselves

Story by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher

Growing a business from startup to second-stage isn’t the same as flipping a light switch to turn a room from complete darkness to illumination. Successful business growth is often a gradual evolution, and oftentimes the owner of the business doesn’t recognize the long-term growth to their business when they’ve been occupied with day-to-day operations for three years in a row. That’s what happened to Susie Van Ekeren and her business, Wisconsin Swim Academy, which started off as a hobby of sorts, providing the neighbors’ children with swimming lessons in her backyard pool in 2009. Van Ekeren acknowledges she couldn’t have even imagined the scale which her business has become at this point, with 11 employees and more than 250 students, with a waiting list that will keep her busy into 2015. “I really didn’t see what we had going,” Van Ekeren said when she applied for New North B2B’s Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin program earlier this year. “I wasn’t really seeing (the business) for as large as it had become.” This past April, we paired Van Ekeren together with Gary Vaughan of Appleton-based Guident Business Solutions to help give her enterprise more of the structure it needs to remain competitive as it grows further. At the same time as Van Ekeren and Wisconsin Swim Academy, Karen Stoehr and her Green Bay-based 9th St. Wellness Center began working with Appleton consultant Jon Wright of Wright Advisor to increase the visibility and profile of the alternative healing clinic and to launch her new 9th St. Farmhouse, an adjacent property which complements the wellness center. 34 | September 2014 | NNB2B

B2B introduced these two businesses to readers back in April, as well as shared the fires each was putting out in the business in an effort to move past business as usual and grow to the next level. Vaughan and Wright were brought in to help these businesses put out those fires, and develop a long-term strategy for each to move beyond the start-up phase. In each edition of B2B since April, we’ve provided readers an update of the progress of each business. As both wrapped up their work with their assigned business consultant in late August, we’re bringing readers this final look into the maturity their organizations attained and the lessons each learned along the way.

Wellness hub in Green Bay

When Stoehr of 9th St. Wellness Center applied to participate in our Firefighters initiative this past winter, she was struggling with achieving more widespread visibility for her 3-yearold facility that houses practitioners of a variety of wellness and alternative healing therapies. At the same time, Stoehr purchased an adjacent building in Green Bay and made plans to launch the 9th Street Farmhouse, a destination for organic agriculture, sustainability and lessons on healthy nutrition. Along with the early summer opening of the farmhouse, Stoehr launched a summer camp series for younger students to experience various dimensions of wellness and learn about healthy eating habits. Jon Wright of Appleton’s Wright Advisors, a career marketer with decades of executive experience at Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Neenah and the former Enzymatic Therapy – now Schwabe North America in Green Bay – began meeting with Stoehr every other week in April to identify and communicate the

core strategies of 9th St. Wellness Center. Stoehr internally knew what her core values were, but didn’t have them clearly identified and consistently shared among customers and even practitioners within the wellness center. Those values – uplifting people, smart health, enriching environment and empowering advocates – became the centerpiece for the messaging she would eventually develop to pitch and explain the wellness center. “Every day it gives you some direction,” said Stoehr, who is preparing to have these core values framed and hung on the wall for all customers, practitioners and staff to see as a reminder of the wellness center’s purpose. Wright also called in the expertise of copywriter R.J. Foster of Wordsmithing by Foster in Appleton to assist Stoehr in penning a “BizIntro” she can use at any time and adapt to any audience to explain the wellness center and its value. With a gala open house held in early June to launch the 9th St. Farmhouse, the event offered Stoehr the perfect opportunity to practice her BizIntro pitch, a routine that since has become second nature for Stoehr.


of Northeast Wisconsin Because Stoehr had virtually no budget for marketing, Wright felt a grassroots campaign would most effectively improve the visibility of her products and services in the greater Green Bay area. The open house in early June was an integral component of such a campaign because it attracted an audience who have never been to the wellness center before and offered first-hand exposure to all the business offers. “Giving people an opportunity to try something to see if it’s for them is critical, because there’s a fear factor (of the unknown),” Wright said, referring to the various alternative therapies available through the wellness center.


Wright launched his own consulting firm in 2011 after a successful corporate marketing career spanning more than three decades. His background includes 17 years as a marketing executive with Kimberly-Clark Corp. in Neenah and six years with Green Bay-based Enzymatic Therapy. Wright also volunteers as a mentor through New North’s Fast Forward initiative, a program to assist promising start ups position themselves to obtain outside investment capital.

Such hands-on experiences of the products and services available through the 9th St. Wellness Center and 9th St. Farmhouse are crucial for attracting a new audience of clientele, Wright said, because they are considered to be an “alternative” to mainstream medical practices and may foster misguided and negative connotations of such services. Trying these services at no cost in a festive setting can make any such perceptions more positive. Company: 9th St. Wellness Center Location: Green Bay Owner: Karen Stoehr Founded: 2011 Employees: None

Using the open house as a catalyst, Wright created a grassroots strategy for Stoehr to promote her story of the wellness center and the farmhouse and engage the community. “We’re at a point where she needs to fuel this with more opportunities,” Wright said, citing events with complementary attendance like farmer’s markets and wellness fairs. Stoehr said she’s been attending various networking groups through the chamber of commerce and plans to visit schools, the Boys & Girls Club, scouting troops and 4-H groups in Brown County to raise awareness among students regarding healthy eating and exercise. Only time will tell if Stoehr’s articulated messaging and focused grassroots marketing will result in more clients for the wellness center and farmhouse. From his perspective as her advisor, Wright watched Stoehr gain more confidence in regard to the products and services she’s providing clients, primarily because all of the messaging ties back to the core values she defined up front, and all of the decisions she makes apply those values. “It gets back to defining those core values as foundational


Vaughan launched Guident in 2009 after spending his entire career teaching – both in the classroom and in business. Vaughan has professional experience in a variety of industries, including retail, petroleum, manufacturing and academics. He is a senior adjunct instructor for Concordia University of Wisconsin and a lecturer in economics and entrepreneurship at Lawrence University in Appleton.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 35

Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsin for growth,” Wright said. “Then you need to find ways to incorporate those (core values) into what you’re doing. And I think that’s what 9th Street Wellness has done.”

A pool less murky

As mentioned earlier, swim instructor Susie Van Ekeren found herself in the perhaps enviable situation of growing her business beyond what she could handle on her own with out any real strategy. Once that growth occurred, the lack of strategy became a problem. Van Ekeren applied for B2B’s Firefighter program this past February recognizing that she didn’t know much about running a growing business that needed employees, complex financial management and possibly an investment in a million-dollar-plus facility of her own. “I always knew I had a lot to learn about running my business and how to take it to the next level,” Van Ekeren said. She was paired with Guident Business Solution owner Gary Vaughan, a veteran business owner himself and a college-level instructor of entrepreneurship and finance, to develop a sound strategy around the growth of her swim school. Vaughan assigned two books for Van Ekeren to read – The E-Myth and Financial Literacy for the Entrepreneur – so that she had a basis to understand the concepts Vaughan introduced. Those books illustrate the importance of developing processes and procedures for employees to follow,

Words to Profit by:

We take pride in our small family business and strive to maintain the high standards expected from being an accredited member of the Better Business Bureau. Not only do we use the BBB to check out companies before we do business with them, our customers check on us to verify we are members in good standing. Susan De Ruyter, CFO Keyes & Sons Plumbing & Heating in Neenah BBB Accredited Business since 2004

as well as how to read financial documents like balance sheets and profit and loss statements to make informed decisions guiding the business. At the end of our 2014 Firefighters campaign, Van Ekeren is finishing up a business plan which will outline a strategy for eventually constructing her own swimming pool facility. She currently leases pool time from two Fox Cities hotels to teach swim lessons, but the long-term prospect of following that model becomes difficult as demand grows. Just two years ago, the swim school taught about 75 students at any given time. Now she serves as many as 250 students each week, and has more than 75 people on a waiting list for swim lessons.

Company: Wisconsin Swim Academy LLC Location: Appleton Owner: Susie Van Ekeren Founded: 2010 Employees: 11

“Gary helped me see that I probably could (construct a swimming facility), and that I probably could do it in a much nearer future than I had anticipated,” Van Ekeren said, noting the prospect of taking on as much as $1.2 million in debt for such a capital expense was initially scary for her and her family. With a more comfortable sense of her balance sheet and cash flow, Van Ekeren said realistically financing such a facility appears less of a dream and more of a realistic goal within the next two years. “If she wants to own a building, she first has to believe that it can happen,” Vaughan said. “Then she needed to put together a plan to see what it would look like to build a building, and third, she needs to go out there and execute her plan.” Vaughan said many small business owners are often afraid to think big for the future because of the risk involved, but said entrepreneurs in similar situations can follow Van Ekeren’s example for growing to the next level. “If you’re not ‘all in’ as a business owner, it’s not going to happen,” Vaughan said of risk-taking capital investments that stimulate growth. Now armed with eight part-time swimming instructors, a fulltime instructor supervisor and trainer and two parttime office staff, Van Ekeren jokes that Wisconsin Swim Academy isn’t just a backyard business anymore. Policies, clear strategies and a defined business plan are helping her realize her dreams.

With Accreditation Comes Trust…With Trust Comes Customers


“Now she has a roadmap of how to grow,” Vaughan said. “We’ve gotten her to a point where she can go out there on her own now.” n Better Business Bureau 920.734.4353

36 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Professionally Speaking

Redefining 401(k) Success by Mike Scott of Independence Financial, LLC

How successful is your company’s 401(k) retirement plan? Do you know? In recent years, plan sponsors have been encouraged to measure their plan by tracking participation and deferral rates, monitoring investment performance, and benchmarking fees, all of which are important, but none of which independently provide a complete guide as to whether or not participants are succeeding. Success is achieved when an employee is able to replace their paycheck when they retire. A retirement plan isn’t just an investment plan. It’s a vehicle to help employees replace their paychecks when they stop working. While the other frequently used measurements provide some indication of how various aspects of the plan may be working, they don’t measure what employers and plan participants need to know – Will the plan successfully provide each plan participant with an adequate benefit at retirement?

Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.


Why Measure? Most employers consider the money spent offering and administering your retirement plan as an investment. It stands to reason that as with any investment you would want to know you’re getting a good return on that investment in terms of helping employees achieve a comfortable retirement and auxiliary benefits to your company. For example, if employees are satisfied with their retirement plan, they are more likely to keep working for the employer sponsoring the plan. Thus, having a “successful” retirement plan can lower employee turnover and save you the costs of recruiting and training qualified workers. As we move into the future, how successful – or unsuccessful – a retirement plan is in delivering retirement security may become a factor in determining whether or not a plan sponsor and other plan fiduciaries are meeting their fiduciary responsibilities. Having a plan that doesn’t measure up to changing industry standards could leave the fiduciaries open to potential litigation.

Given the statistics on how few people are on track to be financially ready for retirement, the time has come to change the plan-success conversation and benchmark metrics that are actually going to have an impact on your participant’s ability to retire. If you are are concerned that your employees may not be on track for a successful retirement, contact us to evaluate your plan and determine the retirement rediness success rate of your employees. We will advise you on how to put your employees on track for a successful retirement. Mike is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM practitioner and an owner of Independence Financial, LLC, an Oshkosh firm specializing in retirement planning for over 80 years. (920) 236-6587 or Registered Representative of, and Securities and Investment Advisory services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, Inc., (HTK), Registered Investment Advisor, Member FINRA/SIPC, 8501 W. Higgins Rd., Suite 410, Chicago, IL 60631, Phone (800) 607-3300. Independence Financial, LLC is independent of HTK. A4TM-0804-04E2

Bringing two greats together.

Like football and brats, Capital and Pioneer credit unions are both fan favorites. That’s why we’ve joined forces to form a NEW Capital Credit Union with the same personalized service you’re used to. Together we’re “doing the right thing.” Serving members from 24 branches starting October 13.

NNB2B | September 2014 | 37

Who’s News


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

Designer Cakes LLC, Michelle Courtney Ellis, N6745 County Road E, De Pere 54115. Elite Custom Fabricating LLC, Eric Douglas Eger, 2796 Bain Ct., De Pere 54115. Jerovetz Construction LLC, Patricia Ducat, 1590 Quarry Park Dr., #7, De Pere 54115. Proactive Global Logistics LLC, William Knasinski, 2135 Ridge Haven Ct., De Pere 54115. Superior Janitorial Services LLC, Bertha Judith Peterson, 1440 Mayfair St., De Pere 54115. Royal Shuttle LLC, Brian Charles, 1013 Coral St., Apt. #2, De Pere 54115. White Eagle Bar & Grill LLC, Wayne Metoxen, 254 Florist Dr., De Pere 54115. Wolf Financial Services, LLC, Dennis Heim, 6220 Maribel Road, Denmark 54208. K&K Investigations LLC, Robyn Kinnard, E1521 County Road KB, Denmark 54208. Freedom Carriers LLC, Amber Marie Sticka, N4316 Serenity Ridge Ct., Freedom 54131. Titletown Home Inspection LLC, Raymond Fuiten, 2701 Hazelwood Lane, Green Bay 54304. Van Den Bogart Concrete & Snowplowing LLC, James Anthony Van Den Bogart, 2230 Ullmer Ct., Green Bay 54303. Transformational Fuel LLC, Craig S. Dickman, 400 S. Washington St., Green Bay 54301. Icon Material Handling LLC, Christopher Jon Forslund, 2658 He-Nis-Ra Lane, Green Bay 54304. Flowering Peach Design LLC, Laura Albers, 2963 Flowering Peach Dr., Green Bay 54313. Healing Lotus Massage LLC, Linda Bauer, 365 Laverne Dr., #5, Green Bay 54311. Aim Straight Marketing LLC, Amy Marie Healey, 1941 Renaissance Ct., Green Bay 54313. Above & Beyond Painting LLC, Brandon

38 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Seehawer, 108 Minor Ct., Green Bay 54304. Green Bay Decoys LLC, Mark Boudwin, 3955 Van Lanen Road, Green Bay 54311. Green Bay Dinner Theater LLC, Darren Johnson, 517 Lacona Ct., Green Bay 54313. Greatens Custom Flooring LLC, Gregory Greatens, 1971 Candle Way, Green Bay 54304. Handyman Marine LLC, Robert Arnold, 1271 Contract Dr., Green Bay 54304. Jamout Entertainment LLC, Jessen Meli, 1401 S. Locust, Green Bay 54304. Penny Pinchers Resale LLC, Heather Marie Goffard, 1441 Admiral Ct., Green Bay 54303. Doggin It Pet Food And Supply LLC, Jordan Patrick Berg, 3069 Beth Dr., Green Bay 54311. Dairyland Taxi LLC, Jamie Lynn Broekman, 1434 9th St., Green Bay 54304. In The Bag Guide Service LLC, Chris Bartsch, 1266 Bond, Green Bay 54303. Linked Web Design & Development LLC, Donald Nelson, 2630 Zak Lane, Green Bay 54304. Vientiane Restaurant LLC, Tim Kong, 520 Hilltop Dr., Green Bay 54301. Kaukauna Paranormal Research Team Inc., Josh Vande Wettering, 7838 Vande Wettering Road, Greenleaf 54126. Hobart Iron & Metal LLC, Tony Hayes, 3807 W. Mason St., Hobart 54155. Vandenbush Electric LLC, Kenneth Vandenbush, 1495 N. New Franken Road, New Franken 54229. All Power Electric LLC, Perry Martin Nooyen, 4511 Jacobs Road, New Franken 54229. Wanish Custom Cropping LLC, Travis Joseph Wanish, 6031 Seidl Road, New Franken 54229. Northeast Wisconsin Veterans’ Treatment Court Foundation Inc., Tom Hinz, 4684 Creek Valley Lane, Oneida 54155. SeaEO Marine LLC, Eric Olson, 1348 Concord Way, Oneida 54155. Wisco Yoga Girl LLC, Ona Callahan, 2883 Yellow Jasmine Way, Suamico 54313.

Fond du Lac County

The 4 E’s Big Spoon Diner LLC, Lisa Lynn Erickson, 142 E. Main, Brandon 53919.

Bumble Jam Soap LLC, Katie Lynn Nolan, W2979 Elmore Dr., Campbellsport 53010. Countryside Harvesting LLC, Mark David Stephany, N3372 Turkey View Ct., Eden 53019. Howard’s Green Acre Farm LLC, Amy Howard, W 4138 Birch Road, Fond du Lac 54937. Meiklejohn & Associates Design LLC, Commonwealth Management Corp., 54 E. First St., Fond du Lac 54935. Escape House Pub and Grill LLC, Edward Daniel, 65 N. Main, Fond du Lac 54935. Companion Care & Transportation LLC, Raymond David Merwin, N5194 Summit Ct., Fond du Lac 54937. Critter Junction Pet Rescue Inc., Renee Webb, 154 Satterlee, Fond du Lac 54935. Main Street Fashion LLC, Julie DayWilley, 117 S. Main, Fond du Lac 54935. JM Bookkeeping & Consulting Services Inc., Jeanne Marie Wood, 1047 Primrose Lane, Fond du Lac 54935. Sno Bird Trailers LLC, Joshua Joachim Goetsch, 212 North St., North Fond du Lac 54937. Beautiful Life Birth Services LLC, Jamie Lee Philbrook, N4745 Searle Road, Ripon 54971. Written To Write Publishing Group, LLC, Jaimie Ann Gross, 532 Metomen St., Ripon 54971. Substation Consulting LLC, Mark Nicholas Theyerl, N6887 Voelker Dr., Rosendale 54974. Caring Hands Assisted Living LLC, Thomas M. Steffen, N8301 County Road G, St. Cloud 53079. Stam Auto Body LLC, Lyle Stam, 503 Industrial Dr., Waupun 53963.

Outagamie County

River Regional Veterinary Centers Inc., Scott Barr, 2401 E. Enterprise Ave., Appleton 54913. Personal Solutions Money Management LLC, Laurie Neveau, 9 Century Ct., Appleton 54914. VOE Power & Systems LLC, Robert Van Offeren, N9165 Jonsch Dr., Appleton 54915. 1st Choice Painting LLC, Randy Dean Turner, Jr., 707 N. Bay Ridge Road, Appleton 54915. Wisconsin Arts Trail Inc., Kathleen Johnson, 630 Stonehedge Lane, 4C, Appleton 54914.

Hilltech Studios LLC, James J. Hildeman, W5877 Sweet Pea Dr., Appleton 54915. OEM Tactical Marketing Group LLC, Thomas Purdy, 6600 N. Ballard Road, Appleton 54913. Appleton Airport Hotel LLC, Kumar Koneru, 210 Westhill Blvd., Appleton 54914. Greater Wisconsin Employee Benefit Services Inc., Harry Forbes, 150 W. Northland Ave., Appleton 54911. The Metta Birth Project Inc., Veronika Richardson, 1530 Longview Dr., Apt. 3, Appleton 54911. Encor Media LLC, Greggory Allen Payne, 611 N. Lynndale Dr., Appleton 54914. Fusion Martial Arts LLC, Shawn McNeil, 2701 N. Oneida St., Appleton 54911. Badger Pharmaceuticals LLC, Jude JeanPierre, 3916 N. Millwood Dr., Appleton 54913. Skovi Studios LLC, Spencer Joseph Miskoviak, W4063 Devine Dr., Appleton 54913. Brock Insurance Agency LLC, Donald Brock, 1025 E. Harding Dr., Appleton 54915. Elivate Fitness Management Inc., Jon Barton, 2115 E. Cedar Ridge Dr., Appleton 54915. Cabinetry Curiosities LLC, Randall Anderson, 3204 E. Canary St., #9, Appleton 54915. Rok Floor Covering and Remodeling LLC, Ryan Thomas Koehler, 2313 S. Meadowview Lane, Appleton 54915. Realtors Not Needed LLC, Suzanne Sullivan, 823 E. Mayfield Dr., Appleton 54911. Reveal Nutrition LLC, Walter Jensen, 2828 N.

Richmond St., Appleton 54911. Earth And Space Museum Of Wisconsin Inc., Bruce Danz, 2909 N. Glenhurst, Appleton 54911. All Lift Cranes LLC, Robert Molitor, 1515 S. Alicia Dr., Appleton 54914. Renard Foot Specialists At North Shore LLC, John Renard, 2005 S. Lake Park Road, Appleton 54915. Millennium Construction Inc., Jesse Van Boxtel, 9 Balsam Ct., Appleton 54913. Hmong Globe Media LLC, Snyu W. Yang, 711 N. Lynndale Dr., 2E, Appleton 54914. Natural Expressions 100% Whole Grain Bakery LLC, Rosalie Barbara Misco, 825 E. Broadway Dr., Appleton 54913. Allstars Sports Bar LLC, Jessica Lee Behling, 3025 W. College Ave., Appleton 54914. Elite Paralegal & Prisoner Services LLC, Robert Raymond Branam, 1515 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54914. Ace Homes LLC, Terry Adams, 1313 E. Amelia St., Appleton 54911. Northridge Renovations LLC, Aaron Neverman, 2606 S. Eric Dr., Appleton 54915. Kevin Bolssen Auto Sales & Service LLC, Kevin Bolssen, N2825 State Road 15, Hortonville 54944. Suburban Wildlife Solutions LLC, Kurt William Schroeder, N1940 County Road CC, Kaukauna 54130. A Dee Vine Consign LLC, John Kunz, 412 E. 18th St., Kaukauna 54130. Ago Delivery LLC, Paul Van Den Eng, 816

Desnoyer St., Kaukauna 54130. Emmanuel Elderly Care LLC, Emanuel Ngude, 440 Bicentennial Ct., Kaukauna 54130. Diversity Counseling LLC, Adalia Jansen, 713 Stonegate Dr., Kimberly 54136. Schabach Motors LLC, Benjamin Schabach, 2107 Taylor, Little Chute 54140. Vandehei Dairy LLC, Darren Vandehei, W816 Cooper Road, Oneida 54155. Enchanted Party Favors And Decorations LLC, Kris Huben, N6756 Moore Road, Seymour 54165.

Winnebago County

Chrysalis Massage LLC, Tasha Posselt, 9608 Sand Pit Road, Larsen 54947. Lewis Home Care LLC, Paula Lewis, W7030 Shea Road, Menasha 54952. Jodi Martin Graphic Design LLC, Jodi Lisbeth Martin, W6333 Dogwood Lane, Menasha 54952. Protech Finishing LLC, Peter Schmidt, 879 Marquette St., Menasha 54952. Ledgers Accounting LLC, Michelle Boeckman, 1104 Deerfield Ave., Menasha 54952. Tree Specialists LLC, Amy Bucklin, 1038 Elmwood Dr., Menasha 54952. Bachman IT Solutions LLC, Jared Bachman, 1470 S. Park, Neenah 54956. Glued, Screwed & Tatooed Custom Woodworking LLC, Eric Peter Lind, 646 Winneconne Ave, Neenah 54956. All American Storage LLC, Michael Meunier,

NNB2B | September 2014 | 39

Who’s News 7752 Jacquis Road, Omro 54963. Big Z Service And Repair LLC, Mark Zarling, 9040 Stone School, Omro 54963. Ladybeez Designs LLC, Brittany Lynn Jahnke, 79 Overland Tr., Oshkosh 54904. Sole Foot Care LLC, Edna Anderson, 3490 Charlie Anne Dr., Oshkosh 54904. Atascadero Brewing Company Inc., Joe Putzer, N9417 Sam Crest Lane, Pickett 54964. Forever More Home-Healthcare LLC, Doua L. Vang, 603 Lee Road, Winneconne 54986.

Building permits

Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. July. Lakeland College, 2601 Development Dr., Bellevue. $1,900,000 for a 15,032sq. ft. satellite educational campus. General contractor is Sullivan Design Build of Madison. July 22. Panera Bread, 775 W. Johnson St., Fond du Lac. $1,078,250 for a new restaurant building. General contractor is Northcentral Construction of Fond du Lac. July 25. Holiday Inn Express, 55 Holiday Lane, Fond du Lac. $5,592,600 for an 86room hotel. General contractor is Northcentral Construction of Fond du Lac. July 25.

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

Einstein Middle School/Appleton Area School District, 324 E. Florida Ave., Appleton. $3,010,000 for a classroom addition and interior alterations to the existing school building. General contractor is Boldt Construction Co. of Appleton. August 4.

Jack Schroeder & Associates, 2064 Allouez Ave., Bellevue. $638,700 for a 3,786-sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial office building. General contractor is Schuh Construction Co. of Seymour. July 2.

New businesses

Bay Towel, 2580 S. Broadway, Ashwaubenon. $631,000 for an addition to the existing industrial facility. General contractor is Schuh Construction Co. of Seymour.

Alliance Appraisal Group Ltd. opened its office at 4321 W. College Ave., Suite 200, in Appleton. It was launched by Jeffrey Pelegrin, Pierce Buchinger and Eric Kawski. For more information call 920.460.9005.

DealerFire, 531 N. Main St., Oshkosh. $500,000 for interior alterations to 28,000 square feet of the existing commercial building for office and retail space. Contractor is Tri Star Living of Oshkosh. July. Astro Industries, 810 Parkview Road, Ashwaubenon. $1,872,392 for a 19,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. General contractor is

New locations Village Pub Pizza Co. opened at 374 S. Koeller St. in Oshkosh. It is owned and operated by Jackie and Justin Dlugolenski. For more information call 920.279.9619.

Without execution, they’re just numbers. Let us do the math.

Successful Journeys Need a Guide™ 920.427.5077

40 | September 2014 | NNB2B




Eagle Graphics of Kimberly opened its third location at 905 Tullar Road in Neenah. The firm’s other location is in Kaukauna. For more information call 920.486.1067




Integrity Insurance hired Katey Smith as vice president of human resources and administration. She was previously director of human resources at Associated Banc-Corp and held leadership positions at Bay Valley Foods as well as worked in human resources roles with the City of Green Bay, Rayovac and Fort Howard Corp.

Name change

DFB Wealth Planning of Oshkosh hired Jacob Harmsen as a registered associate. Harmsen has 10 years of financial industry experience.

Junior Achievement of Wisconsin-Fox Cities/Oshkosh changed its name to Junior Achievement of Wisconsin’s Winnebago Region District. The organization will work with students in and around the Fond du Lac, Lomira and Ripon areas as well as in the Fox Cities and Oshkosh.

Prevea Health in Green Bay hired Drs. Colette Salm-Schmid; Bala Davuluri; Beth Medford; and Megan Romenesko and aesthetician Lori Buss. Dr. Salm-Schmid founded Breast Surgery Experts of Northeast Wisconsin.

New hires Schenck Investment Solutions in Appleton hired Wendy Pokorsky as an investment associate. Pokorsky had more than 15 years of experience. Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling of Southeast Wisconsin, which has a Neenah location, hired Beth Rummel as a commercial account manager, Mike Oravec as a mitigation manager and Chad Bodenheimer as an estimator. Rummel has 11 years of industry experience. Hoffman Inc., an Appleton-based project management firm, hired Steve Behrendt as senior job captain; Ryan Schaumberg as project manager; Lauren Silletti as project administrator; and Kristina Peake as a project manager assistant. Schenck hired the following employees at its Appleton office: Michael Ball, staff accountant in the tax department; Tom Halfpap, software developer; and Emily Wichman, associate accountant in the small business department. At the firm’s Green Bay office, new staff accountants include Maria Frigo, James Goldman, and Joshua Pearce. Frigo works with the government team, while Goldmann works in the tax department. Pearce works on the government and not-for-profit team. Ledgeview Partners, an Appleton-based customer relationship management consulting firm, hired Michael Dodds as project coordinator. Candeo Creative of Oshkosh hired graphic designer Bryan Aschenbrenner.




Goodwill of North Central Wisconsin hired David Lippert to its information technology team, Dennis Zemialkowski to its logistics team as transportation team leader, and Steve Zich as leader of brand management in its marketing department. Zich most recently worked for Community First Credit Union in its marketing department and also served as executive director of the Community First Fox Cities Marathon. Independent Printing Co. in De Pere named John Kluth chief financial officer. He has more than 30 years of industry experience and most recently worked at Schneider National in Green Bay. Agnesian HealthCare in Fond du Lac hired Dr. Patrick Pike and pediatrician Dr. Yamil Darwich. Frontier Builders and Consultants in Kaukauna hired steel erectors Dave Carmody, Brian Wagner and Corey Bauman.

Promotions New Horizons of Wisconsin in Appleton promoted Sheila Jilot to director of operations. Jilot has been with the company since 2010. The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley in Menasha named Lee Rabas its athletic director. Rabas has been head men’s basketball coach at UW-Fox for the past five seasons, compiling a 117-17 overall record. He has 24 years of coaching.




NNB2B | September 2014 | 41

Who’s News




Associated Banc-Corp. promoted William Bohn to executive vice president, head of private client and institutional services. Bohn previously served as chief executive officer of Associated Financial Group, the company’s insurance and employee benefits business. He will retain his leadership responsibilities with AFG. Bohn has 23 years of industry experience and joined Associated in 1997. ThedaCare of Appleton promoted Pam Malkowski to vice president of clinical/ nursing operations at Theda Clark Medical Center in Neenah and Mike Radtke to vice president of perioperative services and acute interventions. Malkowski most recently served as pharmacy director with oversight of the pharmacies within ThedaCare’s hospitals. Radtke most recently was director of diagnostic imaging since 2010. Ministry Health Care promoted Bill Calhoun to president of St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton. Calhoun served as president of Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh, which also is operated by Ministry, the past seven years and was named regional vice president for Ministry’s eastern region in 2012. Calhoun will continue serving as regional vice president. First National Bank – Fox Valley of Neenah promoted the following employees: Lynn Lang to mortgage support lead; Vicki Stone to commercial quality lead; and Amanda Schmit from teller supervisor in Neenah to teller III at the bank’s







new Appleton branch on Northland Avenue. Wisconsin Business Development Finance Corp. promoted Jason Monnett to vice president and senior loan officer. Monnett oversees the firm’s Oshkosh and Green Bay offices and has been with the company for 12 years.

Individual honors Mark Skogen of De Pere, president and CEO Skogen’s Festival Foods, was named 2014 Grocer of the Year by the Wisconsin Grocers Association. Skogen is a third generation grocer who runs the family business with his father, Dave Skogen, who was named WGA Grocer of the Year in 2005. Under Mark Skogen’s leadership, Festival has opened 10 new stores and acquired The Marq, a banquet and catering operation. Bruce Deadman, an attorney with Davis & Kuelthau in Green Bay, was named the Wisconsin Lawyers Assistance Volunteer of the Year. Deadman was honored for volunteering through the WisLAP program to help clients coping with alcoholism or other addictions, depression, anxiety and other problems related to the stress of practicing law. Deadman has been a volunteer through the WisLAP program for eight years.




Take the first step toward a professional, quality built construction project...

Building Quality Communities Contact us or visit our Web site for a full listing of your local construction professionals.

9 2 0 . 7 3 3 . 3 1 3 6 y 866.966.3928 y 42 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Business calendar building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. Free for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2266 or visit

Business calendar New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to email For more events, log on to September 2 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. Free to members and $16 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.437.8704. September 3 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Fox Valley Savings Bank, 51 E. 1st St. in Fond du Lac. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to September 9 Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Appleton Yacht Club, 1200 S. Lutz Dr. in Appleton. Cost is $5 for chamber members in advance or $7 at the door. For more information or to register call 920.734.7101 or go online to September 9 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Sales Club, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber

September 9 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce, “Marketplace of Ideas,” 8 to 11 a.m. at Little Chute Village Hall, 108 W. Main St. in Little Chute. Focus on marketing tools to help small businesses. Cost to attend is $5 for members and $20 for nonmembers. To register visit or call 920.766.1616. September 10 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Vorphal Fire and Safety Inc., 526 Lambeau St. in Green Bay. Free for members and $30 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.437.8704. September 11 Women in Management – Oshkosh chapter monthly meeting, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Sure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. To register, contact Lisa Koeppen at or visit for more information. September 11 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Social Hub, social media learning session, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. Free for chamber members and $5 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2266 or visit September 16 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at Wisconsin Lake and Pond Resource, N7828 Town Hall Road in Eldorado. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to

Great relationships start with the right people. Bill Bradley has joined the Bank First team, with a focus on the bank’s Appleton expansion.

Beneting Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh Thursday, September 25, 2014 HILTON GARDEN INN 1355 W. 20TH AVENUE - OSHKOSH WI

Bill joins Bank First with more than 15 years of high quality Wisconsin-based community banking service. You can reach Bill at (920) 609-3401 or email bbradley@

5:00 PM - Registration, Food/Cash Bar, and Silent Auction Begins 6:30 PM - Program and Entertainment • Entertainment by Copperbox • Silent auction, heavy hors d’oeuvres and food stations, and cash bar.


$60 - Individual $110 - Party of Two $400 - Table of Eight


Opening in Appleton in 2015!

Proceeds benet Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh facilities, services, and programs. For more information or to register, call (920) 232-5252 or

Member FDIC

NNB2B | September 2014 | 43

Business Calendar September 17 A.M. Oshkosh, networking event of the Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, 7:45 to 9 a.m. at Fox Valley Technical College, 150 N. Campbell Road in Oshkosh. Cost is $2. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit September 18 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m. at Abel Insurance, One Bank Ave., Suite A in Kaukauna. Free for members and $20 for nonmembers. To register visit or call 920.766.1616. September 18 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business and Breakfast, 7 to 8:30 a.m. at F.K. Bemis Conference Center at St. Norbert College, 100 Grant St. in De Pere. Cost is $20 for members and $40 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.437.8704. October 1 Fond du Lac Area Association of Commerce Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Citizens First Credit Union, 1045 E. Johnson St. in Fond du Lac. Cost is $5. For more information or to register, call 920.921.9500 or go online to October 7 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber offices, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. Cost is free for chamber members and $16 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.437.8704. October 8 Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 6:30 p.m. at Ja

Advertiser Index Bank First National ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Bayland Buildings ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Better Business Bureau ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36 Borsche Roofing Professionals ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Builders Exchange of Wisconsin ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 Capital Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37 CitizensFirst Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 City Center Oshkosh . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28 Competitive Strategies ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Davis & Kuelthau, s.c. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Epiphany Law ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 First Business Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 First National Bank ~ Fox Valley ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . 27 Fox Communities Credit Union ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38 Fox Valley Savings Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32 Fox Valley Technical College ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Frontier Builders & Consultants ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

44 | September 2014 | NNB2B

Jora Olive Oil Co., 2069 Central Ct. in Green Bay. Cost is free for members and $16 for nonmembers. To register or for more information, visit or call 920.437.8704. October 9 Women in Management – Oshkosh chapter monthly meeting, 11:15 a.m. to 1 p.m. at La Sure’s Banquet Hall, 3125 S. Washburn St. in Oshkosh. To register, contact Lisa Koeppen at or visit for more information. October 9 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Social Hub, social media learning event, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. For more information, call 920.303.2266 or visit n

Better Business Bureau New Members Businesses accredited through the Northeast Wisconsin office during July 2014 American Comfort Systems, Amberg Coker’s Custom Painting, Fond du Lac Countryside Auto Transport, Menasha Grand Chute Auto Sales, Appleton Hawkeye Hearth & Home, Shawano LaRoss Roofing, Kaukauna Signature Realty, Lakewood Terrafin Consulting, Appleton Trail Genius, Green Bay WebCitz, Appleton Guident Business Solutions ⎮ . . . . 40 Horicon Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29 Independence Financial LLC ⎮ . . . . 37 James J. Calmes & Sons Construction ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19 J. F. Ahern Co. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Keller Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33 Lutheran Homes of Oshkosh ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Miron Construction ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Moraine Park Technical College ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 National Exchange Bank & Trust ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Network Health ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 NEW Building & Construction Trades Council ⎮ . . . . . . . 42 NWTC Business Success Summit ⎮ . . . . . . . . 48 Outagamie County Regional Airport ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . 39 R&R Steel Construction Company Inc. ⎮ . . 7 Sadoff & Rudoy Industries ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Security Luebke Roofing ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . 19 Spark ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 UW Oshkosh College of Business ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . 46 Winnebago County Solid Waste Management ⎮ . . . . 7

From the Editor

Giving is good business Every bit helps to build stronger community by Larry Avila, New North B2B editor When faced with a problem, I leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding a solution. I think the same applies for charitable contributions and finding volunteers to lend a hand for a good cause. Since the recession ended in mid-2009, charitable giving also has rebounded. Giving USA’s latest annual report on charitable giving showed Americans gave $335 billion to charity in 2013, a 4.4 percent increase from 2012. The biggest recipients were religious organizations, followed by education, human services, society benefit and health. The report noted 2013 charitable contributions represented about 2 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. While giving overall was up, the report said giving by corporations, defined as donations from all businesses, fell 1.9 percent in 2013. Giving by corporations was roughly $20.2 billion in 2013, representing about 5 percent of total giving, while about 74 percent or $311 billion, came from individuals. The report suggested corporate profits weren’t as robust in 2013 compared to 2012, but it also indicated giving by businesses has risen by 19.4 percent the past five years. United Way Fox Cities had a successful campaign in 2013, raising $8 million, surpassing its $7.7 million goal. Peter Kelly, president and CEO of United Way Fox Cities, said corporate giving for last year’s campaign was up slightly compared to the previous year, which makes him “cautiously optimistic” heading into the coming campaign. The United Way Fox Cities kicked of its latest campaign Aug. 26 with a goal of $8.1 million. Kelly said corporate giving represents more than 5 percent of the United Way Fox Cities annual campaign because a number of businesses match an employee’s contribution. “The economy is improving, local business activity is stronger, and business leaders in this region care about the communities in which they operate,” Kelly said. “These should be positive factors that contribute to the success of our fundraising.” All forms of giving make a difference. Neenah-based Evergreen Credit Union, which has 15 employees and one location, has a giving and community involvement culture comparable to other businesses many times its size. “We’re doing something on a monthly basis and some things

are bigger than others,” said Rachel Williams, the credit union’s vice president of operations. The credit union had a member appreciation cook out in July and also held a fund raiser to benefit Community Clothes Closet’s “Cool for School” program, which collected $167.70. “Every penny counts,” Williams said. The credit union incents employees to donate time to community causes outside work. If employees pledge a certain amount of time to volunteer for a cause, the credit union will make a donation to their charity of choice, based on the time given. Williams said donations could range between $25 and $100. In 2013, employees gave about 200 volunteer hours to a range of causes, representing about $475 in donations. Giving back is not about raising the most money or collecting the most donations, Williams said. “We’re living in the community and we want to see the community flourish,” she said. That’s why the credit union does what it can. During the Christmas holiday season, Evergreen Credit Union sets up a giving tree to collect donations for those in need around the Fox Cities. Williams said donations from staff and credit union members are so plentiful at times the lobby becomes difficult to walk through. “I think people see we’re just working to make the community a better place for everyone, and our members see that and they just want to help too,” Williams said. The Atlas of Giving forecasts charitable giving by individuals will grow by 4 percent in 2014 and could total $323 billion. Corporate donations are projected to increase 3 percent in 2014 and could reach $20.8 billion. Kelly said there’s a sense people are reasonably comfortable as it relates to the state of the economy but it shouldn’t mask the fact there are still many people in need in the community. Kelly said he recently took part in the Point in Time Count, a national effort to quantify the number of homeless individuals. “Locally, our shelters are at record census,” he said. “My small group of volunteers found three homeless people, a family, sleeping in their car.” Despite the improving economy, Kelly said, the discovery of the homeless family shows people still need help. Evergreen Credit Union is certain to be in the mix to help those in need. “I think our employees and members recognize we’ll do whatever we can do to help the community,” Williams said. n NNB2B | September 2014 | 45

Key Statistics

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

local gasoline prices

u.s. retail sales july

august 17....................$3.46 august 10....................$3.49 august 3...................... $3.51 july 27.......................... $3.57 august 17, 2013...........$3.54

existing home sales

$440 billion Unchanged from June 3.7% from July 2013

u.s. industrial production


(2007 = 100) july

homes sold median price brown cty .....................301 .................... $151,900 Fond du Lac cty ............86 ....................$128,950 outagamie cty .............194 .................... $137,000 winnebago cty ............157 .................... $127,000 WI Dept. Revenue Collections june

DOR reports for June 2014 were unavailable at B2B press time.


0.5% from June 5.0% from July 2013

air passenger TRAFFIC (Local enplanements) JULY 2014 JULY 2013 Outagamie Cty. ATW................... 20,848 ...... 21,028 Austin Straubel GRB.................... 30,560 .......29,068

local unemployment june may june ‘13 Appleton . ......7.1% ...... 6.3% ........9.0% Fond du Lac .. 6.5% ...... 6.0% ....... 8.3% Green Bay........7.3% .......7.1% ........9.4% Neenah ............7.8% .......7.0%........ 8.9% Oshkosh ........ 6.3% ...... 5.8% ........7.9% Wisconsin ..... 6.0% ...... 5.5% ........ 7.1%

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

august........................ $0.82 july.............................. $0.92 august 2013............... $0.62 Source: Integrys Energy

ism index Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction. july. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57.1 june. . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.3

UW Oshkosh MBA

Fall Development Opportunities

MBA Leadership Series

Want to stay current on business trends and best practices? Thursday, Oct. 23 “Controlling Healthcare Costs” UWO Appleton Executive Education Center Wednesday, November 12 “Courageous Conversations” UWO Green Bay Executive Education Center

Information Sessions

Interested in earning your MBA? Attend an upcoming session. Tuesday, October 14

Tuesday, Oct. 21

Thursday, October 16

Thursday, Oct. 23

UW Oshkosh Sage Hall Oshkosh, WI

UWO Green Bay Executive Education Center Green Bay, WI

UWO Appleton Executive Education Center Appleton, WI Jefferson Street Inn Wausau, WI

For more details and to register, visit • 800.633.1430

46 | September 2014 | NNB2B


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September 2014  

Regional business magazine; articles concerning human resources, technology, innovation in manufacturing, Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsi...

September 2014  

Regional business magazine; articles concerning human resources, technology, innovation in manufacturing, Firefighters of Northeast Wisconsi...